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How To Avoid Accidents In Your Home With These 6 Easy Tips

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!


There has been a large number of home accidents over the past several months in the Eugene and Springfield area. With that in mind, I am sending this article from "Realty Times" on home accidents.


It's safe to say that none of us are purposely making our homes a hazard. And, no matter how hard we try, accidents still happen. But there is nothing more important than protecting ourselves, our families, and our investment.


"The home is supposed to be where you and your family are safe and protected but every year accident and emergency units deal with serious injuries and sometimes fatal accidents that occur in the home," said StaySafe. "It is not just children and the elderly that can come to harm in the home with things like chemicals and choke hazards. Accidents in the home claim 18,000 lives each year in America alone, "accounting for 21 million medical visits annually. Many of these accidents are preventable."


These tips will uncover key areas where dangers typically lie and the simple maintenance involved in avoiding them.


Dryer vents

Thousands of fires are started in the home every year because of deferred maintenance related to the clothes dryer. You may clean out the lint screen, but it's the lint you can't see that accumulates in the vent that can be dangerous. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) "recommends cleaning or having a professional inspect the vent for lint build-up a minimum of every two to three years," said Hunker. "Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case a fire does break out in or around your dryer."


Falls

A third of all fatalities in the home are due to falls. A great number of them are related to old age, however people of all ages can also be at risk. Installing safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs is an obvious safety precaution with little ones, as are grab bars in bathrooms that are serving older individuals. Closely monitoring wet areas - just outside the shower and bath and in front of the kitchen sink - can help with slips. Installing nonslip rug pads under area rugs is key to keeping them in place and eliminating falls.


Blinds

The thought of a young child being strangled due to hanging cords from window blinds is horrifying. But it happens. According to USA Today, "Injuries and death from window blind cords send two kids to emergency department each day." Eliminate the worry without having to give up the blinds by choosing a cordless version. They give you the look and room-darkening features you want with some added safety measures.


Fire alarms

When's the last time you changed your fire alarm batteries? If you can't remember, you're obviously overdue. "Install fire alarms on all levels of your home, and check and change the batteries at least annually," said safewise. "Consider investing in a smart smoke detector like Nest Protect. This alarm uses Wi-Fi to provide real-time updates and remote monitoring right on your smartphone or other mobile device." 


A dirty oven

Most ovens today have a self-cleaning feature. While it's not entirely pleasant to endure the smell while it's doing its thing, it far outweighs the alternative, especially considering 40 percent of fires in the home start in the kitchen.


"A dirty oven can cause fires while cooking, allowing charred food or grease to ignite," said Home Security. "Clean your oven regularly and always attend food while cooking in the oven.'


Carbon monoxide posioning

Carbon monoxide is called the silent killer because "its presence is not known until symptoms of the exposure are experienced," said Poison Control. "It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and potentially dangerous gas. You can't see it or smell it." 


It's typical for smoke detectors to be in homes, but despite the fact that a carbon monoxide detector can save lives, they are often left to the homeowner to purchase and install. "Each year in the United States, more than 200 accidental deaths are caused by carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. It is considered the leading cause of death from poisoning in the United States.


Have an awesome week!

 

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3187 Kentwood Drive

 Price: $269,900   Beds: 3   Baths: 2   Sq.Ft: 1,172

 Fantastic updated home in Ferry Street Bridge! New laminate wood floors, doors and hardware, fresh interior and exterior paint, and kitchen countertop. Bright and open inside. Living room with dining area. Kitchen with eating bar opens to family roo... View this property >> 

 


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Seller Tip: Get A Home Inspection Prior To Selling

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

One of the largest problems that comes about during a home sale is the fact that there are typically seller paid repairs that need to be done.  The majority of buyers are going to want both a pest and dry rot inspection and a whole home inspection completed as part of their purchase due diligence.  From this inspection, there are typically some repair items that will come about and in most cases the buyer will want many of them taken care by the seller prior to the close of escrow.  Negotiating these repairs during escrow can be nerve racking and can also sometimes create delays with closing.  My suggestion to all of my sellers is to have their home inspected before we go on the market.  This gives us a heads up for any potential issues and also allows the seller to repair major problems.  Typically, this creates a much easier sale process.  The followiong is and article from "US News" on why having a professional inspection prior to selling is a good thing to do.

A home inspection is traditionally known as a part of the due diligence process when a home is under contract with an intended buyer. A professional home inspector will visit the home and conduct a thorough review of the structure, noting any deferred maintenance, defects in the building and the remaining useful life of major appliances and systems such as the air conditioner and water heater.

Depending on what the inspector finds, the results can have a powerful impact on the sale of the house. The buyer can ask for repairs or updates to be made, try negotiating on the sale price or walk away from the deal.

To avoid the unpleasant surprises a home inspection may bring to light, homeowners looking to put their house on the market can opt for a prelisting home inspection, which provides sellers with a thorough report before the home goes on the market. Sellers have the opportunity to make necessary repairs before potential buyers start touring the property and to avoid a deal that falls through due to structural or maintenance problems that could lead to other potential buyers steering clear of a property that has issues.

"The homeowners would do the same diligence as if they were going to buy the house," says Frank Lesh, executive director of the American Society of Home Inspectors.

A prelisting inspection costs the same as one conducted while a property is under contract – ranging between $200 and $475, according to HomeAdvisor, depending on location and whether the inspection includes special checks like those for radon or termites.

Even in a hot real estate market where buyers are snapping up available homes quickly, a prelisting inspection can help reduce the chances a deal could fall through and get you closer to selling your home for the price you want in the time frame you need. Here are five reasons you should consider a prelisting home inspection before putting your house on the market.

Advance notice. Every house comes with its fair share of quirks and problems, and you're probably at least vaguely aware of a few of them – a window that lets water in when it rains or bowing floorboards in one corner of the dining room, for example. If you're planning to put your property on the market, an inspection report ahead of time will help you see all the potential problems together, including some you may not have known about.

The prelisting inspection gives you the knowledge to do with it what you will – make repairs or updates or reflect any deferred maintenance in your sale price, explains Drew White, founder and owner of AmPro Inspections in Colorado Springs, Colorado. "[Sellers] have all the cards – they're not going to be blindsided by any major finds from the buyer's inspection," he says.

There is a caveat: Once you have the report in your hands, you can't completely ignore a problem. If your inspector finds cracks in the foundation, you'll be required to disclose that information as a known defect to the buyer, or fix it before anyone puts an offer in.

"You know the old saying, 'Ignorance is bliss?' Now you can't do that," Lesh says. 

DIY option. For simple repairs, however, the prelisting inspection gives you the added benefit of being able to take on projects yourself. When negotiating with a buyer, necessary repairs will typically require you to bring in professionals for all work done, even when the fixes are simple.

"There's a lot of do-it-yourself projects that the homeowner can do where it's satisfactory, it's not going to be an issue," White says. "If the buyer's inspector finds it – let's say there's an electrical outlet that needs to be replaced or some simple plumbing – they're going to typically mandate that a professional electrician or plumber do it."

An outlet replacement or tightening a washer on a faucet – both simple projects homeowners can do – could be a couple hundred dollars for a pro to complete, White says.

Contractor of choice. For those bigger projects that do require professionals to come out, time is also on your side when your home isn't yet on the market. "They get time to use the contractors they want," White says.

Rather than needing to find a roofer in a specific time frame to appease the buyer, you can shop around for the right price, availability and skill to ensure you're satisfied with the work.

Informed pricing. Of course, there are some projects you're just not willing to take on. If you can't afford to fix a foundation issue with your house or you don't want to invest the money to replace cracked tile in a bathroom when you know a buyer will completely renovate it anyway, you don't necessarily have to take care of the repairs. Instead, "that can be reflected in the price," Lesh says.

Work with your real estate agent to establish the right sale price, taking into account whatever issues you can't – or aren't willing to – fix before putting the house on the market. Your final sale price will be lower, but it may be better than paying for repairs that won't be fully recouped by a buyer's offer.

Buyer may accept results. The fact that your house has already had an inspection can have its own appeal for buyers and can serve as a plus if included in marketing descriptions of the house. Especially in a tight seller's market where buyers have to fiercely compete with each other, you may see more buyers willing to accept the prelisting inspection report and forgo an additional inspection during the due diligence period, moving the process along faster.

Some home inspectors provide a warranty with their inspection reports. AmPro Inspections is one such company, White says, which helps some buyers feel more comfortable because the warranty can be transferred to the next owner. He says homebuyers accept the prelisting inspection roughly 50 percent of the time.

That doesn't mean you can expect buyers to accept the prelisting report as the only inspection. It's like buying a used car from a private individual, Lesh says. While the seller's mechanic may say the car is in great shape, you'll likely want a mechanic you trust to look at it, too.

Plus, if any significant amount of time passes between that first inspection and the buyer's offer, more problems could have popped up, especially in winter, Lesh says: "Are the conditions going to be the same in April as they are in January? Probably not."

Have An Awesome Week!



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8 Quick Tips On Preparing Your Home For Sale

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

Even in the hot sellers market that we currently have here in the Eugene and Springfield area, it is important to prepare your home for sale if you are going to put it on the market. Paying attention to detail and having your home in great condition can mean a quicker sale and far more money.  Even in this market, I see homes sit out there and not sell.  You still have to price your home right, but condition is an extremely important factor for most homebuyers.  Here is an article from "Realty Time" that will give you some pointers on preparing your home for sale.

Unless you've never bought or sold a house before and have never looked at home listings or watched a single show about real estate (which is pretty hard these days), you have some semblance of an idea of how your home should look when you go to sell it. You probably also have a clue about how best to show off that home in photos (or, at least, you know the importance of showing off that home in photos), even if you personally lack the skill to take them yourself.

But what happens when you ignore the rules? Does a hot market render them irrelevant? Is it OK to list a home for top dollar when the condition is more fixer-upper? "You might think that buyers can see the potential of a house that just needs a little bit of work, but most are looking for a house that is move-in ready and doesn't need any major repairs," said Business Insider. "And even a home that only needs minor repairs may still look like a bad deal to some buyers, turning them off based on appearance alone."

The truth is that if you want good money for your home, you have to do a little work to get it "show ready." Buyers expect to be able to walk into a clean, decluttered home - at the very least. If it's not updated, it better at least look like it's move-in ready.

So how do you explain this listing, then? We'll leave the address and other identifying info out of it to protect the innocent. But a few things we can say: The home is brand-new to the market, and is no bargain, as you might think from looking at the photos; It's priced at least $10,000 over what it should be, just based on comparables, which, for a house in the low $200,000s, is considerable. The photos were obviously taken by the homeowner, who clearly didn't know how to best show off the property (although there were a couple snaps that were passable for an amateur) and who, it looks like, didn't even care enough to try to get it right by: Getting the camera in focus, cleaning out cluttered spaces, and even making sure there weren't random people in the frame of one shot.

At least it will serve as a great example of "what not to do" when selling your home.

1. Don't take your own photos

We'd be remiss if we skipped over one of the main problems here before getting into the details. Don't Take Your Own Listing Photos. Oh, were we screaming? Photos that were not professionally done stick out like, well, photos that weren't professionally done.

"You already know that a listing with pictures attracts a lot more attention than one without, but do you know how to take great pictures of a home? Whether you're an agent or a person trying to sell his own home, it's vital that you make a big first impression, and pictures are the best (and maybe only) opportunity that you will have to do just that," said Inman.

If you absolutely insist on taking your own photos, at least consult some basic rules. Most of which were broken in the listing in question. Note that the photo below was one of the better of the bunch.

2. Address your kitchen

Don't want to make any upgrades to your kitchen before you get the home on the market? That'll cost you (literally). Even painting out those cabinets, a cheap and easy fix, would make a huge difference. But, if you're not going to make changes to improve this key area, at least make the most basic effort to show it in its best light by removing as much clutter as you can. That means everything off your countertops. And your fridge. And the top of our fridge. There's no reason that stuff can't be put away for photos, and for showings. Basic staging rule #1. 

3. Emphasize the space and function, not the other way around

That printer on the kitchen counterop says: "We don't have room for a home office." Unplug. Put in closet. Problem solved. 

4. Always keep your selling points in mind

People like bedrooms - clean and tidy bedrooms that they can imagine their children sleeping and playing in. What, exactly, are we trying to show off here? The dead animal on the wall? The clutter on the floor? The glare from the windows? Perhaps the unique angle of the image that ignored all those basic listing photo rules? This shot shows none of the attributes of the room and only makes a potential buyer question the seller's taste level—and gives them closet space concerns. 

5. Focus!

Maybe check the photo to make sure nothing is blurry before posting it? Just a suggestion. Also, even if this picture was in focus, it still wouldn't be effective. You're not selling bedding, you're selling a home. This image tells a potential buyer nothing about the size or condition of the room. 

6. Show off your bathroom

Where do we even start here? From the weird angle that doesn't show the space, to the missing light bulb, to the clutter in the shower/hanging robe, this is just all wrong. 

7. Emphasize outdoor space

It goes without saying that showing off your outdoor space is important. A little effort to repaint the unkempt patio would have helped. At the very least, mow the yard, trim the bushes, and remove the ladder. An unkempt backyard will only make a potential buyer wonder what else needs attention, especially if they've seen some questionable spaces indoors. 

8. Keep people out of your photos

Stalker alert! The straggler near the fence draws attention away from the other features of the yard - which, in this case, might not be so bad, really. Still…If you only have one photo of the yard or if the best of the bunch has a person in the frame, there's still one thing you can do: Learn how to use the camera's crop feature.

Have An Awesome Week!

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Price: $295,000  Beds: 4   Baths: 2   Sq Ft: 1868

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Fix or Maintain These Items Before They Break

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

One of the hardest things to deal with during a home sale are inspections.  Home Inspectors are picky and they find most flaws that exist in any home.  Many times, items that started out as small issues are neglected by homeowners and they become large and expensive issues that need attention during the home sale.  If you pay attention to your home and watch for problems and correct them early, you will save money and if you decide to sell your home, the sale process will become much easier.  Here are a few tips on how to maintain your home.

Your home is your castle. You want to make sure that it looks great on the inside and out. Just like an automobile, a home requires a great deal of maintenance. However, most people think that if it's not broken, then they don't need to fix it. You can save a great deal of money by doing preventative maintenance on the home. Here are some items you need to fix or maintain before they break.

HVAC System

Your home's heating and cooling systems are of the utmost importance. You rely on this unit to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. However, few know that it requires a yearly inspection. If you have a gas powered unit, an inspection could save your life. As a unit begins to age, rust holes form in the heat exchanger. A technician can identify these holes and keep carbon monoxide from leaking into your home. Additionally, you need to make sure that you change your filter once a month. Maintaining your unit will extend its longevity.

Did you know that a home warranty program doesn't have to cover an HVAC unit if it has not been maintained?

Plumbing

When a drain is not allowing the water to exit in a timely manner, people grab the plunger and head to the hardware store for a chemical drain cleaner? However, the real problem is a clog. Drain cleaners can get some minor issues resolved, but you could have an issue deep in the pipes. It is imperative to call for professional help when you have toilets and sinks that constantly are clogged.

You could have a problem with the main sewer line. The last thing you want is sewage filling up in the yard. Consequently, it never hurts to have your system inspected and ensure that things are running well before the winter season.

Electrical

The electrical components of a home are vastly important to your family being able to live in the home. If you have an older home, you may have knob and tube wiring. Older homes may also have a fuse box system rather than the new breaker box type. Additionally, a breaker box may be ill-sized for the home and cause breakers to flip off constantly. The electrical system in your home should not be put off.

If you wait until it's too late, it could result in a fire that causes great damage to the home. If any part of your electrical system is not functioning properly, you need to call in for professional help at once.

Roof

The roof shields the home from the sun, wind, and rain. It allows your home to retain heat and it gives your abode a stylish look. However, the average roof only lasts about 20 years, if you have asphalt shingles. When a roof gets close to the end of its lifespan, shingles may become brittle and start blowing around your yard. You may or may not even notice that your shingles are starting to drift off.


However, it leaves empty spots where rain and debris can get to the sheeting. People get leaks on the inside of the home when the sheeting is damaged. Unfortunately, this allows the rain to slip through. Never wait until your roof is leaking in the house to do something about it. Make sure you have a great roof and it is within its lifespan. Waiting until the last minute could cost you thousands more in unnecessary repairs.

Routine maintenance is as important as paying the mortgage each month. The longevity of your systems and the home's structure depends on it.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

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5 Things You Need To Know About Home Inspections

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

If you are purchasing a home, one of the most important steps is to have the home you are purchasing inspected by a professional home inspector.  This way you will not have any surprises after you have purchased your home.  The following is an article from "Realty Times" that gives you some suggestions on how to get your home inspected.

If you're hiring someone to inspect the home you want to buy, or you're a seller trying to find out if there are any hidden problems that need fixing before you put your home on the market, here are five things you need to know:

1. You can choose your home inspector. Your real estate professional can recommend an inspector, or you can find one on your own. Members of the National Association of Home Inspectors, Inc. (NAHI), must complete an approved home inspector training program, demonstrate experience and competence as a home inspector, complete a written exam, and adhere to the NAHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.

2. Home inspections are intended to point out adverse conditions, not cosmetic flaws.

You should attend the inspection and follow the inspector throughout the inspection so you can learn what's important and what's not. No house is perfect and an inspection on any home is bound to uncover faults. A home inspector will point out conditions that need repair and/or potential safety-related concerns relating to the home. They won't comment on cosmetic items if they don't impair the integrity of the home. They also do not do destructive testing.

3. Home inspection reports include only the basics.

A home inspector considers hundreds of items during an average inspection. The home inspection should include the home's exterior, steps, porches, decks, chimneys, roof, windows, and doors. Inside, they will look at attics, electrical components, plumbing, central heating and air conditioning, basement/crawlspaces, and garages.

They report on the working order of items such as faucets to see if they leak, or garage doors to see if they close properly. Inspectors may point out termite damage and suggest that you get a separate pest inspection. The final written report should be concise and easy to understand.

4. Home inspectors work for the party who is paying the fee.

The NAHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics clearly state that members act as an unbiased third party to the real estate transaction and "will discharge the Inspector's duties with integrity and fidelity to the client." A reputable home inspector will not conduct a home inspection or prepare a home inspection report if his or her fee is contingent on untruthful conclusions.

The inspector should maintain client confidentiality and keep all report findings private, unless required by court order. That means it is your choice whether or not to share the report with others. If you're a seller, you don't have to disclose the report to buyers, but you must disclose any failure in the systems or integrity of your home.

5. Inspectors are not responsible for the condition of the home.

Inspectors don't go behind walls or under flooring, so it's possible that a serious problem can be overlooked. Keep in mind that inspectors are not party to the sales transaction, so if you buy a home where an expensive problem surfaces after the sale, you won't be able to make the inspector liable or get the inspector to pay for the damage. In fact, you may not be entitled to any compensation beyond the cost of the inspection.

As a buyer, you need the home inspection to decide if the home is in condition that you can tolerate. You can use the report to show the seller the need for a certain repair or negotiate a better price. You can also take the report to a contractor and use it to make repairs or to remodel a section of the home.

One thing you should not do when buying a home is skip having the home inspected because of cost or undue pressure by the seller. A home inspection is reasonable, it can save you money in the long run, and it's required by many lenders, particularly for FHA loans. There's a reason why buyers should beware, and a home inspection gives you the information you need to make a sound buying decision.

Have An Awesome Week!

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Price: $250,000    Beds: 3    Baths: 2    Sq Ft: 1776

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Make the Most of Your Home's Drive-Up Appeal

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!


If you currently have a home on the market for sale or if you are getting ready to put your home on the market, the way your home appears on the outside is extremely important. Now that Spring is here and Summer is not far away, the way your home appears outside will have a huge impact on the kind of interest you get in your home. A home with neat, attractive and well kept landscaping will not only get more interest, but it will sell for more money. Here is a blog post from "Realty Times" that adresses curb appeal.

You've probably heard how important curb appeal is when you're trying to sell your home. The first thing buyers look at when they pull up to your home is the big picture -- the house, the yard, the trees, the flowers. It's the impression that counts, and all it takes is one thing to ruin the effect -- a cracked walkway, dead branches in the trees, leggy bushes.

As you look around at all the things you need to fix or update to sell your home, it can be overwhelming. Many sellers struggle with the costs, the decisions, and the time it takes to market their homes. Since most landscaping isn't permanent, you may think it's not as important as other projects that need to be done, but you should strongly consider putting it in the marketing budget.

You can do some of the work yourself or you can get help. But here are five jobs you can do that help you make the most of your home's drive-up appeal.

1. Get rid of anything dead. Dead leaves, flowers, and trees do nothing for your curb appeal. Snip it, rake it and bag it. As you finish, you'll see blank areas. Fill these in with fresh flowers, small bushes, potted plants or yard art. No Gnomes or flamingoes need apply.

2. Cut and weed the grass. If you mow your own lawn, make sure it's freshly mowed every week. Pull or spray weeds so the texture of the grass will be more pleasing.


3. Replace or hide leggy bushes. Nothing makes a front entry look more dated than bushes with longer legs than torsos. Pull them out and replace them, or if it's more expedient, plant boxwoods or other small bushes in front. You can also cover a lot of blank areas with mulch, wood chips or gravel.

 
4. Improve both hardscapes and softscapes. Decorative stone, tile, brick, concrete or wood can add a lot of appeal to the softer elements such as flowers, plants, grasses and ground cover. Landscaping doesn't have to end at the porch. Bring color and vitality to the entry with potted plants and flowers.

5. Light the way. Landscape lighting doesn't have to be expensive. Lanterns to line the walk, or the occasional uplight for the trees can have a glamorous effect on the exterior of your home. Lighting provides security as well as spotlights what you want to call attention to -- a beautiful tree, a flower bed or an architectural element of the house.

If you're not sure where to begin, go to your local landscape supply with a sketch or photo of your home and ask for ideas. Explain that you're selling your home and you need help with curb appeal. You may get a lot of free advice that's really helpful.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

 


88428 Partridge Ln

Price: $749,000     Beds: 3     Baths: 2    ½ Baths: 1     Sq Ft: 3942

Secluded riverfront estate on 4.65 acres! Fish from your own backyard on 300ft of Mckenzie river frontage! Beautiful mountain views surround you on the manicured grounds. Main home features updated kitchen with Dacor 36” duel-fuel range, large...
View this property >>


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10 Things to Avoid When Selling Your Home

by Galand Haas

With the housing marketing beginning to heat up again in the Eugene and Springfield market area, the climate for selling a home has never been better.  If yoiu are considering putting your home on the market, there are a few things controlled by you that can make a huge difference on how long it takes your home to sell and at what price your home sells at. The following is an article from "Realty Times" that goes over some home selling dont's.

When you're selling your home, you need every advantage you can get. And there are few homes that are magically market ready without a little help. If your home needs a touch more than a little help, it's time to get focused. After all, listing your home when it's not in the right condition to sell will probably only end in frustration. And, in this case, frustration means: your home sitting on the market for months with no offers or the errant, offensive, lowball.

If you want to make sure you get your home sold quickly and for the right price, you'll want to avoid listing it with the following.

1. Excessive Damage

Maybe the home you're selling was used as a rental and trashed by frat boy tenants, or maybe you just haven't kept it up as you should. Either way, those holes in the wall that look like the living room was used as a boxing gym, the scratched-up wood floors on which dinosaurs have clearly been racing, and the yard that's barren except for those two-foot-tall patches of weeds are not what buyers are looking for. Unless you're planning to offer your house for a price that will make buyers emphasize the good and ignore the bad and the ugly, it's going to need some attention.

2. Carpet in the bathroom

It's just gross. And everyone who walks into that bathroom is thinking one of two things: 1) There's gotta be mold under there; 2) There's gotta be pee on the floor around that toilet. This is one update you'll want to do before you list. Or, if you're already listed and your home's not selling.

3. Big, nasty stains

A buyer shouldn't know where your dog likes to mark or where your kids spilled the entire bowl of holiday punch. If the stains on your carpet are that bad, potential buyers will stroll in and run right back out. No one wants to buy a pigsty. Invest a few bucks in new carpet. You'll make the money back since you won't have to drop your sales price.

4. Pet smells

Speaking of pets…they smell. You probably don't notice since you live with them everyday, but buyers will, and it might be enough to turn them off. Deep clean the carpets and the upholstery, invest in some air fresheners, and remove cat boxes from the house for showings. The last thing you want is a potential buyer referring to your house as "the stinky one."

5. Loud dogs who bark every time someone approaches the home

One last word on pets. Barking happens, whether it's your dog or one that belongs to a neighbor. But you don't need that on the day of your open house. Offering to pay for doggie day care for a neighbor's pooch can eliminate the issue and help create the serene setting buyers want. 

6. Your dead lawn

Lack of curb appeal won't necessarily kill a deal. In many cases, you won't even get potential buyers to get out of the car. If the front yard is a mess, buyers will naturally think the mess continues inside.

7. A bad agent

Face it. Not all of them are winners. If your agent is: rude, uninformed, lazy, uncommunicative, belligerent, or unwilling to take your opinions into consideration, get a new one. An agent who isn't giving their client the right type of attention probably isn't going to get the job done.

8. Your sloppiness

Those drawers and cabinets you shoved everything into when you cleaned off your kitchen and bathroom cabinets could be a deal breaker for picky buyers. We all know buyers open stuff. They look in drawers, they open cabinets, they examine closets. If these spaces are messy and overstuffed, they may assume there's not enough storage space.

9. Unreasonable sellers

Big problems in your house can be deal killers, but they can also be deal sealers, if you are reasonable. If your inspection uncovers plumbing, electrical, or roofing problems (or all three!) and you're unwilling to negotiate, you can kiss that sale goodbye.

10. Bad Taste

Your poor decorating choices and failure to keep up with trends from this year—or century—may haunt you when it's time to sell. If it's true that many buyers have no vision—and all you have to do is watch House Hunters and observe a buyer getting hung up on a paint color to know that's true—then you are really in for it with your crowded house full of ugly, outdated crap. A few simple updates can help it to look fresh and give buyers something to fall in love with. Not sure where to start? Check out FrontDoor's 15 Updates That Pay Off and HGTV's 10 Best-Kept Secrets For Selling Your Home

 

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

3097 Summit Sky Blvd

Price: $750,000 Beds: 4 Baths: 4 Half Baths: 1 Sq Ft: 4338

Elegant upper end home on 1.06 acres in SW Hills! Maple hardwood flrs, granite, travertine, 3 suites, 2 fireplaces, 2 balconies, family room, library/office, formal dining, bonus room, media room. Gourmet kitchen with cherry cabs, wine fridge, doubl...

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Ways to Brighten Up Your Space When the Sun Goes Down Early

by Galand Haas

Daylight savings time... that glorious day when early risers get an additional hour of sunlight as they greet the merry morning. That horrifying day when commuters find they are cloaked in darkness on their nightly drive home. However you feel about it, one thing is for certain: daylight savings time is here. We're falling back, so what are we going to do about it?

Well, for starters, we're going to make sure it's light and bright in our homes. After all, our health may depend on it.

"Over time, that increase in darkness can lead to feeling blue and even experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder," said Huffington Post. "According to the NIH, symptoms of SAD typically start in late autumn and winter and include increased appetite, increased daytime sleepiness, decreased energy in the afternoon, loss of interest in work, unhappiness and lethargy."

Even if you're not personally affected by the time change, your house is. It's dark in there! Here are some ways to lighten it up.

1. Lose the solar shades

If you have solar shades on your windows to keep the bright sun out and lower your electric bills in summer, consider removing them until spring. You'll get more light streaming into the house, which could also help with your heating bills.

2. Lose the dark drapes

See No. 1. Plus, sheer fabrics and/or lighter colors could re-energize your décor.

"Some window treatments, such as Roman shades, block sunlight even when they're open. But sheer draperies hung on rings are easy to open fully to let in light," said Reader's Digest. "Venetian blinds are also a good choice: They allow you to control the amount of light that comes in, and you can angle them to direct the light into a particular area.

3. Bump up your task lighting

Scour the living areas for dark corners or areas that need a boost. Placing a desk lamp or floor lamp strategically could make your place feel brighter and more inviting.

4. Increase your wattage to the maximum allowed on your lamps

You may have opted for softer light when you purchased your light bulbs, or you may not even know what you have—or what's allowed. Check the lamps for the max wattage and pump up the light accordingly. You'll see a real difference in the amount of brightness in your room.

 

5. Cut through your roof

Installing a skylight can bring light into your house year-round. An option like Solatube is easy to install and surprising affordable and effective.

6. Make it fun

Who says lighting has to be traditional? Use this as an opportunity to show your creativity. And that goes for placement too. If you don't have the perfect spot to put a desk or floor lamp, wall mount it.

Don't have an electrical outlet in a place where you want lighting? Go solar.

You can see some more examples of wall lighting on Houzz.

7. Lighten up

"Dark walls absorb light while brighter walls tend to reflect it," said Build Direct. "On this note, painting your walls white is a great way to get more use out of the natural light that filters through your home's windows."

8. Use mirrors

Mirrors reflect light, so you can actually create the illusion of a lighter space. "Hanging or propping a large mirror on a wall opposite a window doubles the light streaming in," said Reader's Digest. "You can use smaller mirrors to line the backs of bookshelves, or arrange several of them on one wall. Another idea is to buy furniture with glass, chrome, or mirrored accents."

The bonus: mirrors can also make a small space look larger.

9. Clean it up

Don't want to get new mirrors? Clean the ones you have.

"It's amazing just how much sunlight is lost through a window pane covered with dirt, grime and soot. Thoroughly clean one or two windows or mirrors in your home," said The Order Expert. "There's no need to go on a cleaning binge if you don't want to; cleaning just one carefully selected window can work lighting wonders. When you're finished, take a step back and enjoy the fresh, bright light!"

Article originally posted on RealtyTimes

Winter Home Care Tips!

by Galand Haas

Now that we are well into Fall and the weather has certainly changed, it is that time of year to make sure that your home is prepared for the weather ahead.  Here is an informative article from Realty Times that gives you some great inofrmation on winterizing your home.

April may bring showers, but winter weather can bring all sorts of other unexpected and expensive damages to your home. Fall's cool temperatures are a reminder that winter days are on their way - take stock of what you may need to do to prepare your home beforehand, and you'll be ready for the onslaught of ice and snow. Here are several simple, cost-effective tasks you can do now to make the transition into the colder months easier.

1. Clean Out Your Gutter

Once the leaves are off the trees it's time to clean out your gutters. Poorly maintained gutters can damage the roof of your home as well the exterior. When snow and ice mix with clogged gutters, it's a recipe for disaster, inside and out. Leaves and debris will prevent moisture from running off the roof, resulting in ice dams and water leaks. Before flurries form make sure to clear out any waste that's accumulated, and also be sure to note any missing or broken pieces and have them repaired. Remove potentially hazardous branches, or structurally unsound trees that could pose problems under the weight of snow or in the midst of a dangerous windstorm.

2. Have Your Heating System Checked

You don't want to be the person waiting in the frigid cold for a repairman to come when your heater stops in the dead of winter. Instead, have an inspector come in and make sure that the system is well ventilated and running smoothly before the first cold snap hits. Inspections generally run between $70-$100. If you live in an area where winter storms consistently knock out both electricity and heat, consider investing in a small generatorLearn more about what you can do to ensure that your system is operating properly, and give yourself time to make any needed repairs before winter comes and the heating companies are overbooked.

3. Have a Snow Preparedness Kit

It's happened to all of us. Waking up to discover a solid two feet of fluffy white snow layering the ground, only to realize that we've just got one old, dull shovel to dig ourselves free. Before stores are bought out of the necessities, make sure you have everything you need in case of a blizzard:  a shovel, flashlights with extra batteries, one or two bags of road salt to coat the driveway, sidewalk, and walkways, and an ice scraper or two. Keep an emergency kit in a designated spot, and when you awake and find yourself trapped in a winter wonderland, you won't be stuck trying to come up with new and inventive ways of unearthing your car tires.

4. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans aren't only useful in the summer months. If your fan has a reverse switch, you can keep your home extra warm in the winter by reversing the cycle of the blades. Having the blades rotate in the opposite direction will create an updraft. Since heat rises, this pushes the hot air down and re-distributes it throughout your house. It's especially useful for homes that have high ceilings.

5. Caulk Doors and Windows

In the depths of winter the average home can lose nearly one third of its heat through drafty windows and doors. If the gap between your windows and doors is greater than the width of a nickel, it's time to reapply some exterior caulk to prevent this heat from escaping. Silicone caulk is highly recommended due to its non-shrinking quality and impermeability to the harsh elements. Block drafts from coming under doors with "draft dodger" door stoppers. You can easily make your own at home. Taking these extra steps will ensure that when the temperature drops, the cold and unforgiving air will stay outside where it belongs, and save you any money you'd be spending on additional heating.

Have An Wesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

 

 

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393 Lenore LOOP
Price: $249,000 Beds: 3 Baths: 2 Sq Ft: 1649
Pristine & brand new! This beautiful home offers spacious entry, laminate wood floors, granite counters, vaulted ceiling, gas fireplace & Great Room. Dining area with slider, kitchen with stainless steel appliances, island, eating bar & recessed lig...



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4 Easy-Living Design Tips for Any Home

by Galand Haas

One of the basic principles of universal design, also called ageless design, is that it makes homes more practical and safer for everyone — not just the elderly or people with limited mobility.

These days, universal design features are an everyday fact of life for many households, with architects and other professional designers adding universal design ideas as a matter of course.

You don’t have to be a pro designer to incorporate this smart thinking into your own home. If you’re remodeling or simply adding a few upgrades, be sure to keep universal design features in mind. There are lots of resources that’ll give you some great starting points.

As we remodel our 1972 ranch-style house (we’re on the multi-year, budget-as-you-go plan), my wife and I have incorporated several low-cost, easy-to-do UD features. A few of our favorites:

1. Switch out doorknobs for lever-style handles. Doorknobs require lots of dexterity and torque to open; with levers you simply press and go.

Makes sense for folks with arthritis, of course, but think about an emergency situation when everyone, including small kids, needs to exit fast: A lever handle is a safe, foolproof way to open a door.

A big plus: Levers are good-looking and can contribute to the value of your home. A standard interior passage door lever in a satin nickel finish costs $12 to $25; you’ll pay $25 to $50 for a lockable lever set for your bath or bedroom. Replacing door hardware is an easy DIY job.

2. Replace toggle light switches with rocker-style switches. Rocker switches feature a big on/off plate that you can operate with a finger, a knuckle, or even your elbow when you’re laden with bags of groceries.

Rocker switches are sleek and good-looking, too. Ever notice how conventional toggle switches get dirt and grime embedded in them after a couple of years? No more! You’ll pay $3 for a single-pole rocker switch, up to $25 for a set of three-way switches.

3. Anti-scald devices for your bathroom prevent water from reaching unsafe temps. An anti-scald shower head ($15 to $50) reduces water flow to a trickle if the water gets too hot. An anti-scald faucet device ($30 to $50) replaces your faucet aerator and also reduces hot water flow.

Anti-scald valves — also known as pressure-balancing valves — prevent changes in water pressure from creating sudden bursts of hot or cold water. An anti-scald valve ($80 to $170) installs on plumbing pipes inside your walls. If you don’t have DIY skills, you’ll pay a plumber $100 to $200 for installation.

4. Motion sensor light controls add light when you need it. They come in a variety of styles and simple technologies. I like the plug-in sensors ($10 to $15). You simply stick them into existing receptacles, then plug your table or floor lamps into them. When the sensor detects motion, it turns on the light.

They’re great for 2 a.m. snacking, or if your young kids are at that age when they migrate into your bed in the middle of the night. The lights turn off after about 10 minutes if no more motion is detected.

Article orginially posted on Houselogic.com

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Galand Haas Team
Keller Williams Realty Eugene and Springfield
2644 Suzanne Way
Eugene OR 97408
Direct: (541) 349-2620
Fax: 541-687-6411

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