Real Estate News

    • Tips to Getting Back On Track After a Vacation

      19 August 2022

      Vacations go hand-in-hand with relaxing evenings, wonderful family memories, excellent food and a departure from the normal hustle-and-bustle of daily living. When the vacation is over, though, it can be easy to get overwhelmed when contending with a lack of a schedule; especially if you were gone for an extended period of time. Thankfully, there are some tried-and-true techniques you can use to get back on track after a vacation.

      Unpack Strategically
      Unpacking can be an even bigger chore than packing, if you’re not careful. To begin, immediately bring your bags into your laundry area so that you can tackle any dirty items right away. Separate any delicates or items that must be dry cleaned so that these can be addressed after the majority of the work is completed. While your laundry is going, put away any unused clothing items and your toiletries. Finish off with the fun part; finding the perfect spot to display your new souvenirs! Tackling your unpacking strategically and immediately will ensure that you’re not unintentionally living out of a suitcase in your own home for the first few days after arriving home.

      Evaluate Your Food Plans
      Vacation food may taste delicious, but your body is likely craving a balanced home cooked meal. This is particularly true if you’ve been surviving on fast food during a road trip home. You likely feel tired from your trip, but to give your body what it needs to feel energized, be sure to prioritize your food plans. If you were gone for a week or more, this may mean immediately going grocery shopping or making plans for a grocery delivery to ensure that you have fresh food on hand that would have spoiled during your trip.

      Stick to Your Routine
      It can be tempting to allow yourself time to “settle in” and avoid jumping straight into your regular routines. Whether this means your normal meal planning, fitness or wake up routines, extending your vacation schedule will likely not provide the rest you are hoping for. Instead, it may simply cause more anxiety and frustration because you did not jump back into your normal schedule and may end up further set behind.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Steps to Pick a Real Estate Agent

      19 August 2022

      Whether you are trying to sell, invest or want to find your dream home, having a good real estate agent can make all the difference. Unfortunately, not every real estate agent will be the right fit for you and your goals. Here are some tips to make sure you pick an excellent agent for your needs.

      Know Your Ideal Outcome
      People hire a real estate agent for different reasons, and it is important to understand that your goals may impact your ideal choice in a real estate agent. For instance, what is your ideal outcome? Do you hope to sell your home and move in with family or a partner? Do you hope to sell and purchase a new home? Are you planning your first home purchase, or are hoping to buy a vacation home or investment property? Any experienced agent can guide you through numerous circumstances, but some agents will be more equipped than others to assist and offer advice for nuanced situations. Be ready to explain your goals and ask your prospective agent if they feel confident in that situation.

      Phone a Friend
      Word of mouth is often a reliable way to find an excellent agent. Friends who are happy with their experience can offer far more insight to a respective agent’s work methods than any advertisement ever could. If you are in the market to sell, ask friends and coworkers who have recently gone through the process. If you are hoping to find an investment property, consider asking your local landlords association for recommendations. Hoping to be a first-time homeowner? Check with your local lender for their recommendations.

      Test the Waters
      Interview your potentials before committing. A real estate agent is your biggest ally in the home buying process, and you want to make sure that they will take the time to truly go up to bat for you. Try a phone interview to begin, and take note if you cannot reach anyone. A great agent will naturally be busy, but if they delay or do not follow up on your call, this may be a red flag. Pay attention to personality compatibility, as well. If you are soft-spoken, a loud and overeager agent may not be a good fit if you feel that your opinions are being overshadowed.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Routine Inspections are Important, Even If Your Roof Is New

      19 August 2022

      Roofing problems are sometimes obvious, but they often go unnoticed for years. Then, when a homeowner realizes there’s an issue, the situation is so serious that the roof requires significant repairs or replacement. Routine roof inspections can prevent this type of scenario. You should have your roof inspected once a year, plus after a major storm or any time you suspect there may be a problem.

      Regular Inspections Can Detect Problems Before They Get Worse
      Often, a roof leak occurs because a minor problem wasn’t found and addressed. Roof issues can be hard to spot from the ground. Even if you climb on the roof and take a look around, you may miss signs of a problem if you’re not familiar with roofing systems and don’t know what to look for. A roofing professional can quickly spot issues and recommend repairs so the damage doesn’t get worse.

      An Inspector Can Find Storm-Related Damage
      Sometimes storm damage is obvious. For example, strong winds may blow a large tree branch onto the roof or tear off shingles. In many cases, though, issues aren’t clearly visible, at least not right away. A roofing contractor can detect a minor problem before water damages roofing components, beams in the attic and insulation. 

      Routine Inspections Can Help If You Need to File an Insurance Claim
      Homeowners insurance covers roof repairs and replacement if damage is caused by a covered peril. Insurance won’t cover roof damage if the issue is due, at least in part, to lack of maintenance. 

      If you file a claim for roof repair or replacement after a storm and you can produce documents showing that you had the roof inspected and maintained regularly, your claim will likely get approved. On the other hand, if you neglect maintenance, your roof gets damaged in a storm and then you file a homeowners insurance claim, the company may refuse to pay for repairs or replacement.

      You Can Prepare for Significant Costs
      A large bill for roof repair or replacement can be tough to deal with, but it can be even more unpleasant if you don’t see it coming. Knowing that your roof will need to be replaced in the next few years can give you an opportunity to save money or look into financing, as well as time to compare quotes from several contractors. That’s much better than experiencing a major roof leak, rushing to find the first available contractor and paying a large bill you weren’t expecting.

      Inspections are Important for New Roofs
      Even if your roof is only a few years old, it can still become damaged. A storm can knock a large tree limb onto the roof or loosen shingles. Those types of issues will require repairs to prevent more serious problems. 

      A roofing contractor may catch an issue while it’s still covered by warranty. That can give you an opportunity to get the problem fixed and prevent a more serious issue down the road.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 4 Home Items that Should Be Replaced (and How Often)

      18 August 2022

      Keeping your house clean and germ-free is a priority for most homeowners. While a cleaning schedule and regular maintenance can do a lot to ensure this goal, there are likely a few items you’re missing. Some items in your home should simply be replaced at regular intervals to prevent a buildup of grime and germs. Take inventory of these four items to ensure that you have replaced them as appropriate.

      Pillows
      Everyone knows to wash their sheets once a week, but few people think about their pillows. While your pillowcase will prevent some buildup, over time, your pillow will begin to collect some unpleasant stowaways. Dust mites, bacteria and even body oils and skin cells can build up in your pillow, meaning you need to replace pillows annually or once every two years.

      Shower Curtain Liners
      Shower curtain liners collect scum and gunk, and especially since this item is often ignored when it comes to bathroom cleaning day, you likely need to plan to replace it every 6 months to a year. If you want to prevent excess waste, opt for a thicker and sturdier liner. Depending on the cycle setting, they can often hold up to a wash in your washing machine, allowing you to clean off the buildup. Since shower curtain liners are plastic, be sure to never put them in the dryer.

      Fire Extinguisher
      Every home should have a fire extinguisher to keep potential housefires at bay. You may already know this and have an extinguisher in a prominent place for safety reasons. What you may not realize? Like many items, fire extinguishers have an expiration date. Be sure that you keep your home and family safe by replacing your fire extinguisher before it expires.

      Kitchen Sponges
      You may use your sponge to ensure clean dishes, but if you don’t replace it, you could be spreading more bacteria than you’d care to think about. Kitchen sponges should be replaced every 2-8 weeks depending on how often you wash dishes by hand and depending on the soil level of your items.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Meal Prep Ideas for Busy Mornings

      18 August 2022

      Between school days, daycare drop-offs and rushing to the office, most families have their fair share of hectic mornings. Thankfully, a few hacks can be used to create a plan that will ensure that your family’s morning routine runs smoothly. Planning outfits the night before, making lunches ahead of time and meal prepping breakfasts can all be effective strategies. If you need some help getting your family out the door on time, look no further than these meal prep ideas for busy mornings.

      Egg Cups
      If you find yourself headed to a coffee shop for egg cups or egg bites in the mornings, consider shaving some time off of your commute by prepping your own egg cups at home. Batch cook them in muffin tins and bake them, or get a copycat recipe for your favorite coffee shop-style egg bites to make them in a silicone tray in an electric pressure cooker. No matter what option you choose, you’ll find that you can get more creative with ingredients and save some extra cash by hand-making your egg cups over the weekend. Simply refrigerate your egg cups in an airtight container and microwave a couple in the mornings.  

      Frozen Breakfast Burritos
      Breakfast burritos are a hit with kids and adults alike. To make your morning breakfast prep painless, batch prep some burritos for an easy and protein-packed way to start your day. Fill your favorite tortillas with scrambled eggs, breakfast meat and cheese. Get creative and customize with roasted potatoes, bell peppers and/or onions. Roll your burritos up and wrap the individual burritos tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. Heat them up in the microwave or toaster oven when you need a quick and hearty start to the day.

      Breakfast Charcuterie
      Everyone loves a good charcuterie plate. This picnic favorite can also serve as a well-balanced breakfast. Create a sweet and savory mix of cheeses, honey, fruit, mini bagels and a few cured meats. For added time savings, create your board the night before and place it in the refrigerator. This breakfast may have you dreaming of brunch at your local winery, but the ability for all family members to quickly graze makes it an ideal morning meal.

      Protein or Veggie Muffins
      Muffins are a breakfast classic that everyone enjoys, but they don’t always keep you full for long. Make your muffins filling long-term by adding a protein powder or nut powder to your recipe. For an added nutrition boost, choose a veggie-packed recipe, like a carrot or zucchini muffin. Whatever you decide to make, save time by prepping extra in the freezer for the next busy start to your day.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.