Survival Skills

Here are some useful tips to help homeowners fix common household issues.

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Fix a leaky faucet
Usually due to a bad washer or cartridge in the handle.  Turn off the water supply (under the sink), and cover the drain so no small parts can go down it.  Pop the cover on the handles, remove the screw, and the handle.  Disassemble the stem next, using a wrench and lining up the parts in order so you will know how to put it back together.  Remove and replace the damaged or cracked parts and reassemble the stem and handles.

keylock


Open a seized dead bolt
Spray some WD-40 into the keyhole to lubricate the mechanism. Prevent it from seizing by spraying once a year with Teflon spray.

Stop an overflowing toilet
The float inside the tank drops when the toilet is flushed and water from the tanks moves into the bowl.  It then rises as the bowl and tank are re-filled.  To prevent more spillage when the bowl is brimming over, lift the lid on the tank, grab the float and lift it to close the valve.  While holding the float, turn off the toilet’s water supply.  Now it’s clean up time!

Pick an interior lock
Toddler locked in the bedroom?  Look for a small hole on the knob or the plate around it.  Take a slim piece of metal (screwdriver for eyeglasses, ice pick, metal skewer) and slip it into the hole to compress the spring inside.  In some cases, you will need the flathead screwdriver to insert into a slot on the spring and turn it.  Either way, you’ll disengage the lock and set your little one free!

Use a fire extinguisher (remember PASS)fire
P – Pull the Pin

A – Aim nozzle at the base of flames

S – Squeeze the trigger

S – Sweep the spray from side to side

Work calmly but quickly!! (most extinguishers have 8 seconds of life)  Call 911 and let the pros confirm that the fire is really out.

 

 Prune a hedgehedge
Trimming a shrub from the top only will make it too bushy and will prevent the sun from reaching interior branches and roots.  Pruning from the interior out will help bring it back to health.  Pull back outer branches so you can reach the interior to clip away dead branches.  Cut back tall shoots where they join the branch rather than snipping the end.  Use this method to prune about 1/3 of the bush for 3 years and your bush will thrive!

 

Unclog a sink
Skip the liquid drain cleaner and remove manually.  Remove the stopper and block off any overflow holes.  With water in the sink, use a flat-faced plunger to plunge the drain and remove clog.  If it doesn’t move, use a wrench to remove the U-shaped trap under the sink and look for the clog there.  If the clog is deeper, rent a hand-snake to reach it.  Slowly feed the coil into the drain, when you get to the clog carefully, twist, pull and push the coil to dislodge the clog. 

 

Unstick a door
Excess humidity in summer can cause a wooden door to swell and stick.  A gap of 1/8” to 3/16” between the door and jamb is recommended to accommodate seasonal changes.  Note where the door sticks and use a bench plane to shave off the high spots.  Round over any sharp edges with sandpaper and paint the exposed wood.  Allow to dry completely before closing the door.

 

Bypass garage door opener if your power  is out
Pull the red cord that dangles from the ceiling-mounted operator to disengage the electric chain drive.  Then you can slide the door open manually.  Be careful, a full-size garage door can be very heavy! 

 

Remove the base of a broken lightbulb
Unplug the lamp or turn off the fixture.  Cut a potato (russets are best) in half and gently press it onto the jagged glass.  Turn slowly to remove the base.

 

 

AskHomesale.com provides real estate advice and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 27 offices with over 1,200 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium. Pennsylvania real estate offices include YorkLancasterWyomissingChambersburgGettysburgHarrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |  Tips for Home Sellers | Tips for Homeowners

Survival Skills

7 Ways to Boost Your House’s Value

Renovating your home is exciting but it does come with a few surprises and overlooked expenses. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty wants to give you the opportunity to complete your dream renovation, CLICK HERE to find out more information on the BHHS $50,000 HGTV Fixer Upper Sweepstakes. You have until June 15th to enter. In the meantime, here are some ideas on how to increase the value of your home!

May IOV ECard

AskHomesale.com provides real estate advice and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 27 offices with over 1,200 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium. Pennsylvania real estate offices include YorkLancasterWyomissingChambersburgGettysburgHarrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |  Tips for Home Sellers | Tips for Homeowners

7 Ways to Boost Your House’s Value

BRIGHTEN UP YOUR HOME

Now that spring has officially arrived, it is time to put your heavy winter blankets away, open up the curtains and let the light in. If you are looking to place your house on the market or are a homeowner, here are five simple and cost effective ways to brighten up your home.

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Swap your Light Bulbs

Switch out your yellow bulbs for bright white ones. This will make your space look crisp and fresh. Lightbulbs are measured on a kelvin or K scale – the higher the kelvin number, the whiter the glow. Look for counts between 3500 and 4100k.

Paint your walls

Nothing compares to a fresh coat of paint to brighten up a space. Going over a wall with a new coat will help light bounce off the walls and open up the room.

Remove Screens

Screens do help keep the bugs out, but they also collect dirt. You should remove screens seasonally, since during the colder months your windows aren’t normally open and you can give the screens a nice cleaning. When the warmer months roll around, return the screens to their proper windows.

Clean Your Fixtures

When was the last time you truly cleaned, not just dusted, your light fixtures? Wash down your sconces and chandeliers to get rid of months and months of dirt buildup and to allow more light in your house. Try to make this part of your seasonal cleaning.

Expand Your Curtain Rods

By expanding your curtain rods a few inches beyond the window frame, your windows will appear bigger. This will also ensure that when you draw back the curtains, the fabric won’t block any light from coming in. Another great idea is to mount the braces slightly above the window frame to give the illusion of height.

AskHomesale.com provides real estate advise and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets. Homesale Realty has more than 27 offices with over 1,000 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate office in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium. Pennsylvania real estate offices include York, Lancaster, Wyomissing, Chambersburg, Gettysburg,Harrisburg and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |   Tips for Home Sellers  |   Tips for Homeowners

BRIGHTEN UP YOUR HOME

Spring-spiration

Finally, spring is officially here. As the days continue to pass by during the season, day time will begin to increase. Spring refers to the season/idea of rebirth, rejuvenation and regrowth.  Therefore, spring is the perfect time to renew your garden/landscaping.  Here are a few tips to get your garden/landscaping a fresh new look.

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Prepare your lawn:
Rake your lawn to remove winter debris, dead growth, and leftover leaves from the fall. This will help bring light and air to the top soil level and allow the grass to grow. If there are any bare patches on your lawn, rake the area(s) firmly and then reseed.

Weed the young weeds now:
Any weeds that are in your garden beds will be the easiest to pull now since the roots are shallow. To minimize the growth of new weeds, cover bare spots with mulch or a ground cover.

Clean your gutters:
To prevent water from drowning on your plants below, be sure to clean your gutters. A house-end attachment specially designed for gutters will make the process a lot easier.

Fertilize:
Using coffee grounds to prep your soil is a great way to save money and be ‘eco-friendly’. Coffee grounds are filled with nitrogen, a mineral that helps in plant growth.  You can also use egg shells as a fertilizer. Crushed egg shells are rich in calcium carbonate which helps enrich the soil.

Water your plants:
Use cooking water. Watering plants with left over cooking water is a great way to add vitamins and minerals left behind after boiling pasta and vegetables. Make sure that the water has cooled down before you shower your plants. To fight off plant infections, use cooled off chamomile tea.

Garden at night:
Studies have shown that planting in the moonlight will actually make your plants grow faster and stronger. Planting at night also maximizes water usage.

AskHomesale.com provides real estate advise and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leasing real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets. Homesale Realty has more than 27 offices with over 1,000 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate office in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium. Pennsylvania real estate offices include York, Lancaster, Wyomissing, Chambersburg, Gettysburg, Harrisburg and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |   Tips for Home Sellers  |   Tips for Homeowners

Spring-spiration

5 REMINDERS FOR HOMEOWNERS

March IOV Flier

AskHomesale.com provides real estate advise and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 27 offices with over 1,000 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium.  Pennsylvania real estate offices include York, LancasterWyomissingChambersburgGettysburgHarrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |  Tips for Home Sellers | Tips for Homeowners

5 REMINDERS FOR HOMEOWNERS

Holiday Recovery

Jan IOV E-Card

AskHomesale.com provides real estate advise and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 25 offices with over 1,000 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices inBaltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium.  Pennsylvania real estate offices include York, LancasterWyomissing, Chambersburg,Gettysburg,Harrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |  Tips for Home Sellers | Tips for Homeowners

Holiday Recovery

8 Ways to Keep Your Home Safe While You’re Traveling

Since it is the holiday season, many homeowners may be traveling to relatives or taking vacations. If you are planning on leaving your home for a significant amount of time you should really take a few moments to go through a few extra steps to ensure that your house is well cared for while you are away. Installing a home security system may be the first thing that comes to your mind, but there are plenty of smaller, less expensive steps you can take that are just as (if not more) effective in preventing theft.

Breaking in

So here is a list of things you can do to bring peace mind while you are on vacation.

 

1. Tell your neighbors you’ll be away.

Even if you are not close with your neighbors, it is important to give them a heads-up when you are leaving town for a week or more. If you are good friends with your neighbors, you should consider leaving a copy of your house key in case of an emergency, or at least a way to contact you while you are away.*Think twice about sharing specific details of your trip on social media. It is better to be safe than sorry.*

 

2. Use light timers and motion sensors.

Giving the impression that your home is occupied is one of the surest ways to deter theft. Pick up a basic light timer at the hardware store and program your interior lights to turn on for several hours each evening. You can even program your TV to turn on as well.If you don’t have outdoor motion-sensor lights, you should consider installing them before you go away. If you do have them, double check the bulbs before you leave.

 

3. Hire a pet sitter or house sitter.

Instead of creating the illusion that someone is home, hire or ask someone you trust to actually stay in the house. You could also hire a pet sitter to come by your house once or twice a day to make sure your animal is okay, as well as your house. You can even ask your pet sitter to bring in your mail and water your plants.
If you don’t have a pet, you could do a swap with a neighbor or family member in the area; they watch your house this time, you watch theirs when they go away.

 

4. Lock it up

It may seem obvious, but sometimes it is easy to forget about windows and doors that are rarely used when you are rushing to the airport. Make sure you leave enough time before you leave to make sure all your windows and doors are securely shut and locked.

 

5. Secure sliding glass

Sliding glass windows and doors require special care to be really secure. Luckily the fix is a simple one; just cut a wooden pole or thick dowel to fit in the groove of the tracks when the door is shut, and lay it in before you leave. This won’t stop someone from shattering the glass, but it will make your home a less desirable target if a thief can’t easily slide the door open.

 

6. Keep up the appearance of routines.

If you will be away for more than a week, see if your house sitter/neighbor (etc..), can bring your garbage and recycling bins out for you and back in the next day. Also don’t let mail pile up on your porch or in your mailbox. You can either have someone bring your mail inside or have the postal service hold your mail (for up to 30 days) instead. You can fill out a form online, so you don’t even have to step foot into a post office during the holiday season.

 

7. Maintain snow or lawn service.

Not only will it be a relief to come home to a neatly shoveled path and tidy yard, but maintaining a normal level of care will help give your house a lived-in look while you are away.

 

8. Move valuables away from windows. 

You may want to leave a few shades open, since it can look rather off to see a house all closed up if that’s is not your normal routine. However, do be aware of what is visible from the open shades when someone is peering in from the outside. Laptops, flat-screen TVs and other pricey gear within reach of a window make an easy mark for an easy burglary.

 

 Source: Houzz.com

 

8 Ways to Keep Your Home Safe While You’re Traveling