Archives for Housing tips

How Important Is Home Staging?

Because the Internet has changed the way we buy and sell homes, most real estate professionals believe home staging is critical to selling success. Almost all home buyers begin their search online meaning sellers need to make a good first impression so potential buyers want to see their home in person. Hence, staging has taken the residential real estate industry by storm and many sellers are hiring professionals to help them make that first impression. National Association of Realtors (NAR) President Chris Polychron says “staging is an excellent tool that can be used to give a home a little extra
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The Do’s and Dont’s of Basement Storage

  This article from Bob Vila gives eight handy tips to consider when using your basement for storage.   The suggestions include taking advantage of vertical space by building up and not out, using open shelves for frequently-used items and built-in cabinets to conceal toys or cleaning supplies, storing off-season gear in sealed bins to protect from moisture and dust, using a pulley-hoist to store heavy or bulky items from the ceiling, protecting tools stored in the open with a coating of machine oil to prevent rust and running a humidifier in the basement to suck moisture from the air and
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Create a beautiful bathroom for the ages

  As people age, reduced mobility, impaired balance, failing vision and muscle weakness make them more susceptible to injuries in their home, and bathrooms are no exception.  This Consumer Reports article tells how the latest design trends are helping owners upgrade their bathrooms with changes that enhance safety while retaining their beauty and avoiding an institutional look. In addition, subtle name changes have made useful improvements like shower rails (formerly called grab bars) and higher-seated toilets (“comfort height”) more acceptable.   By widening the bathroom doorway, removing the raised sill and replacing knobs with easier-to-open handles you improve access. Installing slip-resistant tile
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Why Cleaning Window Screens Should Be Part of Your Winter Strategy

  Should removing and cleaning the window screens be part of your winter maintenance routine? According to this houzz.com post, there are several benefits to be gained. Simply put, dirty mesh blocks light, heat and the view. For example, you get 30 to 40 percent more light coming in without screens on the windows.  More sunshine means you need less artificial light and can save on energy costs.   In addition, removing the screens increases the solar energy getting through to the windows. Improved solar heat gain reduces the need for mechanical heating saving on heating bills. Also, during a storm, snow
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9 Bad Habits That Are Killing Your Appliances

  This slide show from Bob Villa is an excellent visual representation of how NOT to treat your appliances. For example, an overloaded washing machine stresses the bearings and misaligns the drum. Overfilling the freezer can block air vents, restrict the flow of cold air and overtax the condenser. Clean spills right after using the oven as they can damage the heating coils. To read more click here.   Source: Blog
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Your Complete Guide to Pest-Proofing This Fall

  To prevent an onslaught of pests from occupying your house as the weather cools, simply  follow the National Pest Management Association guidance presented in this post from Bob Villa. Seal cracks in the exterior envelope, especially where utility pipes enter, with silicone caulking.  Fill larger gaps inside your home with steel wool. Pests avoid the roughness of the steel fibers and rodents cannot gnaw through it. Repair ripped window screens, door sweeps and loose mortar in the basement foundation, screen dryer vents and chimneys and replace weather stripping to seal these ideal entry points. If you suspect an infestation,
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How Google Sunroof is Changing Homeowners’ Costs

How Google Sunroof Works Employing the high-resolution aerial mapping used by Google Earth, Project Sunroof calculates the amount of sunlight reaching your roof to assess its potential for solar power.  It takes a variety of factors into account including local weather conditions, shade from nearby trees and buildings and sun positions throughout the year.  The tool combines this information with data from your household’s monthly electricity bill, factors in panel orientation and tilt to the roof surface to calculate average monthly and annual solar radiation, recommends the size of solar installation needed and estimates the cost to purchase or lease
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The Inside Scoop on the Best Season to Sell Your Home

Think you need to wait until Spring to sell your home? You may want to think again if you’re ready to sell now.   In this HGTV.com post, Gavin Chen challenges conventional wisdom that the best time to sell is spring and the best time to buy is fall.  Statistically, spring has the most competing sellers in the market, so you might have to stage your home to get an advantage. Chen suggests it is important to highlight the sellable features of your home in any season.  Although there are fewer buyers in the December – January period (holidays, travel),
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Your Annual Home Maintenance Schedule

Following an annual maintenance schedule is an essential step in protecting the value of what will probably be the largest investment of your life – your home.  First time home owners, or those lacking experience may struggle with this task and overlook important elements.  Here are some guidelines to help you create a maintenance program that suits your needs. Benefits of Home Maintenance Regular preventive maintenance identifies minor repairs before they become expensive, major repairs.  It also preserves your home’s market value.  One study found that “greater than $5 return for every $1 spent on preventive maintenance is not unusual”. 
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