Could condo living be for you? For many condominium living can be an attractive alternative to a single family home. The price per square foot of a condo is often less than a single family home. Before you make the leap to condo living make sure to do your homework to see if it truly is the best choice for you. Here is a checklist of a few things you may want to consider before signing on the dotted line.
The weather is getting colder and you may be thinking about firing up the wood stove or stoking up the fireplace. Before you do that you want to make sure your chimney is in good working order. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends hiring a certified, professional chimney sweep to inspect your chimney. The CSIA has a list of questions you should ask your chimney sweep before hiring them: 1. How long has the chimney sweeping company been in business? 2. Does the company offer current references? 3. Does the company have unresolved complaints filed within the city or state consumer protection agency or Better Business Bureau? 4. Does the company or individual carry a valid business liability insurance policy to protect your home and furnishings against accidents? 5. Does the company ensure that a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep will be on the job site? It is important to get your chimney professionally inspected annually. The proper care and maintenance of a chimney can help protect people from unnecessary fires and carbon monoxide poisonings.
Child-Proofing Your Home. Unintentional injury is one of the leading causes of death in children under 14. That should be enough to make any parent shudder. Child-proofing a new or existing home can be quite the headache, but it's an incredibly neccessary step in making sure your home is safe for all members of your family. Luckily, by following a simple checklist, you can rest easy knowing that you've covered most, if not all of your bases. While there are extra steps that may need to be taken on a house-by-house basis, most of these steps are applicable to just about every kind of residence. Smoke Detectors - While this may seem like an obvious step, you'd be surprised how many people don't follow through with their fire alert system. Low batteries, improper placement, and broken detectors can all spell potential tragedy for you and your family. Pay close attention to the manufacturer's instructions. You should have at least one smoke detector per level of your home, including the basement and attic. One very important step you can take these days is to purchase batteries that are designated for electronic devices. Carbon Monoxide Detectors - These need to be placed near sleeping areas, and at least 15 feet away from any fuel-burning appliances. Anti-Scalding Devices for your faucets - Contact your local plumber to get an estimate. Door Stops and Door Holders - If your home already comes equipped with these, then make sure they are all in good working order. Outlet Covers and Plates - Ensure that covers and plates aren't easily removable. Edge and Corner Bumpers - These come in a variety of styles, and are easily installed on the sharp edges and corners of your home. Pay special attention to the corners in your kitchen, as many child injuries take place here. Safety Latches and Locks - These need to be installed in cabinets that would be accessible at your child's level. These will prevent your child from gaining access to areas that hazardous cleaning materials are stored, like under your sinks. Doorknob Covers and Door Locks - Use these on rooms that aren't child-proofed. If you can prevent unsupervised access to a room, you don't have to worry about keeping it in perfect working order in regard to child proofing. Child Gates - Stair-related accidents can be avoided by implementing a gate system. Pay special attention to the types of gates used.....Pet gates are NOT the same product, and may lack the level of protection needed to ensure proper safety of your child. Childen are resourceful individuals, and can breach many systems that your family pets cannot.
You have decided to sell. But before you put the sign in the yard there are some things you will want to make sure you have done. Time spent doing research and setting the right price will most likely yield you a better return in the end. A home is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it. Track your neighborhood values Find out what homes similar to yours are selling for in your neighborhood so you will have a good idea what your home is worth. Buyer or seller market You need to judge whether it's a sellers' market or a buyers' market in your neighborhood. Remember that all real estate is local. You will want to research things like interest rates, home inventory, job forecasts, and even time of year. Research inventory How many homes are for sale? If you live in a desirable neighborhood and there aren't many homes for sale, you will have a clear edge here. However, if you see lots of homes on the market and they're not selling very quickly, you might have to reduce the price you had in mind. Know the average days on the market Review the homes in your neighborhood and their days on market sometimes referred to as DOM. Look at trends for the past year and assess whether homes were appreciating or depreciating. Monitor the job market Is a big company relocating workers to your area? Or are they moving out and shutting the doors? The job market has a lot to do with the real estate market. Attend nearby open houses Observe how other properties are showing and compare them to your home. At an open house you can often feel the "mood" of potential buyers. Get a professional opinion A real estate professional will be able to help you gather all of the above information and come up with a CMA or comparable market analysis to determine the best price range for you home.
When you are buying a home the costs really add up and you may start thinking about where you can save money. One question that many buyers ask is do I need a home inspection? Most often the answer to the question is yes! A home inspection is an objective examination of the home and its systems. The inspection covers the entire house from the roof to the foundation. A home inspection will cover the home's foundation, basement, structural components, roof, attic, insulation, walls, ceilings, floors windows and doors. It will also examine the heating system, air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical systems. Because a home is often the largest single investment you will ever make it is important to know as much as you can about the home before you buy it. A home inspection will help you identify any needed repairs as well as what is needed to regularly maintain the home. The home inspection will help you proceed with the purchase with confidence. When choosing a home inspector cost shouldn't be your first consideration. Look for the inspector's qualifications, experience, training and compliance with state regulations. Remember, that no house is perfect. There are bound to be issues with almost any home use the information to decide if the house is right for you.