Posted by Mary Lou Buckley on 11/11/2018

Chimney maintenance and repair is incredibly important. You need to complete certain tasks to ensure that your fireplace is working safely and effectively. Thereís no better time than the off season to get these tasks in order. 


Remember that you should only burn dry wood in your fireplace. Although fireplaces arenít high on the technology spectrum, they do require some effort to keep in working order. Failure to do so can result in smoke and even a chimney fire. Soot build up can put a damper on the proper ventilation of the chimney. The soot is partly a result of creosote- a combustible, tar-like substance. Itís a natural by-product of wood that has been burned. With reduced ventilation, the creosote will cause potentially dangerous build up.


While creosote itself is not flammable, it can cause the chimney to clog and structural damage could result. Itís important to properly maintain your chimney in order to prevent dangerous oil build-up that can cause a chimney fire.


Inspections


A professional can come and inspect your fireplace and chimney. They can check for damage, obstructions, build-up, or soot. The inspector will be able to determine if you need a sweep of your chimney. The inspector will be able to do the sweep on the spot in most cases. An inspection of your chimney should take place every year.   


There are different levels of chimney inspections that occur. Basic inspections are a visual look at anything that could be in your chimney from soot to a birdís nest. More complex inspections could involve taking the chimney apart and physically reconstructing the structure. This would occur after some kind of a natural disaster like a hurricane or a tornado. The cost of these inspections depends on how extensive they become.


Other Maintenance


You can improve your fireplaceís functioning with a few basic steps. Fist, you should only burn dry wood. Logs should be split and dried for 8-12 months. You should also burn certain types of wood especially hardwoods like hickory, oak, beech, maple and ash. These woods burn the longest. The most important thing about wood to be burned in the fireplace is that it is dry.       


Burn Only Wood


It can be tempting to throw things into your fireplace to burn, but you should keep away from burning construction wood, plastics, or other things that could let off odors. Even burning paper can be dangerous because of the embers that result as the fire burns.


If you keep on top of your scheduled chimney maintenance and replace parts as needed, youíll be able to have lovely fires all winter long with peace of mind.





Posted by Mary Lou Buckley on 11/4/2018

Sellers who are eager to attract serious buyers and maximize the value of their home often utilize home staging as a way to leave a good impression.

Homes that are skillfully staged look better in photos online, creating more leads, showings, and ultimately, offers. Furthermore, prospective buyers want to be able to envision themselves living in a home. Staging makes it easier for them to understand what it would look like and how spacious it will feel once it has been furnished.

Home staging by the numbers

You donít, however, have to take my word for it. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) releases an annual report which collects and analyzes survey data from nearly 2,000 agents regarding their experience with home staging.

In their findings, they note that 62 percent of agents agree that staging a home lessens the time the property is for sale. Furthermore, 77 percent of agents said home staging makes it easier to visualize living in a home that would otherwise be empty.

Which rooms should be staged?

Staging an entire home takes an enormous amount of time and money. One way to simplify the process is to stage a select few rooms. In the NARís study, they asked agents which rooms they typically staged when selling a home. The results:

  • 83% Living Room

  • 76% Kitchen

  • 69% Master Bedroom

  • 66% Dining Room

  • 53% Bathroom

  • 31% Yard Space

  • 25% Childrenís Bedroom

  • 21% Guest Bedroom

From these results, we can ascertain that itís important to stage the main rooms of your home. Lesser used a multi-purpose rooms (like offices and guest rooms) arenít as important to stage.

Can staging your home increase the sale price?

Itís difficult to say with certainty if, and by how much, home staging affects the sale price of a home. However, if staging your home is successful at getting the attention at a greater number of prospective buyers, thereís a good chance youíll be able to go with the highest bidder.

When the NAR asked agents if staging increases the amount buyerís offer on a home, their responses were somewhat mixed.

  • 29% of respondents thought it increases the offer by one to five percent

  • 21% of respondents say it increases the offer by six to ten percent

  • 8% said it increases the offer from between eleven to twenty percent

  • 14% said it had no impact on the dollar value of the home

  • 27% were unsure if it had an impact on the dollar value

In general, it would seem that most agents feel that staging a home not only improves a buyerís opinion of a home, but also increases its sale value. If youíre planning on selling in the near future, staging at least part of your home could be something to consider to give your property a competitive edge.





Posted by Mary Lou Buckley on 10/30/2018

HOUSE TO BE CUSTOM BUILT BY BOYLE CONSTRUCTION $925,000 and up!! Bring your plan or use ours. Understated elegance, craftsmanship throughout with all the upgrades you would expect and much more! SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE: Hardi plank siding, spray foam insulation, built-ins, custom cabinetry, custom trim throughout! Details rarely seen in today's new construction..Generous allowances--YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!! Great opportunity to build your dream home in a great location! ALL PICTURES ARE FACSIMILE PHOTOS.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts





Posted by Mary Lou Buckley on 10/28/2018

Ready to acquire your dream house? Before you embark on a home search, it often helps to establish a homebuying wish list. That way, you can narrow your house search and discover your dream home without delay.

Now, let's take a look at three factors to consider as you craft your homebuying wish list.

1. Home Size

Home sizes vary. As such, you'll want to consider your living situation closely to ensure you can find a house in a size that suits you perfectly.

Remember, a three-bedroom house may be too big for a single person. Much in the same vein, a one-bedroom home is unlikely to meet the needs of a family of five. But if you consider your living situation ahead of time, you can determine what size home to buy.

2. Home Location

Do you want to own a house that is located just minutes from your office in the city? Or, would you prefer a home in a small town? Think about where you want to live, and you can tailor your home search accordingly.

Keep in mind that home prices will vary based on location. Oftentimes, houses in or near major cities are more expensive than similar homes in small towns. At the same time, homes close to top schools or attractions may prove to be more expensive than others.

3. Home Exterior and Interior Features

Consider the home exterior and interior features that you want Ė you'll be glad you did. If you evaluate home exterior and interior must-haves, you can create priorities as you search for your dream house.

For instance, buying a house that features a central air unit may be a top priority if you plan to relocate to a warm-weather region. On the other hand, you might want to purchase a house that features an in-ground swimming pool, but you can live without this outdoor amenity if necessary.

A homebuying wish list is essential, regardless of where you choose to pursue houses. In addition, if you require extra help as you get ready to enter the housing market, you may want to employ a real estate agent.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can boost your chances of acquiring a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price. A real estate agent will allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about your homebuying goals. Then, this housing market professional can help you streamline your home search.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will provide expert assistance throughout the homebuying journey. He or she will set up home showings, help you submit offers on homes and handle homebuying negotiations. And if you ever have homebuying questions, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them at any time.

Make your dream of purchasing a home come true Ė consider the aforementioned factors, and you can create a wish list to help you accomplish your homebuying goals.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mary Lou Buckley on 10/21/2018

When you decide to make an offer on a home, your mind may be flooded with dozens of questions and concerns -- several of which may involve money matters, while others are about the condition of the house.

However, if you've had the house professionally inspected and made sure your income is sufficient to absorb monthly expenses, than you've already taken steps to prevent or at least minimize future challenges.

Since buying a home is such a big investment and there are so many emotional factors that could influence your decision, it's essential to stay focused, adhere to a budget, and be aware of what you need in order to be satisfied with your purchase.

The Financial Side of Things: Even though a mortgage broker or loan officer may approve you for a large mortgage, only you can determine whether you'd be comfortable making those monthly payments. In  addition to the cost of your mortgage, property taxes, and school taxes, there are also other expenses to consider and include in the equation. If you're moving into a larger house, for example, the cost of heating and/or cooling your home may be higher than you're used to. Poorly insulated houses can also have a negative impact on home energy costs.

Another key factor to think about when you're figuring out the affordability of a potential new home is property maintenance, the cost of HVAC service, and miscellaneous expenses, such as appliance repairs, plumbing leaks, and electrical services. Some neighborhoods, residential developments, and condos also require a monthly Homeowner Association (HOA) fee, which can potentially put a burden on your cash flow situation. A good rule of thumb, of course, is to avoid spending beyond your means. While nobody would dispute the logic of that advice, it's often a lot easier said than done -- especially on an ongoing, consistent basis.

Non-Financial Priorities: The only way to know what you truly want and need in a new home is to clarify your goals, requirements, and wishes. Making lists, discussing it with your partner, and visiting lots of homes for sale will help give you the ideas, the inspiration, and helpful points of comparison you need. Online real estate listings and home improvement websites can also provide a wealth of practical ideas.

In addition to having enough bedrooms and bathrooms to meet your family's needs, it's also important to feel comfortable with the quality of the school district, the amount of noise in the neighborhood, and the traffic level on nearby streets. Proximity to recreation, shopping, and other amenities can also make the difference between your ideal home and one which doesn't quite make the grade. Privacy (or the lack, thereof) is also a major issue which can impact your satisfaction with a real estate purchase. While it's good to approach home buying with a sense of optimism, the best time to weigh all the pros and cons is before you sign the final papers at the closing table!