Scary Houses

Scary Houses

  ‘Tis the season to talk about all things scary so I thought I’d write about scary houses. Buying or selling a house can be scary. Some things should be taken care of prior to selling and some things you may need to run away from. Mold. We see mold more often than we’d like in our area. Tennessee has a humid climate. If there is not proper ventilation in crawl spaces or if exhaust fans are not present or used properly, there can be mold in crawl spaces and bathrooms. If there has ever been a water leak or any water penetration, there can be mold. The scary thing here is that you may not see the evidence of mold because it may be in the walls. The best thing to do, as a buyer, is ask if there has ever been any water damage. The best thing to do, as a seller, is to take care of water immediately and, if necessary, remove any drywall around the wet area and make sure it is completely dry and void of mold before doing the cosmetic repair. Some buyers will walk away from a deal where mold has been found due to health issues, so be diligent in any repair you may do. Foundation. This is a big scary issue for buyers and sellers alike. Foundation work can be expensive and it can be very involved. Foundation issues can also continue to surface as ground shifts. There are historical homes that have to be “jacked up” every year or two simply due to age. They don’t have to be houses that you walk away from, necessarily, you just have to know the risks. The good thing about foundation work that is performed by licensed contractors, is that a lot of the work is warrantied for an extended period of time. If the Seller is willing to remedy the situation and provide a warranty, a lot of buyers will still buy the house because they have peace of mind. Roofs. If a roof is in need of replacing and you are a seller, in most cases, you are better off biting the bullet and replacing the roof. A lot of homeowners know they need a roof replacement but they wait for that big storm to hit so they can get some help from their insurance company. Well, if that big storm never hits, they may have caused themselves more issues due to potential leaks and the urgency of the needed repairs/replacement once they are ready to sell. My suggestion is to get a roof inspection from a reputable contractor prior to listing the house and do any necessary repairs. It is a big...

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Baby It’s Cold Outside!

Baby It’s Cold Outside!

  Baby it’s cold outside! Have you turned on the heat yet? Chances are, unless you live in Florida or Arizona, the answer is probably, “yes”. A lot of people think that they should wait until Spring to sell their house. They ask me if it’s best to wait until the holidays are over and the weather warms up. Not necessarily. There are a few reasons why you may want to test the market now. Lookie-loos don’t go out in the cold. That’s a Realtor term – haha. People that are just kicking tires, not serious buyers, are typically not going to browse around when the weather is bad. They are more likely to stay inside and look online. They also have too many things going on with the holiday season to fill their time so they don’t have time to window shop for houses. Therefore, most people that see your home will actually be serious, qualified buyers. Houses feel “homier” in the cold months. If you have a fireplace, it’s a great time to use it. If you have twinkle lights or holiday decorations, they all make the house feel cozier and more like a home. Warning: Don’t go overboard with decorations. The house still has to look spacious and too many decorations can make rooms look smaller, cluttered, and be distracting for potential buyers. There are less daylight hours. You may think this is a bad thing, however, if you are still living in your home, buyers will only have so many daylight hours in which to view your home and you will only be incovenienced with showings during those hours. Fewer houses are on the market. This automatically gives you an advantage versus waiting until the Spring when you have a lot more competition. You may be out of town. If you are travelling, you may be more open to showings at any time because you won’t be there anyway. You can clean before you leave and not have to worry about tidying up. Certainly there are negatives: There may be less showings. Because there are typically less buyers in the market at this time, you will likely have less people see it and, therefore, it may take longer to sell. Your holidays may be interrupted. A lot of folks travel for the holidays. Some think about moving closer to their relatives and since they are in town, they want to see houses. This may mean that they want to see your house on Christmas Eve or the day after Thanksgiving when your house looks like Cousin Eddie is visiting. Landscaping can look drab. While the inside of the house may be warm and inviting, the outside may look...

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Money Isn’t Everything

Money Isn’t Everything

  You’ve heard the expression, “Money isn’t everything” but do you really believe it? Maybe there is a part of you that wants to believe it but you’re not sure that you can really live by it. I’ve had little money and I have had plenty of money. I have been happy with both. Both situations can cause stress. Both situations can make you feel carefree. So, which one is right for you? There’s no right or wrong answer here, but here are some things to consider: Is acquiring money keeping you from family or friends? Are you able to use the money you are acquiring or are you too busy working for it? Have your eating habits changed? Are you exercising? Has your personality changed since focusing on acquiring money? How’s your mood? Do you live vicariously through social media? If you are in a work environment that makes you money but the culture is terrible, you may want to re-think your situation. Money can bring great joy but it can also cause you to be miserable and have health problems if the acquisition of it is consuming. A friend of mine recently told me that he ruined a relationship because he worked too much and that he’s not going to do it again. He will do what he needs to do to make money and be smart with it but not at the expense of his happiness. On the other hand, not focusing on money at all can cause just as much stress: Do you worry about paying bills each month? Do you have a savings account? How many credit cards do you have and are they maxed out? Do you live beyond your means? If friends ask you to go out, do you have to check your bank account first? The bottom line is, we need to have some balance when it comes to money. Money isn’t everything but it is needed to live comfortably in our world today. Another saying you may want to adopt is “Work Hard and Play Hard.” Make sure you are doing what you need to do to support yourself but take time to enjoy it...

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Let’s Get (a) Physical

Let’s Get (a) Physical

  A cold, the flu, broken bones, bruises. Some of these will go away on their own, but sometimes we need the help of a professional. Sometimes, we have symptoms but don’t know what’s wrong. And, other times, we may not have any symptoms at all, or think they are just normal wear and tear on our body but really, they are much more serious. We are told to get yearly exams and a physical from our primary care physician. We are told to get our teeth cleaned twice a year by our dental professional. Some of us see a chiropractor on a regular basis to make sure we stay aligned and in balance. Some may get regular acupuncture or acupressure treatments as well. All to make sure our bodies are performing the way they are supposed to. We all know that when it comes to our health, if we find things out early, we have a better chance of combating illness or disease. If we take care of our bodies by eating right, exercising, and getting enough rest, we have a better chance of preventing the illness altogether. If we don’t take care of ourselves and we don’t go to the doctor until symptoms are severe, we may put ourselves through more pain and suffering than necessary. And at the very worst, we may not be able to correct the problem. It is the same with your house. In my years as a REALTOR, I have seen too many houses to count. Most home owners have done a fairly decent job taking care of their home. Comparing to the human body, they have missed a couple of physicals here or there and maybe only get their teeth cleaned once a year. They’ve had to fix a few things that could have been prevented, but for the most part, it’s in good shape. There are those rare homeowners that stay on top of every maintenance item possible. They have a handyman on call and they spend the money to maintain instead of having minor things turn into major. These are the people that do exactly what their doctors tell them to and are pictures of health. On the other hand, there are many more that wait to go to the dentist until their tooth hurts so bad they can’t sleep and end up having to get the tooth pulled when if they had been getting regular cleanings, the problem could have been solved with a small filling. These are the homeowners that don’t even change the air filter in their HVAC unit – ever. Just like some will argue that you will spend more money to eat healthy and get regular checkups, some will also say that you will spend...

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5 Tips to go From RR to R & R

5 Tips to go From RR to R & R

  How are you feeling? Are you exhausted? Are you in need of a break? Are you Running Ragged or are you bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to take on the world, Rested & Refreshed? Last week, I took a break. The first vacation I have had in over a year and a half. I took on some new challenges this past year that prevented me from getting away without distraction, and as a Realtor, it’s difficult to completely “check out”. However, I knew it was way overdue. I knew I needed to recharge so I could come back with a fresh mindset and a new vigor and passion for my work. Here are 5 tips to go from RR to R & R: Get away. I went to the beach but not everyone can go out of state and you don’t always need to spend vacation kind of money. Getting away can be as simple as house sitting for a friend while they’re gone. It will give you a change of scenery and you can pretend you’re in another world. Get in nature. When you can take a hike in a beautiful setting or walk through a nature park, listen to the sounds around you, take in the sights. Nature is an amazing thing. It can calm your spirit and destress you in a very organic way. Set auto-responders. Create an “out of office” greeting on your voice mail and an auto-responder for all emails. Let people know when to expect a response and/or tell them who they can contact in your absence. You don’t even have to be gone. Just do it on a random Tuesday. Just knowing you will not have to react to everyone that “needs” you, will do wonders for your attitude. Take a Staycation. Sometimes we can let things go around the house to the point that it stresses us out just to walk in our own home. Why not take time out to focus on getting those things fixed, organized, moved, tossed, and cleaned, without having to do anything else. When you get back into your normal life, you will feel the difference without those things staring you in the face every time you come home. Unplug. I think it goes without saying, but, however you are trying to go from RR to R&R, you MUST turn off your electronics. This doesn’t have to be long term and it doesn’t have to be for the entire time. If you even turn them off for a few hours at a time you will feel a difference. Some people think that their downtime is perusing through Facebook to see what their friends are doing or...

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