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How Clutter Can Sink Your Chances Of A Home Sale

by Randy Gridley

 

Selling a home is not as easy as you might expect. You may have a large home in a great neighborhood there are still things that potential buyers will not overlook. If you are looking to sell your home you must get rid of any and all clutter.  Keep reading below to learn how to avert a messy home from being your downfall.

You will find it very hard to interest a buyer of you are one of those that tend to accumulate a lot of personal items.  You must help a potential buyer envision themselves living in that space and making it their own.  This is extremely difficult if there are piles of personal memorabilia on every nook and corner.

Try to immediately eliminate excessive furniture as soon as you decide to list the home.  You may not be able to remove sofas and beds if you will be staying in the home until it is sold.  Do your best to get rid of all unnecessary furniture.  This will make your rooms appear larger and give the feeling of a more spacious area that will appeal to the buyers.

If you collect shoes, books, knick-knacks, pictures or anything else that takes up a lot of space, store those items in another location until your home is sold.  You may want to rent a storage if you have no other option to store them.

Kitchen clutter is a huge problem for anyone looking to sell their home. Kitchens and bathrooms are big selling points when it comes to residential property.  You must show your home in the best possible way.  You may be a great chef and love to display your cooking tools.   This is not the time to show off your skills and tools.  You want your kitchen to be as spacious as possible.  Pack away those bulkier items that take away from your counter space.

Your personal possessions have great meaning and value to you and your family.  That is not will add value to your home.  You must separate yourself from this home so that it will be appealing to buyers. It is vital to stage your home in such a way that highlights the available square footage in the property. Buyers will run in the other direction of there is clutter strewn in every room.  Make sure your home is a neutral slate on which buyers can project their own style and taste. Then you will find yourself at a closing table sooner than you ever thought possible.

The Realities Behind Common Household Maintenance Myths

by Randy Gridley

 

It's almost impossible to avoid picking up home improvement and maintenance tips if you're a homeowner yourself. The tricky part is sifting out the useful information from the myths and mistakes. This article will set you right on a number of issues that many homeowners get misinformed about.

The Truth About Bathroom Ventilation

According to some homeowners, you only need an exhaust fan in your bathroom if it's an interior room that doesn't have a window. It's true, there are some bathrooms out there that lack fans. Bear in mind that building codes have changed over time! These days, proper ventilating fans are required in virtually all bathrooms. Even when it's not a code requirement, installing a fan is a great idea. 

Obviously, bathrooms can be very humid environments. A bath or shower pumps tremendous amounts of moisture into the air, and relying solely on a window to let that water out can be a big mistake.

Every time you bathe, you're driving up the local humidity in your bathroom. When the room cools again, (especially in the chilly depths of winter) that airborne water turns into condensation on the walls. If there's enough water involved, it can even get through the internal structure of your home, leading to big problems like frosting in your attic. 

In most parts of the US, (Idaho makes a fine example) bathroom fans are now a code requirement. It's an important feature to look out for when you inspect a new home. If you want to buy a home that lacks these fans, be prepared to retrofit them.

The Economics Of The Furnace Filter

A cheap filter for your furnace isn't going to do much good, right? You need fancy top-of-the-line HEPA filters, right? Think again! It's true that furnace filters catch debris like dust, dirt, and pet hair. The point many homeowners miss is that these filters are designed to keep that junk out of the furnace, not out of the air! 

Top-quality filters are designed for use with air conditioners, not heaters. If you install a pricey filter on your furnace, (one with anti-bacterial coatings or dense pleating) all you're doing is making your furnace work harder to maintain proper air flow. This puts undue strain on the furnace and makes it more likely to break down. Also, you may be tempted to leave an expensive filter in place longer than it's supposed to last. Give your furnace and your budget a break. Stick with ordinary fiberglass filters and make sure you change them out regularly.

There IS Such A Thing As Too Well-Insulated

A lot of homeowners are terrified of getting caught with inadequate insulation. They think that their heating bill will skyrocket unless their attic is stuffed to the brim with insulation. Although a well-insulated attic is one of the best tools you have for improving your home's energy efficiency, it's definitely possible to have too much of a good thing. The truth is that over-insulation causes nearly as many problems as shoddy installation or missing insulation. 

Besides being thermally protected by insulation, your home also needs air to circulate through both the living spaces and the "behind the scenes" areas like the attic. This is why some homes require attic ventilators. Cutting off airflow with too much insulation creates opportunities for water to condense, stagnate, and rot. This can lead to real structural damage and mold infestation. Stick to the amount of attic insulation recommended by local authorities.

Speaking of Mold, Bring More Than Bleach

Mold is one of the most irritating problems a homeowner can face. It has a negative impact on both the health of your household and your home's value. Fortunately, well-meaning homeowners will tell you, you can get rid of mold yourself with a little bleach and elbow grease!

By this point you should already suspect that this advice is misguided. It's true that mold can remove the appearance of mold from wood, drywall, and other finish surfaces. The exterior is all that bleach can reach, though. Due to its ionic structure, bleach has a hard time penetrating porous surfaces. Mold, on the other hand, lays down roots like a weed. 

Based on research conducted by the EPA, you must take more aggressive steps to eliminate a mold problem. Cleansers designed specifically for mold eradication are by far the most effective tools. In contrast, diluted bleach is just about the least useful thing to use on mold.

Your Lawn Doesn't Need An All-Nighter

"Water your grass at night and it'll grow better" is the next myth to tackle. This is simply not the case. When you put lots of water on the ground at night, a lot of it ends up standing on the surface. This can actually damage grass, and it also produces an unhealthy environment that's great for breeding hostile insects (e.g. mosquitoes). It's much better to water in the early morning. This gives your lawn enough time to absorb all the moisture it needs, then allows the sun to evaporate away any excess.

Do More Than Push A Button On Your Smoke Alarm

As a responsible homeowner, you have at least one smoke alarm in your house. You even test it every few months by pushing the button and hurting your ears with the loud siren. This is just a commonsense follow up: What does it really tell you when you make your smoke alarm squawk with the test button? It means the siren and the batteries work. The important part (DETECTING SMOKE!) isn't tested. A better way to confirm your safety is to light two or three matches together and blow them out close to the detector. If this doesn't set the alarm off, it's time to buy a replacement!

Irrigating With Pressure In Idaho

by Randy Gridley

Do you need to know how pressurized irrigation works? The first fact that needs to be stated is that irrigation is an entirely different matter from the handling of drinking water and water treatment. While the latter is handled by water companies, irrigation is the responsibility of the irrigation district. The water used for pressurized irrigation is drawn out of a river via an extensive canal network. In order to control the distribution of the water, pumps are used to add pressure to the irrigation systems.

What role does pressurized irrigation play in Idaho's real estate market?

With a national fame for potato production, it's obvious that agriculture is extremely important in Idaho. The importance of the agriculture field to this state cannot be over-estimated. More than one hundred thousand citizens of Idaho work in the agricultural industry; that's a significant portion of the total population. Beyond the vast water needs of intensive agriculture, though, it must be remembered that Idaho also has its share of built-up urban areas. Municipal parks, public and private landscape, and countless beloved suburban lawns all depend on the irrigation system to get the water they need. This makes the matter important for Idaho citizens whether they live in the city or the country.

What value does the average Idaho property owner get out of pressurized irrigation?

For residential property owners, maintaining healthy, vibrant lawns adds significantly to the overall value of homes. In most parts of Idaho, the local Homeowners Association operates a pump-house to meet the irrigation needs of nearby residents. This piece of machinery taps the canal network and routes irrigation water to the various properties in the neighborhood. This keeps water bills down during high-use periods like the hottest parts of the summer.  This is also a great relief on drinking water not being used on lawns or gardens or landscaped areas where surface water pressurized irrigation is available.

The water that pressurized irrigation makes available to the Idaho homeowner can be used for more than just maintaining lawns. Impact sprinklers were invented more than seventy years ago. Today they help Idahoans grow all manner of plants in high-yield gardens. The larger irrigation system meshes seamlessly with low-pressure individual systems. These use low-pressure piping (typically plastic) to direct water in small but useful amounts. 

While some watering methods waste thirty to fifty percent of the water used, these pressure systems can reduce waste to just ten percent. If a homeowner relies on gravity to distribute water, unintended runoff and standing water are virtually inevitable. This leads to a great deal of waste. It also opens up the possibility of encouraging harmful insect breeding (e.g. mosquitoes) and spreading pollutants or other undesirable contaminants.

Choosing the Right Home

by Randy Gridley

 

Whether you’re on the search for your very first home or looking for an investment property, deciding on a house to complete your search can be a difficult decision. From home size to location and extras such as a swimming pool or garage, finding the perfect home without busting your budget can be a challenge for even the most experienced homebuyers. So, how will you know when you’ve found the perfect home for your needs? Relying on the experience and knowledge of your real estate agent and creating reasonable expectations are great ways to start any successful housing search. Striking a balance between location and size may be necessary to remain within your budgetary restrictions, but taking the time to find your dream home will lead to a much more satisfying end result. So, how will you know if the home upon which you’ve had your eye is, in fact, the right home for you? Let’s take a look at some requirements to review before making an offer.

Determining your budget and avoiding overspending are amongst the most important details to remember when beginning your housing search.

According to Forbes, the first step to any successful housing search involves grabbing your calculator and determining how much home you can afford. Remember to look beyond the listing price to determine all of the costs associated with a property. From recurring costs such as homeowner’s insurance premiums and property taxes to costly amenities such as swimming pool upkeep, determining the total cost of a new property will help you avoid financial issues down the road. Small monthly costs can add up quickly, particularly in the early portion of your mortgage, so choosing a home that fits within your budget is an imperative portion of any successful property search.

Like the old saying goes, in real estate, the three most important factors are location, location and location. Finding a great home in your target area is a great place to start when searching for the perfect property.

Deciding where you want to live is important to everyday life, so choosing a great target area can be one of the most vital details to choosing the right home. Do you prefer an urban setting, or are the suburbs more to your liking? If you’ve got children or plan to in the near future, a great school district could also influence your search. According to Investopedia, details relating to safety, proximity to work and even community togetherness are all major factors to choosing a great location. If you don’t have an area in mind, describe your dream neighborhood to your experienced real estate agent, and depend on his or her experience to find the best area in which to begin your housing search.

The size of a potential home is important when planning for the future. Determining your expected needs in a home in the near future will help guide your search.

Young homebuyers may need a larger home for a growing family, while older couples looking to downsize may prefer a smaller house or condominium without the need for excess upkeep. While there are no crystal balls in real estate, determining how long you plan to live in your new home or maintain your new investment property will give you a better basis upon which to locate your dream home. An expansive yard is an attractive feature for most homebuyers, but remember to consider the time and costs associated with maintaining extra features before submitting an offer on your new home. With a little planning, choosing a perfectly sized home is possible, and it is an important step when choosing the right home.

Decide upon which portions of your dream home there can be compromise. While you may not find everything you’ve dreamt of in a home, finding the most important features will help you find a home that’s more fitting for your needs.

Finding a dream home complete with all of your wants and needs inside of your budget is possible, but don’t be surprised if compromises need to be made when the time comes to submit an offer. Whether your dream location is the most important factor or another requirement guides your search, deciding upon the details upon which you don’t want to compromise will guide you to the best property for your needs. With the help of a qualified real estate agent, your housing search has the best possibility of ending with the right home for your needs.

Cora F. loves dog training and often writes about homes for sale in Georgetown, dog tricks, and the Austin music scene.

 

Sources:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeslifestyle/2012/08/29/how-to-decide-if-a-home-is-right-for-you/

http://www.investopedia.com/university/home/home1.asp

 

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Randy & Doyelene Gridley
Silvercreek Realty Group
1099 S Wells St. Suite 200
Meridian ID 83642
Randy's Direct Office: 208-859-7060
Fax: 208-323-8081

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