Archive for February, 2013

February 25, 2013

The State of Real Estate

Homeownership is important and attitudes are positive, however, with the lingering crisis and trouble qualifying for a mortgage, we now find guidance is more important than ever.

Prudential Real Estate Outlook Survey Infographic-final-large-web

February 14, 2013

Hearts & Homes

It’s Valentine’s Day, so here’s an Infographic that we found on RealEstate.com which takes a look at how romantic attachments influence home buying.  The graph looks at the statistics for the married vs. single populations of U.S. cities. The U.S. demographics have changed, and for the first time more households are unmarried. Check out the full article here.

Valentines-Day-Infographic2

Homes in Maryland  | Homes in Pennslyvania

February 11, 2013

Time to De-Clutter

declutteredA brand new year has arrived, spring is just around the corner; it’s the perfect time to clean-out, clean-up, and get re-organized! Your bedroom closet is the perfect place to start. A cramped, chaotic closet can make your mornings very frustrating.

Before you begin a closet remodel, evaluate your closet’s size and prioritize your storage and dressing needs. You should also get rid of items you no longer need or wear by donating them to a local charity.

Consider these suggestions based on
the most common closet types/style

Long, Skinny Closet
Since you are limited on space, you should determine if there are items currently in your closet that could be store in other drawers/cabinets or under your bed, like shoes, purses, and other accessories.
Try using a closet system with half-rods, drawers, and shelves. Place the half-rod in the middle and use hangers that will hold multiple items. Place a tower of shelves to the left for shoes, purses, and accessories. Place a tower of drawers to the right for folded clothing and socks. Don’t forget to put a shelf above the rod to fully utilize all open spaces.
If you are not hanging long items, you could place a second rod below the first one.
Use floor space for shoes, boxes, etc.
Don’t forget the ceiling! Hooks can create another great spot to hang belts and store purses!

Small Walk-in Closet
A closet system is a good idea for any size closet. Being able to customize the size of shelves, drawers, and the location of rods, will allow you to utilize all available space.
Use extra floor space by installing a shelf and storage bins that fit above and below it.
Hang a shoe storage rack over the back of the door.

Large Walk-in Closet / Dressing Room
A large closet like this can be fun to organize and has many available options! Start with your closet organizing system and move forward from there.
A full length mirror will make the closet look bigger and give you a better view. If you have room for a tri-fold mirror, go for it. You’ll be able to get a view from every angle.
Don’t just limit yourself to wall space; consider installing a center cabinet. This cabinet can be fitted with shelves and drawers and will provide a work area as well. It will become a great spot for sorting laundry and folding clothes!
This center cabinet can also serve as a vanity area for make-up, a lighted mirror, jewelry, or other small accessories.
Consider installing a fold up ironing board. It’s a great out of the way spot and is easily stored!
If room allows, consider creating a small, private nook for yourself. A spot for getting dressed, putting on shoes, or even a quiet corner for reading or doing yoga.

A few final thoughts…
Once you have it organized the way you want it, it’s important to keep it that way! Keep it clean and tidy. Organizing clothes by color, type, sleeve length, etc. is just one more great way to get it organized. Now is also a great time to update the light fixture to maximize lighting and provide easier access. Fluorescent lights are the safest and most effective for this type of space.

Go on, get your supplies, gather your creative thoughts,
and get organized!

Search for homes in Maryland or Homes in Pennsylvania.

February 6, 2013

Why use a Realtor to buy your next home??

 

February 2013 IOV - Ecard

 

Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in a lifetime. Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it is worth using a real estate professional.

 Determining price range – By providing some basic information about your financial status (income, savings, debt, etc.), a Realtor can help you determine the price range for your home and refer you to a lender that is best qualified to assist you.

 Finding the right fit – A Realtor has access to more resources than average individuals and can help locate the property that is the best fit for you, whether actively listed on the market or not.

 Extra Information – In addition to finding the right home, a Realtor can provide other types of valuable information that may be critical to your decision; information on zoning, schools, utilities, etc. These items can be important in determining a home’s future resale value and if a home has the environment you desire.

 Negotiations – Real estate contracts involve a myriad of factors; more than just price. You may need to consider financing, date of possession, and the inclusion of repairs, furniture, or equipment. An agreement should also provide enough time to complete inspections of the property before you become bound to the purchase. Your agent can advise you on all of these items.

 Resources and support – If your contract includes inspections for pests, structure stability, roof condition, asbestos or others; a Realtor can suggest responsible professionals to do most of these and provide written reports. You will also want to see a report on the title of the property; a Realtor can help you interpret this document and clarify things like property lines, rights of access, etc.

 Financing – There are so many options; a qualified Realtor will be able to explain them and help you decide the best terms for your budget.

 Closing – A Realtor will guide you step-by-step through the process, making sure it is process is as smooth as possible.

Contact one of our real estate professionals today to help you find your next home!

 

February 4, 2013

Repair or Replace?

faucetFrustrated by a leaky bathroom faucet?

You have two easy options, either repair it or replace it. Both options are simple enough to do yourself; follow the steps below and stop that annoying drip once and for all!

To Repair: (slightly easier than replacing)

  • First, you need to determine the source of your leak; is it coming from the tap or the handle?
  • A leak from the tap means you need a new Washer, a leak from the handle means you need a new O-ring.
  • Next, turn off the water using the valves located under your sink and then drain the faucet by turning it on and allowing any remaining water to drain out.
  • Place a towel in your sink to avoid any damage or scratches to the bowl while you make the repair.
  • Now remove the decorative handles and the screw underneath; then remove the lug nut using a wrench, turning it counterclockwise.
  • Take out the “stem” and replace the Washer or O-ring with an exact match purchased at your local hardware store.
  • Put all parts back in the way they came out.

To Replace:

  • If you are not replacing the entire vanity top, be sure to select a new fixture that is the same configuration as your current faucet; either a single-hole, all-in-one fixture or a center-set faucet with decorative handles set the standard 4” apart. If your wash bowl sits on top of the vanity, faucets that attach to the wall are an option or even a goose-neck style will work (will be more difficult to replace).
  • Turn off the water supply at the valves under the sink. Loosen the supply tubes at the hot and cold valves. Use a basin wrench to loosen and remove the nut at the faucet stem. Remove the nut holding the faucet to the sink, and remove the faucet.
  • Remove the nut above the P-trap (curved piece of pipe under your sink), and loosen the nut attached to the P-trap. Remove the P-trap. Remove the pop-up lever from the drain. Loosen the lock nut holding the drain to the sink. Unscrew the drain and the drain flange (usually metal, visible in the bottom of the sink bowl).
  • Place paste or plumber’s tape on the faucet stems. If your faucet has a rubber gasket, install it on the base of the faucet before inserting the faucet stems in the appropriate holes in the sink. If your faucet doesn’t include a gasket, run a line of caulk under the faucet before installing it to prevent leaks.
  • Secure the nuts holding the faucet to the sink. Tighten the nuts by hand then give them another quarter-turn with a wrench. Connect the water supply tubes to the faucet stems. Apply more paste to the shutoff valve threads, and tighten the coupling nuts to the faucet-supply stems. Do not over tighten.
  • Apply caulk or paste to the underside of the drain flange and press it into the drain hole. Place the lock nut on the drain housing, followed by the metal washer and the gasket. Screw the drain housing tightly to the flange.
  • Drop the pop-up drain into place, keeping the hole for the control pin toward the rear of the sink. Place the bail lever in the side hole of the drain assembly so the control pin fits through the appropriate hole in the pop-up drain.
  • Set the drain rod into the hole in the faucet, and attach the connecting link to the faucet rod by tightening the attached screw. Make sure the pop-up is up and the drain rod is down, then attach the bail lever to the connection link, using the V-clip. The pop-up should go down when the lever is pulled up.
  • Replace the p-trap and turn water supply valves back on. Clean the supply tubes by removing the aerator from the faucet and turning on the water. While the water is running, check for leaks. Shut the water off after you’re certain there are no leaks and replace the aerator.

You can do this project in about 2 hours and save yourself the expense of
hiring a professional plumber, it’s that easy! Good luck!

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