YOUR HOME NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 2018

Tips and Trends for Homeowners, Buyers and Sellers

THE bigger PICTURE

While the price of a home might seem to be in your budget at face value, forgotten costs of the buying and moving process could potentially put you over budget in the long run. Here are six costs that are often overlooked, courtesy of Redfin:

Improvements. Even if the home you buy isn’t a fixer-upper, there may be things you want to change or add to make it your own, such as new flooring, paint or countertops, which can add up to be a large expense.

Moving. Moving costs money, and the price goes up the more stuff you have and the farther you’re moving.

Furnishings. You may want to buy furnishings for your new home, since the furniture and accessories you own now may not be enough or fit in with a new aesthetic.

Maintenance. This is an expense that catches renters especially off guard, because maintenance is usually taken care of by the building owners. You can expect to repair or replace a variety of things during the life of a home, so be sure to include maintenance costs in your budget.

Utilities. While you may already be paying for utilities at your current residence, the costs could be higher in your new home depending on the size and area. There are also some utilities that are included in rent that homeowners have to pay for, like garbage collection.

Time. You will meet with several people to sign documents, set up utilities and prepare your move—time you might take off from work. This is fine if you’re able to use vacation days, but if not, you may need to take unpaid leave.

 

TURN IT DOWN

If there’s one thing you can count on when you own a home, it’s the arrival of the energy bill each month. One homeowner’s energy costs will be higher or lower than the next, but there are easy ways to save a little money each month.

Use the dishwasher. Dishwashers, especially Energy Star appliances, are more efficient than washing dishes by hand. It’s also important to load your dishwasher as effectively as possible, so check your manual for the best way. If you don’t own a dishwasher, save water by turning the tap on only when you need to rinse.

Unplug idle electronics. Electronics and appliances still use standby energy even when not in use. Since unplugging every cord in your home is not feasible, consider using power strips with multiple plugs that you can turn off and on with the flip of a switch.

Circulate air with fans. Even with central air conditioning, it can be tricky to keep every room at a steady temperature on hot days. Position standing fans to circulate air throughout your home, rather than lowering the AC thermostat temperature. If you have ceiling fans, make sure they’re circulating in the correct direction: counter-clockwise during the summer—so air is being pushed down—and clockwise in the winter.

Measure laundry loads. Washing clothes in cold water instead of warm saves energy. And make sure there’s enough space inside the dryer for hot air to circulate, or you could end up running two cycles.

THE pre-listing LIST

Completing some quick and easy tasks before listing a home for sale can help reduce stress and save time during the home-selling process.

#1 CLEAN THE HOUSE

An important part of selling a home is keeping it clean in anticipation of a showing. Cleaning the home will convey that it’s been well cared for and that the house is less susceptible to any issues caused by neglect.

#2 FINISH THE HONEY-DO LIST

Some areas of the home, although not typically thought of as areas that would affect a home’s appeal, may be displayed as safety concerns on a home inspection report. Help yourself by replacing burnt-out light bulbs, testing smoke detectors, replacing air filters and unclogging drains.

#3 CHECK ALL OUTLETS

A sampling of electrical outlets will be tested as part of the home inspection to make sure they’re in good working order. Take note of which outlets are not functioning and replace them, or consider hiring an electrician to make sure all outlets and the electrical box are updated and in proper working condition.

#4 CLEAR AREAS FOR EASY ACCESS

Home inspectors will be looking at the major systems of the home, including the foundation, HVAC systems, electrical systems, plumbing and even the water heater. Making sure they can easily access these areas, including the basement and attic, will save time during the inspection process.

#5 CONSIDER A PRE-LISTING INSPECTION

Hiring experienced and professional home inspectors can save a lot of headaches during the selling process. They will thoroughly go through the home and notify you of any potential issues ahead of listing the property.

 

 SAY YES TO CRS…….

А Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), with years of experience and success, will help you make smart decisions in a fast-paced, complex and competitive marketplace.
To earn the CRS Designation, REАLTORS® must demonstrate outstanding professional achievements — including high-volume sales — and pursue advanced training in areas such as finance, marketing and technology. They must also maintain membership in the NАTIONАL АSSOCIАTION OF REАLTORS® and abide by its Code of Ethics.
Work with a REАLTOR® who belongs in the top 3 percent in the nation. Contact Barbara Watts today.

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

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 803-370-0876

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Century 21 First Choice

206 Rockmont Drive, Fort Mill, SC 29708

DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS THINKING ABOUT BUYING OR SELLING A HOME? PLEASE MENTION MY NAME!

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

YOUR HOME NEWSLETTER JULY 2018

7 Garage Storage Mistakes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

5 DIY Tips

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

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

 

SMALL FLAWS can be a big deal

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

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

 

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

  SAY YES TO CRS…….

А Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), with years of experience and success, will help you make smart decisions in a fast-paced, complex and competitive marketplace.
To earn the CRS Designation, REАLTORS® must demonstrate outstanding professional achievements — including high-volume sales — and pursue advanced training in areas such as finance, marketing and technology. They must also maintain membership in the NАTIONАL АSSOCIАTION OF REАLTORS® and abide by its Code of Ethics.
Work with a REАLTOR® who belongs in the top 3 percent in the nation. Contact Barbara Watts today.

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

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 803-370-0876

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.

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

OPEN HOUSE – FOUR SEASONS AT GOLD HILL

331 GARNET COURT, FORT MILL, SC 29708

SATURDAY, JUNE 9TH, 1 – 3PM

We're sorry, but we couldn't find MLS # 3395672 in our database. This property may be a new listing or possibly taken off the market. Please check back again.

Your Home Newsletter May 2018

Tips and Trends for Homeowners, Buyers and Sellers

THE 10-YEAR FIX

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOME CARE MYTHS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

  SAY YES TO CRS…….

А Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), with years of experience and success, will help you make smart decisions in a fast-paced, complex and competitive marketplace.
To earn the CRS Designation, REАLTORS® must demonstrate outstanding professional achievements — including high-volume sales — and pursue advanced training in areas such as finance, marketing and technology. They must also maintain membership in the NАTIONАL АSSOCIАTION OF REАLTORS® and abide by its Code of Ethics.
Work with a REАLTOR® who belongs in the top 3 percent in the nation. Contact Barbara Watts today.

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

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 803-370-0876

Results@BarbaraWatts.com

Century 21 First Choice

206 Rockmont Drive, Fort Mill, SC 29708

DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS THINKING ABOUT BUYING OR SELLING A HOME? PLEASE MENTION MY NAME!

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

YOUR HOME NEWSLETTER JAN/FEB 2018

THE COLORS OF 2018

A new year, a new color…….

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

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

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

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

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

LITTLE THINGS MEAN  a lot:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 THINGS BUYERS SHOULD NEVER COMPROMISE ON 

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

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

 

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

  SAY YES TO CRS…….

А Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), with years of experience and success, will help you make smart decisions in a fast-paced, complex and competitive marketplace.
To earn the CRS Designation, REАLTORS® must demonstrate outstanding professional achievements — including high-volume sales — and pursue advanced training in areas such as finance, marketing and technology. They must also maintain membership in the NАTIONАL АSSOCIАTION OF REАLTORS® and abide by its Code of Ethics.
Work with a REАLTOR® who belongs in the top 3 percent in the nation. Contact Barbara Watts today.

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

Watts_7025-Edit

 803-370-0876

Results@BarbaraWatts.com

Century 21 First Choice

206 Rockmont Drive, Fort Mill, SC 29708

DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS THINKING ABOUT BUYING OR SELLING A HOME? PLEASE MENTION MY NAME!

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