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Carpet Cleaning

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

4 Clever Carpet Cleaning Tips

                Whether you have a full house of carpet or a few rugs scattered over sleek wood floors – cleaning carpets is always a pain.  Try these cleaning tips the carpet cleaner pros won’t always tell you:

  1. Pet hair problems?  The trick is to dampen the carpet first.  Spray the carpet with a spray bottle full of water, then sweep all of the hair away in one direction.

  1. Rug fringe dingy?  Take a dry scrub brush and brush away from the rug.  Then, vacuum up.

  1. Stains?  Start with seltzer water to loosen dirt.  Blot with a clean towel.  If the stain is still there, try a dab of shaving cream.  Work into the stain, let dry, then rinse with cool water.  Not budging?  After testing on an inconspicuous spot first, try 3% hydrogen peroxide to lift out a tough stain.

  1. Odors?  Dry-clean and freshen carpet by sprinkling baking soda and cinnamon or lavender and letting sit overnight.  Vacuum up in the morning.

Make Money

Friday, June 05, 2015

Your Junk Could Be Worth $$

Ever wonder if your garage or attic might have a treasure you didn’t realize you had?  Here are a few surprise objects you should check the values for before you toss them:

Old electronic game consoles and games:  The ones from the ‘70s and ‘80s are collectible. Consoles can range from $100 to almost $4,000!  Check RarityGuide.com for values for these items.

Rock band posters:  Rare posters from big rock bands from the ‘50s and ‘60s can be worth a lot of money, but even old posters from unknown bands can be worth something if the art is well-done. PosterCentral.com is a good place to start checking.

Empty boxes from collectibles:  It’s well-known that items still in their boxes are worth more, but what if you just have the box?  The iconic blue vintage boxes from Tiffany & Co. can be worth something, and boxes from toys like train sets or Star Wars have been sold for around $100.  Check Ebay.com to see if you can price your prize.

Advice to 1st Time HomeBuyers

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Real Estate Corner…

Q.  What advice can you give to first-time homebuyers?

A.  The best advice is to learn from the mistakes of others.   Here are three common examples:

  • Not knowing what you can afford.  Examine your budget, get a copy of your credit report, and sit down with a qualified lender to determine how much of a loan you can afford.  Feel free to ask me for a list of lender recommendations, then make sure you comparison shop for a mortgage.
  • Forgetting to consider the overall costs of home ownership.  You can make the monthly payment, but remember to add in the cost for homeowners’ insurance, property taxes, utility costs, plus maintenance. 
  • Paying too much for a beautifully staged home.  The home looks perfect, but will it look that way when you move in your furniture?

2015 Spring Market has SPRUNG!

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

The 2015 Spring market has sprung like the tulips.   There has been a lot of pent up demand with the cold, wet winter and as soon as the weather broke, so did the market.  Homes have sold most recently in less than a week.  Have you been procrastinating getting your home on the market?   If so, call me today for your free home market analysis, 410.591.1800.

 

 

Real Estate Corner...

Friday, May 01, 2015

Real Estate Corner…

 

Q.  How can I secure a low mortgage interest rate?

A.  Securing a low mortgage interest rate helps make your monthly payment more affordable and saves money over the life of your loan.  Besides using a larger down payment, here are three things to do to secure a low mortgage interest rate:

  1. Compare multiple lenders and meet with your top three.  Review the application process and your credit report to start working on any issues you may have.  The higher your credit score, the better borrower you will become.  Lenders will review the various loan programs with you.

 

  1. Your debt-to-income ratio should be below 36 percent before you apply for a mortgage.  The lower it is, the greater your eligibility for a higher loan amount.

  1. Don’t make any drastic changes such as changing jobs or making large purchases on credit cards.  You want lenders to see you have a stable job history and ability to make the payments.

De-cluttering your Home

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

De-clutter Your Home Fast

                Whether you are planning to sell your home or just would like to be more relaxed and enjoy spending time there, here are some quick ways to start the de-cluttering process – and keep it clutter free:

  • Use the three-box method.  In the room you’re de-cluttering (try to focus on one at a time), set up 3 boxes and a trash bag for trash.  Label the boxes “Put Away,” “Give Away,” and “Keep” and go through every item in the room to decide which of the 4 spots the item is placed in.

  • Try the closet hanger experiment.  Put everything in your closet in with the hangers facing backward.  When you wear an item and return it to the closet, face the hanger the right direction.  After 6 months or a year, get rid of everything still facing backward.

  • Give away one item every day.  You don’t have to throw out everything at the same time.  Find one thing each day to donate, and make it fun by thinking about which charity or friend could most benefit from the item.

Mobile Device Fixes

Saturday, April 25, 2015

DIY Mobile Device Fixes

 

            The smaller and slimmer laptops and cell phones become, the more easily they can be damaged.  Before you spend too much on repair for your cracked screen or the key on your keyboard that doesn’t work anymore, it could be worth taking a crack at it yourself.  

Drop your phone in a puddle? – Quick, stick it in a jar of rice!  No, really!  You may be able to absorb the moisture before it does damage.  First, power the phone off.  If you can, remove the battery and towel it and the phone dry.  Fill a jar with regular dry, uncooked rice and leave it for up to 2 days to pull the moisture from the electronic parts.

Cracked screen? – If you’ve ever dropped a device and picked it up only to see the cobwebs of cracks, you know this can be a very pricey repair.  Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy a new phone.  Depending on the model of the device you have, it might be something you can do yourself. Visit www.ifixit.com/Device/Phone to see if there is a guide for your model and to see what replacement screen parts cost.

Does your laptop battery no longer hold a charge? – Rather than take your computer to a repair shop, see if you can find a replacement online.  Most laptop batteries can be replaced easily.  Remove the battery from your laptop and find the manufacturer and model number, then purchase a replacement from the original manufacturer to make sure the battery is compatible and high-quality.

Flickering laptop display?If your screen is giving you a headache because it’s flickering rapidly, you may have a loose wire.  If closing and opening the screen partway makes the flicker better or worse, that’s likely the problem.  First determine how to open your laptop (search Youtube.com for “open laptop + your computer model”).  Most laptops have a wire that runs through the hinge and plugs into the display.  The other end connects to the circuitry: try disconnecting and reconnecting to see if that fixes the issue.

Arthritis or Joint Pain

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

            Do you have an ache in your wrists, knees, or ankles that makes it difficult to do simple things like type or walk up stairs?  Everyone experiences some type of joint pain in their lives, but is it arthritis?  Though you may associate arthritis with older people, it can affect anyone at any time in life – even children.  The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, will affect 1 in 6 people in their lifetimes. 

If you are experiencing joint pain, here are ways to manage the symptoms and live a normal life:

  • Exercise and move around the right way.  Though you may believe otherwise, inactivity can actually make the pain and loss of movement experienced with joint pain or arthritis worse.  Low-impact activity, stretching, and exercise like yoga or walking keeps your joints loose and improves blood flow to damaged tissue.
  • Avoid repetitive motion.  High-impact activities like running, or repetitive motions like swinging a tennis racket can make pain worse.  Instead, do gradual strength-building exercises to build muscle around the joints.
  • Try massage and hot/cold therapy.  Massage can help relieve symptoms and lift your mood, so a monthly session can be beneficial.  Try a heating pad or hot bath or shower to help ease pain as well.  Ice packs can help with swelling after exercise.

If you’ve been diagnosed with arthritis, there are ways to ease pain:

  • Pain medications that also reduce inflammation (NSAIDs) can help.  Check with your doctor for other available options. 
  • Reduce pressure on painful joints.  Buying a better mattress, losing a few pounds, and being careful to do the right exercises to reduce the strain on your joints can all help. 
  • Keep your body healthy with a diet including fish (twice a week), nuts (about a handful and a half daily) and olive oil (2-3 Tbsp./day) which all contain omega-3 fatty acids to help reduce inflammation.

Foreclosure/Short Sales Sellers can NOW BUY

Friday, April 17, 2015

There is a new set of buyers coming into the marketplace.   They are called Boomarang Buyers.   You are asking yourself, “What are Boomarang Buyers?”  They are buyers who have faced hardship throughout the last 7-8 years, had to sell their home in a foreclosure or short sale and now would like to buy again.  These buyers are in luck….yes they can buy again.   There will be specific guidelines to follow, but the process will be the same.   If you or anyone you may know falls in this situation, please reach out to me, 410.591.1800.

Spring Cleaning

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Five Tips For Spring Cleaning

By: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty Blog
Spring is here and for those selling their home or getting ready to put their house on the market, there's nothing quite as beneficial as doing a great "spring cleaning" job to not only make your home look great, but to get rid of some of that clutter that could distract someone coming to see your home.

Here are five spring cleaning tips that will help you sell your home.

  1. Curb appeal becomes as important as ever when the weather turns nicer and buyers are more likely to spend time outside looking at the exterior of the house and the property. Make sure to have a well-maintained lawn with all the leaves gone, the grass mowed and the hedges trimmed. Spruce things up by buying some inexpensive, yet colorful flowers and spread fresh mulch in flowerbeds. Fill in any bare spots on your lawn with sod or seed. Make sure to also clean your gutters, wash your welcome mat and put away any rakes or winter shovels that clutter the yard.
  2. The phrase "I don't do windows" should never apply when selling a home. While a REALTOR® may tell you that homes show better with the blinds or curtains up, this will not be true if the windows are dirty. A clean window brings more light into a room and allows buyers the chance to see what the view will be when they look out of their potential new home. It's important to clean both the inside and outside of all windows until they are streak free and spotless. This includes all sliding glass doors, garage windows and outside doors.
  3. Pay close attention to the "little" things that might draw the eye of a prospective homebuyer. Go around your home with a pad and pencil and inspect each room for things such as small holes in the wall where a painting used to hang, outlets that are missing a cover or doorknobs that are loose and squeaky. Also, be sure to check all of the caulking around sinks, faucets and tubs, as well as any grout in tile counters or bathtubs. As you take the time and the small amount of money to fix these items you reduce the reasons for someone not liking your home.
  4. Power wash your driveway, walkway, siding and deck. You don't need to invest in the money of buying a new power washer as they are easy to rent from stores such as Lowe's. Power washing removes layers and years of dirt and grime from stone and cement, including mildew stains from the winter. Power washing the porch, a fence or deck clears away all the dirt and debris and makes the home instantly seem cleaner. If the outside of your home looks dingy, you may be setting the impression that you didn't keep up the home itself well, so make sure to have everything looking top notch.
  5. One of the first pieces of advice you will get from your real estate agent is to reduce clutter in your home. Spring cleaning is the perfect excuse to get rid of things you don't really need. Go through all your closets and bag up all the clothes that don't fit, are out of style or you simply don't wear anymore and donate them to a charity. Take your old books, the kids' toys they no longer play with and those kitchen knickknacks and hold a garage sale. A de-cluttered home is always more attractive to the homebuyer.


Whew!! Now it's time to take a break and let your real estate professional market that freshly cleaned home!


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