Scott Snyder Bring You – 5 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Sale

Scott Snyder Bring You – 5 Tips to Prepare Your Home for SaleBy: G. M. Filisko – Published: February 10, 2010

Working to get your home ship-shape for showings will increase its value and shorten your sales time.
Many buyers today want move-in-ready homes and will quickly eliminate an otherwise great home by focusing on a few visible flaws. Unless your home shines, you may endure showing after showing and open house after open house—and end up with a lower sales price. Before the first prospect walks through your door, consider some smart options for casting your home in its best light.
1. Have a home inspection
Be proactive by arranging for a pre-sale home inspection. For $250 to $400, an inspector will warn you about troubles that could make potential buyers balk. Make repairs before putting your home on the market. In some states, you may have to disclose what the inspection turns up.
2. Get replacement estimates
If your home inspection uncovers necessary repairs you can’t fund, get estimates for the work. The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home and the repairs. Also hunt down warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for your furnace, washer and dryer, dishwasher, and any other items you expect to remain with the house.
3. Make minor repairs
Not every repair costs a bundle. Fix as many small problems—sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, dripping faucets—as you can. These may seem trivial, but they’ll give buyers the impression your house isn’t well maintained.
4. Clear the clutter
Clear your kitchen counters of just about everything. Clean your closets by packing up little-used items like out-of-season clothes and old toys. Install closet organizers to maximize space. Put at least one-third of your furniture in storage, especially large pieces, such as entertainment centers and big televisions. Pack up family photos, knickknacks, and wall hangings to depersonalize your home. Store the items you’ve packed offsite or in boxes neatly arranged in your garage or basement.
5. Do a thorough cleaning
A clean house makes a strong first impression that your home has been well cared for. If you can afford it, consider hiring a cleaning service.
If not, wash windows and leave them open to air out your rooms. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Wash light fixtures and baseboards, mop and wax floors, and give your stove and refrigerator a thorough once-over.
Pay attention to details, too. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates, clean inside the cabinets, and polish doorknobs. Don’t forget to clean your garage, too.

G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who has found happiness in a Chicago brownstone with the best curb appeal on the block. A frequent contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.

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Penny Kice Found This Great Article for You

Please enjoy this article that Penny Kice found for you on www.keepcurrentmatters.com

5 Reasons to Sell Before Spring

Many sellers feel that the spring is the best time to place their home on the market as buyer demand increases at that time of year. However, the fall and winter have their own advantages. Here are five reasons to sell now.

Only Serious Buyers Are Out

At this time of year, only those purchasers who are serious about buying a home will be in the marketplace. You and your family will not be bothered and inconvenienced by mere ‘lookers’. The lookers are at the mall or online doing their holiday shopping.

There Is Far Less Competition

Housing supply always shrinks dramatically at this time of year. The choices for buyers will be limited. Don’t wait until the spring when all the other potential sellers in your market will put their homes up for sale.

The Process Will Be Quicker

One of the biggest challenges of the 2013 housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks have been inundated with both purchase and refinancing loan requests. Both of these will slow in the winter cutting timelines and the frustration these delays cause both buyers and sellers. <<MORE>>

Penny Kice Welles Bowen Realtors2460 N Reynolds Rd Toledo, OH43615

Phone: 419-535-0011 Cell: 419-466-4034 Fax: 419-535-7571  Send me an email   Visit my website

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Featured Agent Fred Krueckeberg Shared Article About How Much Mortgage You Can Afford

Can I afford a mortgage4 Tips to Determine How Much Mortgage You Can Afford

By: G. M. Filisko

Published: March 11, 2010

By knowing how much mortgage you can handle, you can ensure that home ownership will fit in your budget.

1. The general rule of mortgage affordability

As a rule of thumb, you can typically afford a home priced two to three times your gross income. If you earn $100,000, you can typically afford a home between $200,000 and $300,000.

To understand how that rule applies to your particular financial situation, prepare a family budget and list all the costs of homeownership, like property taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, and community association fees, if applicable, as well as costs specific to your family, such as day care costs.

2. Factor in your downpayment

How much money do you have for a downpayment? The higher your downpayment, the lower your monthly payments will be. If you put down at least 20% of the home’s cost, you may not have to get private mortgage insurance, which costs hundreds each month. That leaves more money for your mortgage payment.

The lower your downpayment, the higher the loan amount you’ll need to qualify for and the higher your monthly mortgage payment.

3. Consider your overall debt

Lenders generally follow the 28/41 rule. Your monthly mortgage payments covering your home loan principal, interest, taxes, and insurance shouldn’t total more than 28% of your gross annual income. Your overall monthly payments for your mortgage plus all your other bills, like car loans, utilities, and credit cards, shouldn’t exceed 41% of your gross annual income.

Here’s how that works. If your gross annual income is $100,000, multiply by 28% and then divide by 12 months to arrive at a monthly mortgage payment of $2,333 or less. Next, check the total of all your monthly bills including your potential mortgage and make sure they don’t top 41%, or $3,416 in our example.

4. Use your rent as a mortgage guide

The tax benefits of homeownership generally allow you to afford a mortgage payment—including taxes and insurance—of about one-third more than your current rent payment without changing your lifestyle. So you can multiply your current rent by 1.33 to arrive at a rough estimate of a mortgage payment.

Here’s an example. If you currently pay $1,500 per month in rent, you should be able to comfortably afford a $2,000 monthly mortgage payment after factoring in the tax benefits of homeownership.

However, if you’re struggling to keep up with your rent, consider what amount would be comfortable and use that for the calcuation instead.

Also consider whether or not you’ll itemize your deductions. If you take the standard deduction, you can’t also deduct mortgage interest payments. Talking to a tax adviser, or using a tax software program to do a “what if” tax return, can help you see your tax situation more clearly.

G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who’s owned her own home for more than 20 years. A frequent contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.

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Michelle Rumans Brings You 6 Tips for Choosing the Best Offer for Your Home

6 Tips for Choosing the Best Offer for Your Home

By: G. M. Filisko Published: February 10, 2010

Have a plan for reviewing purchase offers so you don’t let the best slip through your fingers.

1. Understand the process

All offers are negotiable, as your agent will tell you. When you
receive an offer, you can accept it, reject it, or respond by asking
that terms be modified, which is called making a counteroffer.

2. Set baselines

Decide in advance what terms are most important to you. For instance,
if price is most important, you may need to be flexible on your closing
date. Or if you want certainty that the transaction won’t fall apart
because the buyer can’t get a mortgage, require a prequalified or cash
buyer.

English: An icon from the Crystal icon theme. ...

3. Create an offer review process

If you think your home will receive multiple offers, work with your
agent to establish a time frame during which buyers must submit offers.
That gives your agent time to market your home to as many potential
buyers as possible, and you time to review all the offers you receive.

4. Don’t take offers personally

Selling your home can be emotional. But it’s simply a business
transaction, and you should treat it that way. If your agent tells you a
buyer complained that your kitchen is horribly outdated, justifying a
lowball offer, don’t be offended. Consider it a sign the buyer is
interested and understand that those comments are a negotiating tactic.
Negotiate in kind.

5. Review every term

Carefully evaluate all the terms of each offer. Price is important,
but so are other terms. Is the buyer asking for property or
fixtures—such as appliances, furniture, or window treatments—to be
included in the sale that you plan to take with you?

Is the
amount of earnest money the buyer proposes to deposit toward the
downpayment sufficient? The lower the earnest money, the less painful it
will be for the buyer to forfeit those funds by walking away from the
purchase if problems arise.

Have the buyers attached a
prequalification or pre-approval letter, which means they’ve already
been approved for financing? Or does the offer include a financing or
other contingency? If so, the buyers can walk away from the deal if they
can’t get a mortgage, and they’ll take their earnest money back, too.
Are you comfortable with that uncertainty?

Is the buyer asking
you to make concessions, like covering some closing costs? Are you
willing, and can you afford to do that? Does the buyer’s proposed
closing date mesh with your timeline?

With each factor, ask yourself: Is this a deal breaker, or can I compromise to achieve my ultimate goal of closing the sale?

6. Be creative

If you’ve received an unacceptable offer through your agent, ask
questions to determine what’s most important to the buyer and see if you
can meet that need. You may learn the buyer has to move quickly. That
may allow you to stand firm on price but offer to close quickly. The key
to successfully negotiating the sale is to remain flexible.

G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who has survived
several closings. A frequent contributor to many national publications
including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar
Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal
finance, and legal topics.

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Here’s the Latest Article found for you by Brian Carroll

6 Reasons to Reduce Your Home Price

By: G. M. Filisko Published: March 19, 2010

While you’d like to get the best price for your home, consider our six reasons to reduce your home price.

These six signs may be telling you it’s time to lower your price.

1. You’re drawing few lookers

You get the most interest in your home right after you put it on the market because buyers want to catch a great new home before anybody else takes it. If your real estate agent reports there have been fewer buyers calling about and asking to tour your home than there have been for other homes in your area, that may be a sign buyers think it’s overpriced and are waiting for the price to fall before viewing it.

2. You’re drawing lots of lookers but have no offers

If you’ve had 30 sets of potential buyers come through your home and not a single one has made an offer, something is off. What are other agents telling your agent about your home? An overly high price may be discouraging buyers from making an offer.

3. Your home’s been on the market longer than similar homes

Ask your real estate agent about the average number of days it takes to sell a home in your market. If the answer is 30 and you’re pushing 45, your price may be affecting buyer interest. When a home sits on the market, buyers can begin to wonder if there’s something wrong with it, which can delay a sale even further. At least consider lowering your asking price.

4. You have a deadline

If you’ve got to sell soon because of a job transfer or you’ve already purchased another home, it may be necessary to generate buyer interest by dropping your price so your home is a little lower priced than comparable homes in your area. Remember: It’s not how much money you need that determines the sale price of your home, it’s how much money a buyer is willing to spend.

5. You can’t make upgrades

Maybe you’re plum out of cash and don’t have the funds to put fresh paint on the walls, clean the carpets, and add curb appeal. But the feedback your agent is reporting from buyers is that your home isn’t as well-appointed as similarly priced homes. When your home has been on the market longer than comparable homes in better condition, it’s time to accept that buyers expect to pay less for a home that doesn’t show as well as others.

6. The competition has changed

If weeks go by with no offers, continue to check out the competition. What have comparable homes sold for and what’s still on the market? What new listings have been added since you listed your home for sale? If comparable home sales or new listings show your price is too steep, consider a price reduction.

More from HouseLogic

How to ready your home for sale at little cost

How to review offers on your home

Other web resources

More on setting the right price

G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who made strategic price reductions that led to the sale of a Wisconsin property. A frequent contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.

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Laura McIntyre Presents Open House Timeline: Countdown to a Successful Sale

Article From BuyAndSell.HouseLogic.com By: Dona DeZube Published: May 06, 2011

An inviting open house can put your home on buyers’ short lists.

Get ready for your open house-stress-free-by starting early and breaking down your to-do list into manageable chunks. Use this timeline of 35 tips and your house will stand out from the competition on open house day.

Four weeks before the open house

Ask your parents to babysit the kids the weekend of the open house. Then book a reservation for your pet with the dog sitter or at the kennel. Having everyone out of the house on the day of will help you keep your home tidy and smelling fresh (http://www.houselogic.com/articles/pet-odor-can-chase-away-buyers/). Plus, no dogs and no kids equal more time for last-minute prep.

Line up a contractor to take care of maintence issues your REALTOR&reg; has asked you to fix, like leaking faucets (http://www.houselogic.com/articles/plumbing-leaks-8-smart-tips-stop-them/), sagging gutters (http://www.houselogic.com/articles/repair-sagging-and-leaking-rain-gutters-save-money/), or dings in the walls (http://www.houselogic.com/articles/repair-walls-give-rooms-fresh-face/).

De-clutter every room (even if you already de-cluttered once before). Don’t hide your stuff in the closet-buyers will open doors to size up closet space. Store your off-season clothes, sports equipment, and toys somewhere else.

Book carpet cleaners for a few days before the open house and a house cleaning service for the day before. Otherwise, make sure to leave time to do these things yourself a couple of days before.

Three weeks before the open house

Buy fluffy white towels to create a spa-like feel in the bathrooms.

Buy a front door mat to give a good first impression.

Designate a shoebox for each bathroom to stow away personal items the day of the open house.

Two weeks before the open house

Clean the light fixtures, ceiling fans, light switches, and around door knobs. A spic-and-span house (http://www.houselogic.com/articles/cleaning-house-secrets-truly-deep-clean/) makes buyers feel like they can move right in.

Power-wash the house (http://www.houselogic.com/articles/clean-and-care-siding/), deck (http://www.houselogic.com/articles/care-and-maintenance-your-deck/), sidewalk, and driveway.

One week before the open house

Make sure potential buyers can get up close and personal with your furnace, air-conditioning unit (http://www.houselogic.com/articles/appliance-maintenance-heating-venting-and-air-conditioning-hvac/), and appliances (http://www.houselogic.com/categories/maintain/structures-systems/appliances-electronics/). They’ll want to read any maintenance and manufacturer’s stickers to see how old everything is.

Clean the inside of appliances and de-clutter kitchen cabinets and drawers and the pantry. Buyers will open cabinet doors and drawers. If yours are stuffed to the gills, buyers will think your kitchen lacks enough storage space.

Put out the new door mat to break it in. It’ll look nice, but not too obviously new for the open house.

Week of the open house

Buy ready-made cookie dough and disposable aluminum cookie sheets so you don’t have to take time for clean up after baking (you can recycle the pans after use). Nothing says “home” like the smell of freshly baked cookies.

Buy a bag of apples or lemons to display in a pretty bowl.

Let your REALTOR&reg; know if you’re running low on sales brochures explaining the features of your house.

Clean the windows (http://www.houselogic.com/articles/green-window-cleaning-makes-glass-pane-fully-clear/) to let in the most light possible.

Mow the lawn two days before the open house. Mowing the morning of the open house can peeve house hunters with allergies.

Day before the open house

Make sure your REALTOR&reg; puts up plenty of open-house signs pointing in the right direction and located where drivers will see them. If she can’t get to it on the Friday before a Sunday open house, offer to do it yourself.

Put away yard clutter like hoses, toys, or pet water bowls.

Lay fresh logs in the fireplace.

Day of the open house

Put checkbooks, kids’ piggybanks, jewelry, prescription drugs, bank statements, and other valuables in the trunk of your car, at a neighbor’s house, or in your safe. It’s rare, but thefts do happen at open houses.

Set the dining room table for a special-occasion dinner. In the backyard, uncover the barbeque and set the patio table for a picnic to show buyers how elegantly and simply they can entertain once they move in.

Check any play equipment for spider webs or insect invasions. A kid screaming about spiders won’t endear buyers to your home.

Clean the fingerprints off the storm door. First impressions count.

Put up Post-It notes around the house to highlight great features like tilt-in windows or a recently updated appliance.

Remove shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, and other personal items from the bathtub, shower, and sinks in all the bathrooms. Store them in a shoebox under the sink. Removing personal items makes it easier for buyers to see themselves living in your house.

Stow away all kitchen countertop appliances.

One hour before the open house

Bake the ready-to-bake cookies you bought earlier this week. Put them on a nice platter for your open house guests to eat with a note that says: “Help yourself!”

Hang the new towels in the bathrooms.

Put your bowl of apples or lemons on the kitchen table or bar counter.

Pick up and put away any throw rugs, like the bath mats. They’re a trip hazard.

15 minutes before the open house

Open all the curtains and blinds and turn on the lights in the house. Buyers like bright homes.

Light fireplace logs (if it’s winter).

Didn’t get those cookies baked? Brew a pot of coffee to make the house smell inviting.

During the open house

Get out of the house and let your REALTOR&reg; sell it! Potential buyers will be uncomfortable discussing your home if you’re loitering during the open house. Take advantage of your child- and pet-free hours by treating yourself to something you enjoy-a few extra hours at the gym, a trip to the bookstore, or a manicure.

More from HouseLogic

7 Tips for Staging Your Home (http://www.houselogic.com/articles/7-tips-staging-your-home/)

Seasonal Maintenance (http://www.houselogic.com/categories/maintain/outdoors/seasonal-maintenance/)

10 Steps to a Perfect Exterior Paint Job (http://www.houselogic.com/articles/10-steps-perfect-exterior-paint-job/)

 

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Dona DeZube has been writing about real estate for over two decades. She lives a suburban Baltimore 1970s rancher on a 3-acre lot shared with possums, raccoons, foxes, a herd of deer, and her blue-tick hound.

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Trudy Wachtmann Presents 6 Things Everyone Should Do When Moving Into a New House

By: Courtney Craig Published: October 1, 2012

Moving into your first home is exciting! But it also means you’ve got work to do.

When I bought my first house in May, my timing couldn’t have been better: The house closing was two weeks before the lease was up on my apartment. That meant I could take my time packing and moving, and I could get to know the new place before moving in.

I recruited family and friends to help me move (in exchange for a beer-and-pizza picnic on the floor) and, as a bonus, I got to pick their brains about what first-time home owners should know.

Their help was one of the best housewarming presents I could have gotten. And thanks to their expertise and a little Googling, here’s what I learned about what to do before moving in.

1. Change the locks. You really don’t know who else has keys to your home, so change the locks. That ensures you’re the only person who has access. Install new deadbolts yourself for as little as $10 per lock, or call a locksmith — if you supply the new locks, they typically charge about $20-$30 per lock for labor.

2. Check for plumbing leaks. Your home inspector should do this for you before closing, but it never hurts to double-check. I didn’t have any leaks to fix, but when checking my kitchen sink, I did discover the sink sprayer was broken. I replaced it for under $20.

Keep an eye out for dripping faucets and running toilets, and check your water heater for signs of a leak.

Here’s a neat trick: Check your water meter at the beginning and end of a 2-hour window in which no water is being used in your house. If the reading is different, you have a leak.

3. Steam clean carpets. Do this before you move your furniture in, and your new home life will be off to a fresh, clean start. You can pay a professional carpet cleaning service — you’ll pay about $50 per room; most services require a minimum of about $100 before they’ll come out — or you can rent a steam cleaner for about $30 per day and do the work yourself. I was able to save some money by borrowing a steam cleaner from a friend.

4. Wipe out your cabinets. Another no-brainer before you move in your dishes and bathroom supplies. Make sure to wipe inside and out, preferably with a non-toxic cleaner, and replace contact paper if necessary.

When I cleaned my kitchen cabinets, I found an unpleasant surprise: Mouse poop. Which leads me to my next tip …

5. Give critters the heave-ho. That includes mice, rats, bats, termites, roaches, and any other uninvited guests. There are any number of DIY ways to get rid of pests, but if you need to bring out the big guns, an initial visit from a pest removal service will run you $100-$300, followed by monthly or quarterly visits at about $50 each time.

For my mousy enemies, I strategically placed poison packets around the kitchen, and I haven’t found any carcasses or any more poop, so the droppings I found must have been old. I might owe a debt of gratitude to the snake that lives under my back deck, but I prefer not to think about him.

6. Introduce yourself to your circuit breaker box and main water valve. My first experience with electrical wiring was replacing a broken light fixture in a bathroom. After locating the breaker box, which is in my garage, I turned off the power to that bathroom so I wouldn’t electrocute myself.

It’s a good idea to figure out which fuses control what parts of your house and label them accordingly. This will take two people: One to stand in the room where the power is supposed to go off, the other to trip the fuses and yell, “Did that work? How about now?”

You’ll want to know how to turn off your main water valve if you have a plumbing emergency, if a hurricane or tornado is headed your way, or if you’re going out of town. Just locate the valve — it could be inside or outside your house — and turn the knob until it’s off. Test it by turning on any faucet in the house; no water should come out.

What were the first maintenance projects you did when you moved into your first home?

Trudy Wachtmann

Office: 419-592-7653
Cell: 419-966-4920
Fax: 419 592-7021
trudywachtmann@wellesbowen.com

Visit Trudy’s website by clicking HERE

Barb Powell Presents – First Home Purchasing Tips

My home

First Home Purchasing Tips/By Sam J Loeb

Purchasing a first home is to most a quite stressful and intimidating event, while also being one of the most significant decisions you are likely to make in your life. With all that is involved, from searching properties, mortgage application to negotiating a price, it is essential to take whole process of purchasing a property in a controlled and orderly manner. Here are some of the steps to following when purchasing any property -

Take along a Family Member or Relative – Buying a property is quite a confusing and drawn out process, even if you have already attempted to educate yourself as much as possible. If an appointment has been made to view a property, it often pays to have with you a trusted relative or friend who you can rely on to give you an objective opinion throughout the viewing process. It might also benefit if you can call on someone who has recently been through the process of purchasing a property or dealing with estate agents. At times our own opinion might be clouded by emotions, so it always helps to have a second, more rational opinion to guide you along. Also, someone else’s viewpoint might be able to highlight the negative points of a property, which you would’ve otherwise missed.

Use a Trusted Real Estate Agent – A well-qualified estate agent that you feel entirely comfortable with is an essential piece of purchasing a first property. It is always worthwhile visiting several different local agents to find someone you are happy to work with. Some of the main qualities to expect with an agent are honesty, experience, and a keen knowledge of the local housing market. The right agent should be able to advice you through each stage of purchasing a property, which will ensure you find the perfect house for you and your family.

Don’t Rush a House Purchase – Most first-time home buyers often require several month of searching different types of properties before deciding on the right home to live in for the long-term. Purchasing something as significant as a new home isn’t something that should be rushed, which in a worst case situation might leave you with a home that isn’t quite right for your circumstance or where you don’t quite feel as comfortable as you should. It always helps to have several properties lined up to view, which can give you a broader view of what is on offer. It might help to look at a range of properties, such as town houses, flats, condos, bungalows, etc. to see the different floor plans and layouts available and see what looks most promising for your needs. After viewing a varied mix of properties, you will be in a better place to make an informed and wise decision.

See more information on trusted and reliable Real estate Melbourne specialists to ensure you get the best outcome in your property search.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Sam_J_Loeb

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Barb Powell, Realtor

Office: 419-782-8216
Cell: 419-769-2135
Fax: 419 782-0989
VM: 419-782-0978 ext. 136
barbpowell@wellesbowen.com

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Ginni Neuenschwander 6 Things Everyone Should Do When Moving Into a New House

Ginni NeueschwanderArticle From HouseLogic.com By: Courtney Craig Published: October 01, 2012

Moving into your first home is exciting! But it also means you’ve got work to do.

When I bought my first house in May, my timing couldn’t have been better: The house closing was two weeks before the lease was up on my apartment. That meant I could take my time packing and moving, and I could get to know the new place before moving in.

I recruited family and friends to help me move (in exchange for a beer-and-pizza picnic on the floor) and, as a bonus, I got to pick their brains about what first-time home owners should know.

Their help was one of the best housewarming presents I could have gotten. And thanks to their expertise and a little Googling, here’s what I learned about what to do before moving in.

1. Change the locks. You really don’t know who else has keys to your home, so change the locks. That ensures you’re the only person who has access. Install new deadbolts yourself for as little as $10 per lock, or call a locksmith – if you supply the new locks, they typically charge about $20-$30 per lock for labor.

2. Check for plumbing leaks (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/plumbing/plumbing-leaks-8-smart-tips-stop-them/). Your home inspector should do this for you before closing, but it never hurts to double-check. I didn’t have any leaks to fix, but when checking my kitchen sink, I did discover the sink sprayer was broken. I replaced it for under $20.

Keep an eye out for dripping faucets and running toilets, and check your water heater (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/water-heaters/water-heater-maintenance/) for signs of a leak (http://www.houselogic.com/blog/plumbing/fix-a-leak-week-2012/).

Here’s a neat trick: Check your water meter at the beginning and end of a 2-hour window in which no water is being used in your house. If the reading is different, you have a leak.

3. Steam clean carpets (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/home-improvement/carpet-or-hardwood/). Do this before you move your furniture in, and your new home life will be off to a fresh, clean start. You can pay a professional carpet cleaning service – you’ll pay about $50 per room; most services require a minimum of about $100 before they’ll come out – or you can rent a steam cleaner for about $30 per day and do the work yourself. I was able to save some money by borrowing a steam cleaner from a friend.

4. Wipe out your cabinets. Another no-brainer before you move in your dishes and bathroom supplies. Make sure to wipe inside and out, preferably with a non-toxic cleaner (http://www.houselogic.com/green-living/green-cleaning/), and replace contact paper if necessary.

When I cleaned my kitchen cabinets (http://www.houselogic.com/home-topics/cabinets/), I found an unpleasant surprise: Mouse poop. Which leads me to my next tip &hellip;

5. Give critters the heave-ho. That includes mice, rats (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/pest-control/Need-to-Get-Rid-of-Rats-Its-a-Community-Effort/), bats (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/pest-control/attic-pest-removal/), termites (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/pest-control/detect-termites-other-wood-destroying-insects/), roaches (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/pest-control/roach-home-removal-tips/), and any other uninvited guests. There are any number of DIY ways to get rid of pests, but if you need to bring out the big guns, an initial visit from a pest removal service will run you $100-$300, followed by monthly or quarterly visits at about $50 each time.

For my mousy enemies, I strategically placed poison packets around the kitchen, and I haven’t found any carcasses or any more poop, so the droppings I found must have been old. I might owe a debt of gratitude to the snake (http://www.houselogic.com/blog/pest-control/how-help-snake-slither-out-your-house/) that lives under my back deck, but I prefer not to think about him.

6. Introduce yourself to your circuit breaker box and main water valve. My first experience with electrical wiring (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/electrical/when-time-for-electrical-wiring-upgrade/) was replacing a broken light fixture in a bathroom. After locating the breaker box, which is in my garage, I turned off the power to that bathroom so I wouldn’t electrocute myself.

It’s a good idea to figure out which fuses control what parts of your house and label them accordingly. This will take two people: One to stand in the room where the power is supposed to go off, the other to trip the fuses and yell, “Did that work? How about now?”

You’ll want to know how to turn off your main water valve if you have a plumbing emergency, if a hurricane (http://www.houselogic.com/protect-your-home/hurricanes/) or tornado (http://www.houselogic.com/protect-your-home/tornadoes-severe-storms/) is headed your way, or if you’re going out of town. Just locate the valve – it could be inside or outside your house – and turn the knob until it’s off. Test it by turning on any faucet in the house; no water should come out.

What were the first maintenance projects you did when you moved into your first home?

Ginni Neueschwander, Realtor

www.ginnineuenschwander.wellesbowen.com

Office: 419-335-5170
Cell: 419-822-7045
Fax: 440-399-9346
ginni@wellesbowen.com

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