Archives for 2012

YOUR HOME DECEMBER 2012 NEWSLETTER

MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!! 

TIPS AND TRENDS FOR HOMEOWNERS, BUYERS AND SELLERS

WINTER SELLING TIPS

While the weather outside might be frightful, selling your home during the winter doesn’t have to be.  Fewer buyers are shopping for homes at this time of year, but those who are searching tend to be serious buyers, housing experts say.  And that’s good news if you are selling your home.  The following tips from Bankrate.com and Coldwell Banker can help you get your house ready for winter showings.

First, pay attention to your home’s exterior.  Make sure outdoor lights and doorbells work properly.  If you live in a cold-weather region, clear the sidewalks of snow and ice before visitors arrive.  Plow the driveway as well as sections of the street so people have a place to park their car.

Holiday decorations are okay, but don’t overdo it.  Some REALTORS® believe that a decorated home helps buyers envision whether it could become their next home, but keep decorations light and simple, such as a strand of garland wrapped around the stair railings and a wreath on the door.

Indoors, set the thermostat to 70 degrees.  Cold houses don’t sell, and shivering buyers won’t stick around to make an offer.  A few scented candles, a holiday wreath and a crackling fire can create a warm, welcoming environment.  A furnished, organized home appeals to buyers too, so make sure the beds are made and counter tops and closets are clutter-free.

MUST-HAVE KITCHEN GADGETS

Whether cooking at home or shopping for someone who does, the right kitchen appliances can make it easier to prepare meals. The experts at Epicurious.com recommend a few must-have kitchen gadgets.

Professional chefs and savvy home cooks alike need a reliable knife for everyday use.  Epicurious.com recommends the Global G-2 8-inch stainless steel knife, which is easy to use and ideal for precise dicing and heavy-duty chopping.

A mandolin makes it easy to slice, crinkle-cut or waffle-cut veggies such as potatoes, carrots and cucumbers. Epicurious.com suggests the DeBuyer swing mandolin, which has a smart handle designed to protect fingers, nonskid feet, and stainless-steel blades that can be easily removed for cleaning.

A standing mixer is one of the most useful appliances home chefs can have, and Epicurious.com recommends the KitchenAid Artisan 5-quart model. It takes up little counter space and has a tilting head for easy access to the bowl. Optional attachments do everything from grind meat to juicing fruits and vegetables.

Immersion blenders, such as the Cuisinart Smart Stick, make it easy to prepare soups and sauces. Home cooks can puree soups right in the pot without the danger or hassle of transferring hot liquids, and sauces can be thickened and emulsified without removing them from the stovetop.

Slow cookers, which were popular in the 1970s, are kitchen staples for many of today’s savvy home chefs. For family-size meals, Epicurious.com recommends Cuisinart’s 6.5-quart digital slow cooker which features a programmable 24-hour timer and high, low and stay-warm settings.

By having just a few great gadgets on hand, homeowners can make sure their kitchen is equipped to help them make great at-home meals for years to come.

Thank you to all our clients who attended the Team Watts annual Poinsettia Social!  Poinsettia sales benefited the Tega Cay Lion’s Club and food donations helped the Fort Mill Care Center!   We’ve included a few pictures from this year’s event below!

fast fact >> >>75 percent of home buyers say transportation costs are a key factor in choosing where they live.

Source: 2012 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Home Buyer and Seller Survey

BROUGHT TO YOU BY BARBARA WATTS®,

A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL OF RESIDENTIAL SPECIALISTS

THE TIPPING POINT

There are no hard and fast rules on holiday tipping, experts say. How much to tip, or whether to tip at all, depends on several factors, including the quality and frequency of service, the relationship you have with the provider, how long they have worked for you, where you live (since amounts can be higher in large cities), and your budget.

The Emily Post Institute offers the following guidelines for holiday tipping, but also advises consumers to let common sense and the holiday spirit be your guide.  If financial circumstances limit what you can give, a handwritten note is always appropriate.

• Babysitter – One evening’s pay, plus a small gift from your child(ren)

• Barber/Hair stylist – Cost of one haircut or a gift

• Child’s teacher – Check the school’s policy.  If allowed, give a small token gift of appreciation, not cash

• Day care providers – $25 to $70 for each staff member, plus a small gift from your child for providers who give direct care to your child(ren)

• Dog walker – One week’s pay or a gift

• Pet groomer – Cost of one session or a gift

• Personal fitness trainer – Up to the cost of one session

• Housekeeper/maid service – Up to one week’s pay or a gift

• Doorman – $15 to $80

• Garage attendant – $10 to $30

• Massage therapist – Up to the cost of one session or a gift

• Handyman service – $15 to $40

• Yard/garden worker – $20 to $50 per worker

Say Yes to CRS

Buying a home is one of the biggest and most emotional decisions you will ever make.  So it’s important to work with someone who can provide sound advice and a steady, guiding hand when you need it.  That’s why a CRS agent is the best person for the job.

A Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) is among the top 3 percent of all agents in the country.  CRS agents have achieved a high volume of transactions and advanced training in areas such as business planning, real estate investing, marketing and technology.  They must also maintain membership in the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and abide by its Code of Ethics.  Why work with anyone else when you can work with a CRS agent?

DID YOU KNOW?  U.S. Post Office mail carriers may not accept cash, checks, gift cards or other forms of currency from customers.

Source:  EmilyPost.com

Do you know someone who is thinking about buying or selling a home?  Please mention my name.

This newsletter is for informational purposes only and should not be substituted for legal or financial advice.  If you are currently working with another real estate agent or broker, it is not a solicitation for business.

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK AND VISIT OUR BLOG TO ENTER THE TEAM WATTS MONTHLY GIVEAWAY!  STAY UP TO DATE, BY FOLLOWING OUR SOCIAL NETWORKS AND FIND OUT HOW TO WIN!!

WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/TEAMWATTS   

WWW.TEGACAYTODAY.COM

WWW.TWITTER.COM/TEAMWATTS

*If you would like to subscribe to receive this newsletter electronically please email teamwattsassistant@gmail.com  with your current email*

Barbara Watts, Realtor 

Licensed in NC & SC, GRI, ABR, e-Pro, C-CREC, CRS, 803-370-0876, barbarawattsteam@gmail.com

Megan Watts, Realtor

Licensed in NC & SC, ABR, GRI, SFR, AHWD, 803-554-8725, meganwattsteam@gmail.com

Dale Watts, Realtor 

Licensed in NC & SC, SRES, 803-370-4049, TegaCayDale@gmail.com

 

 

YOUR HOME NEWSLETTER, NOVEMBER 2012

TIPS AND TRENDS FOR HOMEOWNERS, BUYERS AND SELLERS

BATHING BEAUTY

The bathroom. Big or small, it’s one of the rooms in your house that gets a lot of attention — from you, your family and friends, and potential buyers. And as one of the most popular rooms in the house, it deserves an update every now and again. Even if renovations aren’t in your plans, there are some easy ways to update it on a budget. The key is to revamp focal points, such as mirrors or rugs, and then focus on unique additions. Consider these tips from Apartment Therapy.
Start by replacing the mirror — a bathroom staple — with a more contemporary shape and style. For big impact with minimal effort, reduce clutter on the bathroom counters by repurposing mason jars from the kitchen to hold makeup brushes and pencils, small combs or extra toothbrushes, and store makeup or other odds and ends in stylish mini baskets or ceramic pots. To refresh the counter without replacing it, change out the fixtures and accessories like the soap dispenser and towel rack.
Pull together the entire bathroom with complementary or matching hues for bathroom essentials such as towels, washcloths and a shower curtain, or stencil an easy, colorful border around the mirror or ceiling for an added pop of color.
Treat your bathroom like any other room in the house. Use framed postcards, vacation photos or pressed flowers to create inexpensive artwork to deck the walls. Consider repurposing other household items to give the bathroom a welcoming vibe, such as wine racks for rolled up towels.

SEASON PASS

The weather may not be as chilly in California or Florida as it is in New York or Wisconsin, but getting your home ready for a new season is still a good idea.  Put these “winterizing” tips from MSN Real Estate on your to-do list.                         Clean your gutters.  Autumn leaves are pretty, but once they fall, they can reveal their ugly side — by contributing to clogged gutters. Neglecting your gutters can eventually cause water to seep into your home. Rid gutters of leaves and other debris by hand (be sure to wear thick gloves) or with a scraper and rinse with a powerful hose to ensure proper drainage.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Plug leaks.  Avoid leaks from rain or snowstorms with a simple maneuver. On a windy day, walk around the inside of your home with a lit incense stick or candle and hold it near commonly drafty areas — windows, door frames, electrical outlets — and apply caulk or other sealants to gaps. For more protection against the elements, install storm windows or buy a window insulator kit (about $5 per window) for a cheaper fix.                                                                                                          Bundle up.  Insulation, no matter where you live, is a necessity. Experts say that regardless of where you call home, attics should contain a minimum of 12 inches of insulation.  Ensure that your insulation is adequate to help you avoid wasted money in heating or energy bills.

fast fact >> >> >> >> >>

Although Thanksgiving is largely known as an American holiday, Canadians celebrate the same holiday on the second Monday in October.

BROUGHT TO YOU BY BARBARA WATTS®, A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL OF RESIDENTIAL SPECIALISTS

GUEST LIST

The holidays bring food, gifts, good times — and guests. Hosting house guests can be joyful and stressful, but you can minimize the hassle with thoughtful planning and preparation. Consider these tips from Real Simple and Woman’s Day.

     Get your house in order. Cut out any unnecessary drama by discussing — and approving — house guests (who, how many and for how long) with your spouse and the rest of your household well before anyone arrives on your doorstep. Next, ensure you have adequate space for the number of guests you’ll have. Sleeping arrangements will be different depending on your guests’ situations. For example, young children may need to sleep in the same room as their parents, so you might want to provide a futon or air mattress.

     Stock your kitchen. Avoid the stress of creating daytime meals on the fly by stashing a few easily defrosted dishes that guests can help themselves to throughout the day, such as lasagna or baked mac ’n’ cheese. And be sure to set a specific dinnertime so everyone can plan accordingly. For breakfast, opt for small baskets of muffins or bagels with jellies and butter, and keep a pot of hot coffee with ample supplies of cream and sugar so that guests can wake up and feed themselves at their own pace.

     Don’t forget about it. Help your guests settle in by stocking up on the often-forgotten necessities, such as toothbrushes, travel-sized toothpaste and shower products, disposable razors and makeup-remover wipes. Equip each bedroom with extra linens, and add a scented candle or two to make rooms feel like a posh hotel.

Say Yes to CRS

Buying a home is one of the biggest and most emotional decisions you will ever make.  So it’s important to work with someone who can provide sound advice and a steady, guiding hand when you need it.  That’s why a CRS agent is the best person for the job.                                                                                                                                                                                                               A Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) is among the top 3 percent of all agents in the country.  CRS agents have achieved a high volume of transactions and advanced training in areas such as business planning, real estate investing, marketing and technology.  They must also maintain membership in the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and abide by its Code of Ethics.  Why work with anyone else when you can work with a CRS agent?

DID YOU KNOW?    The U.S. delivers more than 15 billion cards and packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.

Do you know someone who is thinking about buying or selling a home?  Please mention my name.  This newsletter is for informational purposes only and should not be substituted for legal or financial advice.  If you are currently working with another real estate agent or broker, it is not a solicitation for business.

LIKE TEAM WATTS ON FACEBOOK AND VISIT OUR BLOG TO ENTER THE TEAM WATTS MONTHLY GIVEAWAY!  STAY UP TO DATE, BY FOLLOWING OUR SOCIAL NETWORKS AND FIND OUT HOW TO WIN!!

 WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/TEAMWATTS     WWW.TEGACAYTODAY.COM  WWW.TWITTER.COM/TEAMWATTS

 *If you would like to subscribe to receive this newsletter electronically please email Megan with your current email*

Megan Watts, Realtor, Licensed Broker in NC & SC, ABR, GRI, SFR, AHWD, 803-554-8725, meganwattsteam@gmail.com

Dale Watts, Realtor, Licensed in NC & SC, SRES, 803-370-4049, TegaCayDale@gmail.com

Barbara Watts, Realtor, Licensed Broker in NC & SC, GRI, ABR, e-Pro, C-CREC, CRS, 803-370-0876, barbarawattsteam@gmail.comwww.BarbaraWatts.com

 

 

Open House This Saturday, October 20th, 12-2pm, 1193 Molokai Drive, Tega Cay, SC

JOIN US FOR AN OPEN HOUSE @ THIS BEAUTIFUL HOME !

 

1193 Molokai Drive

Tega Cay, SC 29708

October 20, 2012

12-2 PM

Directions:  Tega Cay Drive to left on Molokai Drive, home will be on the right

Your Home Newsletter October 2012

TIPS AND TRENDS FOR HOMEOWNERS, BUYERS AND SELLERS

UNIVERSALAPPEAL

As more homeowners choose to live in their homes longer as they age, many of them are improving their space with universal design features to help them live more comfortably. Before making any improvements, the National Aging in Place Council outlines the most common universal design modifications.
     
Are the entryways accessible? Adding a ramp or constructing no-step entries can help those confined to a wheelchair or who have trouble climbing stairs. Open floor plans and wider hallways make everyone feel less cramped and allow people to move around easily. Wider doorways provide easier access to other parts of the home and enable people to move large items in and out of the house.
     
To improve safety in bathrooms, install grab bars and elevated toilets. Make sure there’s enough turnaround space for someone in a wheelchair, and consider lowering the bathroom sink and adding a roll-in shower with multiple showerheads. A non-slip floor and shower surface will help everyone stay on their feet. In the master bedroom, consider reconfiguring an existing walk-in closet or building a new one with storage at different heights.
     
In the kitchen, lower cooking surfaces and countertops built at varying heights will appeal to home cooks who have difficulty bending over or have height limitations. Wall ovens and microwaves should be mounted at reachable heights, and storage and shelf space should be abundant and accessible.
     
Well-placed skylights and ceiling lights will aid those with poor vision and make the home more personable and safe. Installing rocker switches and door lever handles can aid people with poor hand strength as well as those carrying groceries into the house.
     
A universally-designed home provides smart solutions for everyday living that everyone can enjoy.

SHAPING UP AT HOME

A home gym may be a practical alternative for people who can’t afford a club membership, are short on time or don’t have access to a health club. With so many types of equipment available, it might be overwhelming to know what to buy for a home gym. These simple steps from Shape Magazine and the American Council on Exercise can guide you in the right direction.
      Start by finding a location for your home gym. If you don’t have a spare bedroom, basement or back porch, designate a corner of the home, such as the living room. Make the space as light and airy as possible. Natural lighting from windows and doors work best, but if there are few windows, add recessed lighting or a few lamps with soft white bulbs to provide the light you need.
     
Full-length mirrors on one wall can not only make the space appear larger, they can be used to monitor proper form during workouts. Bring in a few plants, such as ferns, spider plants and bamboo palms, to boost oxygen levels and naturally purify the air.
     
Even equipment designed for home use can take more room than you have. Equipment can take up as little as 10 square feet for a bike or 30 square feet for a treadmill, while a multi-station gym may require up to 200 square feet. If the space doesn’t allow for a treadmill and multi-gym, opt for a space-saving rack of dumbbells and several easily storable items such as a jump rope, resistance bands, stability ball and yoga mat.
     
Start by adding a few pieces of equipment and gradually build up the home gym over time. In no time, your body and bank account will thank you.

fast fact  >> >> >> >> >> One in five homebuyers spends $10,000 or more on move-related items, such as appliances and home furnishings.    Source: Zillow

BROUGHT TO YOU BY BARBARA WATTS®, A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL OF RESIDENTIAL SPECIALISTS

OUT WITH THE OLD

Homeowners depend on their kitchen appliances to run smoothly every day. But when the washing machine begins to overflow and the fridge won’t keep things cold, it might be tempting to replace the machines with newer models. Before shopping around, here are a few tips from retailers Lowe’s and Kellum Appliances to determine whether to repair or replace, keeping in mind age, repair costs and energy efficiency.
     First check the owner’s manual. If the appliance is relatively new, the warranty should cover the cost of replacement parts. Contact the appliance manufacturer or retailer where the item was purchased. They may be able to diagnose the problem and offer solutions.
     Next, figure the cost of repair and compare it to the cost of purchasing a new appliance. If the appliance is relatively new, replacing a part may be more practical than buying a new machine. But if the repair cost is more than half of the purchase price, replacement is a better option.
     Many of today’s models with the ENERGY STAR label are more energy-efficient, so upgrading to a newer model will save more money in the long run. Replacing a dishwasher manufactured before 1994 will save more than 10 gallons of water per cycle and about $30 to $40 per year in utility bills, while ENERGY STAR washers use 37 percent less energy and more than 50 percent less water than standard models.
     If finances dictate upgrading only one appliance, start with the refrigerator. Because it runs continuously every day, it uses more electricity than other appliances, so a replacement will see immediate savings in utility bills.

Work With a CRS Agent

Buying a home is one of the biggest and most emotional decisions you will ever make. So it’s important to work with someone who can provide sound advice and a steady, guiding hand when you need it. That’s why a CRS agent is the best person for the job.

A Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) is among the top 3 percent of all agents in the country. CRS agents have achieved a high volume of transactions and advanced training in areas such as business planning, real estate investing, marketing and technology. They must also maintain membership in the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and abide by its Code of Ethics. Why work with anyone else when you can work with a CRS agent?

 

DID YOU KNOW?  Cool autumn temperatures are ideal for planting broccoli, turnips, beets, carrots and other vegetables. 

 

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK AND VISIT OUR BLOG TO ENTER THE TEAM WATTS MONTHLY GIVEAWAY!  STAY UP TO DATE, BY FOLLOWING OUR SOCIAL NETWORKS AND FIND OUT HOW TO WIN!!

 

WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/TEAMWATTS     WWW.TEGACAYTODAY.COM  WWW.TWITTER.COM/TEAMWATTS

 

 *If you would like to subscribe to receive this newsletter electronically please email Megan with your current email*

Barbara Watts, Realtor, Licensed in NC & SC, GRI, ABR, e-Pro, C-CREC, CRS, 803-370-0876, barbarawattsteam@gmail.com, www.BarbaraWatts.com

Megan Watts, Realtor, Licensed in NC & SC, ABR, GRI, SFR, AHWD, 803-554-8725, meganwattsteam@gmail.com

 Dale Watts, Realtor, Licensed in NC & SC, SRES, 803-370-4049, TegaCayDale@gmail.com

 

Century 21 First Choice, 206 Rockmont Drive, Fort Mill, SC 29708

 

 

 

YOUR HOME SEPTEMBER 2012

TIPS AND TRENDS FOR HOMEOWNERS, BUYERS AND SELLERS

INSPECT FOR SUCCESS

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, home inspections are a key part of closing any deal. The inspection serves as a top-to bottom overview of the home — from structure to plumbing and electrical — to ensure safety and peace of mind for new homeowners. According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, home inspections can range from $350 to $500 depending on geographical location, and are typically the responsibility of the homebuyer, although it’s not uncommon for sellers to conduct them.

    Anything that is readily accessible and clearly visible can be a part of the inspection, which can take from two to four hours. Buyers should always tag along on home inspections to see firsthand what the inspector notices and identifies as potential cause for concern. This is especially helpful in making sense of the inspector’s final summary report, which will note anything in the home that might need fixing or that could lead to big issues down the line, such as a cracked foundation, faulty wiring, defective heating and cooling systems, or the presence of mold or water stains.

    While it is not included in a normal home inspection, many experts recommend spending the extra money to conduct both termite and radon inspections before deciding whether to buy. Buyers shouldn’t be nervous to use the findings as bargaining chips during negotiations. Oftentimes, sellers will repair problems or lower the home price based on issues the inspection discovers.

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE?

Drought conditions across the United States have forced a lot of people to start thinking about water conservation and consumption. But that might already be top-of-mind for many homeowners who want to see the amounts on their water bills decrease. It’s easier than you think to conserve water. Cut down on your water usage with tips from the Arizona-based “Water—Use It Wisely” campaign.

    Your washing machine and dishwasher are major water hogs. No matter how full they are, you use the same amount of water. To save up to 1,000 gallons of water a month, be sure to only run these appliances when they’re full. To save more water in the kitchen, consider composting rather than dumping food waste down the garbage disposal with running water.

    Simply by decreasing your shower time by one or two minutes, you can save up to 150 gallons of water each month. Boost savings by installing a low-flow showerhead, which can cut the amount of water you use per shower in half. Another easy conservation trick is to partially fill a plastic container (an old milk jug works fine) with water or pebbles and place it in your toilet tank to reduce the amount of water used per flush; just be sure to keep it away from the operating mechanisms in the tank.

    Insulating your hot water pipes is a small step that requires a little extra maintenance but will reap big rewards.

    For your faucet, consider installing a faucet aerator, which screws on to the bottom of the faucet to automatically reduce water flow without sacrificing water pressure. Finally, see what’s really going down the drain with a professional water audit (or buy a do-it-yourself kit online). Once you know where the losses are coming from, it’s even easier to change your habits.

fast fact  >> >> >> >> >> >> The most popular destination for “leaf-peeping” (observing colorful fall foliage) is Asheville, N.C., according to a recent survey by TripAdvisor.

 

BROUGHT TO YOU BY BARBARA WATTS®, A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL OF RESIDENTIAL SPECIALISTS

CLEAN SWEEP

Curling up by the fireplace is part of any picturesque winter scene, but only if your chimney and fireplace are in tiptop shape. To keep the cozy fires going safely all winter long, start thinking about your fireplace now with these maintenance tips.

    First, make sure to schedule a yearly chimney sweep and inspection. It’s best to hire a professional certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. Check www.csia.org for a searchable list of professionals in your area. The pros will help remove creosote, a byproduct of burning wood that can cause chimney fires, as well as check for leaks or damages that might have occurred during the dormant summer months. After the sweep, repairs may be necessary. Common issues might include odors, water leaks and damages from animals that might have been calling your chimney home.

    A simple chimney cap ($50 or more, depending on materials and size) or screen can prevent unwanted critters and protect your chimney from damaging elements.

    In between checkups, consider cleaning the firebox (where the wood burns) at least once a week when the fireplace is in use to prevent ash buildup. Use a wet or dry vacuum with a disposable bag, but make sure the ashes cool for at least four days after a recent use to avoid any live sparks in the vacuum bag.

Say Yes To CRS

Buying or selling a home can seem like an overwhelming task. But the right REALTOR® can make the process easier — and more profitable.

    A Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), with years of experience and success, will help you make smart decisions in a fast-paced, complex and competitive marketplace.

 

    To earn the CRS Designation, REALTORS® must demonstrate outstanding professional achievements — including high volume sales — and pursue advanced training in areas such as finance, marketing and technology. They must also maintain membership in the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and abide by its Code of Ethics.

 

    Work with a REALTOR® who belongs in the top 3 percent in the nation. Contact a CRS today.

DID YOU KNOW?  Nationally, the average family of K-12 students will spend $688 on back-to-school supplies.

 

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK AND VISIT OUR BLOG TO ENTER THE TEAM WATTS MONTHLY GIVEAWAY!  STAY UP TO DATE, BY FOLLOWING OUR SOCIAL NETWORKS AND FIND OUT HOW TO WIN!!WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/TEAMWATTS     WWW.TEGACAYTODAY.COM  WWW.TWITTER.COM/TEAMWATTS*

If you would like to subscribe to receive this newsletter electronically please email Megan with your current email*

 

 

 

Barbara Watts, Realtor, Licensed in NC & SC, GRI, ABR, e-Pro, C-CREC, CRS, 803-370-0876, barbarawattsteam@gmail.com, www.BarbaraWatts.com

Megan Watts, Realtor, Licensed in NC & SC, ABR, GRI, SFR, AHWD, 803-554-8725, meganwattsteam@gmail.com

 Dale Watts, Realtor, Licensed in NC & SC, SRES, 803-370-4049, TegaCayDale@gmail.com

Waterfront Rental, 16120 Tana Tea Circle, Tega Cay, SC

For Lease, 16120 Tana Tea Circle, Tega Cay, SC 29708

Absolutely Amazing Waterfront Rental on Lake Wylie!!  A room for everything including library, theater, office, great room, two kitchens, 4 bedrooms/4.5 baths….on the water with a dock for your boat.  This home is equipped with surround sound, wall mounted TV’s and all your kitchen appliances.  A must see rental in Tega Cay for $3,200 a month.

YOUR HOME NEWSLETTER AUGUST 2012

TIPS AND TRENDS FOR HOMEOWNERS, BUYERS AND SELLERS

HIRE POWER

Finding a qualified contractor for a home improvement project can seem overwhelming unless you know what qualifications to look for. Start your contractor search by following these guidelines from Angie’s List.

 

Begin by clearly defining your project. Read remodeling magazines and search websites for designs and materials. Even just jotting down ideas on paper can help potential contractors understand what you want to accomplish.

 

To find contractors, ask family and friends for references, or check out sites like Angie’s List and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) for recommendations. Also check the Better Business Bureau for any reported complaints.

 

Ask the contractor for names of previous clients and talk to them about their experience. Find out if they were pleased with the workmanship and whether they would hire the contractor again. If the contractor is reluctant to give names of past clients, find another one.

 

Make sure the contractor has an established street address and phone number where they can be reached in case of an emergency. Be wary of contractors who use a box office address or an answering service.

 

Obtain at least three written estimates, and ask if the contractors are licensed, bonded and insured. A reputable contractor will usually come prepared with proof of these items. Review the contract thoroughly to ensure that you understand all of the details and how change orders will be handled.

 

Most contractors require a 10 percent to 15 percent deposit before beginning a project. Use a credit card for payments so you have some recourse in case something goes wrong. Before signing off on the project and making the final payment, check that the work is completed to your satisfaction.

 

Hiring qualified contractors can provide some peace of mind throughout the project.

RENTAL STRATEGIES

For some homeowners, renting may be a viable option to selling. Whether you are an experienced landlord or a first-timer, the following tips from Frontdoor.com and USAA Insurance can help you evaluate prospective renters for your home.

First, know federal and state landlord/tenant laws, especially the Fair Housing Act, which outlines illegal discriminatory actions. The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website is a good place to start to gather information.

When advertising, focus on the details about the home, such as amenities, features, number of bedrooms and baths, and rent. Providing photos can also help “sell” your place to prospective renters. Show your house at its best by keeping it clean and in good repair. Remember to remove any personal items.

Use a standard rental application that conforms to state laws, and give renters a list of policies about pets, co-signers, credit scores and late payments. Review all applications in the order you receive them, conduct a background check and call references. A good rule of thumb is to accept only applicants whose gross monthly income is three times the rent or more.

Keep marketing the house and accepting applications until a lease is signed and the deposit check has cleared. Ask potential tenants to show proof of renters insurance, which covers the cost of the tenants’ belongings and any damage that might occur to the property during their stay.

By following these tips, you can find tenants who appreciate your home as much as you do.

fast fact  > > > > > The U.S. Weather Bureau began naming hurricanes in 1950, and names rotate in six-year cycles.

BROUGHT TO YOU BY BARBARA WATTS®,

A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL OF RESIDENTIAL SPECIALISTS

NO BUGS ALLOWED

The excessive heat and drought conditions that have gripped much of the country may have curtailed normal outdoor activities for some, but the weather has also created an ideal breeding environment for pests, according to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). The growing pest population has wreaked havoc on homes and everyday living.

“Hot and dry conditions send many pests indoors to seek moisture and cooler temperatures, so homeowners will likely encounter more pests in their homes than usual,” says Missy Henriksen of NPMA. “Even areas of the country that are receiving rain aren’t in the clear, as standing rain water breeds mosquitoes, which can spread West Nile virus,” she adds.

The NPMA suggests the following tips to prevent pests from entering the home.

• Keep all tree branches, shrubs and plants trimmed to create a barrier between the shrubbery and the house. Seal off any holes outside the home to eliminate entry points for small pests.

• In the kitchen, clean out areas where food is stored, and keep cereal, crackers and cookies in sealed containers. Dust and vacuum regularly to prevent cobwebs and spiders.

• Eliminate all sources of standing water around the home, which can attract mosquitoes, and check gutters, windows and porch lights for wasp and hornet nests.

• After spending time in grassy or wooded areas, check yourself and your pets for ticks before coming indoors. If a tick has latched on, use a hot matchstick or vegetable oil to remove it.

• If a pest problem persists, contact a local pest professional.

While you can’t change the weather, you can take steps to prevent bugs from spoiling your summer.

SAY YES TO CRS

Buying a home is one of the biggest and most emotional decisions you will ever make. So it’s important to work with someone who can provide sound advice and a steady, guiding hand when you need it. That’s why aCRSagent is the best person for the job.

A Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) is among the top 3 percent of all agents in the country.CRSagents have achieved a high volume of transactions and advanced training in areas such as business planning, real estate investing, marketing and technology. They must also maintain membership in the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and abide by its Code of Ethics. Why work with anyone else when you can work with a CRS agent?

DID YOU KNOW?  Only the female mosquito bites; the male feeds on plant nectars.  Source:  PestWorld.org

Do you know someone who is thinking about buying or selling a home? Please mention my name.

This newsletter is for informational purposes only and should not be substituted for legal or financial advice.

If you are currently working with another real estate agent or broker, it is not a solicitation for business.

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK AND VISIT OUR BLOG TO ENTER THE TEAM WATTS MONTHLY GIVEAWAY! STAY UP TO DATE, BY FOLLOWING OUR SOCIAL NETWORKS AND FIND OUT HOW TO WIN!!

WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/TEAMWATTS  WWW.TEGACAYTODAY.COM  WWW.TWITTER.COM/TEAMWATTS

*If you would like to subscribe to receive this newsletter electronically please email Megan with your current email*

Barbara Watts, Realtor, Licensed in NC & SC, GRI, ABR, e-Pro, C-CREC, CRS, 803-370-0876 barbarawattsteam@gmail.com

www.BarbaraWatts.com

 

Megan Watts, Realtor, Licensed in NC & SC, ABR, GRI, SFR, AHWD, 803-554-8725, meganwattsteam@gmail.com

 

 Dale Watts, Realtor, Licensed in NC & SC, SRES, 803-370-4049, TegaCayDale@gmail.com

 

YOUR HOME NEWSLETTER JULY 2012

TIPS AND TRENDS FOR HOMEOWNERS, BUYERS AND SELLERS

HOME SWEET SECOND HOME

Sometimes a vacation can be so good that it makes you want to move to your vacation destination permanently — or at least visit more often. If your recent getaway has you thinking about buying a second home, consider these pointers from Frontdoor.com and CNN Money before taking the plunge.
      Ultimately, your lifestyle will determine the kind of second home you buy. How much time will you spend in your second home? A few weeks a year? Are you looking for a weekend getaway? Be realistic: Consider how long it takes to travel there and how often you’ll really be using it.
      Will you rent it out when you’re not there? Homeowners who rent out their home for fewer than 15 days a year don’t have to pay taxes on rental income — rental expenses, however, aren’t deductible (and vice versa). Whether or not you choose to rent it out, it’s important to add in extra costs, such as maintenance and insurance — which will be higher in risky weather areas, such as beach properties — and then decide whether the upkeep and costs still fit within your budget.
      Know the rules of renting. Some towns don’t allow short-term rentals, so make sure your chosen locale does, and read up on landlord laws for tenants. If your home will be primarily for rental income, opt for a family-friendly home in a popular location with easy access to airports or other modes of transportation for a more desirable rental option.
      Last, consider long-term goals when choosing a second home. If you’re thinking of the home as a good place to retire, it’s important to check out local hospitals and other resources, and factor in costs associated with making a home compatible with senior living.

NOISE CONTROL

For many homeowners, the days of hearing the neighbor’s radio through paper-thin walls are gone. But noise can still be a problem, even under your own roof. Lower the decibel level in your abode with some ideas from TLC.
     First, find out how sound travels in your home with one simple step. Turn off the lights in one room while leaving the rest of the lights on in surrounding rooms and look for any light that’s peeking through the walls. If light can travel through, so can sound. Use acoustical caulk, available from most hardware stores, to seal off these hidden cracks between walls, ceilings and floors. Put carpet or rugs on higher-level rooms to reduce the noise traveling to lower floors.
     To help reduce noise in other rooms, in-wall insulation can help, but it requires cutting holes in the walls. For an easier fix, buy wall coverings that have soundproofing capabilities and repaint them to match your décor, or hang noise-control curtains in the room. The most time- and cost-intensive fix — but also one of the most effective — is to replace standard windows with double-paned ones, which greatly reduce noise.
     Don’t forget the outdoors. Block off sounds from the street by placing heavy shrubbery and evergreens with large leaves near doors and windows. And consider ornamental fountains for a more welcoming sound.

fast fact >>>>>>

One in five people in the U.S. suffer from allergies or asthma;common allergens include pollen, dust mites and insect bites.

 

BROUGHT TO YOU BY BARBARA WATTS®, A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL OF RESIDENTIAL SPECIALISTS

PLAY ZONE

School’s out, and it’s no surprise your kids are clamoring to stay outdoors. Keep them safe and close to home by building an outdoor play area.
     Start by asking your kids what they envision. Do they want a nature area with a garden or bug observation station, or perhaps a building area with toy blocks and a table? Swing sets, slides, play towers and the like are the most popular choices for play areas, and you don’t have to have a huge yard to accommodate them. If you want to include this kind of play equipment, be sure to consider size, materials, components, price and safety features before buying.
     Once you’ve decided what you want to include in the play area, assess your yard for the ideal location. Choose a large, level area in your backyard, and remove any rocks or roots so there’s little chance of tripping on uneven ground. Consider placing the play area underneath big trees for extra protection from the sun. Then, prep the play area: Dig up the dirt or grass and refill the play zone with a protective surface such as mulch, sand or shredded rubber at least three inches deep to minimize injury if a child falls.
     Install bender board (landscaping border material) on the outskirts of the play area to ensure the filling stays put. Depending on how old your kids are, consider adding a fence around the border of the play area for added safety, and keep it free of obstacles (like rocks or lawn chairs) at least six feet around each edge.  
Keep in mind that not all play areas need to look and feel like a playground. Kids can have just as much fun weatherproof chalkboards, a basin of water with toy boats to race, or even cardboard boxes in different sizes.

Say Yes to CRS

Buying or selling a home can seem like an overwhelming task. But the right REALTOR® can make the process easier — and more profitable.

A Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), with years of experience and success, will help you make smart decisions in a fast-paced, complex and competitive marketplace.  

To earn the CRS Designation, REALTORS® must demonstrate outstanding professional achievements — including high volume sales — and pursue advanced training in areas such as finance, marketing and technology. They must also maintain membership in the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and abide by its Code of Ethics.

Work with a REALTOR® who belongs in the top 3 percent in the nation. Contact a CRS today.  

 

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK AND VISIT OUR BLOG TO ENTER THE TEAM WATTS MONTHLY GIVEAWAY!  STAY UP TO DATE, BY FOLLOWING OUR SOCIAL NETWORKS AND FIND OUT HOW TO WIN!!

 

WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/TEAMWATTS     WWW.TEGACAYTODAY.COM  WWW.TWITTER.COM/TEAMWATTS

 

 *If you would like to subscribe to receive this newsletter electronically please email Megan with your current email*

Barbara Watts, Realtor, Licensed in NC & SC, GRI, ABR, e-Pro, C-CREC, CRS, 803-370-0876, results@barbarawatts.com

Megan Watts, Realtor, Licensed in NC & SC, GRI, ABR, SFR, 803-554-8725, meganwattsteam@gmail.com

Dale Watts, Realtor,  Licensed in NC & SC, SRES, 803-370-4049, tegacaydale@gmail.com

DID YOU KNOW?  22 percent of workers in Davis, Calif., commute by bicycle, making it the most active bike-commuting city in the U.S.

 

 

 

Your Home Newsletter June 2012

TIPS AND TRENDS FOR HOMEOWNERS, BUYERS AND SELLERS

GARDEN TRENDS

Home gardening has become more than a hobby for many Americans in recent years. These ideas from DoItYourself.com can provide some guidance on how to create or upgrade your own garden.

Edible gardensAccording to the National Gardening Association, vegetable gardening rose 20 percent in 2010 from 2009. Salad-type vegetables, such as radishes, lettuce and spinach are common, but many gardeners also grow crop vegetables like potatoes, corn, beans and squash. These are easy to grow, they only need watering and some weeding before harvesting, and they can be stored and served in countless ways.

Go organic Many gardeners use non-chemical fertilizers such as compost, compost teas and animal manure to help plants grow. Inexpensive and easy to use, compost can be created from yard refuse and home vegetable peelings. Compost teas are made by steeping compost to create a tea-like substance, and animal manure that’s allowed to compost for a year provides nutrients.

Feel good” gardens For some, gardens are a place for calm, quiet reflection. Water gardens include a pond or fountain to create a calm, serene environment, while sand or “zen” gardens are small enough to place on a desk or table and include different types of plants, rocks and sticks to mimic the natural environment.

Vertical gardensNew planting systems make it possible to insert vegetation into outside walls. Succulent plants are ideally suited to growing vertically since they often dwell on cliffs in nature and don’t need much root space. Fruits like grapes and kiwi can grow along walls and fences, and some vegetables like beans, peas and some squashes can be trained up a trellis.

Whether used to grow food or to enjoy nature, gardens have evolved to reflect the changing lifestyles of American families.

STAGE RIGHT

When selling your home, you want to present it in the best possible light, but that may not always be possible if it’s vacant. With the help of some simple staging techniques, you can help buyers envision how they might live in your home, and that can entice them to make an offer. 

Experts say vacant homes can benefit greatly with fairly minimal staging. By strategically placing greenery, furniture and accent pieces, buyers may not notice a home’s imperfections, like cracks in the walls or scuff marks on the floor.

Staging also exhibits creative uses of space, especially for small or oddly shaped rooms. If a bedroom seems too small to hold a complete bedroom set, for example, staging it with furniture that fits can help buyers see the room’s potential.

Whether distressed or non-distressed, many homes may need basic prep work or repairs. A professional cleaning crew can clean the home thoroughly, inside and out. If the hardwood floors need work, they can be refinished, while the carpet can be deep-cleaned or replaced.

Vacant homes can be dim and lifeless, but adding a few pieces of furniture, artwork, accent pieces and kitchen and bath accessories can help bring more life to the home. Of course, a fresh coat of paint throughout a home’s interior goes a long way towards making the home look clean and inviting. And that might be just enough to convince a potential buyer that they can love the home as their own.

fast fact >>  >>  >>    In 2011, 176,000 U.S. men were stay-at-home dads.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

BROUGHT TO YOU BY BARBARA WATTS®, A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL OF RESIDENTIAL SPECIALISTS

SPACE PLANNERS

A  growing number of homeowners are focusing on using their home space more efficiently and personalizing it to suit their lifestyle, according to a recent survey by Better Homes and Gardens. More than one-third of homeowners (38 percent) surveyed say they are spending more time planning design changes for their home, up from 33 percent a year ago, while 42 percent say they shop around for more bargains before committing to a project, up from 40 percent who did so in 2011. They also are focused on value and tend to spend more time looking for the best deal for their money.

Social media sites such as Pinterest play a key role in the planning process for many homeowners who look to such sites for design inspirations, product reviews, creative ideas and solutions for using space. Consumers say they prefer a home with median square footage of 1,791 square feet, down from 1,846 square feet a year ago. Bonus rooms and media rooms are no longer as popular unless they have a multifunctional purpose.

More than half of homeowners (55 percent) are focusing their next home improvement project on style upgrades for countertops, flooring, faucets and fixtures, up from 50 percent in 2010. Projects to expand storage space and remodel the bathroom and kitchen also rank high.

Say Yes to CRS

Buying a home is one of the biggest and most emotional decisions you will ever make. So it’s important to work with someone who can provide sound advice and a steady, guiding hand when you need it. That’s why aCRSagent is the best person for the job.

A Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) is among the top 3 percent of all agents in the country.CRSagents have achieved a high volume of transactions and advanced training in areas such as business planning, real estate investing, marketing and technology. They must also maintain membership in the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and abide by its Code of Ethics. Why work with anyone else when you can work with a CRS agent?

DID YOU KNOW?

Wipe down dusty window blinds with old dryer sheets to prevent dust build-up.
Source: Styled, Staged and Sold blog, Verticals and Horizontals, Inc

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK AND VISIT OUR BLOG TO ENTER THE TEAM WATTS MONTHLY GIVEAWAY!  STAY UP TO DATE, BY FOLLOWING OUR SOCIAL NETWORKS AND FIND OUT HOW TO WIN!!

WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/TEAMWATTS     WWW.TEGACAYTODAY.COM  WWW.TWITTER.COM/TEAMWATTS

 *If you would like to subscribe to receive this newsletter electronically please email Megan with your current email*

Barbara Watts, Realtor

Licensed in NC & SC

GRI, ABR, e-Pro, C-CREC, CRS

803-370-0876

barbarawattsteam@gmail.com 

Megan Watts, Realtor

Licensed in NC & SC

ABR, GRI, SFR, AHWD

803-554-8725

meganwattsteam@gmail.com

Dale Watts, Realtor

Licensed in NC & SC

SRES

803-370-4049

TegaCayDale@gmail.com

 

WWW.BARBARAWATTS.COM

 

 

YOUR HOME NEWSLETTER MAY 2012

 

TIPS AND TRENDS FOR HOMEOWNERS, BUYERS AND SELLERS

KITCHEN AID
Pantries come in all shapes and sizes, from walk-in pantries to slide-out drawers under your counters. Some homes feature a built-in pantry, but for those that don’t, creating one can be easier than you think.
For a makeshift pantry, consider converting a kitchen closet or cabinet into a pantry by adding shelves throughout the space. If you have an empty wall in or just outside the kitchen, consider hiring professionals to break through the wall and install shelves and a door.
    Once you’ve figured out where the new pantry will go, organization is the key to making it useful and efficient. Start by thinking about your cooking habits, and place frequently used items on an eye-level shelf for easy access. Always making cookies? Put flour, sugar and mixing equipment on this shelf. If you entertain often, consider installing a wine rack on a side of the pantry with party necessities, such as a corkscrew, bottle stopper and rows of wine glasses.
    Store dry items, such as rice, noodles or cereal, in labeled glass jars to keep them dry and easily visible. Other goods, such as flour or sugar, can go into large tubs with lids that can be stored either on the floor or on a shelf. For snacks, such as chips or popcorn, consider hanging a shoe rack on the outside of the pantry door and putting the bags in the holders. Keep food from spoiling and avoid having to throw food away by keeping new items in the back of the pantry and moving older items to the front so they get used quickly. To keep your pantry well-stocked, start a running grocery list to update when family members grab the last of its kind from the pantry.

INSIDE OUT
Four walls and a roof don’t necessarily make a home. The new trend is for homeowners to take advantage of the great outdoors — building an outdoor living space was No. 4 among the top remodeling trends last year, according to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. Extensive work might be best left to the professionals, but you can create a scenic outdoor setting in your own backyard with a do-it-yourself mentality and tips from Better Homes & Gardens.
     First, identify what function you want the new outdoor space to serve. Do you want a kitchen, a living room or an extra dining room? Once the room has a label, narrow down the necessary features the room needs. For instance, if you’re looking for an outdoor living room, weather-resistant couches, coffee tables and perhaps a fire pit are good starting points. Need a tranquil place to get away from the hustle and bustle? Serene add-ons such as a fountain or hanging plants that offer seclusion from the street might be on your short list.
     Don’t forget about roofing options for your outdoor space. Weather-resistant fabric canopies or composite roof structures provide shade and shelter from the elements while maintaining an outdoorsy feel.
     After completing a basic structure of the “room,” add decorative touches, just like you would indoors. Experts suggest potted plants that are easy to maintain, framed artwork and coffee table books.

fast fact: 
California is the primary source
for more than half of all fresh cut
flowers grown in the United States.
Source: California Cut Flowers Commission

BROUGHT TO YOU BY BARBARA WATTS®, A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL OF RESIDENTIAL SPECIALISTS

 
THE PRICE IS RIGHT!  SOLD!
Although a REALTOR® will work with you to determine a listing price when you decide to put your home on the market, it helps to understand the process agents use to reach that figure. Although methods vary, there are a few common steps.
     First, REALTORS® complete a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis), which compares your home to similar homes in your area that recently sold, homes that are currently on the market, and homes that didn’t sell. Generally, an agent will formulate a base price from this data and factor in additional positives or negatives (for instance, if your home has a deck or a finished garage, the base price — your home’s initial value — would rise). 
     Next, the REALTOR® considers the market conditions. In a buyer’s market, your price might need to be a little lower than the base CMA price in order to reduce its time on the market and have a higher probability of selling. In a seller’s market, the listing price can be a little higher.
     Another strategy is to consider how sales of comparable homes are faring — for instance, if the prices in your area are dropping X percent each month, consider settling on a lower asking price to boost your chances of selling quickly.
     Be sure to ask your REALTOR® how he or she has arrived at the recommended listing price. A good agent will be able to walk you through the numbers and explain the strategy behind settling on a given listing price.

Say Yes to CRS
Buying a home is one of the biggest and most emotional decisions you will ever make. So it’s important to work with someone who can provide sound advice and a steady, guiding hand when you need it. That’s why a CRS agent is the best person for the job.
A Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) is among the top 4 percent of all agents in the country. CRS agents have achieved a high volume of transactions and advanced training in areas such as business planning, real estate investing, marketing and technology. They must also maintain membership in the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and abide by its Code of Ethics. Why work with anyone else when you can work with a CRS agent?

DID YOU KNOW?
Homeowners pay most attention to windows (72 percent) and blinds or curtains (67 percent) during annual spring cleaning, according to the American Cleaning Institute.

 

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK AND VISIT OUR BLOG TO ENTER THE TEAM WATTS MONTHLY GIVEAWAY!  STAY UP TO DATE, BY FOLLOWING OUR SOCIAL NETWORKS AND FIND OUT HOW TO WIN!!

 

WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/TEAMWATTS     WWW.TEGACAYTODAY.COM  WWW.TWITTER.COM/TEAMWATTS

 

*If you would like to subscribe to receive this newsletter electronically please email Megan with your current email* 

 

Barbara Watts, Realtor, Licensed in NC & SC, GRI, ABR, e-Pro, C-CREC, CRS, 803-370-0876, barbarawattsteam@gmail.com, www.BarbaraWatts.com

 

Megan Watts, Realtor, Licensed in NC & SC, ABR, GRI, SFR, AHWD, 803-554-8725, meganwattsteam@gmail.com

 

 Dale Watts, Realtor, Licensed in NC & SC, SRES, 803-370-4049, TegaCayDale@gmail.com