Easy Fixes Around the Home

Life can be busy and tending to houselhold items can often times be overwhelming. Doing the little things will help prevent big problems later on.

Here are five quick and easy fixes you can do around in your home in a just a few short hours.

Do the Little Things
Walk through your home and make a list of any broken electrical plates, locks that need lubrication, sinks or tubs that need caulk. Take a quick trip to the home improvement store and get all of the items to finish up these little jobs. That way you can get it all done in one concerted effort.

Rotate Your Mattress
Flip, spin and vacuum your mattress. This helps keep your mattress lasting longer and may also help you catch some more Zzzz’s.

Clean One Closet
Choose an easy one to clean at first and pick a day to do it in. Pull everything out and start from scratch. Make a pile of things to give away or donate. Things that are stained or torn can be used for rags. If you haven’t used it in the last year get rid of it.

Conduct an Energy Audit
It would be great to see if you could save money on your utility bills. Call the utility company and ask for an energy audit. They will make recommendations to help you improve the efficiency of your home.

Clean the Dryer Vent
To achieve maximum energy efficiency and to prevent a fire hazard clean the dryer  vent twice a year. Remove the tube that attaches to the machine and clear out the lint. Don’t forget to clean the outside vent, too.

It is the little things that add up, so keeping the easy tasks under control will have you more prepared to tackle a bigger task. What are some quick and easy things you do to keep your home working smoothly?

Avoiding Foreclosure

If foreclosure is looming you may feel helpless. It is possible to still sell your home and avoid foreclosure. You must sell it quickly and that is not always easy. Here are some tips to get aggressive, and get your home sold fast.

Price it right! Don’t try to squeak out the extra dollar price the home aggressively among the competition. This often means pricing the house low. You are trying to sell the home as fast as possible so every last dollar isn’t worth it at this point.

Make sure to get real about what your home is worth. A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) will outline properties similar to yours that have that recently sold, are pending and are currently on the market. Some experts suggest going 10% below that last sold price in your neighborhood.

Communicate with your lender. You will need to get the go ahead from your lender on how low you can go. If you owe more than your home is worth complete a short sale application with your lender. Ask your lender to give you some indication of how low a sale price they will accept.

Selling your home quickly and avoiding the black mark of foreclosure on your credit report is the goal. It may be hard to accept thousands less than what you paid for your home but you will be better off in the long run.

What to consider before adopting a dog

Dogs are known as man’s best friend. But man’s best friend requires work and money. A dog is a large responsibility and is more than just a pet. A dog will become a part of your family. Do you have what it takes to add another member to your family?

Cost: The cost of a dog goes well beyond the initial adoption or breeder fee. It’s important that you consider the lifetime cost of owning a dog and whether or not you can afford one. And the cost could be drastically different between different types of breeds. There’s the cost of food, grooming, veterinary care, toys, etc. Larger breed dogs will eat more food therefore increasing the food cost. Or your dog could develop an allergy to certain foods, therefore needing special food that can be much more expensive than regular food. It’s also important that you save for emergency vet visits, as they can be completely unpredictable and very trying at the time. Having money saved up will take a small bit of the stress away. It may even be in your best interest to invest in pet insurance. It may save you down the road.

Time: Dogs require a lot of work and a lot of attention. Before getting a dog seriously consider things like work hours, work traveling, your social life, taking care of your children and vacations. In addition, you should also consider that there are different breeds of dogs that require different levels of attention. And if you’re looking to get a puppy, be prepared to dedicate your time to him/her, especially for the first few months. It’s crucial that you are completely aware of the effort and time that goes into being a dog owner.

Allergies: It’s imperative to know whether or not you or anyone living in your home has any allergies to dogs. And it’s best to know before you adopt or buy— there are tests that your doctor can run. It’s never a good situation for the dog owner(s) and animal if the dog has to either be given back or given to someone else due to an allergy. This will put a lot of stress on the dog going from home to home. It can also cause harm to the people involved, as it is always difficult letting go of a pet. If someone in the home has an allergy and you still want a dog then you will need to consider the breeds of dogs that are considered hypoallergenic.

Adopting a dog may possibly be one of the best decisions that you make in life. They become your best friend and a part of your family. They will greet you when you come home, be your running partner and cuddle buddy. But, you are caring for another life and the adoption or purchase of a dog should be well thought out and something you are prepared for. Remember that you are the whole world to a dog so be sure you have the love and attention to give him/her.

3 Ways to Eliminate Clutter

As a home seller, you’ll need to declutter your residence before you add it to the real estate market. By doing so, you’ll be better equipped to ensure that your home makes a positive first impression on homebuyers. Decluttering also guarantees that you’ll be able to get rid of unnecessary items prior to an upcoming move. Clutter may seem overwhelming, especially if you encounter tall stacks of items in your attic or basement. Fortunately, there are many quick, easy ways to get rid of unnecessary items, including:

1. Donate your items to charity.

Do you have quality clothing, housewares or other items that you won’t need in your new home? Donate them to charity, as this will allow you to give your items to an organization that will be able to provide them to families in need.

Donating your unnecessary items to charity may enable you to receive a tax write-off as well. That way, you can provide these items to an inspirational charity and save money on your annual taxes.

Many charities are available in cities and towns nationwide, too. Thus, you should have no trouble finding a charitable organization to accept your donations.

2. Sell your items online.

Numerous websites are available that are designed to help you sell your items without delay. Therefore, you can list your items online and sell them to local or remote buyers.

Listing your items online usually takes just a few minutes to complete. Plus, you can add descriptions and images to highlight your items to prospective buyers.

Remember, when you list items online, you may or may not receive instant responses. But with a patient, diligent approach, you’ll be better equipped to find interested buyers who will pick up items at your home. Or, you may be able to ship items to buyers in remote locations.

3. Throw out items that cannot be reused.

If you find that you have many items that are in poor condition and can no longer be used, you should dispose of these belongings.

In many cases, you will be able to put these items out with your weekly trash or drop them off at a local junkyard. On the other hand, an item like an old TV or a mercury thermometer may need to be taken to a hazardous waste facility for proper disposal.

Are you uncertain about how to dispose of specific items that cannot be reused? Consult with your real estate agent, as this professional should be able to provide guidance and support.

A real estate agent possesses the skills and know-how to help you simplify the process of decluttering, and ultimately, selling your home. As a result, this professional will be able to assist you during every step of the home selling journey.

Take advantage of the aforementioned tips to ensure that you can enjoy a clutter-free home. By devoting the time and resources to eliminate excess items from your residence, you’ll be able to minimize stress and guarantee that your residence is ready to be shown to prospective homebuyers.