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Top Ten Most Important Home Repairs Before Selling

by Randy Gridley


Stop Leaky Faucets

A leaky faucet requires immediate attention as it is a visible issue which makes noise. It is not a difficult fix and should be done right away. Begin by shutting off the water supply going to the faucets. This is done by turning the valves present under the sink. Move onto testing the faucet to ensure all of the water has been shut off entirely. While peering under the skin, it is important to have a glance at the surrounding walls and floor inside the sink cabinet for moisture. It is important to check and assess the supply lines leading from the disposal and dishwasher. If those areas are moist, it is best to call a professional. 

It is important to use a new, single-arm, rotating faucet. To put it in simple terms, this is a faucet which enables hot and cold water to run. Check the brand and purchase a kit to rebuild the faucet (comes for $50) at local hardware store. There is a metal ball on a stem present inside the faucet arm, this is designed to help the handle swivel as the water flows in all directions. The kit is designed to encompass 6-12 parts which are most likely to fail.  These include parts such as springs, O rings, metal balls, and gaskets. Instead of trying to diagnose the problem, it is best to replace all of them at once. Begin by dismantling the faucet and putting the parts down in order on a paper towel or sheet. Take a photo or draw a sketch to ensure the reassemble process is easy. Replace the worn out parts, put the faucet back to its original state, and turn the water supply back on. 

When it comes to older faucets with independent cold and hot water lines, it is important to shut off the water under the skin before taking the faucet apart. begin by removing the washers (rings made of plastic, brass, or rubber), place them in a separate bag, and bring them to the local hardware store to find replacements. The goal is to reassemble the faucet and turn the water back on. 

If this is a difficult task to complete as it can be for some, it is best to call a plumber. The plumber is able to install all of the new parts within an hour. They will generally bill you for 90 minutes however. 

Dinged Baseboards Renewal 

Baseboards that are worn out tend to take away from the home's appearance. These little things do matter as they tend to stand out a lot. The first course of action is to clean them for any smudges and/or scrapes from pets and toddlers. A quality solution for this step is to use the 'Mr. Clean Magic Eraser' sponge as it does the charm for painted surfaces. Begin by filling in the dents using spackle and sand the baseboards to complete smoothness and repaint them. It is easy to lose the name of the original paint color used for the baseboards. In this cause chip a little off (nothing more than a coin-sized amount), put it into an envelope, and bring it to the paint store. They will match it for you using the latest computer technology at hand. 

Primer is important before painting. It is not good enough to retouch small areas. You should be painting all of the baseboard from one corner to the other. It is better to go with an eggshell finish (washable). The reason for going with white is because it makes the trim look clean and crisp. 

Repairing Cabinet Scratches 

Unpainted woodwork does not look pleasant to the naked eye and applying products to even out the surface color is important. Old English Scratch Cover or Tibet Almond Sticks are good for getting rid of those cover scratches. These can be found at the local hardware store. 

The almond stick is designed to go on clear, but still cover the scratches that are present. The almond stick is best for shallow surface scratches especially on darker surfaces. It will not work for every case and tends to fade as time goes on. Thus, you have to reapply it once in a while to maintain the highest quality. 

Old English has a separate formula for darker and lighter wood. This tends to be oily, so you have to be careful. It is best to start practicing with the product in the corners instead of right in the middle where a mistake is more visible. The worst mistake would be to use dark stain on lighter wood. When done, polish the wood cabinets using lemon oil.

10 Must-do Repairs Before Selling Article Three Of 4

by Randy Gridley


6. Replace damaged vinyl flooring

Make sure to inspect all the vinyl on the floors in your bathrooms. Check for loose joints or spots of discoloration which may indicate that your floor is being damaged by moisture. If you need a new floor, you will most likely want to have a professional do the actual work, which will probably cost at least $400 or more. However, if you prepare the floor yourself, you can probably save up to half of the cost.

Use a small pry bar to pull the baseboards back from the walls as you take them off. Then, use a larger pry bar to pull the flooring up. It was probably nailed, stapled or glued to the underlayment. Finally, you will need to pull up the underlayment, which is usually made of layered plywood or particle board.
While you are waiting for the installation of the new floor, you can stay busy sanding and repainting the baseboards. The job will look sensational when it’s done. Linoleum is another great choice for flooring. It is made from pine resin, linseed oil, sawdust and other binders that are natural. Usually, using it can add about 30% to 40% to a $400 remodel.

7. Reseal the toilet

Although some flooring installers will not take out and then reinstall the toilet, this is something that should be done when replacing the floor. You will be able to save money if you pull the toilet yourself. You could easily save yourself $200 and up on the $85 per hour (with one and one-half hour minimum charge) of a plumber, if you pull the toilet. 

The seals around the base of the toilet may need to be replaced even if you are not going to replace the flooring. How do you know if the seals need to be replaced? Usually the floor around the base of the toilet is discolored or moist and sometimes the toilet tends to rock when a person sits on it. If these things happen, the seal is most likely broken. Another sign that the toilet should be reinstalled is if the nuts that keep the toilet in place are corroded. 

Make sure you turn off the water supply before beginning to work. There should be a faucet behind the toilet and this is the knob you should turn off. Next, hold down the handle and flush the toilet. Make sure you hold the handle down long enough to drain out as much of the water as you can. Unscrew the bolts that attach the toilet to the floor with a wrench. 

Don’t try to move the toilet without help. They are cumbersome and heavy, so try to get someone to help you. They can also be cracked easily and that can really create a mess for you. Put a bunch of old towels or cushions in the bathtub and put the toilet there, being careful to let it drip carefully into the tub. Now, find two wax toilet seals, sometimes called gaskets. These are usually about $3 each. One of the seals will shape itself to the sewer pipe and the second is just a plain wax circle that you will put right on top of the first one. While you’re at the store, buy two new bolts, which are about $1.50 each. When you return home, take off the old gaskets. Put the new, shaped gasket into the opening of the sewer pipe first. Then lay the second seal right over it so the toilet will be able to completely fill the space. There should be no gaps. 

Now you can gently put the toilet back down over the seals. Screw the bolts in, including tightening them. Then hook up the water supply and caulk around the base of the toilet.

10 Repairs You Must Do Before You Sell Your House Part 2

by Randy Gridley

3.  Caulk and clear the gutters.

Get up on your ladder on a day when it's not raining and clear out all of the debris from the gutters. This will allow water to freely flow. While you are there, re-caulk the end caps on the gutters.  The ends of seamless gutters have caps on them that are caulked and crimped.  Old caulk may allow drain water leaks to drip down on the siding of your house.

To get started, dry the clean gutter out.  The aluminum needs to be dry in order for the caulk to bond well to the surface.  Butyl caulks that are designed for outdoor conditions should be used.  Alternatively, you can ask for advice at your local home improvement store on what is the best product to use.  The color of the caulk doesn't matter because it is the inside of the gutter that you will be caulking.  Squeeze a generous amount of caulk out.  Smear it around using your finger inside the gutter cap's seams.  Nobody is going to see your work, so you don't need to worry about how it looks.

4.  Patch up nail holes as needed and repaint.

Inside the house, patch up any nails holes that are in the walls.  Get lightweight putty at the hardware store.  Use a putty knife to apply it, filling each hole and then scraping any excess putty off of the wall.  Follow the package directions and then wait for the putty to dry.  Next, sand the putty down until it is flush to the wall and smooth.  Use primer to paint any repaired spots.  For anything larger than a nail hole, call a handyman.  Blending larger repairs in a wall are not as easy to do.  Obvious patches can send the message that you are trying to hide things.  Repaint the whole wall.  Otherwise, you probably won't be able to cover up the touched-up patch.

5.  Get rid of any cats and smokers.

Okay just kidding, kind of. Smells really can be a deal killer.  Whenever strangers come into your house, one of the first things they're going to notice are smells.  Do not attempt to hide bad smells behind plug-in room fresheners, potpourri or scented candles.  Potential buyers are already suspicious about potential problems, and if they get a whiff of one of these they will think you are trying to hide something.

Deep clean using bleach in the bathrooms and kitchen.  Then re-caulk cracks and re-grout tiles between floors, counters, toilets, tubs and sinks to seal the moisture out that can encourage the growth of bacteria, mildew and smelly mold.

You have some extra work that needs to be done if smokers have been living in the home.  To get rid of nicotine film and smoke from the walls, some experts recommend washing the walls using a cleaner that has an alkaline builder, like ammonia, along with a glycol solvent (you can find this at a paint store).  Use Kilz primer for painting an undercoat onto a dry, clean wall.  This will seal nicotine smells in.  Complete the job by applying a fresh coat of paint.  To further freshen your home's air, change your furnace filter.

Send smokers away. Okay just kidding.  You should, however, ban smoking in the house as well as the garden  The smell can cling to clothing, decks and porches.  When a garden is littered in cigarette butts, it can lose its appeal.  Board your cat away from the premises if possible while showing your house.  Clean your litter box every day at a minimum.

10 Necessary Repairs Before Selling Your Home (article one of 4)

by Randy Gridley

Some of the basic home improvement are usually low-cost repairs that can give your home a better sale value even in a tough market.
Sale a home in today’s economic climate is a tough affair. Many of the people who put up their homes for sale usually complain of how hard it is to make a sale. They opt to bring in someone with the knowledge of selling property to sell off their home. However, those small repairs that were avoided need to be address before even place your home up for sale.

Expect buyers to do an inspection of the home. In that regard, you will need to consider these 10 basic low-cost repairs:

1. Repair entry red flags on doors such as sagging screens

The entrance to any home speaks volumes about what to expect in side. Selling your home should be on this vantage point; having an entrance that builds a good first impression to all possible buyers. Remember that most buyers will check for any poor maintenance to avoid shouldering the burdens of doing repairs to their newly acquired home.

Therefore, work on the entrance and do all necessary repairs. If you have a sagging door screen it would be prudent to replace it with a new one since the aging metal supports will not be sturdy enough to hand a repair. Check on the hinges, locks, and screws and replace any worn out parts.

View your home as a new investment and you need to inspect it. This will not just be about the wall, decor, and installation but also on other features like the flower bed, the backyard, the garage. Ensure that everything is clean and in the best condition possible.

Know the monetary value of your home

Remember that first impressions matter and the entrance to your home will be the selling point. So, what color will work? You can take drive around the neighborhood to check on what your neighbors have on the doors. One color might be what one neighborhood prefer but the same color might seem too much to another. You can work with a different color from that of the homes exterior but ensure the two will complement each other.

2. Do some touch-ups on the roof.

Sagging gutters and missing or broken roof shingles only speak of a problematic time ahead with constant repairs being a common thing. Many buyers grapple with this as it is one of the biggest fears that when searching for that ideal home. Pay attention to the roof. Do not wait for the buyers to point out the roofing issues you have when what they should be focusing on is where to place their furniture.

Calling the experts to come give a few necessary touch-ups to the roof. You might be surprised that other issues like mold and moss growing in the roofs might also be evident. That is why cleaning the roof is also a good call. Calling in the roofing experts will be to your benefit as they are better placed to tell you what need to be done to bring back the loss glory and beauty of your home’s roof. Nevertheless, you need to check on the reputation of the guys you call in to repair the roof. Amateurs will only end up being an expense that would have otherwise been avoided if you took some time to do some background check.
(Continued on article 2 of 4)

Great Do It Yourself Rental Renovation Ideas

by Randy Gridley

There are many people who use rental properties as a long term investment. In order to keep the property modern, it is necessary to do occasional renovations. Often, these projects have a tendency to run over budget, no matter who is performing the job. If you have a rental property that you are considering renovating, make certain that you have some extra money put back that can cover any unforeseen expenses that may occur during the project.

When renovating kitchens, it is wise to be cautious about the amount of money invested. These types of projects can certainly increase the value of a home. However, the increase in worth is unlikely to equal the money invested. If the return in value is not there, it can still be a good idea to invest in some renovations to the kitchen area. It is one of the most important rooms that potential renters will look at. One that is up to date and contains modern appliances can be rented for more money and is at an increased likelihood to retain long-term renters.

Some great and inexpensive renovations you can do yourself:

For cabinets that are in relatively sound shape but have a lackluster appearance, a new coat of a modern paint color can have amazing effects. After removing them, you will need to lightly sand all of the surfaces so the paint will adhere better. Then, apply two coats of paint and allow them to dry thoroughly. All you need to do is re-install them for a beautiful and inexpensive kitchen upgrade. It should run less than one thousand dollars, even with quality paint. Make certain to cover the under and insides as well.

New cabinet hinges can make the entire cabinetry appear new. These are inexpensive and can look nice for exterior hinges. In order to avoid potential problems, make certain that the existing holes are the same size as the screws in the new hinges.

To make them stand out even more, matching kitchen handles are certain to be a hit. These do not cost very much either. When coupled with the hinges and a new paint job for the cabinets, the entire kitchen will appear better.

Real Estate Investment – Calling the Right Shots

by Randy Gridley

Things can go south in your real-estate investment even when you are sure that the odds are in your favor. Perils are always lurking, and taking the right measures to ensure they do not even pounce unexpectedly on your investments or otherwise is important. These measures should take effect before you even embark on investing and continue after the acquisition. They will help you call the right shots that reduce risks. Some of the measures include:

Financial reliability

Working from a smart business angle will ensure you make the right decisions. One such angle is making decisions based on your cash flow and that of the intended investment. You should make sure that you get your investment returns or even more from the real estate acquisition. Pen off on an investment deal only after you have analyzed its cash flow potential. Avoid all properties that have a negative cash flow.

Avoid the fixer-uppers

Properties that require a bit of touch-ups come cheap but the repairs can turn out to be an expensive affair. Hence, you need to avoid all those sweet investment deals that will need some fixer-uppers. Rope the notion that you can cheaply purchase a broke property, give it a face-lift, and sell it at a profit more so if you do not know how to estimate the costs of repair. Leave this kind of investment calls to the experts and stick to buying properties that are in good shape.

Secure long-term financing

While the acquisition of a property may don via several financing options, it is a financially wise call to do this with a single bout. Refinancing the property will only amount to more money being poured into the investment, a thing that can be effectively addressed if you do this with  just one move. Doing this will also give you financial comfort void of those interest rates that would always be hanging over your investment’s cash flow.


Make sure your title documents are in order

The title insurance policy, title abstract, and the schedule of exclusion should always be documented. You should review them before and after the acquisition of the property just to affirm that they are all in order. You need to do this with your title insurance agent, going over the documents and even conduct a survey of the property to identify any negative issues before you escrow for the investment.

Property and liability insurance

Insuring your property is a safety measure is something that you should don within a right financial cost in relation to the property in question and your financial status. Take time to sit around the table with your insurer and discuss about the limiting of any or all significant impacts of ability to finance your newly insured property investments.  You need to be prepared in case you are rendered incapacitated by an injury, accident, or disease.

Exercise proper management

You need to have a firm idea of the type of investment for the new property. If you are doing rentals, then ensure you have good tenants and strive to keep them for the long-term. This will be easy if you maintain your property in good condition as you resolve the tenants’ issues in a timely manner. Just do for them what you would expect another to do for you.

The above measures are a sane way of limiting the financial risks that would otherwise affect your real estate investment. They save you on both time and money. Take time out to take them to several long-term investors.  Pick their brains on ways that one can make the most financial gains from a property investment, and you will discover many things that you can apply or avoid in regards to securing the financial future or your real estate investment.

Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6




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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

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