Archive for ‘For Homeowners’

November 20, 2014

9 Ways to Make an Old Home Feel New

 

Whether you are planning on selling your home, looking to buy an older house or are looking for a few ways to give new life to your home, here are 9 easy tips on how to give your house fresh facelift.

 

 

1. Clean or Replace Carpetsvaccuum
Transform the room by making the space feel fresh. Deep cleaning vacuums can help remove odors and make your carpet feel almost new. If you want to take on a DIY project, you could try replacing your carpet with new carpet or even hardwood flooring.

 

 

2. Make it Cohesive
As the years go by, it is easy to lose focus or forget about making a room/entire house flow nicely together. An update here and an update there can leave the home in a state of mis-matched chaos. You should determine whether you want rooms to be the same throughout or to each have their own uniqueness.

 

outlet

 

3. Update Outlets, Light Switches & Plates
Small changes such as updating outlets, light switches and plates make a significant difference. Some may have yellowed, been painted over, various shapes & styles through the years. Updating plates can be simple but updating outlets and light switches can be tricky. Therefore, if you are not experienced hire a licensed electrician or find online tutorials to guide you through the process. While you are at it, you should also update old alarms, thermostats and smoke detectors.

 

4. Repair Walls
If your house has numerous holes in the walls due to hanging up pictures/mirrors, etc.., and/or have apparent DIY patching, you should consider getting your walls professionally repaired. You could even have your painters fix blemishes and fill the nail holes. Repairing your walls will make them look brand new!

how-to-add-light-to-a-room

 

 

5. Add Light
There are numerous ways to add light to your home beyond light fixtures. You could replace old blinds. Rethink the idea of curtains by making a curtain rod extend past the width of the window, making the window appear larger and not blocking any light. You should also consider adding or replacing light fixtures. Change out light bulbs to newer bulbs that give off a higher wattage and offer a different effect; soft or white.

 

6. Paint
Even though this is an obvious answer, changing the color or even adding a fresh coat of the same color can make a major difference. A current and cohesive paint palette brings the home into the present.

 

7. Remove Dated Fixtures
Updating lights and hardware are easy ways to freshen up your home.

 

8. New Doors/Door Frames
Replace your older doors with newer models. Sometimes older doors no longer fit in the door frame and may not lock correctly. Also adding a new front door will help with curb appeal and can even brighten up your foyer.

hardwood floors

 

 

9. Refinish Hardwood
If your hardwood floors are scratched up and have lost their shine you should consider refinishing your hardwood floors. Choose an appropriate stain and give your floors a makeover. This can either be a DIY project or you can hire a professional.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are considering selling, purchasing or even staying put in your current house and want to take on a new project such as updating an older home contact your local Homesale Agent today.

November 17, 2014

Empty Nesters; Tips for Downsizing

 

According to AARP, for the next 18 years, baby boomers will be turning 65 at a rate of about 8,000 a day. This means that a large portion of American homeowners will be reaching retirement age and will have to start thinking about the next phase in their life. Part of this next phase may include packing up their large family homes in favor of spendinEmptyNestg their ‘empty nest’ years enjoying a newfound freedom. When you think about the combination of approaching retirement and your children are off on their own, it may not be necessary to keep so much space. Many couples may have a disproportionate amount of their wealth stored in home equity. Downsizing can be a useful way to convert some of this wealth into liquid financial assets to be used for other expenses. Downsizing can also provide the opportunity to sort through belongings and get rid of things that are no longer needed. Are you ready to make the move? Here are 9 downsizing tips to consider.

 

Have a plan -
Think about what kind of lifestyle you want. Do you prefer an urban setting? Or do you need a yard? Do you want to be part of a community that offers lots of activities and amenities such as golf courses and swimming pools? Or are you a more independent type who seeks out opportunities on your own? You should investigate your options and not limit exciting new possibilities. If you’ve raised your family in the suburbs and don’t want to leave, you could start looking at newer condominium buildings that are close to shops and restaurants. Living in such an area can provide a similar lifestyle to the city while still remaining in the suburbs.

 

Consider a short distance move -
Not everyone wants to move to a warm-weather destination, such as Florida. Many downsizing Boomers would rather stay in their current location. Remaining in the same vicinity would be ideal if you want to stay close to your children and their families. This would make visiting your family easy and holiday gatherings less stressful without the hectic holiday traffic.

 

Age restricted - 
Before moving, you should decide if this next move will be your last move. You should consider whether or not you want to live in a neighborhood with younger families or people who are closer in your age bracket. Whether you want to move into a neighborhood with people your own age who share similar interests or a neighborhood with an eclectic community of people, the decision is up to you and your personal preference.

 

Look for universal design - 
A house should be accessible to those of any age or ability, with features such as wide doorways and flat thresholds. This may not seem important to vigorous Boomers, but it could be an issue in the years ahead. Will you still be able to live in the home as an 80-year-old? Advanced planning in this regard can help ease the transition for health and physical changes in later life. A single-story house may be ideal. Other important features to consider: slip resistant floors, lever door handles, and reinforced bathroom walls that can support grab bars. Another consideration is indoor air quality. Clothes dryers, bathrooms, stoves and fireplaces should vent outdoors.

 

Income - 
The downsizing phase of life usually means you won’t be earning as much money as you did when you were younger. What are your sources of cash? How long will you work? How much can you expect from social security payments, or a pension? Will investments generate enough income to cover expenses? Many Boomers think they’ll sell an expensive house and buy a cheaper in hopes of saving money.

 

Consider a mortgage -
The American Dream may be to live mortgage free, but it often makes sense to have a mortgage, even a small one. Assuming you make a profit when you sell your current home, the proceeds can be invested and used for future living expenses. If you sink all the proceeds from the sale of your house into a new house, you may not be able to generate enough cash to cover expenses. Renting could make sense, too, if rents are less than the cost of owning.

 

Watch the taxes - 
Many Boomers consider moving out of state to places like Florida that have no income tax, in order to lower their overall tax bill. But don’t forget other hidden costs, such as travel back and forth to visit family. Also, you may be eligible for a tax free gain on the sale of a house. Any gain, up to $500,000 for a couple, is tax free. “It is one of the most generous provisions in the tax code,” says Bob Meighan, vice president at Turbo Tax, a software tax preparation company in San Diego, Calif.

 

Make a smart move - 
Before the move, focus on how you want to live. Think through your new lifestyle and which items will make that possible. If you’re moving to a community that provides outdoor maintenance, you won’t need the shovels and lawn mower. Think about using the extra room in the new place for the hobby you’ve always wanted to start, instead of saving it for guests who rarely visit. Look forward, not back.

 

Downsize thoughtfully - 
If you’re selling a house, you’ll probably spend time de-cluttering the place so it looks good for prospective buyers. But don’t stop there. You can sell unwanted items on craigslist or eBay, have a garage sale or even give items away on the website Freecycle.org. Remember to save family treasures that can’t be replaced. If you don’t have room for all the treasures, give them to family or friends who can appreciate them.

 

In the end, choose what matters to you at this stage of life by knowing more about who you are and who you are not. If you are not ready to move again, then walk that direction. Talk with yourself and your partner about what roles you will play in making a downsize happen. Pull up those resources you need to enjoy the life you are heading towards. If you have decided that it is time to move, contact your local real estate agent at Homesale Realty. Cheers to embracing the idea of changing the scenery and designing a new stage set for your future!

 

 

References: 
Chicago Tribune
Wall Street Journal
Trulia
November 13, 2014

5 Holiday Hosting Disasters and How to Avoid Them

Whether you have just moved into your new home or have been a homeowner for a while, hosting a holiday party is stressful. You want to impress your guests and the last thing you need is a problem you can’t fix. Imagine you’re preparing to host your holiday party, and you’re past the point of no return. The veggies and meats have been bought. Guests are already braving busy airports and crowded highways to get to your home—and then your oven won’t turn on. Your home-cooked meal has quickly turned from a 5-star dinner to take-out.

That’s just one of many hosting nightmares that can end your holiday gathering before it even begins. Thankfully, some of the most damaging mishaps easily can be avoided. We collected five of the most prevalent issues and give you preventative tips to steer clear of a disaster.

 

Problem: The oven

oven

Source: http://www.coloribus.com/

For any holiday occasion, the oven is the most important appliance in your house. If it fails to work, the centerpiece of your meal could go from roast beef, ham, duck, or Tofurky to Peking Duck from the local Chinese takeout joint.

  • There are any number of reasons a stove can break, but one common cause of disaster is easy to prevent. Don’t self-clean your oven until AFTER the holidays. You risk blowing a fuse or a thermostat, and tracking down an oven technician around the holidays can be tough.

 


Problem: The kitchen sink clogs

sink

Source: http://www.gettyimages.com

The day after Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for plumbers. The prime cause of this clog-a-thon is the mistreatment of drains when cooking holiday feasts. We hope your Thanksgiving went well, and that you avoid clog-a-thons for the rest of the holidays.

  • Fats and cooking oils can solidify in your pipes, so never dispose of them in your kitchen sink.
  • If you have a garbage disposal, make sure it’s running before anything goes in it, and never feed it any stringy, fibrous, or starchy foods like poultry skins or potato peels.
  • To fix, don’t rely on chemical drain-clearing products that can harm your pipes. Use a snake instead, available for $15 at your local hardware store. Best to keep one on hand.

 

Problem: The heat goes outdog

 

As the party’s host, you’re supposed to hang guests’ coats—not apologize to them for having to keep them on. A lack of heat can stop a holiday party dead in its tracks.

  • The key to avoiding freezing your party to a standstill is regular maintenance of your HVAC. Every 90 days, a new one-inch pleated furnace filter should be installed. If you haven’t done it in a while, now’s a good time to replace it.
  • Also inspect insulation on refrigerant lines that are leading into your house. Replace them if they’re missing or damaged.

 

 

 

toilet

 

Problem: The toilet stops up

Toilets have a way of clogging up at the worst times, such as during parties and when you have overnight guests. This is especially true if you have a low-flow toilet from the early 1990s.

  • Don’t flush anything other than sewage and toilet paper down the toilet. And there’s nothing wrong with putting up a polite note to remind your guests to do the same.

 

 

Source: http://www.mwra.com/03sewer/html/toiletnottrashcan.html

Problem: The fridge doesn’t coolevil puppet

Without a properly functioning refrigerator, your meat could get contaminated, your dairy-based treats could go sour, and you may not be able to save your leftovers. To avoid discovering a warm fridge after it’s too late, take these simple precautions.

  • Get a thermometer for your refrigerator to make sure each shelf stays below 40 degrees and you can be aware of any temperature changes.
  • Also make sure the condenser coils located on the back of the unit or beneath it are free to breathe. Coils blocked from circulating air by cereal boxes atop the fridge, or dirtied by dust or pet hair can prevent a fridge from keeping cool.

Source: http://www.furrypuppet.com
 
November 10, 2014

America Recycles Day – November 15th


americarecycle
November 15th is America Recycles Day. This is an excellent opportunity to celebrate the monetary, energy and resource savings provided by recycling. This is also a great way to improve education about what is recycled and motivate people to recycle more. Since the first ARD in 1997, recycling has continued to grow across the nation. Recycling puts resources back into our economy.

 

It is time to join the movement and keep America beautiful. Visit the official America Recycles website to get more information on taking your own pledge to recycle, organizing a community event, and to discover more about the organization.

smallsteps

Reasons to Recycle –

  • Recycling is the easiest thing we all can do 365 days a year to save energy, conserve natural resources and create green jobs
  • Our national recycling rate is 34.5%
  • Avoids greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing more than 33 million cars from the road each year
  • Sends 87 million tons of material to a useful second life instead of the landfill

 

greenGive a second life to materials

  • Steel – Food cans could become part of a bike or even a bridge.
  • Aluminum - Your soda cans could become part of a stadium. Venues like the Baltimore Ravens football stadium are made with recycled aluminum.
  • Glass - Recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to power a television for 20 minutes.
  • Paper - In 2012, Americans trashed enough paper to cover 20,500 football fields in paper…. three feet deep.
  • Plastic - The amount of plastic bottles recycled in 2012 provided enough raw materials needed to make nearly 8 million XL t-shirts

 

 

When it comes to recycling, every community is different. Check with your local solid waste & recycling programs to confirm that they accept these recycling practices.

  • Plastic bottle caps are usually recyclable along with the bottle
  • Although you can’t recycle your whole pizza box, you can tear off and recycle the top half – as long as it is grease free!
  • Reduce and reuse first to shrink your environmental footprint.
  • Recycling is not just in the kitchen. Don’t trash your shampoo bottles and toilet paper rolls just because they are in the bathroom.
  • Metals are among the most valuable materials in the waste stream and almost all recyclers welcome aluminum and steel cans
  • Reduce unwanted mail by unsubscribing at CatalogChoice.org.
  • 100 million wireless phones go out of use each year, according to the U.S. EPA. Donate your out-of-use cell phone to a local charity or find a drop-off facility near you.
  • Purchase products that contain recycled materials to keep them in demand.
  • Practice the 4 R’s – reduce, reuse, recycle, recover.

 

As our population grows so does our level of consumption, which is why it is so important to for us as consumers to exhaust all our efforts to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover items before throwing them away. Let’s continue to keep America beautiful! Do all you can to find a “new home” for your unwanted items.

“What is the use of a house if you don’t have a decent planet to put it on?”
– Harry David Thoreau

November 5, 2014

Preparing for Winter

Winter weather is on its way! Whether you are preparing to sell or purchase a home, it is important to keep your house warm throughout the winter months (especially if you have showings). However, keeping your home warm can be costly. Here are a few tips on how to winterize your home without breaking the bank.

 

Nov 14 IOV - Ecard (1)

 

 

November 3, 2014

7 Things to Avoid Before Purchasing a Home

 

If you have been approved for a mortgage for your next home, you might be assuming you can breathe easy now and concentrate on packing. Not quite yet though.mortgage

While most of your hard work of building a good credit profile and gathering savings for a down payment and closing costs is behind you, it’s important to remember that the lender will recheck your credit just prior to your settlement date and will also need confirm a few details such as your place of employment to make sure nothing has changed.

That’s the key phrase—“nothing has changed.” You will want to maintain the same credit profile you had for the loan approval until your mortgage paperwork is completely signed.

Source: money.aol.co.uk

 

Avoid the following actions to ensure a smooth settlement:

 

1. Don’t apply for new credit: It may seem natural to apply for a credit card at a home improvement store or a furniture store when you are about to become a homeowner. It’s almost become cliché in the mortgage industry, but the warning still bears repeating: Don’t buy a truckload of furniture until after your loan closes. Applying for credit can lower your credit score. Not only will you lose a few points because of a credit inquiry, but if you are approved for new credit, a lender may worry that you will spend up to your new credit limit and then default on your loan.  If you absolutely need to obtain new credit or accrue debt before closing, talk with your loan officer as soon as possible.

 

2. Don’t close any credit accounts:You may be feeling that this is a good time to get your financial house in order by closing unused credit accounts or transferring your debt to a new credit card with a zero-interest balance transfer offer. While that’s a smart move financially, it’s a bad one for your credit score because you lose points when you have a higher usage of debt compared to your limit on one credit card and to your overall credit availability. Wait until your closing is complete before you make these changes. 

 

3. Don’t shuffle around your dollars & cents:Your lender will need the most recent bank statements before you go to settlement, so if you have any unusual deposits you will need to provide complete documentation of where the money came from. If possible, it’s best to move the cash you will need for your home purchase into one account before you apply for a mortgage. If not, make sure you have complete and accurate records readily available.

 

4. Don’t increase your debts:In addition to your credit score, your debt-to-income ratio is extremely important to a loan approval. If you take on more debt you could be in danger of going above the maximum acceptable debt-to-income ratio. Along with increasing your debts, do not co-sign on a loan. It is especially risky during the mortgage lending process since you will be financially liable for someone else’s debt.

 

5. Don’t skip a payment or make a late payment: One of the most important elements of your credit score is your history of on-time in-full payments. Payment history comprises about a third of your credit score. 

One solitary 30-day late payment can clip 60 to 110 points from your credit score. Maybe not a huge deal if you had an 800 score, right? Possibly. However, if that 30-day late payment is a mortgage or rent payment, some lenders will boot your application altogether. Many will require at least 12 consecutive months of on-time payments in order to qualify for a home loan. So don’t get so caught up in your move that you forget to keep up with paying basic bills.

 

6. Don’t buy a car: You may be feeling that a new car would be a nice addition to the driveway of your new home. Resist that feeling. Even if you can easily afford a new car, the depletion of your savings or the addition of a new car loan could derail your mortgage application. Wait until after you have moved to switch to a new car.

 

7. Don’t change jobs if you can help it: While a job change could mean a raise or a path to a better future, it could also delay your settlement. Your lender needs to verify employment and will need paystubs to prove your new income before your loan can go to settlement. Lenders crave stable, reliable income that’s likely to continue.

Lenders are likely to slam on the brakes if you take a new job in a different field, or if you decide to start your own business. Or even if you get a promotion but see some or all of your income shift to a commission basis.

The bottom line: Any change to your employment is significant. Keep your loan officer in the loop, and ask questions when in doubt. The last thing you want is to waste time and money on a home loan you have little chance in getting approval.

 

*****In other words, no matter how hard it is at this exciting time, it’s better to do nothing than to do anything.

 

Sources: Realtor.com & Yahoo.com
October 23, 2014

9 Old House Features We Were Wrong to Abandon

We were probably right to abandon many hallmarks of yesterday’s home, but maybe we should reconsider these 9 once-popular features for their practicality.

 

Dutch Doors

doubledutchSource: http://goo.gl/nKoPQZ

Popular with the 18th-century Dutch settlers of New York and New Jersey. Dutchdoors are split horizontally in the middle; open just the top to keep out animals while letting in light and air. Making your own is straightforward. Saw any wood door in half, then attach each half to the door frame with two hinges apiece. A simple sliding bolt joins the top and bottom as a single, solid panel.

 


Sleeping Porches

sleeping-porch-r-xSource: http://goo.gl/IiZGG5

Sleeping porches became popular in the 20th century, when they were advocated by health professionals who believed that the fresh air they provided bolstered immune systems. Such porches were already popular in the South and West, where sleeping outdoors was cooler and more comfortable.

 

Transom Windows

transom

Source: http://goo.gl/UPfils

Transom windows are those panels of glass you see above doors in older homes, especially those built in the Mission or Arts and Crafts styles. They admitted natural light to front hallways and interior rooms before the advent of electricity, and circulated air even when doors were closed for privacy. Transoms serve both purposes just as well today, and of course, the if they are crafted with stained glass they are a timeless beauty.

 

Laundry Chute

laundrychute

Source: http://goo.gl/0ObMKZ

If your bedroom is two floors up from the washer and dryer, you might want to resurrect another nearly forgotten feature of older homes: the laundry chute. If you’d like to construct your own, to ensure that your clothes are funneled smoothly, weld sheet metal together to create a ramp, or use lengths of extra-large PVC pipe to form a tube that ends in your laundry room. No matter your approach, adding a laundry chute injects low-tech convenience into one of life’s never-ending chores.

 

Intercoms

intercomSource: http://goo.gl/18XeC7

Intercom systems may remind you of The Brady Bunch, but these 1970s-era devices can be useful even if you don’t have six kids, a dog, and an Alice. Systems consist of a base station and several remote modules, and the newest intercoms are capable piping music throughout your home. If you’d prefer to avoid any hard wiring, opt instead for a phone system with built-in intercom functionality.

 

Pocket Shutters

pocket shuttersSource: http://goo.gl/Vt78v4

Northeast homes of the 18th and 19th century had walls of exceptional thickness (as they were often made of brick), providing a deep window jamb whose embrasures, or pockets, could contain an entire interior shutter. It’s high time these clever architectural details made a comeback, because interior shutters provide not only privacy, but also insulation or shade when the elements really start to bear down.

 

Phone Nook

phone-nook-xSource: http://goo.gl/EJZQLV

Back when telephones were large and unwieldy, homes often had a special nook to accommodate the bulky devices. Although the size of these cumbersome antiques is what necessitated their having their own hole in the wall, designating a dedicated space for a telephone doesn’t seem like such a bad idea, even today. After all, most of us spend the last five minutes before leaving the house screaming, “Where’s my cell phone?!”

 

Claw-Foot Tubs

tub

They’re lovely to look at and provide a deeper soak than most modern tubs. So if you have enough space in your bathroom, consider adding the luxury of a claw-foot tub to your life. Or, get whimsical and put one outside in your garden or on a patio so you can bathe under the stars. You can find many claw foots inexpensively at salvage yards that, with a little TLC (and maybe some porcelain paint) will look as good as new. Or rather, old.

 

Rumford Fireplace

rumfordSource: http://goo.gl/MmLnKh

Henry David Thoreau once counted his Rumford fireplace as a modern convenience that was often overlooked by his contemporaries. Common in the early to mid-1800’s Rumford fireplaces are tall and not very deep, which allows them to reflect most of the heat generated by burning wood back into the room. With escalating fuel costs, this old design is becoming popular again as way to save some real money in the modern era.

Source: bobvilla.com
October 20, 2014

Shut the Front Door

 

What is the first thing a visitor sees when they visit and the last thing they see when they leave? Your front door and entryway of course! First impressions count. Therefore if you are hosting a dinner, having family over for the holidays, etc, you should take some time to spruce up your entryway. Here are a few quick, cheap and super simple tips to achieve instant results!

 

DIY_Paint_Front_Door_1

 

 

1.) Wash it down

It is surprising how much grime and dirt builds up on your front door. You will want to grab a sponge and wipe it down with warm and soapy water. If you have a door with older paint, make sure you use a soft sponge and wipe it clean carefully to make sure you don’t accidentally take some of the paint off.

 

 

 

Paint-your-Front-Door2.) Roll on the paint

After you have washed your front door, you may be left unsatisfied. If it seems something is missing and washing the door hasn’t done the trick, it is time roll up your sleeves and go to the paint store. Take your significant other, family member or friend to the paint store and pick out a nice new color or polish for your front door. Since this is a DIY project make sure you give yourself enough time to do it properly. This project could be timely; sanding, primer and two coats of paint.

 

 

 

funny-doormat-2

 

3.) “Welcome”

Perhaps your home is not as welcoming as it could be. If you have an old front door mat that is worn by both age and more shoes than you remember then it is time to find yourself a new one. A new mat can make all the difference in the world.

 

 

 

pretty-fall-porch-decor-ideas-49

 

 

 

4.) Character

Add some color and pzazz to your front door. Transform your doorway into a bright welcoming entryway. This can be done with seasonal decorations, plants, or anything you see fit. You could even choose something hearty that looks good throughout the year and doesn’t require much maintenance.

 

 

 

 

 

5.) Knock, knock

Who’s there? Go to your local hardware store and pick yourself out a door knocker. It is a nice alternative to a doorbell and when someone knocks you will actually be able to hear it. Adding a door knocker will create a design-savvy point of interest which you are more than welcome to take all the credit for.

doorknocker

 

 

 

October 16, 2014

To Move or Improve?

 

remodeling

 

 

 

Are you considering renovating your existing home or starting completely over by moving? If you ask around, you’ll receive mixed opinions, but the ultimate decision is up to you (and perhaps your significant other). But how will you come to a decision? What criteria should you use to make a rational decision on whether to stay and renovate or pack up and move on?

 

 

Here’s some criteria to help you decide:

 

1.) How do you feel about your neighborhood?paper home

  • Is it a place you enjoy?
  • How well do you get along with your neighbors?
  • Would you miss your neighborhood community
  • Are you and your children happy with the local school district?
  • Is your neighborhood a good fit for you (and your family)?
  • You can always fix a house, but you can’t fix your neighborhood

 

 

2.) Is there an intangible quality to your house?

  • While not every house has significance beyond simply providing shelter, many do. Whether it is the age, design or historical quality, a home that has significance shouldn’t be subjected to the wrecking ball. Expanding, renovating and adapting homes of such value are sure ways to keep the significance alive for years to come.

 

 

 

3.) Does renovating make sense financially?moeny

  • There are a handful of factors to consider when it comes to the question of ‘How much will renovating cost?’. If you are renovating, there are going to be other costs. For example an associated cost could be temporary living quarters while your house is under construction.
  • However it can also cost money is you stay and you are in the way. Some contractors may charge more where clients stay because there will have to be additional cleanup on a daily basis, a rush for certain mechanical work (i.e. plumbing, electric), and even something as simple as socializing with the onsite homeowners (wasting time on the clock).
  • If you are planning on moving, there will be associated costs with purchasing your new home as well. Costs will include: realtor fees, decorating the new home, moving truck costs…..etc.
  • Determining whether to stay or move requires you to evaluate all the costs on both spectrums before making a decision.
  • This decision is best to determine with a contractor. If you have never been to a house that is under-going a remodel, you should so you can understand how much of your home/life will be affected by what you have planned.

 

 

4.) Does your existing house have a sturdy foundation?

  • Not every house is an ideal candidate for a renovation. While there might be a good reason to renovate an old historic barn that is full of family memories, a 20 year old house with a collapsing foundation or other significant defects would not be a good candidate. Therefore make sure you asses (either yourself or professionally), the bones of your house to see if the base of your home is structurally solid.

 

zoning5.) Are the new zoning restrictions going to affect your renovation plans?

  • Depending on the age of your house, the zoning restrictions may have been different during the time it was built.
  • While the house you currently reside in may fit you perfectly (due to the previous lenient restrictions), a new house in its place might not.
  • You should evaluate height/distance to property lines, yard dimensions…..etc., to see if saving the existing structure of the house is worth your while.

 

 

 

6.) Are you willing to have patience and fun with a renovation project…..even when it is not going well?

moneypit

  • Whether you are remolding or even building a custom home, you will have to make numerous decisions. Some of the major decisions include: size, budget and time frame. While some of the other decisions come down to minor details but are extremely important to the whole aesthetic and feel.
  • Make sure you keep your sense of humor. If you are considering renovating, you should watch The Money Pit. The dialogue is filled with classic lines, such as “two weeks” as the stock answer to the question about when the project will be finished. Just remember that renovations may not go as smoothly as planned, but that it’ll be all right in the end. So do your homework, trust in the professionals you’ve hired and enjoy the ride.

 

 

October 13, 2014

PA Festivals in October

Here are a few fun fall events going on this upcoming weekend to embrace the autumn spirit!

pumpkinsSource: Tumblr halloween+harvest

 

 

 

apple fest

Apple Fest in Chambersburg

  • When: Saturday October 18th 9am – 4pm
  • Where: Main Street and Lincoln Way, Chambersburg, PA (Franklin County)
  • This is an annual event held the third Saturday of October. A family free event  that celebrates the main crop of South Central PA, with over 100 art, craft and food vendors along Main Street. It creates an excellent venue for holiday shopping and good food. Live entertainment at the Courthouse Plaza adds to the festive atmosphere. Apple related products, services and contests are featured for this family-friendly fall festival.

 

 

 

 

Fall Fun Fest 

  • When: Saturday October 18th 10am – 5pm
  • Where: York, PA
  • Set aside this day to enjoy a trip to the pumpkin patch and orchard to gather your pumpkins, apples and smiles! With a large selection of fall decorations, crafts fresh food and bakery sweets you and your family will be sure to have a wonderful day. The event includes; pick-your-own-pumpkin patch; corn maze; pumpkin painting; wagon rides; straw bale jungle gym; corn boxes; antique apple cider press demonstrations; face painting and much more.

 

 

howard

 

Howard Fire Company Fall Punpkin’ Chunkin’

  • When: Saturday October 18th 10am – 5pm
  • Where: Howard, PA
  • On the one side this festival is like many others, with a wide variety of delicious foods, fun activities , homemade crafts, there is a little bit of something for everyone. On the other hand, medieval weaponry fires ballistic pumpkins hundreds of yards into a lake. At the Punpkin’ Chunkin’ Festival it should be obvious what the big draw is. Large chunkin’ trebuchets are designed and brought in specifically to hurl pumpkins with great force and greater accuracy. Those teams who excel in the best feats of endurance and power take home the prize. Despite being the namesake of the festival, punkin’ chunkin’ isn’t the only thing to do at the festival….for more information click here.

 

 

 

Stonehedge Gardens Fall Festival

  • When: October 19th 12-6pm
  • Where: Tamaqua, PA Schuylkill County
  • Art, Music, Workshops and Celebrations
  • A fall festival stuffed with unique and exciting events. There will be traditional fall activities like garden tours, pumpkin decorating and a scarecrow display. Vendors will be selling their homemade products and there will be drumming circles and fire-performers. Bring the whole family and have a great experience.

 

 

Yorktoberfest ytf_logo_new

  • When: October 25th-26th 12pm – 5pm
  • Where: York Fairgrounds in York, PA
  • Hosted by the Sons of the American Legion, Yorktoberfest has been growing insanely in terms of size and fan base since it began in 2011. With a large selection of brews, wines and vendors the appeal is at once immediate and obvious. Yorktoberfest is a good-time festival . Nearly fifty craft brews are represented, all from state and regional breweries. Everyone from PA’s Troegs to Dogfishhead to the local favorites, Liquid Hero Brewery, are represented at the festival. There will also be nearly a dozen wineries from across the area showcased with a wide selection of red, whites and seasonals. Make sure you come hungry because there will be plenty of food vendors, fifty to be exact. Attendance for this event is severely limited and totally worth it. Be sure to get tickets (to consume alcohol) asap. All proceeds go to charity programs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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