Monday, September 19, 2016 / by Sonya McVeay
Fall is a good time to take care of big home repair projects before shorter days (and in many areas, ice and snow) make outdoor work too difficult. And if you do live in an area with cold winters, take some time this fall to boost energy efficiency throughout your home, and prevent damage from winter storms with proper tree care (we spoke with an expert to find out what you need to do). Tick these 15 items off your list this season, and you can rest easy knowing that your home and yard are buttoned up and ready for winter.
1. Care for trees and shrubs.
2. Rake leaves.
3. Clean gutters and downspouts.
4. Make exterior repairs.
5. Seal gaps where critters could enter.
6. Check walkways, railings, stairs and the driveway for winter safety.
7. Stock up on winter supplies.
8. Shut off exterior faucets and store hoses.
9. Add weatherstripping.
10. Check safety devices.
11. Remove window A/C units.
12. C ...
Sunday, June 5, 2016 / by Sonya McVeay
Get the wood look. If you need to replace your flooring, consider this: Hardwood is king when it comes to resale value. It’s the floor that buyers look for when they’re house shopping, and it will instantly increase the value of your kitchen.Does that mean you have to install hardwood for your home to sell? Not at all. Quality hardwood isn’t cheap. It normally runs at least $4 per square foot. You can opt for less expensive flooring that has the wood look, such as vinyl and porcelain tile, which can carry lower price tags. Installing vinyl is DIY-friendly, which can keep your return on investment high.
Saturday, May 14, 2016 / by Sonya McVeay
New home? Here’s how to save
When you’ve just purchased a new home, there’s a ton on your mind. There’s moving, decorating, getting to know your new neighborhood, and more. Here are a few things that should be at the top of your to-do list, because they’ll save you a lot of money.
Check on your water heater
Set your water heater for 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is plenty hot enough for bathing, washing dishes, and any other household use of hot water, so heating water above 120 degrees is a waste of energy and money. And if your water heater is an older model, it’s worthwhile to invest in a water heater blanket to keep it insulated.
Replace air filters
Sellers often put in a lot of cosmetic work to get the home move-in ready, but they often skip or forget about air filters in the HVAC system. Filters can be found at your local hardware store (just make sure to get the right size) and are easy to replace. Doing so will improve air flow and ...
Monday, May 2, 2016 / by Sonya McVeay
Buying vs. renting your home
Is now the right time for you to buy a home? You have many options to consider and choices to make. Buying a home is a big responsibility, financially and emotionally,but, most people want to own a home.
Home ownership often is referred to as "the American dream." Why is it so special?Among the reasons: Real estate often is an excellent investment,perhaps the number one source of wealth building for families.Owning a home has many benefits. When you make a mortgage payment, you are building equity and that's an investment.
Owning a home also qualifies you for tax benefits that may assist you in dealing with your new financial responsibilities such as homeowners' insurance, real estate taxes, and upkeep, which can be substantial. But given the freedom, stability, and security of owning your own home, they are definitely worth it! Owning your own home ...
Thursday, March 31, 2016 / by Sonya McVeay
Three ways to ease your fears about making a move
With low inventory in many markets throughout the country, many homeowners are afraid to sell their homes because they’re concerned that they may not be able to find a new one. This can be a real problem, but if you are seeking to sell—whether to upgrade or find a new neighborhood—there are a few ways to combat the low inventory.
Look to buy first In most markets it is a real mistake to put your home up for sale before you start looking for your new property. Identify the geographic area where you are interested in buying. Even if you don't see anything on Zillow, it doesn't mean you can't or won't find the right home.
Think outside the box Be proactive! Keep in mind that there are probably many people like you who want to make a move but are afraid as well. Have your real estate agent send a letter to the neighborhoods in the geographic areas where you want to live. The letter should be heartfelt and pe ...