PREVENTING + REMOVING TOXIC MOLD
Mold is all around us. It grows in nature, so it often ends up on the exterior of our home and in our basement if the conditions are right. It can thrive in your soil and blacken your brick. While that doesn’t bother us much, the issues arise when it finds its way inside our homes. From our sink drains, to the shower grout, and items like kitchen sponges, mold can thrive indoors as well. A little mold isn’t much to worry about, as long as you treat it promptly to keep it from spreading. No matter the amount, you should always wear a mask and rubber gloves, making sure that the area is well-ventilated to prevent causing any illness, including allergies or asthma.
KNOW THE FACTS
While we are told repeatedly that black mold is to be feared (which it should be), it is quite unusual among household molds. Black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, requires constant moisture to survive. Black mold itself isn’t toxic, but produces mycotoxins which are what make it so dangerous. You shouldn’t worry too much about black mold unless you have a major leak, which should be your first concern. With that in mind, you need to get rid of mold if you can see it. There is really no acceptable amount of mold, and even tiny amounts can cause allergic reactions. Get it taken care of, ASAP!
PREVENT + REMOVE MOLD
The best way to prevent mold is to not allow it to get the moisture it needs. Make sure any spots in your house that regularly see moisture (like your shower) are dry and ventilated when not being used. Keep drains unclogged and keep bleach on hand to mix with water to treat any mold that may start to grow. If you find mold on soft or porous items, like furniture or carpet, it is best to get rid of the affected portion before it has the opportunity to spread. If you have flood-related mold, it is time to call in the professionals.
After living in a home for several years, it can be easy to discover things you may not be crazy about. While some things can be a quick fix, there may be major changes that make you wonder if it is worth the investment. At this point, you’re probably asking yourself if you should remodel or just find a new home. As you have probably realized, this isn’t always an easy choice. There are many factors that go into this decision. Here are some things to consider when deciding what will work best for you.
1. Determine which is more cost-friendly
While both options will have costs, one will have more than the other depending on your situation. Some of the costs of selling include agent commissions, moving costs, minor repairs, the costs of a new home, and potential upsizing costs. The costs of remodeling can include permits, architectural plans, materials and labor, and any other additional costs incurred in the process.
2. Look into the current housing market
Depending on whether your local real estate market is hot, it might make more sense to just sell if houses are selling quickly around you. By talking to a real estate agent, you can find out what to expect in terms of days on market, average sales price, and other important factors when it comes to selling a home.
3. Decide if your roots are deep
Is your home more than just a home to you? If you and your family are actively involved in the community, remodeling may work best for you. On the flip side, if there are better schooling or job opportunities in a different neighborhood, or you already spend hours a day traveling to those locations, selling may be a better option.
4. Decide if a renovation can solve your problems
Take the time to decide if the problems with your home are fixable. Is it really the house, or do you dislike your neighborhood? Do you have to spend an hour driving one way to work? Do you need a lot more space? If your answer to questions like this make you realize renovations won’t solve your problems, consider that it may just be time to put your home on the market.
5. Consider the ROI on your remodel
Calculating your return on investment will help you determine two things – first, if a remodel will cost you less than selling your home. It will also help you determine if you will be able to make your money back on a remodel if you choose to sell in the future. Look into the Cost v. Value Report for the last year, which can guide you on the most and least cost-effective improvements.
If these considerations make you realize it is time to sell your home, give me a call today!
If you’ve never purchased a house before, you may have no idea where to begin when preparing to become a homeowner. You may be on the fence about buying, or you may feel like you are ready to buy a home today. Either way, these tips can help anyone feel a little more prepared for their first home purchase!
MONEY IS KEY
It is easy to begin scrolling through beautiful homes on the market without considering your budget. Sale postings can be all over your social media feeds, tempting you to just take a peek. While looking can be fun and exciting, you should prepare financially before you start eyeing any homes. It is much better to know what your price range is so you don’t fall in love with a house you just can’t afford (for now!)
MAKING A LIST, CHECKING IT TWICE
While you need to be realistic and recognize that you likely are not going to find a home with every single thing you wish to have in a house, making a list of the things that are a priority for you (room count, big backyard, master walk-in closet, etc.) will help you to make sure you’re only looking at houses that will fit your wants and needs.
PHOTOS DON’T TELL THE WHOLE PICTURE
It is easy to fall in love with a home after seeing the listing photos. These perfectly lit, well-staged photos show off houses in their best light, but that doesn’t mean you are getting the whole story. Listing photos are a great place to start, as they will help you to narrow down your options. Unfortunately, there are home traits that may not be portrayed well in photos, whether it be low ceilings, a drafty build, or anything in between. Once you’ve made a short list of the homes that appear to be a fit for you, always do a home tour.
If you walk into a house and it feels like home, trust your gut. There is no better way to know if you should buy a home than seeing how you feel when you walk through the front door. Your home purchase will probably be one of, if not the largest, purchase you’ve made in your life so far. Pictures can only do so much, and nothing can help you decide whether or not a house is made for you better than getting inside it!
NOTHING ELSE WILL DO
Do you get upset at the thought of losing the house you just toured to someone else? Does it already feel like home when you are inside? These are two signs that you have found the home for you! If you see a home and are ready to stop looking at others, you are one step closer to buying a home you will love.
THE BEST AGENT
Finding a great real estate agent is going to be the part that ties everything together. A quality agent will help you find homes within your budget that possess your must-have items and they’ll offer you guidance through every step of the process.
If you’re looking for a real estate agent to help you find and buy your first dream home, call me today!!
Sing me some graces, there is such a thing as over-cleaning! Here are nine chores around the home that you really only need to do annually, minus special circumstances. Let’s dive in!
1. Curtains & Drapes
Unfortunately, we don’t mean the dusting part. You’ll want to dust at least once a month, but when it actually comes time to getting them cleaned, you only really need to do that once a year. You can take them in to get dry cleaned or follow the instructions on their tags if you choose to wash them at home.
2. House Gutters
Gutter guards can be a great investment, especially if you live around trees that shed all year long. These can keep your gutter cleanings minimal, generally about once per year. You’ll want to do this in the autumn when all of the leaves from the trees have already fallen.
3. Fireplace & Chimney
After the winter, you’ll want to give your fireplace a thorough cleaning. You can use a shop vacuum to clean up the embers. Make sure to wash down the fireplace tools as well. Go an extra step further and schedule an appointment with a chimney sweeper.
We wish we meant vacuuming, but that’s pretty much a weekly or biweekly task for most households. In this case, we mean a deep clean. The best time to get this taken care of is right after summer.
5. Outdoor Furniture
The best time to clean outdoor furniture is when you bring them out of storage for Spring. Of course, if messes up happen while you’re using them, you want to clean the spots right away, so you avoid an accumulation of stains in a short period.
Mattresses have improved through the years but they still need a little bit of attention. At least once a year, give your mattress a thorough cleaning and change the position of it.
7. Kitchen Cabinets & Pantry
Early November is a great time to clean out kitchen cabinets, drawers, and the food pantry to get them ready for the holidays. Do a section of cabinets at a time and empty them out completely. Wipe down the shelves and reline with shelf paper if needed.
8. Linen Closet
Just once a year, empty out your linen closet and give it a thorough cleaning. Take time to vacuum away dust and spiderwebs and reline any shelves.
9. Garage, Basement, & Attic
No one is expecting you to have a perfect garage, basement, or attic. However, a good cleaning at least once a year can help you keep an eye on things, such as moisture or insect problems. It can also feel good to get rid of junk that tends to accumulate in these hidden spaces.
If you’re in the market to sell your home, you can always give me a call, and I’ll refer over some preferred vendors that can help you knock out your cleaning tasks.