Marshall and Susan Christy's Blog
One of the many challenges of putting your home on the market is keeping it clean!
That task can be even more difficult if you have kids, pets, and a busy schedule. If everyone is always rushing off to their jobs, classes, lunch dates, meetings, practices, or appointments, it's hard to keep your home in a perpetual state of cleanliness and order.
Probably the first step to keeping your house ready for real estate showings is to remind your family to clean up after themselves. While this may require more than one reminder, any amount of cooperation will help keep messes to a minimum. Implementing some sort of reward system or even a competition among siblings, can go a long way toward maintaining a semblance of order in the house. Some parents even post a calendar of assigned chores to make sure everyone does their fair share.
Professional Help May Be Needed!
Getting your home ready for real estate showings can feel like a monumental task, especially if you have a large house and a messy family! The good news is that you can hire some outside help without depleting your kids' college funds! Many households already have a house cleaning person or service that comes in at least a couple times a month to keep things looking civilized. If your house is actively being shown to prospective buyers, however, you might want to consider having your housekeeper clean the house a little more frequently than usual. That way, you only have to do some minor tidying up when your real estate agent notifies you about a scheduled house showing in a few hours or tomorrow morning.
If any of your rooms are carpeted and the floors haven't been professionally steam-cleaned for as long as you can remember, it may be time to hire a carpet cleaning service. Carpeted floors have an unfortunate tendancy of locking in stains, allergens, and ground-in dirt for months, if not years! Although you can often improve the appearance of your carpets by cleaning them yourself, it often requires the services of a professional carpet cleaning service to really get those stubborn stains out. You can often get recommendations from neighbors, friends, relatives, or coworkers, and can look for online reviews of carpet cleaners on social media websites.
Once you've cleaned, dusted, and sanitized the inside of your house, there may be one more area to tackle before you're ready to have your house shown: its exterior! Your home's siding may be covered with filmy layers of dust, grime, splatters, and environmental pollutants -- a condition which thankfully can be reversed by using the services of a local power-washing company. While not all power-washing services are created equal, a reliable one can remove years of accumulated filmy deposits from pollen, birds, spider webs, acid rain, snow blower splatters, rust, smoky emissions from backyard barbeques, vehicle exhaust emissions, and other miscellaneous air pollution.
So even though the environment, your family, and the wear and tear of normal, everyday use will take its toll on the appearance of your home, there are many things you can do to reverse that process and restore many aspects of your home's original freshness, charm, and appeal!
When you’re shopping for a home, one of the most important things is that you feel comfortable in the home. Sure, you can look at the listing and visit the property, but you’ll never know what it’s like to sleep in a home until you move in. While there aren’t many homeowners that offer overnights in order for you to feel out their property listing, there are ways that you can test a home out subtly.
Check Out The Neighborhood
You can learn a lot about a neighborhood just by observing the area. See how many people are out walking around. What is the age group of the people you see? This can give you a great idea of the neighborhood that your potential home is in. You could do this investigating several times at different hours of the day to get a full picture of the area.
Getting out and taking a stroll around the neighborhood is also a great idea to see what potentially living in your new home will be like. Check out public transportation options and local establishments like restaurants and coffee shops. Another great place to check out is local parks and recreation centers. This will allow you to see both the quality and the quantity of the options available to you.
Test The Plumbing
If you have a chance as you’re walking through a home, touring it, be sure to check out the plumbing. Turn on the faucets. See how the water pressure from the shower is. It seems like kind of a strange thing to think of testing, but it’s important. You don’t want to move into a house only to find out the water pressure is unlivable and the hot water isn’t so hot!
Check Out How The Windows Work
A home with a breeze is always nice. See if any windows get stuck or are leaking out cold air when shut. This is a subtle way to do your own home inspection of an important aspect of your potential future home. Paying attention to the windows can also help you to hear the noise factor that you might face in the home. Can you hear a lot of traffic? Is the neighborhood quiet? Discovering these things will be very important in your decision to purchase a home.
How Is The Storage Space?
Look around the homes that you’re considering and see how much storage space you’ll have. Is there a basement or an attic or both? How easy are these spaces to access? If a home lacks adequate closet space for storing things like towels, cleaners, clothing, etc, you may find yourself scrambling for ways to keep all of your things in the home once you move in. Make sure the storage space you see is enough for you and your family’s lifestyle.
If you live in one state, but are trying to buy a home in another state, you’ll face some obvious challenges. There’s certain steps that you can take to help you get through the home buying process in another state. Whether you’re buying a vacation home, or are in a complete transition, you’ll need to follow a few steps to make life easier for you.
Know How Much Time You Have
First, you’ll need to ask yourself when you’re planning to move. If you have flexibility and are planning a trip to the new state before you need to move, that paints a much different picture than a more rushed move. Consider:
- The time it will take to sell your current home
- When the closing will be on the new home
Keep that timeline in mind.
You’ll definitely want to hire a realtor to handle everything for you on both ends when you’re in this situation. A Realtor’s knowledge and experience is definitely worth it to help you.
Get Your Finances In Order
You’ll need to apply for a loan on the home you’re buying in the new state. You should start by getting pre-approved for a mortgage in that state. You don’t want all of your important paperwork to be buried in the midst of packing and moving. Also, you’ll need to have that loan secured before you even head to the new state to close on the home. Everything should be in order. This situation may be more challenging for you than a typical home purchase. Since big purchases affect your credit score, you’ll need to hold off on buying a car, furniture, or any major appliances that you may need.
Get As Much Information As You Can
As a buyer who is from out of state, you’ll need to do your homework. Maybe you have visited the state many times before. Perhaps you know nothing about it. The more you know ahead of time, the easier that your transition will be. You’ll need to find recommendations about which neighborhood to search in. You’ll also want to learn a bit more about the lifestyle the area provides for activities like dining, entertainment, and recreation. You can learn a lot in the internet, but talking to locals- even a local realtor- can help you to find the right spot to live in.
Find The Right Realtors
You’ll need to find the right realtors in both your home state and the state that you’re moving to. The seller’s agent will assist you in getting your old home sold. From marketing the listing to home showings to sending you all of the paperwork that you’ll need to sign, a seller’s agent is very valuable to someone who needs to move out of one state and into another.
The buyer’s agent can help you in your new state, communicating with you on new listings and advising you on the neighborhoods that you’ll be the most happy in. Hiring these two realtors may be one of the most important steps in your feat of moving across two different states.
With the resources that are available online, moving from state-to-state isn't as hard as it may seem. Do your research for a smooth transition. Happy moving!
When most homeowners think of creating a more eco-friendly home their mind goes to replacing windows, increasing insulation and using less water. But friend, we live in the 21st century! It’s time to catch up with the times. AI, that is artificial intelligence, is everywhere right now. From refrigerators to children's toys it’s almost impossible to turn around and not be confronted with this new, rapidly growing trend.
Right, so you’re saying to yourself I thought this was an article about creating a more environmentally home. And it is! But it’s also about how we can take advantage of AI to do so. Let’s get started.
Our energy bill is usually the first place we look to cut back. Running a home uses up lots of resources, and let’s be honest, can cost a lot of money as well. The Nest Thermostat is a smart thermostat that helps you find a happy balance between maintaining a comfortable temperature and conserving energy.
You can set schedules for changing the temperature throughout the day. You can also put your home on “away mode”, which is kind of like putting a laptop in sleep mode. Your thermostat will lower the temperature while your family is out for the day, but not so low that it takes as much energy as you saved to heat back up again.
Nest even offers the ability to create reports on your usage each month. Drill down into your data to find trends in your usage. Learn more about how your family consumes energy so you can create heating schedules that work best for you unique needs.
Wemo’s Instant Smart Plug also allows you to take ultimate control of all the devices throughout your home. You can control power usage right from your phone. As well as set the different devices on schedules.
And just like Nest Thermostat, you can report on usage. The beautiful thing about Wemo’s Smart Plug is that you can gather data per device to see which is an energy hog as well as curate an overall data set per room to see which uses the most energy.
Become eco-savvy when it comes to your lawn and gardening. Skydrop uses weather upcoming conditions from local forecasts to automatically plan out a watering schedule for your sprinklers. Take all the guesswork out of whether to water or not. Skydrop will take care of it for you.
And lastly, you don’t need to make huge investments to get green tech. Pick up a solar power bank to charge small devices like your phone. They’re available almost everywhere at very reasonable pricing. It might seem small, but overtime opting for solar in this one way makes a huge difference!