Entries in buyers (7)

Saturday
Sep242016

11 Hacks for Annoying Household Headaches

Cruddy bathroom fixtures? Sticky door locks? Fix those maddening nuisances fast.

A slow-draining guest bathtub, a squeaky linen closet door: Fixing routine household issues is très boring when you’ve got sexier projects on your mind, like building a kitchen that would make Ina Garten jealous.

Over time, though, those everyday annoyances will get. on. your. nerves. That’s why we rounded up 11 clever fixes for the tasks that float to the bottom of most homeowners’ to-do lists. You can knock them out in a single weekend and still have plenty of time to get back to looking up remodeling ideas on Pinterest when you’re done.

1. Remove Shower Drain Gunk with a Zip Tie

Retrieve a wig’s worth of hair by connecting three or four zip ties and notching them every half inch with a pair of scissors. Remove the drain catch and feed the chain into the drain. Swivel it around to catch as much clog-causing hair as possible, pull out, remove gunk, and repeat as necessary. Rinse off the makeshift chain and stash it for your next clog. In the meantime, use a drain plug to catch some of the hair.

2. Un-Stick Door Locks

Artfully wiggling your garage key works for getting to your lawnmower, but it won’t do in case of an emergency. Save yourself a trip to the home center for powdered graphite lubricant and DIY your own to oil up tumbler locks.

Twist a mechanical pencil or whittle away a traditional pencil’s wood to expose a few inches of graphite. Slip the exposed graphite into the sticky lock. You can force it if needed, as it will become powder anyway. Slide the key in and out to break up the graphite and turn it in the lock cylinder to lube it for loose unlocking.

3. Refinish Cruddy Bathroom Fixtures with Spray Paint

No matter how much you scrub, those polished metal fixtures that were supposed to look shiny and clean all the time just don’t. Most of the time, they just look gross. That’s why interior designer Lara Fishman of Storm Interiors in Los Angeles warns clients that polished metal can be tough to maintain. They’re magnets for dirt and fingerprints.

But if they work fine, replacing them is a waste of landfill space. So create your own do-over and spray paint them with a coat of matte, metallic paint. It’s easier than you think. Simply remove them from your bathroom sink, spread them out on a protected surface, and give them a sharp new coat of primer and the color of your choice.

4. Stop a Spewing Shower Head with White Vinegar

Your hair looking a little flat after a shower? Not able to rinse out all that deep conditioner? Could be the spray isn’t forceful or targeted enough because of sediment build-up in your showerhead. Fill a medium-sized freezer bag halfway with white vinegar and submerge your shower head in it. Wrap a thick rubber band around the bag to secure it to the shower head and leave it overnight. In the morning, remove the bag and let the shower run at least two minutes before showering (so you won’t smell like vinegar).

5. Silence Noisy Hinges with Olive Oil

Or grease. Seriously. Skip the commercial lubricants, which, according to internet lore, may or may not be the cause of your door’s horror movie sound effects. The point is, your hinges need lubricating. And the oils in your kitchen will do the job just as well, and probably better. Olive oil, veg oil, coconut oil, etc. Just be careful to clean first, and don’t overdo it. Leaving excess oil on a dirty surface can make the oil turn rancid.

6. Smooth Out Beaten-Up Wood Trim with Nail Polish

A nick on a gorgeous, shellac-ed windowsill that’s original to your 1955 bungalow may go unnoticed for now, but it’ll grow worse over time. Grab a bottle of clear nail polish topcoat and fill in the wood craters for an even surface. Let it dry completely and gently even out any resulting bumps with fine sandpaper.

7. Clean Gutters Without a Ladder

Clearing out the gutters gets a (deserved) bad rap for being a total pain. Cindy Stumpo, founder of C. Stumpo Development Inc. and an expert featured on HGTV’s “Tough as Nails,” has hacked the annoying task. She attaches a long PVC pipe to a leaf blower to avoid hauling out the ladder. Genius!

8. Fix a Vinyl or Linoleum Floor Tear with a Hair Dryer

The oddly placed floor mat hasn’t fooled anyone since you accidentally tore up a spot or two on your linoleum floor when you dragged in that (fabulous!) flea-market hutch find. Don’t fret, just pull out your hair dryer. Use the warm air to stretch out the material and reattach it to the subfloor as the glue melts. (Don’t worry. The material is malleable enough to stretch without causing burns to the skin.)

9. Silence Squeaky Floorboards with Talcum Powder

The spot in the hallway you’ve trained yourself to avoid is actually a super simple low-maintenance fix. Sprinkle talcum powder over the trouble boards, then sweep the powder into the cracks between the boards with a makeup brush. Because it’s actually moisture that causes the creaks (who knew?), and the powder will soak it right up.

10. Stretch Out Light Bulb Switches with LEDs

You’d rather endure a dark driveway for weeks than go through the hassle of dragging out a ladder to reach the security light. Sean Dore, owner of Mr. Electric of Baton Rouge, La., says invest in LEDs already. You’ll get bright light and not have to change them for years and years!

11. Stash Paint Samples for Quick Touch-Ups

Those wall scuffs from the backs of your chairs, furniture rearrangements, and trying to cram a dining room table through a doorway without taking it apart first give your walls a sad, dingy look. Forgo the drop cloth and white overalls for big paint jobs by stealing this trick from Monica Mangin, DIY expert and host of the new Lowe’s original series “The Weekender”: Keep small containers of your paint colors and a small brush handy. Covering up knicks and dings will take five minutes flat!

Credit: ELIZABETH LILLY is the site editor for “This Old House,” where she’s written about paint colors, chicken coops, and nearly every home improvement project in between. She uses her New York City apartment as a laboratory for executing her latest DIY ideas.

 

Tuesday
Feb102015

The 5 Latest ‘Must-Have’ Amenities of Home Shoppers

Posted in Home Trends, by  on February 9, 2015


By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Besides an upscale kitchen and plenty of space, what are new-home buyers’ looking for when house hunting? Surveys by the National Association of Home Builders and homebuilder PulteGroup shed some light on a few of the latest in-demand amenities.

1. Walk-in closets: Large closets, particularly in the master bedroom, is among one of home shoppers’ top priorities, according to the NAHB survey of builders and remodelers. Indeed, 31 percent of 1,000 home owners recently surveyed by PulteGroup said they’d sacrifice another household feature in order to have his-and-hers closets in the master bedroom.

2. Luxurious laundry rooms: Buyers are looking for more than just a place to stick their washer and dryer. They want upgraded laundry rooms – complete with skylights, built-in ironing boards, space for folding clothes, extra storage, and upgraded appliances, according to the NAHB survey.

3. Energy efficiency: Home buyers are looking to cut utility costs, and energy efficiency appliances and products can be one way to do that. Low e-windows, Energy Star appliances, and programmable thermostats are more in demand among home shoppers.

4. Great rooms: These large open spaces that often merge dining rooms, living rooms, and kitchens continue to be in high-demand among home shoppers, according to NAHB’s poll of builders. “Great rooms are wonderful places where everyone in the family can sit around, or where the kids can do their homework while you get dinner ready,” Stephen Melman of NAHB told MainStreet. “Today’s great rooms are large, bright and just make you feel good being there.”

5. Taller first-floor ceilings: More home buyers want the first floor to stretch beyond the typical eight-foot ceiling. They’re asking builders for nine-foot ceiling heights. The taller ceilings can open up living rooms, dining rooms, and other spaces on the first floor. But home shoppers say they can do without the cathedral ceiling in the family room, which can be too costly to heat and cool. Also, they aren’t preferring the higher ceilings on the second floor, which many home buyers say they want to feel more cozy, Melman says.

Tuesday
Dec162014

Tips for Selling Your Home in Today's Market

Resources for Sellers

GET STARTED ON THE RIGHT FOOT!

  • Why Hire an Agent?

    Studies show that sellers who use a real estate agent generally get a better price than those who choose to sell the home themselves. As an agent it is my job to stay up to date on the latest market trends and fluctuations. Utilizing an agent means no surprises during the selling process, as you will have latest information at critical junctures in the process. Let me put my experience to work for you to ensure you get the best price for your home!

  • Before Your Home is Listed

    Prior to listing your home, you'll want to ensure everything is in good showing condition before buyers start to tour the home. Here are some important things to consider:

    • Start Packing

      Now is the time to put things in storage, clean out the basement and garage and start preparing to show your home. Remove any family photos or personal items. Remember, you want buyers to see themselves in your home!

    • Spot Paint

      Touch up both interior and exterior paint.

    • Update Carpet

      Clean or replace carpet in areas with heavy wear.

    • Extra Cleaning

      Keep the interior and exterior clean and odor free.

    • Curb Appeal

      Trim any overgrown bushes, mow the lawn and keep it free of leaves or snow. Make sure the front of the home is clean and appealing. You want to make a strong first impression!

    • Find Potential Problems Early

      Once you've completed these steps you may want to hire someone to perform a pre-listing inspection. Buyers will be hiring professional inspectors too; this is your chance to find and address problems before it's time to sell.

  • Professional Staging

    Consider hiring a professional stager to help give buyers the appeal they're looking for.

  • During the Listing Period

    You'll need to plan to have something to do during the times potential buyers visit your home. If initial offers don't meet your expectations, don't dismiss them immediately. You may need to consider lowering your asking price if months go by with few or no offers. However, by working with your agent you will be able to arrive a price that works for all parties.

Tuesday
Dec162014

You Found the Perfect Home-Now What?

Resources for Buyers

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A HOME

  • Check Your Credit

    Your credit is crucial when applying for a loan; the better your score, the lower your interest rates will be. Be sure to check all three major credit reporting companies: ExperianEquifax, and TransUnion as the information in each report may vary slightly. Make sure you make copies of your credit report as well, and check your score well in advance of applying for loans.

  • Find a Lender

    Most people need to take out a loan when buying a home, and you'll want to be prepared to make an offer when you find that perfect home. It's important to be sure that you're approved for a loan before you start looking at homes so you don't miss out on any opportunities. If you need help finding a lender, I can recommend trusted lenders near you.

  • Price Range

    Calculate what's realistic for you before considering different areas to live in to be sure things stay within your budget. Once you know your range, I can help you make the most out of your money.

  • Research

    Finding the right home can be time consuming, but it's important to consider everything before you decide. What's the commute like to work? If you have kids, what are the schools like in the area? How many bed and bathrooms will you need? Do you prefer or newer or older styled home? All are important factors to take into account during the home finding process.

    I am dedicated to helping you through the entire home buying process. Once we find that perfect home, I will prepare a written offer. With my experience in the market, I can help you arrive at an offer that both fits your budget and has the best chance of being accepted.

  • Once Your Offer is Accepted

    After your offer is accepted, you'll have a grace period to have the house professionally inspected and request repairs or counter offer if the situation arises. Once this step is complete, we will verify the terms and conditions of your loan, and assist you in signing your papers. I'm here to assist you with any questions you may have during the process.

  • Moving Time!

    Now that you've found your perfect home it's time to make moving arrangements. If you plan on utilizing a professional moving company, I can recommend reputable, local movers. Don't forget to fill out your change of address forms and inform the utility company of your move!

Sunday
Nov162014

What if Your Teenager Doesn’t Want to Move To Your New [City] Home?

 By My Smart Blog



You’ve got a new job offer across the country and you are planning to pack your things, buy a home and make the big move. However, when you tell your 17 year old daughter your plans, she lets out a mournful wail and cries that it is not fair. How can you possibly take her away from all of her friends, her favorite hangout spots and the cute boy she just started seeing? 

Moving house is a difficult transition and it is even more traumatic for teenagers. The teenage years are an important stage where young adults establish their individuality and independence and during this time their social circle is extremely important to them. Being removed from that against their will can make any teen feel sad, confused, angry and resentful. Also, fitting into a new social scene in a different location can be a challenge for a teen that might be singled out as the “new kid”. 

How can you help your teen during this transition so that the experience will be easier on them?

How to Help Your Teen Move

Here are some tips that will make the experience of moving house a little bit easier on your teenager:

  • Give them as much notice as possible so that they have time to adjust to the idea of moving. They will feel like they have enough time to say goodbye to their friends and close a chapter of their lives.
  • Try to schedule the move around the school calendar, as moving in the summer is much less disruptive to your teen’s life than relocating in the middle of the school year.
  • Make sure that they have ample time to spend with their close friends before they leave and once you arrive, understand that they might go through a grieving process of missing their old pals.
  • When you get to your new home, make sure that your teen has plenty of ways to keep in touch with their old friends, such as an internet connection and a cell phone plan.
  • Encourage your teen to get involved in the community of your new hometown, such as joining sports clubs or attending events. This can help them to [make new friends][2].

Can They Stay Behind?

In some situations, the better option might be to let your teenager stay behind. If they are in their older teens, they will have finished high school, maybe have a job and be independent people of their own. Perhaps they could stay with a family member or parents of a friend for a while until they are old enough to move out on their own. This might make them a lot happier in the long run, rather than taking them along with you if they really don’t want to move.

For more advice on moving to your new home, feel free to contact me at lalexandroff@cbpref.com or phone me at 856-685-5692.

Links:

Angry: http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/talk-angry-teen-5913.html

make new friends: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/how-to-make-a-bunch-of-new-friends-in-any-new-city.html

have a job: http://voices.yahoo.com/5-reasons-why-teenagers-after-school-331714.html?cat=25

[2]: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/how-to-make-a-bunch-of-new-friends-in-any-new- city.html