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Posted by Heidi Mahoney on 1/15/2018

Many new homeowners are eager to begin renovations on their home to make it fit the beautiful picture they have in their mind. Unfortunately the aesthetic improvements, while important, are often prioritized over important structural and functional repairs that should be made first. The key to making smart financial decisions for renovating your home is to have a good budget and to stick to it. Home improvements are one of the few expenses that people often forget to budget for, alongside car repairs and emergency medical expenses. If done properly, however, a budget will help you prioritize your repairs so you'll spend your time and money wisely. In this article, we'll explain how to budget for home repairs in a way that works for you and your family.

Understanding your money

To budget for home improvements, you first need to budget for other things in your life. Use an app or website like Mint or You Need a Budget to get a better understanding of how you spend your money. For some, budgeting for home improvements may mean cutting back on other spending areas. Fortunately, these apps break down all of your purchases by categories and help you spend less each month.

Ranking your renovations

If you're dying to update the bathroom but the roof needs to be redone, you should call the roofers first. Some home improvements are a ticking time bomb: deteriorating roofs, poor insulation, HVAC issues, water damage, and safety concerns like fire hazards are all problems that need to be addressed first on your budget. Some will save you money, others could save your life, but all of them are more important than adding closet space in your bathroom.

Estimating costs

Do your research when it comes to the the cost of repairs and home improvements. Once you have a ballpark figure, add it into your budgeting app as a new item on your budget. There is a general rule, when budgeting for home repairs, that you should set aside 1% of the cost of your home for maintenance and repairs each year. However, there are many other factors involved in how much it will cost to upkeep your home like the age of the house, the weather in your area, and how well-maintained the home was before you bought it.

Sticking to your budget

Everyone starts with good intentions, but keeping a budget isn't easy. Thankfully, it has been made much more manageable with the help of apps and websites that link right to your bank accounts. To stick to your home repair budget, make sure you sign up for reminders on your spending and progress. If you're keeping a budget the old fashioned way (pen and paper), put reminders on your calendar each month to check if you're spending too much on home repairs. Another key to successful budgeting it to make sure everyone in the house is on the same page. If your significant other plays a role in home repairs, go over your budget together. This will help you keep one another accountable and set priorities that work for everyone.





Posted by Heidi Mahoney on 3/13/2017

Unfortunately, your home's bathroom shower could use a lot of work. But as a home seller, you likely are strapped for time and resources, making it exceedingly difficult to complete a shower overhaul. So what can you do? Luckily, there are many quick, inexpensive ways to improve your bathroom shower, including: 1. Replace the shower head. Shower heads come in a wide range of styles and sizes, ensuring you should have no trouble finding one that will serve you well while you sell your home and help improve the appearance of your shower as well. From stainless steel shower heads to water-saving varieties, there is no shortage of shower head options at your disposal. Plus, these shower heads usually are affordable and simple to install, making them great choices for home sellers who are searching for an easy way to enhance the quality of their home's bathroom shower. 2. Give your shower a thorough cleaning. A dirty shower is the last thing a homebuyer wants to see as he or she checks out your home's bathroom. Fortunately, home sellers can perform extensive cleaning to transform a bland shower into an extraordinary one. When it comes to cleaning your shower, using an all-purpose bathroom cleaner often is a great place to start. Also, you should leverage abrasive scrubbing pads to eliminate deposits on shower floors. If you're struggling to get the results you want, be sure to get help from professional cleaners. Remember, these cleaners will do everything possible to give your shower a pristine appearance. And with their support, you can enjoy an immaculate shower that will look great to prospective homebuyers. 3. Retile your shower. New tiles serve as great options for those who want to improve a shower's appearance. As such, home sellers who commit the time and resources to retile a shower can transform a shower's appearance without delay. Retiling a shower can provide a fun project for do-it-yourselfers (DIYers), one that could prove significant return on investment (ROI). However, it is important to understand the ins and outs of installing tile before you begin this task to ensure the job is completed properly. Thankfully, many DIY websites offer helpful tips that you can use to streamline the process of installing new tiles. And when in doubt, don't be afraid to reach out to tile installation professionals for added support. Selling a home can be exhausting, and improving the quality and appearance of your residence's shower is just one of many ways that you can increase the likelihood of a fast home sale. Of course, collaborating with an experienced real estate agent can provide exceptional results for home sellers, too. A real estate professional who recognizes your home's strengths and weaknesses can help you showcase your residence's strengths to homebuyers. Also, this professional can empower you with the insights you need to find ways to transform your home's weaknesses into strengths. Work with a top-notch real estate agent as you sell your home, and you can benefit from the guidance provided by a real estate professional who will assist you throughout the home selling process.





Posted by Heidi Mahoney on 1/23/2017

In order for your home to maintain value and to remain in great condition, you must consistently keep up with home repairs. There are several choices you, as a homeowner, will face in regard to these tasks. While small repairs or jobs may not require extensive knowledge and know-how, be sure to use a professional when it comes to more complex home-maintenance work. Whether your priorities are focused on the interior or exterior, siding your house, roof repair, or leaking faucets in the kitchen, yhough it may seem costly, hiring professionals ensures the job will only need to be done once and done the right way. Ask for references and take the time to find a reputable professional so that you can feel comfortable putting your money in the hands of someone with experience and service-specific knowledge. Paying a professional to fix a leak may save you money in the long run when you won't be facing water damage during those rainy seasons. Another great example of spending money in order to save money can be relayed to replacing your windows. Updating your windows keeps your home insulated from the heat and cold, which in turn can save you a lot of money on energy bills down the road. Repairs negate the possibility of future damage-related bills and also can add value to your home, which, in today's housing market, is important. Set goals for yourself, as well as a fixed budget. Focus on fixing up one room at a time or completing one project each year and be sure to consider all of the benefits of not only maintaining your home, but utilizing trained professionals.





Posted by Heidi Mahoney on 12/12/2016

There are several different types of termites but one thing they all have in common is that they eat wood. By the time you've discovered that termites have infested part of your home it's often too late. That's because the damage that termites cause isn't easily noticeable. Termites travel randomly through the soil in search of food and can cause devastating damage to the wood of a home once they find it. Whether you're worried that your home may be vulnerable to termites or if you're looking for a way to get rid of them, this article will teach you everything you need to know about the wood-eating pests known as "silent destroyers."

Preventing termite infestations

There are several good practices to maintain that will keep your home termite-free. Some require work, and others are just good habits to build. Keep these tips in mind to make your home a less desirable treat to termites.
  • Don't stack firewood or lumber on the ground for long periods of time. If you do have to stack wood on the ground, keep it far away from your home foundation so termites won't eat their way up the wood pile and into the wood of your home.
  • Keep your foundation dry. Termites love moist soil. They'll use it as a vehicle to get to the wooden parts of your home. To keep them away, make sure the areas around your foundation are well-drained and stay relatively dry.
  • Don't let wooden parts of your home touch the ground. Whether it's a porch, deck, lattice-work, or even wood panel siding, make sure all of these surfaces are on a foundation and not just on the ground. Not only will this deter the termites but it will also help maintain the structural integrity of these items by keeping them dry and rot-free.
  • Go easy on the mulch. Using excessive mulch is like giving termites a roadmap to your home. When you do use mulch, make sure it's in a well-drained area. It may seem counter-intuitive, but termites are attracted to mulch mainly due to it's ability to maintain moisture and heat, rather than as a food source.

You found termites. Now what?

If you've noticed that termites are eating the wood on or around your home you have several options for getting rid of them.  Your method will depend on the location and severity of the infestation. Do-it-yourself methods If the infestation isn't in a dangerous place (somewhere that affects the structural integrity of your home) or if it isn't too severe you could try:
  • Applying a barrier treatment which stops the termites from entering and poisoning them at the same time
  • Setting a bait station that will attract all of the termites so you can remove them
  • Drilling into the infested wood and pouring orange oil into the holes
Call the professionals
  • If the infestation is bad enough to cause worry the safest bet is to call a pest control company in your area so you can rest easy knowing your home is safe.




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Posted by Heidi Mahoney on 10/10/2016

It’s always nice to have a roof over your head, as the old saying goes. Sometimes we don’t think about roof maintenance until it’s too late. Without the proper steps, a simple leak can turn into a big problem with your roof. Roofs can often fail resulting from simple natural wear and tear. Even if you have been doing regular maintenance on your roof, if replacing an old roof is delayed, bigger problems could happen in the future with the structure of your home. There are some warning signs that you should look out for so you know when your roof needs attention. Some signs that your roof may need to be replaced are: Shingles are Curled or Cupped When the edges of a shingle are curled up, it could cause water and debris to get under the shingle and into the roof. This will result in a weakened roof. “Bald” Spots On The Roof Appear If there’s parts of the roof where the granules are missing, it may be time for a new roof. These spots could cause leaks and even eventually cave in. Sometimes the fix could be as simple as changing a few shingles. Other times, the entire roof may need to be replaced. Cracked Shingles Appear Shingles are manufactured for durability. However, if your roof is not properly ventilated, or if debris is not cleared from the roof, it can impact the life of your roof, causing cracked shingles. Cracked shingles are an obvious sign that your roof needs attention. Moss Is Growing On The Roof If your roof doesn’t get much sunlight, moss can grow on the roof. More than a cosmetic issue, moss holds moisture on the roof’s surface. When this moss and held moisture freezes, this can cause damage to the shingles and the granules themselves. The problem with moss is that brushing it off won’t prevent it from growing again. A professional roofing contractor may need to be contacted in this case to get rid of the moss for good. Your Neighbors Are Having Their Roofs Replaced Neighborhoods are generally built around the same time. If your neighbors are beginning to have work done on their roofs, it’s a good bet that you might need some work done on your roof as well. Also, since neighbors’ homes will suffer the same conditions as your home, your roofs could be in similar conditions. Your Roof Has Dark Streaks Algae in the air cause streaks to form on roofs and decks. This is more of a cosmetic issue at first. These algae streaks can be removed using a 50:50 mix of water and bleach which can be sprayed directly on the roof. Don’t use a pressure washer. Instead use a low grade garden hose. This will keep the protective granules in tact. Keep in mind to protect your landscaping from bleach run off as well.




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