4 Ways to Get Your House Ready for Summer

Summer is just around the corner. Many of you are probably preparing to go on a road trip or planning a beach getaway. With the temperatures rising, now would be the perfect time to prepare your home for summer.

Summer is the hottest months of the year. As such, you want to make sure that your family stays cool and comfortable throughout the season.

Here are 4 ways to get your house ready for summer.

Change your ceiling fan direction

Ceiling fans are rotated clockwise in winter in order to pull cool air up. This is done to keep the room warm and toasty in winter. This summer, don’t forget to change the direction of your ceiling fan.

Ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise in summer. This will help make the room feel up to 8 degrees cooler. This way, you can lower the thermostat without compromising your family’s comfort. It can keep your home cool this summer while saving energy.

Have your air conditioner serviced

Your air conditioner has been sitting idle for a few months now. With the temperatures rising to 3-digits in some parts of the country, you want to make sure that your AC is in tiptop shape this summer.

Make sure that you have your air conditioner checked before summer comes to ensure that will function efficiently throughout the summer. The last thing you want is for your AC to break down on the hottest days of the year.

Summer is a busy time for HVAC technicians. It may take some time before they come to your home. Have your AC serviced to ensure that the entire family stays cool and comfortable this summer.

Change your air filter

The air filter plays an important role in your HVAC system. It traps dirt, dust, and other pollutants before they reach the vents. A dirty filter will not only affect the efficiency of your cooling system, it can also lead to poor indoor air quality.

Air filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days. Make it a habit to check your air filters every month and replace them when necessary. Change your air filters regularly to improve indoor air quality and keep your AC running safely and efficiently.

Defrost the freezer

The rising temperature puts an added strain to your freezer and refrigerator. Clean and defrost your freezer to keep it running smoothly and keep your energy consumption low. If your freezer is always near-empty, we suggest that you fill jugs or plastic bottles with water and freeze them. Or better yet, stock up on freezies and burgers. Keeping your freezer stocked will keep it at a level temperature and consume less energy.

House Hunting Tips to Help You Make the Right Choice

House hunting is one of the most exciting parts of buying a house. After all, you are on your way to finding your dream home. But house hunting can be stressful and overwhelming if you don’t stay focused and organized.

In this blog post, we listed down some tips to make the house hunting process easier and more effective. Use these tips to help you find your dream home.

Research before viewing

Most sellers would list their properties online. This would be the best place to start the home buying process. Browse through the online listings and list down some of the properties you’re interested in.

Use online resources to research before viewing. Look for houses that have features you want, fits your budget, and looks nice. Also, plan your route so you can visit a few houses within one drive around.

Identify your housing needs

Before you go out there and start looking at houses, you need to decide what features you want and need in a house. Make a list of these features, and make sure that you bring this list with you.

It can be easy to get swept away with features such as hardwood floors, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances. This is actually fine if it’s within your budget. But if not, then you need to let go. There is no point in buying a gorgeous house with top-of-the-line appliances if you can’t afford it. No house, no matter how perfect it is, is worth being house poor over.

Make sure you’re free the entire afternoon

Some people fail to realize this, but house hunting can be time consuming. So if you are planning to look at a few houses, make sure that you free up at least a few hours of your day. Otherwise, you may find yourself rushing.

A house is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make. If you find a house that you like, it is best to linger for a while and look closely at every aspect of the house. You want to take notes and take photos of each house you look at. This way, it will be easier for you to compare the properties later on and make a more informed decision.

3 Things You Need to Know About Buying a House in Summer

Summer is one of the busiest times of the year for the real estate market. It provides the perfect opportunity for aspiring homeowners to find their dream home. The weather is warm, the kids are on vacation, and they can settle in on their new home before the school year starts.

If you are considering buying a house this summer, then this blog post is for you. Here are 3 things you need to know about buying a house in summer.

The inventory might go down

Most sellers wait until spring to list their homes, so there are lots of inventories in spring and summer. Most buyers don’t want to wait until the end of the summer to buy a house. Many of them are looking to speed up the buying process as they want to move in and settle in their new home before the school year starts.

Some sellers, on the other hand, would take their homes off the market temporarily by the end of the summer. Considering how exhausting and stressful selling a house is, they use this time to go on a vacation with their family. Expect a reduction in inventory at the end of the house. Majority of the house may have already been sold, while others were taken off the market temporarily.

Consider fixer-uppers

Finding a big house in a good location and affordable price is a dream most aspiring homeowners share. In a tight housing market, there is often a shortage of modestly-priced, move-in ready homes. As an alternative, you may want to look at fixer-uppers. With a little elbow grease and some creativity, you can it into your dream home.

But before buying a fixer upper, we highly recommend that you hire a home inspector. A home inspection will give you a good idea about the overall condition of the property. If the house has some minor issues that can easily be fixed, then go ahead with the purchase. If

Cash is king

The competition is high during the summer. This isn’t the time for low ball offers. If you are serious about buying the house, make sure that you make the strongest offer. The best offer doesn’t always equate to the highest offer.

Cash is still king when it comes to home buying. In a hot market where there are multiple offers, sellers often choose an all cash offer over those with FHA or conventional loan financing. With the money on hand, it eliminates the risk of closing delays. Since the buyer doesn’t need to obtain a home loan, they no longer need to wait for 30 to 45 days. Closing can take place in as little as 7 days.

4 Maintenance Skills Aspiring Homeowners Need to Master

Being a homeowner entails a lot of responsibilities. This includes taking care of your home and making sure that it stays in tip top shape. Some maintenance tasks require the assistance of a professional, but there are a number of things you can do to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Here are 4 maintenance skills aspiring homeowners need to master. Master these skills to keep your home in the best condition possible. Plus, it will help you save lots of money down the road.

Changing air filters

According to the U.S. FDA, indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air. You may not realize it, but there are lots of pollutants inside your home. Dust, dirt, pet dander, mold, pollen, chemicals, and the list go on. These pollutants get trapped in the air filters.

During the summer and winter months, your HVAC system is running round the clock. That means, the air inside your home is being re-circulated again and again. When the air filter is dirty, these pollutants will be blown back into your home and will be floating in the air. Make it a habit to change your air filters every 30 to 90 days. Not only will it improve indoor air quality, it will also help extend the life of your HVAC system.

Unclogging drains

If you notice that the sink is draining slower than usual or there is standing water in the tub, you probably have a clogged drain.

Clogged drains can be a serious nuisance, which is why you need to address the problem fast. You can clear up even the most stubborn clogs with a little practice and some simple tools.

Cleaning gutters

Most people don’t give their gutters much thought until they stop working properly. Your gutters are designed to keep water away from your home. When it’s clogged, water can’t run through them and will collect in the roof. Eventually, it will cause damage. When there is too much water on the roof, it will drip down the side of your house.

The last thing you want is to deal with water damage due to clogged gutters. Make sure that you clean your gutters regularly to ensure that they are working properly. You may also want to consider putting a gutter guard to prevent leaves, twigs, and other debris from accumulating.

Repair a leaky faucet

Every homeowner will experience plumbing problems at some point. Leaky faucets are one of the most common problems homeowners face. Often, they tend to ignore the problem thinking it isn’t a big deal. But if left unattended, you’ll be wasting a lot of water. Also, this can lead to a bigger, more complicated problem. Learn how to fix a leaky faucet. It’s a simple task that anyone can handle.

House Hunting Tips for Parents with Young Kids

House hunting is one of the most exciting parts of the home buying process. You get to look at different houses while searching for your dream home.

If you have kids, it is always best to leave the children at home when you’re house hunting. But there are some instances when you really need to take the kids with you. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to make the process as stress-free as possible.

Here are some house hunting tips for parents with young kids.

Keep the kids busy

Most kids get bored easily, especially when they have nothing else to do. They would ask you again and again if it’s time to go. Younger kids may even throw a fit. To prevent this from happening, we highly recommend that you bring your child’s favorite toy or an iPad. This way, they’ll have something to keep them occupied while you go around and look at the property.

Most kids can play for hours on end on their iPad. Just give them the iPad and let them sit on one corner. By keeping them busy, you can maximize your time on the property and have time to really look at the property.

Time it right

Choosing the right house is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. You want to really look at the property. You also want to list down the features, so you can compare them later on. But you can’t do that if you have tired and cranky kids in tow. This can ruin your house hunting experience.

If you really need to take the kids with you, it is best to go schedule the viewing early in the morning or late afternoon. You want to make sure that the child is well rested. Otherwise, he/she may start throwing a temper tantrum.

Bring some snacks

Kids can get grumpy when they’re hungry. Before heading out for the day, make sure that you pack some snacks so your kids have something to eat when they get hungry.

Choose snacks that healthy and kid-friendly. Granola bars, sandwiches, bananas, and cookies are great options for kids. Don’t forget to bring water as well. With the weather getting warmer, you want to make sure to keep the kids hydrated.

Look at the neighborhood

House hunting can be boring for kids. After all, they have no business being there. After looking at houses, you may want to drive around the area to see if there are parks, playground or sports field in the area.

This will give you an opportunity to observe the neighborhood. Plus, it’s a great way of showing the kids how amazing your new neighborhood is. They’ll feel less anxious about moving and feel more at ease in their new home town.

4 Ways to Prepare Your House for a Home Inspection

So you have finally received an offer for your home. Congratulations! The next step in the process is a home inspection.

A home inspection is a visual inspection that determines the present condition of the house. Passing a home inspection is an important step to complete to sell your home. If major issues are discovered during the inspection, the buyer may either negotiate for a lower price, ask you to tackle repairs or back out of the sale.

Here are 4 ways to prepare your home for a home inspection.

Get a pre-sale inspection

If you haven’t had your house inspected before, you’re probably anxious about the issues that may pop up during the inspection.

Have your home inspected before putting it on the market. This will help you determine the actual condition of your property. Plus, it gives you a chance to tackle repairs early on. All issues should be dealt with right now to prevent delays later on. If you have no plans of making repairs, consider adjusting your asking price.

Be on time

Home inspectors will come on time. Many of them will even arrive 15 minutes earlier, so make sure that you’re all dressed up and ready to go before the scheduled time.

Most inspectors will start examining your home’s exterior. The last thing you want is for him to be walking around the house while you’re still dressing up. Get up early on the day of the inspection. If possible, be out of the house before they arrive.

If you have pets, it is best to have them taken off the premises. If that’s not possible, secure them on a crate.

Prepare the documents

If you did some remodeling projects, upgrades or repairs in the past, you need documents to back up your claim. Prepare documents showing roof repairs, HVAC inspections, kitchen renovation etc.

Make sure all areas are accessible

Aside from examining the house, the inspector will also check on the different systems in your home. This includes your plumbing, electrical, and HVAC system. He will also be checking the attic, basement, under the sink, electrical box etc.

In order to do his job thoroughly, ensure access to critical areas of your home. Get rid of any clutter or possessions from areas that may need to be inspected.

Home Staging Mistakes That Can Sabotage Your Sale

When preparing your house for sale, it is important to stage it to bring out the best in your home. In today’s competitive market, you need all the advantage you can get to make a good first impression on potential buyers. Your goal is to help them envision themselves living in that house. But sometimes,

Here are 4 home staging mistakes that can sabotage your sale.

Over-staging your space

We understand that you want your house look its best. However, you shouldn’t go overboard with the decorations.

Less is more is the mantra you should keep in mind when staging your home. Try to get rid of as much items personal belongings as you can. This way, potential buyers can see how big of a storage space you have, not how much stuff you have in there. Also, the more furniture you have, the more cramped and cluttered the house will look.

Dark rooms

Dark walls can create drama and ambiance. However, this won’t work in a small space. Dark walls, tend to absorb light; thus, making the room look smaller than it actually is. Nothing puts off a potential buyer than a small and cramped space.

Make your room look more spacious by painting the walls a lighter color. White, beige, light gray, and blue are great options for small rooms. Clever use of colors can trick the eye into thinking a room is more expansive than it is. Also, keep the curtains and window treatments open during the day to get more natural light in.

Being too safe

Neutral colors are great since they appeal to a wider audience. However, that doesn’t mean that everything should be white, beige, cream or ivory.

When staging, you want your house to look appealing and attractive. Your goal is to make potential buyers to love it. Otherwise, you are less likely to see an offer on your home. We’re not suggesting that you go crazy on the color scheme, but try to add some pops of color into your home. Feel free to add some brightly colored pillows, carpet, vases etc.

Pushing all the furniture against the wall

Although it’s a common layout option, try to resist the urge to push all the furnitures against the wall, especially if you’re restricted on space. This will make a small living room look more cramped. No matter how small your living space is, make sure that you place the furniture a few feet from the walls.

For large living rooms, pushing the sofas against the wall will be a problem since the seating area will have to be spread too thin. If you have a guest, then you’ll have to converse with them from 15 feet away, which is kind of awkward. Try to arrange the furniture in a way that conversations can be made without shouting across the room or craning their neck.

Home Fixes You Must Complete Before Listing Your Home for Sale

If you are looking to make the most money for your home, you need to tackle some issues before listing your home for sale. Leaving repairs for a buyer is not a smart thing to do. Not only will buyers negotiate for a lower price, you may also have a hard time selling your home.

Here are 4 home fixes you must complete before selling your home.

Improve curb appeal

If you want to sell your home fast and for top dollar, make sure that the property looks good on the outside.

Your home’s exterior is the first thing potential buyers will see. Often, homebuyers will make a decision about whether or not they are interested in the house by just looking at it from the outside. They are less likely to be interested to see what’s on the inside if the exterior looks messy, unkempt, and disorganized.

Power spray your home’s exterior, repaint the front door and mailbox, plant some flowering plants, and keep the lawn mowed. These are just some of the things you can do to make your home more appealing and inviting.

Paint walls and ceilings

If you are looking for an easy and inexpensive way to refresh the look of your home, consider painting the walls and ceilings.

Red, pink or blue are great colors, but not everyone will love it. Paint the walls a neutral color to make your house more appealing to the greatest pool of prospective buyers. They need to be able to envision themselves in that house. Potential buyers may have a hard time doing so, especially if they can’t get past the red master bedroom.

Kitchen improvements

The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in the house. Today, homeowners don’t just use it for preparing meals. Many of them would use the kitchen to entertain their guests and bond with their family. If you have the budget for a renovation, the kitchen would be a great place to start. A spacious kitchen with huge counter space would be much appreciated by potential buyers. Some would even be willing to pay more for a kitchen with updated appliances.

Flooring fixes

The flooring is one of the first things prospective buyers notice when they enter the house. An old, dingy, and smelly carpet is sure to put off buyers.

Most homes come with wood flooring. Before putting your home on the market, we suggest that you get rid of that old carpet and get that wood floor refinished. Hardwood floor is one of the features buyers are looking for in a home. Not only will it give off a classic and elegant vibe to your home, it will also add value to your property.