Archive for April, 2013

Which Home Repairs Should Come First?

Posted on: April 28th, 2013 | No Comments

repair

If you’re the fixer-upper type, you may have even opted for a home with a few repairs. This can be a great option if you want to save a few bucks or renovate the home to your style. But after the home inspection, a lot of home buyers can become stressed about the number of repairs they actually need.

 

Suddenly, their visions of paint colors and new fixtures get put on the back burner for things like a new roof!

 

So how can you prioritize your “new” list of priorities? Here’s my advice:

 

Start with the electrical: If your electrical system needs an upgrade, this should be your first priority. Sure, sometimes electrical is just annoying, like when your lights dim when you run an appliance. At worst, though, it can be a fire and safety hazard. Electrical has been known to start fires, which can mean that you’re at risk for a fatality in your home. Put this at the top of your list.

 

Look for structural damage: Structural damage in a home’s foundation can lead to even bigger problems, like cracking and shifting of the house. You can spot damage like this by noting at cracking in cement or masonry work or even small piles of dust, which could be a red flag for termites. While a lot of people think structural damage equals a big price tag, the cost will only go up the longer you let the problem persists. Tackle this project right away.

 

Roof and gutters: Pay particular attention to your roof and gutters’ functionality. They’re more than just pretty features for your home; they’re there to protect the entire structure. For instance, if your roof leaks or your gutters dam up with ice in the Winter, you could be looking at serious issues inside your home, like mold, electrical issues, and even insects.

 

CNN Money also has a great list of repairs, along with what the replacements will cost you.

 

So how did you decide which project to tackle first? Did it come down to budget? Or did your home inspector advise you on which were the most pressing?

All-Natural and Creative Ways to Rid Your Home of Ants

Posted on: April 19th, 2013 | No Comments

antsWhy is it that when Spring comes to our area, ants suddenly invade our homes?  If you’re a homeowner, you may have tried ant traps, pest sprays, and high-octane ant killers – both inside and outside your home.

 

When ants start marching in, you may not have time to run to the store for some ant spray.  Instead, mix up this ant killer that can be made with items found around most homes:

  • 1 tsp. dishwashing soap (not detergent)
  • 1 tsp. virgin olive oil (you can try other cooking oils, too).
  • 1 qt. water

Add the ingredients to a spray bottle and spray the ants or any other insect that’s in your home.  Even better, you can also use this mixture on your gardens or outside.

 

Besides this mixture, other people have had success with:

  • Splenda (safe for kids and pets)
  • Coffee grounds (safe for kids and pets)
  • Dish soap (great on baseboards, windows, doors)
  • Cornmeal (because ants can’t digest it, it blocks their systems, which will eventually decrease your ant problem).
  • Cinnamon (great around the inside and outside of your home)

When treating a moderate ant infestation, it’s best to spray the line of the entryway that you think they’re taking.  If the problem persists or the ants are increasingly making their presence known in other rooms, you may have an infestation on your hands.  Call an exterminator.

 

What about you?  Have you used anything to repel ants in your home?  What’s worked for you, and what hasn’t?

 

How to Remove Pet Smells and Odors When Selling Your Home

Posted on: April 15th, 2013 | No Comments

petWhen potential home buyers walk through of a home, not everything always meets the eye. In fact, there’s one thing that can send potential homebuyers running: the smell of a family pet.

 

The Humane Society estimates that approximately 15% of the population is allergic to cats or dogs. Although you and your pet aren’t planning on living there anymore, your home may still carry the pet odors that can cause allergies for new homeowners.

 

So what can you do? Fortunately, with a little elbow grease and an afternoon blocked off, you can rid your home of pet odors. Sure, you probably used scented room sprays, candles, or even fancy dog odor sprays, but pet odors can stay trapped in any fabric and material in your home. That’s right – curtains, sofas, carpets, and even hardwood floors can harbor your pet odors, unless you give them a good scrub down. One word of caution, though: Wait before you opt to steam clean your carpet. Steam cleaning can actually lock in odors.

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