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Jessica Mason

Jessica Mason

When you allow me to help you sell your home, land, or commercial property you will receive incredible marketing, fair and honest advice, and excellent communication through the entire process. Working with you to sell your home or help you buy your dream home would be a pleasure of mine.

Your most important home maintenance items to take care of before winter!

Keeping up with home maintenance can be a challenge.  There is always plenty to accomplish, and if you don’t stay on top of tasks, it can mean costly repairs.  This handy list will help you prioritize items on your to-do list and save you money.  

Heating and Cooling.  It’s extremely important to take proper care of your home’s heating and cooling system.  By making sure your equipment is running properly and efficiently, you save on energy use and prolong the life of your systems. 

  • Prepare your heating system. After replacing the filter in your furnace and giving it a good cleaning, be sure to do a test run of your heating system to ensure it’s working properly before the temperatures turn frigid. Some experts recommend that you hire a professional to inspect your home’s ductwork and service your furnace before winter.  A clean system is more energy efficient, saving on your heating bills.  The professionals at HowStuffWorks explain that built-up dirt in the system “is the biggest enemy of your home’s heating and cooling system. It can waste fuel and drastically lower efficiency. Dirt affects all three basic components of the system, so cleaning is the most important part of regular maintenance. Lubrication and belt adjustment at the furnace are also important.”
  • Service the air conditioner. The government’s Energy website explains that your unit will “require regular maintenance…to function effectively and efficiently throughout its years of service. Neglecting necessary maintenance ensures a steady decline in air conditioning performance while energy use steadily increases.”  Hire a professional to service your air conditioning unit.  You could schedule this in conjunction with servicing your furnace.  Making sure your system is in great shape before winter will mean it’s ready to go when warm weather returns.

Preventing Frozen Pipes.  Pipes that freeze and break can mean costly damage to your home.  You need to check both inside and outside your home for potential problems.  Here are some basics recommended by professionals:

            Inside

  • Unheated spaces: If you have pipes inside your home in unheated areas, add pipe insulation to prevent freezing and breakage.  This includes pipes in your attic, garage or crawl space. 
  • Under-insulated areas: This includes pipes on outside walls that may be exposed to extreme temperatures or do not receive normal heated air in your home.  It could be worth the investment to open the wall and add insulation to prevent the pipes from breaking. 

            Outside

  • Hoses: Disconnect garden hoses from spigots and drain them before putting them away for winter.  Water in a hose that is connected to a spigot can freeze, expand, and burst the pipes inside your home. 
  • Spigots: If your spigots aren’t frost-proof, be sure to shut off their water sources.  There should be a valve inside your home to do this.  Then, drain the water by opening the spigot, and install a faucet insulator.  This minor expense can save you big bucks in the long run. 

Safety.  By keeping on schedule in the fall and spring, you’ll make it easier to remember when these important safety items are due.  This is a small investment of time and money that could prove life-saving.

  • Check smoke detectors. According to Today, three out of five people killed in a fire didn’t have a working smoke detector.  Experts recommend that smoke detectors be replaced every 10 years, and batteries should be changed twice annually.  You should test your device when you change the batteries. 
  • Check carbon monoxide detectors. Just like with smoke detectors, experts recommend checking and changing carbon monoxide detector batteries twice annually.  These devices should also be replaced every 10 years. 

Save energy, money and lives.  These simple tasks are some of the most important things you can do to prepare your home for winter.  By ensuring your heating and cooling systems are maintained properly, you save energy and money.  Making sure your pipes won’t freeze prevents costly repairs.  Checking your home’s fire and carbon monoxide detectors is an investment in your family’s safety.  Making these tasks a priority will help you keep your home in great shape and provide peace of mind once the colder seasons arrive. 

Author Mr. Denikin is passionate about sharing his experiences working on DIY projects to benefit people with special needs children.

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FOR SALE BY OWNER?

Are You Leaving Money on the Table?

Choosing to sell your house can be a big decision. And, you want to make sure that once you make that decision, you are making all the right moves to ensure you receive the most money possible. Here are three strategies to help you earn top dollar on the sale of your property:

1. Tend to repairs. Easy and inexpensive repairs not only add to your home’s value, they also create the impression of a well-maintained home, which is an attractive prospect for buyers.

2. Embrace staging techniques. Buyers want to be able to imagine themselves in your home, so safely store the family portraits and clear the pile of shoes by the front door.

3. Don’t go it alone. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, for-sale-by-owner homes sold for an average of $185,000 in 2016 as opposed to $240,000 for agent-assisted home sales. For-sale-by-owner homes also accounted for only 8 percent of home sales overall.

When you’re ready to buy, sell or invest in real estate, you need a trusted local expert. Call me today to arrange a personalized consultation.

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Home Staging: 5 Must- Do Preparations for Open House

Every year, the real estate market becomes more competitive. As a result, it has become more difficult for home sellers to sell their homes at the most appropriate prices and fast. However, with proper home staging, you can position your home to make a good impression on potential buyers, therefore, increasing your chances of selling faster at the top price range.

Home staging highlights the best features of your property. You do not need to spend tons of money to make significant changes. Keep in mind that all your staging efforts are to appeal to potential buyers. You may work with a professional home stager or DIY the staging.

Below are five commonly overlooked open house preparations that could help you sell your home fast.

  1. De-clutter

Ensure each room has only the necessary items. Remove excess clothes from the closets, organize your bookshelf, clean up and de-clutter the kids’ rooms, garage and basement. You could arrange the extra items in a box and neatly place them in the store or a preferred location in the house or rent a storage unit. Anything unnecessary and unsightly must go.

  1. Clean up

Clean the windows, floors, corridors, pathways, counter-tops and carpets. Many sellers often overlook the bathroom walls. If they are grimy, they may turn away potential buyers. To get rid of mold and dirt on the bathroom walls, spray a mixture of water and bleach and then clean. You may consider hiring a professional cleaning company to do a thorough cleaning.

  1. Make the necessary repairs

No one wants to buy into a damaged home. Inspect your home for any areas that need repairs such as faulty HVAC, leaking faucets, holes in the walls and stuck windows among others. Identify fixes that you can DIY; otherwise, get in touch with a professional to do more complex repairs.

  1. Improve your curb appeal

An important factor to consider when staging your home for sale is its curb appeal.  What will a potential buyer think about your home when standing across the street?

The curb appeal determines whether a potential buyer is eager to come in to have a look at the rest of the house or they leave before seeing the inside of the house.

There are various ways that you can improve the curb appeal of your home.

  • Update your landscape.
  • Weed the garden, trim overgrown grass and shrubs and mow the lawn.
  • Inspect your walkways and sidewalks for weeds growing between concrete and remove them.
  • Rake leaves and debris that have fallen from flowers, shrubs and trees in your lawn and garden.
  • Check if your house number is visible. Repaint front door to give it a fresh and appealing look.
  • If you have an outdoor patio, stage it like you would your living room. Store yard equipment and garden hoses appropriately.
  • Make sure your trash cans and recycle bins are presentable and place them neatly at an appropriate location.
  1. Stage your home online

      Ninety percent of homebuyers start their search for a house online. Therefore, it is crucial you stage your home online. Take clear photos of the house and upload them to the relevant online real estate trading avenues. Preferably, photograph your house while it is still furnished. Images of a furnished house are more appealing than slide shows of bare floors, walls and ceilings.

When staging, focus on creating a broader appeal.  For instance, if your target buyers are millennials, take time to research what home buyers in this demographic want and then work toward creating such an appeal.

Article written by Suzie Wilson, Author of The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House. 

Photo Credit: Unsplash

 

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Ask These 4 Questions Before Buying a Home

YOUR NEXT MOVE

Searching for your next home involves a lot more than just picking the right house. When you’re ready for your next move, I will evaluate the house you want and show you how it compares to others in the area. I understand home buyer needs and will negotiate with sellers on your behalf.

Here are some specific questions I can answer for you as you prepare to purchase your next home:

  • How much are comparable homes in the area listed for?
  • How fast are homes selling in your area and how will that affect your search?
  • When you’re ready to make an offer, what can we do to make yours stand out?
  • What are common negotiation issues and how can we handle them to serve you better?

Call me today to discuss the current market for home buyers and begin your search. Use my website to setup a search and receive updates of all the new listings that come on the market in your search criteria.

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