Coldwell Banker Murray Real Estate



Posted by Coldwell Banker Murray Real Estate on 8/14/2018

All winter we look forward to summer time... the warm weather, the sun, the outdoor activities. However, when the sun starts to dip down on the first warm night we get a reminder of the price we pay for all of those outdoor luxuries: bugs. First come the May flies, then the June bugs, and all throughout the summer we have bees and mosquitos keeping us company at every cookout, campfire, and football game we go to. Aside from being a nuisance, mosquitos can also carry dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases like West Nile virus and yellow fever. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, mosquito-born illnesses kill over a million people each year. In spite of their danger, our entire livelihood depends on insects like bees and mosquitos. Biologist Jonas Salk is reported to have said, "If all insects on Earth disappeared, within 50 years all life on Earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the Earth, within 50 years all forms of life would flourish." What Salk meant is that insects are the bottom of the food chain on which we and other animals depend. Flies, mosquitos, bees, and other insects serve as food for other animals and as pollinators for plants. To us, they may seem like pests, but our lives actually depend on them. So, how do we protect ourselves while also protecting the species of insects we want to avoid? Read on to find out.

Responsible Insect Control

Fortunately, there are ways for us to stay safe while also looking out for insect populations. Let's go down the list, bug-by-bug, and talk about some of those methods.
  • Mosquitos  Mosquitos repellant is one option. However, as you may have heard, one of the strongest repellants, DEET, has been shown to cause health problems when used often and in large amounts. We also know that many gimmicky mosquito repellants don't work at all. Among these are "ultrasonic" repellants which claim to use sound waves to repel the bugs, and mosquito repellant wristbands. They might protect your wrist, but probably aren't strong enough to keep mosquitos away from the rest of you. There are mosquito repellants that do work and haven't been shown to have adverse effects on your health. Lemon eucalyptus is a natural mosquito repellant that is often found in bug sprays. Picaridin is a new chemical alternative to DEET that doesn't come with the health risks. And, finally, you should always wear layers and thick clothing when outdoors in mosquito territory.
  • Bees and wasps  No one wants to have a bees' nest where they walk every day. However, you might be surprised to find that those bees are keeping your flower beds blooming each year.  To protect the bees in your yard, avoid using herbicides and pesticides in your lawn and garden. In terms of bee hives, we recommend that you only move the nest if it is in a particularly inconvenient location like around your door. Otherwise, leave it be. Do some research on the type of bee or wasp you're dealing with and decide if you're really in any danger before deciding to remove the nest.
  • Other insects  Just like bees and mosquitos, when you're dealing with other insect issues, be it in your lawn or garden, it's best to avoid chemical insecticides when possible. Not only are they bad for your lawn and for the insect population, but they can also enter groundwater and become harmful to humans as well.




Tags: insects   bees   mosquitos   bugs   virus  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Coldwell Banker Murray Real Estate on 8/7/2018

Chimney maintenance and repair is incredibly important. You need to complete certain tasks to ensure that your fireplace is working safely and effectively. There’s no better time than the off season to get these tasks in order. 


Remember that you should only burn dry wood in your fireplace. Although fireplaces aren’t high on the technology spectrum, they do require some effort to keep in working order. Failure to do so can result in smoke and even a chimney fire. Soot build up can put a damper on the proper ventilation of the chimney. The soot is partly a result of creosote- a combustible, tar-like substance. It’s a natural by-product of wood that has been burned. With reduced ventilation, the creosote will cause potentially dangerous build up.


While creosote itself is not flammable, it can cause the chimney to clog and structural damage could result. It’s important to properly maintain your chimney in order to prevent dangerous oil build-up that can cause a chimney fire.


Inspections


A professional can come and inspect your fireplace and chimney. They can check for damage, obstructions, build-up, or soot. The inspector will be able to determine if you need a sweep of your chimney. The inspector will be able to do the sweep on the spot in most cases. An inspection of your chimney should take place every year.   


There are different levels of chimney inspections that occur. Basic inspections are a visual look at anything that could be in your chimney from soot to a bird’s nest. More complex inspections could involve taking the chimney apart and physically reconstructing the structure. This would occur after some kind of a natural disaster like a hurricane or a tornado. The cost of these inspections depends on how extensive they become.


Other Maintenance


You can improve your fireplace’s functioning with a few basic steps. Fist, you should only burn dry wood. Logs should be split and dried for 8-12 months. You should also burn certain types of wood especially hardwoods like hickory, oak, beech, maple and ash. These woods burn the longest. The most important thing about wood to be burned in the fireplace is that it is dry.       


Burn Only Wood


It can be tempting to throw things into your fireplace to burn, but you should keep away from burning construction wood, plastics, or other things that could let off odors. Even burning paper can be dangerous because of the embers that result as the fire burns.


If you keep on top of your scheduled chimney maintenance and replace parts as needed, you’ll be able to have lovely fires all winter long with peace of mind.





Posted by Coldwell Banker Murray Real Estate on 7/31/2018

When you’re shopping for a home, it’s easy to be overzealous in your attempt to find the perfect property. One of the biggest regrets of home buyers is that of paying too high a price for their dream home. There should be a balance between cost and the right property for you. No matter what kind of house you’re looking to buy or where you plan to buy it, a little planning goes a long way to help you get the most for your dollar when buying a home. Below, you’ll find some tips to help you avoid the dreaded mistake of overpaying for a home.


 Look For Amenities That Increase Value


Does the neighborhood you’re looking to buy in have a lot of cool perks? Perhaps the property is close to the heart of downtown or close to one of the most desirable schools in the area. These features add value to the home based on the demand in the neighborhood. 


You should also consider if the neighborhood is known as what’s termed “up and coming.” The potential that a neighborhood is also a factor in the price of a home. Is there a lot of construction going on in the area? Is the home you’re buying in a great area but considered a “fixer upper”? High potential properties in desirable areas can actually give you a bargain. A nice property in an area that is still being established can also be a bargain but beware. You may end up paying a higher price as sellers and developers understand that people are eager to move into the neighborhood. Also, if a neighborhood seems to be built up too much, it’s not a good sign. An overdeveloped area can lead to decreased property values over time.         


Inside the home, look for things that have been updated to increase the value of the property. An updated kitchen and bathroom add the most cost to a home as these are the most expensive rooms to renovate. Other perks in a home that greatly increase the value include new flooring, new roof, being situated on a cul-de-sac or dead end street, and easy access to highways and main routes.  


Know That Some Features Decrease Value


Things like power lines, poor economic growth in the community, high-traffic areas, foreclosures, and unkept homes can all drag down the value of a property. If you happen to be looking in one of these areas, understand that you shouldn’t be paying top dollar for a home there. Look for bargains. Whether you plan to stay or simply flip a property, you need to know at what point the price will be right without overpaying for the home.    





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Posted by Coldwell Banker Murray Real Estate on 7/24/2018

Buying a home is a lengthy process that requires months or even years of planning. The end result, however, is to have a home you can truly call your own and to own equity that you can then use later down the road.

Figuring out the right time to buy a home can be difficult for prospective homeowners. You’ll need to have a firm grasp on your finances and personal goals for what you want your life to look like for the next 5 or more years.

Buying a home in more than just a financial commitment. It also means you take on all of the responsibilities of owning that home. Maintenance, both inside and out, can take up a significant amount of your time.

Furthermore, owning a home ties you down to one area. You’ll need to determine if you’re ready and able to settle in one area for the next 5-7 years. This has implications for careers and for family life. Will your job bring you elsewhere? If you change jobs, are there ample opportunities where you live? These are just a couple of the questions you’ll need to ask yourself before deciding whether you’re ready to buy a home.

To simplify the process, I’ve created a checklist for some of the things you’ll need before you’re ready to buy a home. While this list does cover the basics, there may be other factors unique to your circumstances that you’ll have to take into consideration.

So, if you’re thinking about buying a home sometime in the near future, read on for the checklist. And, keep in mind that these are not necessarily mandatory before buying a home. But they will give you the best chance of making a solid investment and securing financial stability.

The home buyer’s preparedness checklist

  • Raise your credit score to 750 or more. A score in the “excellent” range will help you get the lowest possible interest rate on your mortgage. It’s possible to get approved for a mortgage with a score that is much lower, but a high score is ideal and can help you avoid PMI and a high interest rate.

  • Have an emergency fund saved. You don’t want to buy a house and then suddenly find yourself needing money for an emergency. Save a month’s worth of expenses before your down payment.

  • Have an active budget plan for saving up your down payment. Creating a dedicated savings account that you automatically have a portion of your pay deposited into is a good way to ensure that you meet your savings goals.

  • Bolster the case for your financial stability. Lenders will want to see that your income is predictable and regular. Keep records of your income, tax returns, and anything else that can help show that you’re making more than enough money to safely lend to.

  • Have open conversations with your family. If you’ll be buying a home with a spouse and/or children, discuss what you’re looking for in a home. This can include location, size, etc. It’s a good idea for everyone to be on the same page before you ever start shopping for a home.

  • Get preapproved. Getting preapproved for a home loan will make you a better prospective buyer in the eyes of sellers.

  • Run the numbers again. Aside from your mortgage payments, you’ll also have to pay utilities, trash removal, property taxes, and any other expenses related to the home. Make sure you can comfortably afford these while still contributing to savings.




Tags: Buying a home   checklist  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Coldwell Banker Murray Real Estate on 7/17/2018

There are a number of steps involved in buying a home. One of the many important things you should do before closing on a new home is to get the house properly inspected.

Buyers sometimes avoid getting a professional inspection for a number of reasons. Some are on a tight budget and want to save a few dollars. Others have time constraints and want to close as soon as possible. And, many buyers believe that omitting an inspection is a way to show trust in the previous owner.

In this article, we’ll talk about why getting a home inspection is such an important part before closing on a real estate deal.

Inspection costs

Closing on a home comes with a number of expenses. Application fees, origination fees, underwriting fees… the list goes on. If you’re buying a home, you might be tempted to opt out of getting the property inspected to save money.

The cost of an inspection ranges anywhere from $200 for smaller homes, to $400 or more for large homes. However, the cost of not getting your home inspected can be much greater. Even if you’re knowledgeable when it comes to houses, there are a number of things that only the experts can diagnose.

Having a professional inspect the home is the only way to ensure that there aren’t any issues that will come back to haunt you (and your wallet) in the months and years to come.

Saving time

Many buyers are eager to close the deal and begin moving into their new home as soon as possible. Sometimes buyers need to vacate their old home before a certain date, others try to time their move around holidays or school vacations.

There are other ways, however, to make sure you get the house inspected in time. First, make sure you’ve included a home inspection in your purchase agreement. This will avoid wasted times debating whether or not you are entitled to inspect the home.

Next, call multiple inspectors in your area for quotes and availability. Delaying this step can make you lose time, and inspectors might charge you more if they have to squeeze you into their schedule.

The best time to schedule an inspection is as soon as your offer is accepted.

Maintaining a good relationship with the seller

It may seem like an act of diplomacy to waive a home inspection. In reality, however, nearly all sellers will understand that you are simply doing due diligence to make sure the process runs smoothly for both of you.

Sellers might sometimes offer you the findings of a previous inspection that they had done. In this case, it’s still important to have your own inspection done so that you can walk through the home with the inspector and listen to their feedback. You can’t be sure of the accuracy of any old reports, and the previous inspector is only accountable to the seller.


Having a home professionally inspected is almost always a good idea. It can save you time and money in repairs that could have been avoided.





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