Tag Archives: Homeowners

Five Ways to Improve the Organization of Your Pantry

A pantry is a great way to store food and other kitchen items within the kitchen but out of your cabinets. Since pantries come in many sizes, that leaves an endless variety of options on how you can best organize the pantry for your household. In a disorganized pantry, it is easy to lose things in the pantry but with some basic organization, you can keep that from happening.

  1. Start by cleaning out items you don’t use or have expired. There is no reason to organize items that you will never use so start with this step. Moving forward, it’s a good idea to periodically clean out the pantry to toss items that you purchased but never got used for whatever reason. I would recommend during in January and sometime over the summer.
  2. Group items by the frequency you use them. There is no reason to have the rarely used karo syrup stored in the most accessible location.
  3. It’s also a good idea to group items by size. Storing a small container of spices next to a family size box of cereal will waste space in your pantry plus confuse everyone.
  4. Purchase bins and storage containers. There are lots of places to buy them, but dollar stores offer a lot of options in a variety of shapes and sizes. These can be great for small items like granola bars and other snacks, canned goods and baking essentials like chocolate chips and nuts. Some items just don’t stack well, and this will keep your pantry looking neat and help you find something quickly when you are looking for it.
  5. Don’t forget the door of your pantry. Some doors may not offer great options but many of them will allow you to add shelves that can provide additional storage for canned goods, spices and other items.

Even the best organization won’t last if you never take the time to put anything away. At a minimum of once a day, take a quick look at the pantry and make sure everything is in its place. With multiple hands in the pantry, things can get moved but a daily check will keep everything where you want it and save you time in the long run.

If you have any additional questions about updating or organizing 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 courtesy of Vivian Evans/Flickr.com.  

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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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Three Mistakes to Avoid When Selling a Home

When you are ready to sell your home, there will be many things that are important for you to take care of. How do you know what’s a big deal and what isn’t so big? With emotions involved, it’s easy to lose sight of the primary goal and what matters most. Let’s start with three items that you want to be sure you make the best decision on so you don’t start the home selling process with a disadvantage.

Agent Choice
Probably, the first choice you will make is selecting the agent to work with when selling your home. Your real estate agent will help you navigate the muddy waters of paperwork, price your home accordingly for today’s market, communicate with buyers and other agents about your home and market your property online and through other methods. Choosing the right agent can make the difference between selling and not selling your home.

Price
Your price will determine if and when you sell. If you underprice your home, you will sell quickly but give up value. If you overprice your home, your home will sit on the market while you grow increasingly frustrated. The key is pricing your home just right so you attract the most interest possible that turns into showing activity and offers. This is a hard balance to achieve but an experienced agent will research your home and the current market to recommend the best price for your home.

Condition
There is nothing worse than showing up to look at a home to discover that the interior is dirty and in poor condition. Sometimes photos may not show the true picture and while you may have a few showings, if your home is in poor condition, you are unlikely to get an offer unless you have advertised the condition of the property accurately. Most people want a well-cared for home to purchase. It may need some updates but if it is filthy with chipped paint, worn carpet and other flaws, buyers will be turned off right away. From curb appeal and throughout the home, the home needs to look its best.

A little planning and consideration on your part can make selling your home go smoothly. Get the help you need when it comes time to sell by contacting me for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have and help you determine the value of your home.

If you have any additional questions or concerns 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 HobokenHome7 from Pixabay 

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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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Have You Considered Refinancing?

With mortgage rates at an all-time low and potential for them to drop even further, this is a great time to reach out to your favorite mortgage lender to discuss refinancing. Depending on how long you have been in your house and what your interest rate is, it might be possible for you to refinance to a lower rate, a shorter term and still reduce your monthly payment. Your lender can tell you if it makes sense for you.

One thing to remember is that there will be some closing costs to accompany refinancing your home, but your savings will cover them quickly. However, if you are planning to sell your home this year, it may not make sense to refinance as you aren’t likely to recover those expenses before you sell your home.

While the Federal Reserve’s recent change to interest rates has potential to drop rates further, the rates haven’t changed significantly due to that because mortgage lenders have been backed up for some time lately due to the latest refinance frenzy but that’s ok. Mortgage rates were already low enough to justify you calling your lender. In the past, maybe your lender has reached out to you when mortgage rates dropped to ask you about refinancing. Don’t expect to hear from them this time because they don’t have time to call you. If you call them though, they will make time to help you.

Refinancing your home can be a great way to reduce your housing expenses, add money to your savings or pay down other debt. If you are nearing retirement, add your savings to an IRA or another retirement account for the future. Younger people may choose to use their savings to establish a college savings account for their children. Another option would be to use the money you save over a period of time to make some updates to your home. If you need a recommendation for a mortgage lender, call me today and I can connect you with one.

 

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 Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay 

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Planning Your Spring Gardens

If you are getting tired of winter and longing for warmer weather, now is the perfect time to start planning your Spring gardens so you are ready when the warm weather makes its appearance. The first place to start is by making a list of what you want to grow. Once you know what you want to grow, spend a little time sketching your gardens and planning the perfect place for each plant variety. You will want to consider the amount of sunlight the area gets each day, the soil quality and the likelihood that the soil will hold or drain water away from the plants.

When it is time to start your garden, do you plan to start your plants from seeds or buy the plants and plant those? There are benefits to both. Seeds are much cheaper but require you to start earlier and may be more work than you want to do. If you are plan to start from seeds, go ahead and purchase your supplies because you will need to plant the seeds much earlier so they are ready to transplant to the ground at the right time. In addition to the seeds, you will need to purchase starter pots and soil so you have everything on hand to get started. If you aren’t sure when the right time to put your plants in the ground is, consult a zone map so you can determine the most likely growing seasons for your area. If you are still new to gardening, consider joining a local garden club or find a Facebook group for your area where you might could get advice from other gardeners that are close to you.

You can grow a wide variety of things in your garden from fruits and vegetables to plants and flowers. Trees and shrubs are also nice additions to your yard if you are looking for something that will last more than a season. If you have different plants that should be planted at different times, plan out a calendar for your gardening projects so you don’t miss any key dates to get your plants in the ground.

There are many resources available online to assist you with your research and planning as well. Advance planning in your garden is just as important as other parts of your home if you want good results. If you have any additional questions about gardening,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 congerdesign from Pixabay 

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Get to Know Your Homeowner’s Insurance

If you own your home and have a mortgage, you are required to carry homeowner’s insurance. Even if you don’t have a mortgage on your property, you still likely have insurance on the home. Homeowner’s insurance will cover damage to your home in case of some disasters, storms, fires and theft. Many Americans aren’t aware of what is and is not covered by their homeowner’s insurance policy. If you aren’t sure, take the time to thoroughly read your policy or call your agent for a list of exceptions.

In many cases, damage resulting from earthquakes or floods is excluded so you may need an additional policy for that if you live in an area where that is likely to be an issue. It is also important to know what your deductible is and understand how it works.

Here are some facts you need to understand:

  • Homeowners policies usually do not cover replacement of all of your possessions. Check for coverage caps on personal belongings in your home. These can include jewelry or firearms.  You may need to get a separate rider to cover these items.
  • Mold damage resulting from a leak is frequently not covered. Mold remediation can cost thousands of dollars so make sure to ask about this if you want coverage.
  • Your policy probably does not include damage caused by earthquakes.
  • Your policy probably does not cover flood damage. You’ll need a separate flood policy if you want to protect yourself. If you live in a flood zone, you may be required to have such a policy. But, if you live near such a zone, you should consider a flood policy. Flood insurance is normally inexpensive if you don’t live close to water.
  • Make sure you understand if your policy is for replacement cost or market value. You will want to be able to replace your house in case of a total loss.

It is extremely important to read and understand your homeowner’s insurance policy.  If there are things you don’t understand, ask. As a homeowner, you will still be expected to pay your mortgage even if your home is damaged by a disaster, so this protection is critical to protect your family. Also ask your agent what is covered in case your home is uninhabitable for a period while you make repairs. You will want to have coverage that allows you to pay for another place to live if you can’t live in your home for a time. For additional information regarding the home buying or selling process, 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 Mona Tootoonchinia from Pixabay 

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Renovate or Sell?

If you have lived in your home for a while and no longer feel like it meets your needs, you have two choices. You may sell your home and buy a new one that has the options you are looking for or remodel your current home so that it meets your needs. How do you know what is best? Here are four things to think about.

Is your home in the location you want? If your home is where you want to live and homes in that area are not always available, you may consider making updates to your home and staying right where you are. All changes aren’t possible, but many are. Add more space, update the kitchen and bathrooms or add a garage. All of these are things you can do. It is important to consider the impact these changes will have on the value of your home. While changes don’t always increase your home’s value, make sure you don’t over improve your property. A five-bedroom home surrounded by two-bedroom homes will be a tough sell no matter how nice it is.

Schools are another reason you may want to stay in your home. If you have kids in school, moving may disrupt the schools they are enrolled in. Some school districts are highly coveted and if you are lucky enough to live in one of those, you may want to stay where you are as opposed to moving to the perfect house with schools you aren’t happy with.

What about your neighbors? If you have lived in your home for a long time, you may have neighbors that you are very close with. While you will have new neighbors when you move, it can take a long time to redevelop the relationships you have spent years building. If your neighbors are more like family, do you really want to leave that?

Lastly, moving is expensive. If you are moving because you think it will be cheaper and easier than renovating, think again. Moving is expensive and stressful and selling your house may have its own challenges as well. Weeks of packing, hiring a mover, unpacking at the new house and lots of other things will add up significantly in time and money. If you are moving to save money, make sure you factor the cost of the move into your plan.

Any home you purchase will have things you don’t like unless you custom build a new home. No home is perfect so its important to balance everything about a home when you are trying to decide so you know what will be best for you. If you have any additional questions about renovating or 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 ElasticComputeFarm from Pixabay 

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