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How to Ensure Your Dog Is a Good Neighbor

Posted by on Mar 4, 2016 in Real Estate | 0 comments

A dog (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Blenheim-coloured) lying in the grass.

Mastering a few basic commands and behaviors will make your dog a welcome sight on your block.

There’s nothing worse than living next door to an incessant barker or a dog who jumps on people without invitation. It’s important to ensure your dog is not that dog.

The American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program is recognized as the gold standard in good dog behavior. If your dog has already had some basic training, sign your pooch up for this 10-step program so he can officially earn the letters CGC behind his name.

Contrary to popular opinion, the Canine Good Citizen certification is not only for purebreds and show dogs. Any dog and any pet parent can apply for this certification because the program focuses on recognizing well-mannered dogs and responsible pet parents. It signifies that a dog is well socialized around both people and other dogs.

And, despite the saying you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, there are no age limitations for your dog to apply for CGC. But if you have a youngster, the AKC’s recently introduced S.T.A.R. (Socialization, Training, Activity, Responsibility) Puppy program will give your new pal a nice certificate to frame, and you can brag about his basic training and socialization skills.

How to sign up (more…)

5 Steps to Ease Home-Buying Anxiety

Posted by on Mar 2, 2016 in Real Estate | 0 comments

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Don’t let uncertainty about the mortgage process keep you on the sidelines. These tips will help you feel more prepared for homeownership.

Many consumers have misconceptions about what it takes to qualify for a mortgage. Most believe the requirements are tougher than they actually are, according to a recent Fannie Mae survey.

When asked about key mortgage qualification criteria (such as down payment percentage, credit score, and debt-to-income ratio), roughly half of consumers selected “don’t know” or provided an invalid answer.

To be sure you’re ready to buy a home, and ease any anxiety you have about the process, Fannie Mae offers the following five suggestions.

  1. Learn all you can about mortgages

(more…)

4 Ways to Warm Up Your Bathroom

Posted by on Feb 26, 2016 in Real Estate | 0 comments

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Hate stepping out of the tub into a frosty room? Try these ideas for keeping your bathroom toasty.

Winter can be a brutal season of frigid air, icy water, and teeth-chattering numbness — none of which are conditions that should describe your bathroom.

Tile, marble and porcelain — some of the main components of lavatory design — aren’t exactly known for their warmth. But with a little rejiggering, a small installation or two, and maybe some minor renovations, any WC can become a cozy, well-heated respite. Here are four ways to warm up your bathroom and chase the chill away.

Heated flooring (more…)

Preparing Your Home for Severe Winter Storms

Posted by on Feb 24, 2016 in Real Estate | 0 comments

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Winter is here, and with it comes beautiful snow and comforting fireplaces. However, this time of year also brings the very real chance of severe winter storms. Blizzards, ice storms and dangerously low temperatures can pose serious threats to you and your home.

Having your home ready to combat the worst of winter weather is something no homeowner should take lightly. The mercury is dropping — are you prepared?

Inside the home

Make sure these indoor winterizing tasks are squared away before it’s too late. (more…)

The 5 Most Common Home Insurance Claims

Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 in Real Estate | 0 comments

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Home insurance is necessary to protect one of the largest investments you’ll likely make in your lifetime. Homeowners purchase coverage to protect their homes and belongings from specified perils, all the while hoping they’ll never have to file an insurance claim.

Standard policies can protect a home and its contents from disasters such as fire, wind, theft, hail and more, depending on your provider and the coverage you select.

Here’s a look at the five most common claims.

  1. Wind and hail

(more…)

How Buyers Should Prepare for Their Final Walk-Through

Posted by on Feb 17, 2016 in Real Estate | 0 comments

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The final walk-through in real estate was designed so that the buyer can confirm the home is in the same condition as when they made their offer and had the home inspected. Its also an opportunity to make sure the seller has actually vacated.

From time to time, a buyer and seller will have negotiated any number of fixes during escrow. The walk-through gives the buyer a chance to make sure all the agreed-upon work has been done to specifications, and that everything is in working order.

Sometimes, buyers are so excited to close that they quickly whisk through the walk-through without taking time to inspect the property. This can lead to small issues once the buyers take ownership. On the other hand, the final walk-through can raise both positive and negative emotions during this final part of the sale process.

It’s smart to take the walk-through seriously. Don’t see it as simply checking a box.  You should run all the faucets and check for leaks. Flush the toilet bowls, open every window and close it and make sure the appliances work.

Here are some tips for buyers to help complete a smooth and effective walk-through.

Don’t do the walk-through the day of closing (more…)

Understanding Renters’ Legal Rights

Posted by on Feb 12, 2016 in Real Estate | 0 comments

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Renting a home can be highly beneficial for anyone seeking a short-term housing option or a lower commitment than a home purchase.

However, this option can lead to uncomfortable issues in the event a landlord is lax in following the terms of the lease agreement — or otherwise forgets that renters have legal rights.

Here are some of the more common issues that arise between renters and landlords. If you think your landlord is acting outside the bounds of state and federal housing laws, be sure you have a little legal ammo to make your argument.

Security deposits (more…)

What to Do If You Get an Offer … But Your Home Isn’t for Sale

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Real Estate | 0 comments

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It’s the knock on the door that comes out of left field. Or the unexpected envelope in the mail. A stranger says he wants to buy your house, and for a great price.

Or what’s even more common is that a friend of a friend or acquaintance approaches you about her desire to purchase your home.

What should you do when you receive an offer from a buyer when your home isn’t even on the market? It happens more than you would think, and it’s helpful to consider your options, whether you’ve thought about selling or not.

Why does this happen? (more…)

How to Choose and Keep a Long Lasting Roof

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in Real Estate | 0 comments

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Built to last from extremely durable materials, your home’s roof probably receives scant attention — until there’s a problem.

Its best not to wait until water pours through the ceiling to educate yourself about roofing essentials. For first-time and long-time homeowners alike, this guide is key to researching a roof replacement and extending its lifespan through proper maintenance.

Material matters

The right roofing material should be both complementary to your home’s architectural style and appropriately suited to your climate. Selecting the best material is the first step to ensuring a long life and sidestepping costly repairs down the road. (more…)

What Is a Home Warranty, and Do You Need One?

Posted by on Feb 3, 2016 in Real Estate | 0 comments

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First-time homeowners may be in for a shock when their water heater breaks on a cold winter morning, or their dishwasher starts to leak all over the new hardwood floors in the kitchen. The instinctive call to the landlord won’t work this time around. Welcome to the joys of homeownership. So, when this happens, what do you do?

Many homeowners aren’t equipped to perform even small repairs, particularly when they come at inopportune times. For some, a handy family member nearby could do the trick. Or a new home buyer may know a plumber or an electrician — but they likely won’t have a lot of time to get bids and figure out the cause of the problem, much less get it repaired.

What’s the next best thing to a landlord for a new homeowner? A home warranty. (more…)

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