Tag Archives: Home Maintenance

Fall Maintenance for Homeowners

As summer winds down and fall approaches, you will hopefully get some relief from the hot weather of recent weeks. As the temperatures cool, this makes a great time to take care of home maintenance tasks outside and prepare your home for the winter months. What should you do around your home in the fall to make sure you are ready for the next season? Here are five things you definitely should not skip.

  1. Lawn maintenance is common in the fall. If you choose to aerate in the fall, then you may want to fertilize your lawn after that. The summer is harsh on your grass. Giving it some attention after the weather starts to cool can help it recover before its dormant winter season. If you do fertilize your lawn, you will need to water it as well if the weather doesn’t cooperate with you. Without watering, your fertilizer will be wasted.
  2. Fall is a great time to seal and stain your deck. Depending on your deck, this may need to be done annually or every two to three years. You need to avoid the wettest season and while summer may have plenty of time that isn’t wet, it may be too hot for you to do this kind of activity depending on the size of your deck. While you may have some fall rain, you should likely have plenty of dry days too so you can complete this activity without getting into the cold months. While your area may be drier in the winter, if there is rain, it is likely to stick around longer since the temperatures are cooler. Most likely the fall will still have plenty of warm, sunny days to make deck maintenance ideal.
  3. Empty the gutters and downspouts and make any necessary repairs. When the leaves start to come off the trees in the fall, it is best to have your gutters empty, so they aren’t overloaded. Overflowing gutters can pull away from the house causing damage and allowing water to flow into your home. This damage is often hard to spot until it has progressed to a big and expensive problem.
  4. Winterize any outdoor water sources. This includes outdoor spigots, irrigation systems, sinks, fountains, and anything else. If temperatures dip below freezing with water in the lines, it could cause your pipes to burst creating an expensive and messy repair.
  5. Have your fireplace cleaned for the new season if you didn’t have it done at the end of fireplace season. If this is not something you have been doing regularly, talk to the person that comes out about the recommended schedule for this maintenance task depending on your fireplace usage habits. Fireplaces provide great heat during the winter but can be dangerous if they aren’t properly maintained.

Routine maintenance is critical to caring for your home and protecting your most important asset. Anytime you need a recommendation for a home professional to assist you with something big or small around your home, give me a call. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home and/or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image by 123switch from Pixabay 

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Remodeling vs Moving…Which is Right for You?

After a few years or decades in your home, you may discover it no longer meets your needs. When that is the case, you have two options. You can move and find a new home that meets your needs or remodel your existing home, so it fits your needs. Both options have pros and cons so there is a lot to consider when you are making your decision. Here are four questions to ask yourself before you decide.

  1. Is your location good or bad? If the location doesn’t work for you, that can’t be changed. In this case, moving is the option that will fix this problem.
  2. What about the size of your home? Do you want significantly more or less space? If you want less space, it’s time to move. If you want more space, you could add on to your home if your lot has enough space for that, your restrictions allow it and you have the money to do so. If adding on isn’t an option, moving is again the best choice.
  3. Beyond the location and if you like the place you are, do you like the area and feel comfortable in it? Did you buy your home 20 years ago and then a road was expanded, and you are closer to the highway than you would like? This is another thing that can’t be changed without moving. On the flipside, you may adore your location. It is very easy to grow attached to neighbors and your daily routine from where you live. If you love WHERE you live but don’t love the house anymore, a remodel might can help your house better meet your needs so you will love it as much as your neighbors.
  4. Are you looking for a home that will allow you to age-in-place? You may have lived in your home for 20-30 years but still love it. However, if all the bedrooms are upstairs, it may not be the place for you to grow old. Maybe you have a rarely used dining room or study that would make a great master suite. A remodel job may give you another 15-20 years in the home you love.

It’s important to think about this decision from multiple directions. Think about the financial aspect. Will a remodel cost so much that you will never recover anywhere near what you put into it? Remodeling can also be stressful. Are you up for the stress? Do you have the savings or are you willing to take out a loan for the changes you want to make? Can you remodel everything you want to at once or will you need to do it in stages so you can still live there? There are so many things to consider. Anytime you are thinking about real estate decisions, feel free to call me to answer any questions you have. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home and/or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Photo by Milivoj Kuhar on Unsplash

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Should You Update Your Home or Sell It As-Is?

When you decide you are ready to sell your home, there will be many decisions to make like selecting a firm and agent to represent you, determining the list price and when you want to list your home. Before you get to the listing stage, you will need to determine if you plan to sell your home as-is or if there are improvements you want to make before listing.

Improvements come in all different sizes so depending on the age and condition of your home, there may be small improvements you can make or larger improvements that can change your home significantly. If you want to sell your home for its maximum value, it will need to be updated and have all systems in working order. What if your home is not in that condition currently? Is it worth making changes? It depends on what needs to be done and how much it will cost.

If your home needs repairs (not updates) like a new roof or repairs to an HVAC system, those should be made. When homes have major components that are not working, buyers will likely offer significantly less for a home. If your home is just dated, the updates are likely to cost more than the return they will be bring so it may not be wise to proceed with updates if the only reason is to increase your value. Depending on the market you live in, it may be necessary to update your home to help it sell if you live in a competitive market. If your home is not updated, you will want to remember that you will not be able to price your home the same as an updated home that recently sold because it won’t be comparable.

If you are thinking about making updates to your home but plan to live in it a few more years, the return is likely to be worth it. Historically, homes appreciate on an annual basis, so the appreciation coupled with the enjoyment you get from the updates you make to your home, are more likely to make the updates worthwhile. There are also some updates that usually have a greater return on investment than others.

When you are trying to decide what is best for your situation, you do not have to make the decision alone. As your trusted real estate advisor, I am always willing to have a conversation about your real estate investments and offer advice based on my experience and knowledge. I am available to you before, during and after the sale for real estate advice not just when it is time to sell.

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image by Jesse Bridgewater from Pixabay 

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Prep Your Yard for Spring

Spring is officially here and thanks to the Coronavirus, you should have more time at home than ever before to make your yard look its best. If your yard has been neglected throughout the winter (or maybe for years), where should you start to help it look its best?

Start with a vigorous raking of your yard. You probably raked in the fall to clear the leaves that had fallen but spring raking has a different purpose. The primary reason for spring raking is to clear the thatch that has built up over the winter. While raking, you will also have the chance to see if there are areas of your lawn that need special attention.

Spring is the perfect time of year to apply preemergent herbicides. These herbicides will help prevent the growth of weeds as the grass starts to grow. As the weeds begin to grow, you will want to pull the weeds or apply a postemergent herbicide to stop their growth.

As you prepare for your first cut of the season, do not forget to tune up your lawn mower, weed eater and other equipment so they are ready for the season ahead. After your equipment has been prepped for the season, it is a good time to give your lawn its first cut of the year. For the first cut, raise the deck on your lawn mower to its highest level to cut your yard. This will allow your lawn to look a little cleaner and give young grass a chance to grow before you start cutting it regularly.

After you have prepared your grass, it is time to give the rest of your yard some attention. Add some bright flowers, freshen your mulch and shape the bushes so your yard looks its best. If you are thinking about selling your home anytime soon, these preparations are a great first step toward increasing your curb appeal. If you would like to talk about the current real estate market and the value of your home, give me a call today.

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image by aedrozda from Pixabay 

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Get a Jump on the Spring Listing Season

In many real estate markets, the number of homes for sale skyrockets each Spring as sellers list with the hope of selling during the busy home buyer’s season. If you are wanting to sell your home this Spring, get busy now so you can be on the market as soon as possible. Here are eight things to do now so your home is show ready when you list.

  1. Schedule the pressure washer. No matter what your home exterior is made of, something at your home needs to be pressure washed. From the deck to the siding or the driveway, you likely have some buildup somewhere that can be washed away by the pressure washer in an afternoon. Don’t underestimate the impact something this simple can have on your home.
  2. Spend a weekend in your yard or schedule the landscaper. Curb appeal is extra important if you want buyers to schedule an appointment to see your home. A messy yard will turn people away before they step inside. After the yard is neat, add some flowers with a pop of color to catch people’s attention.
  3. Get a jump start on spring cleaning. Your home should be the cleanest it has ever been. This is the time to dust all the cobwebs away, wax floors, have your carpets steam cleaned and anything else you have been putting off. Don’t skip the corners.
  4. Clean out clutter the Marie Kondo way so your home shines and people aren’t distracted by the stuff in your home.
  5. Even if you have decluttered, your home may still have more furnishings than it should. Rent a storage unit and remove excess items from your home. Your home should look inviting. Open space will help with that so pack away what you don’t need so buyers have an easier time picturing themselves in your home.
  6. Clean off your countertops. Bathrooms and kitchens look better and more spacious without appliances and things covering the counters. Put away the coffee pot and utensil holder in the kitchen and the hair dryer and tissue box in the bathroom. Select one statement item for each space and keep the rest in the cabinets.
  7. If you have repairs you have been putting off, get them done now. The last thing you want is a contract that falls apart during inspections. The inspector will find the issues you know about plus some that you probably don’t. Fix everything you can to give your home its best chance of selling at the price you want.
  8. Talk to your agent about pricing and listen to their advice. I promise your agent wants your home to sell for as much as possible, but they can’t do magic. Your agent will base their recommended price on recent comps, which is also what the appraiser will do, so listen carefully and use that information to determine the perfect price for your home.

Selling your home can be stressful but it doesn’t have to be. With these tips and a professional agent, your home will be ready to list ASAP. If you have any additional questions about selling your home, I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home and/or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image by Francesca Tosolini from Unsplash

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Fall in Love with a New Kitchen

If you are planning a remodel in 2020, the kitchen is one of the most popular rooms to remodel. With kitchen remodels ranging greatly in price, you will want to take time to decide exactly what you want before you begin the process. If you are on a tight budget and can’t do a full kitchen remodel, you may want to consider waiting instead of spending money on changes that won’t satisfy you long term. A less expensive fix that needs to be changed right away will cost you more than doing it right the first time.

If your budget is large enough to accommodate the project you want to complete, the next step is to decide what you want to change in your kitchen. Here are some items that are readily available and sure to please you and any future owners of your home.

  • Granite, solid surface and butcher block countertops all have loyal followings.
  • Sleek appliances. Stainless is still popular but black stainless is showing up frequently as are some custom color options.
  • As people declutter more, open shelving has become more popular for your most frequently used items.
  • Statement sinks pop up more today while farmhouse and stainless options still maintain a strong presence as well.
  • Add a statement color in a small amount. A colorful island, painted ceiling, or bright table can make a large impact in an otherwise neutral space.
  • Select a range hood that makes a statement for a fun and functional update.
  • Technology is in the kitchen too with Bluetooth syncing to refrigerators and ovens becoming more common.
  • Integrated appliances hidden behind paneling and built-ins make your kitchen a true designer space.
  • Cabinets have seen an upgrade with new shapes and sizes like deep drawers for storing pots and pans near the cooktop.

It can be tempting to pack everything you love into your kitchen but don’t overdo it. While several of these trends can be easily incorporated in your kitchen remodel, don’t attempt them all. Pinterest and Houzz both provide great resources to search for ideas so you can determine what you like and what you don’t. Contact me today to determine what updates would be best for you. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home and/or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Photo by Rustic Vegan on Unsplash

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Winter Home Maintenance

No matter where you live, you are starting to see signs of winter and cooler temperatures that accompany the cooler months. As winter progresses, you are more likely to begin seeing snow and ice storms pop up and these events can cause damage to your home depending on the severity of them as well as if you prepare ahead of time and clean up after a storm. A little time and effort on your part can help protect your home and help you avoid costly repairs in the spring.

Snow accumulation on your roof can be a problem. Snow is heavy and can cause damage to your roof if allowed to build up. You can remove snow from your roof with special tools but be careful. These tools can damage your roof if not used correctly. Unless you have experience getting snow off of your roof, it’s probably better to call a roofing expert for help.

You also need to watch for ice buildup on your roof. The top part of your roof can warm up during the day and melt any accumulated snow. As water drains down to the cooler part of your roof, it can re-freeze into ice. Accumulated ice can force water into your attic and down your interior walls, causing damage. Excess ice buildup on your roof should be removed by a trained roofing professional.

While you’re checking your roof, check your gutters for debris. Blocked gutters can be damaged by freezing water and can allow melted ice and snow to penetrate your home causing extensive damage. After each snow, clear away any accumulation from doors and windows to decrease the chances of melting snow leaking through small openings and causing damage to your home.

Protect any exposed pipes in your attic, crawl space, or outside your home. If pipes are not well insulated, water inside can freeze and cause them to burst. There are insulating items you can buy to protect your pipes, but they will not take the place of daily prevention.

Finally, keep your home warm by taking care of your furnace. It is important to change your furnace filter every 30 days so it will run more efficiently and will last. When you are ready to sell your home, rely on your local real estate expert for assistance. Contact me today for an appointment to discuss how to best prepare your home for sale. For additional information on winterizing your home, I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

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How to Tame Clutter

Do you feel like your house is bursting at the seams? Are your drawers constantly open because they are too full to close? Do you have shelves stacked beyond capacity and cabinets you are afraid to open? Most of the world has been there or is there now. For some people, this is caused because you don’t take the time to put things where they belong. For others, maybe you just have too much stuff to find a place for everything. No matter the cause, clutter can be managed, and, in many cases, time is all you need to handle it. Don’t ignore it because it definitely won’t go away on its own. Use these 3 tips to declutter your home.

FOCUS

You can’t do it all in a day and probably not even in a weekend so tackle a job you can handle in the amount of time you have to work. In an hour, you can do the linen closet or a small bathroom. If you have an entire afternoon, work on your closet or the kitchen. Carve out blocks of time that fit the space you are working on then stick with it until that area is done.

DONATE

How much stuff are you holding on to that you never use or is broken? When you start decluttering, gather boxes and bags to put your donations in. If you don’t use it, you have outgrown it or it doesn’t work, find a new home for it by donating it to a worthwhile organization.

ORGANIZE

Now that you have purged, find a place for what is remaining. Hit up the store for organizers and containers to assist you in keeping things in their place and start sorting. If you can’t fit it all in your space, you have too much. If needed, purge some more then try organizing again.

Decluttering is a task you need to maintain regularly if you want things to stay that way. Whether you take five minutes a day to put things away or an hour each week, make sure your schedule includes time to keep your home neat and tidy.

The peace you will find from a clutter free home will bring happiness to your life no matter what. If you are thinking about selling your home, your home will show much better when it is decluttered, so this is a great step to prepare your home to sell if that is in your future. For additional information on taming clutter in your home, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image by Samantha Gades from Unsplash

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Eliminate Allergens from Your Home

Eliminate Allergens from Your HomeSniffles, sneezes and coughs are likely surrounding you during the height of allergy season that is upon us. Each year seems to be the worst and this year is no different. If you suffer from allergies, it can be so frustrating and extremely difficult to manage. These tips may help decrease the common allergens found in your home so you can breathe easier.

Mold is a common allergen and becomes more common as the temperatures rise and moisture levels increase. Kitchens and bathrooms are both extremely vulnerable to mold. Take precautions to reduce this by not leaving dirty dishes or food on the counters or in the sink, cleaning any spills immediately and running the exhaust fan when cooking or bathing to reduce the moisture content in your home.

As we ease into warmer weather, we approach the terrible discomfort of seasonal allergy season. Each Spring, millions of Americans suffer through the sneezing, itching, wheezing and coughing caused by allergies to pollen, mold and dust-mites, among many other things. They turn to their doctors and pharmacists for help dealing with the symptoms. But what can you do to make your home allergen free? As it turns out, plenty! These tips will help you reduce allergens throughout your home.

As tempting as it is to open the windows on the first nice day of Spring, keep your windows closed to lower the allergens coming into your home. These tips will help too. Vacuum your carpets twice a week, wash bed and bath linens weekly, wash curtains and drapes monthly or replace them with blinds, dust with a damp cloth to avoid just moving dust around, change your air filters monthly and do all of these even more frequently if you have pets. Make sure you wear a dust mask and gloves while you are doing this as well. Make sure you shower and get out of your dirty clothes as soon as you finish cleaning.

All of these things will hopefully decrease the number of allergens found in your home and save you some money on tissues and allergy medicine. If you are thinking about selling your home, taking these steps will also ensure your home looks great for all of your showings. For additional information on maintaining your home, I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home or determine the value of your existing property.

 

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Brokers License #01264041

Image courtesy of meineresterampe/pixabay.com


 

Don’t Wait! Fix this Today

Don't wait! This this todayWhen you own a home, it seems there is also something that needs your attention. Regular maintenance can go a long way to extending the life of the systems in your home. There will always be some things that break unexpectedly but regular maintenance can decrease the number of surprises you encounter. While you don’t need to have the handyman on speed dial to address every running toilet, dripping faucet or loose piece of siding, there are many items that can get drastically worse if not repaired right away.

  • Roof issues can lead to major (and expensive) damage quickly if left untreated. Missing or loose shingles, loss of granulation on shingles, gutters full of granules, bent or sagging gutters, overflowing gutters or gutters that have separated from the house leaving holes for water to penetrate, loose or missing flashing…all of these are things that should be addressed as soon as you see them. You can’t predict when the next storm might be strong enough to cause damage. Remember, water damage is often taking place for weeks, months or years before there is visible evidence of it so you need to proactively look for issues and address them before you see damage.
  • Be aware of any areas in your home that are prone to moisture issues. Bathrooms and kitchens are often at the top of this list, but crawl spaces and other areas can have moisture problems as well. Beyond the damage that moisture can cause to surfaces when left unaddressed, damp areas are also a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Don’t freak out if you see mold in your home somewhere, it can grow quickly in the right environment, but address it immediately. Small mold outbreaks can be treated by correcting the issue of the moisture and treating the mold with a bleach solution. When left untreated, mold can take over an area very quickly and require professional (and expensive) remediation.
  • Pest infestations can cause significant damage quickly. No matter where you live and if your area is prone to wood damaging insects, it is a good idea to have a contract with a pest treatment company. They will inspect your house regularly and provide preventative treatment to keep the pests away. In the event of an infestation despite your best efforts, the issue will be caught sooner, and damage minimized because of your proactive approach.
  • If any part of your home is brick, keep an eye on the mortar between the bricks for issues. As the mortar starts to deteriorate, you will need to repair it. As mortar breaks down, uneven settling may occur causing significant problems.
  • Clip any loose carpet strands so they are even with the rest of the carpet. Long strands can get caught on something and pulled causing an unsightly line across the entire room.

While few people make repairs to most things right away, some are definitely more high priority than others. Check these items regularly and call a professional right away if needed to make sure these problems stay minor and don’t escalate unnecessarily. For additional information on maintaining your home, I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
800 421-7005 office
866 278-7765 efax
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image courtesy of Westfrisco/pixabay.com