Monthly Archives: October 2016

Home Fall Maintenance Every Home Owner Should Tackle


home ready for winter after fall maintenanceFor home owners fall is more than just a season of apples and changing autumn colors, it’s also the time to keep their home in peak condition.  Fall maintenance not only gets your home ready for winter, it also is an important part of maintaining the equity in your home.

Pressure wash your home.

Pressure washing your home is important for the curb appeal of your home, ridding your home of dust and mold that’s built up over the year.  It also prevents long-term staining on your brick or siding exterior (very important if you decide to sell your home).

Check for drafts.

Before the winter wind and storms hit, check your windows and doors for draftiness. Test for draftiness by holding a flame in front of the window. If the flame flickers, it’s time to replace that window. If you find holes around your window or door, fill in the holes around windows and doors with caulk. If your window seal is broken, or you question the efficiency, contact a contractor for a quote to replace your windows.

Add insulation to your attic.

An estimated 35 percent of energy loss can occur through your home’s roof. An adequate layer of insulation in your attic is the key to an energy efficient home this winter, so have your attic inspected to make sure you have enough to keep the warm air in and the winter air out.

Have your chimney inspected.

A fireplace can be a valuable selling point for your home, or the source of a cozy winter evening fire.  To make sure your evening fire doesn’t turn into a home fire or an insurance claim, contact chimney professionals to schedule an inspection so you can prevent carbon monoxide build up or a fire.

Change your furnace filter.

Hire an HVAC technician to do annual maintenance and make sure it’s ready for winter and running efficiently, saving you money on utility bills. Don’t forget to also change your furnace filter now and every month once the furnace is on during the winter.

Check your roof for loose or damaged shingles.

A visual inspection is not always enough to see if you have loose or damaged shingles from summer storms.  If you suspect your roof shingles are damaged, check or have a roofing contractor inspect your roof to prevent winter leaks.  Check your gutters as well to make sure they are cleaned out before the snow falls.

Test your smoke detectors.

Test your smoke detectors and practice evacuating your home. Change any detectors with low batteries.

Clean up your yard.

This is one of our top fall selling tips for home owners looking to sell their home.  Clean your yard up by raking and collecting leaves, cleaning out debris in flower beds, and making your yard look great for winter.  Clean out any drain pipes if they are clogged so they don’t get backed up with ice this winter.

5 Home Buyer Options After a Bad Inspection


key with words sale home property after a bad home inspectionBuying a home is a process—and an intimidating one—especially when your home inspector gives you bad news about the property when you’re ready to sign on the dotted line.  Even the nicest properties can come with a list of issues that need to be fixed, so you don’t end up with unforeseen costs and headaches down the road.

When you do get handed that list of issues that need to be repaired, the good news is that you also have a list of options to exercise in your home search.

Walk away

It’s okay to be intimidated by bad electrical or plumbing work, foundation issues, bad roof, structural problems—or the cost of the repairs.  If your offer was contingent on the home inspection (one of the benefits of using an experienced realtor), you can walk away from the property.  If you are considering this option, talk to your real estate agent about your earnest money options, and anything else you might have to lose if you decide to move on.

Ask the seller to fix the problems

We’ve seen it all: broken windows, gas leaks, plumbing issues, you name it.  If your home inspector finds an issue that only a professional should fix, talk to your realtor to document your request for repairs to be made—and for documentation (receipts, work orders, etc.) that proves the work was done.

Negotiate a lower price

If you want to make sure the problem is fixed correctly or there is a time crunch, you can contact your realtor to negotiate a lower price. Keep in mind that your new price should reflect the repairs that need to be made; for example, if the new furnace costs $4,000 the price should be dropped by an amount comparable to that.  If you decide to negotiate a lower price so you can make the fix, follow through with the repair—especially safety hazards and foundation issues that could worsen over time.

Ignore the report

This is an option, but not honestly a recommended one—especially if the issue is extensive, a safety hazard, or you have any intention of selling the house.  In addition, if the problem is serious, you may have problems obtaining home insurance after you purchase the home.

Ask your realtor for advice

If you’ve chosen an experienced realtor, chances are they’ve been through this process before and can recommend the best course of action after a bad home inspection report.  In addition, a realtor can document your concerns and follow up to make sure the issues are resolved.