Expect the Unexpected

Expect the Unexpected

Have you heard of the phrase, “house poor?” I never like my clients to use all their cash for down payments and closing costs. It is important to have access to cash and expect the unexpected. When you own a home, you need to be ready for anything to cost you money. You probably have prepared yourself for buying new furniture or a refrigerator. You may have even budgeted for new blinds or carpet replacement. But what about plumbing or electrical issues or window replacement? That was probably not on your wish list when you signed on the dotted line. Picture this: You want to add a beautiful wood deck off the back of the house. You want it landscaped beautifully and have some twinkle lights inside a pergola framing the deck. Your daughter’s baptism is next month and the whole family will be in town to celebrate. You can’t wait to show off the house and the new deck. You envision evenings on your deck, under the stars and the twinkling lights with a glass of wine in your hand, breathing in the sweet smell of having put your stamp on your new home. Screech – halt! You pull a permit for the deck and the electrical and it is discovered that the existing out-building was not built with a permit and the electrical that you were going to tap into is not up to Code, so now what? Now you have to have that electrical box redone so you can have your twinkle lights on the deck because the house box is maxed out. Ok. Not so bad, but it’s going to add about $1000 to the total cost. But you proceed. Once the deck is in full swing, you begin work on the landscaping. While holes for the shrubs are being dug, the septic line is uncovered and, unfortunately, so is a leak. It could be worse, you think. It could have began sweeping into your house and causing real issues and that does explain the rotten smell in the air off and on for a couple weeks. You pause the beautification and call the plumber. It won’t add too much to repair the leak and you are glad you found it before it caused more trouble. The project continues and it is smooth sailing now. Or is it? The deck and backyard is complete and you are enjoying a warm evening outside only to go inside and realize that someone must have turned the AC off. It’s hotter inside than it is on the deck and your family is arriving in 36 hours. UGH!! You guessed it. You need a new HVAC unit and there’s...

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Celebrity Closets

Celebrity Closets

  Confession: For years I have dreamed of having a master closet like you see in celebrity homes. You know, the wall of shoes, handbags on display, color coordinated, separated by season. Well, though you may not have the bank account of a celebrity, you can still have a closet fit for one if you’re willing to do a little research and maybe a little construction. Let’s look at some options. “Almost” DIY closet. This is a closet system that you can find at places like Ikea, Home Depot, Lowe’s, or The Container Store. You will most likely design it yourself and assemble it yourself. It has the shelves, rods, drawers, hardware, etc. and you put it all together. These can be quite affordable and look great. Most retailers have loads of accessories just like the more custom companies, possibly just not as many options in style, color, or specialty accessories. If you are on a budget, like the DIY, and are confident in your ability to plan your space, this can be a great solution. In some cases, you can even pay a little extra to have it assembled in the space. You can dream it today and have your closet tomorrow if you go this route. “Almost” Custom closet. This closet is purchased from a closet company like Closets by Design or California Closets. A designer comes to your home or you can visit a showroom. They will measure your space, look at your wardrobe, pantry, garage, or office, and help design storage options to best suit your needs. They will show you a rendering of what your closet will look like and you can make any adjustments necessary. They have a nice selection of styles, colors, and accessories. After design approval, they will set a time to come install your closet. In some cases, they will tear any existing closet out as well. You will typically wait 3-6 weeks for this option, depending on the size of the space but you won’t have to do any assembly so it could be a great trade-off. This is a great solution if you don’t like DIY, aren’t sure what you want/need, or you just want a little more custom feel. Celebrity Custom. If you want to be the envy of all your friends, this is the closet for you. A designer will come to your home, look at your space and your items you would like organized. They may bring pictures of work they have done in the past to give you ideas but they won’t have boxed systems to choose from. They will assess your needs and priorities and design a closet that fits you specifically. This...

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Nashville Alarms

Nashville Alarms

Being a Realtor, clients, friends, and family often ask for vendor recommendations. I have a large list of professionals that I have used or referred. Some come with a disclaimer about their response time or their price. Not the case with CSS Alarms. Justin Krause is the owner and he demands excellence from everyone he employs. He uses quality equipment, has great prices, and their customer service is top notch. I asked him to write an article for you so you could be educated about the differences in alarm companies and make a great decision. Justin’s information is at the bottom of this blog if you are looking for a company to keep you, your family, and your belongings safe (or you want some really cool audio/video toys). Firstly, It should be noted that I may be considered biased by some readers as I own and operate a local Nashville alarm company.  But it’s a quick read, so check it out and make the call for yourself.  This is truly the Nashville alarm scene as I see it. With an unbelievably vast pool of companies offering Nashville alarm systems and Nashville Alarm monitoring, how do you, as the consumer pick the right company for you?  Hopefully through reading this, we can clear things up for you.  Though is seems like there are a million choices, in reality there are only a few business models in the entire industry.  Let’s have a look into each and see which model fits you best. 1st Model:  The Contract Companies Typically, this is what the big national outfits do.  They have very large advertising budgets and seasonal sales forces that roll out every summer.  You know them best as the “Door-Knockers.”  They will offer equipment for “free” or at a “discount” so long as you sign a three or five year term contract.  This allows consumers to sometimes get an alarm system at a lower initial cost, but usually it will cost them much more over the life of the system.  That’s where the contract comes in.  We’ve all heard the “no such thing as a free lunch” saying.  That applies to all industries, but especially the alarm industry.  Your monitoring rate suddenly begins to rise $5 here and $4 dollars there and when you call to complain to the person who sold you the contract, they are no longer available and you’re stuck in the vicious cycle of the call center. Another pitfall, aside from the contract, is that they will use proprietary monitoring equipment that other alarm companies cannot use.  Why you ask?  You guessed it!  Just another way to make it harder for you to leave.  They figure that if they have you...

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