Entries in home buyers (12)

Thursday
Jun042015

6 Things to Do When Moving Into a New House

 Great Advice from House Logic!

Courtney's new lock on the front door of her house

Change the locks when you move into a new house — that way, you control who has access to your home. 

When I bought my first house, my timing couldn’t have been better: The house closing was two weeks before the lease was up on my apartment. That meant I could take my time packing and moving, and I could get to know the new place before moving in.

I recruited family and friends to help me move (in exchange for a beer-and-pizza picnic on the floor) and, as a bonus, I got to pick their brains about what first-time homeowners should know

Their help was one of the best housewarming presents I could have gotten. And thanks to their expertise and a little Googling, here’s what I learned about what to do before moving in.

1. Change the locks. You really don’t know who else has keys to your home, so change the locks. That ensures you’re the only person who has access. Install new deadbolts yourself for as little as $10 per lock, or call a locksmith — if you supply the new locks, they typically charge about $20-$30 per lock for labor.

2. Check for plumbing leaks. Your home inspector should do this for you before closing, but it never hurts to double-check. I didn’t have any leaks to fix, but when checking my kitchen sink, I did discover the sink sprayer was broken. I replaced it for under $20.

Keep an eye out for dripping faucets and running toilets, and check your water heater for signs of a leak

Here’s a neat trick: Check your water meter at the beginning and end of a two-hour window in which no water is being used in your house. If the reading is different, you have a leak.

3. Steam clean carpets. Do this before you move your furniture in, and your new home life will be off to a fresh start. You can pay a professional carpet cleaning service — you’ll pay about $50 per room; most services require a minimum of about $100 before they’ll come out — or you can rent a steam cleaner for about $30 per day and do the work yourself. I was able to save some money by borrowing a steam cleaner from a friend.  

4. Wipe out your cabinets. Another no-brainer before you move in your dishes and bathroom supplies. Make sure to wipe inside and out, preferably with a non-toxic cleaner, and replace contact paper if necessary. 

When I cleaned my kitchen cabinets, I found an unpleasant surprise: Mouse poop. Which leads me to my next tip … 

5. Give critters the heave-ho. That includes mice, ratsbatstermitesroaches, and any other uninvited guests. There are any number of DIY ways to get rid of pests, but if you need to bring out the big guns, an initial visit from a pest removal service will run you $100-$300, followed by monthly or quarterly visits at about $50 each time.

For my mousy enemies, I strategically placed poison packets around the kitchen, and I haven’t found any carcasses or any more poop, so the droppings I found must have been old. I might owe a debt of gratitude to the snake that lives under my back deck, but I prefer not to think about him.

6. Introduce yourself to your circuit breaker box and main water valve. My first experience with electrical wiring was replacing a broken light fixture in a bathroom. After locating the breaker box, which is in my garage, I turned off the power to that bathroom so I wouldn’t electrocute myself. 

It’s a good idea to figure out which fuses control what parts of your house and label them accordingly. This will take two people: One to stand in the room where the power is supposed to go off, the other to trip the fuses and yell, “Did that work? How about now?”

You’ll want to know how to turn off your main water valve if you have a plumbing emergency, if a hurricane or tornado is headed your way, or if you’re going out of town. Just locate the valve — it could be inside or outside your house — and turn the knob until it’s off. Test it by turning on any faucet in the house; no water should come out.

courtneycraig Courtney Craig

is an Atlanta-based writer and editor. She believes no effort is too small when it comes to green living, which she tries to keep in mind while renovating her recently purchased first home. 



Read more:  http://www.houselogic.com/blog/maintenance-repair/things-to-do-when-moving-into-a-new-house/#ixzz3c7t2XugE 
Follow us: @HouseLogic on Twitter | HouseLogic on Facebook

 

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

Selling your home in a Slow Market

Myths About Selling Your Property in a Slow Market

Trying to sell your property in a slow market is definitely frustrating. You may find that it takes longer to sell and you cannot get as much money as you could during a booming market.

However, you can’t believe all the hype about a sluggish real estate market. Do your research and separate the facts from the fiction.

You won’t get a decent price.

Your property will sell for whatever a buyer is willing to spend on it. A comparative market analysis shows you what other buyers spent on real estate like yours.

Of course, if you bought your real estate when values were up, you may have to take a loss. However, most people can get a fair price and even make a profit in a slow market.

Your real estate will stay on the market too long.

While it’s true that real estate tends to take longer to sell during a slow market, it’s not impossible to sell them. People do still buy real estate in slower markets.

If your real estate is priced right and prepared for sale, you can still sell it within a reasonable amount of time.

Buyers only want foreclosures and short sales.

The truth is that buyers want good deals, and this can be in the form of money or time. The price of a foreclosure or short sale may certainly be attractive, but they can take a considerable amount of time to close while the banks negotiate their terms.

Paying slightly more for a traditional sale is sometimes well worth the time they can save.

Selling your property in a slow market isn’t easy, but it can be done. Using my proven marketing plan, I can help you sell your real estate whether it’s a slow market or a booming market.

Thursday
Oct022014

HOME SECURITY TIPS & FACTS: PROTECTING YOUR HOME FROM BREAK-INS

Protect Home From Break-ins

Did you know that every 15 seconds a home in the United States is burglarized? That's why it's essential to secure your home and protect your family against break-ins. For a more secure home read these common myths about burglaries and get the facts to protect your home:

Myth: Burglars break in through discreet areas, like the back of the house.

Fact: Securing the back of your house is important, as first floor windows and the back door are among the top targets for burglars. But shockingly, the most common point of entry for home burglaries happens to be through the front door. Install deadbolts on the front door and any exterior doors, as they are harder to pick. Put strong locks on glass doors and lock-up whenever you leave the house. The garage is another common area for burglar access – don't share your garage door code with others, and don't leave the garage door opener in your car – it's a quick way for thieves to gain access to your home.

Myth: Most burglaries happen at night.

Fact: Most burglaries actually occur during the day while homeowners are away from home and at work. Locking doors before you go to bed may be a common practice, but ensure your home is also secure during daylight hours too. 

Myth: If you're running out for a few minutes, it's okay to leave your door unlocked -- no burglar could get in and out that fast.

Fact: Burglars are faster than you think. The average burglar spends only a few minutes in your home. So, lock the door no matter how soon you're planning to be back. Burglars can also make fast work because they know common hiding places – the key under the doormat, the jewelry in the master bedroom. Leave your spare key with a neighbor and consider putting valuables in a safe.

Myth: You don't need a home alarm system if you live in a safe area with a low crime rate.

Fact: Even if you live in a relatively safe neighborhood, homes without security systems are 2 to 3 times more likely to be broken into, says the Better Business Bureau, yet few U.S. homes are armed with one. According to the Alarm Industry Research & Educational Foundation, 74% of burglaries are prevented by having an alarm in place, and can go a long way in protecting your home and giving you added peace of mind.

Author: Sharon Hurley Hall, Liberty Mutual