Tag Archives: Real Estate – Home Ownership
1) Stay on top of the falling leaves. Leaves can smother your grass and to keep your lawn looking nice either rake leaves regularly or mow. If you decide to mow, make sure you use a bag to collect the clippings & shredded leaves which you can use for your garden or landscape beds.
2) Prune rose canes back to knee height, mound the base with fresh compost (about 12 inches) and cover the rosebush with shredded leaves. This will help protect the bush & roots during the colder months.
3) Mulch landscaping beds with chopped leaves or pine needles. Again, this is extra protection and helps reduce the effects of extreme temperature changes.
4) Plant spring bulbs now and your yard will come alive next spring. Examples of spring bulbs to plant are tulips, daffodils, crocus, and hyacinth to name a few.
- Avoid pointing sprinklers or hoses toward the house to keep water from seeping in at the foundation.
- Check for leaks around windows and doors, especially corners.
- Check your roof. Leaks are particularly common around chimneys, plumbing vents and attic vents.
- Check for leaking faucets, dripping or “sweating” pipes, clogged drains, and faulty water drainage systems.
- Act quickly – if a pipe bursts, turn off the water.
- If a natural disaster hits, board up windows as soon as it is safe to help prevent additional water damage
- Go to www.(LEEANNMILLER.com) and click the option for “Tate Map Interactive Search”. Once the map opens, read the instructions on the welcome page, then close the instructions window.
- Once you see the map tool, note there is a panel that slides in and out on the left side. At the bottom of the panel, there is a place for you to insert an address. Type your address in the format indicated and click the star.
- All nearby for-sale homes are represented by red push pins. More importantly, all nearby recent sales are represented by the slate colored push pins.
- As you hover over the push pins, a balloon display will appear – note you can click the “View Details” option from the balloon to see all of the information about any home.
- Check for leaks. Cold air seeping in through your doors and windows and weak spots in your insulation can have a huge impact on your energy costs. Test for these issues by taking infrared images, conducting a blower door test, or simply locating cool air by touch. You can save 10 percent on your energy bill by plugging air leaks with caulking, sealing or weather stripping.
- Upgrade your attic insulation. This simple, inexpensive solution can reduce your home’s heating and cooling costs by as much as 30 percent. The recommended insulation level is 12‐15 inches, depending on the insulation type.
- Take a close look at your windows. Windows can also account for 10‐25 percent of your heating bill in the winter and can kick your air conditioner into overdrive in the summer by letting sunlight in. Consider installing energy-efficient windows to help block solar heat. If that’s not in your budget, simply modifying your window treatments with thicker or longer curtains can also help lower bills too.
- Upgrade your appliances. Swapping out all appliances isn’t realistic for most homeowners, but if you’re in the market for a new washer, dryer or fridge, consider an Energy Star product.
- Check your filters. Dirty filters slow down airflow, making your system work harder to keep your home warm or cool. Clean filters also prevent dust and dirt buildup – an issue that can lead to expensive repairs or system replacement. Filters should be replaced every three months.
- Swap old light bulbs for new, energy‐efficient ones. Energy‐efficient light bulbs require much less power to provide the same amount of light for a much longer time.
- BLIND ESTIMATE– This is when the moving company gives you a quote sight-unseen. Not a great way to start. Sure the estimate may sound good but beware…it is usually to good to be true. Most estimates are based on miles, weight of belongings and amount of space items take up in the moving truck.
- GLANCE & DASH– This is when a moving estimator does a quick walk-thru of your home and doesn’t throughly check cabinets, closets, etc… or take a lot of notes and then leaves to write-up an estimate. Again, this quote will be off but it may sound good to you. A good estimator will ask lots of questions, look in closets and cabinets, plus take lots of notes. Some questions may be “are you planning on moving the food in your pantry?” Are you having a sale or donating items to help lighten the load?’
- DEPOSIT PLEASE– Reputable movers will NOT demand large deposits or cash up front. So please be wary of this. Generally, you pay upon delivery. This helps keep the control in your court in case items go missing or get damaged during the move. If you did pay up front, you gave up your control. Don’t forget when you do pay, use a credit card that will help protect against fraudulent activity.
- NAME GAME– Some companies figured out a way around the Better Business Bureau by constantly changing their name of business. So when you select your company, make sure it has a local address, current licensing & insurance, plus try to get 3 references (call them). Another tip, make sure when you call the company that they answer with the full company name and not “moving service” or something else generic.
- PACK UP THE COSTS- When it comes to packing, the biggest decision is what to do? Usually, if you do the packing of your belongings, the mover isn’t responsible for any damages to them. However, if you let the moving company pack, lookout for over inflated prices on boxes and other packing materials, plus time and labor. Most moving companies are careful but there are others that will just throw whatever they can fit into a box and seal it up.
- ADDITIONAL FEES– Got stairs? or moving to a house that does? Well, expect an extra charge. Moving to a penthouse apartment? Again, expect an extra charge. Live on a narrow street that won’t fit a large moving truck? Expect a surcharge fee for the transfer of your belongings to a smaller truck for delivery.
- INSURANCE– All moving companies are required to assume liability for the value of goods that they transport. However, there are two different levels you can get and you should be aware of the charges that apply and the amount of protection for each.
- FILL IN THE BLANK- Most people know this but don’t ever, ever sign a blank contract of any kind. It doesn’t matter that you got along well with moving company or you really like them. It should be common sense not to sign a blank contract. You should get a s much as you can in writing (estimate,additional fees, delivery date, pick up date, etc…).
- THE LIST – Read your contract from top to bottom and make sure you have all your belongings listed. If you dont’ see an item on the inventory form and you signed before the delivery driver took off, then don’t expect that item to be in the box when he arrives. You can’t file a claim for something that didn’t exist on the inventory form. Never be satisfied with a box that is labeled as “kitchen stuff” or “office supplies” on the inventory list either. The more specific the better off you are.
- MOVING CONTRACT– Federal Law requires one of two kinds of moving contracts: binding and non-binding. Binding contract is supposed to be a guaranteed price for the move with all the extras and services. A non-binding contract means the company cannot require payment of more than 10 percent above the orignal estimate & is due within 30 days of delivery. However, always read the fine print! There is usually an exception with weight.
- Give as much information as you can about your belongings so there won’t be any surprises later for you or the moving company. For instance, if you plan on getting a new mattress before you move or you sold some items that don’t need to be included in quote).
- Do an online search for the moving company you want to use. You should be able to find any complaints or praises for that company. You can also call the government’s consumer complaints hotline (1-888-368-7238)
- Realtor knows the best moving companies in town but you can also ask friends and family for referrals. The American Moving and Storage Association and State Associations of Movers are also great resources to get a list of reliable moving companies local and national.
- By federal law, movers are required to give you a booklet “Your Right and Responsibilities When You Move” when in the planning stages of your move and not after everything is packed up. If the moving company you selected did not offer one, choose another mover.
- Under the Full Replacement Value Protection, movers are permitted to limit their liability for loss or damage to articles of extraordinary value, UNLESS you specifically list these articles on the shipping documents. An article of extraordinary value is defined as any item whose value exceeds $100 per pound (jewelry, furs, antiques, fine china, oriental rugs, etc…).
- It’s a good idea to open each box and go through it while movers are unloading the rest of your belongings. Make a note of any damage to the mover’s copy of bill of lading before you sign off. The moving company has 30 days to acknowledge receipt of your claim. A good rule of thumb is to take pictures. Before and after proof makes it harder for the movers to deny any damages.