Homes of Distinction Realty



Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 10/10/2019

Youíve closed on your new house, moved all your boxes, and started planning how to arrange your furniture. Your family canít wait to settle in and regain a sense of normalcy after the chaos of moving. But before you get back to your normal routine be sure to add these tasks for new homeowners to your to do list. Each takes just an hour of your time and will help you to stay on top of maintenance as well as familiarize yourself with your new domain.

Start by finding out where your main water shutoff valve is located. This is not something you want to have to find when you are in an emergency. In colder climates, itís most likely to be found in your basement and if you are in a warmer climate you should find it outside. If you keep a binder for home updates add a note of the location within.

Make sure your attic insulation is the correct depth. You want at least 6 inches and even more in northern states. Ensuring that your insulation is the correct depth will help you to save money throughout the year on heating and cooling costs. If youíre attic doesnít have the correct depth or is damaged be sure to have it replaced as soon as possible. Oftentimes you can get incentives for improving your insulation and thus creating a more energy efficient home.

Check the temperature of your hot water heater and be sure it is set at 120 degrees tops. If you have an older model add a hot water heater blanket to help retain heat. If you find that your heater leaks you want to replace it immediately. A small leak can quickly lead to a major one, flood your home and cause serious damage. Again, be sure to keep note of the month and year you replaced your heater or which year your current model is.

Replace air filters right away so that you will know when theyíve last been replaced. Add monthly reminders to your calendar to stay on top of this quick maintenance task. You can make this task even easier by buying them in bulk. If you love to be organized label them for each month so you know exactly when youíll next need to replace them.

Change all of the locks on your home. This is simple enough to do on your own and is an easy proactive safety measure for your family. While one hopes there are no lingering keys out in the world of your home, you canít be sure of who may have a spare key.  

Take note of any cracks in your basement. If you find any mark their length with a piece of masking tape and mark with the current date. Watch closely to see if the crack spreads beyond the mark. If you find that the cracks are lengthening be sure to get them taken care of by a professional. This is a serious repair you donít want to wait on.

Buying a new home is an exciting time. Especially after youíve closed on the house, can begin to move in and start settling into your routine. Before you get too comfortable be sure to add a few tasks to your to do list. Familiarizing yourself with your new home right away will help you stay on top of maintenance and have peace of mind.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 10/3/2019

If this is your first time buying a home, you might be worried that you arenít asking enough questions. Or maybe youíre concerned youíre not asking the right questions--the things that matter the most when making a financial decision as important and life-changing as buying a home.  

While everyoneís situation is unique when buying a home, there are some questions that all buyers could benefit from asking. These questions will help you learn more about the home, how competitive the house is, and how much work youíll need to put into it.

Since time is usually of the essence for people buying a home, it makes sense to ask questions early on so that you donít waste too much time exploring an option that isnít ideal for your situation.

In this article, weíre going to give you 5 important questions to ask when you talk to a seller and their agent so that you can be prepared to make the best decision for you or your family.

1. How flexible is the asking price?

While few sellers or agents will outright tell you if theyíd accept a lower offer, itís still a good idea to ask this question, as it will open up a conversation about the sellerís feelings toward the home and whether theyíre pricing high with the hopes of receiving slightly lower offers.

2. How many offers has the home received?

It may seem counterintuitive, but most agents and sellers will be quite happy to tell you if theyíve received other offers. They know that once you know the current offer youíll have to either come up with a higher offer or move on. Itís a win-win for you and the seller, as it equips both of you with information you need to make the best choice.

3. Why are the sellers moving away?

This question can be personal, so if you receive an answer that suggests itís a family matter, donít press for too many details. However, some sellers and agents will let you know exactly why the house is for sale. From this simple question, you can learn the sellerís timeline for making the sale, details about the schools or neighborhoods, and any other reason that might drive someone to move out of the neighborhood.

4. Are there any problems with the house that you know of?

Although youíll have an inspection contingency in your contract if you do decide to make an offer on the home, itís better to know if there are any issues with the home before going through the bidding process.

Most sellers understand this and will be upfront about any problems with the home, including repairs that need to be made now or will need to be made soon after you move in.

5. What is the average cost of utilities?

Buying a home comes with a lot of added costs and fees. However, many people forget about the changes in the cost of utilities that comes with buying a home--especially if youíre moving from an apartment where some utilities may have been included.

The seller will be able to give you a good estimate on the cost of electricity, garbage removal, internet, heat, and more.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 9/26/2019

You're selling your home, and you know you need to perk up its curb appeal, but you're low on free time and funds. There are a few simple, and affordable projects you can take on to step up your curb game and increase your chances of a sale. Attracting buyers to your home is a necessary part of your sale, so take a minute to hammer out some quick upgrades to give your home the best first impression.

Just a little paintónot a lot.Freshly painted shutters and a new coat on the front and side doors of your home can add a striking vibrancy that your potential buyers can see from the street. Visit your local hardware or paint store and talk with a professional about the best paint to cover your wood or vinyl fixtures. When selecting a color consider the best hues to pleasantly contrast or compliment your homeís exterior colors and any natural stone or brick accents. Before you start, clean off all dirt and grime from your door and shutter surfaces, tape off or remove any hardware possible, then get to painting! In just a few hours and a couple of cans of paint, you can accomplish a huge visual change.

Tighten up your existing landscaping. Take an upcoming weekend day and spend a little time manicuring your yard. Give your trees and bushes some attention, rake up the leaves and remove any dead plants. Mow and trim your lawn all the way to the curb. If there are any empty lots or uncared for median spaces near your home maybe take an extra minute and clean up the appeal around your house as well. With an additional day or another weekend, if you have time before your open house, extend your landscaping to cleaning up your driveway. Sweep the drive thoroughly and consider renting a pressure washer to remove any unsightly oil stains. Finally, get up to those gutters. Clean and well-maintained gutters are a good sign to your buyers that you care for your home and have taken the time to maintain it and keep it in good condition for future inhabitants.

Add even more life with planters and flowers. With a small investment, you can add even more color and appeal to your home with a few planters, pots, and hanging baskets. Find plants and containers that complement the design of your home and add both brightness and hominess to your street view.

Lighting and more lighting. Make it easy for your buyers to see your home and attract them to your door with enhanced lighting. Many home buyers drive past homes they see listed online before they come to the open house. Frequently this is after work and during a dusky or dark time of day. Make your window shoppers want to return for the open house with cleaned up lighting. Clean up or replace your porch light, add a new bright bulb and talk to your local hardware store about the best options for adding lighting to your drive and walkways.

As you get ready for your open house, work with your real estate professional to design the best and most cost-effective ways to step up your curb appeal.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 9/19/2019

If you've ever experienced the frustration of paying more than necessary for home repairs, remodeling, or upgrades, you're not alone! Most of us have done it at one time or another, and it's not a pleasant feeling!

The good news is that if you make up your mind to do a little research, ask questions, request a free quote, and get two or three estimates, then you probably won't have to repeat the same mistake. Unless it's a dire emergency, it's always better to take your time in choosing a contractor or repair technician for a home project.

While it may be a little more time consuming to get recommendations, compare prices, and talk to several contractors, it's well worth it -- both in terms of monetary savings and peace of mind. Since the typical homeowner incurs many expenses, every year, to maintain their plumbing, electricity, roof, floors, HVAC system, landscaping, appliances, and much more, the amount of money you can save from comparing estimates and researching contractors can really add up!

The ideal scenario for hiring a home contractor is to get a recommendation from a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor. That doesn't necessarily guarantee that you'll be getting the best value for your dollar, but it's a darn good starting point! Online reviews of contractors can also be helpful, but sometimes they lack the detail and credibility that's essential to a meaningful recommendation. No review is complete unless it says whether the customer would hire the contractor again and if they (the customer) would recommend them to family and friends.

Since no one's perfect, it's also helpful to know what the contractor could have done better. A lot of times people will say something like, "I was satisfied with the end result, but the project took a lot longer than expected and the contractor always showed up late." Asking questions, comparing prices, and asking for references are among the ways to increase the likelihood that you'll be satisfied with the contractor you choose and the quality of work they provide.

Depending on the scope of the project and its estimated cost, you may also want to check whether the contractors you're considering are accredited with the Better Business Bureau and if anyone has filed a complaint against them. Being accredited does not mean that the BBB endorses the business, but it does indicate that the business does meet certain standards and that they have agreed to make a good faith effort to resolve consumer complaints. In order to be accredited by the BBB, businesses need to submit an application, meet accreditation standards, and pay a fee. To keep their designation, they must maintain at least a "B" rating with the Bureau and continue to comply with its standards of professionalism, honesty, and customer responsiveness.





Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 9/12/2019

Many people find choosing the right color scheme to be the most overwhelming part of their home decoration process. After all, you have to consider furniture, doors, drapes, and other items before you pick any color. But it doesn't have to be all that difficult, a few simple rules can see through it with ease.

Start with a neutral shade as your backdrop and then build on by adding other contrasting colors with art and accessories. You will need to work with a color wheel and determine what color scheme of the color wheel you want to use. The monochromatic scheme involves using different shades of a single color of the color wheel. The analogous color scheme consists of using colors that appear next to each other on the color wheel to create a colorful arrangement. You may also decide to do a contrast scheme that consists of using a triad of contrasting colors. For a bolder look, use the complementary schemeó two opposing colors for the interior.

You should also consider how the lighting will change the appearance of colors within your home at different times of the day. You may have to use sample swatch cards in the colors you are thinking of using, or paint on to a card in that color and carry it around the house, testing it in different lighting conditions. Before you commit, you may even decide on painting small areas of each room to see how the colors will complement each other around the house.

Having decided on the colors you want to use, you should look at how it will flow into the general design of the room. Bear in mind the kind of furniture and upholstery you either already have present in the house or you intend to purchase. Your colors have to fit in with these generally so deciding on the exact shade of color you want should come last in what you are doing. 

The entire process should not be a stressful one if you put enough planning into it. Visit with paint professionals in the paint store and ask how each color complement each other. You can bring home as many test samples as you can until you find your perfect mix. Remember, however, at the end of the day, the final decision lies with you. Your color scheme should reflect you, seeing as it is your home. So, don't hurry, take your time to reach the decision.

If you are choosing colors to sell your home, ask your real estate professional about trending neutrals in your area.




Tags: paint   color   design tips  
Categories: Uncategorized