Fall is the perfect time to review your "house checklist" and plan for "do it yourself" or contractor repairs.
Maintainence checklists are never fun, but you must work with them if you want to take care of what is likely your biggest single asset ---- your home! Here are some practical and necessary steps from Yahoo Real Estate...
Annual checklist home maintenance checklist:
- Kitchen:Check for leaks under and around the sink. Plumbing leaks can damage cabinetry and floors. Check and repair grout and caulking on tile countertops and around the sink. Also check wear and tear on wood floors, which periodically need to be refinished.
- Bathrooms:Check for plumbing leaks and check grout on tiles. If the grout gets worn away water will start getting into the walls behind the bathroom, causing damage.
- Basement:Check for cracks in the foundation and leaks. Buildings settle over time and even after decades of having a dry basement leaks may suddenly occur.
- Attic:Check for signs of water leakage from the roof. Also look for any sign of termites or rodents. Squirrels or rats that nest in your attic can chew electrical wiring, which can lead to fires.
- Smoke alarms:Batteries need to be changed annually.
- Heating system:If yours has a filter, change it annually.
- Air conditioning system:Change all filters monthly or as recommended by the filter manufacturer.
- Roof:Note if any shingles have fallen off or if gutters or downspouts appear clogged or damaged. You can always hire a reliable roofing company to get on the roof and take a look. Reputable roofing companies won't try to sell you a new one unless you really need it. You can simply pay them for an inspection.
- House exterior:If your house is wood, check that the paint hasn't worn away so much that the primer paint is showing. If the primer also wears down, you can do damage to the wood. Brick houses should be inspected for damaged bricks or masonry. Check stucco houses and repair any cracks large enough to slide a nickel into.
- Asphalt and concrete driveways: Repair any cracks or buckling.
Final item: Don't forget to maintain & save your house records. Create a spreadsheet for repairs, one that is easy for you to update. Detailed record keeping is very helpful during the sale process!
If you're thinking of selling your home or would like some assistance with real estate questions Contact Us!
I don't know about you, but every spring I look around my home and everything looks drab and boring. Just as life is reborn outdoors, I have the urge to give new life to my indoors beyond a coat of paint. It would be simple if I had an unlimited budget and time, but I don't. I'm not a good bargain hunter either. However, I may have found a solution to my problem and for other Boston area homeowners who share my yearning or who are looking to dress up their home to put on the market and not break the bank.
I just received an email alert from "Groupon" different from the daily alerts I've been getting for a while. (http://www.groupon.com/boston/home-and-garden) I'm not getting paid to tell you this, but they have a new weekly alert that features home and garden deals from multiple vendors serving our metropolitan area. The window of opportunity to purchase the discount coupons lasts a week as oppose to a day.
This week's features included deep discounts on furniture, fabric (from a well known fabric house), pillows, wall prints and other home decor and living in Arlington MA, puts me in easy access to many of these vendors. If you're looking for some staging items to add sparkle to your home for the Sunday open house; maybe new toss pillows for the sofa or an new area rug for the entryway, you, too, might find what you need.
I will be checking out these alerts for some new items to perk up my fireplace mantle this spring. I might even find the perfect fabric at a price I can affordable for the new window treatments I want to make!
Deborah Heffernan, principal
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The heavy snow fall of late has made the past few weeks difficult ones for many homeowners in the Boston and Metro West area. Trying to stay ahead of the possible problems that can occur to our homes hasn't been easy for many of us this winter so we pleased when we found this very informative list of things to do to prevent snow damage to our property and be better prepared in the future from the Restoration Resource
1. Clear the rooftop of snow. This should be one of the top priorities of homeowners who wish to protect their property from heavy snow damage. Snow that is left to accumulate may cause the entire roof to collapse, and damage ceilings, walls, floors, and furniture inside the house. It may be best to get the help of professional roofing consultants as they know how to safely clear a roof of heavy snow without causing any damage to the rest of the house.
2. Improve the air ventilation in the attic. Maintaining an indoor temperature that is close to the outdoor temperature is vital in that part of the house. If there is no proper ventilation in the attic, the warm air inside can melt the snow on the roof and cause ice dams to form. Ice dams are one of the most common problems during winter and they can seriously cause heavy snow damage to a home.
3. Ensure that all gutters and drains are clean and free from dirt. Melted snow needs to properly drain from the roof to prevent new snow from building up and causing heavy snow damage. If snow is allowed to form in the gutters, they can slowly seep through the roofing material and cause damage to the inside of the house. Also make sure that gutters and drains are connected firmly to the house. If not, these can easily fall under the weight of accumulated snow. Unstable gutters are highly accident prone as they can hit a window, a car, or even a person if they detach from the roof.
4. Remove snow from doors and windows as well. Do not let snow collect on their openings. If windows and doors start to let water and moisture into the house, repair their sealants immediately. Pay extra attention to doors and windows that are facing directly against the snow and the wind as these are more prone to heavy snow damage.
5. Clear the area around exhaust pipes and air vents on heaters and furnaces. They should not be blocked by snow, leaves, and any other debris.
6. Keep water moving within pipes to prevent them from freezing. Do this by letting the hot and cold water faucets drip overnight. A tiny trickle or a slow drip is all that is needed.
7. Watch out for snow-covered trees that are surrounding the house. They can also cause heavy snow damage to a home. If the accumulated snow becomes too heavy for the tree branches, they can break and fall onto nearby house structures.
Oddly enough the number of Cambridge MA homes for sale that had accepted offers went up this past week inspite of the snow-a-thon! For a view of the recent activity in the Boston Metro West area take a look at A3's Week in Review.
During late Spring and Summer months, curb appeal comes naturally to many homes. When autumn turns to winter and the sun sets earlier in the day, it becomes more difficult to create that inviting exterior look that grabs buyers from the curb.
But the good news is you can still create striking winter curb appeal without expensive and/or complicated exterior changes. It just requires a little creativity.
- Seasonal sparkle: Transform window boxes, fountains and bird baths with twigs, red berries or holiday greens. All inexpensive, quick and very pretty.
- Backyards, decks: Shovel your backyard sitting areas and deck and leave your grill uncovered so buyers can evision themselves using the space.
- Front door: make your front door the focal point with a large neutral wreath. Also, place medium to large colorful planters filled with evergreens beside the front door.
- Photo display: show buyers what the outside of the home looks like during other seasons by displaying photos in frames or use a digital photo frame with a slide show of images. If your home has a garden make a list of what is planted where.
- Clear Path: if the ground is covered in snow shovel the driveway and sidewalks and keep the home's patio and decks as clear as possible so buyers can get a sense of their true size.
- Lighting: One week after daylight savings and we have noticed Belmont homes for sale may only have one or two rooms with the lights on and no exterior lights on. It is very likely now that buyers will be viewing your home after sunset. Keep light fixtures clean and use the maximum wattage allowed. Put the lights on and take a drive by your own home.
For more winter curb appeal ideas contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy the upcoming season....
Judy Conley, Principal
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