1800s Estate Proves History Is Anything But Drab

With bold colors (flamingo pink!) and whimsical wallpaper, this historic  home is a fresh take on old meets new.

Steven Favreau is the type to go big — and go home.

When he set out to put down roots near his hometown of Boston, Favreau fell in love with an old country estate in quaint Chelsea, Vermont. It was the perfect place for this interior designer to escape from the hubbub of big city life after working with celebrity clients and more.

“It was a quintessential Vermont house in a quintessential Vermont town,” said Favreau, about spotting the house in 2012. “I hopped on a plane and bought it the next week.”

Built in 1832, the house was once owned by a man named Aaron Davis, whose family lived in it for at least 100 years. Davis’ granddaughter eventually sold the 23-acre property in the 1980s, and the new owner converted it into a bed-and-breakfast. (There’s still a portrait of Davis above one of the home’s five fireplaces.)

After Favreau purchased the 5-bed, 5-bath home, he sought to restore it to its original grandeur — at a frenetic pace. A contractor brought in a crew to rework everything from the wiring (it was a fire waiting to happen) to the wallpaper (there were eight layers throughout the house). The workers even put in a massive new beam to support the house and keep it from sinking.

Up next on the designer’s list: keeping the look, feel and integrity of the antique touches, while updating the space to accommodate today’s trends. He tore out a downstairs wall to expand the kitchen to 700 square feet; the master suite got a modern bath with a soaking tub.

Favreau painted walls in his signature bright colors and added bold wallpaper. He lined the master bathroom with tree-print wallpaper. The dining room got a splash of flamingo pink with a print of Victorian-looking cake plates — a nod to the era in which the house was built.

“What I wanted to use for inspiration was the house and the period of the house, so nodding to the period and updating it with a contemporary aesthetic,” Favreau said. “It says today, but it also says yesterday.”

 

Some things are distinctly New England. A wooden footbridge connects the main property to 22 secluded acres on the other side of the White River. On warm summer nights, Favreau’s family will pull a dining room table out onto the bridge and dine alfresco.

 

 

In the winter, the adjacent land allows for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.

 

 

There’s also an old wood barn, which Favreau envisions becoming an event space for weddings or storage. The possibilities for the next owner are limitless, he said.

 

 

“It’s a big glorious house, and my family is a big glorious family. We’ve enjoyed it,” he added. “I feel like I’ve loved my time being there and up in Vermont, but it’s time to find the next one. Maybe an oceanside property.”

The home is on the market for $695,000. Zoe Hathorn Washburn of Snyder Donegan carries the listing.

Interior photos courtesy of Jim Mauchly of Mountain Graphics Photography. Exterior photos courtesy of Andrew Holson with Snyder Donegan Real Estate Group.

Furnace, Boiler or Heat Pump? Time for Heating Systems 101

If your current heating system yields cold hands and frozen toes — it might be time to upgrade.

Heating your home accounts for an inordinate portion of your utility bill, so it pays to choose the most efficient heating system possible. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should upgrade to a different type of system, however.

Generally speaking, it’s a bad idea to convert from forced air to central heating, or vice versa, since the benefits rarely justify the cost. Instead, upgrade to a more efficient version of your existing furnace or boiler when it’s too expensive to repair — but weigh your options carefully.

Here’s a rundown of the most commonly used heating systems, along with their advantages and disadvantages, to help you make the most appropriate choice for your home, climate and wallet.

Furnaces

Also known as forced air, furnaces are the most commonly used heating systems in the U.S. because they’re reliable and relatively inexpensive. Gas furnaces are rated for efficiency by their annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating. This shows how much energy is successfully converted to usable heat.

If your furnace needs to be replaced, the silver lining is that modern furnaces are more efficient than ever, and some premium models even reach an AFUE rating of 97 percent. When purchasing a furnace, choose one that’s appropriately sized for your home so that it doesn’t put undue wear and tear on your system or waste energy.

Pros Cons
  • Inexpensive to install
  • Reliable and low-maintenance
  • Have a long life span, especially electric models
  • Can be retrofitted to filter and clean your home’s air
  • Already installed in most homes, thus easier to replace
  • Can produce and kick up more allergens
  • Warm air is easily lost through ducts and within the house
  • Gas furnaces can be dangerous, creating a risk of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Furnaces powered by electricity are safer, but cost more to run

Boilers

Boilers use water to generate and distribute heat through pipes and radiators, heating the air, floors, wall and baseboards as it travels in a loop. They can be powered via natural gas, electricity or propane, and they use the following systems to distribute heat:

  • Steam radiators are the old-fashioned metal things you’ve seen along the walls in older buildings.
  • Hot water radiators are the newer reincarnation and allow more control and versatility.
  • Hydronic radiant floor heating treats the entire floor of a room like a giant radiator, using tubing under the flooring to distribute heat to toasty toes. While efficient, hydronic radiant floor heating is expensive to install and replace.

Like furnaces, boilers are rated by AFUE score.

Pros Cons
  • Usually runs more quietly than forced air systems
  • Doesn’t kick up dust, which makes for much better air quality
  • Can be retrofitted to heat water
  • Can be more efficient than forced air systems
  • Boilers are often more expensive to purchase and install than forced air systems
  • Water can leak when the system is damaged or nears the end of its life
  • Most boilers are powered by natural gas, which isn’t available in all areas
  • Aren’t necessary in areas with mild winters

Heat pumps

These extremely efficient systems take advantage of existing temperatures (either outdoors, underwater or underground) to heat, cool and humidify your home.

There are three types of heat pumps:

  • Air-source heat pumps are the most common and circulate refrigerant between the outdoor heat pump and indoor air handler.
  • Split ductless systems use one to four indoor air handlers, which are mounted high up on walls and controlled by a remote.
  • Geothermal systems are incredibly efficient because they take advantage of temperatures in the ground, pond or a well, but they aren’t practical or affordable for most homeowners.

When selecting a heat pump system, consider the size, noise output and efficiency rating. The heating efficiency is measured by heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF), and the cooling efficiency is measured by seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER).

Pros Cons
  • Very efficient, saving lots of money in the long run
  • Can be used all year for both heating and cooling
  • Can be modified with a desuperheater, which assists in heating your water
  • Newer models are appropriate for colder climates
  • Naturally dehumidifies the home in summer, making it ideal for the Southeast
  • More expensive than forced air or central heating
  • Inappropriate for small lots
  • Fans can be noisy
  • Requires more maintenance than other systems
  • In cold climates, you may require an auxiliary heating system that kicks in when temperatures become too low

How to Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing

When temperatures plummet, the risk of your pipes freezing and bursting skyrockets. In fact, burst pipes are one of the most common causes of property damage during frigid weather and can cause thousands in water damage—easily $5,000 or more, according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (PDF).

The pipes most at risk are those in unheated interior spaces such as basements, attics, and garages. But even pipes running through cabinets or exterior walls can freeze. The good news is there are some simple things you can do to keep your water running and your house dry.

“Pipe insulation can cost as little as 50 cents per linear foot at your local hardware store,” says Susan Millerick, IBHS spokeswoman. “So for not much more than the cost of the aspirin you’d need, you can avoid the headaches of cleanup, loss of precious keepsakes, and the cost of your insurance deductible.” Use the pipe insulation liberally to protect any vulnerable pipes.

Both the IBHS and the American Red Cross, which is in the business of emergency preparedness, have useful advice on how to prevent your pipes from freezing, as well as how to thaw them if they do.

How to Beat the Freeze

Once the temperature starts dropping outside, you should take measures inside to keep your pipes warm and water running. Research conducted by the Building Research Council at the University of Illinois shows that the “temperature alert threshold” is 20° F, especially if you have uninsulated pipes running through an uninsulated space.

Some of the steps experts recommend may go against your better instincts of conserving water and heat, but the extra expense is nothing compared with a hefty repair bill. Here’s what to do:

  • Keep garage doors closed, especially if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing, especially if your sinks are on an exterior wall. (If you have small children, be sure to remove any harmful cleaners and household chemicals.)
  • Let the cold water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe—even at a trickle—helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during day and night. Again, during a cold snap is not the time to set back the thermostat at night to save a few bucks on your heating bill.
  • If you plan to be away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
  • For the long term, add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in those areas. And to prevent drafts, seal cracks and openings around windows, doors, and at sill plates, where the house rests on its foundation.

How to Thaw Frozen Pipes

If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, you may well have a frozen pipe. “If you suspect the pipes are frozen, be careful when thawing them out because if the pipe has already burst, the water will come flowing out and flood your home,” says John Galeotafiore, who oversees Consumer Reports’ testing of home products and power gear.

If a pipe has broken, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve, which is usually at the water meter or where the main line enters the house. If the water is still running and no pipes have burst, you can take the following steps. (Of course, if you suspect a more serious problem, call a plumber.)

Turn on the faucet. As you heat the frozen pipe and the ice plug begins to melt, you want the water to be able to flow through. Running water through the pipe, as cold as it is, will help melt ice in the pipe.

Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, or a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. As tempting as it may be, do not use a blowtorch, a kerosene or propane heater, a charcoal stove, or any device with an open flame; the high heat can damage the pipes or even start a fire.

Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. Check all other faucets in your home to see whether you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

Call a licensed plumber if you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe.

Space Heaters to Warm a Room

If you need supplemental heat, you can add a space heater to a room where pipes might be at risk. And though we don’t recommend using a space heater in a bathroom, if you really need one, make sure it’s plugged into an outlet with a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) and do not use an extension cord. Some space heaters have GFCI plugs, but only two in our ratings have this feature, the small DeLonghi HVF3555TB, $80, and the radiator-style DeLonghi TRN0812T, $60.

If you want to add a little extra warmth during a cold spell, here are three affordable space heaters that excel at heating a room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Original Post: https://www.consumerreports.org/home-maintenance-repairs/how-to-keep-pipes-from-freezing/

6 Reasons Why Selling a House in the Winter May Be the Best Decision Ever

Spring is generally the most popular time of year to sell a house, with hordes of buyers looking to move into a new place before the school year begins. But if you decide to sell your home during the winter, experts say you could reap a reward in cold, hard cash.

“I have personally had my best months in real estate during the holiday season, so the idea that the markets are very tough to sell in the winter might be a myth,” says Emil Hartoonian, managing partner of The Agency in Beverly Hills, CA.

He’s not the only one who believes selling in the winter can make you a real estate winner. Read on for the top reasons why you should consider unloading when the temperatures drop.

 

1. Low inventory = less competition

 

Since spring is the most popular home-selling season, the housing market is ultracrowded with options at that time of year. And if you paid attention during Econ 101, you understand the law of supply and demand.

“Most sellers still think they need to sell in the spring, but that means there is more competition for buyers’ attention,” says Matt Van Winkle, founder of Re/Max Northwest in Seattle.

But in the winter, there are fewer homes for sale. That competition over low inventory can make winter an ideal time to sell your home.

“In the Atlanta market, January is one of the strongest months for homes to go under contract,” says Ally May of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s.

 

2. You get to show your home’s winter-readiness

 

Selling in the winter also gives you the opportunity to show that a home is designed to handle the harsh elements.

“Sellers in places like Lake Tahoe can show off features like a south-facing driveway to speed up snow melting, how snow will fall off of a roof, a short driveway that will minimize shoveling or plowing, heat tape on the north side of the roof to avoid snow accumulation, and how recently the roof and furnace have been replaced,” says Sandy Soli, regional manager at Engel & Völkers in Lake Tahoe, NV.

Plus, during winter months, homes with features like fireplaces and hot tubs are certainly more appealing.

 

3. New parents may be looking to upgrade

 

The baby boom in September may lead to more buyers later in the year. According to data from the Center for Health Statistics and the Social Security Administration, there are more birthdays in the month of September than any other time of the year. Therefore, there’s likely to be a crop of growing families looking to buy a larger house.

“Once baby is home and settled, these parents may want to start the year in a new, and more spacious, family home,” according to Melissa Temple, real estate adviser and partner at Engel & Völkers in Aspen, CO.

 

4. Winter brings out the serious buyers

 

News flash: Not everyone looking at houses intends to make a purchase. Some people are contemplating moving and may just want to see what’s on the market. Since more homes tend to go on the market in spring and fall, this is also when window shoppers are likely to be out looking.

However, these looky-loos tend to be scarce during winter months, according to Jennifer Baldinger, licensed associate real estate broker at Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty in Scarsdale, NY.

“When I have buyers looking for homes in January and February, they’re real buyers looking to make a purchase—especially if it’s a great house. They don’t want to take the chance of waiting until spring and losing out on the home,” Baldinger says.

“There may be less people at these open houses, but I would rather have 10 real buyers come through than 20 people who are just curious,” she says.

 

5. Year-end financial bonuses and payouts

 

As a seller, year-end performance reviews could mean that more people have money to spend on a home.

“End-of-year financial bonuses or workers retiring with large payouts could mean opportunities for these buyers to upgrade their living situations or for first-time buyers to enter the housing market,” according to Temple.

 

6. Corporate relocation

 

You could also encounter buyers who are relocating for a job.

“One of the biggest months for corporate relocation is January/February, so those buyers, who need to move quickly, are out in full force looking for new homes,” Baldinger says.

Relocators typically have a limited amount of time to uproot their families and, as a result, don’t have the luxury of spending a lot of time looking at properties. The kids need to get settled into school, and dealing with selling their old home can add another level of urgency and stress. So it’s likely that once they find a home that meets their requirements, these buyers will be ready to sign on the dotted line.

 

 

Originial Post: https://www.realtor.com/advice/sell/reasons-to-sell-a-home-in-winter/

2019 Design Forecast: What’s In, What’s Out

As we flip to the last pages of our 2018 calendar, it’s time to look at interior design trend on the rise – and say goodbye to those on their way out in 2019.

Here are our predictions about what’s in and what’s out in the year to come.

What’s in

Warm modernism

It’s official – many regions throughout the U.S. are choosing a modern aesthetic over a rustic style.

While black-and-white contrast and raw materials like steel and wood will continue to be popular, they’ll be softened by color and asymmetry.

These modern elements will have a fresh approachability when surrounded by sun-soaked fabrics and natural wall coverings.

Effortless technology and transformations

Talk-to-me tech products help you get things done with your voice, and homeowners are using them to modernize their daily routine.

In 2019 you’ll see smart faucets, fans, window coverings and appliances paired with popular platforms – Google Home, Amazon Alexa and

Apple HomePod – for a convenient, connected home.

Additionally, products that offer easy installation and seamless integration into existing layouts make projects remodel-friendly.

Innovative sinks, faucets, medicine cabinets, appliances and lighting provide a quick transformation to refresh the style and functionality of your space.

Home sweet home

Though talk-to-me tech is trending, some will be looking for ways to escape the chatter.

Meditative and sound-barrier features will appear in more homes this year – think transformative experiences using acoustic panels,

colored lights and aura effects. Ethereal, sheer and translucent fabrics will support the aesthetic, pairing an organic feel with the benefits

and convenience of select technology.

Industrial style

Concrete, quartz and metal lovers, rejoice! Industrial styles are predicted to rise in popularity in 2019.

Matte black and bronze continue to dominate and complement a more industrial vibe. But when selecting wall colors, appliances,

faucet finishes and fabrics, consider the possibilities of moody blues and the gray color spectrum. From warm light grays to the coolness

of matte black, these tones add a subtle layer of intrigue and distinction.

Plus, black and charcoal gray front doors could earn up to $6,271 more when selling your home!

Organic maker accents

Handmade details can immediately soften an interior. This year you’ll see rhythmic patterns and imperfect lines incorporated through hand-painting,

stitching and detailing, expanding the possibilities for endless mixing and matching in the home. Additionally, fabrics and accents with strands of crystal,

wooden and pearlescent beads present a sophisticated flair for artful detail. Home decor favorites will still include earthy elements and nubby textures.

Think neutral naturals by simply adding a wooden side table and sculpture, live and fake plants for color, and natural fibers through rugs and fabrics.

What’s out

Rustic

Is America finally over the “Fixer Upper” movement? Not quite, but the rustic, farmhouse-chic elements are getting refined.

The shiplap-crazy trend seems to be leaning toward a modern twist, simplifying layers of the look. Cutesy barn doors will take a backseat to more modern

versions featuring glass and metal instead of reclaimed barn wood.

The signature statement range hood covered in rustic materials will swing to simplified finishes, like brushed brass, stainless and matte black.

Lastly, the harsh light of the Edison bulb will move to a more complementary glow, reflecting concealed bulbs versus exposed ones.

Millennial pink

Bold, trendy color schemes are likely on the way out, with more subtle earth tones and cool, classic palettes on the rise.

Blues and neutrals continue to top Zillow trend reports, adding higher dollar values related to home sales when used in kitchen and bathroom areas.

While millennial pink may have been all the rage on designer Instagram feeds, people don’t actually want to live with it throughout their homes.

Whether trends inspire you or not, it’s important to be aware of them, because they help shape our own personal interior style.

If you love purple gingham in your dining room, go for it. If an all-white interior speaks to you, celebrate it.

Our homes are where we express ourselves and tell our unique style story, so I encourage you to do just that in the new year.

Original Post – http://rhinestoneproperties.com/2019-design-forecast-whats-in-whats-out

The Truth About Toxic Mold (And How to Get Rid of It)

Don’t let the mold panic set in just yet — it might not be as bad as you think.

Mold is everywhere. It grows on the sides of houses, it blackens surfaces like brick and concrete, and it thrives in the soil of your yard and garden.

Indoors, mold lives in sink drains, shower grout, houseplant potting mix, kitchen sponges and anywhere else that moisture has a chance to settle. Are you hyperventilating yet?

A little bit of mold is nothing to worry about, as long as you can identify the cause and promptly clean it up with a solution of bleach and water.

But before we go any further, let’s get this out of the way: Any mold, regardless of color, can make you feel sick, especially if you suffer from allergies or asthma. To be on the safe side, always wear a mask and rubber gloves when dealing with mold, and make sure that the space is well-ventilated.

Let’s get the facts straight

Also known as black mold, the infamous Stachybotrys chartarum is not toxic, but toxigenic, because it is capable of producing mycotoxins. Technicalities aside, this uncommon mold species is especially feared for its supposedly dangerous effects.

You may have read an article about how toxic mold is “secretly making your family sick” or watched local news reporters announce that black mold was found in a restaurant inspection, making it feel as if the plague arrived overnight and could be headed to your place next.

Some alternative health websites even call it “toxic mold syndrome” and warn of terrifying symptoms like memory loss or idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however, say that “These case reports are rare, and a causal link between the presence of the toxigenic mold and these conditions has not been proven. … All molds should be treated the same with respect to potential health risks and removal.”

Stachybotrys chartarum is unusual among household molds, because it requires constant moisture to survive. So if your house is oozing moisture from a roof leak, broken pipe or outright poltergeist, black mold is the least of your worries. Time to call a professional and put an end to the drip before termites or wood rot threaten to put an end to your home’s structure.

Mold is often a symptom of a bigger problem, be it as minor as a dripping faucet or as major as, well, a missing roof.

If you suspect that the slowly spreading black stain on your wall is the infamous black mold, don’t bother wasting your time identifying the stuff. Scam artists abound, and the Environmental Protection Agency even says that “In most cases, if visible mold is present, sampling is unnecessary.”

There are no established standards for judging what is an acceptable amount of mold, and even the non-toxigenic types can cause allergic reactions and make your life miserable. Remove it.

How to prevent and remove mold

Mold needs three things to survive: Moisture, a growing surface and food (dirty stuff).

The easiest way to prevent mold is to make sure that it never gets any moisture to begin with. Keep your house clean, dry and well-ventilated, especially in the bathroom wherever water collects, such as on tile grout or shower curtains. If your bathroom has gnats or a damp odor, look no further than your clogged sink drains — and be sure to wear some rubber gloves.

To clean and remove mold on hard surfaces, the CDC recommends using a solution of no more than one cup of bleach to one gallon of water.

To remove mold on exterior surfaces, use a pressure washer, and make sure that everything is properly sealed.

If mold is found on soft and porous surfaces, such as drywall, carpeting or furniture, it’s best to dispose of the affected material before the mold spreads further or exacerbates your allergies.

Flood-damaged homes with heavy mold infestations should be handled by professionals whenever possible. The Federal Emergency Management Agencywarns that “Infants, children, immune-compromised patients, pregnant women, individuals with existing respiratory conditions (allergies, multiple chemical sensitivity and asthma) and the elderly appear to be at higher risks for adverse health effects from mold.”

In addition, flood-damaged houses are often contaminated with chemicals and human waste, which are far more dangerous than the mold itself.

https://www.zillow.com/blog/the-truth-about-toxic-mold-229445/?fbclid=IwAR0HHxmfQHXSzCoLDYH_Q4_7EF9Nm1buS1t4PlLSQm-4ODHj7rC6o-dyvHE

7 Qualities of a Good Neighbor

Win and woo your next-door friends with a little neighborly know-how.

If you want good neighbors, you’ll first have to become one yourself. Master these seven techniques, and even you (yes, you!) can win the approval of your entire neighborhood.

1. Good neighbors bring cookies

Whether you’re new in town or haven’t kept in touch, a delivery of freshly baked goods is a perfect way to break the ice and let neighbors know that you’re thinking of them.

If cookies can keep Santa returning year after year with a bag full of loot, then surely they can train your neighbors to do your bidding. Consider the following scenario.

“Honey, somebody’s robbing the neighbor’s house again.”
“Wait, Janet. The ones who brought cookies yesterday?”
“Exactly. This time I’ll call the cops.”

2. Good neighbors rarely gossip

If your neighbor seems to know the dirt on everyone within a two-block radius, you can count on them to keep tabs on your personal life as well.

The next time Nosy Nellie gleefully describes the contents of the Rickenbacker’s trash again, move the conversation along by refocusing the conversation on her. “So, what are you growing in your garden this year?”

You aren’t in high school anymore, so preserve relationships with your neighbors and avoid the gratuitous gab fests.

3. Good neighbors share phone numbers

For such a connected age, you should really question why you don’t have your neighbors’ phone numbers. After all, what if they receive your package by mistake? What if the house floods while you’re on vacation? Worse yet, what if you need a babysitter?

If you feel uncomfortable bringing it up, ask during one of your cookie deliveries (you are following rule number one, right?) or right before a trip. Jot down your name, number and email address on a piece of paper and ask if your neighbor is comfortable sharing theirs.

4. Good neighbors help before they’re asked

The neighbor who says, “Let me know if you need anything,” probably isn’t going to help whenever you actually need something. You, on the other hand, are a good neighbor and genuinely want to help out.

To get ahead of the meaningless small talk, anticipate their needs. If they have kids and you’re comfortable babysitting, tell them up front. If they’re clearly struggling to mow the lawn during a heat wave, ask for the best time to stop by with your lawnmower.

5. Good neighbors are tidy

Even if you lack self-respect, respect the sensitive tastes of others and clean up your act.

Keep the ironic lawn ornaments to a minimum. Keep trash receptacles hidden in the side yard, or better yet, the garage.

Whenever you’ve finished gardening or landscaping for the day, put away your tools and bags of unused mulch. Rake the leaves and clean up grass clippings and all the other stuff your dad used to bug you about.

And if it’s not too much trouble, pressure wash and paint your house periodically.

6. Good neighbors mow the lawn

An unkempt and weedy lawn is embarrassing for your neighbors, so it should be embarrassing for you as well. Keeping it mowed every week or two is a good start, but it will take more than that to win the approval of the locals.

Trim the edge of your lawn regularly, fertilize on schedule and keep weeds to a minimum. Keep your foundation plantings simple, neatly trimmed and topped off with mulch.

If your neighborhood allows it, go the no-lawn method by planting swaths of low-maintenance, drought-tolerant ground covers. Crucially, don’t overdo it on the sprinklers — especially when it’s raining.

7. Good neighbors communicate

That old “good fences make good neighbors” quote had to come up at some point, right? A good neighbor must respect boundaries. That said, they should also be crossed when the fences themselves start losing pickets and falling over in a storm.

Even if it’s technically their fence, you might not be happy with the shoddy workmanship and resentment that you’ll have to live with when they get around to fixing it themselves.

Address shared interests like fences, drainage ditches and troublesome trees ahead of time so that you can work out a plan that both parties can agree to.

Oh, and don’t forget to bring cookies.

 

 

Original Post – https://www.zillow.com/blog/7-qualities-of-a-good-neighbor-227746/

Sellers: It’s Risky Pricing High to ‘See What Happens’

Every seller wants to get the best deal for their house – especially when you consider that as much as $500,000 in profit can be earned tax-free. So why not just price your house to the moon? After all, you can just bring it down later, right?

Well, there are a few problems with that. If you price high and then slowly start bringing it down…and down…and down…buyers are going to notice. It makes that home start to seem like it’s in a bargain bin. You want your home to appear like a deal, not cheapened goods. When it sits on the market for an extended time because of overpricing, buyers are going to wonder why. Would you feel urgency as a buyer if you read that a property was listed 180 days ago? Probably not.

To set a realistic price, consider these tips:

  • Do your due diligence. What have houses like yours sold for when the deal was made in a reasonable time? And what were the original prices of those homes?
  • Have an honest discussion with your real estate agent. He or she knows the area, and wants to sell your home as quickly as possible for the most competitive price. What does he or she think is reasonable?
  • Be an assertive seller, but don’t overplay your hand. Remember, the little extra money you hold out for may not be worth the six months or year of mortgage payments you’re stuck paying in the meantime!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Original post: https://www.remax.com/blog/sellers-its-risky-pricing-high-to-see-what-happens

How To Sell Your House Faster

How To Sell Your House Faster

 

There’s the traditional route of selling your house with a realtor, and there’s the fast route. Which do you want to take? If you really want to sell your house, avoid realtor commissions, get a fair all-cash offer, and have a variety of creative selling ideas, working with a real estate investor is the path of least resistance.

A realtor’s fee is in essence a marketing fee. You’re paying them to advertise and walk buyers through your property, but when you deal with the buyer direct, you get to pocket that 6% of the sale, not to mention saving significant time.

Maybe you don’t have time to let your house sit on the market for months, entertain insincere buyers, and fall out of escrow multiple times because the financing didn’t come through. When you sell traditionally, you rely on a lot of moving parts to sync up, and quite often, they don’t.

When you work with a real estate investor, you’re working with a professional who does this for a living. They typically don’t use traditional financing, and will often make you a cash offer.

Working with a realtor can take months for the sale of your house to close. The fastest typical closing is 30 days, but an investor can typically close in 7-10 days.

How relieved would you feel if you knew your house was going to be sold in a week?

Investors simplify the selling process for you, at no cost to you.

Real estate investors know the market just as well, if not better, than the realtors in the same area. They can and will give you a fair assessment of your home value, with the research and comparables to back it up.

Most investors will give you a couple offers to choose from: an all cash offer, and a terms offer. Traditional buyers are often limited to conventional financing.

An investor’s ability to creatively finance a property means that you get the money you want from the sale of your house, quickly, easily, and effortlessly. When you cut out the middleman, (realtors and banks) the process hums along smoothly. It’s the difference between walking outside and pulling a carrot from your garden, and driving to the store to buy one. Which is easier? Which do you prefer?

You don’t have to hire a home inspector.  A lot of investors don’t have a home inspection contingency in their contract. In fact, most of the contingencies are waived – inspection and financing being the two top deal breakers.

You can avoid the hassle of advertising the sale of your home yourself, or paying a realtor to do it for you. Those for sale by owner signs are magnets for the inexperienced and non-serious homebuyer.

Imagine, not having to make a single repair either? Often times the condition of your home is of no consequence to the investor, whereas if you are trying to sell your property to a retail buyer the potential repairs would be overwhelming enough to kill the sale. Retail buyers don’t want to fix houses, but a real estate investor’s job is to fix houses.

Also, contrary to popular belief, most investors are willing and want to help you understand the buying and selling process. They’re in the know, and they want you to be as comfortable as possible during the process.

Investors understand that you don’t have time to idle around waiting for your house to sell. They’ll give you honest answers about the price and potential deal structure that will make the most sense for your situation.

Selling your house doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t have to be confusing, frustrating, or a waiting game. Release the stress and get the help you deserve by working with a professional buyer who does this every day.

If you need help or an honest assessment on the sale of your house, feel free to contact us. We will make you an offer within 48 hours.

 

 

Original post : http://midwestrealestatepros.com/home-ownership/how-to-sell-your-house-faster/

5 Tips to Help Get Your Flip Sold Quickly

As a house flipper your job isn’t over until the property is sold. You can do great rehab work but until you are at the closing table there is still more to be done.  Every day that you own the property you are on the hook for the carrying costs and other expenses.  It is not an exaggeration to say that with a rehab time really does equal money.  Additionally having capital tied up in one property may prevent you from purchasing others.  You want to get every property sold as quickly as possible but even more so with fix and flip properties.

Here are five tips to help get your rehab sold quickly.

  • Use A Real Estate Agent. There is a difference in getting a job done and getting it done right. Speed and efficiency are the name of the game when it comes to getting your property sold. You may consider selling your home on your own and saving some money but you are giving up much more than you are getting. Selling a home yourself is a lot more work than you may think. Not only do you have to find creating ways of marketing the property but you need to make yourself available for all showings. There are times in your business when it pays to use a professional and selling your home is one of them. Not only does a real estate agent know how to market your property but they have established contacts in the area. These contacts are vital in helping generate interest and creating a buzz. They can show the property quickly and answer any questions a buyer may have about the market. You may be able to get your property sold but if you want it done quickly you need to enlist the services of a real estate agent.
  • Price Right. The first item any prospective buyer notices is the price. The property may sparkle from floor to ceiling but it doesn’t necessarily mean buyers are willing to pay a premium. If you truly want a quick sale you need to price in line with what is on the market. Don’t just look for the highest comparable sale and base your list price off of that. Trying to shoot for the moon and squeeze every dollar often has a negative effect. A property that is listed too high from the start may not even be looked at. Gone are the days where you can list high and hope to get offers. If you out price your market prospective buyers will look for more affordable market options regardless of the quality of your work. Always take in account what is currently on your market or sold within the last sixty days as you think about where to list your property.
  • Evaluate Weekly. The first few days after your property is listed should be a pretty good indicator of demand. There is no better way to tell if you have listed at the right price than by listening to the market. If there are limited showings it can be viewed as a sign that you may have listed too high or there is an issue with the marketing. If buyers have flooded the property without offers there may be a problem with the presentation or something inside the property. In a quick sale situation every week can feel like months. You should huddle with your real estate agent weekly to get a sense of what is going on. If you feel that marketing needs to be ramped up you can talk about alternatives. If there needs to be a price reduction you should be ready to take bold action if necessary. Don’t wait for the market to come to you. Evaluate where the property is every week and make your decisions accordingly.
  • Presentation Matters. You never know what a prospective buyer will notice. From the very first day your property hits the market you need to make sure every inch of the property is perfect. Even if you think it is clean enough you need to go the extra mile and have everything professionally cleaned. It is also important that you don’t neglect the exterior. Overgrown bushes, excessive leaves in the yard or rusting gutters can be the think that changes a buyer’s opinion. It’s a cliché but you never get a chance to change a first impression. With excessive demand in most markets you need your property to stand out from the crowd. How the property looks is critical in getting it sold quickly.
  • Accept Right Offer. All sellers want to get the highest price for their property. However when selling a rehab the highest offer may not always be the right one. It is more important that you accept the offer with the greatest chance of actually closing. By accept the wrong offer you set the process backs weeks and possibly longer. You lose all momentum the property has and you are forced to pick up where you left off. The right offer may sometimes mean a little less profit but the security of knowing you can close quickly. With any financed offer you need to look at the strength of the pre-qualification letter. There should be a significant down payment as well as quick mortgage contingency. Don’t just jump at the first offer that comes your way. Take a minute to gauge the strength of the offer and make sure you are comfortable.

The quicker you can turn your rehab over the faster you can move on to the next project. Follow these five tips to help get your next flip sold quickly.

 

Original Post found at https://www.cthomesllc.com/2018/09/5-tips-help-get-flip-sold-quickly/?inf_contact_key=857af1ff976d9e07a4d36488c630153e45bcfed920579decafe56a7cbf1d6e01