Do you really need to replace your cabinets?

Have you noticed recently that there may be scratches on your cabinets or they look old and blah?  So your first thought is probably replacing them.  While it seems like a good idea at first, replacing your cabinets can end up being more of a hassle than you anticipated. There are other options you can think about for a lot less money and stress. Here are a few options to consider before you rip them out completely.

Adding a Coat of Paint –One of the simplest fixes you can make when it comes to your cabinets is simply adding a new coat of paint.  It’s a great way to change the look of your kitchen as long as the cabinets themselves are still in decent shape .You can get creative and turn the cabinets into works of art. This can help you to match your cabinets to new appliances or a new decorating style and is also a huge help if your cabinets are a bit old and have simply faded or peeled with time. Just make sure that you take the time to do this job right; slapping new paint on top of a peeling finish without sanding or trying to cover stains and discolorations without a coat or two of primer is just asking for trouble.  If you are not up to the task there are many companies that can do the work for you and they do not cost the amount new cabinets will cost.

New Doors and Fixtures If your cabinets need a little more than just a coat of paint, consider upgrading their hardware as well. Handles, hinges and other fixtures are pretty easy to replace and can completely change the look of your cabinets with relatively little work. You can also replace latches or cabinet locks while you’re at it, helping those cabinets that always seem to hang open to finally stay shut when you close them.

If your problems are a bit more severe and you have damaged, warped or otherwise bad-looking cabinet doors, you can change those as well! New doors will completely revitalize your old cabinets and can be a great solution if the cabinet body and shelving is still in good shape. Best of all, if you still want to add a coat of paint you can easily paint the new doors before mounting them – much easier than doing it after they’ve been hung.

Refacing Your Cabinets – Maybe your cabinets need a little more work than just new doors but the shelves and interiors are still in good shape. This is where refacing comes in. When you reface your cabinets, you’ll not only replace the doors and fixtures but you’ll also add veneer or other coverings to the outside of the cabinet body as well. This will cover up any cracks or other damage as well as unsightly stains, giving you the look of a fresh install at a fraction of the work. You won’t have to actually remove the cabinets but everyone who enters your kitchen will think that you did!

Do You Need New Cabinets? If the interiors or the shelves in your cabinets are warped, damaged or otherwise in rough shape, you might have to go ahead and replace the full cabinets. The process is fairly straightforward as it just involves removing the old cabinets and putting new ones in. It may cost more than you expect, though, and the process is often a little more involved than that basic description makes it sound. If the cabinets need to go, though, don’t settle for substandard cabinetry just because you don’t want to do a full replacement. The solutions above are great when they work, but if your problems are too severe for them then by all means get some new cabinets in there.

If you want to hire a professional to do any of the work described above – contact me.  I have lists of good reputable people that can help you achieve the new look for your cabinets. That is why I am your Realtor for life.

 

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

 

 

Your Credit is Quite Valuable, So You Should Protect It

On September 23, I received a notification from my credit monitoring subscription that someone had applied for credit using my Social Security Number. I called the creditor and let them know it was fraud. On October 10, I received another notification… a different creditor. I called them. On October 11 & 15 same thing so I “froze” my Experian file… On October 17 I received a notification that Experian blocked an attempt to access my credit and that there was a “hit” to my Transunion profile. (I thought I was freezing Transunion & Equifax on 10/17 – oops!) I then spent some time ensuring that all 3 were “frozen”… 5 “hard” inquiries to my credit report inside of about 3 weeks. Ouch! 4 out of 5 of the creditors said they would report to the bureaus that those inquiries were fraudulent and that it could take 90 days for those to fall off my report. So, while I was in the Equifax site, I decided I would try to expedite cleaning up my credit and I disputed the 3 inquiries that had showed up there plus 2 addresses that were never my addresses. I should mention that the first time this ever happened to me was about 10 years ago and it probably happens 1-2 times a year (until 2 weeks ago) so those addresses may or may have come from those inquiries. Oh, and did I mention that 3 of those 5 applications resulted in approved credit? In any case, when Experian finished reviewing my dispute, they removed the 2 bogus addresses but told me that the inquiries had happened… so they could not remove them and if I wanted them removed, I had to contact the creditor and ask them to report it as fraud.

Currently, (at least in theory) no one can make an inquiry on my credit. If I want to apply for a credit card, car loan or mortgage, I need to “unfreeze” my report long enough for the lender to check my credit, and then, of course, I’ll want to freeze them again. It’s going to be a hassle, but not as big a hassle as the hours I spent on the phone unwinding all the above mess.

Here’s the bummer… credit monitoring isn’t always cheap… I get 1 service free courtesy of my Capital One card and 1 service free for a year because some company that had my information was breached and as part of a settlement, they offered affected consumers that option (and I took it). [Note: this started happening to me long before the above noted breach.] I strongly recommend you contact your credit card companies and see if membership offers that as a privilege. If it’s free, get it! Seriously! Just get it. And based on my personal experience, if you do not have a company offering it to you for free, you may want to consider paying for it. Be careful about the options you choose though. I’ve been poking around the internet and it looks like most companies that do offer a subscription offer a “1 bureau” option… there are 3 credit bureaus and they don’t all get checked by all creditors. If someone applies for credit with a company that does not check the one you are having monitored, then you still won’t know until they have run up a large bill and I (fortunately) do not know what the process is for unravelling that mess! Of course, another proactive approach would be to contact all 3 bureaus and just freeze your credit, like I have (finally) done.

Here’s how… Go to www.transunion.com/credit-freeze and create an account. You will need to answer some questions that hopefully only you can answer (like “which one of these 5 lenders have you ever had an account with?”). They do that to ensure that you are really you, of course. Then you’ll create a 6-digit pin – put that PIN in a very safe place. Now your credit file is frozen and cannot be accessed until you log back in and give that PIN.

Then go to www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/ – similar process as above, however Equifax will create and issue you a PIN.

Then, if you have a Capital One card and have taken advantage of their CreditWise program, log into that and freeze your Experian file. (that’s how I did it). I am told that the Experian freeze is only effective for 2 months (or maybe that is only through CreditWise… not sure), so I have put in my calendar to re-freeze it every 60 days. Or you can go to http://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html and I’m sure the process is quite similar to the other 2 bureaus.

Do you even know what is on your credit report? Did you know you can get a free copy twice a year? (of course, if your file is “frozen” you’d have to “unfreeze” to get a copy). If you have not gotten 2 free copies already in 2019, stop right now and visit all 3 bureaus online – If you wait until you want a car loan, or credit card or mortgage to find out what yours says, you may find out you have a lot of cleaning to do before you can get that loan… they can charge you for your credit score, but not to see what good and bad things are on your report.

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Tips for Decorating your Home for Halloween

Many families decorate their homes for Halloween.  Over the years decorating trends for any holiday may change over time.  Just a few years ago laser lights shows and giant inflatable’s were the trend, now things are starting to shift a bit more toward subtle.

For some people the over-the-top Halloween decorating style will likely never fully go away, of course; there’s at least one house in every town that goes all out with its display and people always love it. If you’re looking for something simpler and easier on the power bill, here are a few trendy options to keep in mind.

Candles – With the right candleholders, basic white candles can add a spooky feeling and takes us back to older Halloween motifs. There are specialty candles available that are carved to look like bones or horns as well. (With children and pets in the house the best candles to use may be the battery operated kind.)

Pumpkins – You can’t have Halloween without pumpkins? While the traditional jack-o-lantern is still great, there’s an increasingly common trend to display uncarved pumpkins as well (plus they last longer if you don’t carve them). White pumpkins are also seeing an upswing in popularity to really help set your decorations apart from the norm.  This is easy and sets the mood – put two or three together in your entranceway.

Halloween Wreaths –There is also increased popularity in Halloween wreaths. They come in a variety of styles, and have a lot more room to experiment than more traditional Christmas wreaths because of the generally spooky nature of the holiday. You can DIY a wreath yourself or buy one of multiple pre-made varieties to give your home a really unique Halloween look.

Lighting and Signs – Halloween lights have become popular in recent years.  The lights provide a decorative option that can be enjoyed even once the sun goes down. Just a few can do the trick and not drive your electric bill way up. Signs, both lighted and non-lighted, are also Halloween must-haves. Combining the two can give your home a unique look that neighbors can enjoy both during the day and after the night descends.

Window Décor –A new trend is to make use of silhouettes in front of plain curtains to give your decorations a more subtle flair. Some homes even take this a step beyond, using white sheets or similar coverings on the interior windows and then using creative lighting and figure placement to actually cast shadows onto the waiting windows. The shadow puppet feel gives the effect an extra layer of spookiness.

Black and White and Purple Trappings –While black and orange were always the dominant colors of Halloween, however there has been a big trend in the past few years to move away from the orange and embrace the holiday’s darker tones like dark purple. White is used for contrast, with the darker shades. Splashes of other colors may be added as well, but the black, white and purple theme is definitely striking.

Maybe the entire family will take part in the decorating – the result should be eclectic and fun and that what the holiday is all about.

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day…..Jeff

What is a Home Warranty and is it Worth the Investment?

We have all seen ads or have gotten flyers in the mail regarding Home Warranty insurance. Frankly not everyone knows exactly what this covers and if it’s worth getting. Let’s take a closer look at home warranties and what they really have to offer which will help you to decide if a home warranty is right for you.

Ok – the first thing to find out is just what is a home warranty? Many people assume that a home warranty is a version of homeowner’s insurance.  Actually, it is significantly different from a homeowner’s insurance policy. A homeowner’s policy insures the structure of the home and your stuff against fire or water damage, theft… that kind of thing. However, a home warranty is a different kind of insurance which covers most systems within the home to allow for their repair or replacement in case they break.

The specific details of what a home warranty covers can vary a bit depending on the specific home warranty plan you purchase. In most cases, major systems such as plumbing, electrical and HVAC are covered. The policy functions like most standard warranties, allowing you to get needed repairs or replacements while the warranty is still in effect.

Interestingly, if your water heater “let’s go”… you might actually need both – the home warranty to replace the water heater, and the homeowners insurance to repair the water damage caused when it leaked into the home because you did not have a pan underneath https://wp.me/pi2D9-7R

So now we understand the concept, let’s go into options you have in your home warranty.  There is some flexibility with coverage. Of course, like any insurance, your cost will be more with more items covered.

There may be add-ons that you can include with your warranty for an additional cost. These can include things like swimming pool equipment or the fridge in your garage, as well as expanded services such as maintenance tune-ups for your HVAC system. Some providers even use add-ons to create customizable warranty plans, offering up a basic general plan and then expanding it to meet your needs by letting you add only the features you want.

How long does a Home Warranty Plan last? Again, the term of a home warranty depends on the specific warranty policy you take out. One of the most common warranty periods is one year, giving you a full year’s worth of peace of mind after you take out the policy. At the end of the year, just renew it if you found value, or cancel it.

So do you really need a Home Warranty Policy? I think they are a good idea… I have one for my house (ask me which one).  The right home warranty can be a good buy, but it’s worth looking at the cost and coverage to make sure the plan is actually what you need.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about Home Warranties – many people do.  I have experience with this and help guide you so you can make an informed decision.  I can also recommend very reputable HW agents for you to speak with about a policy – they are long standing business contacts of mine and have helped many clients of mine.

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day…..Jeff

Selling a Home That Pets Live In?

Great!  You have made the decision to sell your home.  Now you have to go around the home to make it as perfect as possible before you start showing.  You want potential buyers see your home at its best and this will help justify the price you are asking.  There are a few things you must be aware of that can make this a bit harder to achieve.  One of these obstacles is your pets and planning showings around them.

Having pets is a wonderful thing.  There is a good possibility that at least some of the people interested in your home will have pets as well – and having a property that’s already pet friendly could actually be a big selling point for them. The issue is that the house is your pet’s home, too, so you have to make sure that they stay safe during showings while also ensuring that they don’t negatively affect the sale.

It’s time for a thorough cleaningBefore any showing, make sure that your pets are cleaned up after as much as possible. This includes freshly cleaned litter boxes with new litter, freshly cleaned carpets to take care of any pet stains or shed fur, odor-neutralizing air fresheners… as much as possible.  You want the lingering sights and smells of your pets can to disappear. This not only puts your best foot forward, but it will also impress potential buyers who may not be pet people.

Avoid Direct Interaction if Possible – Try to keep your pets from being in the same area as potential buyers. Not everyone is an animal lover.  I personally recommend you take your pets for a ride while showing your home.  If you have a lot of showings in a certain time period you might want to board them for a couple of days with your vet or a professional boarder that you trust. If you have a friend or relative that would take in your pets while you home is being sold that would also be helpful.  If you must leave them in the home, it’s best to contain them somehow… like a pet crate or a child gate for the laundry room.

Disclose Your Pet Ownership – Something to keep in mind once you’re ready to start showing your home is that you need to disclose the fact that there are animals living on the property (and in the house, if they’re inside pets.) This not only lets potential buyers know that there may be animals on the premises, but it also serves as a warning for those with severe pet allergies. Even though you should clean thoroughly (remember that first tip?), a potential buyer who has a very severe allergy will know that there might be a risk in your home. In addition, when you have that buyer with the extra sensitive nose, you’ll have warned them in advance of exactly what “that smell” is.

As your realtor I can help you find the pet professionals who can give your furry friends the care and pampering they deserve. If you need help cleaning your home, I can refer professional cleaning services as well. I have referral list for just about anything my clients need. And I provide professional staging advice at no charge as well, which really helps you sell faster and for more money.

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day…..Jeff

So You Decided to Remodel Your Home – Will You Survive the Chaos?

You should realize that remodeling your home is a major disruption to your life, and not everyone has the patience they think they will have.  A remodel can affect your day-to-day plans, as well as turn your family’s world upside down with workers invading your home and a lot of dust covering everything in the home.

Many homeowners wonder “why did I ever decide to take on this gigantic task?” – even before the remodel has been completed. Whether you’re already in the middle of your remodel or you’re just pondering having one, here are some tips to keep you from experiencing a sense of mid-remodel regret.

Start Small – While the idea to launch into a full remodel is tempting to get everything done at once, taking the time to prioritize particular aspects of the remodel can make it much less unsettling and easier to control the budget.  You should consider which parts of the remodel are the most pressing as well as which would be the most difficult to deal with. Consider avoiding projects that are excessively difficult such as moving plumbing unless there’s a good reason to take them on. Prioritize everything else so you can complete each project in turn and move onto the big picture over time.

Respect the Construction Zone – There will be a LOT of dust, debris and noxious odors when you remodel. Most contractors will put up plastic sheets and take other precautions to try and keep all of this out of parts of the house where they aren’t working, but there’s only so much that can be done in this regard.  You can cover your furniture or have items moved away from the part of the house that is being worked on.  You can pack away items in sealed boxes so when the remodel is finished the cleanup will be easier. You may even want to put items in a portable storage in front of your home.

Try to plan your time at home so that you aren’t there during the worst of the noise and fumes. Purchase an air filtration system or two that you can put near the work areas to grab as much dust as possible.

Stick to the BudgetOne big issue when remodeling is that the budget tends to go off track and gets bigger. Once the remodel starts, you may find that there are extra bits of spending that are needed to finish the job.  Also there is the temptation to upgrade some of your plans since the newer version wouldn’t cost that much more. All of these little changes can really add up over time. Make a budget for what you want, add about 20% to 25% to account for the unexpected, and then stick with it. If there’s anything that you really want to upgrade but aren’t sure that the budget can handle it, save it until as close to the end as possible before authorizing the cost.

Talk It Out -Communication with your contractors is a key component to making it through a remodel unscathed. This doesn’t mean that you should require them to report every little thing back to you unless there’s a problem that they need your insight or authorization for, you’ll be best served to let the pros do their job. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check in and see how things are progressing, especially if you need to structure part of your day around the work that’s being done. Talking with your contractors regularly helps you to plan your life better around the remodel and saves them the trouble of tracking you down when they need to check with you about something.

Find the right remodeling contractor – contact your Realtor – ME.  I have lists of contractors for different types of remodel jobs and will recommend contractors with a good reputation for the particular remodel you have in mind.

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day…..Jeff

The Post-Inspection Negotiation: What to Expect

Great! You found the home you really love. Now it’s on to the inspections. This is an important part of the home-buying process. A major problem with a property can be a deal breaker for many buyers.  As your Realtor I insist that any buyer have their own inspection done before closing on a home. The home inspector will locate deficiencies with the property and create a report to let the buyer know what’s wrong. What happens then, though? Whose responsibility is it to fix the issues that the home inspector discovered? – As with many problems, the answer is “it depends”.

One large determining factor in how problems found in a home inspection are dealt with is how severe the issues are. Depending on where you live, some problems may even have to be addressed before the property can be sold. State-level restrictions vary, but most are rooted in making sure that sellers can’t avoid fixing potentially dangerous problems or leave them for the buyer to discover on their own. Even if a problem isn’t critical, most states require that any problems found by a home inspection be disclosed to potential buyers. This disclosure is a big deal, as it can significantly affect how much the buyers are willing to pay.

Beyond repair and disclosure requirements that vary from state to state, different loan programs (such as those offered by the Federal Housing Authority or Department of Housing and Urban Development) may have additional requirements when it comes to problems discovered during a home inspection.

Many loan programs also have very specific guidelines regarding the condition of the property that a buyer can purchase using those loans. If a loan program won’t allow a purchase while unsatisfactory conditions exist, the issues must either be repaired or have satisfactory arrangements made to facilitate the repair before the purchase can continue. Keep in mind that not all loan programs will make allowances for future repairs, either; in those cases, the repairs will either have to be made in full or the buyer will have to find a different program that does not follow the same strict requirements.

In the event that there aren’t specific regulations at the state level or restrictions in the buyer’s loan program concerning problems with the property, it falls to the buyer and the seller to determine what repairs will be made. This is typically the 2nd round of negotiations, as buyers are willing to pay more for a property that they don’t have to make extensive repairs to.

In many cases, sellers may offer to cover the most pressing repairs and address any serious issues. This should be agreed to in writing, either at the request of one of the parties or as a condition of the mortgage loan that the buyer is using for the purchase. By formalizing the agreement in writing, it ensures that both parties understand their responsibility and protects the seller from potential legal action regarding issues that weren’t addressed – provided that the seller completed all of the repairs that they agreed to.

The strength of the housing market can have a big effect on who does the bulk of repairs on a property. If similar properties are plentiful, it creates what’s referred to as a “buyer’s market”; buyers have a lot of options and can easily walk away from the purchase if they don’t get what they want. In a “buyer’s market”, the buyer has a lot of leverage and can usually get the seller to agree to either a lower price or a higher percentage of the repairs. When the opposite occurs and there are few choices, a “seller’s market” is created. Buyers can’t walk away as easily and be guaranteed a good deal elsewhere, so sellers can often hold their ground more and get buyers to agree to higher prices or a greater percentage of repairs.

I am here to help and guide you through the process of home inspection and the subsequent negotiations, as well as other situations that may arise – that is my part of my job as your Realtor.

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day…..Jeff