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

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 February 2016

TIPS & TRENDS FOR HOMEOWNERS, BUYERS & SELLERS

ACCESSORIZE   IT

If your home décor seems stuck in a rut, updating your accessories can bring more spice to your living space. When accessorizing your home, follow these simple tips and tricks from HGTV and HouseBeautiful.com.

  • Highlight a few favorite accessories at one time. While it’s fun to collect different styles of pillows, artwork and collectibles, displaying them all at one time can overwhelm the room. Try showing only 20 percent of your prized accessories at a given time and change them regularly throughout the year.
  • Highlight a focal point in the room. Perhaps you have a uniquely designed fireplace mantel or a treasured area rug that you want to showcase. Select a piece of artwork to complement the rug, or display a few photographs or your favorite figurines along the mantel.
  • Choose a color scheme and theme. Before buying accessories, decide on one or two colors that will add visual interest to each room and complement your furniture and wall colors. If your furniture and walls are neutral, choose bold colors for your accessories to create a vibrant look. Accessories can also play up a theme of a room.
  • Group similar items. To create a consistent, balanced look, display accessories in small groupings. Some designers work by the rule of three. For example, a trio of matching mirrors lined up on the wall with a contrasting background can provide a dramatic focal point.
  • Light up your space. Create instant impact by choosing light fixtures that complement the design style of the room. To create a certain mood, use wall sconces, an extravagant chandelier or recessed lighting. With the right accessories, your home can go from ­­stale to stunning in no time.

NO MORE CLOSING SURPRISES

  • Thanks to new mortgage disclosure guidelines from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that became effective October 3, 2015, homebuyers can expect a more seamless closing process and fewer headaches at the closing table. The new rules simplify the loan paper-work so buyers understand exactly what they owe. Buyers can expect to receive two documents during the sales process — a loan estimate and a closing disclosure form, which are intended to be more transparent and could save them money on hidden costs and small-print fees that they might other-wise miss. The loan estimate details the transaction, including the estimated loan and closing costs. Consumers can use this form to do an apples-to-apples comparison when shopping for home loans. The closing disclosure form, which details the final transaction, is provided to buyers three days before closing so they can confirm whether they are getting what they expected and negotiate any changes. The two documents mirror each other, making it easy to compare estimates with final loan terms. Because of the strict timing rules lenders must follow, it’s important that buyers provide lenders with all the information they need to process their loan applications quickly. A qualified real estate professional can help ensure that all paperwork and negotiations with the seller are completed in a timely fashion.
  • For more information and to see samples of these forms, visit the CFPB’s website, consumerfinance.gov.

H O M E    W O R K

According to a recent study by Telework Research Network, 30 million people work from home at least once a week, and that number is expected to grow by 63 percent over the next five years. While dedicating an entire room for a home office is ideal, it’s not always practical. With smaller laptops and office furnishings and Wi-Fi connections, work areas can be set up anywhere in the home. Before setting up a workspace at home, here are a few ideas to consider.

Adequate storage. Storage solutions don’t have to be fancy or expensive, but they do need to be tailored to hold everything you need, including reference books, office supplies and files.

Reliable power. Many older homes may not have sufficient power or may lack grounded outlets. An electrician can do a wiring inspection and upgrade outlets and circuits as needed. A strong Internet connection is also important. Make sure your DSL or cable modem is functioning well and can handle a demanding workload

Sufficient lighting. Tasks like reading or drafting require lighting that shines directly on the work. For task lighting, use energy-efficient, long-lasting LEDs and a dimmer switch to control levels.

Work surface. The type of work you do will determine the size of work surface you need. A longer, wider area is better for spreading out papers, while a smaller desk may work best for reading documents and making phone calls. If you use a printer every day, place it within easy reach.

Seating. If you sit for long periods, invest in an ergonomic chair. Though it may cost more, it can provide better comfort and support for your back.

SAY YES TO CRS…….

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

Certified Residential Specialist

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 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2015

TIPS & TRENDS FOR HOMEOWNERS, BUYERS & SELLERS

WHEN IT RAINS, IT REALLY POURS

No matter where you live, emergencies are bound to happen when you least expect them: the furnacebreaks down, appliances stop working, the roof starts leaking or a window gets smashed. The costs for repairs can be tough to stomach, unless you have an emergency fund. Setting up an emergency fund is easier than you think. These tips from Bankrate.com will help you handle unexpected surprises with ease.

  • First, estimate how much money you might need for the fund. Experts suggest saving enough to cover four to seven months of expenses. Remember, this fund should not replace your entire income, and it should not be used to fund luxuries, like vacations, fancy new clothes or a new car (unless your existing one breaks down). Keep funds accessible, but not so readily available that you aretempted to borrow from it. Set up an account separate from your regular checking account. Consider using credit unions, which allow consumers to open accounts with smaller sums of cash, and online banks, so you can’t withdraw money from a storefront location. Set up automatic deposit or transfers, so you know for sure that money will be saved each month and the fund will grow steadily, with lit­tle effort on your part.
  • Be sure to use the funds only for emergencies, such as replacing broken appliances, replacing the furnace or paying your regular monthly expenses after a job layoff or during a lengthy illness.
  • Begin slowly. Start with a deposit of $50 from each paycheck, then increase it gradually with each job change or pay increase. Set aside a portion of commission checks and tax refunds, too.

With these simple steps, you’ll have greater peace of mind, knowing you are prepared for any emergency.

POISON CONTROL

Kids are naturally curious about their surroundings. But sometimes they can get into things that are dangerous and even deadly. Safe Kids Worldwide, a global not-for-profit group, provides several tips for keeping children safe in their own homes. Following these simple steps can help keep kids out of harm’s way, giving you peace of mind.

  1. Store all household products out of children’s sight and reach. Young kids are often eye-level with items under the kitchen and bathroom sinks, so any items located there should be moved to a place they cannot reach. Install child safety locks on cabinets where hazardous items are stored.
  2. Read product labels carefully to find out if the item is harmful to kids. The most dangerous items include makeup, personal care products, plants, pesticides, lead, art supplies, alcohol and carbon monoxide.
  3. Don’t leave hazardous products unattended while in use.
  4. Keep cleaning products in their original containers, and never put a potentially dangerous product in something other than its original packaging, such as a plastic soda bottle, where it could be mistaken for something else.
  5. Check your garage, basement and other storage areas for any cleaning supplies you no longer need and discard them.
  6. Check your purse for any medications or makeup that could pose a danger, and store handbags out of reach. Keep all medications and vitamins stored where children cannot reach them, and always put medicines away after every use.
  7. If a child has been poisoned, call the Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222, which offers fast, free, confidential help in English and Spanish. If the child has collapsed, call 911 immediately.
  8. Install a carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home, especially near sleeping areas, and keep them at least 15 feet away from fuel-burning appliances.

SHOPPING FOR GREEN

Today’s buyers are more concerned than ever about living green, and that means finding an ecofriendly home. How do you know the home you want is truly green?

Green means different things to different people. Buyers focused on energy cost savings prefer homes that have basic energy-efficient features, such as Energy Star appliances, weatherproofed windows and good insulation. Buyers concerned about personal health issues prefer homes that use non-toxic materials, such as low VOC paints and bamboo flooring. Still other buyers want to contribute to a more sustainable future. They look for building materials that are produced locally or use reclaimed wood.

At the most basic level, Energy Star appliances, double-paned windows and efficient heating and cooling systems can lower energy bills and give buyers peace of mind.

    Other factors to consider include:

  • Expect to pay more for a green home. A recent study by the University of California finds that green-certified, single family homes sold for 9 percent more than a comparable home that wasn’t green.
  • Square footage. The larger the home, the more energy it consumes. Buying a smaller home is more economical.
  • Use water-based paints that contain lower levels of VOCs than conventional oil-based paints. VOCs emit gases that can cause health issues.
  • Carpeting/flooring. Choose carpeting made from recycled or renewable materials. For wood flooring, bamboo or reclaimed wood are popular choices.
  • Review past utility bills to determine typical monthly energy costs. Also request documentation on any green features that have been added to the property.
  • Choose plants and trees that don’t require the same level of maintenance as a lawn.

If in doubt, ask questions. The more questions you ask, the more  confident you will be that you are getting a truly green home.

SAY YES TO CRS…….

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

Certified Residential Specialist

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

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.

Dale, Megan, Barbara Century 21 First Choice Realtors

Dale, Megan, Barbara

Results@BarbaraWatts.com

Century 21 First Choice Realtors

206 Rockmont Drive, Fort Mill, SC 29708

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YOUR HOME NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2014

TIPS AND TRENDS FOR HOMEOWNERS, BUYERS AND SELLERS

WINTER TO-DO LIST

Kick off the New Year with a fresh attitude about home maintenance. After all, you don’t want to wait until the furnace conks out before you deal with it. Keep track of when you need to schedule service and how to keep things in good working order with The Weather Channel’s to-do list for January.
First, take a snow day to organize your files and review warranties and manuals for equipment, appliances and other tools. There you’ll find how often to check or replace items.
Need a new washer and dryer? Post-holiday sales this month can also help you snatch a bargain.
Take a room-by-room inventory with photos or video. In the case of fires, floods or other disasters, a record of your possessions can be helpful when filing insurance claims.
Examine furniture and cabinets for loose knobs and hinges, and repair as needed. Fix squeaks in floors and stairs.
Also this month, keep crawl space vents open to control condensation beneath the house, and check insulation around outside pipes that are exposed to freezing weather.
FIRE FIGHT
Tangled extension cords? Power strips galore? Your home’s wiring system might be working overtime with all of the new gadgets you received for Christmas — and it might be at risk for igniting a fire. Straighten out these wiring problems and more with tips from This Old House.
Have a licensed electrician walk through your home every five years to look at the wire insulation and the service panel and for any code violations. If you’re doing it yourself, start by turning off the circuit at the main breaker panel.
Code requires outlets within 4 feet of a door and every 12 feet after that. Extension cords can be useful, but keep in mind that smaller-gauged cords can overheat and start a fire if overused. Adding more outlets can run about $100 per outlet on first levels and $200 upstairs.
Another fire hazard is overlamping, in which light fixtures have a bulb with higher-than-recommended wattage installed. Check the fixtures’ wattage limit or use bulbs that are smaller than 60 watts.
Flickering lights aren’t just annoying, but they could be a sign of wire trouble, too. The outdoor fitting where overhead cables from the power line come into the house, or frayed wiring in the weatherhead, causes the short when the cable moves. Call your electric utility provider to have the weatherhead replaced for free.
fast fact >> >> >> >> Snow has been reported in just about every locale in the United States, even in southern Florida.  Source:  Farmer’s Almanac
POSITIVE ENERGY
Was your last gas bill higher than usual? Cold air might be finding its way into your house. Conserve energy, save money and stay toasty with these tips from the Department of Energy.
Let the sun shine in! During the day, open the curtains on the south side of your house. Feel a draft? Seal a clear plastic sheet to the inside of window frames or install drapes or shades that are tight and insulating. Caulking and weatherstripping windows can also keep your home warmer.
The heat is on, so keep your heating systems up and running as efficiently as possible. Follow the recommended maintenance schedules and change furnace filters once a month.
Fireplaces also can cause heat loss. Keep the flue damper tightly closed unless you’re burning a fire. Grates made of C-shaped metal tubes and tempered glass doors can help keep the room warm when the flue is open.
DID YOU KNOW?  Forty-five percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions.  Among the most popular goals: lose weight, get organized, spend less and save more, stay fit and healthy, and quit smoking.  Source:  History Channel
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, finance, 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?
Certified Residential Specialist
BROUGHT TO YOU BY BARBARA WATTS®, A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL OF RESIDENTIAL SPECIALISTS

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

 

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

YOUR HOME NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 2013

TIPS AND TRENDS FOR HOMEOWNERS, BUYERS AND SELLERS

HOLIDAY HOME SELLING TIPS

There are a few advantages to selling your home during the holidays. Buyers shopping for homes this time of year tend to be more serious, and because fewer homes may be on the market, there’s less competition. Frontdoor.com offers several tips to attract buyers during this busy season.
Don’t go overboard on holiday decorations. Large decorations can make your home seem smaller and they can distract buyers. If you choose to decorate, opt for fewer and smaller items with a general winter theme.
Hire a reliable real estate agent. Ask family and friends to recommend a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) agent who will work hard for you during the holiday season.
Seek motivated buyers. Individuals shopping for a home during the holidays must be highly motivated. Target buyers who need to move soon, such as people relocating for jobs, college students and university staff on break, and investors on tax deadlines.
Price the property to sell. No matter what time of year it is, a home that’s priced appropriately for the market will attract buyers.
Pay attention to curb appeal. Maintaining your home’s exterior is just as important in the winter as it is during any other season. Touch up the paint, clean the gutters and spruce up the yard. Also keep buyers’ safety in mind by keeping stairs and walkways clear of snow, ice and leaves.
Make your home cozy and inviting. When showing your home, crank up the heat, play soft music and offer homemade holiday treats. It will encourage buyers to spend more time in the home, which gives them a chance to admire its best features.
PREVENT IDENTITY THEFT

Tis the season for holiday shopping, but it’s also the season for holiday thievery. The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) in San Diego, Calif., estimates that 15 million people are victims of identity theft every year. The not-for-profit group reports that it gets more calls about lost and stolen wallets and purses during the holiday season than at any other time of the year. To make sure identity theft does not spoil your holidays, the ITRC has several tips for safeguarding your personal data.
• Never share your social security or credit card numbers in a public environment. Instead of verbally sharing requested sensitive information, write it down for the clerk, then take the slip of paper home with you. Also: when talking on your cell phone in public, don’t give out any personal information that could be overheard.
• Keep store receipts in your wallet, not inside the bag with your purchase.
• Carry only what you need when shopping, and keep purses, backpacks and bags zipped or fastened shut to deter pickpockets.
• Use debit cards judiciously or leave them at home — they are a direct link to your bank account. By using credit cards instead, you can review the billing statement afterward and dispute any suspected fraudulent activity.
• When shopping online, print out the Web page describing the item(s) you ordered, as well as any email messages and contact information for the online seller.
• Do not provide your social security number, birth date or mother’s maiden name in an email or within a website.
• Make sure the latest anti-virus software is installed on your computer before shopping online.
fast fact >> >> >> >> More than 35 million homes in the U.S., representing 40 percent of all homes, have one or more health and safety hazard.

Source: National Center for Healthy Housing Report, October 2013

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

HOME SHOPPERS VALUE ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Homes with energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly features are more important to prospective buyers than other features, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) 2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Nine out of 10 recent home buyers say that heating and cooling costs were somewhat or very important when considering a home for purchase. Nearly four out of 10 buyers say a home’s heating and cooling costs were very important when shopping for a home, followed by energy-efficient appliances and lighting, each at 24 percent.
Buyers in the North and South regions of the country placed a greater importance on heating and cooling costs, most likely due to more extreme temperatures in those areas. Also nearly 60 percent of buyers who purchased homes built in 2011 said HVAC costs were very important, compared to less than 30 percent of owners whose homes were built before 1910.
“Going green has proven to be more than a trend; many people now seek out this way of living and want homes and communities that are more resource efficient and sensitive to the environment,” says 2013 NAR President Gary Thomas. “As energy savings and green building features are becoming more important to buyers, sellers and businesses, it comes as no surprise that consumers are placing a higher value on properties with those features.”
DID YOU KNOW?  Approximately 35 percent of candle sales occur during the winter holiday season.
Source:  National Candle Association
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?
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
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 NEWSLETTER, NOVEMBER 2013

TIPS AND TRENDS FOR HOMEOWNERS, BUYERS AND SELLERS

OUT COLD
Before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season sets in, add winter-proofing chores to your home to-do list. Protect your home from winter’s woes with these tips from RealEstate.com.
Heating Basics Replace old thermostats with programmable ones that allow you to lower the temperature when you’re away from home. Turn on your furnace to ensure it works (run it the full cycle from warm-up to blowing heat to shutting back off again). Peek into your ducts and clean away the mold, pests and debris.
Winter Windows Inspect your windows and doorframes for gaps that would allow water or snow to seep in. Use low-expansion spray foam to fill any you find. Storm windows and well hung plastic sheeting can provide an extra layer of insulation.
On the Inside Seal and insulate the wall around electrical outlets and pipes that connect to the exterior of your home. Check that smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors are working in case a heater or fireplace malfunctions.
On the Outside Clear out debris around windows. Fill cracks in your pipes with expanding foam insulation or caulk. Disconnect and drain your garden hose to prevent it from bursting. You’ll also want to clip tree branches that are close to your house or car in case of a snow or rainstorm.
DECK THE HALLS 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Time to pick out the tree and haul ornament-filled boxes from the attic. But, the next open house you have won’t be for your dear friends — it will be for potential buyers. Stay festive without crossing the line with these Frontdoor.com tips.
Your yard and front door provide a sneak preview of the warm and inviting atmosphere inside. Showcase winter’s beauty with a pinecone wreath on your door, and excite prospective buyers by hanging some simple lights outside.
Inside, appeal to guests’ senses. Draw back the curtains to allow natural light, and add more lamps for a softer light that also fights the darkness of the season. Keep the house toasty by lighting the fireplace or switching on the heater. In the bathrooms, add seasonal scented soap, and in the kitchen, let the aromas of freshly baked cookies or hot cider circulate.
Keep the religious décor to a minimum to avoid scaring off buyers. Consider a scaled-back Christmas tree or Hanukkah menorah in the corner, gifts tucked tidily around. After all, it’s still a holiday.
fast fact  >> >> >> Ceiling fans can also circulate heat.  Blades rotating clockwise push warm air down.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY BARBARA WATTS®, A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL OF RESIDENTIAL SPECIALISTS

GUIDING LIGHT

Need a little more light in your life? See for yourself the difference that light bulbs and lamp shades can make with a room’s mood. Check out these bright ideas from RealSimple.com.
Type Cast In the bathroom, use overhead lights to get rid of shadows; sidelights flanking the mirrors are perfect for makeup application. In the kitchen, overhead lights brighten surfaces. In the bedroom, try cozy tinted, low-wattage bulbs to give a candlelit, romantic effect. To create a grand atmosphere in the dining room, use a chandelier. Place one directly over the table, but make sure to measure the ceiling height and table height before making a purchase. Indirect lighting — in all parts of the home — softens spaces. Small table lamps or wall sconces can also add a subtle glow.
Safe and Secure Use ambient lighting to brighten the exterior of your home. Motion-activated or timer-equipped lights can ensure your home’s exterior is well-lit in the evenings. Don’t go too dim or too bright — no need to attract intruders, nor bother your neighbor.
DID YOU KNOW?  Using a programmable thermostat to adjust the temperature in your home by roughly 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours a day might save you 10 percent a year on heating and cooling.
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, finance, 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?
Certified Residential Specialist

 

Do you know someone who is thinking about buying or selling a home?  Please mention our 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 STAY UP TO DATE ON NEWS IN OUR MARKET!

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

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

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
206 Rockmont Drive Fort Mill, SC 29708

206 Rockmont Drive
Fort Mill, SC 29708

YOUR HOME NEWSLETTER FOR OCTOBER 2013

TIPS AND TRENDS FOR HOMEOWNERS, BUYERS AND SELLERS

DESIGN DO’S AND DON’T’S

Before you start your next home renovation project, consider your space needs first. HGTV and DIY Network offer these tips for taking on room projects that will give your home a fresh look.

First, think long term. Since most homeowners are likely to stay in the home at least five years before they see real appreciation, avoid installing the hottest design trends of the moment for expensive items like flooring, bathroom tile and backsplashes. Instead, design with affordable and more disposable accessories such as pillows and throw rugs, which can be changed out easily and quickly.

Don’t purchase furniture before you move in to the home. Live in the space for a few months and get accurate measurements of each room before spending your hard-earned cash on oversized items that may not fit. The same holds true for selecting paint colors. A room’s natural lighting changes throughout the day, so paint colors that stand out during daylight hours may appear muted at dusk.

When it comes to your kitchen, focus on quality, not quantity. Not everyone can knock down a wall to install a kitchen island. Develop a good space plan that includes efficient storage for your dinnerware and small appliances.

Need a second opinion? Seek the advice of a novice home designer who can give you a fresh perspective at an affordable rate. Finally, make sure all decision-makers are on board with the project and budget. Otherwise, you’ll have to start all over.

NEW RULES FOR REVERSE MORTGAGES

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has announced new rules that determine how much and when homeowners can tap the equity in their homes through a reverse mortgage. Starting Sept. 30, 2013, the new rules will limit the amount of money that can be taken out in the first year of a reverse mortgage. For example, if a borrower is eligible to withdraw $200,000, they would only be allowed to receive $120,000 – or 60 percent – in the first year. This will mean that some borrowers will have access to 15 percent less of their home equity than they do under the current program. Homeowners are currently allowed to withdraw all the money they are eligible for at one time, which strains the program’s cash reserves. The changes to the FHA’s rules aim to encourage borrowers to tap their home’s equity more gradually.
Starting Jan. 13, 2014, the FHA will also implement changes regarding who can qualify for its reverse mortgage program. Borrowers will need to prove that they will be able to pay property taxes and insurance over the life of the loan. Consequently, borrowers will face greater scrutiny from lenders pertaining to their income and credit history when applying for the program.
fast fact >> >> >> >> >>

More than half of all homeowners (52 percent) plan to spend at least $1,000 to improve their homes by adding a home office or child’s playroom. 
Source: Zillow survey, August 2013

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

HEAT SAFETY TIPS

As energy costs continue to rise, some homeowners are using alternate sources to heat their homes. While wood-burning stoves, space heaters and fireplaces are popular options, especially in colder climates, they can be fire hazards. FireSafety.gov offers some tips to help homeowners use these heat alternatives safely.
Wood stoves made of plate steel or cast iron are best. Use only seasoned wood for fuel, and avoid green wood, artificial logs or trash. Inspect and clean the pipes and chimneys annually, and check monthly for damage and obstructions. Keep combustible objects at least three feet away from the stove.
Space heaters that feature the Underwriters Laboratories certification are recommended. Use a heater with a thermostat control mechanism that can switch off automatically if the heater falls over. Don’t dry clothes or store objects on top of the heater. Like wood stoves, keep combustibles at least three feet away. Always unplug the device when it is not in use.
Clean fireplaces frequently to prevent creosote from building up in the chimney. Also inspect the chimneys for obstructions or cracks. Never burn trash, paper or green wood, which can cause heavy creosote buildup. Don’t wear loose-fitting clothes near open flames, and make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.
Finally, make sure smoke detectors are working properly, and replace batteries every six months.
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, finance, 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?
Certified Residential Specialist
DID YOU KNOW?    The largest pumpkin pie ever made was more than five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds.

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!  STAY UP TO DATE BY FOLLOWING OUR SOCIAL NETWORKS!

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
Barbara Watts
Megan Watts, Realtor
Licensed in NC & SC
ABR, GRI, SFR, AHWD
803-554-8725
meganwattsteam@gmail.com
Megan Watts
Dale Watts, Realtor
Licensed in NC & SC, SRES
803-370-4049
TegaCayDale@gmail.com
Dale Watts

 

 

 

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

 

YOUR HOME NEWSLETTER MAY 2013

TIPS AND TRENDS FOR HOMEOWNERS, BUYERS AND SELLERS

KITCHEN LIFT

Are you ready for a kitchen upgrade but lacking an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink kind of budget? Plenty of low-cost improvements can revive a kitchen without the need to rip out cabinets and rewire appliances. Consider these tips from This Old House and HGTV.

Color Splash: With a new coat of paint and some other accents, you might not even recognize your own kitchen. Make over dark wood or white cabinets with a cool hue, such as pale sage green, or create visual impact by painting a focal point, such as your island, a bold color. A tile backsplash, graphic prints and new hardware are also inexpensive ways to add personality. Consider a new and easy-to-clean linoleum floor in a shade such as Red Amaranth.

See the Light: A kitchen needs light to be functional, of course, but oversized task lights can also improve the vibe and tie other details together. Track or recessed lighting can be pricey, so look for pendants that can go above a kitchen island and mirror the style of hardware on your faucet and cabinets. Try under-counter lighting, too.

Store More: Short on storage? Try hanging pot racks overhead. Position them close to the range and away from where you’d hit your head. Built-ins can be expensive, so look at your local hardware stores for pull-out storage kits and organizers to fit your current cabinetry.

OUTSIDE INFLUENCE

Summertime, and the living is easy? It may not seem that way when you’re entertaining guests, but hosting friends and family doesn’t have to be stressful, especially if you choose to do it outside using these simple ideas from Martha Stewart.

Even before prime outdoor entertaining season gets underway, stay ahead of the game with built-in decorations. Hanging brightly patterned or monogrammed dishes on the side of your house can make a fun and personal statement. A graphic-print umbrella on the patio can tie the space together. Create storage space and seating (and add another pop of color) by painting wooden chests and topping them with custom cushions made of waterproof foam and fabric.

Food and drink will probably be at the center of your get together. Raise the bar at your next gathering by creating a beverage station. Use a shelf made of metal or another material and brackets to affix the flat surface to the side of your house. Secure the ledge so it can be folded down out of the way when it’s not in use.

And although the weather is warm, a campfire is a great way to host a gathering when temperatures cool off at night. Create a firepit in your yard: Start with wood framing (the kind used to edge garden beds) to construct the perimeter. Fill the confined area with sand, which will level the surface and absorb charcoal and flyaway sparks. Don’t forget the seating around the main attraction. Folding deck chairs are easy to store in the off-season.

fast fact >> >> >> Guinness World Record holder “The Big Hot Dog” weighs 7 pounds and is 16 inches long and 4 inches in diameter. The $40 dog amounts to 40 regular-sized servings.

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

 IT’S YOUR MOVE

The days of bribing friends and family to help you move are probably long gone. But getting help isn’t necessarily any easier — finding a good, reliable moving company that can get the job done right takes careful research. Before you hire any moving company, do a little legwork to make sure it’s legit, in your price range and offers the services you need. USA.gov, Relocation.com and ApartmentGuide.com offer the following tips.

First, find out some details about the company. Does it have an operating license? Check with your local state authority or the Department of Transportation, depending on whether it’s an in-state or interstate move. Does the company carry insurance, and what are the limits?

Also investigate the company’s track record. Check with the Better Business Bureau for complaints, and ask the company for references you can contact. Repeat customers who do business with the company can be some of the best referrals.

Get estimates from several companies to get a feel for the going rate, and only consider those estimates that fall within the appropriate range. Also, find out exactly what’s included in the quote (packing materials such as tape and extra boxes aren’t always included). Low quotes could ultimately mean paying more money after the move, since some companies don’t itemize what others include in the estimate.

Be prepared for questions moving companies will ask you. What is your time frame? How far will you be moving? If you rent, do you have renter’s insurance, and what does it cover? Will you need moving insurance or packaging services? Where will the moving truck park? Are there stairs or elevators? By preparing yourself ahead of time, you can make that stressful move go a lot smoother.

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?  June 14 is Flag Day. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson established the national holiday to commemorate the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the flag of the United States.

Do you know someone who is thinking about buying or selling a home? Please mention our 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!  STAY UP TO DATE BY FOLLOWING OUR SOCIAL NETWORKS!

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

Your Home Newsletter January 2013

TIPS AND TRENDS FOR HOMEOWNERS, BUYERS AND SELLERS

A FRESH START

Most New Year’s resolutions involve promises to fit into last year’s suit and to avoid the fast-food lane. But don’t let your self-improvement list end there. These home improvement tips, suggested by About.com, can help make your home safer and healthier in the New Year.

Safety first. Make this the year to be truly prepared by creating a household emergency kit. Pack it with first aid supplies, a working flashlight, batteries, extra blankets, a can opener and some nonperishable food. Also take the time each month to make sure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working. Purify the air in the home by swapping out furnace filters every month, and burn real firewood rather than mass-produced logs to avoid potentially harmful chemicals.

Throw it away. De-clutter your life one room at a time. Start with the kitchen: Toss and recycle containers that have long since lost their matching lids, and pare down small appliances to the ones you use most often. Then head to the bathroom and dump half-used bottles of shampoo or face wash that have gone unused in the past six months to clear up space. Finish in the living room by consolidating or recycling old magazines or newspapers.

Invest wisely. Is your refrigerator on its last legs? Saving money to update or replace aging appliances should be on every homeowner’s mind. By saving a small amount each week — say $10 or $20 — homeowners can work toward a specific goal, such as a purchasing a more energy-efficient washer and dryer set. When deciding what to buy, be sure to research any potential cost-saving tax benefits, too.

MAID FOR YOU

Keeping up with house cleaning can be a real challenge — and a task that most of us are happy to overlook. If you want to hand that chore over to someone else, consider this advice from eHow.com and Smartmoney.com before hiring a cleaning service.

First, decide how often you need help: just once for a deep clean, or would a biweekly schedule better suit your needs? Then consider the cost. According to HomeAdvisor, the average price of a cleaning service is between $160-$200 a month. Use the Web to find local cleaning companies, or search a website like Care.com, which provides pre-screening and notes if the caretaker has a background check on file. If you’re considering hiring an individual not affiliated with a company, bear in mind that depending on how much an individual is paid, you may also have to pay their Social Security and Medicare taxes, too.

Insist on a background check (professionals should also be able to provide good references), and be sure to ask the company or individual what kind of liability or theft insurance they have, including workers’ compensation in case someone gets injured on the job. Treat a cleaning service just like any other employee and ensure that a contract that outlines all responsibilities is signed before the service is performed.

fast fact >> >> >> >> 180 million:  The number of Valentine’s Day cards exchanged annually.

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

CONTROL ROOM

It used to be that there was a separate remote control for each electronic device in your living room. Then universal remotes took over, with one device controlling multiple gadgets. The next evolution of the remote control might just be your smartphone.

Missing your favorite show will no longer be an issue with a DVR app from the iTunes or Android store. The DVR Remote app ($2.99) works with TiVo to set up recordings of shows and allows you to watch them via your phone.

    Access and control your computer from afar with apps such as Remote HD ($7.99), which enables you to access your desktop and files remotely, stream audio or video files or monitor the computer while you’re out of town.

    You can also access your home security system from afar. Many alarm companies, such as Schlage, offer apps that allow you to keep an eye on your doors via video, lock and unlock doors remotely, turn the lights off and on, program thermostats, or adjust the air conditioning and heat.

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?  January is National Thank You Month.

Do you know someone looking to buy or sell a home?  Please mention our 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 GIVEAWAYS!  STAY UP TO DATE BY FOLLOWING OUR SOCIAL NETWORKS AS WELL AS 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 your name and current email with subject line Newsletter*

Barbara Watts, Realtor, NC/SC, GRI, ABR, e-PRO, C-CREC, CRS, 803-370-0876, results@barbarawatts.com

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

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

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