Paul Stonkus' Blog
A home inspection often plays a key role in the homebuying journey. If an inspection shows that there are no underlying problems with a house, you should have no trouble moving forward with a home purchase. On the other hand, if an inspection reveals a variety of structural problems with a house, you may need to reconsider your purchase decision.
Ultimately, a homebuyer who knows what to expect during a home inspection can plan accordingly. This buyer also may be better equipped than others to accept the results of an inspection and make an informed choice about whether to move forward with a home purchase.
What does it take to achieve the best-possible results during a home inspection? To find out, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can prep for a house inspection.
1. Hire an Expert Home Inspector
There is no shortage of home inspectors available in cities and towns nationwide. However, employing an expert home inspector will require you to conduct an in-depth search.
When it comes to finding an expert home inspector, it pays to search far and wide. Because if you have an expert home inspector at your side, you can boost the likelihood of identifying major and minor house issues during an inspection.
2. Assess Every Area of a House
Oftentimes, a home inspection takes several hours to complete, and for good reason. In order to fully evaluate a residence, you'll want to be diligent. That way, you can minimize the risk of missing potential problems as you perform a home assessment.
As you walk through your house with an inspector, don't hesitate to ask questions too. In fact, a home inspector may be able to provide insights into home problems and repairs that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent can help you find your dream house, as well as put you in touch with the top home inspectors in your area. Plus, this housing market professional likely will walk through a house with you during an inspection to ensure you can get the support you need to make an informed homebuying decision.
Furthermore, a real estate agent is happy to consult with you before and after a home inspection. Prior to an inspection, a real estate agent will help you put together a plan to assess a house. Meanwhile, after an inspection, a real estate agent can discuss the inspection results with you and help you determine the best course of action.
Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide throughout the homebuying journey, either. This housing market professional can help you streamline your search for your dream house, submit a competitive offer on a residence and ensure you can purchase a terrific house at a budget-friendly price.
A home inspection may seem daunting at first. Luckily, if you plan ahead for a home inspection, you can use the assessment to gain the insights that you need to determine whether a house is right for you.
For most people, the idea of moving conjures up dread and stress. There are things to sort, boxes to pack, fears that the dishes might get broken because you didn't add enough padding to keep them safe, and concern that you'll lose something, miss something, forget something.
But moving doesn't have to be all stress and bother. You can make a game of moving and have some fun while you do it. Look for the easiest ways to arrange things so that both packing and unpacking go more quickly.
- One down - leave things as they are: If your dressers are full of clothes, instead of removing the clothes and repacking them in boxes. Just leave them in the drawers. Grab some plastic wrap—available at most moving rentals stores, big box DIY stores, and office supply outlets—and wrap the furniture to hold the drawers in place. If you're not sure how to complete this yourself, ask your movers to wrap it for you. And use a garment box for hanging clothes. Just grab a group of hangars and move them from the closet onto the bar in the box. They’re all set to transfer back into the new closet.
- Two or more - leave utensils and flatware in their trays. Find boxes that will fit the whole tray but slip a plastic or paper shopping bag over the entire thing before you slide it in the box. That way, the bag holds the items in the tray and protects one tray from rubbing on another. When you get to the new home, just move the trays directly into the new drawers. Easy as pie!
- Three to go - Race to see who can fill the most boxes. Give kids easier options such as games and books and other flat objects that fit into boxes easily. And have a bigger box for stuffed animals and dolls.
- Four on the floor - use smaller boxes. A tendency for novice movers is to fill large boxes that are then impossible to move. The problem is, you often fill large boxes with a mixture of things that may not even belong in the same room, merely to fill the box. Using smaller boxes more strategically might give you more boxes overall, but will save you time, effort, and an aching back when you reach your destination. Label each box as you go, then stack them like a Jenga puzzle until moving day.
- Five-minute rule - if you're trying to pack yet keep your regular life flowing smoothly, spend just five minutes at a time packing. Grab a packing box and fill it up, then go back to putting on makeup or finish your workout.
If moving seems daunting to you, download a moving app to help you stay organized and keep you moving.
As a home seller, it is important to do everything possible to transform an ordinary kitchen into a comfortable, attractive setting. With an awe-inspiring kitchen, you may be able to differentiate your house from others that are available in a competitive real estate market. Plus, your house's kitchen might even lead some homebuyers to submit offers immediately following a home showing.
Clearly, a top-notch kitchen can make a world of difference when you sell your house. But how can you determine whether a kitchen overhaul is necessary?
Here are three questions to consider before you embark on a kitchen renovation.
1. When do I plan to sell my house?
If you intend to sell your home quickly, you may have limited time at your disposal. Therefore, a complete kitchen overhaul may not be an option.
On the other hand, if you have several weeks or months to plan ahead, it may be worthwhile to evaluate your kitchen and find ways to improve it.
Consider your home selling timeline closely. That way, you can examine various home improvement projects and determine whether a kitchen renovation is a priority.
2. How much money do I have to complete a kitchen renovation?
A kitchen renovation can include everything from simple upgrades to a massive overhaul. As such, the costs associated with a kitchen renovation may vary.
Assess your home improvement budget and plan accordingly. If you have the funds available, you may be able to revamp your entire kitchen. However, if your financial resources are limited, you may need to consider cost-effective measures to enhance your kitchen.
Remember, there are many quick, easy ways to bolster your kitchen. Wiping down the walls and ceiling can help your kitchen dazzle. Meanwhile, repainting the kitchen walls and mopping the floors also provide simple, effective ways to improve your kitchen's appearance without breaking your budget.
3. Is a kitchen renovation worth my time?
A home appraisal may prove to be exceedingly valuable, particularly for home sellers who are on the fence about completing a kitchen renovation.
During a home appraisal, a property inspector will examine your residence and provide a report that highlights your house's strengths and weaknesses. This report can help you establish a price range for your home. In addition, the report may provide you with insights into whether a kitchen renovation may enable you to boost your home's value.
Lastly, if you're still uncertain about a kitchen renovation after a home appraisal, a real estate agent may be able to provide extra support.
A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of selling a home. Thus, he or she can evaluate your residence and help you decide whether a kitchen renovation is worth your time.
When it comes to a kitchen renovation, it is essential for home sellers to examine all of their options. Consider the aforementioned questions, and you should have no trouble determining if a kitchen renovation is right for you.
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So, you recently downsized your living space. You mentally prepared to adjust your lifestyle to a more compact living area, you reorganized all your belongings, implemented new storage systems and found the most effective furniture arrangements, but what about the dog? While the new living arrangement might be a little adjustment for you, it could be a more significant adjustment for your pets, especially for dogs used to a large backyard and play area. How can you help your pet make the transition? Try some of these tips.
Design their backyard ahead of time.
Just as you investigated the best way to layout your new home to make the downsizing transition work for you, your dog will need help designing their new yard space to make the smaller area work for them. Start by separating and designating areas your dog needs as much as possible. Did your pet have a specific bathroom area in their old yard? It usually is in a corner far away from their play areas or your entertainment areas. Having a designated place to "go" is a comforting factor to your dog. It may be harder for them to find and keep a specific location in a smaller yard without infringing on their play area. Before bringing your dog into the new yard take a look at the space and figure out the best place for their house, potty area and play areas. Try keeping their home and the potty regions in opposite corners with a corridor, or the most extended angled area you can find, available for play. When you first introduce your pup to the yard walk them around the perimeter, introduce them to their house, and get them to mark in their new bathroom corner. You should do this daily for at least a couple weeks to help ingrain the different areas and help them separate the spaces in their yard.
Keep your dog entertained.
If you have an outdoor dog that is used to a large yard, particularly if you have a larger breed, you may find that they are having trouble adjusting to a small yard. While they used to be able to occupy your time at work with chasing birds or squirrels and generally running around, they now have less natural entertainment in the small condo or bungalow yard. When you come home from work, do they seem bored? Are they very antsy? Are they tearing up your new yard looking for something to do? Depending on your pet's play preferences - chewing, tugging, digging - there are simple DIY backyard projects you can tackle to provide more independent play activities for your dog.
- Tug of War - Installing an independent tug toy is a very effective entertainment source for your dog. You can DIY this set up using a fence or stair railing post, or by planting a large stake in the yard. Grab a short bungee cord and a long piece of thick rope from your local hardware store. Tie several large and tight knots at the end of the rope, then tie the rope around the center of the bungee cord. Wrap the cord tight around the post several times until it has no flex when hooked together. If you don’t have a post available invest in a long metal stake that you can secure in the ground, then use a medium size carabiner to clip the rope toy to the post. Introduce the toy to your dog and entertain them for hours.
- Digging Area - If your dog likes to dig but can quickly dig up your entire new yard, try establishing a specific digging area for him. Take another corner of your yard, or a place along the side yard if you have one and dig out a small pit. Fill the hole with heavier sand or mulch to make it easier for your dog to dig. Convince them the new pit is the right place to dig by burring a bone, their favorite toy or a treat and show them they can dig to find it. Continue establishing the spot with your dog over the first few weeks, and they'll soon be burying their bone there themselves and have a new independent play option.
Maintain the yard.
Work to keep your yard space clean and usable—for you and the dog. You may not have had to pick up poop daily on your larger property. It is now imperative to keep the bathroom area clean and contained. And, maintain as much usable space in the yard as possible. If you host a bbq make sure you clean up and restore any furniture that encroaches on your dog’s play area.
If you have a large dog who needs a bigger outdoor space, make sure you take up this concern with your real estate agent while you look for your new home, so they can help you find the best option for downsizing that keeps you and your pup happy. For even more life enjoyment expand your pup's living space with indoor activities as well. Spending time with you in your space is also good for the dog's stimulation. See part two of this article for tips on entertaining your pet indoors.