Winter is fast approaching, and if you’re a homeowner, that usually means now’s the time to tackle key maintenance tasks — at least if you want to ensure a warm and comfortable season.
There are appliances to check, inspections to complete and exterior tasks to do.
Are you ready for the incoming colder months? Want to make sure your home is too? Here are five steps to take ahead of the winter months.
- Weatherproof your doors and windows. Cracks and gaps can let in cold air. Reseal old caulking and fill in any holes, splits or openings you find.
- Get a roof inspection. Replace any damaged or missing shingles. Also make sure your roof is protected from leaks that could result in moisture- or mold-related problems.
- Tend to your yard. Heavy storms can weigh down branches, causing them to fall on your roof or car. Check that all trees and foliage are cared for and well-trimmed.
- Insulate your attic, pipes and walls. Better insulation can mean lower energy bills and a more comfortable home. Take some time to evaluate yours, and consider adding extra if needed.
- Check the water heater. Make sure your water heater is operating effectively and efficiently. You might also want to flush the system to remove any sediment that may be at the bottom of the tank.
Completing this essential winter maintenance can set your family up for a cozy, relaxing season at home. It’ll also help you identify any potential issues before they have a chance to turn into costly repairs. To learn more home upkeep tips, reach out today.
Are you curious about the state of the housing market? Like many homeowners, especially potential sellers, you may be hesitant to make a move because there’s a lot of uncertainty and speculation these days.
But you don’t want to let false assumptions keep you from reaching your goals, now or in the future.
Let’s clear up some common myths about what’s happening in real estate right now and what we’re likely to expect going forward.
- Myth: Buyers are waiting to enter the market.
Record-low mortgage rates mean it’s a great time to purchase a home, and buyers are actively engaging in the market.
- Myth: Fall is the wrong season to sell.
You’ve probably heard that it’s better to list in the spring or summer. But this fall is a seller’s market — and a highly active one at that.
- Myth: Home prices are decreasing.
Nearly every metro region saw price growth this year, with trends outpacing expectations. In fact, historically low mortgage rates could allow people to afford higher-priced homes, encouraging them to buy now.
- Myth: You won’t be able to show your home.
You can show your home safely by following the recommended precautions. Virtual home tours and private showings are also options.
- Myth: The real estate market is going to crash.
It’s a common concern, but what’s happening today is different from the financial crisis of 2008. Experts are optimistic, as the economy remains fundamentally strong. The housing market looks solid for the foreseeable future, and there is no reason to abandon your plans.
It’s easy for the truth about selling to get lost in the shuffle. If you’re curious about what else is happening in real estate, especially our local market, reach out today.
Updating your kitchen can be a smart way to increase your home’s worth. In fact, Remodeling Magazine named a minor kitchen renovation one of the best projects to take on this year — and upgrading your countertops is a good place to start.
The right countertop can add aesthetic and resale value to your home and improve your space’s functionality.
Which of these five materials do you like best?
Quartz: These countertops are low maintenance and nonporous, meaning they won’t soak up moisture or hold bacteria. Quartz is also quite popular and may attract more buyers to your home when it comes time to sell.
Soapstone: This rare material is trending among home designers. Its unique aesthetic can add effortless style to your space, but it’ll come with a hefty price tag.
Granite: A classic style, granite offers a great look, as well as a scratch- and heat-resistant surface. It’s one of the more expensive countertops, and it needs regular resealing to stay in top condition.
Solid Surface: These countertops are a mixture of manmade materials and resins, making them easy to keep clean. Solid surface comes in all sorts of colors and tends to resemble granite — minus the high cost.
Eco-Friendly: Upcycled wood and recycled glass are two options in this category. The cost will depend on where you source your materials, but you’ll be minimizing your environmental footprint and getting a one-of-a-kind countertop in the process.
Simple cosmetic changes to your kitchen can make a big difference. Get in touch today for more tips on upping the resale value of your home.
Let’s face it: You can’t predict the future. That’s why having a fully stocked emergency kit is so important. No matter the time of year, it’s always better to play it safe.
Would you and your family be prepared, just in case? Putting essential supplies together doesn’t have to be a chore and can even be done fairly quickly. You just need a list and a plan.
Need ideas? See below for useful items in any situation.
- Communication: Stay connected even if you lose power. Try a hand-crank or battery-powered radio — preferably one with charging ability to keep your devices running.
- Lighting: A flashlight and batteries are a must. Get a few different types, like lanterns, floodlights and keychains. You never know how much light you’ll need or where you’ll need to take it. You can also stash a few candles and some matches.
- Food and Water: Pack at least three days’ worth of water, nonperishable foods and canned goods — and don’t forget the can opener. Think beans, nuts and seeds, protein bars and dried fruit.
- First-Aid Supplies: You’ll want a first-aid kit, complete with bandages, gauze, burn cream, antiseptic, sterile gloves, safety pins and more. Pain relievers and an extra supply of prescription medications are important, too.
- Clothing and Bedding: Every family member will need a few changes of clothes and portable bedding like sleeping bags, blankets and pillows.
- Miscellaneous Items: Cash, personal documents and paper maps might not seem essential now, but they could come in handy. Other nice-to-have items include duct tape, cleaning products and a multitool.
There’s no telling what the future may bring, so it’s important to be prepared for anything. Get in touch today for more home safety tips.
An offer on your home moves you one step closer to the finish line in the selling process. And if you’re lucky, you’ll receive multiple offers from a range of bidders.
The highest bid is the obvious choice, right? Not necessarily. Here’s what to consider before moving forward on an offer:
Focus on your priorities. Take this step early, before any offers roll in. Make a list of what’s most important to you in the sale of your home, like a tight moving deadline or your financial needs. Are there any requests that would make an offer a deal breaker for you?
Review the contingencies. Now that you’ve established your top priorities, determine your bidders’ conditions for the sale. Common contingencies for potential buyers include a property appraisal and a home inspection.
Compare earnest money amounts. People who are interested in purchasing your home need to show you that their offer is made in good faith. An earnest money deposit proves the buyer is serious about the transaction. The more money they put into the deposit, the more likely they are to be able to back it up with financing.
Be aware of unusual requests. A bidder could ask you to make unnecessary repairs or leave all your appliances in the home for them. Their offer might be high, but if something unusual interferes with your top priorities, it might be best to move on to another option. Together, we’ll carefully read over their requests and discuss any questions or concerns you may have.
Are you ready to get a great offer on your home? Get in touch today.
How have you been spending your summer? Have you been tending to your garden, grilling dinner on the patio or taking dips in the pool?
No matter what your property offers or how you and your family like to spend your free time, there’s almost always something you can do to make your outdoor space more inviting and enjoyable.
Could your home’s exterior use some sprucing up? Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Arrange a living area. Outfit your patio with weatherproof furniture, a bright rug and some cozy blankets. Take it a step further by propping up a projector screen for movie nights.
- Hang string lights. Inexpensive and easy to install, string lights provide instant ambiance to your deck, pergola or gazebo. You can even attach them along a fence corner to create an outdoor nook.
- Install stone pavers. Use pavers to design or add to an existing patio. Pick something that matches your home’s aesthetic. For example, if your style is rustic, you could try cobblestone pavers. For a modern look, go with classic gray concrete.
- Build a porch swing. If you’re the handy type, you’ll just need a few pieces of wood, some rope and anchors to set up the perfect place to watch the sunset. Add cushions and pillows for an extra touch of comfort.
- Add plants and flowers. You really can’t go wrong with greenery. Include hanging and potted flowers, or grow a small garden in a sunny spot. If you’re looking to add shade, plant a fast-growing tree or two.
A beautiful outdoor space can make your home more enjoyable for you now and more marketable when it comes time to sell. For more value-adding ideas or info about the housing market, get in touch today.