Diane Stone - CENTURY 21 Commonwealth



Posted by Diane Stone on 10/15/2017

Do your mornings go like this? You get out of bed, find your way to the bathroom and watch the sink water slowly rise as you wash your face and brush your teeth. After you turn the water off, it takes a long time for the water to go down the bathroom sink drain that it steals valuable moments from your day.

Pay attention to these plumbing problems

Plumbing problems show up in the bathroom, kitchen and basement. Because plumbing problems start slowly, it's tempting to over look them until they become a major issue. By that time, your bathroom, kitchen or basement sinks and tubs might be:

  • Leaking - Puddles may form each time you run bath or sink water. You may also notice leaks in pipes. If pipes have developed holes, the pipes will have to be replaced.
  • Running water - Despite how much you tighten faucets, water continues to drip in tubs and sinks. Not only could this cause puddles to form and water to potentially drip off counter edges, it raises your water bill.
  • Noises - Let your sump pump start to go and you may hear grinding noises. A dying sump pump can also cause the motor to make a light humming sound. Over time, the pump could stop working altogether.
  • Cold water - Let your water heater break down and you may have to turn the temperature up just to get warm water to come out of the shower or tub. After awhile, only cold or cool water may come out of the faucet.
  • Reemerging water - Reemerging or resurfacing water happens when you flush the toilet and some or all of the waste pushes back up.
  • Over flowing water - More signs that your septic tank may be failing include water over flowing when you flush the toilet or run water in the sink.
  • Moisture - Mildew, mold and cool, moist air are additional signs that there may be plumbing problems at your house. Although you can clean and get a humidifier, contact a plumber if signs of plumbing problems persist.

Stay at least two steps ahead of major plumbing problems

Unlike some other housing issues, plumbing problems can be sneaky. Plumbing problems can start off slowly, then suddenly build to a seemingly unmanageable crescendo. If that happens, it could cost several hundred dollars to fix the problems. That or plumbing problems could resurface every three to four months, again costing you hundreds of dollars a year.

Although it might not be possible to prevent all plumbing problems, it is possible to reduce the numbers of times that your plumbing needs fixing. It starts with honesty. When you notice that water is taking longer to go down the drain in the morning while you wash your face and brush your teeth, take steps to unclog pipes. If the problem reoccurs, reach out to a licensed plumber. It could save you headaches and money down the road.




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Posted by Diane Stone on 10/8/2017

Thereís many different things that can make or break a home sale. When youíre selling your home, you want it to be as attractive as possible to buyers. Besides proper staging, thereís plenty of things that you can do to attract buyers and get the best price for your home. 


Donít Let Gutters Hold You Back


Routine gutter maintenance can save you a lot of grief later. Just simply taking the time to clean your gutters can prevent a lot of damage to the foundation of your home. Water will be able to run off to surface of your home properly. 


The Roof Is A Problem Area


Roofs typically last anywhere between 20 and 25 years. If itís approaching the end of its lifespan, or if it needs repairs, youíre wise as a seller to spend money on the roof. It will keep buyers interested, and youíll be able to negotiate a better return on the sale of your home. You can even get a certification that the roof is in good shape to help you during the inspection phase. 


Buyers Want Modern Appliances


While replacing some appliances doesnít seem like that big of a deal to homebuyers, having more modern appliances in your home helps buyers to see that you have done some updating. It wonít leave buyers wondering what else needs to be replaced in the home if the appliances are from the current decade.   


The Doors And Windows Are A Pathway To Selling


When potential buyers enter your home, expect them to open your doors and windows. Any windows that are stuck or doors that donít work properly can be red flags to buyers who are looking for homes that have been well-kept. Replacing the windows in your home can bring you a return of between 50 and 80%. Complete replacement may not be necessary if the windows are still functioning as they should. 


Maintain HVAC Units For Happy Buyers


Typical well-cared for HVAC systems can last up to 25 years. One that is aging can be a problem area for some buyers. If you donít want to lose a sale, an old heating and cooling system can be an issue for you as a seller. Keep in mind that this could also be a place for negotiations during the sale of the home.  


The Foundation Gives Buyers An Overall Picture Of The Home


Cracks in the walls or the foundation itself can be a sign of larger problems in the home. You should fix any cracks in the foundation or issues with the walls. Definitely have a plan in place in case buyers worry about any repairs that were made to the foundation, especially after the inspection. 


Harmful Substances


One of the big areas that can be a deal breaker in the sale of a home is the discovery of radon. This is a radioactive gas that is a proven carcinogenic. Itís found in rocks, salt, soil and water. This one thing can throw both buyers and sellers for a loop, so do your research in the selling process. 


Donít Be Overzealous In Your Listing Price


One of the biggest reasons that you wonít find the right buyer for your home is the listing price. Without a good pricing strategy, your home could stay on the market for a long time. Be sure that youíre not listing a property above the market value so youíre not missing out on the right buyers.





Posted by Diane Stone on 10/6/2017

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Copyright 2017 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORSģ




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Posted by Diane Stone on 10/2/2017

Ready to buy a home? Ultimately, you'll want to prepare for the homebuying process. By doing so, you can avoid many costly mistakes.

Believe it or not, it is easy to make mistakes as you browse the housing market. Some of the expensive mistakes that homebuyers frequently make include:

1. Overspending on a Residence

No one should be forced to overspend on a home. Unfortunately, if you fail to study the real estate market, you risk paying too much to acquire your dream house.

Remember, an informed homebuyer will be better equipped to optimize the value of his or her real estate investment than others. And if you understand the costs of properties in your area, you can avoid the temptation to overspend.

Explore the real estate market closely and assess the prices of similar houses. By doing so, you can understand the price range of homes that fall within your budget and plan accordingly.

Also, work with an experienced real estate agent. This real estate professional will help you determine how much you can spend on a home and can provide you with details about properties that match your budget.

2. Failure to Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

After you find your dream home, you'll need to figure out how to pay for it. And if you struggle to obtain a mortgage before you start your home search, you might miss out on the opportunity to purchase your dream residence.

Meeting with banks and credit unions prior to checking out properties is ideal. This will allow you to obtain a mortgage and search for houses that fit your price range.

Moreover, getting pre-approved for a mortgage may help you stand out in the eyes of a home seller, as he or she won't have to wait for you to secure financing to finalize a purchase agreement.

3. Lack of Realistic Expectations

As a homebuyer, it is important to understand that every house has its pros and cons. But if you fail to establish realistic expectations for the homebuying process, it may be impossible for you to find the right property at the right price.

Separating your homebuying wants from your homebuying needs is vital. If you determine exactly what you'd like to find in your dream home before you explore the real estate market, you can narrow your search and streamline the process of acquiring the perfect residence.

Furthermore, hiring a real estate agent can make a world of difference for homebuyers. Your real estate agent can keep you up to date about new homes as they become available, set up home showings and help you submit offers on residences. This real estate professional also can offer homebuying recommendations, ensuring that you can minimize the risk of homebuying mistakes.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can accelerate the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner. Collaborate with a real estate agent today, and you should have no trouble securing your ideal residence.




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Posted by Diane Stone on 9/24/2017

For some people, cleaning the house is a relaxing way to pass the time. It's a mindful activity and living in a clean space can help improve your mood and focus. However, for many of us it can be hard to find time to clean after a long day of work, cooking dinner, caring for kids and pets, and so on. Many people try to keep up with the mess by cleaning one room at a time. However, it actually takes much longer to clean if you do it on a room-by-room basis. The most efficient way to clean is by chore. You wouldn't dust or vacuum just one room; you'd do the whole house because it saves you the pain of taking out the vacuum cleaner every time one room needs to be vacuumed. In this article, we'll go over how you can avoid having one long, excruciating cleaning day by spending 5-10 minutes per day cleaning your house.

Monday

Today is pick-up day. After the weekend your home is likely to have a lot of things laying around out of place. Do a quick tidying up in each room of your home. That includes: picking up clothes, clearing off tables and surfaces, and putting away any children's or pet toys that might be on the floor.

Tuesday

Dusting. With your duster in hand, run through each room of your house hitting†all of the surfaces. Grab a microfiber cloth for things like TVs and computer screens that might have fingerprints and put it in your back pocket. In your other pocket, keep a lint roller or lint brush for your sofa, bed, chairs, etc.

Wednesday

Floors. Get out your Swiffer, mop, vacuum cleaner and whatever else you use to clean the floors of your home. Sweep each room into a pile, starting from the walls and working your way in. Once all rooms are swept, grab your dustpan and pick up each pile. From there you can run your Swiffer or mop through your rooms with wood floors or tile. Finally, vacuum any carpets or rugs you have.

Thursday

Kitchen day. Mix some white vinegar and water, toss in a few drops of lemon or lime juice, and you've got an all-purpose kitchen cleaner that's free of any harsh chemicals that you don't want going near your food. For areas that need to be scrubbed, like your sink or countertop, sprinkle some baking soda down after you spray the vinegar solution. Once you're done, tuck your spray bottle and baking soda within reach under your sink--you'll need it again tomorrow.

Friday

Bathroom day. There's no denying it--it's the worst room in the house to clean. But, think about how you'll have the next two days off from work and cleaning and you'll have the motivation to get through it. First, go grab your rubber globes, vinegar spray, and baking soda from yesterday. Today, you'll need them for the sink, tub, and toilet. Other useful items to keep for cleaning your bathroom: an old toothbrush for scrubbing tile grout and baby oil for polishing the chrome on your sinks.   Follow this schedule and you'll be on your way to cleaning the whole house in just 5-10 minutes per day so you don't have to dread those marathon cleaning days.




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