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Selling Your Home

23 Totally Cringeworthy Home Inspection Nightmares

Devious contractors and ill-informed homeowners have been known to take shortcuts, but these faux pas are downright dangerous.

Home inspectors have the eye and experience to catch code violations and household damage before you, the home buyer, get stuck with them. Some problems, such as dirty filters and termites, need to be addressed but are really just mundane problems that any old house can suffer. These code violations, on the other hand, are disasters waiting to happen. Some are idiotic oversights or corner-cuttings that will accelerate the wear and tear on a home, while others are downright dangerous for anyone living inside.

Here's a gallery of some of the worst transgressions collected by the ASHI Reporter. Check out This Old House for even more home inspection nightmares.

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Why Seller’s Remorse is Totally Common

Selling your house can be scary: It’s been your home, where you’ve lived and made memories. Chances are good it’s your most important asset and your biggest investment so far. Wrestling with the emotional heft of putting your home on the market is a difficult byproduct of real estate — but once a closing date has been set, the hard work is done. Right?

Actually, it’s not uncommon for sellers to feel pangs of regret when a buyer gets serious. If you’re feeling remorse for your soon-to-be-former home, don’t panic: You’re far from alone. 

“When you’re selling a house, you’re not selling an object,” says Bill Primavera, a REALTOR® in Westchester County, N.Y., and “The Home Guru” blogger. “A house provides shelter and is probably the biggest thing we ever acquire, so it has a bigger impact on our life.”

The Origins of Seller’s Remorse
Moving is one of life’s biggest stressors. According to Daryl Cioffi, a Rhode Island counselor and co-owner of Polaris Counseling & Consulting, it’s one of the biggest instigators for depression.

“There’s a lot of latent stuff that happens when change occurs,” Cioffi says. Are you feeling insecure? Are you wondering if you made the right decision? Those feelings are normal reactions to change — but when they get tangled up with the sale of your biggest investment, they can be downright terrifying.

Here are some things you can do to help you manage the emotional roller coaster that comes with selling your home: 

Do the Emotional Work Beforehand
Doing the emotional work before it’s time to sell is the best way to avoid regret. 
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Take Care

Check out this post from one of our agents, Barbara Josenhans. Find out more about Barbara at fctuckeremge.com/barbara.josenhans.

Throughout the course of the past year, I have toured homes that have truly run the gamut:  from $5,000 properties (yes, those do exist, and this one came with its own raccoon) to $475,000 McMansions.  From New Construction, to a house built prior to 1900.  Several Foreclosures.  A former meth house.  Empty houses.  Houses that are filled to the gills.  Immaculately clean houses.  Houses that are so dirty I have to go home and take a shower.  Remodeled and updated houses.  Houses that are stuck in 1962. 

After you have seen what I have seen over the past months, and heard the comment of prospective buyers, even though I am not even close to being ready to sell my house, I took the pro-active approach this spring and paid for my own termite inspection (I passed!) and did some unglamorous work to my very wet crawl space to correct some problems we have had since moving in 10 years ago…like a sump pump and exterior grading around the house.  We, got some new furniture and are going to re-paint and touch up some trim.  If I ever have time to go pick out new fixtures, I have also talked to some one about redoing our weird ½ bath, which has been on my to-do list for approximately 9 years.

All this to say:  take care of your properties, my friends.  It is important.  Be good stewards of what you own.  Yes, home maintenance does come with a price tag and eats up both your time and your money, but in the long term it is more costly in more ways than one if you let things go. And if you need help finding professionals to assist you in projects, give me a call and I can point you in the right direction. 

When buyers today walk into a new house,...

Tips to Save Energy and Add Value

Tips to Save Energy and Add Value

When it comes to energy efficiency, look for smart features and expertise to help you save energy and money and add value to your home.

1. Begin with a Right-Sized Home.

If the home you buy is simply too large for you or your family’s needs or plans, you stand a good chance of wasting energy through excessive heating and cooling costs. If it’s too small, you’ll feel cramped and uncomfortable. It’s a big investment, so seek balance and buy it “right” from the outset. 

2. Purchase Energy Star Appliances Such as Your TV, Dishwasher, Washer and Dryer, and Microwave.

And especially the refrigerator, as it alone contributes about 10 percent of the energy use in a home. Also, unplug electronics not in use or turn off power strips to avoid phantom charges. 

3. Install Efficient Lighting Such as Compact Flourescent (CLF) or LED Bulbs in Every Fixture.

Lighting accounts for about 6 percent of an energy bill each year.

4. Get an Energy Audit and Have Tests Performed to Identify Ways of Improving Your Efficiency.

You can always upgrade your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system as well as your thermal envelope, which includes insulation, windows, and doors  and the seals or weather stripping around them. Visit energy.gov/energytips for more tips.

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Curb Appeal...First Impressions are Key!

They say you can only make one "first impression" and people usually form their first impression within 30 seconds. What potential buyers see when they drive up to your house will make a lasting impression.

What you can do to spruce up your curb appeal with minimal cost:

  • Replace the house numbers next to the door with much larger black numbers to add drama.
  • Relocate your trash bin to the back, sweep all the leaves in the yard and on the driveway, and trim trees.
  • Paint steps, railing and/or door.
  • Install a brass kick door to give the entry a more elegant look.
  • For color, place a large clay pot, planted with a small green fir and flowers, on each side of the front door.
  • Plant bushes under the front windows, but keep their height well below the bottom ledge. For a more finished look, add ground cover, such as red cedar bark under the bushes.
  • Drastically trim back large bushes so that they are not covering the front windows. On the sides of the house, bushes should be no higher than the start of the roof.
  • Add window boxes under the two front windows. They should extend the full length of the windows but not reach under the shutters. In season, fill the boxes with ivy, green plants, and red flowers.
  • Cut down the barren tree in the front yard and replace it with grass. Fertilize the entire yard to make the grass greener, and trim all lawn edges.
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How to prepare your home for a showing in 10 minutes!

YIKES! You have only 10 minutes before a showing!

How to prepare your home in 10 minutes or less.

  • Put the dishes in the dishwasher (or quickly wash them)
  • Make the beds
  • Wipe the counters
  • Empty the garbage
  • Hide dirty clothes in the washer
  • Take a deep breath
  • Run a quick vacuum
  • “Windex” bathroom mirrors
  • Put toilet seats down
  • Turn on the lights
  • Leave the house before the showing
  • Smile!
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Staging Sells...Sell your home quickly and for TOP dollar!

DE-PERSONALIZE

Remove objects that your potential buyers won't be able to identify with. For example, political and religious items may turn off whole groups of buyers, because they cannot "imagine" your home as their home.

CURB APPEAL

They say you can only make one "first impression" and people usually form their first impression within 30 seconds. What potential buyers see when they drive up to your house will make a lasting impression.

THE ENTRANCE

The first glimpse inside your home should give potential buyers positive, uplifting feelings. Make your entrance as light and bright as possible. Leave all the lights in the house on.

KITCHEN

Kitchens sell homes, so the importance of making your kitchen appealing can't be underestimated. Clean and de-clutter! Anything taking up counter or floor space must go! Anything displayed on the refrigerator must go. If your cabinet knobs are old or out-of-date, replacing them can be a relatively inexpensive face-lift.

FIX

Have a dripping faucet or a cracked tile? These will send the wrong message to potential buyers. Getting them fixed before you put your house on the market is a smart idea.

ELIMINATE CLUTTER

The "50% Rule" requires that you eliminate the clutter in your home by at least half. This may be the hardest rule of all! We love our clutter, but it doesn't sell homes! Clutter makes homes seem smaller and disorganized.

EXECUTIVE NEUTRAL

Neutral colors sell. It's a fact. Try to convey an image of quality and neutrality. Potential buyers walking through your home want to imagine themselves as the owners. If you use styles and color they would never select, you've just turned them off.

CLEAN!

Your home must "Sparkle!"

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