10 Home Chores To Do Annually

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10 Home Chores To Do Annually

Ten chores around the home that you really only need to do annually, minus special circumstances. Let’s dive in!

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. If you have alot of leaves, we recommend you do this more often.

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.

10. Grill

To keep your grill working well it is a good idea to clean the parts. Wearing work gloves, remove the grates and the metal plates under them. Place in a bucket of hot water and regular dish soap.Clean the interior and exterior.

If you’re in the market to sell your home, we can refer you over to some of our preferred vendors that can help you knock out your cleaning tasks. Great Lakes Home Team with Keller Williams Greater Cleveland Northeast is here to help and only a phone call away! Jody Finucan and Danielle Dooley…www.greatlakeshometeam.com.

Lake County History – Average Sale Price Last 5 years by month.

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Avg Sale PriceClick on the link below to pull up a PDF – Lake County History of Average Sale Price per month.  If you are into statistics or even if you are not, you will likely find the information very interesting. Sale prices in Lake County have continued to increase month after month beginning 2016. The shortage of inventory and multiple offers has certainly been a factor in increasing prices.  If you have any questions or would like to know a particular area, please let me know. I am happy to help.

 

Lake County Ohio Sale Price Average

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10 Tips to Turn Your Neighborhood Into a Hometown Haven

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If you’re considering a move, you may be worried about replacing the comfort and support of family and friends you’ll leave behind. Or maybe you’ve completed a move and would like to meet more of your neighbors. We’ll explore 10 ways you can utilize technology to foster in-person connections with your neighbors, make friends and get engaged in your local community.

  1. Join Your Neighborhood’s Social Network
    A growing number of neighborhoods are utilizing private
    social networks like U.S.-based Nextdoor and Canadianbased
    GoNeighbour. These platforms are a great way to
    share neighborhood news, but don’t just use them to
    connect virtually. Extend an invitation to your neighbors to
    attend a block party or a park playdate for families.
  2. Lend A Hand
    Volunteering your time and talents is a great way to meet
    people who share a similar mission. Search for volunteer
    opportunities you’re passionate about at VolunteerMatch.
  3. Attend A Place Of Worship
    Joining a local place of worship is a good way to meet
    people who share your beliefs and values. There are a
    variety of on-line resources available to help you find a
    match in your area.
  4. Find An Interest Group
    Whatever your favorite hobby or pastime, you’re guaranteed
    to meet people who share your interests when you join an
    interest group! The website Meetup.com has over 32 million
    members in 288,000 groups in 182 countries. You can
    search for a group that appeals to you … from book clubs to
    running groups to professional networking, they have it all.
  5. Take A Class
    Develop a skill while meeting people who share your
    interests and passion for learning. Most community
    colleges offer inexpensive classes on a variety of topics. To
    search for one in your area, visit the American Association
    of Community Colleges website or Schools In Canada.com.
  6. Attend An Event
    Search for a live event in your area at Eventbrite –
    eventbrite.com. Be strategic about the type of event you
    choose to attend. For example, it may be harder to meet
    people at a large festival or concert. A retreat or a
    networking event could offer more opportunities for
    one-on-one interaction.
  7. Share Your Stuff
    “Sharing communities” facilitate the free exchange of goods
    among neighbors to reduce consumption and keep usable
    items out of landfills. Nonprofit groups like The Freecycle
    Network – freecycle.org and Little Free Library –
    littlefreelibrary.org are made up of people who are
    giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and
    neighborhoods.
  8. Support A Community Garden
    Not only do community gardens beautify a neighborhood,
    they also foster community, conserve resources and
    reduce family food budgets. Visit the American Community
    Gardening Association website to search for a community
    garden in your neighborhood.
  9. Carpool With A Coworker
    Carpooling presents an opportunity to form a bond with coworkers
    and/or neighbors during your daily commute. A new
    wave of carpooling websites and apps aim to revolutionize the
    way we commute by making it easier and more convenient
    to carpool. Kangaride Local – local.kangaride.com, Scoop –
    takescoop.com and Waze Carpool – waze.com/carpool are
    just a few examples. Check to see if any of these are available
    in your local area.
  10. Participate In World Neighbors Day
    The organizers behind World Neighbors Day promote it
    as “an invitation to share a moment with your neighbors,
    to get to know each other better and develop a real sense
    of community.” Participants are encouraged to organize
    gatherings with their neighbors to build relationships that
    “form the fabric of our communities.” Whatever you do, be
    sure to make your gathering inclusive and welcoming to all.

Be A Good Neighbor As with anything in life, you will get out what you put in. It can take time to build lasting and meaningful friendships with your neighbors, but the effort you make is likely to pay off tenfold. The tried-and-true way to make friends, grow your support system and get engaged in your community? Be a good neighbor yourself.

Are You Considering A Move? I am a local market experts and can help
you find the ideal neighborhood for your hometown haven. Please contact me for
a free consultation!  Search for Homes for Sale  

Ten Reasons to List Your Home During the Holidays

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As with every decision in life, there are pros and cons and choosing when to sell a home is no different. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration before deciding when to sell a home. Many homeowners believe selling a home during the fall or winter months is not a good idea and that the spring is the only time a house should be sold. This is the furthest from the truth. Certainly most real estate markets across the United States experience a “spring market rush” every year. There is no doubt that the “spring market” is a great time to be selling and buying real estate, however, the fall and winter seasons may be the best fit for you for many reasons.

Less Competition – Most people wait until spring and summer to list their home, which means during the winter you will have far less competition than any other time of the year.

Serious Buyers Are Out There – Homes are sold and bought 365 days a year. Many homeowners believe that buyers aren’t out there during the fall and winter months. This simply is not the case. Serious buyers are always out there! Some buyers may stop their home search because it is the fall or winter, but serious buyers will continue to look at homes, no matter what time of year it is.

Mortgage Rates Are Low – If you’ve read about real estate in the past year, it’s likely you’ve read that the mortgage rates are low.  You also probably read that there is an expectation that the rates will increase very soon. Since mortgage rates are so low right now, buyers are able to afford more expensive homes. If mortgage rates increase over the fall and winter months while you’re waiting for the spring market, it could cost you thousands of dollars as it could eliminate many buyers from the real estate marketplace! Less demand for your home will mean less money. Bottom line: take advantage of selling your home while the rates are this low.

Quicker Transactions – Right now, there are fewer real estate transactions than there will be in the spring. The fewer number of transactions means the mortgage lenders have fewer loans to process and home inspectors have fewer inspections to do. All of these factors should lead to a quicker transaction and closing for all the parties involved. A quicker transaction is going to be less stress for you.

Homes May Show Better During the Holiday – Buyers love homes that can tell a story.   The holidays are a great time to show homes because the home is usually dressed up for the holiday season. Simple “seasonal” staging such as adjusting the color of the decor or having an aroma in the air that is relative to the time of year can go a long way with some potential buyers and possibly be the difference between a home selling or not.

January is the Biggest Transfer Month – Did you know that more corporate moves happen during January than any other time of the year? This may be a great reason to list your home during the holiday season.

More Time to Get Top Dollar – By starting to market your home early you may be able to secure a higher price.

Tax Benefits – By selling now you can have a closing before or after the new year for tax purposes.

More Time – Buyers may be looking at homes more during the holidays because of vacation time.

Showings – Yes, there may be fewer buyers during the winter months, but great prospects!

By considering all of the reasons above, you will be able to determine whether now is a good time to sell or if you should wait until the spring.

How to prevent frozen pipes and what to do if a pipe bursts


When the temperature reaches freezing, this can cause the water inside pipes to freeze. As the water freezes, it expands causing the pressure inside the pipes to increase. Frozen pipes is a minor inconvenience; a pipe that bursts is a homeowner’s nightmare.

Water lines are particularly susceptible to freezing when the temperature outside gets cold very quickly because the warmth from your heating system is unable to keep up with the demand the suddenly cold temperatures bring. Homes in more temperate climates are also susceptible when the temperature dips below freezing. Because they are typically warmer, water pipes may not be insulated as well as they should be.

Preventing frozen pipes

  • Insulate pipes, especially those close to outside walls, attics or crawl spaces where the chance of freezing is greatest.
  • Seal any air leaks near the pipes.
  • If there are water supply lines in your garage, keep the garage doors closed.
  • Always remember to drain, disconnect and store garden hoses.
  • Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs.
  • Open the cabinet doors in kitchen and bathroom – this lets warmer air circulate around the plumbing.
  • Maintain thermostat at 55 degrees or higher when you are out of town.
  • If you get a cold snap, turn on both hot and cold faucets near outside walls allowing a small trickle of water to run during the night.
  • Identify the locations of shutoff valves so that you are prepared to stop the flow of water as soon as possible when a pipe bursts.

If pipes freeze:

  • Thaw a frozen pipe using a good hair dryer. However, avoid using a hair dryer around standing water.
  • Heat water on the stove, soak towels in the hot water and wrap them around the pipe.
  • When thawing a pipe, start nearer to the faucet and work your way back.
  • Turn on the faucet so water can drip out as the ice melts.
  • If you have one frozen pipe, chances are that you may have more. Check all other faucets in your home.

If pipes burst:

  • Shut off the water at the main valve.
  • Take precautions to avoid electrical shock from being in or near standing water.
  • If the break is in a hot water pipe, the valve on top of the water heater should be closed.
  • Call a plumber.
  • Take inventory of any damaged property.
  • Contact your insurance agent to help you locate an emergency water mitigation specialist who can dry out the damaged area quickly.

Looking to buy a home or sell your home, visit my RE/MAX website for a home search or great information.

Safety tips for fireplaces

If you’re in the market for a new home, no doubt you made the list of features that you want in your dream home. For many, a fireplace is one of those must haves.

Of course, there are several reasons to want a fireplace. From a practical standpoint, it is a cost-effective way to provide heat during the winter. It becomes a focal point for the gathering of friends and family, lending ambiance to the room it is in. At this time of year, it becomes a place for many homeowners to hang decorations during the holiday season.

There is, of course, a price to be paid for the warmth and memories. Every homeowner has to keep safety issues at top of mind when it comes to having a fireplace. You’ll keep your fireplace safe and operating properly and safely if you keep these safety tips in mind:

Keep it clean

Depending upon how often you use your fireplace, it is recommended that chimneys be swept at least once a year. Find a certified chimney sweep to come out in the late fall or early winter to remove soot and debris.

Check for damage

In addition to cleaning, most chimney sweeps should inspect the chimney structure for cracks, loose bricks or missing mortar when they are on the roof. In addition, chimney liners should be checked for damage.

Cap the chimney

In order to keep debris, birds and small animals from entering the chimney, a cap is placed on the chimney. The cap also needs to be examined for damage when the sweep is there.

What you burn makes a difference

Hardwoods include dense woods such as oak, hickory, ash and some fruit woods. “Seasoned” implies that the wood has been split and stored to dry for at least six months. Green woods and soft woods produce a flammable by-product called creosote, which can build up in the chimney and become flammable.

Building it right

Small fires generate less smoke and less creosote build-up. Additionally, a fire that is too large or too hot can damage the chimney. Logs should be placed at the rear of the fireplace on a metal grate. Don’t use flammable liquids to start the fire.

Use a spark guard

Even seasoned wood can crackle and pop. You can prevent embers from shooting out of the firebox with a mesh metal screen or glass fireplace doors.

Outdoor holiday decorating safety tips for homeowners

Thanksgiving weekend is the perfect opportunity to decorate the landscape and exterior of your home for the holidays. If you plan to decorate this year, it’s important to remember that doing so presents some fire and safety hazards.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), about 12,500 people go to emergency rooms to be treated for injuries, such as falls, cuts, and shocks related to holiday lights, decorations, and Christmas trees. Accidents do happen; but many are preventable if we just take some time and a few precautions while decorating outside.

1. Only use lighting sets and extension cords that are specifically made for outdoor use. They’ll have the Underwriters’ Laboratories (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM) label.

2. Know how many sets can be strung together. It will usually be printed somewhere on the package, on a tag on the cord itself, or on a paper within the package. Usually, it’s 3.

3. Before you start, check all light sets for fraying, aging, and heat damage and throw out sets that show any signs of damage. Always unplug lights before changing bulbs, replacing fuses or making any other repairs.

4. Always test your light sets before starting. Replacing broken and burnt-out bulbs is much easier on the ground than on a ladder or roof.

5. Connect sets of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into an outlet. Be careful not to overload extension cords.

6. Use hooks or insulated staples to hold lights in place. Do not use nails or tacks.

7. Never pull or tug lights to remove or disconnect them.

8. To avoid potential shocks, plug all outdoor electric decorations into circuits with GFI (ground fault circuit interrupter) protection.

9. Make sure to observe all safety precautions for the ladder. Know the weight limit restrictions. Avoid contact with overhead power lines when setting up your ladder. Make sure that it is set on solid ground. Have someone working with you to steady the ladder as you climb up or down.

10. Keep any connections between light sets and extension cords dry by wrapping them with electrical tape or plastic.

11. Check the wire on the Christmas lights occasionally to make sure that they’re not warm to the touch.

12. Always turn off all Christmas lights and decorations before going to bed or leaving the house. You can hook up a simple timer so you don’t have to worry about forgetting.

For more holiday decorating safety tips, check the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission website. (link to http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/News-Releases/2004/CPSC-Announces-Holiday-Season-Decorating-Safety-Tips/)

Reasons to List Your Home During the Holidays

Less Competition – Most people will wait until spring and summer to list their home, which means during the winter you will have far less competition than any other time of the year.  Less competition could be more money.

Fewer Showings – Yes, there may be fewer showings, but those buyers that are looking are usually very serious about making a purchase.

The Market –  Today’s interest rates are still very good.  This gives buyers more spending power.  And you as well.

More Time to Get Top Dollar – By marketing your home now you may be able to secure a higher price due to limited homes on the market.  We are seeing more multiple offers than we have in years.

Tax Benefits – By selling now you can have a closing before or after the new year for tax purposes.

Loan Commitment  – During the winter months you and the buyers may be able to obtain a loan commitment quicker.

More Time – Buyers may be looking at homes more during the holidays because of their vacation time.

Bottom line, it is all about supply and demand.  There isn’t a bad time to sell. Home sales take place every day twelve months of a year.  We don’t have a crystal ball to know what inventory levels will be in 3 months, 6 months etc.  We do know that typically many sellers will wait until spring to list their home and with that will increase competition.

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