Winter “Do’s & Don’ts” for Homeowners

For all the perks of home ownership, property maintenance is a never-ending job, and each season brings its own list of special chores. Here are a few to keep in mind.

DO: Invest in outdoor faucet protectors. Many styles cost less than $2  and are easy to install. Without these covers, cold air can enter your pipes and cause them to burst at the most inconvenient times (not that there is even a convenient time for a pipe to burst). Better yet, wrap any exposed pipes with foam plumbing insulation — also cheap & easy to do.

DON’T… forget to clean out your gutters. Yes, it’s a nasty job and it’s no fun to do, but if your gutters are so full that rain water cascades over them instead of flowing through them, the water is likely to reach your foundation and will eventually cause some serious, expensive damage.
DO: Play detective. Investigate the nooks, crannies, cracks and crevices where cold air can sneak into your house, robbing you of the warm you crave on winter days. The most common offenders are window sills, baseboards, fireplaces and dryer vents. Once you find the culprits, buy a tube of caulk and seal them off.

DON’T… forego a fireplace inspection. A dirty flu won’t just irritate Santa, it may cause a fire you didn’t intend.

DO: Schedule a furnace inspection. Servicing your furnace is NOT a DIY project. Most furnaces have a life expectancy of about 15 years. Failing to service it regularly can reduce that life span by 5 years!
(This next one may surprise you.)

DON’T… level your fridge. Refrigerators have adjustable feet to allow for uneven floors, but you should adjust them so the front feet are slightly higher than the hind feet. That way, the door will never be left open accidentally; it will close itself.

DO:  Invest in a programmable thermostat — or pledge to use the one you already have. Why heat your home when you’re not there?

Want more information and resources concerning your home and real estate? Visit my agent website: www.SingleMindedRealEstate.com

Posted December 3, 2016

 

Who’s your agent?

One of the questions I always ask visitors to my Open Houses is “Who is your agent?”

With so much information available on the internet, many buyers start shopping on their own before choosing a real estate agent, so some already have agents and some don’t. What I find interesting, and a bit baffling, is the number of people who are working with an agent whose full name they can’t even remember.

If you are really impressed by someone and by their service, don’t you usually remember their name? There are so many agents out there, don’t you want to be working with one who is really exceptional at their job? I mean, buying a house is one of the most significant financial investments you are likely to make. Don’t you want to work with someone who can maximize your efforts?

A case in point is a single woman who came into one of my Opens recently. She was already working with an agent (whose name she couldn’t recall) and we started chatting about her house-hunting experience. She had been working with her agent, who shall remain nameless because she didn’t know it), for several months, and seemed satisfied enough with the service she was receiving. Several minutes into the conversation, she asked me about Short Sales and Foreclosure properties, wondering if they might be a good option for her. I was stunned to hear that her agent hasn’t taken the time to educate her about this significant part of the market!

So what should you, as a home buyer, expect from your agent?

And here are some pointers about what to ask when interviewing an agent.

Who’s YOUR agent?