Dana Claflin - ERA Key Realty Services



Posted by Dana Claflin on 6/4/2020

As a homebuyer, it is important to set high expectations. At the same time, a homebuyer must act reasonably, or he or she risks missing out on a golden opportunity to acquire the perfect residence.

Ultimately, becoming a reasonable homebuyer can be quick and easy – here are three tips to help you do just that.

1. Establish Realistic Expectations for the Homebuying Journey

The homebuying journey sometimes can take weeks or months to complete, and a homebuyer should plan accordingly. By doing so, a homebuyer can prepare for any potential homebuying pitfalls.

For example, a homebuyer may submit an offer on a home and receive a "Yes" from a home seller. But if a home inspector discovers myriad problems with a residence, a homebuyer may need to walk away from the house and restart the homebuying journey.

In the aforementioned scenario, a homebuyer may become frustrated and annoyed, and for good reason. Conversely, if a homebuyer understands the challenges associated with buying a house, he or she can plan for the best- and worst-case scenarios.

2. Search for Homes That Fall Within Your Price Range

Have you established a budget for your home search? If not, you may wind up focusing on houses that you won't be able to afford.

Get pre-approved for a home loan – you'll be glad you did. With a home loan in hand, you can enter the real estate market with a homebuying budget. Then, you'll be able to narrow your home search to houses that fall within your price range, thereby speeding up your search for the ideal residence.

It won't take long to get pre-approved for a home loan, either. In fact, if you meet with local banks and credit unions, you can instantly learn about a variety of home loan options.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Although you know that you want to buy a house, you have no idea what to expect during the homebuying journey. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you can learn what it takes to stay calm, cool and collected as you search for a house.

A real estate agent is a housing market expert who takes pride in his or her work. As such, a real estate agent will be available to respond to your homebuying concerns and questions, ensuring that you can make an informed home purchase.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to eliminate homebuying hurdles.

For instance, a real estate agent is happy to negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf, guaranteeing that you can avoid the stress of negotiating a home price. Or, if you need help finding a qualified home inspector, real estate attorney or other local professionals, your real estate agent can provide honest, unbiased recommendations.

Be reasonable as you kick off your search for your dream residence. That way, you can seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey and improve your chances of acquiring a house that matches or exceeds your expectations.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by Dana Claflin on 5/28/2020

Photo by Hédi Benyounes on Unsplash

Dressing up your bathroom can not only make your house have more sales appeal but also can make your morning routine a little more cheerful. One way to dress up a pedestal sink and even add a pop of color to your bathroom pallet is by adding a colorful skirt.

1. Take Your Measurements

The first step to creating your pedestal sink skirt is getting the proper measurements for your fabric. You will need to measure the distance from the bottom portion of the sink to the floor. Add one inch to these measurements to allow for the bottom hem. For width, you will need to measure around the three sides of the sink, ignoring the back. Once you have this measurement, you will want to double it, so there is plenty of fabric to gather. 

2. Choose Your Fabric

Once you have your measurements, it is time to choose the right fabric. If you have a neutral bathroom color scheme, adding a bright color is the perfect way to liven up the space. You can also go for a more modern look by adding contrasting fabric to the bottom portion. If mixing two fabrics, be sure to add and extra inch to both in your measurements to account for the extra you need to put them together. 

3. Cut & Sew Your Skirt

Use your measurements to cut the material to the required dimensions. You will then want to finish the raw edges of the material by folding them over and sewing a hem around the entire fabric. Once you're done, use a running stitch to gather the fabric, making sure to monitor the measurement to it will fit around your sink.

4. Affix the Skirt to Your Sink

The last step in the process is attaching the skirt to the edge of your sink. Apply a length of hook Velcro to the three sides of the pedestal sink that you will be covering. Next, apply the same length of loop Velcro to the fabric, making sure you use Velcro that has an adhesive. Not only does this process make it easy to install, but it also makes it easy to remove and wash when needed

By following the few simple steps above, you can transform your pedestal sink into the show-stopping center of your bathroom with simple the cost of a little fabric. Whether you prefer unique patterns or bold colors, you can find the perfect way to accentuate your decor.  





Posted by Dana Claflin on 5/21/2020

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

Did you just park your car on top of your septic tank? If you're not sure, it's time to pull together a home maintenance binder. Your home maintenance binder contains important information, such as where your well and septic are located and the location of your drain field. It's a running tally of all the home improvements you've done and all the maintenance you've had performed on your home. For various reasons, every homeowner should have a home maintenance binder. Here's everything you should know about the why and how of creating your own. 

It Keeps Track of Important Upgrades

When you buy a new, energy-efficient appliance, such as a refrigerator or stove, you need to keep that information handy for several reasons:

  • You may need the receipt to register the warranty.
  • You'll want to remember the date you purchased it in case it needs servicing. 
  • You'll need the owner's manual if you ever need to troubleshoot the appliance.
  • Prospective buyers will know when you purchased the appliance and how much energy it saves.

Information like this can help you sell your home a few years down the road, when buyers realize they won't need to shell out money for new appliances right away. 

It's a Convenient Record of Service Visits

Is your furnace serviced annually? If so, you'll want the dates. This proves to prospective buyers that you maintained your home well, meaning everything is likely to work just as well as you say it will. Keep your service records, dates and providers. When you have parts replaced, keep the receipts. Keep the papers your technician gives you that lists the work performed. This is valuable information for you, for the next person who services your home and for someone who might consider buying your home in the future. 

It Records Valuable Home Improvements 

Did you recently upgrade the brick in your fireplace to stacked stone? What about those old, leaky windows you replaced last summer? You'll want to keep proof of home improvements like these because they raise the resale value of your home. You may also need your receipts to take advantage of tax credits when it's time to file. 

It Maps the Important Areas of Your Home

You may think you'll have no trouble remembering where the septic tank is when it's time to have it pumped clean again, but years typically pass before you'll need to have someone back in for that particular chore. Write down the location, and log it in your home maintenance binder. You'll also want to include the locations of water shut-off valves, well caps and gas mains. 

It's easy to start your own home maintenance log. All you need is a file box or a binder that you store in a safe place. It will help keep you organized, and it can be quite the lifesaver in the event of a gas leak or broken water pipe. 




Categories: home maintenance  


Posted by Dana Claflin on 5/14/2020

Photo by Halfpoint via Shutterstock

When it comes to conserving energy, homeowners wanting to go green often spare no expense. Here are a few ways to upgrade your home without lightening your wallet.

Smart Thermostat

A powerful method to control your power use while saving money on your air conditioning bills in the summer and heating bills each winter is by installing a smart thermostat. Utilizing a system that monitors the indoor and outdoor humidity and temperatures to adjust your system keeps your home on an even keel and your bills steady. Choose one with multiple sensors so that you don’t end up with hot spots or cold rooms around your home. You can adjust your thermostat manually, but the best way to make it smart is to connect it to a smartphone or voice-controlled device.

Motion Sensing Dimmers

You try your best, but there’s always one room where it seems the lights get left on more often than you’d like. The challenge is, it’s the same room that’s often empty most of the day, so no one even notices the lights burning. To combat this issue, replace the standard light switch with a sensing dimmer switch. That way, if someone’s in the room, the light turns on, but when there’s no one moving around, off it goes. And, when daylight comes in the windows, the sensor knows to keep the light off.

If you’re retrofitting an older home, replace pull-chain lights in basements and utility rooms with a motion-sensing light so that you never have to stumble around waving your arms in front of you trying to grab the string to the pull-chain.

Adjustable LEDs

On the subject of lights, Take it up (or down) a notch with a 3-way LED. The equivalent of a 60-watt bulb can adjust from soft, warm light to bright, daylight with built-in wireless technology at the sound of your voice when connected to your smartphone or smart home.

If you’re looking for ways to make your home appeal to a more energy-conscious set of buyers, try utilizing these inexpensive, smart home technologies.




Categories: Home improvement   homeowner  


Posted by Dana Claflin on 5/7/2020

A home seller may face a variety of dilemmas as he or she tries to get the best price for a residence. However, a seller who prepares for potential problems may be better equipped than others to enjoy a fast, profitable property selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready for potential home selling dilemmas.

1. Upgrade Your Residence

You may believe your residence will sell quickly, but the housing market offers no guarantees. Fortunately, if you allocate time and resources to upgrade your residence, you could differentiate your home from comparable houses in your city or town.

Removing clutter will make it easy for you to show off the true size of your home's interior to prospective buyers. Furthermore, you should clean each room of your home. If necessary, you may want to hire a professional home cleaning company too.

Don't forget to trim the hedges, mow the front lawn, repair cracked or damaged siding and perform other home exterior upgrades, either. If your home boasts amazing curb appeal, potential buyers may fall in love with your residence as soon as they see it.

2. Establish a Competitive Initial Asking Price for Your Home

If your home's initial asking price is too high, you risk alienating potential buyers. But if you analyze the real estate market closely, you can use housing sector data to establish a competitive initial home asking price.

Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town, as well as the prices of available residences that are comparable to your own. This information provides a glimpse into the current state of the housing market and can help you determine how to price your residence.

It may be beneficial to conduct a home appraisal as well. In fact, a home appraisal report includes a property valuation that you can use to set a competitive initial asking price for your residence.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent understands what it takes to sell a home in any housing sector, at any time. As such, he or she can offer expert guidance to help you identify and overcome home selling dilemmas.

Oftentimes, a real estate agent will meet with you, find out why you want to sell your house and craft a personalized home selling strategy for you. He or she next will list your residence and promote it to prospective buyers. And if you receive an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will help you determine how to proceed with this proposal.

A real estate agent also is ready to provide immediate responses to your home selling concerns and questions. That way, you can receive plenty of support as you navigate the home selling journey.

Ready to add your house to the real estate market? Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble addressing potential home selling dilemmas and enjoying a seamless property selling experience.







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