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Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Agent - Reason 1

It is no secret the Southwestern Indiana real estate market is hot right now. Simply, put F.C. Tucker Emge REALTORS has lots of buyers.... and there are very few homes for sale. If you have been thinking about listing your home, now is the time to get in the game! Join us over the next few weeks as we count down our "Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Agent." 

And as always, if you are ready to get your house on the market. Call us today - 812.402.0200. 

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Market Watch

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How to Enhance Your Life and Home with Lighting

Your home’s interior lights want to help you have fun, feel better, and save energy. Will you let them?

It used to be we’d walk into a room and flip on the light switch, maybe slide the dimmer up or down a bit to change the brightness.

But that’s so old school. Instead, press a tab marked “Cooking” on a wall-mounted panel to let all kitchen task lights come up to full brightness while lights in the family room dim so the kids can play video games.

Or hit the button marked “Romance,” and the lights throughout the house go out while the lights in the bedroom ebb to a soft glow that turns a sultry blue.

Household technology is undergoing a transformation that’s going to make lighting more integral to our everyday lives. Not only will we see better, but we’re going to use light to alter our moods, protect our well-being, safeguard our houses, and save bunches of energy.

“Home lighting today is about lifestyle enhancements,” says Paul Nagel, VP of lighting at Control4, a home automation company. “We want to know how to control light to create environments we’re comfortable in, and have energy efficiency while we do it.”

Read more: How to Enhance Your Life and Home with Lighting

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Fall Landscaping: How to Prepare Your Yard for Winter

Fall landscaping chores are your last chance to prepare your property for winter, and to protect that curb appeal you have worked so hard to create. So pull on some gloves, grab your tools, and get ready to mulch, prune, and plant before snow and frozen ground turn the lights out on your landscaping.

Spread mulch

“Fall mulching is better for the plants than spring mulching,” says Dan Taft, owner of The Cutting Edge in Chantilly, Va. “It helps protect roots from frost and helps retain moisture during a cold and dry winter.”

Spread 2 to 3 inches of fresh mulch around shrubs and trees. Taft warns home owners to avoid using free mulch from municipal piles, which often contain disease spores; instead, buy hardwood shredded mulch from home and garden centers, he says.

“Cheap, dump mulch mainly is made from trees that have died from disease,” Taft says.

“Many diseases will linger in the mulch, like leaf spot and pine bark borers. You don’t  want ground-up diseased plants around your landscaping.”

Remove the dead and dying

Fall isn’t the time to prune, because that encourages growth when healthy plants should remain dormant. But don’t shelve your shears and loppers yet. Fall is the time to neaten your landscaping before putting it to bed for the winter. 

“If you remove dead landscaping in fall, you don’t have to look at it all winter,” Taft says.

  • Remove dead annuals.
  • Deadhead spent blooms, and cut back dead and desiccated ornamental grasses and perennials.

Read more: Fall Landscaping: How to Prepare Your Yard for Winter

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Organize Your Garage for Under $50

If clutter trumps cars in your garage, get organized (and make room for your vehicles) with these smart garage storage solutions, each costing less than $50.

Round up Wheels

Bicycles, skateboards, scooters, and rollerblades — wheeled belongings can get underfoot and land you on your assets or bang up the car. Protect your paint job (not to mention your backside) with these wily storage solutions for your garage.

Hoist bicycles to the rafters with a rope-and-pulley system ($22) that makes it easy to raise the bike and lock safely in place. When you’re ready to ride, release the lock and lower your bike to the garage floor. You’ll need an hour or two and basic tools to secure the pair of pulleys to ceiling joists and thread the ropes. (Similar hoists are available for kayaks or small boats; $25.)
Avoid unintentional skateboard “tricks” with a specially designed wall rack that makes it easy for kids to hang up helmets and skateboards together; about $40. Secure this one to wall joists in less than an hour.

Keep scooters and bikes out of the way with tool hooks installed on a length of 1-by-6-inch lumber. You’ll pay $3 for each pair of vinyl-coated screw-in tool hooks and $1 per foot for lumber. You’ll need only an hour or two to secure the lumber to wall joists and screw the hooks into place along the board.

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Buying A Home Checklist

Buying A Home Checklist

Find an agent

Interview three if you can and remember there are real estate companies that work for just sellers, some that work for sellers or buyers, some that try to work for both at the same time, and others that just work for buyers. The latter companies are called Exclusive Buyer Agent Companies (EBA), and it is worth making sure one of your interviews is with an EBA. Visit NAEBA.org for more info.

Obtain a preapproval

If you will be getting a mortgage, a preapproval will help make you more comfortable with what a mortgage payment would be like. A good agent will typically have recommendations for credible lenders. Choose a lender based on their proven ability to get the job done correctly first, then consider the costs. Be careful if the lender is associated with the real estate company; it sometimes creates a conflict of interest.

Start looking at homes

You can usually visit eight or ten homes in a well-planned day with a well-prepared real estate agent. Open houses typically are not the best use of time because they are only a small indication of the inventory of available homes.

Narrow down your choices

Start cutting down your list to a target group of two or three homes. Then make a second visit to do a “detailed” viewing. This way, you will always be aware of your best alternative if your top pick doesn’t work out.

Research purchase contracts

Don’t wait till the day you need to sign a contract to look at one. Your agent should be reviewing the documents, the processes, and the local customs for negotiations and contingencies with you while you are still searching for a home. You’ll be much more confident when the time comes to “sign on the bottom line.”

Read more here - ...

Chevron Painted Rug Tutorial

Chevron stripes are really hot in interior design right now. Check out this awesome DIY tutorial on how to update your décor with a DIY chevron rug!

Here's how I transformed my rug from boring, to

SPRING-TACULAR!

First I taped off the fabric edges, like so, because I wanted to leave those their natural color.

Then I started paintin' away, with some plain ol' Olympic Semi-gloss latex paint.

This process took me a while.

Like about an hour and a half!

The texture of the carpet was a BUGGER to get through, with the paint.  And even required a second coat, to get the coverage that I was looking for.

The reason I went with this rug, was because of it's durability and texture.  I love how beachy it looked.

- See more at: http://www.thehouseofsmiths.com/2011/04/chevron-painted-rug-from-ikea.html#sthash.p7kw3Q9z.dpuf

Read more - Chevron Painted Rug Tutorial

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10 Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe While on Vacation

Don't let the anticipation of a well-deserved vacation blind you to the risks of leaving your home unprotected. Go ahead and plan your beach, camping or city shopping holiday, but take precautions before you leave. We subscribe to the "better safe than sorry" philosophy, so review your home safety checklist before you head out. A little extra vigilance will help keep your property and belongings safer while you're gone -- and will keep you from obsessing about security once you're on the road to fun and adventure.

10: Consider Hiring a House-or Pet-Sitter

The best way to make sure your house is safe while you're gone is to have someone you trust still living in it. You may be lucky enough to have a tidy and conscientious relative who'll move in temporarily and water the plants, feed the pets and pick up the newspapers. If not, there are services you can use for house-sitting and pet-sitting while you're away. This can be a pricy option, but it's a solution that touches all the bases.

A house sitter can keep your home safe and take care of your beloved pet.

Click here to read more tips: 10 Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe While on Vacation

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Before and After: Home Exteriors

Maximize curb appeal with an exterior makeover. See how these 21 facades went from ordinary to unforgettable. 

Before: Scrunched Living Space

The only eye-catching feature of this split-level home was its jarring combination of blue-painted siding and Santa-red brick. The entry was scrunched into a cramped alcove and upstaged by the garage.

After: Splendid Split-Level

A sophisticated Prairie-style makeover took this split-level from blah to beautiful. Stucco replaced cedar siding and the brickwork below was painted to match. The entry was pulled from the shadows and centered in a tall, gabled bump-out. Sidelights and a three-part transom dramatize the door. Pedestals were added to the revamped stoop, which leads into a colored-concrete walkway. Raised stucco trim surrounds new casement windows on the upper level. A band of slate tile strengthens horizontal lines, while a period light fixture adds a finishing touch.

View More - Before and After: Home Exteriors

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