Consumer Real Estate News

    • Having Trouble Selling Your Home? This Could Be Why

      19 July 2019

      Selling your home is a roller coaster ride like none other. Depending on your situation, you are most likely dealing with a range of emotions and pressures. Perhaps you have another home you’re ready to move into and are in a financial crunch until you sell your current home. Or maybe you’re relocating for a job and are under a strict deadline to be in a new state by a certain date. No matter what your situation, when your home is on the market for too long and not selling, it’s stressful.

      There’s usually a combination of factors contributing to your home not moving off the market, which you should discuss with your real estate agent. But here are some problems that you may be able to address in the meantime:

      It’s priced too high. While you may believe that your house is well worth the price you’ve listed it for - and it may be - current market conditions may not support this price point. Talk to your agent about the most current comparables to get a closer look at what’s going on pricing-wise in your neighborhood.

      Repairs are needed. If your home needs major repairs, it could be a turn-off to prospective buyers who are unwilling to take on the hassle and the expense of fixing things. You have two options here: make the repairs yourself or lower the price.

      It’s not staged properly...or at all. Believe it or not, staging a home can be a highly effective strategy for getting it sold, especially if your decor is too cluttered, personal or outdated. A home stager will know how to depersonalize the style as well as open your home up to make it look as spacious and inviting as possible.

      You’re using the wrong photos...and no video. The majority of homebuyers are beginning their search online, so your listing photos are critical. Are they professionally done? Are there plenty of them that show every room and all of the outside areas? Are they shot in the best light and from the best angles? How about video? More and more sellers are using video to showcase their home as well as the surrounding area. Make sure this is part of your presentation as well.

      It’s not being properly marketed. If you haven’t done so already, sit down with your real estate agent and find out exactly how they’re marketing your home. Which websites is your home listed on? What is the direct mail campaign? How is your agent tapping into his or her networking groups? How about social media? Make sure your home is being exposed to the best group of prospective buyers possible.

      If one of the above reasons is potentially a factor in the delay of your home’s sale, talk to your real estate agent about how to best resolve the issue. His or her expert advice will help point you in the right direction. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Water Consumption 101

      19 July 2019

      How much water is enough water, and when do you need more? The recommendations and advice seems to change daily. Here’s what you need to know, from staying healthy, to losing weight, to staying safe in risky situations. 

      The ‘8 x 8’ Rule. A popular recommended strategy in recent years has been to drink eight ounces of water eight times a day. Health experts maintain that this level of hydration provides many benefits, from fueling our energy levels to better brain functionality to helping us maintain a healthier diet. What’s more, it’s catchy and easy to remember.

      Heat and exercise changes the equation. While it seems obvious, many people overlook the need to up their water intake while exercising or in any situation that induces excessive perspiration. Studies show that even mild dehydration caused by exercise or heat can harm brain function, and further dehydration starts to affect physical performance. So an ongoing intake of water during heat and exercise is a must. 

      Water and dieting. Much has been said about the benefits of water when trying to lose weight. While exercise and calorie intake are still the mainstay of any weight-loss endeavor, increasing your water intake can help boost your metabolism a bit. Additionally, drinking a glass of water half an hour before a meal will help curb your appetite.

      Water and caffeine. Some experts have purported that caffeinated drinks, such as coffee and tea, do not count towards your water intake due to their caffeine content. In actuality, the diuretic effects of coffee and tea are very low, therefore, they do count toward your water total - as do other foods that contain water, such as fruits and vegetables.

      Trust your thirst. Basic as it may sound, your thirst is an excellent indicator of when you need to drink more water, so don’t ignore your body’s signals. There are times, however, when you need to go beyond and increase your water intake, such as during intense heat or activity, during gastrointestinal illnesses or when nursing. 

      So keep your water bottle handy and the H2o flowing...your body and mind will thank you!

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 3 Starter Tips for Throwing a Fun Pool Party

      19 July 2019

      Pool owners often love to invite friends, family and neighbors over for a seasonal splash. When planning your own pool party, consider the following tips from removable pool fence supplier LOOP-LOC.

      Clean your space. When it comes to a pool party, it’s important to start with the basics. Make sure that your pool is working and clean. If there are leaves or other debris on the bottom, use the skimmer to get them out or, if you're feeling adventurous, dive in yourself and grab them. Double check that your filter, heater, and any other accessories are running smoothly at least a day or two before your party. These are problems that will need at least a full day to solve, so you definitely don't want to run into them the day of.  Following the pool area, ensure that your yard is straightened up. You can start by making sure outdoor furniture is all set to perfection, your lawn is mowed and your garden is on point.

      Set a theme. Now that we've covered the basics, let's dive a bit deeper. A pool party typically doesn't have a theme, therefore, creating one can really take it to the next level and separate yours from the rest of the pack. When choosing a theme, be sure to take into consideration the season and try to choose lighter, more "summery" colors like pink, yellow or light blue (or all three). Once you have picked the theme, start incorporating it into every facet of the party. If the color scheme is pink - think big. Buy pink floats for the pool, pink towels for everyone to use to dry off, get pink accent pillows for your backyard furniture, make pink cupcakes, get pink plates and cups and make a pink drink for the kids (maybe even a separate one for the adults, if you know what we're saying!). Fully incorporating the theme gives the party more energy and a direction.

      Factor in the food. The next important factor is having a tasty food menu. The food can truly make or break a party. During the summertime, grilling is the go-to and is definitely our recommendation. You can never go wrong by making  fan favorites like hot dogs, hamburgers and grilled chicken. Keep in mind, it is always important to know your audience, and if you think that they would prefer something along the lines of pizza, then feel free to venture outside the grilling norm! Whether it's the adults or the kids, the dessert at a neighborhood pool party needs to be a head turner. The amount of excitement and energy that is common in pool party attendees will carry over into yummy treats for sure.

      Source: LOOP-LOC

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 3 Steps to Maximize Your AC Efficiency

      18 July 2019

      With the sweltering summer season upon us, many are turning to our trusty AC units to keep us cool. Unfortunately, this can negatively impact our bank accounts - but it doesn't have to.

      "It can get much more expensive to keep a cool home when temperatures reach the 80s and 90s," says Michael Petri, owner of Petri Plumbing & Heating. "Finding little ways to make a home's cooling more efficient can add up to significant savings over the course of a few months."

      Petri recommends residents utilize the following tips in order to cool their homes without breaking the bank on energy bills:

      Consider home efficiency upgrades and maintenance. Double-paned efficiency windows or a solar fan for an attic can be relatively inexpensive upgrades that will keep a home's air conditioner from working as hard. Also, check seals and weather stripping along doors and windows and replace as necessary. This will prevent cool air from escaping and warm air from entering the home.

      Regularly change air filters. Be sure to look at the manufacturer's recommendation on the air filter packaging (it is typically displayed prominently) and follow those guidelines. Most air filters need to be changed every 30-90 days, but depending on one's particular living situation (such as if pets live in the home), the filters may need to be changed more frequently. Changing the air filter in your cooling system regularly will help maximize the unit's efficiency, resulting in better cooling at lower costs.

      Schedule an HVAC tune-up. Regular maintenance will ensure your unit is working at peak efficiency, can identify problems before they become bigger issues and may even be required to keep the manufacturer's warranty in effect.

      Source: Petri Plumbing & Heating

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Ask These Questions When You’re Buying a House

      17 July 2019

      Getting ready to put an offer on a home? Before you do, ask these questions to make sure you’re moving ahead on the best possible deal. 

      Were there any renovations to the home? The sellers may have made improvements over the years that weren’t recorded at City Hall. Make sure you have a full run-down of all the changes that have been made, both to ensure structural safety and legal compliance, and to fully assess the home’s value.

      How old is the roof? Just because the roof is currently in good condition doesn’t mean it’s not soon on its way out. Make sure you know how old it is and if repairs or a replacement may be in your near future.

      How long have the appliances been here? You’ll also want to know how old the appliances are and what shape they’re in. Many home sellers update the appliances before putting their home on the market, so find out if this is the case. Make sure all manuals and warranties are left behind as well.

      What are the neighbors/neighborhood like? You’ll have to drill down to avoid getting general responses, so ask if there are families with young children on the block vs. retirees, what traffic is like, what amenities are nearby, etc. For further intel, take a stroll around the neighborhood and chat with someone out walking their dog or doing some yardwork. Their friendliness - or lack thereof - could be an indicator in and of itself.

      What’s included in the sale? Many sellers will include certain items in the sale of the home to help sweeten the deal, such as select pieces of furniture, lighting fixtures or outdoor appliances, like a lawn mower or hedge trimmer. On the flip side, you may be assuming certain items will be included that aren’t. Seller’s exclusions should be outlined in the listing description, but sometimes they’re not so be sure to ask. 

      Source: Bankrate

      Published with permission from RISMedia.