Everything listed under: Home Improvement

  • What To Expect: During the First Year of Homeownership

    Once you sign the "X" on the dotted line during settlement, your journey toward home ownership may have ended, but the journey to making it feel like your home has just begun!  

    Here are a few items you should expect to examine and/or repair during the first year of homeownership, as released by CBS MoneyWatch recently.

    During move-in week: 

    Turn on all major appliances and run them for a complete cycle. Even if the buyer already completed a home inspection, they should test them again, according to experts.  "If you have a minor leak under the dishwasher, that water leaks into the subfloor and you can't see it," says Daniel Cipriani with Kade Homes & Renovations in the Atlanta area. "But you'll start to notice the hardwood floor buckling."

    45 days after move-in: 

    Change the HVAC system filter and vacuum out the air intake vents. “Capturing dirt and dust with the right filter can go a long way toward preserving the new home appeal for a few years,” CBS MoneyWatch notes.

    Six months after move-in: 

    Inspect the exterior of your home in both the summer and fall to ensure rainwater is draining away from the home properly. Also, clean out clogged gutters and downspouts. "Landscaping should be negatively graded away from the house," Cipriani says. "People don't think it's a big problem, but otherwise water pools against the foundation and doesn't have anywhere to go."

    Every year: 

    Inspect the home’s roof for any missing shingles and gaps around the chimneys. Also, check the ceilings inside the home for any water spots and indications of potential leaks.

    Experts also note that every two years, home owners would be wise to hire a professional HVAC contractor to inspect their furnace, air conditioner, and hot water heater. A ruptured reservoir could potentially spill 40 gallons of water in a mere few hours so experts recommend home owners install a water alarm with sensors in the collection pan underneath the hot water heater. The sensors cost about $25 and can help save home owners from costly water damage.

  • 2013's Best Mobile and Web Apps and Tools for Real Estate

    Realtor Magazine* just featured this year's top web and mobile apps and tools for real estate. These recommendations were selected by their editors with input from their readers.  These apps and tools come in handy for customers, clients and realtors.  

    We've included our top 5 picks from the list, highlighting apps and tools for customers and clients. To read the full article, go here Best of the Web 2013: Apps

    So whether you're just a casual real estate "window shopper" or a determined buyer or seller, read below to accomplish your real estate goals more efficiently. 

    1.  Homesnap.com - named Best Mobile Tool and called the "Shazam for homes."  It allows users to have access to public information about a home by simply taking a picture of the home.  This is a great tool for customers and clients to use while they are out driving around looking for potential homes or scouting to see what the market is like in their area.  Simply snap a photo on your phone and use the Homesnap app to find the property on the go!

    2.  HouseLogic.com - named Best All-Around Home Improvement Resource.  This is THE go-to website if you're looking to do any home improvements before putting your house on the market or after buying a "fixer upper."  It also offers tips for managing home taxes and financing.  HouseLogic.com features secrets to hiding clutter or valuables, home insurance advice, landscaping tips, and overall covers the gamut of all things home-related.

    3.  ApartmentTherapy.com - named Best Eye Candy.  This website is useful for more than just apartment dwellers.  It includes interior decorating ideas and organization tips for your apartment or home.

    4. Curbed.com - named Best Niche Zine.  We love Curbed!  It reports neighborhood news, local development project updates, and celebrity homes in 13 U.S. cities.  A fun website to add to your RSS feed!

    5. Dropbox.com - named Best App for Cloud Storage and File Sharing.  Worried about your computer/device crashing and losing important documents?  Here's the solution.  Store all your important files, photos and other information on a virtual drive.  There is no fee, up to 18 GB storage.  

    *The content of this blog is based on Realtor Magazine's featured article.  It is not an endorsement by NAR or The Aland Realty Group.

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