YOUR HOME NEWSLETTER JULY 2018

7 Garage Storage Mistakes

If you use ­your garage as storage space, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, because the space isn’t climate-controlled, it’s best to keep these items elsewhere, according to Realtor.com:

 Family photos. Pollutants, moisture and heat can quickly destroy your photos. Digitizing all photos is the best practice, or keep printed copies in a dry area inside your home.

Propane tanks. These should never be kept indoors or too close to your home because they can leak or ignite. Store them outside on a flat surface instead.

Car batteries. Batteries can be greatly affected by external moisture. Don’t store them on the floor; rather, place them on a piece of wood or cardboard.

 Artwork and collectibles. Dampness can cause tarnish and mold to grow. Insects can infest and rodents can feast on certain items. Dirt and dust can cause stains and buildup on almost anything. And car fumes can penetrate textiles and canvases. Keep prized possessions indoors.

 Food. Unless you have a refrigerator or freezer in your garage, fresh food can attract vermin even in a sealed container. Canned foods are best indoors, as sweltering heat can hasten their spoilage and freezing temps aren’t great either.

 Paint. If not sealed correctly and exposed to extreme temperatures, paint can actually spoil. Find a space that’s dark, dry and cool, like a utility closet, laundry room or mudroom.

 Carpet and rugs. Fresh air is vital for rug fibers and garage spaces aren’t usually well-ventilated, which can cause mold and mildew. Store in a place with low-humidity levels. Or if the garage is your only option: Block any direct sunlight and place a dehumidifier near it.

 

5 DIY Tips

As a homeowner, there’s no landlord or engineer to ask for help. So Realtor.com recommends you learn to handle these five basic problems:

  1. Change HVAC filters: Replace quarterly to keep your system running smoothly and cut energy bills.
  2. Cutting the water supply: Find and tag the shut-off valve when you first move in. When you need to turn it off, turn the handle 90 degrees.
  3. Unclogging drains: Chemical drainers may work, but a drain snake is also an excellent option.
  4. Resetting a circuit breaker: Open the panel cover and find the breaker in the “off” position, then turn to “on.”
  5. Clean gutters: When gutters aren’t cleared of debris, water can get trapped, seep into your house and cost thousands in damages. Clean them annually or every two years.

 

SMALL FLAWS can be a big deal

What may seem like small problems in your home can be a big deal to prospective buyers who will want to discount the price. Realtor.com names six of the minuscule things that could be big hurdles to closing:

  • An old electrical panel. Buyers will want it “up to code.” Get bids from multiple electricians to try and get a reduced repair quote, or offer that amount as a credit in lieu of repair at closing.
  • Ripped window screens. Window screens will wear out over time, but tears should be taken seriously. Either replace them before listing or offer credit at closing.
  • The location of the laundry room. The laundry on the ‘wrong’ level can be a big negative, especially in a three-level house or Offer to move the washer and dryer to a new loca­tion if possible.
  • The bathtub or shower. Some people prefer showers, others want bathtubs, especially parents with small chil­dren. A bathtub with a showerhead above is the best option.
  • Kitchen walls. Many people prefer open kitchens. If you think your kitchen’s walls make it feel cramped and that’s stalling your sale, consider opening it up yourself.
  • Small closets. There isn’t much you can do to ease these concerns, but try to make your closets look roomier by de-cluttering. Hiring a contractor to build or extend closets where needed—or point­ing out to buyers that they can do this them­selves—is another fix.

 

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

  SAY YES TO CRS…….

А 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, REАLTORS® 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 NАTIONАL АSSOCIАTION OF REАLTORS® and abide by its Code of Ethics.
Work with a REАLTOR® who belongs in the top 3 percent in the nation. Contact Barbara Watts today.

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

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 803-370-0876

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Century 21 First Choice

206 Rockmont Drive, Fort Mill, SC 29708

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.

FORT MILL Open House 55+ Community, June 9, 1 to 3PM

OPEN HOUSE – FOUR SEASONS AT GOLD HILL

331 GARNET COURT, FORT MILL, SC 29708

SATURDAY, JUNE 9TH, 1 – 3PM

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Your Home Newsletter May 2018

Tips and Trends for Homeowners, Buyers and Sellers

THE 10-YEAR FIX

Once your home hits the 10-year mark, it’s probably time for some home maintenance. Here are nine updates your home will benefit from the most, according to Zillow:

  • Get new carpet. Replace your carpet if rips, tears, stains and odors remain, even after a good cleaning.
  • Replace the hot water tank. A water heater may not show signs before it leaks or fails, but if it’s been around for 10 years or more, it should be replaced.
  • Update ceiling fans. If the fan’s light bulbs seem to burn out more quickly than usual, it’s time for a new one.
  • Buy a new dishwasher. You’ll likely get a more energy-efficient model that’ll pay for itself over time.
  • Replace the garbage disposal. The average garbage disposal lasts about 10 years because the blades become dull over time.
  • Replace the washer and dryer. The average lifespan of both appliances is eight years. Replace them before problems pop up.
  • Repaint inside and outside. There’s no rule about when to repaint—it depends on where you live, humidity and other factors. But if it’s been 10 years, it’s time to repaint.
  • Re-caulk the tub, shower and sinks. It’s a simple update that you can easily do yourself.
  • Re-glaze windows. Re-glazing old windows is easier and more cost-effective than replacing them.

The good, the bad and the ugly on mold ……..

Mold removal can be tricky—and expensive if it requires a specialist. HGTV offers some advice about the cost of mold remediation for your home, and what steps to take.

The good news: If the area of infestation is small, you can typically take care of it yourself. A small investment in cleaning supplies is all it will cost. First, clean up the water and eliminate the source of excess moisture. It’s important to remove mold with a biocide and disinfectant, rather than with bleach. Be sure to open windows and wear gloves, eye protection and a facemask. Then allow the affected area to dry.

The bad news: Remediation cost for larger areas of mold will be greater, but it will ensure further damage is not done. The cost of inspection by a specialist averages $500 to $6,000—depending on the entire scope of the infestation. Remember to consider some type of protection from mold when purchasing insurance. If a problem should arise, your insurance will help offset at least part of the cost of mold removal.

HOME CARE MYTHS

Realtor.com® shares 8 top home care myths that are a waste of your time and money.

 Stone countertops are indestructible
In fact, stone countertops are easy to stain and scratch. Plus, regular household cleaners and mildly acidic substances, like soda, coffee and wine, can dull stone surfaces over time.

 Your smoke detector’s test button is foolproof
The test button tells you the sound is working, not if the sensor that detects smoke is working. Use real smoke to check it. Light a match, blow it out and hold it near the detector. If the alarm goes off, it’s working.

 Gutter guards are maintenance-free
Gutter guards may keep out leaves, but small debris can still get through. It’s best to clean them every two years—or once a year if your home is surrounded by trees—to prevent damage to your gutters.

 A lemon is a great way to clean a disposal
A lemon’s acidic juice will corrode the metal parts of your disposal, and coffee grounds will accumulate in pipes and clog them. The best natural cleaner is baking soda, which will clean the blades but won’t damage the metal.

Mow your lawn short and you’ll mow less often
It’s important to leave 1 to 3 inches of grass above the roots to keep your lawn lush. Removing more will leave your grass too weak to withstand weeds and pests. It also exposes the roots to the sun, causing the lawn to dry out.

CFLs cost too much, and are dangerous
Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) aren’t as expensive as you think and don’t contain enough mercury to cause any harm. Plus, CFLs last an average of five years.

Trendy kitchen re-do will increase my home’s value
Home trends come and go quickly. Instead of remodeling in the latest look, try repainting with trendy colors. If you do opt for a full remodel, choose elements with a timeless style, like wood floors and subway tile.

A contractor recommendation from a friend is good enough
Look for a contractor as if it were a job interview. Before hiring, talk to a couple of sources, check the contractor’s online reviews and ask a local building inspector which contractors meet code on the properties they inspect.

 

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

  SAY YES TO CRS…….

А 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, REАLTORS® 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 NАTIONАL АSSOCIАTION OF REАLTORS® and abide by its Code of Ethics.
Work with a REАLTOR® who belongs in the top 3 percent in the nation. Contact Barbara Watts today.

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

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 803-370-0876

Results@BarbaraWatts.com

Century 21 First Choice

206 Rockmont Drive, Fort Mill, SC 29708

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.

YOUR HOME NEWSLETTER JAN/FEB 2018

THE COLORS OF 2018

A new year, a new color…….

Each year, paint companies name a new color their color of the year, capturing what they see as the trendiest colors on the horizon. Here are the new year’s fresh, new colors, according to leading industry brands:

Caliente (AF-290) is Benjamin Moore’s color for 2018. This deep red is radiant and lush, and will stand out in any space. The bold hue pairs best with neutrals and other bright hues, such as pink, peachy tones. It will work great as an accent color, or to liven up a plain gallery wall or drab staircase..

GLIDDEN has named Deep Onyx (00NN 07/000)—or classic black—as its color of the year. This favorite neutral may not be right for an entire room, but it’s perfect for an accent wall. Pairing this bold choice with crisp whites, metallics and neutral fixtures and furniture will create a beautiful modern, minimalist look

Sherwin Williams’ Oceanside (SW 6496) is destined to be a favorite this year. The rich, blue-green shade will make a bold statement outfitting an entire room, or serve as the perfect pop of accent color for a specific item, such as a front door or a piece of old furniture.

Behr’s In the Moment (T18-15) will help calm the senses in the upcoming year. The cool blue hue will evoke a serene, relaxing vibe in virtually any space. Plus, the versatile color pairs well with crisp whites, neutrals and darker fixtures and furniture, making it easy to add decor.

LITTLE THINGS MEAN  a lot:

Increasing the value of your home before putting it on the market is important, and your budget shouldn’t hold you back. Here are a few, simple tips to improve the look and feel of your home fast—all for under $400:

 Low-maintenance lawn care: Overgrown lawns and bushes will cause your home to stand out—in a bad way. For a few hundred dollars, hire a landscaping service to tidy up. Adding plants and trees native to your region will also help boost the home’s curb appeal.

 Deep house cleaning: Make sure your home says “clean” to potential buyers when they walk in the door. Even if you clean your home regularly, hire a cleaning service for a thorough top-to-bottom scrubbing.

 Make your home feel bigger: You can’t change the square-footage of your home, but you can make each room in your house feel larger. A sunny room feels more open—replace heavy drapes with vertical blinds or shutters. Also, clear the clutter. Add shelving or storage space to help organize.

 Replace and update: Dated wallpaper, old lighting fixtures, popcorn ceilings and broken features, such as ceiling fans, could turn many buyers away. Making these changes will add dollar signs to the value of your home instantly.

Add money-saving efficiencies: Updates to make your home more energy-efficient are a big bonus for buyers because it will save them money in the long term. Many utility companies provide free energy audits so they can show you how to maximize the energy efficiency of your home. Installing a water filtration system is an inexpensive addition that will also lower the buyer’s grocery bills—no more bottled water.

 Make your home feel bigger: You can’t change the square-footage of your home, but you can make each room in your house feel larger. A sunny room feels more open—replace heavy drapes with

5 THINGS BUYERS SHOULD NEVER COMPROMISE ON 

When buying a home, there are some things you should never compromise on—or you’ll likely regret your home purchase, according to Realtor.com.

  1. The floor plan. It’s difficult and expensive to reconfigure a home’s floor plan. If a home doesn’t have the minimum number of rooms or the flow of the main living areas you want, you should cross it off your list.
  2.  The school district. You should carefully consider your neighborhood’s school district, and even get a map of its exact boundaries to make sure your home is within the correct district.
  1. The neighbors. You should pay attention to the condition of neighboring homes. Not only do you have to live with your neighbors on a daily basis, but they can affect your home’s future resale value, too.
  1. The budget. Consider all the expenses—monthly mortgage payments, homeowner association dues, utility costs and real estate taxes—beyond the list price to make sure you’ll be financially comfortable.
  1. The commute. Test-drive the route between your home and office to be certain you’re willing to make the commute every day.

 

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

  SAY YES TO CRS…….

А 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, REАLTORS® 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 NАTIONАL АSSOCIАTION OF REАLTORS® and abide by its Code of Ethics.
Work with a REАLTOR® who belongs in the top 3 percent in the nation. Contact Barbara Watts today.

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

Watts_7025-Edit

 803-370-0876

Results@BarbaraWatts.com

Century 21 First Choice

206 Rockmont Drive, Fort Mill, SC 29708

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.

Your Home Newsletter October/November 2017

KILL THE CLUTTER:

There’s a reason REALTORS® always advise home sellers to remove all clutter when selling their homes: The difference is remarkable.   The clutter-free home often looks like a new one entirely, and homeowners even wonder how their home could look that good.    You don’t have to wait to sell your home to make it look better. Plus, clutter can physically and mentally stress us out. By breaking your de-cluttering down into five-minute sessions, you can slowly conquer your clutter. Leo Babauta of Zen Habits offers some ways to start:

  • Designate a spot for incoming papers, and don’t put them anywhere but that spot until you can sort and file them.
  • Clear one area and designate it your “no-clutter” zone. There is one rule for that area: Nothing can be placed there that’s not actually in use. Everything must be put way. Once you have that, expand to more areas.
  • Pick up five things and find places for them. These should be things you actually use, but which don’t have a good spot to live.
  • Pull everything out of a drawer, evaluate it and sort it into three piles: stuff that really goes in the drawer, stuff that belongs elsewhere and stuff to ditch.
  • Create a “maybe” box. When you’re organizing, you often know exactly which items you want to keep and which you can trash or donate. But sometimes there are items you can’t trash, and yet you’re not sure what to do with them. Put them in the “maybe” box and pull it out every six months to re-evaluate.
  • Keep it going: After you’ve de-cluttered, don’t get tempted to buy new things. Instead, create a 30-day list and put any non-essential items you want to buy on it along with the date. If an item has sat on the list for 30 days and you still want to buy it, you can.

SAVE BY SAVING:

You don’t have to overhaul your home to make it more energy efficient. And you also don’t have to guess at which projects offer the best ROI:  ENERGY STAR®-certified windows can shrink energy bills by an average of 12 percent.  Fix common water leaks to reduce energy bills by 10 percent. Turning your thermostat back 7 to 10 degrees from where you normally set it for eight hours a day (while you’re at work or while you sleep) reduces your heating and cooling costs by 10 percent a year. Reducing the target temperature of your water heater can save 3 to 5 percent of energy costs.

To D.I.Y. or not to D.I.Y.?

Doing home projects yourself can help you save money, help you get to know your house better and fill you with pride at a job well done with your own two hands. But there are circumstances where a pro is the way to go. Neighborly, a community of home service experts, draws the line on three common projects:

 Safe to D.I.Y.:  Patching drywall: Homeowners can easily cover nail holes in their walls. Make sure the wall is clean and spackle the hole. Sand the spackle down and clean the area with a damp sponge. 

Call In A Pro: . Too much spackle or too big of a hole: If a hole in the drywall is larger than a nail hole or has been spackled repeatedly previously, it’s best for an expert to repair the damage. 

Safe to D.I.Y.: Cleaning the air conditioner condenser unit: Cleaning is essential for an efficient and healthy air conditioning system. Check the filters and change it when necessary. This will ensure the air in the home is clean and the unit isn’t working any harder than it must.

Call In A Pro: Repairing or replacing any HVAC unit: HVAC units are technical, use a large amount of voltage electricity and require the use of specialized tools, so these jobs are best tackled by the pros.

 Safe to D.I.Y.: Repairing plumbing hardware: Items like seals, chains or clogs can become faulty or quit working, but they can be easily replaced. If the toilet feels wobbly or the seat comes loose, there are D.I.Y. kits available at local hardware stores that include necessary tools and parts to repair.   

Call In A Pro: Remodeling renovations that require plumbing alterations: Permits are often needed to move or expand plumbing. A professional will be familiar with the local handling of permits and building codes. A plumber will examine the current plumbing to ensure connections are done properly and correctly.   

                                        

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

  SAY YES TO CRS…….

А 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, REАLTORS® 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 NАTIONАL АSSOCIАTION OF REАLTORS® and abide by its Code of Ethics.
Work with a REАLTOR® who belongs in the top 3 percent in the nation. Contact The Watts Team today.

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

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 803-370-0876

Results@BarbaraWatts.com

Century 21 First Choice

206 Rockmont Drive, Fort Mill, SC 29708

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.