Home Maintenance Hacks – BHGRE Blog

Home Maintenance Hacks - BHGRE Blog - Deposit Photos

5 Home Maintenance Hacks You Can DIY

When it comes to maintenance and repairs, professional labor can be one of the more costly portions of a homeowner’s budget. While many people opt to save cash by doing work themselves, not everyone possesses the skills necessary to fix their own homes (even with the help of online instructional videos). Attempting a DIY project without careful preparation and a complete knowledge of the task could result in expenses that far exceed the cost of a contractor.

Even if you have the experience and know-how, it’s important to consider the time, materials, tools and permits required for your home improvement project. Here’s how to know which projects you can tackle yourself, and which you should probably leave to the expert. Here are five home maintenance hacks you can tackle yourself, and five more you should probably hire an expert to do.

Patching a hole in drywall

Nearly any homeowner can patch nail holes. Using a spackle knife, fill in each hole with lightweight putty and scrape the excess off the walls. Wait for the putty to dry and sand down the spot until it’s smooth. Then, paint the repaired spots with primer. Larger holes in drywall require more steps to repair and may be best left to the professionals.

Full Story from the BHGRE Blog

What Happens Once You’re Under Contract? – Washington Blade

housing contract - pixabay

What are the most common questions real estate agents, title companies and lenders get once a client is under contract? Well, luckily on my team we send out a next steps letter to all of our clients once an offer has been accepted and this helps them to know what to do the first week, the second week, and in any subsequent weeks before the settlement.

Once You’re Under Contract

For example, the letter will go out and say, “Make sure to get your EMD check to the title company in the agreed upon amount of time.” The EMD is your earnest money deposit, and most contracts have a buyer write a check for several thousands of dollars that will go the title company as sort of a “security deposit” on a contract that later gets applied to the buyers’ closing costs.

The letter will also instruct a buyer to contact their lender and confirm with them that they are under contract and to get the contract over to the lender so they can start preparing the loan and order the appraisal. The letter also states that later in the process the buyer will get the wiring instructions from the title company where settlement will be held for the down payment money. If there is to be a home inspection, we will also get that scheduled, usually in the first week after going under contract also.

Full Story From the Washington Blade

Winterizing Your New Home – Washington Blade

Winterizing Your New Home - Washington Blade

So you bought a home in the pandemic and now you need to get it ready for winter? What do you need to be thinking of as the colder months approach, for winterizing your new home?

What to Think About When Winterizing Your New Home

Well, the majority of insurance claims in winter months revolve around broken or busted water pipes. It’s a good idea to know where the main water shut off in your house is, in case you have an emergency. You can also buy pipe insulation that is not too expensive to wrap around exposed pipes.

Another area of the home that is good to consider is the windows. If you swap out screens for storm windows that gives an extra pane of glass to provide protection from the cold winter air. Screens can go back on in the springtime.

The roof is another area – if you know that any roof tiles are loose, you are going to want to fix those before any large snowstorms, so that any ice or snow doesn’t further loosen the tile and expose your roof to moisture when the snow and ice melts. Make sure the fireplace is ready for winter by having a chimneysweep check it out and also make sure the cap is in place to keep animals out of it.

Full Story From the Washington Blade

Fall Mortgage Options – The Washington Blade

Fall Mortgage Options - The Washington Blade

One effect of COVID-19 has been to throw us off schedule in the normal seasonal nature of real estate sales. At long last, however, we’re beginning to see its return.

Traditionally throughout the nation, spring begins in late March or April and is the most popular time of year for buying and selling homes. In the DMV, however, spring comes early – as early as February – and the market begins to heat up as what little snow we get dissipates.

Summer has usually seen interest wane, while house hunting takes a back seat to vacations, summer camp, and participation in barbecues, family gatherings, and other outdoor activities and celebrations.

Fall has normally been the second major season for housing purchases and sales, ranging from Labor Day to Thanksgiving. Thereafter, during the winter market, people begin to plan for holidays and, although houses sell well when adorned with holiday decorations, the fall market may be better suited to allowing for settlements prior to the end of the tax year. Let’s take a look at some fall mortgage options.

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

See the Full Story at the Washington Blade

A Real Estate Primer – Washington Blade

A Real Estate Primer - Washington Blade

When working with first-time buyers, I often hear them say, “I have a stupid question.” I automatically respond that there’s no such thing.  What they think may be a stupid question almost invariably has been asked before by many other people in the same situation. The answer to a stupid question almost always makes you smarter, so what they really have may be a “smart question.”

Several questions that were recently asked of me have prompted me to take another look at what I discuss in my initial buyer consultations, so let’s start there with a short real estate primer.

Real Estate Primer

Buyer Consultation is an initial meeting with a buyer, whether face-to-face, by telephone, or by Zoom or similar interactive means, where we exchange information about the buyer’s needs and the services I provide and determine whether we shall work together exclusively and for how long.

If we decide to go forward, we sign an Exclusive Buyer Representation Agreement, which allows an agent to be the buyer’s advocate by solely representing the buyer’s interests in a real estate transaction, protecting the buyer’s confidentiality, and providing essential services reserved for a client-based relationship. In the DMV, absent such an agreement, agents must legally represent and owe allegiance to a seller they have never met of a property they have never seen.

Authored By Valerie Blake
See the Full Story at the Washington Blade

Fix or Sell As-Is – BHGRE

Fix or Sell As-Is - BHGRE

When you’ve decided to move on — whether you’re upsizing or downsizing, accepting a fantastic job offer in another city, or fleeing to (or from) the suburbs — think long and hard about what you really need to do to get your house market-ready. You may be tempted to go into renovation mode, but you might be better off selling your house as-is. So… fix or sell as-is?

Anything that impacts the home’s operation needs to be fixed before you list, including a leaky roof, a broken furnace, plumbing and the electrical system. These are all things sellers are legally obliged to disclose. If not, a home inspector will identify them to a potential buyer, possibly leading to an offer being withdrawn.

Here are some things to consider when selling your house.

Fix or Sell As-Is: Renovation ROI may not be there

Most home renovations don’t pay off instantly. Complete bathroom and kitchen renovations add the most value but also cause the most disruption and can be very expensive. If these rooms haven’t already been renovated, don’t start now. Focus on making sure the existing selling features of the home are in great shape.

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

See the Full Story at BHGRE

Knowing When to Buy a Vacation Home – BHGRE

When to Buy a Vacation Home - BHGRE

When to Buy a Vacation Home

If you’re lucky enough to have reached the time in your life when you can seriously contemplate buying a vacation home, there’s much to be excited about. According to the National Association of Realtors, one in eight homeowners are thinking of buying a second home. While summer may be the time of year you start to think longingly about sun, sea and sand, it may not be the best time to buy a cottage.

Here are some things to consider when deciding when to buy a vacation home.

Peak of Season is Seldom a Good Idea

Avoiding peak seasons makes sense in supply and demand terms. Peak season, whether you have your eye on a Vail ski chalet or a Cape Cod sea shanty, is when the area in which you’re looking is at its finest. Since vacation homes can be sentimental investments, many who’ve inherited them rent them out as additional sources of income so they can hang onto a property.

They may be sharing it with siblings or have had to buy them out. They also may be part-time vacation home investment owners who got in early on a new resort but need to ensure 100 percent occupancy during peak season to make their investment pay off.

Full Story from the BHGRE Blog

Getting Your House Ready to Rent

Getting Your House Ready to Rent

Even if you bought your home to live in rather than as an income property, you may end up renting out your house at some point. A contract opportunity on the other side of the country (or the world), a drop in property values that means you want to build up more equity in your home before trying to sell it, or a formal or informal sabbatical might mean you want to rent rather than sell.

Here’s how you can get your house ready to rent. While it may seem like a lot of work and a moderate amount of money, it’s well worth it. Good tenants are attracted to well maintained, trouble-free properties, and good tenants are hopefully the only kind you’ll ever have to deal with.

Start With The Exterior

Make sure all your exterior maintenance is up to date. That includes landscaping, raking, gutter cleaning, roof repairs, and checking, cleaning and replacing exterior lights and/or sensors. Test and repair any exterior railings and make sure pathways are safe. Replace any broken interlock.

Get the screens cleaned and the exterior windows washed.

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

See the Full Story at BH

Reduce Your Environmental Impact at Home – The BHGRE Life

Reduce Your Environmental Impact - Deposit Photos

More people are recognizing the importance of saving the planet, and companies are stepping up with creative ways to reduce our collective environmental impact. From products that promote a sustainable home to electric cars, it’s not hard to find ways to promote greener living while preserving the world’s resources for future generations. Finding ways to reduce your environmental impact can also save you money, particularly if you choose to seek sustainable home ideas.

Recycling is Still Important

Experts claim that the United States produces well over 250 million tons of trash each year. Much of this finds its way to incinerators and landfills, and recycling can redirect waste to better places. Paper, tin and steel cans can still be recycled. Check with your municipality or state to see what kinds of plastic can be recycled in your area. You can also recycle broken electronics, dry cell batteries and car batteries as long as it is done properly.

Recycling also applies to clothing, and there are many organizations that accept gently used goods. Real Simple advises donating to The Vietnam Veterans of America, the Salvation Army and Goodwill. Shelters, hospitals, synagogues and churches can also accept clothing and other goods. When buying new clothes, check out brick-and-mortar and online thrift and consignment shops. These are also great sources for finding children’s toys and other household items that can reduce your environmental impact.

Sustainable Eating

One of the best ways to have a sustainable home is to start the habit of composting. Gardeners like Martha Stewart refer to it as “black gold,” and for good reason. It turns everyday food scraps and other organic materials into soil treatments loaded with nutrients and moisture that boost plant health. You can buy a compost bin or use another large container, and toss in food waste, branches and dry leaves to reduce your environmental impact.

Full Story From The BHGRE Life

Buying Your First Home – The Washington Blade

Buying Your First Home - Deposit Photos

For 24 seasons, HGTV aired a show called “My First Place.” During that time, I also helped a lot of buyers find theirs.

The D.C. metropolitan region is a very transient one, so buying your first home and living in your first place is often an experience of five years or less before moving up or moving on. Nonetheless, those who graduate from renters to property owners will always remember their first place, with all its perks and quirks.

I bought my first home in Warren, Mich., in 1977, an architecturally insignificant two-story house in a typical, blue-collar neighborhood, where my federal law enforcement uniform and sidearm halted conversations when I got home from work and waved to the neighbors before going inside. 

Newly divorced, I wanted none of the “boys club” that had become my married life, where I would come home from work exhausted, fall asleep on the couch, and wake up to a poker party at the dining room table hosted by my unemployed husband.

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

Authored By Valerie Blake
See the Full Story at The Washington Blade