Blogs tagged with "Tag:Home Maintenance"

Does Being Green Add to the Value of Your Home?
Dec
20

Does Being Green Add to the Value of Your Home?

A pressing question has always been, “How does spending the extra money on energy-efficient products help the value of my home”? It is nice to lower heating bills, but how long does it take to recoup the expense of some of these products?

There is now a way to capture these improvements and assign them a value in an appraisal. Real estate appraisers finally have a new form that helps standardize the way that energy efficient features are included in their reports. Until now, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration used a form that centered on maintaining sound lending practices but did not have a way to capture what energy-efficiency improvements contributed to the value of a home. Including a narrative of any green features in a description box was not always viewed by the lending institution.

NWMLS data of new homes sold from Sept 2007 through February 2010 comparing homes that sold with an environmental certification and those without a certification. According to the collected data, environmentally certified homes in Seattle sold for 9.2 percent more per square foot in 24 percent less time and make up 34 percent of the market.



Read More

Fall Fixes for Your Home
Sep
8

Fall Fixes for Your Home

As the seasons change, once again it's time to perform some home maintenance. Here are 10 yearly tasks that will help keep your household in working order when the temperatures drop.

Clean Gutters: Do so frequently. Clogged gutters can result in standing water and roof damage. Plus, if you clean them frequently, you're less likely to have to deal with decomposing leaves.

Mow and trim: It seems counter intuitive, but Fall is a wonderful time to both fertilize and reseed your lawn. A maintained lawn improves a home's value and saleability. Use this time to trim shrubs and grass one last time so that your yard stands out, even in a dormant season.

Prune trees: With Winter comes ice. With ice comes broken limbs. Take advantage of nice weather and cut back or remove precarious limbs. It only takes one heavy snow or ice to weigh down a limb and damage property.


Read More

How To Select Best Appliances for Your Home
Aug
16

How To Select Best Appliances for Your Home

Our Team subscribes to Consumer Reports which rates appliances for quality and then matches with price to create their best buy recommendations. For instance, the top rated blender is priced at $425, but the second ranked blender with a close score is $95. Contact us and we'll do a quick research and send you the Consumer Reports recomendations for the product you are purchasing. It's one more way we help you not only purchase and sell your house, but run it efficiently.

If you’re shopping for products from appliances to plumbing systems with optimal energy performance — and you are, right? — three rating programs (the Consortium on Energy Efficiency [CEE], Energy Star, and Energy Guide) can help.Energy Star is the name you likely know, but if truly stellar energy performance revs your motor, go straight to the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE). 

Read More

Home Upgrades That Don’t Pay Off
Jan
3

Home Upgrades That Don’t Pay Off

Five renovation projects that experts say just aren’t worth your time or money.

Home office: “If you convert a bedroom into an office, your home will be listed as having one less bedroom―big mistake,” says CNN’s Gerry Willis. Barbara Corcoran, founder of the Corcoran Group, a Manhattan real estate firm, agrees: “People try to envision a room for little Jenny but can’t make the leap past your piles of messy papers.”

Concrete patio: “It’s almost guaranteed to crack,” says Corcoran. “And there’s no good way to repair it. Plus, it reflects light, causing a harsh glare.”
Read More

Modern Take on a Fireplace
Dec
22

Modern Take on a Fireplace

Still the focal point of many interior living spaces, the latest fireplaces look anything but traditional. Although their inner workings are largely standardized ― most new models contain prefabricated fireboxes ― the front can be much more expressive.

As long as you follow building codes regulating the distance that combustible materials must be from the firebox opening and the distance a mantel shelf can project from the wall, you are free to decide how you trim out, or decorate, the area around the firebox. From glass and steel to tile and stone, the material options are broad and enchanting. So read on and let the following examples inspire you to curl up by the fire.


Read More

 Fall Maintenance Chores Save Money
Sep
2

Fall Maintenance Chores Save Money

Fall's nearly here; it's time to tackle home maintenance projects and improvements that can protect your home's value and prevent costly repairs. Below are some of the top maintenance projects for fall:
Furnace: Replace your old furnace filters with new ones. While you’re at it, clean out those ducts. If you've changed your filters regularly, you can just lift off the register covers and vacuum out the boots with a shop vacuum. If you haven't cleaned them in awhile, consider calling a professional duct cleaning service to handle this important chore.
Windows: If you’ve opened and closed your windows much during the warmer months, dirt and debris can gather at the seals and prevent them from sealing properly. In the coming months, heat will escape through small gaps. Take the time to go around the house and clean each window. Replace any worn-down weather stripping. If you have an older home with its original, wood-framed windows, check the outside of them for dried, flaking caulk. Replace it with weather-proof caulk made for windows.
Deck: If your deck has never been treated, do it now. Pressure wash the entire deck, let it dry for at least three hours, then rub on water sealer and let it dry. A weekend afternoon of work will add years to the life of your patio.
Roof: Critters will try and enter your home through the roof. Look out for lifting shingles, wood chips or shavings. Remove any damaged shingles to assess the damage. Purchase matching shingles and roof nails and replace damaged singles. For severe damage, call a professional roofer before the start of the rainy season. (Remember: Don't go up on a roof alone. Always have someone on the ground in case of an emergency.)
Gutters: Clear them of debris, make sure the downspouts are unobstructed, and check for any structural problems.
On a side note, fall is generally a slower season for many contractors. If you have any larger projects that require professional help, there's a chance you can save time and money by doing them in the fall.

It's time to tackle home maintenance projects and improvements that can protect your home's value and prevent costly repairs. One half day of tasks can potentially save thousands of dollars. Replace your old furnace filters with new ones. While you’re at it, clean out those ducts. If you've changed your filters regularly, you can just lift off the register covers and vacuum out the boots with a shop vacuum.


Read More

Monday, April 21, 2014
Housing Market Slow to Hit Its Spring Stride

Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Keys to Help Buyers Compete in a Seller's Market

Thursday, May 23, 2013
10 Things Buyers Need to Know

Sunday, April 14, 2013
Women Consider Owning a Home to be a Vital Component of the American Dream

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
The 8 Top Home-Selling Mistakes You Should Avoid

Thursday, January 10, 2013
Fiscal Cliff Bill a Benefit for Homeowners

Sunday, December 2, 2012
Should You Help Your Adult Kids Buy Their First Home?

Monday, October 29, 2012
Economists Bullish on Housing Recovery

Sunday, October 21, 2012
What is moving housing upward?

Monday, September 10, 2012
Five Common Mortgage Myths

Thursday, August 2, 2012
It's a great time to be a seller

Saturday, June 23, 2012
Are appraisers falling behind on home value increases?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Is Now the Time to Invest in Rentals?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012
4 Guidelines for Successful Negotiations

Thursday, May 24, 2012
5 Reasons Now is the Time to Buy

Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett Unique Housing Market

Thursday, May 3, 2012
Buying a home won’t get much cheaper

Tuesday, April 24, 2012
New Rules to Speed-up Short Sales

Thursday, April 5, 2012
Home Prices to Rise in 2013

Thursday, March 22, 2012
Buying Cheaper than Renting in 98 of Top 100 Major U.S. Markets

Sunday, March 11, 2012
Five Tax Breaks for Homeowners

Thursday, March 8, 2012
How the FHA Loan Plan Can Help You Refinance

Thursday, February 16, 2012
Housing Crisis to End in 2012 as Banks Loosen Credit Standards

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
When Freddie Mac Wins, Homeowners Lose

Wednesday, January 25, 2012
First-Time Buyers and Short Sales

Estella said
"That is a beautiful shot with very good lighting ." about Women Consider Owning a Home to be a Vital Component of the American Dream
on Sunday, May 12, 2013 @ 9:57 AM

Chris White - Team Leader said
"Unfortunately you are not alone. It's more than an outcry. The powers that be really need to come down harder on Bofa than they already are. Working on these short sale for over 2 years now I've uncovered down right fraud happening on the lenders parts. If they cared more about moving this country forward than protecting their own wallets then they would cut the red tape and approve these short sales in a timely manner. Our team made the wise decision to get BofA loans which were FHA or Freddie Mac backed, approved prior to listing on the market. Then we can list the home as "Price Approved" and close in 30 days. In this instance BofA does a full appraisal, rather than an incompetent "Broker Price Opinion" (nothing against agents but they have no idea how to make adjustments on comparable homes) and then the bank issues an "Approval To Participate" letter which dictates what price we can go on the market and take anything north of 88%. I really do hope your situation improves. " about Congressional Bill to Speed Up Short Sales
on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 @ 9:15 AM

Lisa Zeiner said
"We made an offer 4 months ago to BofA, and have heard nothing. It was a cash offer which is better than the zero money they are collecting now. And since the people don't care they are trashing the place, by the time BofA gets around to it our offer will be gone as the place is a mess!! Septic issues now, garbage being dumnped. All of this could have been avoided if BofA really wanted to correct their cash flow problem and sell these properties in a timely manner. They cry about cash but then do nothing intelligent to fix the problem" about Congressional Bill to Speed Up Short Sales
on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 @ 9:06 AM

Jones Ramirez said
"Thank you for the work you have done into this post, it helps clear up a few questions I had." about How do appraiser’s determine a homes value?
on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 10:07 PM

HollyRobsonf said
"Hey - I am certainly happy to find this. great job!" about Bank of America to Offer Principal Reduction to Underwater Borrowers
on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 @ 6:45 PM