Light up your Backyard with String Lights

String Lights are a wonderful way to make your backyard look festive and give people the feeling of “this is a happy place”. This type of outdoor lighting has become a hot trend for the last couple of years.

You can use them to highlight seating areas, decorate gazebos, decks and patios. String lights give your yard a more casual look than other types of outdoor lighting.

To start- make sure the lights are commercial grade outdoor lights and come with cords that are in the 14-18 gauge range. The all weather products are certainly worth the extra investment.

If you are going to install the lighting as a DIY project, make sure you have a unified spacing between each light bulb. Also before purchasing measure the space carefully so you have enough string lights to cover the area you want to illuminate. Buy extra light bulbs to keep on hand so you can replace bulbs that burn out. It is suggested that you use bulbs with a Kelvin range between 2,700 and 3,000 for a nice warm glow that is inviting however not too bright.

The experts advise to pay attention to the style of bulbs you use. Avoid the small bulbs – you don’t want them to look like Christmas tree lights. When looking at bulbs check out the “Edison” style of string light bulbs. They are classic looking and works well with either classic or modern home designs. It is also advised to install a light switch near the door that opens to the backyard – it might cost a little more but it is better than plugging in and unplugging them all the time. You can also use commercial grade wireless switches.

Before putting up string lights check with your HOA to see if this type of lighting is approved.

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? 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

Budgeting for Remodeling Projects

Ok you have decided to remodel parts of your home – creating that dream kitchen or bathroom is very exciting however paying for the remodel is an important concern that you have to look at. Here are some tips for your financial plan for major remodeling to consider:

1- Get everything in writing before you make any decision. It‘s vital for you to nail down the payment terms and be vigilant in enforcing them. A good contractor will work with you towards a reasonable payment plan that includes a fair amount for a down payment and payments that are tied to the progress of the work. If you can negotiate a provision in your contract that allows you to withhold a final segment of your last payment until you are completely satisfied with the job.

2- Financing options – if you cannot pay for the remodel up front there are a few options you can look at. Look into a home equity line of credit, home equity loan or cash-out refinance.

A home equity line of credit is a revolving line of credit – sort of like a credit card that typically requires at least 20 percent equity. A home equity loan or second mortgage is usually a fixed rate and fixed term loan based on the equity in your home and paid in monthly installments.

Cash-out refinancing is the refinancing of your existing mortgage loan. This is a loan for a larger amount than your current loan, and the homeowner gets the difference in cash.

You should shop around for the best terms. It is not necessary to go with the bank that holds your primary loan.

And please, if financing, be quite certain that you can easily afford the extra payments. One of the factors that really fueled the last big fall of real estate prices was people over leveraging themselves.

3- Factor a 10 percent buffer zone for unexpected costs – always expect the unexpected. Having a contingency budget is advised as it will save you many headaches that come with additional costs.

Remember home improvements that enhance your home living experience, may raise the value of your home when it comes time to sell, but, sometimes, not by as much as you spent. You’ll want to make sure that you will enjoy the improvements enough to justify the cost, especially if your design choices are not neutral. I remember seeing a bathroom remodel that had over $50,000 in Italian Marble that had a very unusual design. The owner who had it installed loved it, and pretty much no one else did. When he went to sell, instead of buyers appreciating the expensive upgrade, they all thought about how much money they were going to have to spend to get rid of it and put something else in its place.

Finally, when looking for contractors, it is very important to get recommendations. Contact your Realtor – we always have lists of contractors that are reliable and trustworthy. If the work to be done is going to cost $500 or more (total of labor and materials) Nevada requires (for your protection) that you hire a licensed contractor.

http://www.nvcontractorsboard.com/owner-builder.html

I know, I know… licensed contractors cost more money, right? Or do they just charge more? What I mean is if you hire an unlicensed contractor and they get hurt on your property, your insurance does not cover that accident – also if you are not satisfied with their work or they run away with your deposit, you will not have much recourse.

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

Choose to have an amazing day…..Jeff

Selling Your Home? Staging Will Usually Bring You More Money, Faster.

 

Great – you have decided to sell your home for any number of reasons. Moving out of town, kids are grown and don’t need as much space, ready to buy a larger home for growing family or just want to move to a newly built neighborhood with lots of amenities.

Even in a hot real estate market, you can still increase the amount of money you put in your pocket by making your property more attractive than your competition. Let’s face it, people will pay more for something that looks nicer.

If you are thinking of selling, first call me, as I am an incredible Realtor. After we meet, I will send an Interior Designer to your house to help you look at your home through the eyes of today’s buyers and suggest the best way to stage your home for the quickest sale at the best price.

You don’t plan to hire me? Well, I’m sad, and here are some easy things you can do on your own;

Before doing anything if you have walls that are not in a neutral shade you might want to put a fresh coat of paint in very light brown or grey (not just white). After that I suggest have your home professionally cleaned and your yard should be spruced up.

Put away any personal items like family photos, religious items and children’s toys – a prospective buyer does not want to see those things. Pack away excess furniture and knickknacks that are cluttering you home – you want your rooms to look spacious and neat.

Speaking of neat, take anything unnecessary off your kitchen & bathroom counters so they also look uncluttered. Make sure you keep up with the cleaning of counters and sinks etc. As silly as it sounds, hide your trash cans. Sure, everyone has trash, and no one wants to see yours!

The seating areas in the living room and family rooms should look inviting. The potential buyer wants to see a space that their furniture would look good in. If you can, create conversational areas within your rooms. This might mean removing a couple of pieces of furniture depending on how big the space is.

Bedrooms are another part of the home that is very important to buyers. Pack up any and all personal items that are on all surfaces – jewelry, mail, magazines to name a few. Make sure all the beds are made and everything is clean. If you have a lot of furniture, again, remove a few things. If you need to spend some money on new bedspreads, pillow covers, throw pillows, do it – a small price to pay for a quicker sale.

If you have pets do not leave their water bowl and food around – pick it up and when you have a buyer looking at the home take your pets for a ride.

The basics are clean, uncluttered and appealing – think “model home”. The more inviting your home looks, the more money you will get in a shorter period.

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? 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

Try Alternative Art rather than Traditional Artwork in your Home

Many people move into their home and do not have traditional pieces of art – no problem. These days you can improvise and show your own style and innovation.

The following is a good guide and tips for alternative art:

1- Use black and white photographs in a matte and a frame.

2- Frame mixed media elements such as paper.

3- Unusual or interesting prints or images can make a statement on your wall.

4- Mirrors can be used in small spaces. They can be a low-cost way to fill space.

5- Oversized prints that are bold make a dramatic statement.

6- Choose a color palate for certain spaces to complement each other – also don’t use too many pieces together.

7- Hang your artwork at eye level.

8- Keep your personal photos in one place – don’t mix them in with other artwork.

9- Go to second-hand stores, garage sales or home décor stores to find pieces of art you like and it won’t cost you a fortune.

10- If you travel you might want to pick-up a poster from that place and frame it. Not only will you have another piece of art – you will have a memento of your trip.

Your home is a living environment, so don’t be afraid of changing your artwork as you live in it and your taste changes.

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? 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

Update…Update…on My Water Watcher blog from June 22

I’m sad to say that two young people drowned on the 4th of July.  One teenager in Lake Mead, and a child in a pool.  I am bringing this subject to your attention again since these types of deaths are preventable if you follow the Water Watcher rules.

Since I feel every life is precious I am linking my blog for everyone to read or read again – When I was about 3 or 4, I drowned

Have fun however be vigilant. Please contact me anytime for a FREE Water Watcher card and take care of what is most precious in the world – our children.

Choose to have an amazing day…..Jeff

Tax Lien Relief – This Information Could Help

What is a tax lien? It is a lien imposed by law upon a property to secure the payment of taxes owed. A tax lien may be imposed for delinquent taxes owed on real property, personal property, or as a result of failure to pay income taxes or other taxes.

Now, this credit tip isn’t for the likes of Wesley Snipes or Willie Nelson who have had millions owed and paid in tax liens; but for clients who have federal tax liens under 25K.

You might call it a loophole or a policy that’s rarely mentioned – there is an IRS procedure that will remove these federal tax liens from a credit report. If the federal tax lien is unpaid, yet still under 25K, all you need to do is to make three payments on an agreed upon payment plan and the lien can once again be removed by submitting the proper paperwork.

A tax lien can be the most terrible item to appear on your credit report. It’s considered very negative and can cause your credit scores to drop significantly. Even worse, under federal law, unpaid tax liens can remain on credit reports indefinitely, though in practice credit bureaus may remove them after a decade or so. (Once paid and released, a tax lien must be removed seven years from the date it was filed.)

Do you think you might have any liens? These are three ways to find out:

1 -Search the county recorder, clerk, or assessor’s office online. All you need is the name of the property owner or its address. …

2 -Visit the county recorder, clerk, or assessor’s office in person. …

3 -Contact me and I will reach out to my friends at a title company.

This is just one example how a good realtor and loan officer can help you. I have great relationships with all the people that help my clients with everything from loans to help getting settled in your new home.

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

Do you have Unclaimed Money out there?

As a responsible citizen of our great country it is my patriotic duty, especially around the 4th of July, to let you know that you might have unclaimed money from the government, banks, credit unions and other sources.

Where does someone look for unclaimed money? And (maybe more importantly), how can you avoid scams related to unclaimed funds? At this time the government does not have one central website for finding unclaimed money by name, Social Security number, or state. To find unclaimed money from the government, start with the state of Nevada, and if you came to Nevada from another state (s) check with them as well. I had a friend a few years back learn that the State of Nevada was holding onto money from a bank account she had completely forgotten about, which the bank closed due to inactivity.

Here are a number of sources you should consider checking:

States’ Unclaimed Money – Search the Nevada’s listing of unclaimed funds and property at https://nevadatreasurer.gov/UPSearch/ Unpaid Wages

Are you owed any back wages from your employer or past employer? Search the Wage and Hour Division’s (WHD’s) database of workers for whom it has money waiting to be claimed. WHD is a part of the U.S. Department of Labor. http://webapps.dol.gov/wow/

VA Life Insurance Funds – Search the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for unclaimed insurance funds that are owed to some current or former policyholders or their beneficiaries at https://www.insurance.va.gov/

UnclaimedFunds/ Pensions from Former Employers – Search for unclaimed pension money from companies that went out of business or ended a defined plan at https://www.pbgc.gov/wr/missingp/help-with-missing-participant-search

Bank Failures – Search the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for unclaimed funds from failed financial institutions.  https://closedbanks.fdic.gov/funds/

Credit Union Failures– Find unclaimed deposits from credit unions. https://www.ncua.gov/services/Pages/asset-management/unclaimed-deposits.aspx

SEC Claims Funds – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lists enforcement cases where a company or person owes investors money. https://www.sec.gov/divisions/enforce/claims.htm

Mortgage FHA Insurance Refunds – If you had an FHA-insured mortgage, you may be eligible for a refund from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Search the HUD database where you will need your FHA case number to find any money owed to you. https://entp.hud.gov/dsrs/refunds/

Savings Bonds – Find the value of your paper savings bond. Also replace a lost, stolen, or destroyed paper savings bond. https://treasurydirect.gov/indiv/research/indepth/ebonds/res_e_bonds_eereplace.htm

Every year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has millions of dollars in tax refunds that go undelivered or unclaimed. Refund checks are mailed to your last known address. If you move without notifying the IRS or the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), your refund check may be returned to the IRS. If you were expecting a federal tax refund and did not receive it, check the IRS’ “Where’s My Refund” page at https://www.irs.gov/refunds .   Enter your Social Security number, filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund. You may be prompted to change your address online.

This is very important! There are scammers out there ready to prey on unsuspecting people. Beware of people that pretend to be the government and offer to send you unclaimed money for a fee. These scammers use a variety of tricks to get your attention, but their goal is the same: to get you to send them money. Government agencies will not call you about unclaimed money or assets. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides tips on how you can avoid government imposter scams at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0048-government-imposter-scams

Now that you’ve found your unclaimed funds, are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? 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