Miriam Keri's Blog
When you own a home, you take over the landlord responsibilities of maintaining the property. That means you change out the lightbulbs and call the plumber when the drain plugs. Twice a year you faithfully check the smoke detectors and replace their batteries. You even take care of the lawn or hire a professional landscaping service to do it for you. But a few areas need regular attention of which you may be unaware. These sneaky tasks, when left undone, can end up costing a wad of cash down the line.
Schedule service for these items into your life:
- Gutters and downspouts: Because you can't see into them, you tend to forget that a gutter is just a long trough. In the Fall it fills with leaves and debris that need clearing out so that it can do its job—moving water off your roof and away from your foundation. When the gutters become blocked, water piles up endangering your roof and eaves with water damage. If the water freezes, it may cause an ice dam that will further damage your roof. Debris left in the gutter clogs the drains too, so water can't drain away from the roof. If it overflows and falls near the foundation, the extra water and potential ice can wreak havoc with your home's support structure.
- Roofs after a storm: If you live in an area prone to thunderstorms or tornados, the resultant hail and wind can damage your roof even if you can't see it. Hail hits the composite shingles causing divots not visible from the ground. If the divots are deep, or if an area gets hit more than once, your roof develops holes that cause leaks. The wind lifts the shingles away from the roof deck. If the shingle bends, it becomes weak and eventually breaks off. At least once a year, and particularly after a major storm, have your roof inspected. Any certified roofer can do this for you, but if you see granules from your roofing tile on the ground, call your insurance adjuster to see if you need a new roof.
- Water heater: In addition to periodically checking water lines and the thermostat, your water heater needs the sediment drained from the bottom of the tank. Simple to do for standard water heaters, connect a hose to the fixture at the bottom of the tank and drain out some of the water—perhaps five gallons. The sediment resting at the bottom will flow out with the water, and your tank will be more efficient for the next year.
- Air conditioning condensers: If your A/C is outside, weeds and vines may grow into the fins, blocking the airflow and causing the unit to overhead. Keep all plants and debris away from the unit. Protect if from animals too as shedding animal hairs can clog the grate. On the inside, change the filter monthly for best results and to keep your ducts free from dust and lint.
Owning a home is a wonderful responsibility to take seriously so that your forever home lasts you forever. If you are not able to carry out these inspections yourself, seek the assistance of certified contractors to help you.
Coffee or tea has been the question for centuries. Within the last 50 years, especially in the Western states with the rise of some many coffee cafes both single store and national chains the debate about the type of coffee can almost become a theological debate amongst people. It is no longer just the morning routine of setting up the coffee pot and pouring in some ground coffee from a metal can and adding hot water. The coffee experience at home and in a café is now elevated to an art form for many.
Bring on the Fire
You must first figure out what it means by dark roast, blonde roast and so many other terms of roasting. Coffee beans are categorized by their roasting levels.
Each roast level brings out acidity determines the bitterness level and overall taste. The darker the roast, the lower acidity will be present. Once you find the level, you enjoy you can now discover what subtle flavors different beans offer. A quality bean to start with is essential. You can find beans from just about anywhere around the world. Giving you an almost unlimited variety of tastes.
Bring out the Flavors
A light roast will taste fruity and sometimes floral. Some names for this type of roast are half or light city and cinnamon. A medium roast, of course, is a deeper roast producing a taste that showcases the natural flavor range of that particular bean. This roast can give off a caramel taste and is not as bright tasting as the light roast. This is a good roast for the novice coffee drinker. Because of lower acidity, the taste is often smooth with little after taste. This roast can be referred to as American roast, city or regular roast. Medium-Dark roast produces a modest bittersweet aftertaste. This roast is for someone who prefers a slight bittersweet and deeper flavors. This roast can be referred to as Full city. A dark roast is the least acidic. The bean is oily and produces a noticeable bitterness. If you prefer a robust deep flavor, the dark roast is for you. Dark roast is often referred to as High, New Orleans, Italian, French. If you get an espresso drink, it is very likely that a dark roast bean is being used.
So, the next time that you discover yourself in your local grocery store coffee aisle, pick up a different flavor of coffee bean, brew and sip away.
Fireplaces are often seen as a necessity for homebuyers. It adds charm and decorative as well as physical warmth to a home. More than half of new homes have a fireplace. If your home doesn’t have a fireplace, you may wonder if installing and maintaining a fireplace is worth it. Will it add value to your home? There are a few things you need to consider before you decide to take on this project.
Keep in mind that fireplaces are not directly accounted for during a home appraisal. Yet, they add value to a home. Home buyers will pay more for homes that have fireplaces. Depending on the location of your home, a fireplace can increase the value of the property by a significant amount- up to thousands of dollars.
The location of a home really has a direct effect on how much value it adds it a home. When added to other amenities in your home, a fireplace can compound to make the home appear more luxurious. A fireplace is a must in a higher end home.
On the flip side, more modest homes may not need fireplaces. If a home needs many other improvements, a fireplace may not add much to the property. The amount of value a fireplace adds is very much dependent on the type of property it’s being added to.
It’s possible to add a fireplace to just about any home. The cost will vary by a large amount ranging anywhere from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Specific requirements may exist within your city dictating how fireplaces must be installed. Keep in mind that everything from the type of fireplace that’s being installed to the height of the chimney must be considered. Look into things like:
- Emission limits
- Chimney height
- Construction requirements
- Type of installation
Each requirement will add a bit more cost to the project, so it’s best to do some research beforehand.
Getting The Maximum Value
If you decide that adding a fireplace is the right decision for your property, there are a few ways to get the maximum return on your investment. First, you should build the fireplace in the room of your home that’s most used. This space would most likely be the living room or family room in most cases. Keep in mind that adding a fireplace can drastically change the look of a room.
Whether you’re adding a fireplace or putting in an initial one, you can be sure that it will add value to your home in the form of attraction and home price.
You likely aspire to sell your house as quickly as possible. However, you may not need to set a deadline for selling your residence to achieve your desired result. In fact, there are lots of things you can do to speed up the home selling journey, including:
1. Boost Your House's Curb Appeal
A home that boasts amazing curb appeal may draw buyers' attention as soon as it becomes available. Lucky for you, it may be easy to bolster your house's curb appeal in no time at all.
To improve your home's curb appeal, you may want to complete assorted home exterior upgrades. Mowing the grass and eliminating weeds, for example, could make your front lawn stand out to buyers. Or, if you have cracked or damaged home siding, you can always devote time and energy to repair it.
Of course, if you need help with home exterior enhancements, you can reach out to home improvement professionals. If you have home improvement pros at your side, you can accelerate the process of upgrading your house's curb appeal.
2. Establish a Competitive Initial Asking Price
The initial asking price of your home should account for the age and condition of your residence, along with the current state of the real estate market. That way, you can set a price for your home that falls in line with buyers' expectations.
Generally, it helps to conduct an appraisal before you list your residence. An appraisal report is based on a wide range of factors, including the prices of comparable homes in your city or town. Therefore, if you perform an appraisal, you could receive a property valuation that helps you determine how to price your home competitively.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
As a home seller, it never hurts to receive expert support as you navigate the property selling journey. Fortunately, real estate agents are available nationwide, and these housing market professionals can offer great insights into what it takes to quickly sell a house.
A real estate agent first will learn about you and what you hope to accomplish. Next, a real estate agent will develop a plan designed to help you achieve your home selling goals. You and your real estate agent then will put this plan into action and adjust it as needed. Perhaps best of all, if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent can help you decide whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal.
Furthermore, a real estate agent can help you bolster your home's curb appeal, establish the optimal initial asking price for your home and much more. And if you have any concerns during the house selling journey, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them right away.
For those who want to speed up the home selling journey, it helps to prepare. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can list your home, ensure it generates significant interest from buyers and move quickly to finalize a house sale.
For those who want to enjoy a quick, seamless homebuying experience, it helps to prepare as much as possible. In fact, those who plan ahead may be better equipped than others to avoid various challenges throughout the homebuying cycle.
From struggling to obtain home financing after a seller accepts your offer to purchase to struggling to find the right home in one of your preferred cities and towns, myriad issues may make it tough for you to achieve your desired results on the homebuying journey. Fortunately, we're here to help you minimize risk as you pursue your dream residence.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you avoid a homebuying fiasco.
1. Establish Homebuying Criteria
If you enter the housing market with criteria in hand, you can narrow your house search. As a result, you may be able to accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner.
Think about where you want to live. Then, you can hone your home search and focus exclusively on houses in specific cities and towns.
It also may be beneficial to establish a list of home must-haves and wants. This list can help you determine exactly what you want to find in your dream house so you can map out your home search accordingly.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
There is no need to wait to get a mortgage. Thankfully, lenders are available that can help you get approved for a mortgage before you kick off your home search.
Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions – you'll be glad you did. This will allow you to learn about the ins and outs of different mortgage options.
Furthermore, don't hesitate to ask questions about all of the mortgage options at your disposal. Because if you understand exactly how a mortgage works, you can make an informed mortgage decision.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
When it comes to avoiding problems during the homebuying journey, it generally is a good idea to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional will offer comprehensive support at each stage of the homebuying journey. By doing so, a real estate agent will ensure you can quickly and effortlessly navigate the housing market.
For example, if you want to find a house in a small town, a real estate agent will help you explore residences that match your expectations. He or she will set up home showings and keep you informed about open house events. Plus, if you identify your dream house, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase.
Let's not forget about the housing market expertise that a real estate agent possesses, either. If you ever have concerns or questions as you pursue your dream house, a real estate agent is happy to address them at any time.
Want to discover your dream residence? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can reduce the risk of encountering problems as you search for your ideal residence.