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, 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 JULY 2013

TIPS AND TRENDS FOR HOMEOWNERS, BUYERS AND SELLERS

PICK A LOCK

As Americans hit the road this summer for vacation, would-be burglars are scoping out their next victim. Don’t let it be you. Make sure your home is securely protected by the latest and greatest in locks. Some tips from This Old House hold the key.
Exterior doors: Thirty-four percent of break-ins happen at the front door, so make sure it has a dead bolt. Ranging from $25 to $300, they come in separate pieces (a dead bolt and a lock set) or a handle set that has both features. Two important parts to look for: a dead-locking latch bolt, which prevents entry by jimmying with a credit card, and hardened pins that can’t be sawed. The best option in case of an emergency? A handle set that allows you to open the dead bolt and latch from inside in one motion.
Interior doors: You’ll probably want a lock with a latch kickoff that keeps the door from closing behind you and with an emergency release that lets you open with a paperclip from the outside. Most range from $8 to $16.
Going keyless: Try locks for the digital age, which don’t require a key but instead use a numeric code that slides open the bolt. But, if the batteries fail, you may need that key after all.
SHOW TIME
  The “For Sale” sign is out front and the Open House is scheduled, but have you done everything inside and out to make potential buyers bite? Showing your home at its very best requires more than a little dusting and organizing. You’ll need to help possible buyers imagine themselves living in your home, which means removing photos and some personal items. Find out how to prep your house for a successful showing with some tips from REALTOR.com.
  First, get a head start on your packing and clear the clutter. Clear the sidewalk, lawn and curb, as well as windowsills and countertops. Don’t just stuff items into your cabinets and closets. Store, donate or throw away items that you’ve accumulated. Moving large bookcases or other furniture into storage can also help buyers see the potential of each room. Organizing hidden spaces such as kitchen shelves and closets will also appeal to potential buyers
  Do you have leaky faucets or holes in the wall? It’s worth fixing those and other items such as cracked tiles and fussy drawers. Also, consider repainting rooms in neutral colors, such as beige or eggshell white. Let’s face it: That bright orange bathroom isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. And, most importantly, clean your house from top to bottom, inside and out.
fast fact >> >> >> >> On average, two out of five fires that are reported on the Fourth of July are because of fireworks.
Source: National Fire Protection Association
 
BROUGHT TO YOU BY BARBARA WATTS®, A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL OF RESIDENTIAL SPECIALISTS
Certified Residential Specialist
COOL RUNNINGS
  As last summer’s record high temperatures proved, summer can be sticky and uncomfortable — and dangerous. It’s prime time for heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. But, take heart: There are some ways to. At the pool, on the street or inside your home, stay smart with these tips from MedicineNet.com.
  Plan your outdoor workout routine for early mornings or late evenings, when the temperatures are cooler. If you must exercise during the heat of the day, walk instead of run and decrease the duration. Wearing loose clothing in a light color (cotton instead of synthetics) will also help keep you cool. Stave off dehydration with frequent sips of water or electrolyte-filled sports drinks, and avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  Speaking of cold beverages, consider putting some unconventional items in your fridge. A spray bottle filled with water can offer a cooling spritz to your face. Chilled lotions and cosmetic toners can rescue tired feet. Also, put some plastic bottles of water in the freezer to grab before you go back outdoors.
  Fans, even when the air conditioning is on full-blast, can also help. No A/C? Head to a public place such as a shopping mall, public library or movie theater to stay cool.
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?  President Ronald Reagan labeled July as National Ice Cream month in 1984.
Source: International Dairy Foods Association

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!
*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, GRI, ABR, SFR, 803-554-8725, MeganWattsTeam@gmail.com
Dale Watts, Realtor, Licensed in NC & SC, SRES, 803-370-4049, TegaCayDale@gmail.com

  1. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,637 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,662 sqft
    Listed with Mattamy Carolina Corporation
  2. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,525 sq ft
    Lot size: 12,196 sqft
    Listed with Miller Realty Group
  3. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 4,785 sq ft
    Lot size: 22,651 sqft
    Listed with Alexander Realty &Construction
  4. 6 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,851 sq ft
    Lot size: 11,761 sqft
    Listed with Century 21 First Choice
  5. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,100 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,276 sqft
    Listed with Helen Adams Realty
  6. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 3,445 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,712 sqft
    Listed with Phoenix Realty Of The Carolinas
  7. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,778 sq ft
    Listed with Hudson Advantage Realty
  8. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 3,808 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,454 sqft
    Listed with Keller Williams Fort Mill
  9. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,095 sq ft
    Lot size: 13,503 sqft
    Listed with WEICHERT, REALTORS Rebhan & Associates
  10. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,824 sq ft
    Lot size: 15,681 sqft
    Listed with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
  11. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,498 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,662 sqft
    Listed with M/I Homes
  12. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,828 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,969 sqft
    Listed with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
  13. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 4,610 sq ft
    Lot size: 16,552 sqft
    Listed with Better Homes and Garden Real Estate Paracle
  14. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 4,075 sq ft
    Lot size: 21,780 sqft
    Listed with Highgarden Real Estate
  15. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,002 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,742 sqft
    Listed with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
  16. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 4,157 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,840 sqft
    Listed with Keller Williams Fort Mill
  17. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,852 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,488 sqft
    Listed with Mattamy Carolina Corporation
  18. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 2,925 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,356 sqft
    Listed with RE/MAX Metro Realty
  19. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,376 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,236 sqft
    Listed with Keller Williams Fort Mill
  20. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,836 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,890 sqft
    Listed with Stephen Cooley Real Estate Group

See all Real estate in the city of Tega Cay.
(all data current as of 6/25/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

 

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 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.

 

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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