Thursday, April 28, 2016

Spring Home Checkup - 7 actions to take

April showers may bring May flowers, but they can also bring leaky basements, moldy walls and costly cleanup. Regular maintenance on the outside of your home could save you thousands of dollars. Here are some recommended actions to take as the weather begins to get nicer.

1. Make sure gutters are clean and stable.

2. Examine your roof carefully, looking for worn, curled or missing shingles - and have those replaced.

3. Examine fascia or soffit boards for soft or rotting spots which may allow rain into your attic or the top of interior walls.

4. Make sure downspouts are sloping away from the house and carrying water at least 5 feet away from foundation walls.

5. Ensure lawn sprinkler heads are not spraying the walls of the house.

6. Inspect your attic looking for moisture or surface discoloration.  If dark staining is visible, have the sheathing treated with a moldicide.

7. Examine window and door flashing, seals or weatherstripping to ensure sealants are pliable and continuous.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Happier Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors make for a beautiful, stunning addition to your home. However, they can bring new cleaning and maintenance challenges that aren't present with carpet.  Here are some tips for simple, efficient and thorough hardwood floor cleaning.

Make the job easier   Place mats on either side of your exterior doors and always remove your shoes before entering your home - an make sure your guests do the same. Protect the floors by placing felt (or similar) protectors on the feet your your furniture, and use area rugs to designate play areas for the kids.  This will reduce extra dirt, dust, and floor scratches.

Weekly cleaning   Sweeping with a standard broom will remove some dirt and dust, but not as much as a mop, wipe or broom that's been treated with a dusting agent such as a Swiffer.  you could also invest in a vacuum that is designed for hardwood floors.  Just be sure that the vacuum won't leave scratches!

Deeper cleaning   Regular sweeping will remove most dirt and dust, but occasionally you'll need to give the floors a deeper cleaning to remove the dirt and grime that builds up in your floors' seams. Use a wood-cleaning soap to thoroughly mop your floors, but make sure the mop isn't sopping wet - you don't want to leave standing water.

Spots and scuffs   Most of the marks that occasionally show up on your floors, such as scuffs from rubber soles on boots and shoes - can be wiped away with a rag or very fine steel wool.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Three Ways to Ease Your Fears about making a move

With low inventory in many markets throughout the Portland metro area, many homeowners are afraid to sell their homes because they're concerned that they may not be able to find a new one. This can be a real problem, but if you are seeking to sell - whether to upgrade or find a new neighborhood - there are a few ways to combat the low inventory.

Look to Buy First  In most markets, it is a real mistake to put your home up for sale before you start looking for your new property.  Even if you don't see anything on Zillow, it doesn't mean you can't or won't find the right home. Establishing a good relationship with a Realtor who networks effectively will be beneficial in potentially hearing about homes targeted to come on the market before they are open to the public.

Think Outside the Box  Be proactive!  Keep in mind that there are probably many people like you who want to make a move but are afraid as well.  Have your Realtor send a letter to the neighborhoods in the geographic areas where you want to live.  The letter should be heartfelt and personal while announcing that you are ready to buy a home in that neighborhood.  You could find a home to buy that may not even be currently listed or for sale.

Protect Yourself   In today's market, sellers will often indicate when listing their home for sale that the sale is subject to seller finding a suitable home to buy, or may indicate that sellers need a month or two of possession after closing on a sale to allow time for them to find their next home.  Talk with your Realtor to determine what is best in your situation.