I Live For Home.

I wish I had something profound to say about how I got into real estate… a sign… some divine intervention leading me to a path I had no Idea would become the best life choice I ever made, but I don’t!  I literally fell into real estate by chance.  The company I had been employed by shut down and I found myself out of work with bills to pay and my former boss felt bad for me so he called in a favor.  My friend’s mother needed a bookkeeper for a part time gig and hired me.  She was a successful real estate agent and I quickly earned my place as her full time assistant.  I learned the business from the ground up and was running the office of a 100+ transaction a year team on the back end.  Life was good; bills were paid; I had stability; I had home.

…But…  something was missing.  My drive, my dedication, my focus was on making someone else the hero in so many families stories… I wanted that.  I wanted my own business and to be the boss; but I also wanted that feeling of pure joy when I handed over the keys to my clients at the settlement table and capture the smile on their faces.  I knew NOTHING about sales…or business for that matter.  I had been a nanny, and a student, and a receptionist my entire life… so little knowledge and experience in sales that it was almost laughable when I said I wanted to get my license and become a full time commissioned salesperson!  But I knew I had to try.

Now, I can sit here and tell you that I have all the skills needed to make an amazing agent and that I put in time, energy and effort into being very knowledgeable about the local market and about the industry as a whole, and I do, but more importantly I have a strong desire and passion to help people into home ownership.

Ill tell you a little story, Ill try to make it quick.  My mom never went to college, heck, she tells me she barely passed high school.  We lived in NJ and we were POOR.  We moved to Virginia when I was 6 due to my parents splitting up and we lived in the basement of my aunt’s home while my mom worked three jobs to get us on our feet.  She worked so hard to provide us a life.  It took several years to get her to a point where she had earned enough business cred to get a “big girl” job and I will never forget the day that all of her hard work paid off and we walked through the doors of our very first home.  No basements, no sharing bathrooms or bedrooms with my little brother; we walked through the door of a 3000 square foot home with a backyard and a fence and a garage and my mom just stood there… and cried.  HOME.  Its more that just a building with a mortgage payment attached to it.  HOME.  Its more than 4 walls and paint and appliances.  HOME.  Its everything.  Its family, future, security, independence, lifestyle, design, live, love, grow.  Its HOME and I wanted to relive that feeling over and over and over again.  Ill never forget it.   I got into this business to help others have that feeling.  Its the best!

As a real estate professional, I pride myself on bringing more to the table than just my knowledge of the local market, and the number of homes I have helped people buy and sell over the last several years.  I put you first.  I make you my number one priority.  I take the time to get to know you, your goals, motivations, likes, dislikes and everything else that makes you…well you!  Buying a house is a BIG DEAL!  You need a professional who understands that and all the other factors that go into this exciting experience.  Phone apps and websites with homes for sale cannot provide you the same level of service that a real live person can.  We need to get back to the face to face interaction with real people and that is how I do business.  I would love the opportunity to sit down over a cup of coffee and get to know you… earn your trust and earn your business… and hopefully earn your friendship when it is all over and I get the amazing privilege of handing you the keys to your NextHome.

 

Kitchen Improvements Under $100

Want to spruce up your kitchen but stuck on a tight budget? Check out the list of improvements you can get started on for under $100. These tips can come in handy when you’re ready to list your home to sell on the market. 

Kitchen Improvements Under $100

1. REFRESH THE SINK:

If your sink is starting to look outdated, find an affordable, yet stylish, replacement. If you have the eye for DIY, you can also purchase some sandpaper and a $4 can of spray paint that is made for metal, and dye it to refresh and brighten the color.

2. HANG A NEW LIGHT FIXTURE

A decorative light fixture doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. You can generally find some decent ones that are under $100. Go for a chrome finish or choose the rustic route, whichever suits the current decor in your kitchen. You can also add LED lights under your kitchen cabinets for around $10-$20.

3. PAINT THE CABINETS

With care taken in the prep work, you can refinish the paint on your cabinets. You can generally get a kit around $75. Refreshing the paint color or the stain can make your kitchen feel brand new.

4. TURN YOUR FRIDGE INTO A CHALKBOARD

Chalkboard finishes are a hot trend, especially on the fridge! They add more functionality by allowing home owners to write grocery lists, menus, and even to-dos. Use painters tape to outline the shape and size you want to use as the chalkboard then coat it with magnetic primer, then chalkboard paint.

5. REPLACE OUTLET PLATES

Replace the outdated outlet wall plates for your light switches. You can add some character to it by using bold patterns, bright colors, or elegant textures. If they look faded, yellow, or chipped, they’re a cheap fix to replace.

6. CHANGE HARDWARE

Replacing the hardware on your kitchen cabinets and drawers can provide a drastic change to your kitchen. Not only can you get rid of hideous outdated hardware, but you can add a completely new feel to the theme of your kitchen just by updating the hardware throughout it.

7. EXPAND STORAGE

Have empty wall space? Search your local home stores for cute baskets or storage containers you can use to fill the space. Not only can it add some character to your kitchen, it also adds functionality and more storage options. A feature buyers love if you’re thinking of listing your home.

8. DRESS UP YOUR DECOR

Bring some color to your kitchen. Throw out decor that looks like it belongs in the 90’s, rugs that are falling apart, and anything else that weighs down a fresh look. Add in some new rugs and hand towels that match your personality and the theme you’re trying to achieve. You can also add some plants and decorative pieces to add character.

9. CLEAN UP THE CLUTTER

The best cleaning tip I can give all of my clients is to remove the clutter. Nothing is a bigger eye sore than too many things. It also messes with the energy in a home. Throw out a lot of things that are taking up too much space. If it’s sentimental, see if you can store it in a new place or even donate it.

10 Staging Tips To Get Your Home Sold

10 Staging Tips To Get Your Home Sold

Ready to sell your house? Here is a few staging tips to get your home prepared for the market. When listing a home that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, you want to make sure it’s presented in the best light. You wouldn’t buy a $50,000 dollar car if it was filled from top to bottom in someone’s personal content and trash. This is the same mindset you need to carry into selling your home that will be worth well over a $100,000.

1. SAY BYE TO CLUTTER

The best thing you can do for your home for sale is to get rid of all of your clutter! Make a rule for your home that for every new piece that comes in, one must go. One of the biggest factors to a cluttered home is too much furniture. Generally, in a professional staging, half the home owner’s furniture is removed to make the house look much bigger. Look around your house and see what you can pack away. It’ll be worth the investment to get a storage unit for a couple of months to store away a lot of your furnishings and goods.

2. FURNITURE GROUPINGS

It’s largely misconceived that furniture pushed directly up against walls make a room look bigger, but this is far from true. Instead, you’ll want to float your furniture in reach room and away from the walls. Position your sofas and chairs into cozy conversational groupings. Be sure the furnishings are placed to make the traffic flow in a room obvious. This will make the room more user-friendly and will make it look larger.

3. TRANSFORM ROOMS

If you have a room that has only served to collect boxes or other junk, it’s important to purpose the room to something that is functional. You can make it into an extra bedroom, a small cozy nook/reading room, etc. If it’s in the basement, hid the boxes and turn it into a gaming room or family area.

4. HOME LIGHTING

Great lighting is the trick to making a staged home look warm and welcome. Most homes are improperly lit, which makes rooms look dark and dreary. There is a quick fix to this issue. Increase the wattage in your fixtures and lamps, aiming for about 100 watts per 50 square feet. Add three different types of lighting to each room: ambient (general overhead), task (under cabinets or pendants), and accent lighting (table lamps and wall accents).

5. GO NEUTRAL

The simple trick to toning down dated finishing in any space is a little bit of fresh paint. You don’t want to go stark white, but look into neutral grey and beige colors. Beige colors can also consist of warm honey like colors, soft blues and greens, and a variety of undertones that add a little life to a general neutral color. If you do want to use bold colors, be sure to only keep it on accent walls to help enhance structural features.

6. MAKE IT LOOK BIGGER

If you want to make a room bigger than it is, paint the room the same color as an adjacent room. For small kitchens and dining rooms, a seamless look will make the space feel like one, open it up, and make it seem much larger. Using drapes that match the wall colors can also add an emphasis to the room’s size.

7. USE YOUR GARDEN

Staged homes have an emphasis in fresh flowers and pricey floral arrangements. If you don’t have the money to go all out on florals, you can get this same effect by raiding your garden space. You can DIY beautiful pieces with fern fronds, magnolia clippings, and more. Use the spring and summer months to find cheerful flowers and use them in your arrangements.

8. GET A FACELIFT

So you can’t afford new cabinets? Then you can just get new doors and drawer fronts. Then paint everything to match and add new hardware to them. Instead of replacing the entire dishwasher, you may be able to get a new front panel, go for stainless steel if you can pull it off. Check with the manufacturer to see if replacements are available for your model.

9.MAKE NECESSARY REPAIRS

Unfinished home projects can really scare off potential home buyers, so you’ll want to be sure to make required repairs. Missing floorboards and large cracks in the sidewalk on the way to your door tend to be a red flag. Holes in walls and scratched up door frames can really look unattractive. These repairs cost you less to fix than buyers might deduct from the asking price.

10. CLEAN YOUR HOME

Aside from de-cluttering, the most important step to staging your home is to clean it. A dirty house is a quick turn-off for potential buyers. Most homes, especially with children and pets, and smokers, have a smell that may go undetected to home owners, but are quickly picked up by strangers. Be sure to have your home professionally cleaned prior to staging to appeal to all buyers that your home is nice and fresh.

7 Expert Moving Tips To Make Your Winter Move Fast and Easy

Winter is a great time to buy a home — there’s less competition, so that often means you can get a better home for a cheaper price. Talk about a happy holiday!

But moving in the winter? Not so great.

There are definitely challenges that go along with packing up everything you own and moving it to a new location in the dead of winter — especially if you live in an area with extreme winter weather.

But it’s not impossible! Here are seven expert moving tips to make your winter move fast and easy (and have you settled into your new place with a nice, hot cup of cocoa before you know it):

focus photography of snow flakes

1. Keep an eye on the forecast

This one should go without saying, but if you’re planning on moving during the winter months, it’s extremely important that you keep an eye on the forecast.

Winter weather can be unpredictable, and snowstorms can hit with little warning. Check the forecast once a week in the month leading up to your move. The week of your move, check every day.

If there’s a significant amount of snow forecasted – the kind of snow that could close roads or make driving unsafe – consider postponing your move date until after the snow passes. The last thing you want is to get stuck on the side of the road with all of your belongings in the back of a truck.

2. Confirm with your movers (and then confirm again)

One of the best things about moving during the winter is that it’s a slow time for moving companies — which means a better deal for you on your moving services.

But if you do hire movers (or rent a moving truck), it’s super important to make sure you confirm all the details (like the day, time, and location) of your move. You should plan to confirm the appointment a week before and then check in the day before your move to make sure there’s no winter weather that will keep things from going as planned.

You don’t want to get stuck in a house with no heat or electricity, waiting hours for movers who have the wrong time. Make sure you reconfirm.

3. Hire a babysitter and/or petsitter

Moving in winter is tough.

But you know what makes it tougher?

Having a bunch of children and/or pets running around.

If you’re a parent (or a pet parent) do yourself a favor and hire a babysitter and/or pet sitter for the day. This will save you a ton of time and stress. Instead of trying to keep track of your children or four-legged friends as you lug boxes through the snow, you can focus on the task at hand, which will get you through the move (and into your warm home) faster.

wooden house near pine trees and pond coated with snow during daytime

4. Start your move as early as possible

Not only do the days get colder in the winter — they also get shorter.

Because there’s fewer hours of daylight during the winter, you’ll want to get your move started as early as possible. That way, if you run into any speed bumps along the way, you still have daylight hours to figure things out.

Even if you’re not a morning person, get started early. A winter move can be tough, but a winter move in the dark is even tougher.

5. Protect your floors

If there’s snow on the ground, that means when you move, you’re going to get snow on your shoes. And, eventually, that will mean snow (and water) all over your nice, new floors.

You don’t want damaging your floor to be the first thing you do when you move into your new home. If you move on a snowy day (or the ground is wet from a previous storm), lay down plastic tarps to protect the flooring before you start moving things in.

6. Make sure the heat is turned on in your new place…

Before you move, make sure you’ve switched your utilities and the heat is turned on in your new place. The last thing you want to do is arrive and find you have to spend the first night in your new home bundled up because you have no heat!

7. But turn it off during the move

That being said, turn your heat off during the actual move. As you move things in and out, all the heat will escape through the door, which will not only make it cold inside, but will also stick you with a hefty energy bill.

Moving in the winter can be a challenge, but with these tips you’ll be moved and snuggled up by the fire in your new home in no time!

Do You Believe In Any Of These Real Estate Superstitions?

Tons of people think the number 13 is unlucky. Some don’t. But pretty much everyone has at least heard that the number 13 is unlucky. With Friday the 13th upon us, I thought it’d be fun and interesting to send along some superstitions we come across in the real estate industry, which you may have never heard about…

Lucky numbers

Real estate agents sometimes find themselves working with clients who have superstitions based upon lucky (and unlucky) numbers.

This is often a cultural superstition. And the lucky or unlucky numbers are different from culture to culture.

This can affect whether or not someone will buy a house, if the street address is an unlucky number, or even adds up to an unlucky number.

It can also affect the specific dollar amount they will offer or accept for a house…

What direction a house faces

Does your house face East? If it does, that’s great… for some potential buyers.

But others may not see it that way, and would never buy a house unless it faces South.

Again, these superstitions are typically cultural, and no one direction is right for every culture.

So, don’t worry what direction your house faces…there’s always someone who will be fine with whatever direction it is facing.

Mercury in retrograde

This is less cultural, and more a matter of whether someone is into astrology…

It is believed that when the planet Mercury is in “retrograde” (backward), it is a bad time to enter a contract.

So, if a client is sensitive to this, there is a good chance there isn’t a deal good enough to get them to buy or sell a house while Mercury is in retrograde.

Smudging

Ever hear of smudging? That’s when you burn a sacred plant (often sage), and walk around the house wafting the smoke, in order to get rid of negative energy in a house.

Does that sound crazy? Sound like someone’s been smokin’ the smudge!?

As a real estate agent, I wouldn’t call it crazy…

While an agent may not believe in a client’s superstition, or even understand it…they won’t consider it crazy.

It’s a real estate agent’s responsibility to represent their clients’ best interests.

So I wouldn’t consider any of the above examples (or anything else you could throw at me) crazy…because if it is a concern for my client, it is a concern for me.

Wishing you nothing but luck this Friday the 13th.

P.S. Out of curiosity… do you have any superstitions when it comes to buying and selling a house? Let me know, I’d love to hear!

Why Rent If You Can Buy?

Why Rent If You Can Buy

Home ownership rates are the lowest they have been in the last 50 years. Yet a large portion of Americans are still renting properties, instead of enjoying a home of their own. Consumer reports believe this is an issue because of a buyer’s lack of trust in their ability to purchase. It is still a long standing notion that a buyer needs 20% towards the cost of the home in order to move forward, but this isn’t true. With countless down payment assistant programs, and closing cost roll-ins, a home owner could move in with as little as a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars. Which is a huge difference in the time it takes to save up to make the move.

With interest rates at an all time low, home ownership in today’s market is a great investment. The money saved over a mortgage’s lifespan can result in tens of thousands of dollars, if not hundreds. That’s more money in your pocket today. Don’t wait to buy when interest rates soar again. With low interest rates, that means your monthly mortgage payments are at a significantly lower cost, as well. With such a heated housing marketing, rental prices are soaring, and statistics are constantly showing that home ownership can be equivalent to your rental rate each month, if not less. Why get stuck in a small 2 bedroom apartment, if you can move into a home a pay a monthly rate that is the same, and get a 3 bedroom house with a great backyard?

There is also a fear that a home can keep you “stuck” or “rooted” to one place, without an easy transition out if you decide to move. Although the future of the housing market isn’t easily predictable from location to location, you can always discuss with your agent about buying a home in an area that has a strong turn-over rate when a home hits the market. The equity build up when it comes time to selling is going to be far more beneficial, than if you put money into a rental and decided to move. The money from selling the property can be used to purchase a new home. With renting, there would be no additional funds to transition into a new place.

Now imagine if you were renting a home for $2000/month. If your landlord is renting to make a profit, think how much less you’d be paying on a monthly basis towards your mortgage, if the home was yours. Then you wouldn’t be paying a landlord to profit off of you, you’d be paying a reasonable rate, and get to call the property your own. Discuss with your agent and lender the steps you need to take towards home ownership, you might be happily surprised about the type of home you can afford to move into.

Why Now Is The Time To Buy

If you have been considering purchasing a home, you may be curious to know if this is the right time in the market to make your move. The market is fast changing, with new laws coming into play, interest rates are constantly rising, and a whole slew of things buyers have to face when it comes time to picking the right house. What does that mean for you? Well, that there isn’t a better time to buy than now. Let’s break down the benefits of purchasing a home now, instead of waiting.

brown and white wooden table beside sofa chair

1. INTEREST RATES ARE SOARING

If you haven’t been keeping up with the real estate market, you might be missing out on the data around interest rates. They are going up, and they are going up fast. 5% may not seem like a lot, but can be the difference between hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars on what you are paying out towards your loan on a monthly basis. Would you want to pay an extra $200 towards interest for your loan each month, or would you prefer to pocket that $200? Well we know the answer to that.

Buying a home now while interest rates are at a low is going to be an advantage, both now, and long term. Take advantage of today’s rates and purchase a home that doesn’t cost you extra just because of interests.

2. HOME PRICES ARE INCREASING

Have you been hearing about folks complaining in your market about the price of homes going up? Well those prices are going to continue climbing. A home that is $200,000 now, could go up to $400,000 in 10 years because of market conditions. We also are aware that wages are not increasing as steadily as the cost of living. Purchasing a home in today’s market can get you a bigger and better deal on a house than if you were to wait a few years. Especially in hot city markets, where prices are virtually guaranteed to sky rocket, making a move now can save you hundreds of thousands.

3. COMPETITION IS GETTING BIGGER

Population growth is a real thing, and with more people, comes more competition for homes. Homes are selling faster, which means a high demand increases home prices. Buying your home now, while the competition isn’t as strong as it could be 5 years from now, helps you get a better deal on the home you want now then if you were to wait it out.

So, in conclusion, the ball is in your court in today’s market. There isn’t ever a better time to purchase then now. Avoid the competition and the increase in fees and prices, and take advantage of a market that is still in the buyer’s favor.

What To Do With That Small Bathroom?!

small bathroom

Is your bathroom small? It’s the worst, isn’t it? I bought my DREAM HOME back in July and the master bathroom I found out used to be the walk in closet… explains SO MUCH!!!!!

Unfortunately, small bathrooms are very common, and are usually the smallest rooms in the house (besides linen closets…which I will TOTALLY write about soon). I can almost bet that it almost always feels cramped and tight in there. Although the square footage doesn’t change, a change of organization and storage space can make a drastic change to how your bathroom feels.  Here are a few tips and tricks to make your bathroom space feel more functional and spacious.

  •  Medicine Cabinet
    If you have a regular mirror, replacing it with one that includes a medicine cabinet and provide further storage space. You can really get creative here… I have seen some Pinterest worthy ideas where they actually build a medicine cabinet into the wall between the studs and put a hinged mirror on the exterior as the door.  Cool huh?! Sign me up!!! I’m all about hiding the things that dont need to be seen in a bathroom… you know what I mean? 🙂

  • Shelving

    I get excited when I talk about shelving.  I literally could not talk enough about how much I LOVE floating shelves on wall.

    If you have free space above your toilet, vanity, or other another empty part of the wall, install shelving units. Purchase a few decorative baskets to maximize shelf space.  This is another area where you can Pinterest to your hearts content and get some really creative ideas.  A shelf with a bar below it and you can hang a few baskets to hold things or stagger the shelves so you can maximize the space and add wall decor to complete the look.  So many viable options with shelving, its basically a no-brainer!

    Photo by Jonny Caspari on Unsplash
    Photo by Jonny Caspari on Unsplash
  • Hooks
    With a few decorative hooks, in a style of your preference, you can declutter by placing a couple on the back of the door to hang towels or robes. Perhaps one or two right next to each end of the shelving unit you just installed.

    I have been to several of the “home” stores recently and one of the big things I am seeing are the Knob-style hooks.  They look like doorknobs or big buttons that you hang things on.  This is cool especially for an eclectic or shabby chic decorative style that serves as dual purpose.  It is functional because you can hang things on them and its decorative because it is on the wall so when not being used for hanging, you have something cool to look at!

  • Towel Racks 
    A rack installed inside of you shower can save you space and convenience, also adding an additional shower bar above the original will work nicely. Another idea is installing a few racks a couple of feet above each other or right next on another. If you have an excessive amount of towels, store some of them away in the bedroom closet or get one of the layered towel racks that hang behind the door.  You can get 4 or 5 towels nicely put away but still reachable when needed by using the space behind the door!

  • Vanity with Cabinet
    I have come across plenty of pedestal sinks in small bathrooms, but if you want save some space, add some storage, and upgrade the look of your bathroom at the same time, a vanity cabinet will definitely do the trick. This provides space to put things like toilet paper or cleaning supplies away and out of sight.

Save Your Home From Dryer Fires!

Every year, more than 2900 home fires are started by clothes dryers. The leading cause of these fires are from a build of up lint from lack of maintenance. The removable lint filter unfortunately doesn’t catch all of the cloth and fabric particles, so maintenance requires a little more than just emptying the filter after each load. Whether you live in your own home or plan to purchase in the near future, it’s important to have safeguards in place for the utilities that you use that could put your home at risk. You want to make sure that the lint that gets trapped in crevices and in the hose on it’s way outside are thoroughly cleaned.

Save Your Home From Dryer Fires

Here are a few warning signs to look for that may indicate your dryer is getting clogged up by lint:

Clothes are taking a lot longer to dry, and sometimes not even drying all the way.
Clothes may be hotter by the end of the cycle.
The outside of the dryer starts to get really hot.
The outside exhaust vent flapper isn’t opening much.
The laundry room begins to feel really humid.
There is a burnt smell in the laundry room.

If this seems to be the case, then you’ll want to evaluate your dryer. The tools you need to clean it are as follows:

A vacuum with a long hose attachment.
Dryer vent brush kit.
Screwdriver
UL listed metal foil duct tape

Here are 4 steps to cleaning your dryer:

1. Remove the lint trap filter and make sure it’s completely cleaned off. You want to make sure you’re cleaning the filter after every load to help prevent lint build up.

2. Vacuum the space that houses the lint trap filter. The filter doesn’t capture all of the particles, and this is the second place the lint will begin to accumulate.

3. Disconnect the dryer duct and clean out the duct with a long hose from a vacuum. You can also use a duct brush to help you complete a more thorough job.

4. Make sure the duct is connected properly. You don’t want it cinched in any part of the duct, to prevent crevices where the lint can get stuck.

No one knows the value your home has as much as this real estate pro, keep it protected by taking some simple cautionary steps to keeping everything in running order. And if you’re in need of a brand new laundry room altogether, don’t forget to give me a call.

10 Home Chores To Do Annually

Sing me some graces, there is such a thing as over-cleaning! Here are ten chores around the home that you really only need to do annually, minus special circumstances. Let’s dive in!

10 Home Chores To Do Annually

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.

4. Carpets

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.

6. Mattress

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.

6 Ways To Winterproof Your Home This Fall

brown snow covered house

If you want your home to make it through the winter months unscathed, you’ll need to take the proper measures to protect it. In other words, you need to winterproof your home.

But if you wait until you’re hearing Christmas carols on the radio to take the necessary steps to protect your home, you’ll be too late. Here are 6 ways to winterproof your home this fall so your home is ready for the cold temperatures, snow, and whatever else the season wants to throw at it:

1. Store patio furniture

Winter isn’t the time for barbecues and dining alfresco, so it’s important that you protect your grill and patio furniture in the winter months — that way, they’ll be ready to roll when the weather starts to warm.

Take your patio furniture and grill and put them into storage. This is especially important if you have aluminum patio furniture, which can rust once the snow hits. If you don’t have a place to store your grill and furniture (or if your furniture is made of a more durable material), you should at the very least cover it up to protect it from the elements.

2. Empty and store hoses

You’ll also want to store your garden hoses before the temperature drops. If you leave your hoses as is, the water in them can freeze, which can cause holes and leaks.

Drain each of your garden hoses and store them inside until the spring.

3. Protect your home from chilly winter air

One of the trademarks of winter is cold air, and if that cold air finds a way into your house, you’re likely to find yourself shivering no matter how high you turn up the heat.

It’s important to seal off your house to keep cold air from getting in. Look for any gaps in the walls or foundation and seal them with foam or caulk (you can also use caulk to seal any gaps around windows). If your home is notorious for being cold in the winter, you’ll also want to check the insulation. Your attic and basement should be insulated, and if the insulation is old or improperly installed, it can cause dropping temperatures in the colder months.

Redoing or adding insulation isn’t cheap, so if you’re unsure of whether your insulation needs an upgrade, consult an insulation professional and get an estimate.

4. Get the right thermostat

One of the most important ways to protect your home in the winter is keeping it at the proper temperature. But “proper temperature” is relative; obviously, you’ll want your house warmer while you’re home, but it’s fine to turn down the heat while you’re out. But if you turn OFF the heat, you run the risk of the temperature dropping too low.

A programmable thermostat will allow you to control the temperature in your home at all times. You can program your thermostat to automatically lower the temperature when you leave, and raise the temperature before you get home so you get to return to a nice, toasty environment. Many of the new thermostats even connect to your smartphone, allowing you to control the temperature in your home straight from your mobile device.

5. Switch to winter fabrics

When the winter chill kicks in, you’re going to want lots of warm, cozy fabrics to keep you warm. Replace your summer linens with more substantial fabrics, like velvet, fleece, or faux fur, to match the season. Put a throw or blanket in one of these fabrics in each room so you always have something on hand to wrap yourself up with when the temperature drops.

6. Replace your furnace filter

Old, dirty filters will make your furnace less efficient, driving up your energy bills and making your home more difficult to heat. Replace your furnace filter this fall to ensure that your furnace is in tip-top shape when winter hits.

Colder temperatures are on their way, so it’s important to protect your home while you still have time. And with these winterproofing tips, getting your home ready should be a cinch.