Monday, October 22, 2007

Don’t Wait Till Winter Sets in to Get Your Home Ready for Next Spring

(ARA) – The fall leaves have fallen and before you know it, winter snowflakes will be flying. But before the next change of season arrives, there are a few things you should do to make sure your house will make it through the winter and have an easy transition to spring.

Here are some of the more important tasks you should put on your to-do list:

1) Inspect all your doors and windows to make sure the caulk and weather stripping is intact. If they are worn or cracked, replace them; and if you don’t already have them, install storm windows to keep the heat in and the cold out.

2) Clean and put away outdoor furniture and kids’ toys. Start by spraying them down with water to get off the surface dirt, then rub on some CLR Outdoor Furniture Cleaner, which is specially formulated to remove outdoor dirt and grime quickly and easily from a number of different materials, including plastic, resin, wrought iron, metal and wood. Once clean and dry, wrap the items with plastic and store them someplace dry for the winter.

3) Clear gutters and downspouts of leaves and debris that can clog your gutters leading to ice damns in the winter. Repair or replace sagging gutters and reattach loose downspouts.

4) Make a visual inspection of the roof to make sure there aren’t any missing or cracked shingles or tiles, or vents that have become detached. Flashing, the thin metal strips around vents and other roof openings, should also be examined for leaks.

5) If you use your fireplace frequently, schedule an annual cleaning with a professional chimney sweep. Make sure he or she checks your chimney for loose bricks, crumbling mortar joints and missing caps while there.

6) Check to make sure you have adequate attic insulation. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, up to 45 percent of a home's energy loss is through the attic.

7) Turn off the water supply for exterior faucets before the first frost to prevent pipes from cracking, and take the time to clean off the mineral deposits encrusted on the outdoor faucet spout with CLR . The fast acting, powerful formula will remove calcium, lime and rust deposits with no rubbing or scrubbing required. It is safe to use indoors too. By taking these steps now, your home will make it through the winter unscathed, and come spring, all you’ll have to do is unpack all the stuff you put away and enjoy the sunshine. No repairs will be necessary.

For more household tips, to see what other CLR products can do for you, or to locate a CLR retailer near you, log on to www.jelmar.com or call (800) 323-5497.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Columbus Ranked Third out of the 10 Most Stable Markets

Forbes Magazine teamed up with Moody’s Economy.com to rank the country’s 10 most stable markets – and Columbus is No. 3!

Pittsburgh, Columbus and Dallas follow Seattle in the rankings. Predictions are based on the state of the local economies, new construction contracts, foreclosure rates, local credit markets, sales rates, affordability and inventory.

There is even more good news in the article. Based on Moody’s Economy.com calculations, next year Columbus should boast the eight-fastest rate of the 40 markets examined!
Click here to read the article.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Your First Home: What is Right for You?

Life is associated with a series of "firsts." First car, first date, first day of college and first day on the job. All of these firsts are monumental steps in moving forward with your life, and one of the most exciting firsts, undoubtedly, will be buying your first home. However, there are so many decisions for first-time buyers, it's easy to be overwhelmed and make a rash decision. Slow down, and make sure you haven't left any stone unturned in the quest to find the perfect home for you.

First of all, you need to figure out if now is the right time to buy a home. Sure, it may feel right, but is it realistic? If you can't commit to a place for at least a few years, now probably isn't the right time to buy. Likewise, if you're financially unstable or have bad credit, take the steps to improve your status before making such an important investment.

If you're confident enough to move on, enlist the help of a professional. Today, especially with Internet, it's possible to find a home on your own, but the knowledge of a licensed REALTOR® is invaluable. Your REALTOR® will help you through the entire process, and you can rest assured they'll take into consideration everything you're looking for in a new home.

Next, think about what kind of lifestyle you'll be most comfortable with. This lifestyle will be the determining factor in which neighborhood you'll choose. Whether it's rural, suburb or right in the urban center of it all, whichever community you choose, do take into consideration the schools nearby — even if you don't have school-aged children. When it comes time to sell, you'll find that a good school system will be an advantage in helping your home retain or gain value.
Finally, don't be discouraged if you can't find the picture-perfect home of your dreams. If it's in a good neighborhood and the right price range for you, don't pass it by; that deck can always be added and the kitchen remodeled later. Remember, it's your home — you can do with it what you please.

Buying your first home can be a stressful process, but worthwhile once you've found your perfect fit. Remember, your first home will more than likely house a number of future firsts, as well. Make sure those firsts happen in a home that is right for you and your family.

To start your homebuying journey, give me a call. 614-565-8161