Kathy Portway - SUCCESS! Real Estate



Posted by Kathy Portway on 2/12/2018

Buying a new home is an exciting prospect. Touring a house can feel like walking around your favorite store, picking out all of the things you love. It's easy to get distracted by things like fresh paint or nice furniture†and forget to look for important structural aspects of the home that can make or break a deal. Most sellers will be honest and straightforward with you about the state†of the home. In some cases, they are required by law to inform you about costly issues with the home (lead paint or sewage issues, for example). Other times, a seller is under no legal obligation to inform you about potential problems†with the home. In these instances, you'll need to rely on your own†senses. To help you out, we've compiled a list of the top ten red flags to beware of when buying a home.

  1. Fresh paint† It's common practice when selling a house to put a fresh coat of paint on the walls. It's an inexpensive way to spruce up the home for potential buyers. Sometimes, however, the paint is used as a quick fix for hiding more serious issues. Water damage, mold, and mildew can all be covered up, momentarily, by a coat of paint.
  2. Strong odors We say "strong" rather than "bad" odors because sometimes someone selling a home will try to mask bad smells with air fresheners or candles. Bad smells in a house can be the result of plumbing issues, humidity, indoor smokers, water damage, pet urine, uncleanliness, and any number of undesirable things.
  3. Bad roofing Missing, broken or stacked shingles are all signs that the roof is in need of repair--a costly fix you probably want to avoid if buying a new home.
  4. Cracked foundation A damaged foundation could be a sign of serious structural problems with the house. Especially in sloped areas, cracked foundations can lead to water damage in the basement.
  5. Poor wiring† Don't be afraid to ask to test out the lights and outlets in a home or take a look at breaker boxes. Flickering lighting and faulty outlets are signs that a home is in need of electric work.
  6. Pest issues† Many people underestimate the power of insects when it comes to damaging a home. Wood-eating termites and carpenter ants can both devastate the structure of a home and usually results in an expensive repair.†Noticing ants is a huge red flag, but if you suspect a home could have an infestation for any reason try to get it inspected by a pest control firm before you make the deal.
  7. Locked doors and off-limit rooms† When touring a home there should be no areas that you aren't allowed to see. A locked door or "do not enter" sign are all red flags that the seller may be hiding something in that room.
  8. Leaking faucets Small plumbing issues like leaky faucets or toilets that run excessively are signs that there could be even larger issues with the plumbing in the house.
  9. Deserted neighborhood Multiple homes for sale in the neighborhood, deteriorating buildings and closed businesses are all signs of a problem neighborhood. It could be due to economic issues or a decaying community, but either way these are things you'll want to consider before moving into a new neighborhood.
  10. Defective windows† Windows that are sealed shut, fogged up, or won't open or close are all signs of costly repairs. You're going to depend on windows for the security of your home, lighting and aesthetic, and to a minor degree for retaining heat. They should all function properly.





Posted by Kathy Portway on 7/10/2017

Many of us work long hours all week so that we can afford the luxuries of a nice home. Unfortunately, keeping your home clean and updated requires even more time that you donít have.

The good news is that there are a growing number of ways to make your home less high maintenance. Things like automation, decluttering techniques, and cleaning hacks have made it easier than ever for us to take care of our homes while still having time to enjoy them.

Home automation

Tony Starkís skyrise in Iron Man, the Jetson familyís house, and Nathanís lab in Ex Machina all have one thing in common: robots that help make our home lives easier. What was once reserved for sci-fi, however, is beginning to be introduced at affordable prices in the real world.

There are many different types of home automation devices available on todayís market. One of the simplest time-saving devices is Amazonís dash button. You can buy a button for several different household items. You keep the buttons in your cabinet or pantry and when you run out of, say, laundry detergent you can simply press the button and Amazon will automatically order and ship more.

For something more advanced, home assistants are gaining in popularity. Amazonís Echo, Googleís Home, and others are currently gaining traction. They typically look like a normal small speaker. But with them you can order items online, set alarms and reminders for things like cleaning or car maintenance, control your lights and thermostat, and more.

Cleaning robots

Youíve probably seen the Roomba before--the small robot that vacuums your house for you by learning the floor layout. If you havenít, nowís the time to look into them. The market is diversifying and the technology is improving, making them even more helpful to have around the house.

Robots arenít just for the indoors. You can now purchase a robot that mows your lawn for you. It learns the parameters of your yard, how to avoid obstacles, and soon itís cutting the grass while you sit back in a lounge chair.

Smart weatherproofing

While weíre on the topic of your homeís exterior, letís discuss some ways to make the outside of your home low maintenance. Gutter guards and leaf filters are a great way to make sure your gutters donít get clogged, protecting your gutters and in turn your foundation.  

When it comes to roofing, there are now several alternatives that will outshine and outlast traditional shingles. Metal roofs are growing in popularity as they now come in several aesthetically appealing forms.

Cleaning hacks

The best cleaning hacks are the ones that save you time and reduce the number of times you have to clean something. For the shower doors in your bathroom, cleaning them with Rain-X glass cleaner (built for car windshields) will keep them clear and shining longer.

Dusting a home takes a lot of time. Most people see dusting as an inevitable weekly task. However, there is a way to reduce the dust that gets kicked up in your home. The amount of dust that builds up on the surfaces of your home is largely due to air conditions. An air purifier and a humidifier can both help to reduce that amount of dust in your home.




Tags: Maintenance   home   Automation  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Kathy Portway on 3/28/2016

Smoke detectors save lives. Many people may be lulled into a false sense of security thinking they have smoke detectors in their home. Smoke detectors that are not installed or maintained properly are not safe. Here are a few tips on what you need to know about buying, installing, and maintaining your smoke detectors: What should I buy? The National Burn Institute recommends only buying smoke alarms tested by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). You will also want to make sure the smoke detector has a battery backup. Smoke detectors that don't work in a power outage are no good. Consider buying a combination smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector, they may be more expensive, but well worth the money. There are two main types of smoke alarms, which are categorized by the type of smoke detection sensor used in the alarm. They are ionization and photoelectric. Ionization smoke detectors Ionization detectors respond quickly to flaming fires with smaller combustion particles. They†contain a chamber with two plates that generate a small, continuous electric current. When smoke enters the ionization chamber, the smoke particles disrupt the current flow, which triggers the alarm. Photoelectric smoke detectors Photoelectric detectors respond more quickly to smoldering fires. They†use a light beam and light receptor. When smoke is present between the light and receptor, the photocell sensor triggers the alarm. Combination smoke detectors The best smoke alarms can sense both types of fires (flaming and smoldering). For the highest degree of safety and preparedness, there are combination smoke alarms also that combine ionization and photoelectric detectors into one unit, called dual sensor smoke alarms. Check with your local fire department to see what kind of detector they recommend. Installation and Maintenance Smoke detectors should be installed on each floor, outside of every bedroom and sleeping area and near any air vents. Detectors should also be installed high on walls or on ceilings because smoke rises. Avoid installing detectors near windows, doors or where there are openings where smoke can escape. Check with your local fire department for specific regulations on the placement of detectors. Smoke detectors have a lifespan of about seven to 10 years, and it's important to replace old detectors according to the model's recommendations. Test your alarmís batteries monthly and remember to replace all batteries at least once a year. Clean and vacuum the grill of your detector to get rid of dust and debris. Other maintenance includes a monthly testing of the alarm and cleaning with a vacuum hose about once every month.







Tags