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Posted by Joyce Torelli on 2/20/2019

In today's real estate market, hardwood floors are a highly desired feature in a house. Potential buyers are often turned off by homes with carpeted floors because it's almost impossible to keep them clean. Time is not on your side when it comes to maintaining nice-looking carpeted floors!

No matter how careful you are, sooner or later someone's going to knock over a glass of grape juice or wine -- and that's only the short list of accidents waiting to happen! While dogs and cats can be a wonderful addition to any family, they are not a friend of floors -- either carpeted or hardwood.

In theory, hardwood floors are easier to clean than carpeting because of the absorbency factor. If your carpeting hasn't been treated with a stain-resistant chemical, it will quickly absorb stains, spills, and pet accidents faster than you can clean them up! Although the latest carpeting materials are much more stain resistant than earlier versions, spills that are not noticed and cleaned up quickly may cause permanent damage.

Spills, water, and pet urine can also wreak havoc on hardwood floors, so a quick response is essential to preventing damage. Here are a few other tips for keeping your floors looking clean and beautiful.

  • Door mats can be helpful in minimizing the amount of dirt and grit that gets tracked into your home. What homeowners and even housekeepers sometimes forget is that door mats need to be shaken out on a regular basis. If they're not, dirt, soil, and other debris will accumulate on the mats, causing them to create more of a problem than a solution! Door mats need to be replaced periodically, too, when they become too worn down or wet to be of any use.
  • Shoe removal: This is a difficult policy to enforce, but it will make house cleaning and floor maintenance easier and more effective. Whether you're talking about carpeting or hardwood floors, shoes are invariably going to track in dirt, grime, water, mud, and other miscellaneous contaminants!
  • The right cleaning methods: Although it's always a good idea to follow manufacturer recommendations when cleaning any type of flooring, hardwood floors often need to be treated with more care than their carpeted counterparts. Since there are a lot of ways to scratch, dent, or gouge hardwood floor surfaces, it's crucial to avoid trying to scrub away spills or stains with any abrasive material. To remove potentially damaging grit, floors should be regularly cleaned with a soft dust mop or broom with soft bristles. Ideally, your vacuum cleaner should also be padded on the bottom to avoid scratching the finish of your wood floors.
While any kind of flooring can be subject to wear and tear over time, the good news is that you can take preventative steps to protect your floors and keep them looking great for many years to come!





Posted by Joyce Torelli on 2/13/2019

The factor that has the most impact on your home search is your finances. Youíll need to save a significant amount of money. Itís not easy to save when you have continuous monthly bills and responsibilities. Read on for tips on how to get your finances under control in order to save the amount of money it takes to buy a home.  


Do A Budget  



Once you have decided to buy a home, the first thing you should do is take a good look at your finances. A budget is critical when you buy a house because it tells you how much youíll have to spend on your mortgage. Doing this ahead of time will allow you to maximize your income and make adjustments ahead of time as needed. Donít forget that even though youíre buying a home, you still need some savings in addition to all of your other monthly expenses. Your budget should be outlined as follows:


  • Necessities
  • Monthly utility spending 
  • Insurance bills
  • Entertainment expenses
  • Grocery spending


Basically, you want to write down how much money is coming in and where all of the money is going. Thatís a budget in a nutshell. See where you can cut back. What youíre left with is the amount you can save each month. You may want to do this on a percentage basis rather than a flat dollar amount. 


Get A Separate Account


The most straightforward things to do when you start saving for a home is to put all of your money for your house fund into a separate account. This way you can automatically transfer money in, and youíll be less likely to spend any of the money if you donít see it.


Sacrifice The Small Things


Can you take some hand me downs for your kids? Maybe you can start packing a lunch for work instead of buying lunch. Can you cut the cord on cable? It may be hard to sacrifice small luxuries, but these expenses can add up. If you cut these out of your budget, youíll have a little more wiggle room to save for a home purchase. Youíll be surprised how much money you can save just by doing little things. Your morning latte is probably around $5. You could save at least $25 per week by merely making coffee at home! Thatís a saving of over 1,200 per year!   


While saving for a home can seem overwhelming, if you take it in small chunks, youíll be see the results of your efforts rather quickly. 





Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Joyce Torelli on 2/6/2019

You may have heard about home warranties, but are unsure of what they are. A home warranty is an excellent addition to your home insurance and has a particular function. When you buy a home, the last thing you want to worry about is things breaking or malfunctioning in the house after you buy it. Buyers fear the expenses they may incur if items in the home start to break down shortly after the property becomes theirs. As a first-time homebuyer, a home warranty can be incredibly helpful since you may need a crash course on home maintenance. 


Depending on whatís the norm for homebuyers locally, either the buyer or the seller will pay for the home warranty. Some sellers pay for warranties up front as an extra assurance to the buyer of the property theyíre about to purchase. Sellers also use this as an excellent tactic to ďwash their handsĒ of the property. The buyer wonít need to contact the seller if something goes wrong with the property. A home warranty is a fairly inexpensive way to show buyers that appliances and the home itself have been well taken care of. Occasionally, real estate agents will give buyers a home warranty as a gift for their business. Usually, this is done for higher-end homes. 


Home warranties arenít very expensive. They usually range in price around a few hundred dollars in cost. The cost is based on a yearly rate and can be renewed each year at a slightly higher premium. 


How Do The Warranties Work?


The warranty provider works with specific companies for different purposes. When the homeowner calls the warranty provider to let them know thereís a problem, the service provider will call the homeowner to make arrangements to fix the problem. If an appliance cannot be repaired, the warranty company may replace the item. There are usually small service fees associated with these repairs and replacements.


Is Anything Not Covered?


A home warranty will not cover numerous items around the house. These items include:


Outdoor fixtures and plumbing

Indoor plumbing fixtures

Pools

Hot tubs

Some appliances may not be covered

Heating system

Water heaters

Cooling system

Fans


Home warranty plans can vary based on your location and the type of policy. Make sure you review whatís covered before you finalize any home warranty. Itís an individual choice that homeowners make to have a peace of mind when moving into a new place.  




Tags: first home   warranty  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Joyce Torelli on 1/30/2019

Buying a new home is a big decision and one that many wonder if they are truly ready for.

Use this guide to determine if you are ready to start house hunting:

  1. Thirty percent of your income can cover a mortgage payment for your ideal home

The ability to afford month to month payments is incredibly important. Staying within the recommended percentages when it comes to budgeting helps you failsafe your finances from potential future hardship. At the very least you want your mortgage payment to be as close as possible to the thirty percent marker of your income.

  1. Youíre in a secure job.

In addition to having an income that can sufficiently support the month to month payments you also want to ensure that that income is a reliable source. Signs of a reliable income are that you have been with your current company for longer than two years with several months at the same pay rate.

  1. You have a great credit score

This one shouldnít come as any surprise to you. A great credit score will not just increase your eligibility for financing but also for a great interest rate. If your score falls in the ďgoodĒ region you can take steps to bring up your score fairly quickly, as far as scores go,  before applying.

  1. You have a down payment saved up

A down payment is a big savings goal to tackle. So if youíve already done the math and saved up a sizeable sum for the downpayment on your dream house you are most certainly ready! Ideally, this amount should be around twenty percent of the sale price.

  1. Youíve prepared a prospective budget

If you already have a down payment saved you at the very least have part of this step taken care of! Knowing your future homeowners budget doesnít just include your typical expenses plus a mortgage payment. You also want to factor in homeowners insurance, potential HOA (Homeowner Association) fees, and maintenance costs.

  1. Youíre ready to build equity - or itís your next financial goal

For those scratching their heads, equity is the amount of your home that you actually own. This is the ratio between your homes value, the amount you have paid and the amount you owe. As you continue to make payments on your home your equity grows. Equity can also increase if the value of your property increases.

  1. Youíre ready for stability

If youíre ready to settle down in one place for at least the next five years youíre looking for stability. Perhaps youíre ready to put down some roots and start a family or become a part of a local community. Owning your own home provides you a steady living expense, builds equity and gives you (almost) complete control of your lifestyle.






Posted by Joyce Torelli on 1/23/2019

If you have been looking for homes online for some time, you may be tired of viewing them on a screen. While online home searches are helpful and a perfect starting point for finding a home, you need to see a home to get a feel for it. Whether you are attending open houses or have set up private showings with your real estate agent, there are certain things that you can do to make the most of touring potential homes. You only have a limited amount of time to see a home. Your agent wonít wait around for you all day while you explore every nook of a house and people still live in the house. Thereís a good chance someone may need to come back in at some point! Read on for tips on how to use your time and resources wisely when it comes to searching for a home to buy.


Donít Waste Time


First, you should select the right homes to view. Donít waste your time looking at properties that you canít afford or arenít the right size for you. From your online search, make a list of properties youíd like to see in person. You can narrow down your search quickly by doing the following:


Carefully read property details

Check out the photos of the home in detail

Find out from your realtor if there are any comparable properties for sale


Know What You Can Afford


If you canít afford a property, donít waste your time looking at it. Be realistic in your home search, finding the properties that will suit your needs and your budget. Remember that many factors go into a listing price for a home including the location, the size of the house, the neighborhood, the amenities, and more. The bottom line is to stick with homes that fall in your budget to make your search much more manageable.


Work With Your Realtor To Schedule Home Showings


Make use of your agent. They can schedule private showings for you or alert you to upcoming open houses. You can send your agent a handful of listings that youíre interested in, and they can make a schedule for you to maximize your time seeing properties in specific locations.


Hiring a real estate agent is an essential step in buying a home. They can help you to find and view the properties that could potentially come your next home.    





Categories: Uncategorized