Our homes should always serve as our safe havens, yet they are the location of millions of emergency visits, injuries and deaths across the country every year. Although there is nothing we can do to protect our family all of the time, there are a few things we should all do to ensure our homes for sale in Nocatee are safe and protected.
In particular, all families should have the following:
Fire extinguishers – Fire extinguishers should be placed on every level of the home, as well as in the kitchen and the garage. But before you set your fire extinguishers in place, take your family to the back yard to hold a lesson in fire extinguishers. Give each member of the family an opportunity to work the fire extinguisher so in an emergency they will be able to quickly and easily operate it. Check the expiration date on the fire extinguishers and make a note to replace them before they expire.
Carbon monoxide detector – Carbon monoxide detectors are a must for every home, regardless of whether your home is brand new or 100 years old. Carbon monoxide detectors should be located on every level of your home and should be tested regularly to ensure they are in proper working order. Most carbon monoxide detectors are powered through an electrical outlet, and they also have a batter backup in case of a power outage.
Smoke detector – Never assume your smoke detector is working! Check them at least once a month, and replace batteries two times a year. Most experts recommend changing the batteries during the time change so it will be easy to remember. Smoke detectors should be on all levels of your home at and the entrance to all of the bedrooms in the home.
Escape plan – No family should be without an escape plan. In case of fire, you and your family should know a safe route and actions to take once outside the home. Map out your escape plan and have a backup plan. Practice it with your family on a regular basis!
Home buyers – particularly first-time home buyers – often become overwhelmed with all the decisions that need to be made with the purchase of a home. We all want to take tend to all the details involved with buying ponte vedra beach real estate, yet there are certain things that may simply not be worth the time or the hassle. With that said, here are the most common questions buyers ask when purchasing a home:
Should I get a loan preapproval?
In a word – yes! All home buyers benefit from getting a loan preapproval from a lender before beginning their home search. Home loan preapprovals are advantageous in so many ways:
• Loan preapprovals allow you to understand how much you can afford to spend on a home.
• Loan preapprovals provide you with more weight when negotiating. For example, if you put in an offer on a home at the same another buyer puts in an offer, but only you have a loan preapproval, chances are the seller will accept your offer because you have proven that you are able to afford the home.
• Loan preapprovals prevent you from making an offer on a home you can’t afford.
• Loan preapprovals are often demanded by seller’s agents before you can view a home.
Should I get a home inspection?
A home inspection is just a few hundred dollars, yet it can save you tens of thousands of dollars in repairs over the years. Some buyers forgo a home inspection because of the added expense, but skipping out on a professional home inspection may cost them so much more. A home inspection provides the buyer with a wealth of information about a home, and allows the buyer to make the decision whether to proceed with the purchase of the home or to walk away. Finally, it gives the buyer leverage when negotiating with the seller.
Should I hire a realtor?
A buyer’s realtor is on your side and is there to do everything from show homes that best meet your needs to negotiate the purchase of a home on your behalf. They can guide you in the right direction, offer advice, and answer any and all questions you have along the way. Is a realtor necessary? No, but having a buyer’s agent on your side may very well make the process of purchasing a home a much easier one.
You have successfully sold your home – congratulations are in order!
After you’ve had a chance to breathe a sigh of relief and relish in your success upon the sale of jacksonville fl homes, you must, however, immediately begin to consider everything that must be done now that you have sold your home. Here is our checklist so you can be sure to stay on task:
1. As soon as you have a closing date, set up moving services or reserve a moving van. The very last thing you need to worry about is not having movers in place on your moving day.
2. If you have any valuable items that need to be specially handled, such as a piano or antiques, contact the appropriate company to set up an appointment to have the items separately packed and moved.
3. Assuming you have the address to your new home now is the time to begin sending all business and personal contacts your change of address information. Although email is a great tool for spreading the word, sending out formal change of address cards is always a smart idea.
4. Cancel your newspaper delivery (and any other delivery services), and contact all magazine and mail order catalog companies to provide them with your change of address information.
5. Contact all utility companies to arrange for shut-off dates and final payment information.
6. Contact the post office and provide them with a moving date and your new address information.
7. Have a garage sale! If you want to clear out some of your household clutter so you won’t need to worry about relocating it to your next home, consider having a garage sale, or contact your favorite charity and donate it for a valuable tax write-off.
8. Contact your children’s new school and register them.
9. Contact your children’s school and have their school records sent to their new school.
10. Begin pre-packing your personal or valuable belongings ahead of time.
11. Color code your boxes according to the room as you pack them. Simple color-coded stickers from your local office supply store are a great way to stay organized and make the process of moving and unpacking your new home a much easier one.
You are the responsible first-time home buyer. You have a healthy down payment in the bank, and your credit report is flawless. You have a steady job, and you have weighed all of the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing jacksonville foreclosures and have decided that owning a home is right for you.
Now is the time to secure a home loan to purchase your first home.
Consider your Options
Because home loan programs and rates vary from week to week and from lender to lender, it pays to do your research before committing to a home loan. One of the easiest ways to keep up with home loan rates is through your local newspaper, which likely publishes rates on a weekly basis. You may also simply want to call local lenders or make an appointment with a lender who can educate you on your home loan options.
There are a also a number of websites that update home loan rates from some of the country’s largest lenders, thereby providing you with a very convenient way to keep up to date on rates and programs.
Get Preapproved for a Home Loan
Before you start shopping for your first home, you will want to head to your local lender and get a home loan preapproval. A loan preapproval allows you to understand how much home you can afford to buy, and it shows a buyer’s agent that you are prepared and ready to purchase a home. Further, a loan preapproval shows the seller and the seller’s agent that you are qualified to purchase a home, thereby giving your offer more relevancy and weight than that of a buyer without a preapproval.
Although you are not obligated to purchase a home or even use that lender from whom you received the home loan approval, it does provide you with a clear picture of your home purchasing power.
Although your deck may look like its seen its better day, chances are it simply needs a little TLC. If you take a look at listings jacksonville you will likely see that most home sellers know that outdoor living areas, including decks, sell homes.
Before you get started, make sure the wood isn’t twisted, warped or rotted, as this likely means that the woods needs to be replaced. Otherwise, here’s how to breathe new life into your worn out deck:
Check for raised nails or splintered wood.
Before you begin your deck rehab, you should take a walk around and spot and remedy any raised nails or splintered boards. You will probably be able to simply pound the nail back into the decking, but if the nail is twisted or bent it is best to remove it and replace it with a new nail.
Scrub down the deck
Head to your local home improvement center and purchase quality deck cleaner. It is important to look for a deck cleaner and not simply an all-purpose cleaner because deck cleaners are formulated to remove dirt, mold and mildew on wood. The best course of action to clean your deck is with a bucket of hot, soapy water and a good scrub brush. Allow the wood to dry for at least two full days before adding deck sealant or stain.
Forgo the pressure washer
Although it may be easier to use a pressure washer to clean off your deck, it may actually do more harm than good, as high water pressure tends to raise the grain of the wood and even splinter it, causing a rough surface where splinters in the feet are commonplace. In fact, most people who use pressure washers must then go back and sand down the deck to remove the raised grain.
Seal it with a quality deck sealant
A quality deck sealant is the best way to keep your clean deck looking good for at least a couple years. Find a water-based deck sealant (you can purchase them tinted or clear) with a UV coating and apply it with a good roller and brush. Make sure you plan ahead and choose a day when rain isn’t expected for at least a couple days. Wait at least 24 hours before walking on it.
Did you know that many buyers will take a drive-by look at your home before calling a realtor to look at it? It’s true! If buyers see what they like from the exterior of your home, chances are they will make the call to look at the interior of your home.
With that said, it is important to make sure the exterior of your home looks its best when potential buyers make their drive-by. You know it’s a good idea to clean up the yard of debris, trim back the bushes, and strategically place a few pots of colorful flowers near the front door, but did you also consider what not to do?
Here are a few curb appeal disasters that you will certainly want to avoid when selling your St. Johns County new construction:
A Packed Driveway
Your two cars, lawn mower trailer, and boat are doing little for your home’s curb appeal. A driveway packed with cars and other items automatically gives the appearance of a cramped and cluttered home. Therefore, it is in your best interest to clear out your driveway of any miscellaneous things while it is listed for sale.
Plants, flowers and shrubs that look like they are on their last leg are definitely not what you want buyers to see when they drive past your home. Therefore, it will likely behoove you to roll up your sleeves and get to work on the landscaping in your home’s front yard. Remove any dead or dying plant material and replace it with native plants that are easy to maintain (a nursery professional can help you with your selections).
Plastic Ornaments and Toys
You may have fondness for your large garden gnome in the front yard but, chances are, buyers won’t—and that goes ditto for your kids’ large plastic homes and play sets. It is important to tidy up your kids’ toys away from sight and to remove any lawn ornaments or decorations, as they often become a distraction and add to the feeling of a cluttered home.
Paint Colors That Don’t Fit In
A home that sports a bright or unappealing paint color is one that will sit on the market for an extended time. It is best to have a paint color that blends in well with the other homes in the neighborhood.
If your home is just one of a dozen homes for sale in your neighborhood, you may be worried about how you will manage to stand out from the crowd of other homes and get your home sold. With today’s challenging home selling market, many homeowners are turning to buyer incentives to catch buyers’ attention and get their homes sold. Remember: A buyer’s market demands more action on the part of the seller; and that may very well include great buyer incentives.
Here’s what to consider:
• Today’s home buyers want value, not frills, so the flat-screen television in your family room likely won’t be as attractive to them as kitchen appliances, for example.
• Many of today’s sellers are courting the buyer’s agent, as well, offering such things as an increased commission or bonus if they sell the home, thereby encouraging agents to show their home and get it sold.
• Instead of replacing the carpeting in your jacksonville property, consider offering the home buyer a $5,000 credit instead, thereby allowing them to choose the carpeting or flooring that best appeals to them.
• Always include a home warranty on the home, and pick up the bill for it. Just having the phrase “home warranty” in your home’s marketing materials makes it stand out from the competition.
• Offer to pick up the buyer’s closing costs. A great incentive for many buyers is a seller who covers their closing costs, which can be a few thousand dollars. It is also a great tool to use in your negotiations.
• Make sure to include all of the appliances. Today’s buyers want it all, and they demand appliances with the sale of a house. If you are really attached to your refrigerator and you want to take it with you, remove it before listing the house and replace it with another one that you can offer to the buyers.
• Get creative. Offer up a buyer incentive that other homeowners may not even consider, such as covering the cost of a moving company for the buyer, or throwing in a weekend getaway vacation package with the sale of your home. Remember that anything that captures the attention of buyers will likely translate into success for you!
You’ve always had the best of intentions of, once and for all, getting your realty Ponte Vedra Bach FL under control. But let 2013 be the year you actually get something accomplished in and around your home! Luckily, home organization doesn’t have to be all that hard or stressful; in fact, if can be quite a satisfying experience! Here is our list of the best ways to get organized in the New Year:
Take one area at a time
Instead of attempting a massive organization of your home, create small projects that will provide you with a sense of accomplishment. One day it may be simply organizing your desk drawers, while another day may be organizing your linen closet and donating your old blankets and towels to your area animal shelter. Make a list and promise yourself that you will complete at least one chore each week. Before you know it you will have an organized home!
Don’t just toss
Be thoughtful when it comes to those things you no longer want or need. Sure, some of it may be trash, but you may also want to make separate piles for things you can sell, gift to someone, or donate. Donating is a fantastic choice for many people, as it may provide for those in need and it can also help out in the form of a tax deduction
on your 2013 federal tax return.
Purchase organizational items to make the job easier
If you simply don’t know what to do with your overflowing closet, it may be time to invest in a closet organization system. There are many companies who provide custom closet services, but you can also find a host of closet organizers and closet organizational systems at your local home improvement center. It becomes much easier to organize when you have bins, boxes, and rods on which to hang and store your belongings. Plus, it makes finding things much easier!
If building a new home is in your cards for this New Year, perhaps you’ve considered incorporating sustainable or environmentally friendly building concepts into your new home. Luckily for you there is a number of ways you can build green this year:
Passive radon mitigation systems
Your home’s indoor air quality may not be thought of often, but studies have found that the air quality inside your home could actually be significantly worse than the air found outside your home. Why? Because building materials may be giving off dangerous chemicals that can linger in your home for years, spurring a number of ailments. Passive radon mitigation systems in new homes make indoor air quality a priority and are a great way to breathe easier in your new home.
Energy Star windows
Never take for granted the effect high-performance, energy efficient windows can have on your indoor space in terms of comfort. In addition, Energy Star windows, which use advanced techniques to seal out both hot and cold air, can significantly cut down your energy bills, which can make you really feel comfortable.
Energy Star appliances
Speaking of Energy Star, appliances marked with the Energy Star seal can save you, on average, 30 percent in energy costs over the course of a year. For most new construction Jacksonville, that may equate to $200 to $400 in energy savings every year.
Reduced construction waste
Between 7,000 and 12,000 pounds of construction waste are generated to build just one single-family home. However, builders who implement green building into their practice often decrease waste by two-thirds, thereby allowing our landfills to breathe a sigh of relief.
Cleaner air and fewer fossil fuels
When builders implement green building practices, they often turn to the use of local materials, thereby cutting transportation costs and greatly decreasing fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Plus, using local suppliers and manufacturers puts money back into the local economy, where it belongs.
Low VOC paints
Ozone pollution is all around us, damaging our health and the environment. In fact, many paints contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which linger in our homes for many years. However, many green builders have turned to low- or no-VOC paints, thereby reducing ground-level ozone pollution and giving our lungs a break.
Your home is your castle, and you want to ensure that you have done everything you can to reduce the risk of burglary. But protecting your home may mean more than installing a security system. Here are a few ideas for protecting your home, your belongings, and your family from intruders, courtesy of Phyllis Frankel Realty Group:
Let there be light
A well-lit house is much less likely to be a target of a burglary or home invasion. Simply put: burglars look for opportunities, and there are fewer opportunities for a burglar to enter a home when it is well-lit. When the sun has set, take a look at your home from the street and determine if there are any dark patches around your home. Use low-voltage LED lighting to illuminate your home and you not only reduce the risk of a home invasion, but you add lovely ambience to your home during the nighttime hours, as well.
Don’t clue everyone in to your absence
With social media being so popular these days, many people announce upcoming trips and vacations to all of their “friends” on these platforms. Announcing that you will be away, even if for the duration of a day, provides an intruder with the information he needs to enter your home without the risk of you coming home. Remember: social media is social, and most anyone can learn of your absence if you post it online.
Secure sliding glass doors
Sliding glass doors are still one of the easiest ways to gain entrance into a home. As such, it pays to have an extra foot lock installed onto the bottom of the door. You can also provide an added measure of security by sliding a wooden dowel rod into the sliding glass door’s runner.
Consider automatic timers
Automatic timers are the easiest and least expensive way to decrease burglary. A home with an illuminated interior looks occupied, and an occupied interior is far less likely to be the target of a burglary.
Trim away the shrubbery
Plants and shrubbery near the windows of your home’s first floor are a bad idea for two reasons: They provide a place for burglars to hide, and they actually serve as a step on which a burglar can boost himself to get through the window. Either trim away the shrubbery, keeping it low to the ground, or plant shrubbery with thorns to prevent anyone from coming near.