10 Tips for Safe, Effective Operation of Your Heating Equipment

Heating Equipment is a very important component of your home.  It is important to service your system properly maintained by a licensed contractor.

Don’t try to adjust automatic dampers, heat reclaiming devices or safety controls on heating equipment. If your equipment doesn’t operate properly, call a qualified service company for a safety check and needed repairs.

When buying new equipment check the label plate for certification. This is your insurance that the equipment is designed to meet national Safety standards.
Have heating equipment installed by a qualified heating contractor to ensure is properly connected.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper operation and care of your equipment.
Make sure your chimney and flue are kept. Make sure your chimney and flue are kept clean.
Inspect the vent pipe for rust. Replace it if corrosion has created a hole.
Check furnace filters regularly and clean or replace them if dirty. Check belts for wear.
Clean equipment and burner areas free of dust dirt and debris.
Keep the furnace unit intact. Don’t remove panels without replacing them.
Use equipment for the job it was designed to do never use a cooking range top or oven to heat your home.

6 Fix-Ups That Are Well Worth the Price

Selling your home is a daunting task. Do I get new carpet? Do I paint my cabinets? Help!
Simple and affordable do-it-yourself programs can greatly increase a home’s sales value, according the HomeGain’s home improvement and staging survey. The marketing company surveyed nearly 600 real estate professionals to discovered which DIY home improvement projects give seller the biggest return for their buck. Here are six projects under $1000 (amounts are estimated) that made the list.

Cleaning and decluttering- Remove any personal items, unclutters countertops, organize closets and shelves and make the home sparkling clean. COST: $290 ; RETURN :$1,990

Brightening- Clean all windows inside and out, replace old curtains, update lighting fixtures and remove anything that blocks light from the windows. COST: $375 RETURN: $1,550

Smart Staging- Rearrange furniture, bring in new accessories and furnishings to enhance rooms, incorporate artwork, and play soft music in the background. COST: $550 RETRUN: $2,197

Landscaping Enhancements- Punch up the homes’ curb appeal in the front and back yards by adding bark mulch, bushes, and flowers and ensuring current plants and grass are well-cared for and manicured. COST: $540 RETURN: $1,932

Repairing Electrical or Plumbing- Fix leaks under the sink, remove any mildew stains and ensure all plumbing is in good working condition. Update the homes electrical with new wiring for modern appliances, fix a light or outlets that do not work, and replace old plug pints with new safety fixtures. COST: $535 RETURN: $1,505

Replacing or shampooing dirty carpets- Steam-Clean carpets or replace any work carpets and repair any floor creaks. COST:$647 RETURN: $1,739

First Time Home Buyers

Did you know the Ohio Housing Finance Agency offers assistance to First Time Home Buyers?

They offer several affordable loan option to help you achieve your dream of home ownership.  OHFA offers 30-year fixed rate FHA, VA, USDA-DA and Conventional Mortgages designed especially for homebuyers with low to moderate incomes, with generous income and purchase price limits.


Your Choice! Down Payment Assistance

Ohio Heros

Grants for Grads

Limited 203(k) (Home Repair Loan)

FHA Home Weatherization

Mortgage Tax Credit

Next Home

OFHA pdf01242018

Make sure to check out myohiohome.org or your lender for more information!

Have you heard of a Virtual Showing?

I think we have harped on the fact that there is not enough inventory for buyers on the market.   I have had clients that look at a home that goes on the Market on Thursday and in contract by Friday or even Thursday night.  My clients have to rearrange their life to get into the house to view it.

I recently closed on a home for an out of town investor.  We have been filtering down their needs and wants for a while.   They ended up seeing a few homes online they were interested in.   Since they were not in town yet, I asked the listing agents if I could view their properties virtually for my clients, and they agreed. I was able to upload the videos for my clients and provide some details and my clients ended up going into contract without stepping into the home.

This is just one of many ways I can help you find your new home.  It also is great for selling you new home.  Videos and photos help sell your home.

Planning to Sell in 2018?

In 2018, many people are trying to decide if they want to renovate or move.  If you are planning to sell, here is a Homeowners Checklist.

As you prepare to being showing your home to perspective buyers, you might consider takes some of the steps listed below.

Potential buyers often welcome a home that is clean, neat, uncluttered, in good repair, light, airy, fragrant, and quiet.

Clean Everything! Cleanliness signals to a buyer that the home has been well care or and is most likely in good repair.  A messy or dirty home will cause prospective buyers to notice every flaw.

Unclutter Your Home Before You Show It. Have a garage sale. Empty closets.  Donate what you can’t sell.  The less “stuff” in and around your home, the roomier it will seem.

Let The Light In.  Raise the shades.  Open the blinds.  Pull back the curtains.  Put brighter bulbs in the lamps (but not bright enough to cause a glare) Bright ope rooms feel larger and more inviting.  Dark rooms feel small and gloomy.

Let the Fresh Air In.  Get rid of odors that may be unfamiliar or unpleasant.  People are most often offended by odors form tobacco, pets, cooking, and musty or sour laundry.  Fresh flowers and potpourri can be used to your advantage.  Other smells that can attract positive attention include fresh baked bread, cinnamon or vanilla.

Fix ANYTHING That Is Broken.  That include plumbing, electrical systems, and switches, windows squeaky floorboards, TV Antennas, screens, doors, and fences; if it can’t be fixes, replace it or get rid of it.  A buyer might make a much lower offer if your house is in disrepair and will probably still insist that everything be fixed before taking occupancy.  You’re better off if you leave potential buyers no reason to offer less than you are asking.

Send Pets Away or secure them away from the house when prospective buyers are coming.  You never know if people will be annoyed, intimated or even allergic to them.

Paint.  There’s nothing that improves the value of a home more than a few can s of paint.  It’s so much easier to paint a room than to scrub it.  Stick with the neutral color.

Keep the Noise Down.  Silence is a restful sound that offends no one.  Turn off the TV and radio.  Soft instrumental is fine, but avoid vocals.


What Should Your Home Inspection Should Cover

This is a short list of items your inspector should be covering with you.  Of course, there could always be more.

*Siding: Look for dents or buckling

*Foundations: Look for cracked bricks or water seepage

*Exterior Brick: Look for cracked bricks or mortar pulling away from bricks

*Insulation: Look for condition, adequate rating for climate

*Doors and Windows: Look for loose or tight fits, condition of locks, condition of weatherstripping

*Roof: Look for age, conditions of flashing, pooling water, buckled shingles or loose gutter and downspouts

*Ceilings, walls and moldings:  Look for loose pieces, drywall that is pulling away

*Porch/Deck: Loose railings or step, rot

*Electrical: Look for poor water pressure, banding pipes, rust spots or corrosion that indicate leaks, sufficient insulation

*Water Heater: Look for age, size adequate for house, speed of recovery, energy rating

*Furnace /Air Conditioning: Look for age, energy rating, the lower your fuel costs,. However , other factors such as payback period and other operating costs, such as electrical to operate motors.

*Garage: Look for exterior in good repair, condition of floor- cracks, stains, etc: condition of door mechanism.

*Basement: Look for water leakage, musty smell

*Attic: Look for adequate ventilation, water leaks from roof

*Septic Tanks (if applicable): Adequate absorption died capacity for the percolation rate in your area and the size of your family

*Driveways/Sidewalks: Look for cracks, having pavement, crumbling near edges, stains


10 Questions to Ask a Home Inspector

What are your qualifications?  Are you a a member of the American Association of Home Inspectors?

Do you have a current license?  Inspectors are not require to be licensed in every state.

How many inspections of properties such as this do your perform a year?

Do you have list of past clients I can contact?

Do you carry professional errors and omissions insurance?  May I have a copy of the policy?

Do you provide any guarantees of your work?

What specifically will the inspection cover?

What type of report will I receive after the inspection?

How log will the inspection take an how log will it take to receive the report?

How much will each inspection cost?