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Each new year is a time for goal-setting and renewal. If you’re like so many others out there, you may have set your sights on getting organized in 2019—knowing what you have and where it’s located throughout your house, from your bedroom closet to your home office.


It seems like a relatively straightforward task—but if it was that easy, wouldn’t we all be organized all the time? So many of us get stuck before we truly get started and can’t seem to stay organized over time.


If you’re planning to focus on organization in the new year, here are some tips that will set you up for success.


1. Define a Decluttering Process


Whether you’re planning to declutter your entire house over a weekend or focus on just your master bedroom closet, it’s best to determine your process before you start. The best way to start getting organized is to get the full view of what you have by taking everything out of the space, reviewing it and then deciding what stays and what goes. For your closet, you should consider donating items you haven’t worn in a year or two and discarding garments that are stained or can’t be repaired. 


Decluttering your home office is similar—remove all bills, files, equipment and anything else that’s hiding in a drawer and keep what’s necessary and shred, donate or digitize the rest. Creating a repeatable process will not only make the decluttering feel more manageable, it’ll set you up for success.


2. Tackle Clutter Little By Little to Avoid Getting Overwhelmed


Part of the reason many people aren’t able to get and stay organized is because they see it as a big project—but it doesn’t have to be. If a full-house declutter isn’t in the cards for you this week, tackling clutter little by little could be. Creating a checklist that guides you to clean out a different small area each day can help your home feel more organized in just a few weeks.


3. Give Yourself a Deadline


You’ve got a plan to get organized—now it’s up to you to actually do the work. If you’re enlisting the help of a professional organizer or a custom closet company, they’ll work with you to plan when your custom organization system will be installed. Then, you can work backward to figure out when you need to organize your closet, mudroom, pantry or office.


If you’re not working with a custom organization company, you’ve got some more wiggle room. Whatever you do, set a deadline, but be realistic! Create a schedule that includes extra time in case life gets in the way.


4. Avoid Distractions


To help you meet the goal you’ve set, work without being distracted. That might mean scheduling time to organize a particular room in your house or a specific part of your closet, such as your shoes or accessories. When that time comes, put your phone in another room for distraction-free organizing and start decluttering. You’ll be surprised how much you can get done with just a little bit of focused work.


When you’ve finished reviewing your old clothes and sorting them into piles, for example, reward yourself with a short break.


5. Consider Getting Help from the Pros


The best way to stay organized is to have a place for everything—down to the last bangle bracelet, watch, belt and handbag. And sometimes, the best way to do that is to enlist the help of a custom organization company. The Designers there can take a look at everything you need to organize and develop a plan for custom organization solutions that meet your needs—and fit all your stuff. Putting a custom solution in place will make storing your things—and finding them when you need them—a little easier.


Whether you’re moving into a completely new home or just looking to stay organized, following some simple decluttering tips can help you enjoy your spaces more and gain inspiration from them.



Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matters

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Selling your home through the holiday season can certainly come with a few challenges. Chilly, wet weather and falling leaves in November and December might mean more raking and shoveling to keep your home pristine. However, the damp weather and dark skies don’t have to squelch your holiday spirit. In fact, the holidays are a perfect time to showcase the warmth and character of your home to prospective buyers.


If you’ve already got the basics of staging under control — meaning you’ve pared down, freshened up and added a splash of color — you’re ready to follow these seven do’s to create an appropriately festive home for sale.


1. Do choose appropriately sized holiday decorations. Be thoughtful about the size of the decorations you use. A good question to ask yourself is whether the piece helps to positively showcase the space, light, and charm of the room. Or does its large size detract from the best features? Your goal is to be festive while honoring the value of your home.


For example, displaying a large multipiece holiday installation might be a family tradition for your living room, but doing so won’t highlight the value and space of that room. Perhaps find a new home for this piece on the front porch, or display only a smaller portion of the installation on a table.


Similarly, you might have to trade in that huge fresh evergreen tree that you look forward to every year for a slightly smaller version. Large trees and decorations, while festive, may make the room look smaller. Choose an oversized tree only if you have a really large room.


2. Do mind the light. Be sure your holiday decorating efforts don’t block any natural light from windows and doors. Though this may be a common sense tip, it may not be as easy to adhere to as you’d think, since windows are one of the most common places to place holiday decor. Just think of what you see when driving through your neighborhood during the holidays: Many residents affix decorations directly to the windows, place large, brightly lighted trees directly in front of them or install candles or figurines on the windowsill. We just love to showcase our holiday spirit to the world.


For the selling season, try placing your holiday pride far from the window. You might put decor outside your front door or, if inside, in an unobtrusive corner. If you absolutely must locate decor near a window, then place it far enough away that the natural light still flows in. Otherwise, by reducing the natural light, you’ll detract from the value of the room.


3. Do coordinate with the colors of the room. Maintaining a color-coordinated design scheme matters, even when all you want to do is deck the halls in red and green. Remember, every room of your home should be as appealing as possible to prospective buyers. So, if your favorite holiday decorations clash with the colors in your room, think twice about using those specific pieces. Fortunately, there are tons of creative ways to add holiday accents without throwing off your palette.


Metallics are one nonintrusive way to add a little festive holiday flair. Gold, silver or copper holiday accents pair well with almost any color scheme. White is also a peaceful, festive, yet still neutral accent color for almost any holiday decorating effort. Try replacing multicolored tree lights with sparkling white lights to give your room a more elegant feel.


4. Do keep movements and sounds to a minimum. Moving parts, loud noises, and even festive music will be a distraction for potential buyers. So please don’t welcome buyers with a singing toy soldier or dancing snowman. But if you must have those items on your mantel, then be sure to turn them off during showings. The same goes for flashing lights. Opt for simple white static lights that cast a beautiful glow, creating a neutral holiday feeling for many buyers.


5. Do decorate to showcase your home’s architectural features. Holiday decorating can give you a brilliant opportunity to highlight your home’s most attractive architectural features. For example, you might wrap a tasteful garland around a beautiful curved staircase. You can showcase your fireplace with accents such as knitted stockings or a strand of lights.


Be mindful not to cover up any valuable structural details such as a beautiful wood floor or crown molding. Remember, less is more when staging, even when decorating for the holidays.


6. Do use exterior holiday decorations to add curb appeal. Holiday decorations are a fantastic way to spruce up the exterior of your home and add some color. Wreaths, thoughtfully lighted shrubs and the occasional ribbon or bow on a mailbox can be tasteful ways to deck the exterior for the holidays. These elements will certainly add curb appeal and pleasantly welcome your potential buyers.


While a frenzy of flashing lights and rooftop ornaments might be fun and playful, your goal is to sell your house, not distract or even turn off your buyer by creating a neighborhood spectacle.


7. Do celebrate the holidays and create a warm, joyful feeling. There’s an advantage of offering your home for sale — and decorating it — during the holidays. If you strike the right balance, your residence will exude a positive energy and charm that can’t be felt at any other time of the year. Done well, your decorated home will offer the kind of warmth that appeals to potential buyers and helps them to imagine living there. So go ahead and celebrate what is likely your last holiday season in that home. Happy Holidays!


Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matters


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It takes more than finding a realtor and posting a “For Sale” sign in the front yard for a successful home sale. Getting your house in order is the first step to a quick offer. The secret is to give potential buyers the opportunity to imagine their “stuff” and family living in the home. Plus, you want to put your home’s best foot forward and present it in the best possible light. Here are some tips to touch up your home staging to increase your chances of an offer.

1. Clear Out Your Belongings 

You may be attached to your stuff, but the first rule is to clean it up, clear it out and pack it all away. It can prevent new buyers from imagining the house as their own.

  • Pack away personal items like family photos and kid’s artwork for your new home.
  • Make sure toiletries, clothing, jewelry, and accessories are in drawers and out of sight.
  • Eliminate excessive clutter. Display only a few generic items on your shelves and make sure the bathrooms are pristine.

Some rooms are harder to streamline, especially children’s or teens’ bedrooms. Clean them out and clear away as much clutter as your son or daughter will allow. Invest in covered containers that will fit under the bed or in the closet.

2. Make the Rooms Look Bigger

You want to make each room look as spacious as possible. Start with these tricks:

  • Take out some of the furniture. Move it to the basement or storage shed, or sell it if you won’t need it in your new place.
  • Clear off the kitchen counters.
  • Roll up area rugs, which tend to make rooms feel smaller.
  • Arrange furniture in intimate seating groups that encourage conversation and coziness. Don’t line everything up along the wall!

Installing curtains and blinds as close to the ceiling as possible draws the eye up and makes the room appear bigger. Panels should skim the floor. In this living room corner, a classic chair and small table before a window suggests to the future homeowner here is a place for a morning cup of coffee in a well-lit room. 


3. Pay Attention to Your Decor

Highlight your home’s best features and downplay the less-than-perfect areas to create a welcoming space.


Paint is an easy fix. When possible, paint walls in pale, neutral colors like soft grey, beige and off-white. Neutral colors allow the buyer to imagine their own furniture in place. Plus, it screams “move-in ready.”


Don’t overlook the power of the view and the importance of natural light. Window treatments can help solve many issues. Windows without draperies make a room feel empty or undone. Curtains also help absorb sound in rooms with wood floors and they can hide an unsightly view or enhance a lovely one.


If a major selling point is your view – such as green space or a gorgeous garden – don’t cover it up! Install stationary panel curtains that hang well off the window. If the scene outside is less than stellar (like an alleyway or the building next door), hang sheer draperies that allow the light in but camouflage the view. As with paint color, choose drapery fabric in neutral colors and traditional patterns.


After the living room and kitchen, a great master bedroom is high on buyers’ checklists. In addition to natural light and the view, privacy is paramount.


Follow the same rules to make the space look bigger, hang as high as possible and skim the floor. Sheer curtains that can be closed allow light and hide an unappealing view while providing privacy. Keep surfaces clear of personal items and choose plain, neutral bedding. Open up the wall space with minimal artwork and move the excess furniture out. Buyers are looking for large rooms that feel serene and calm. 


Don’t forget to spruce up any secondary bedrooms as well. Keep the window treatments simple with Roman shades and valances. If the room needs a touch of color, a classic plaid or small print that works for boys and girls is in order. Temporarily replace superhero bedspreads with coverlets or duvets in solid colors and encourage your kids to keep their room neat and tidy.


Follow these few simple staging tips and your next showing could produce a winning offer.



Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matters

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The kitchen is one of the most difficult places in the home to keep clean and organized. Between your dishes, utensils and cooking appliances, you have lots of oddly shaped and bulky items to store. If you find yourself overwhelmed by all the stuff in your kitchen, or maybe just need a more efficient way of storing and organizing, consider these genius ways to tidy up your kitchen.


#1 Group Similar Items Together


Grouping items together according to their use is a sensible way to organize your kitchen. Categorizing similar items makes it easier for you and your guests to find things quickly.


#2 Use Baskets to Store Commonly Used Items


Searching for commonly used kitchen items is frustrating. Rather than storing them in random cabinets, use a simple wicker basket to corral and hold popular items. It looks nicer than just stacking utensils on the counter and it’s more organized than stashing them in available cabinets.


#3 Install Slide-Out Pantry Drawers


There’s nothing worse than having to pull everything out of a drawer or cabinet to reach something you’re looking for. Rather than shuffling with all of that mess, install slide-out pantry drawers or cabinets. Now, when you need a spice or are looking for specific dry goods, you can slide the entire cabinet out.


#4 Use Open Shelving


There’s nothing wrong with showing off some of the items you own, like your formal dinnerware or antique teapots. The only challenge you’ll face is keeping it all straight and tidy on your shelves. Installing an open shelving solution will help you organize everyday kitchen items and bring an open, airy energy to your kitchen. As an added benefit, you won’t have to open drawers and doors to find the items you’re looking for.


#5 Explore Alternative Storage


Traditional kitchen storage is great, but sometimes alternatives are just as functional. Consider storing extra kitchen items in wooden crates, baskets and other containers. Do you have a movable kitchen island with space underneath? Use woven baskets to hold your plates and bowls below.


#6 Don’t Waste Space


If you’re struggling to find space to organize all of your cutlery, plates and other utensils, consider high-shelf storage. Remember to only store rarely used items, like your fine china or fondue pot, on high shelves.


#7 Cut Down When Necessary


The kitchen is one of the most popular places in the home to display knick-knacks. If your assortment of collectibles has outgrown your space, the easiest way to organize is to eliminate what you can’t put out on display. This cuts down on clutter and opens up the visuals of your kitchen.


Conclusion


These are just a few simple ways to improve the organization of your kitchen. Now you can enjoy less frustrating meal preparation and less overwhelming visuals.




Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matters

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Buying a house is probably the single largest investment you’ll ever make – learn how getting a home inspection can help you get the most value for your home.


Buying a house is probably the single largest investment you’ll ever make, and you want to ensure you get the best value for your hard-earned dollar. That’s why more and more home buyers today are turning to professional Home Inspection experts. A professional Home Inspector takes a close look beneath a house’s surface and then prepares a detailed written report for the prospective buyer on such things as the condition of the foundation, electrical service, roof, insulation, and other critical structural factors. Your Coldwell Banker sales professional can help you connect with an experienced trusted Home Inspection service in your community.


Although costs will vary, you can probably expect to spend three to four hundred dollars for an inspection of a single family home. And who pays for it? Well, since the benefit is almost entirely that of the home buyer, it’s usually the buyer who pays the cost of the home inspection …particularly in a “hot” real estate market, where the home sellers have more leverage. All things considered, it’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind it provides, and the negotiating power it can give you — especially if it indicates that there are major repairs required, but you decide to make an offer anyway.


When it comes to making your offer to purchase, your Coldwell Banker professional can provide you with good advice on how to allow for a home inspection as a part of this process. Subject to the homeowner’s permission, you can commission a Home Inspection before or even after submitting your offer to purchase. This is done by having your Coldwell Banker salesperson prepare a conditional offer that’s contingent on a Home Inspection report that’s acceptable to you. This approach gives you some distinct advantages: if the conditional offer is accepted, the property is temporarily held against other offers, yet you still have a legal escape route if the report turns up some major negative surprises, such as a bad roof or a crumbling foundation. On the other hand, if the conditional offer isn’t accepted, then the need to pay for a home inspection may never arise. Your Coldwell Banker professional can counsel you on the best approach to suit your market and your individual situation.





Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matters

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Give your prospective buyers extra incentive to purchase your house by making it smell like a home they can see themselves in.


Smell is one of our most important senses. Psychologically speaking, it’s the sense that is most closely linked with memory, meaning that good smells can evoke happy memories and experiences while bad smells can do just the opposite. Smell is also highly emotive; different fragrances can convey a vast array of emotions and feelings. So, it’s no surprise that smell can come into play when you’re trying to sell your home.


There’s a reason why real estate agents always think about the best scent for home staging before a showing. A house that smells like freshly baked cookies can evoke a warm and homey feeling while a refreshing and clean smelling house can evoke feelings of potential and new opportunities.


The question is what scent sells a house and what can you do to ensure that you create a wonderful smelling home for potential buyers?


Use Baking Soda


First and foremost, you want to get rid of any current smells in your home. Baking soda, when spread on your carpets and soda, can help remove tough smells and leave you with a neutral pallet. All you have to do is let the baking soda sit for 10-15 minutes before vacuuming it up. It even works great in trashcans, sinks, toilets, and more.


Take Advantage of Your Stove


The best way to make your house smell good is to use your stove. All you need is a pot of boiling water, and then you can make your own essential oils for selling your house with the right spices.


 During the winter, we recommend using spicy and warm flavors such as cinnamon and/or cloves, which evoke a sense of the holidays. During the spring and summer, you can use lemon or orange rind for a fresh citrus scent instead. Don’t be afraid to experiment, but make sure you try out each scent before your open house.


Add Plants


Not only do plants add life to a home, but the right plants can also release wonderful fragrances that are highly compelling. When it comes to plants, the best scent for home staging includes some type of flowers such as roses, eucalyptus, rosemary, or lavender. The key is to choose plants that have a universally appealing smell and to make sure they’re always well groomed and lively.


Diffuse Essential Oils


If you don’t want to use your stove to make your own essential oils for selling your house, you can diffuse bottled essential oils instead. All you need to do is purchase an affordable diffuser, add a few drops of essential oil, and run it for a few hours before your open house. Just make sure you use the right oils.


Avoid using strong scents that can have a polarizing effect such as patchouli, sandalwood, or ylang-ylang. Instead, go with relaxing and simple scents such as lavender, grapefruit, rose, or bergamot. These smells evoke the atmosphere of a luxury spa.


Give your prospective buyers extra incentive to purchase your house by making it smell like a home they can see themselves in. Your goal is to make every guest feel like they belong. Just be sure you use scents that evoke only the best memories and feelings. It can be the added factor you need to make the sell. For more tips on selling your home, contact a real estate agent in your area.




Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matters

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But if you can buy a house with cash, should you do it?


Most people try to avoid getting into debt; it’s a much wiser financial decision. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible. On big-ticket items such as higher education, purchasing a car, and buying a house, loans are a common occurrence. But if you can buy a house with cash, should you do it? What are the benefits of making a cash offer on a home or accepting a cash offer for your home?

Benefits of Buying a House with Cash

If you have the means to be a cash house buyer, then you’re in a great position.


There are many reasons why paying cash for a home is better than getting a loan, even when it comes to the effect of a cash offer on house closing costs.


No Mortgage Payments: If you purchase your new home outright, you won’t have to worry about what type of interest rate you get or how much your monthly payments will be. Instead, you can enjoy financial freedom without a mortgage. This also means that you’ll be saving money on interest. You paid for the house in full, so you don’t have to worry about thousands of extra dollars over the years in interest payments.


Lower Purchase Price: In most cases, sellers love for cash homebuyers. It makes everything easier on the seller’s end, which means that you can probably negotiate a better price. The seller will know that you won’t back out at the last minute due to loan issues so that you can haggle a little more.


Fewer Closing Costs: You might be surprised by the impact of a cash offer on house closing costs. Many typical closing costs have to do with a mortgage, but if you’re paying in cash, you can avoid various loan fees including:

  • Property appraisal fees
  • Notary fees
  • Private mortgage insurance
  • Credit report fees

Quicker Closing: With a mortgage, closing a home requires you to wait 30 to 45 days on average. Paying in cash, you can finish the purchase transaction in one to three weeks.


Quality Investment: If you have a large sum of money in cash, it won’t be earning you any extra sitting in the bank or a CD. On the other hand, real estate investment is a great idea, even when the market may not be ideal. If you’re willing to hang on to your property for a few years, you’ll get out more than you put in on a cash deal.

Benefits of Selling a House for Cash

What about when it comes to selling your home? Should you sell a home for cash or is it better to go the conventional route? Beyond the fact that there may be negotiating for a lower selling price for a cash offer, there are many benefits to accepting a cash deal.


Fewer Deals Fall Through: If you’ve ever tried to sell a house, you understand that it can be risky. Too often, buyers lose loan backings or don’t qualify for enough to complete the purchase. With a cash offer, you don’t have to worry about this as much.


Faster Closing: If you need to get out of your home quickly, a cash offer is a great way to do this. Normal closing times are four to seven weeks. A cash offer can cut that time down to one to three weeks.


Fewer Fees: Typically, a cash offer means that you’ll be able to avoid many annoying closing costs, so you keep more of your sale money.


Cash offers in real estate can be a great idea if you know what you’re doing. At Coldwell Banker, we suggest talking to a financial expert, as well as an experienced real estate agent, to help you decide the best option for you.




Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matters

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What happens to your mortgage when you sell your home?


Most people won’t live in the same home for 30 years, the typical life of a mortgage loan. So, when it comes time to sell, many homeowners still have mortgage debt to deal with. Is this a problem? What happens to your mortgage when you sell your home?

 

Once you sign your name on a mortgage loan, you are responsible for the money—no one else. This means that you must pay it back, which you can do with the money you gain from selling your home.

 

The truth of the matter is that selling a house with a mortgage is a common occurrence.  Consult with your mortgage lender and your real estate agent to find out how you can sell a home with a mortgage. Here are a few tips that they might share with you.

Check Your Mortgage

The first step to selling a house with a mortgage is to contact your mortgage lender and ask about your current mortgage. You want to know:

 

  • Your current mortgage payoff amount
  • Your due-on-sale clauses

Your mortgage payoff amount is the exact amount of money, including accrued interest that you owe to the bank. This amount is typically good for 10-30 days and represents the outstanding loan balance that you must pay. The last thing you want to do is default on your mortgage.

 

The due-on-sale clauses reveal the exact rules of how to sell a house you still owe money on. It covers such information as when the paid-in-full loan is due and what the process is, including any fees. The clauses won’t tell you who you can or can’t sell your home to, but they may need some additional information about the buyer’s mortgage lender. Be sure to ask any questions you might have about these clauses, so you have a full understanding before you take the plunge and start your sale.


Selling Your Home


Once you know the ins and outs of your loan terms, it’s time to get to selling a house with a mortgage, which can get slightly complicated. First, you’ll want to work with a title company.

 

If your current lender doesn’t set you up with a title company, you can hire an agent on your own. This agent will be responsible for ensuring that there are no issues with your property’s title and act as the intermediary throughout the entire purchase and sale process.

 

Here’s what happens to your mortgage when you sell your home and use a title company:

 

  • The title agent holds the money from the new buyer during the sale
  • After you sign all the documents at the closing table, the title agent uses the sale money to pay your current mortgage holder
  • Once the amount has been paid, the title transfers to the buyer and you, as the seller, are given the leftover money (minus various fees)

If the sale covers the full cost of the current loan, it’s a fairly smooth process. However, if you owe more than your home is actually worth—negative equity—there could be some trouble. In that case, you’ll have to work out a deal with your lender for a reduced payoff amount, or you may need to refinance and stay in your home for longer than you planned.

 

In the end, selling a home with a mortgage shouldn’t be a problem. The most important thing is to know your options so that you can make the right decisions.

 

 

 

Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matters

 

 

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Spring is here! Time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. It is also the ideal time to do a home health check-up, inspecting what winter left behind.

 

So, what are the three key areas of your home to examine and what do you look for? We have you covered from roof to deck. Follow this step-by-step home check-up guide to find warning signs and advice on how to repair them.

 

Roof: You’ve probably never thought about it, but your roof has to battle a lot of enemies: ultraviolet rays, rain, wind, snow, and ice. But the good news is most new shingle roofs are designed to last about 20 years. Slate roofs and some types of tile and metal roofs can last even longer. The actual lifespan of your roof is determined by several factors, including environmental conditions, material quality, proper application and regular roof maintenance.

 

Warning Signs: How do you know when your roof is in trouble? Look for these warning signs:

 

Outside:

  • Shingles that are warped, blistered, missing or torn
  • Shingles covered in moss or algae, which hold moisture and encourage rot
  • Loose material or wear around chimneys, pipes and other penetrations
  • Overhanging tree branches that could gouge the roof in a strong wind
  • Excessive debris (leaves, dirt, ice, roofing granules) in the gutters or downspouts, which block drainage

Inside:

  • Ceiling spots or leaks
  • Cracked paint
  • Discolored plasterboard
  • Peeling wallpaper
  • Mold, mildew or rot in the walls, ceilings, insulation and electrical systems
  • In the attic, look for signs of water infiltration such as staining, dampness, or mold growing on insulation/sheathing/rafters A poorly ventilated attic that shows signs of moisture, which promotes the roof’s decay. Sufficient attic ventilation can be achieved by installing larger or additional vents

Repairs Needed?


If repairs are needed, don’t skimp on quality to save a few cents. Much of the damage associated with serious storms result from water entering the home when roof coverings or siding is blown off. This is why it is imperative that you have a secondary layer of waterproofing protection underneath the shingles and siding. If proper protection measures are not taken, the resulting leaks are the main cause of interior damage, as well as potential causes of rot and mold. Rot and mold can lead to major structural damage and even potential health problems for homeowners.

 

Use Underlayments: FEMA has published recommendations for the use of fully-adhered roofing underlayments, such as Grace Ice & Water Shield®, as an enhanced secondary water barrier for homes. In the event roof coverings are blown off or water manages to get underneath your shingles, these underlayments are the key to preventing water infiltration.

 

Windows & Doors: Beyond the roof, a home’s doors and windows can also become major leak zones. Even if the windows and doors are well shuttered in a storm, wind-driven rain can be blown into the house at these points, especially if they have not been properly flashed and weatherproofed.

 

Warning Signs: How do you know when your doors and windows are in trouble? The following are some signs of water damage:

 

Inside & Outside:

  • Leaks or breaks in seams around window trim and sills
  • Uneven doorframes
  • Discolored plasterboard
  • Peeling wallpaper
  • Chipped or cracked stucco finishes
  • Mold, mildew, or rot in the walls, insulation, and electrical systems
  • Missing, cracked, or blistered paint inside the home

Repairs Needed?


Use Flashing: Flashing is a critical part of your home’s weather barrier system. If not properly selected and installed, wind-driven rain, ice, and snow can leak and quickly cause damage to your home. Flexible flashings such as GCP Applied Technologies’ Vycor® Plus can be used to seal the most vulnerable spots, including windows, doors, corner boards, and other non-roof detail areas. It is designed to work in severe winter climates, milder climates, and in coastal areas where wind-driven rain is common.

 

Deck: Last but not least, check the deck. A deck is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors in the warmer weather. But, if your deck is not protected against the extreme weather, it can deteriorate and become unsafe. Decks, fences and other wood products should be routinely weatherproofed and cleaned to maximize their useful life. The weather combined with the treatment chemicals used for today’s pressure treated lumber means that the modern deck must be properly constructed to hold up.

 

Warning Signs: How do you know when your deck is in trouble? Look for these warning signs:

  • Warped boards
  • Cracked or split boards
  • Debris that is “clogging up” space between deck boards
  • Look under the deck for corroded joist hangers and other connectors
  • Softwood
  • Mold and mildew

Repairs Needed?


Use a Protective Barrier: Even with today’s treated and high-tech decking products–which look great and last and last–preventing joist rot and decay, as a result of water accumulation under the decking boards, remains a major problem. Vycor Deck Protector® is a unique solution to significantly extend the useful life of decks. Vycor Deck Protector® helps prevent joist rot and decay and decrease the corrosion rate of connectors and fasteners.

By inspecting these three areas of your home and correcting any damage with the best materials, you will ensure your home will live longer. Not to mention your wallet will be happy too! Now, put on those shades and head out to enjoy the spring & summer activities with peace of mind!

 

 

 

Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matters

 

 

 

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You have decided to sell your home, and you are eager to sell it ASAP!  You need to move or want those proceeds immediately, but how? Let’s go through the best ways to efficiently and effectively improve your home for a speedy sale.

 

 

First, curbside appeal.  This is the first thing every potential buyer sees so make it stand out!  Some suggestions:

  • Hire a gardener to clean and spruce up the entrance
  • Remove superfluous items from the front of your home, i.e. garbage cans strollers, etc
  • Put a fresh coat of paint on the exterior of your home

 

Second, this is the time to clean and eliminate all clutter inside your home.  Here’s how:

  • Give away extra toys, clothes, and anything else that makes it look crowded or disorganized
  • Organize the kitchen countertops and closets
  • Place bulky items in storage

 

Third, landscaping matters.  A large yard cannot shine if the plants, grass, and trees are in bad shape.  Try the following ideas:

  • Artificial grass - always looks amazing and eliminates the need for maintenance
  • Plant fresh flowers and maintain the grass and trees.

 

Fourth, look under the hood.  Make the inside of your home look as good as possible.

  • This is the time to do some of the minor repairs you have been putting off.  This will make your home look better and may eliminate certain issues during the inspection period.
  • Yes, it seems expensive or time-consuming.  However, if you hire a professional company, this can truly make the difference and get you more money in less time.

 

Finally, hire a professional, licensed REALTOR®.  A REALTOR® with experience and expertise can help sell your home quickly for the best price.   

 

 

 

Best of luck!

 

 

 

 

Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matters

 

 

 

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After a long winter, nothing feels better than having a clean and sparkling home. But, actually jumping into a deep clean is another story. Here are some simple tips to whip your home into shape without breaking a sweat:

#1 Wall Cleaning

A Magic Eraser is your best bet for tackling walls — it can spot clean anything from splatters to crayon marks. It’s tough enough to reach the cobwebs that collect in the corners of your walls and ceiling. You can also cover the bristles of a broom with a cloth or old T-shirt and use it to knock down any dusty spots.

#2 Carpets and Rugs

Take a little more time vacuuming the high-traffic areas of your house. (Make sure you don’t forget to spot treat any stubborn stains with a stain-removal product.) If your rug or carpet has lingering oders, sprinkle some baking soda over it and let it sit for a few hours. Vacuum up the baking soda and you’ll find the odors have disappeared.

#3 Mattress Ideas

Give your mattress cover a thorough cleaning in the washing machine — don’t forget to throw in a cup of white vinegar to boost the cleaning process. Sprinkle baking soda on your mattress while you’re washing the cover. You can vacuum it up later when you’re making the bed.

#4 Shower Care

Don’t knock yourself out trying to clean glass shower doors. Add a couple drops of water to your dryer sheets and use them to wipe down your shower doors. You can even let your showerhead clean itself overnight while you sleep. Simply tie a bag filled with white vinegar around your showerhead and let it soak overnight. Remove the bag in the morning for a non-clogged shower experience.

#5 Toilet Scrubbing

Have water stains built up in your toilet? Cola can help you attack these stains with little effort.  Just pour some in the toilet, let it sit for several minutes, then flush.

#6 Oven Shine

If you have an oven with a self-cleaning feature, spring is a great time to finally run that cycle. Otherwise, mix baking soda with a bit of water and use it to quickly clean up grease and various other spills inside the oven.

#7 Clutter Solutions

When you don’t have time to clean but you need your house to look presentable, tackling clutter is the quickest way to create the illusion of a clean house. Zip through each room of the house and put anything that doesn’t belong into a basket. This strategy requires very little work and can make a big difference in your home’s appearance.

Conclusion

Although these tips won’t completely eliminate the effort involved in spring cleaning, they’ll make the job a whole lot easier. Spring is a time of new beginnings — if you use even a couple of these ideas, your home will enjoy a clean and fresh start to the upcoming season.

 

 

 

Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matters

 

 

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