Several weeks or months can pass between the day you put an offer on a house and the day you take possession of it. In between a lot can happen that can affect the condition of the property, such as a leaky roof, a dripping faucet or stains on the carpet. Inspection experts at YourChicagoHomeInspector.com suggest doing a final walk-through to assess the condition of the home before you take possession of it and make sure it is in the condition you agreed on when you signed the contract.
As you walk through the home with your agent, use a checklist as a guid to make sure everything is working properly, and note any questions you might have. Below are a few items in a typical checklist, but it also covers the roof, gutters, doors and windows, floors, basement and attic.
Plumbing- Flush all toilets and check for leaks. Do they keep running after they flush? Run the sunk and shower faucets and check for proper drainage. Also check for hot water and water pressure.
Electrical- Make sure the utilities are on, especially id the home has been vacant for some time. Operate all lights, switches and ceiling fans. Also test the smoke alarms, and run the kitchen appliances. When you run the washer and dryer, check for leaks from the washer and make sure the dryer gets hot enough.
Heating and air conditioning Use the thermostat to operate the heating and cooling system. Check for heat and cool air at all registers.
General- Open and close windows so they operate properly, and check for broken glass. Look for stains on the ceiling that might indicate a leaky roof.
Information provided by www.crs.com
People have so many questions and ideas about just what exactly home appraisals are and how they work. The number one fact that people need to remember is that home appraisers are NOT inspectors. They will point out complications in the home but they are not there to inspect it for damages, appraisers are there to help you establish the market-value of your home. They are the third-party of the buying or selling process that will try to determine the fair and right market-value of your home. According to Realtor.com however, people must remember that the appraiser is there for the lender because, “Lenders don’t enjoy owning overpriced property any more than they relish lending money to irresponsible borrowers.”
Some factors that affect an appraisal
Location to schools
Location to public transportation
sex offenders located in the neighborhood
price of neighborhood homes
damaged/neglected parts of the home
high crime area
To find out more information on what factors affect appraisals realtor.com has great and useful information for buyers and sellers.
Whether you are preparing your home for sale or simply want to spruce up your house for the summer, the experts at the Paint Quality Institute (www.paintquality.com) suggest following several simple rules to make the exterior of your home look its best.
First, prepare the surface properly. Use a long-handled brush and soap and water to scrub the surface, then use a scraper or wire brush to remove any loose, flaky or peeling paint. Sand down any rough edges and brush off any remaining dust and particles left behind.
Use top quality paint for your project. For most wood and other exterior surfaces, 100 percent acrylic latex works best because it provides thicker, more durable film and easily conceals old paint color. And since acrylic latex lasts up to ten years or longer, you won’t have to repaint unless you decide to change the color scheme.
Using quality brushes and equipment for the project will make the job easier and produce a more even coat and color. When working with latex paints, use brushes with synthetic bristles, ideally polyester. Brushes should be springy and well-balanced, with multiple lengths of split bristles packed tightly in three-quarter to one-inch thickness on a standard four-inch brush.
You should also take care to paint the right weather conditions. Choose a day with mild temperatures, ideally above 50 degrees Farenheit, and when the winds are light. If you must paint on a warm day, work on the shady side of the house.
With a little common sense and self-discipline, you’ll reward yourself with a beautiful, professional-looking paint job that will last for years.
information provided by www.crs.com
On MSN’s blog ‘Listed’ they discussed a mind boggling event that is occurring for military families all over the country. It seems highly unfair that America cannot protect the homes of our heroes.
Check it out here!
The Council of Residiential Specialists gives great tips and advice when dealing with buying, selling or just simple home improvements. In this article it explains that when deciding to buy a home there are smaller details that American’s are starting to focus on; especially since gas prices have skyrocketed and many people just have to live within a tighter budget.
More Americans prefer living in walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods with easy access to local amenities, according to a recent Community Preference Survey by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. More than half (56 percent) of respondents say they preferred living in a walkable neighborhood over one that requires more driving between work, home and recreation. When considering a home purchase, 77 percent of respondents say they would look for locations that had abundant sidewalks, while 50 percent say they would rather see improvements to the existing public transit system than initiatives to build new roads.
While space is important to many homebuyers, some day they are willing to sacrifice square footage if it means less driving. Nearly thee out of five homebuyers (59 percent) say they would choose a smaller home if its location promised a commute time of less than 20 minutes.
Information provided by www.crs.com
Can’t figure out why your house isn’t selling? You have designed and fixed your curb appeal, your location is ideal and everything in your home has been updated.. So what’s the deal? The first thing to look at when your home just won’t sell is going to be the price of your home. The number one reason for most homes just not being able to sell right away is because of the home’s price. Many people end up listing their home too expensive and this just causes buyers to overlook their home, especially in today’ market. Here are some steps to insure that your house is priced right.
- Check out the other listed houses in your neighborhood. Look at houses that have sold within the last few months and are pretty similar to your own home. That way this will give you an idea of the price of homes that are selling on your market.
- The next thing to do is to check out how your market is doing. Your home needs to follow with the trend lines in order to sell.
- Days on the market is another very important tool to look at. If you don’t want it on the market for too long then the price has to be lower in order to sell quicker. This doesn’t mean that you have to keep dropping the price. If you have time to spare do not worry about how long the house is on the market; as long as it averages about the same length as the other homes in or around your neighborhood.
- Ask your realtor what aspects of your house are key for buyers to look at. Such as what kind of updates have been made and how much time or money you have put into the house to make it stand out compared to other homes.
All in all just be realistic with your price range. It is obvious you want this home to sell, and working with the market instead of against it will give you the best odds.
We can all agree that lately the Valley has looked more like the Windy City than the 90 degree weather that we are all so accustomed to. With that being said houses are getting damaged and the new flowers, plants, trees etc. that were recently planted have been damaged. Here are just a few tips on how to keep your house safe and protect all of the new updates that you have made around your home this spring!
- First things first! Walk around your home and make sure that there aren’t any items that can fall or be damaged. Such as flowerpots, the uncovered bbq, or gardening tools leaning up against the house.
- All of the outdoor furniture should be secure, especially garbage cans. It’s never fun to be the neighbor running down the road picking your trash cans from other people’s yards. Or watching your new outdoor umbrella blow up into the neighbors tree.
- If you have been out in the yard on the nice days you have probably noticed dead limbs or loose limbs that have been dangling from the winter weather. If you have an hour to spare go out and cut those down. What’s worse than having to pick up a trashed yard? Having to replace windows where giant tree limbs have crashed through.
- Once the yard is all picked up and loose limbs cut down it’s time to secure the house. Make sure the screen door is shut tight. That brand new screen door does not want to be blown of the hinges. Make sure all windows are shut and locked so debris doesn’t come flooding into the house.
- Also be prepared for power outages. Keep those candles and matches handy.
- Last but not least fallen power lines are always a risk, so if you do not need to be out driving around try to stay indoors as much as possible. If a powerline does fall on your property call 911 immediately.
Hopefully these tips will just be a good reminder on how to not only keep your home and property safe during these nasty windstorms, but also to keep you and your family safe!
growing your own vegetable or herb garden can help trim the fat on your grocery bill- and your body. Ready to start planting? HGTV experts suggest that you consider these tips before you let your garden grow.
Start by making a list: it’s easier to plot out garden beds when you put everything down on paper. Write down the herbs you commonly use and look up their soil, light and water needs. Take note of a plant’s growing patterns, too- mint, a popular herb, tends to overtake gardens so is best planted by itself. There are some hard and fast rules for growing vegetables as well: Potatoes are known to inhibit the growth of tomatoes and squash, and beans can slow down a patch of onions.
When considering which fruits and vegetables to plant, it’s important to remember there are cool- and warm-season crops. Cool crops include cabbage, lettuce and peas; warm crops include peppers, cucumbers and melons.
And finally, size matter. Novice gardeners should begin with a plot no larger than 11′ square, which will allow for nine 3 x 3 areas and enough walking space among the crops. Trying to take care of a large garden with little experience can be challenging, but a smaller, well-maintained area is more likely to yield success.
information provided by http://www.crs.com
Few things are better than a barbecue on a warm, sunny day. Keep those burgers and hot dogs coming by keeping your grill in tip-top shape.
The National Barbecue Association recommends that you always start with a clean grill. Break up tough charred food and ashes from the last barbecue session with a metal-bristle brush or a steel wool pad. If the food is still difficult to remove, consider closing the grill’s lid and cook on “high” for an additional five or 10 minutes. The grill residue will turn to ash, which is easier to clean off.
To prevent food or ash residue in the future, lightly coat the grill grate with vegetable oil. Two things to keep in mind: always apply oils with the grill off, and never spray directly into an open flame. Another simple approach is to rub down the grates using tongs with a paper towel dipped in oil for an even application. While cooking, try to avoid using sugar- or tomato-based sauces until the last 15 to 20 minutes of grilling time; they tend to cause meats to char.
After you’re done cooking, allow the grill to cool. Once it cools down, remove all coals and liquids accumulated from inside the grill. These remnants can affect the taste of future meals and can collect moisture and impede the airflow within your grill, causing it to rust.
information provided by www.crs.com