Roof Repairs

I drive around town a lot to see what’s going on. I check out the neighborhoods for new construction, what’s for sale by owner, for rent, what is being remodeled.

Here’s what else I notice:

  • shutters that have fallen off their hinges,
  • roof shingles that have slipped or broken off from the latest storm; perhaps a branch scraped the roof on its way to the ground,
  • gutters hanging along the side of a house
  • fences that need repair, and more.

While broken shutters are a curb appeal issue, a missing or damaged roof shingle can cause harm to the house itself and needs attention.

Oxford seems to get a lot of rain and the last thing a homeowner wants is water dripping into the attic. Even a little once-in-a-while drip can cause damage in the long run.  If it gets in, it is sure to affect the rest of the house and that requires more repairing. A damp spot on the ceiling may not get noticed until it forms a stain. If you sell your house, you’ll have to put the leak and any damage that was repaired (or not) that you know of, in a disclosure for the new owners. And if you don’t know about it, the inspector will be sure to find the stain to alert you.Maison-fuite-leaky-house-2400px.png

It is best to check your roof on a regular basis. A walk around the house to take note of shingles, flashing, gutters and trim can help you stay on top of maintenance issues.  Put a scheduled walk-around on your  phone calendar for reminders. Every few years ask a roofer to give your roof an inspection. He can tell you the life expectancy of your roof, whether he sees any issues, and an on-the-spot estimate for maintenance.  If you’ve noticed some black stain lines on their roof, ask him what it would take to clean it up.

Homeowners should care for their homes to get the maximum life out of it. Caring for your home and the roof on a regular basis will maximize your selling potential if you decide to move.

Eileen Saunders, REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford MS 38655, 662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344 Equal Housing

photo source: openclipart.org; “maison fuite-leaky house by enolynn

 

10 Ways to Prepare Your House For Sale: Living Room

The living room is usually the first room a person sees when they enter a house.  Your living room needs to be in top shape when you are selling your house. A cluttered entryway and a cluttered living room sets the stage for the rest of the house. Since people spend most of their time in the living room, that is the first place a buyer will start visualizing their stuff. Is there enough room for the furniture? Is the fireplace in an appropriate place for their furniture to configure around? What about wall space for art? Are there built-in bookcases? If so, will they work for the buyer’s needs?

Minimize your stuff to maximize the room. Declutter, repurpose space to its original intent, show off the walls, organize the room to flow. Here are some tips:

  1. Pack away most or all of your CDs, LPs and books. You are moving, so start packing now. You couldn’t possibly listen to all 1200 LPs before you move so crate them away safely to enjoy later.  Otherwise your livingroom will be remembered as the music room and the buyers will lose their own style.
  2. Stage the built-ins. Show off how much space the shelves provide with a few things on each rather than stuffing them full.9879804314_24caacd406_o.jpg
  3. Remove the family photos. It won’t be your room much longer so let the buyers envision it as theirs without your family members staring out from beautiful frames.
  4. Clean the carpet or polish the floors
  5. Out of place furniture, even if it is the comfy old seat, should be removed. Old, large furniture tends to overtake the space.
  6. Clean the fireplace, including the brickwork around it and the mantel. Make it fresh for the new owners.
  7. If your furniture is old and ruined by wear, consider storing it (or tossing it) and renting fresh furniture for staging.
  8. Remove what I call “dust collectors”; knick-knacks that will make you work hard to keep the house dust free. You are moving so start packing.
  9. Dust the ceiling fan and any hanging lamps. Change light bulbs to a brighter type.
  10. When showing your house, turn on ALL lights and open ALL binds and drapes. Letting the natural light indoors, combined with bright lamps will make the rooms look larger.

Eileen Saunders, REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors 2092 Old Taylor Road Oxford MS 38655,  662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344

photo credit: Caswell via photopin (license)

12 Tips to Sell Your House When You Have a Pet

Your pet is part of the family and usually lives quite comfortably inside your house with you. But, when you are getting ready to sell the house you need to consider the pet with each step of the process.

Getting your house ready to sell, when you have a pet, means you need to look carefully at how your pet affects the house. Does it shed leaving tumbleweed sized hair balls to float around the floor? Is there a pet smell? You may want to ask your REALTOR or a true friend about the smell. You and other family  members may not notice it but strangers will. A pet odor may be in the duct work, the carpet, drapes and more so get a reliable opinion on this issue. Has your pet damaged any part of your house?

These things need to be considered to get the house ready to sell. And, since your pet will be living in the house with you, you need to  pay attention to cleaning up each day so buyers don’t turn around and leave before really seeing the house.

Here are some tips for getting the house ready to sell and for caring for your dog when the house is showing.

  1. Clean all the doors and windows of pet-nose dirt.
  2. Repair and paint doors where your dog has scratched. Keep the paint on hand for when you move out and need to make last minute touch-ups.
  3. Keep pet toys picked up.1386685309553
  4. Clean bird cages, litter boxes, hamster and reptile cages more often to keep fresher.
  5. Decide if the aquarium is moving with you. If not, now is the time to give the fish away and take down the system. Long distance moves are difficult with fish and reptiles. Research how to do it and make plans now.
  6. Invest in a robot-style vacuum cleaner that runs all day to keep the pet hair cleaned up.
  7. Fill in holes in the back yard where Spot digs.
  8. Repair fence damage caused by the pet. If you’ve had to fill in holes around the fence with concrete blocks and other barriers, find a way to restore the look of the original fence and keep Spot inside the yard at the same time. An altered fence will not only look junked up but will signal a “project” for the new owners. Most buyers want move-in ready.
  9. Repair chewed wood inside the house. While you’re at it, look at all other wood repairs on doors, windows and frames that need touch up.
  10. Pick up pet food bowls after each meal to keep the floor clean and clear.
  11. Repair damaged flooring.
  12. Replace pet-stained carpet for a healthy and fresh environment. A builder’s grade carpet in a neutral color makes it move-in ready and shouldn’t bust the bank account.

Eileen Saunders, REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655  662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344 Equal Housing

Photo: eileensaunders (c) 2016 all rights reserved

6 Ways to Prepare Your House for Sale: Home Office

If you work at home you might be lucky to have a dedicated office or library room to use for an office. If not, your home office might take over a spare bedroom, one of the dining areas in the house or share space in the bonus room with the kid’s entertainment center.25495271534_f293907b67_o.jpg

Either way, if you are selling your house, you need to keep your office space clean and as free of clutter as possible. Buyers snoop, so take that into consideration when planning your home staging. If you keep confidential information in your office, don’t leave it where others can spy with the corner of their eye.

Here are some tips to keeping your home office active while selling your house:

  1. Store files and paperwork that you don’t need to everyday operations. If you have things that can go into storage or packed into the garage, put them there to declutter the office space.
  2. Remove furniture that makes the room look too small. If you have large office furniture in a bedroom, the buyers cannot fully visualize how a bed might fit in there.
  3. Clean your desk and put back only what you need for day to day operations. Paper weights,  photos, and other things that aren’t necessary should get packed away. You are moving, and will have to pack them eventually.
  4. Store all personal and confidential/client information where people can’t see them.
  5. If you share space in a bonus room or bedroom or dining area, make sure your office does not overpower the purpose of the room.
  6. Your town may have locations for shared office space that you can rent while your house is on the market.

Eileen Saunders, REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655, 662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344 Equal Housing

photo credit: Not Another Desk Setup via photopin (license)

12 Ways to Prepare Your House For Sale: Bedrooms

We all spend a lot of time in our bedrooms. We don’t just sleep there, we read, hang out with the kids, watch TV, relax.

As comfy as the bedroom can seem, it is usually the first place in the house to get cluttered. What do you do when guests come over? Hide clutter in the bedrooms. We pile our dirty clothes on the floor or a chair or drape clothes to be worn again, over a chair or other piece of furniture. Shoes don’t quite make it to the closet. Books can pile up, dust can pile up. Kids often use their rooms for school work, electronic entertainment and regular toy playing.

This room, all of the bedrooms in the house need tending to and kept clean and uncluttered during the selling process. Remember it’s only temporary, until you move, and you may even teach yourself some new habits in the process.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Buyers love to snoop and that includes inside closets. Remove what you won’t need until the move. Put these things in a temporary storage unit. Make the closet look spacious.
  2. Clear off the tops of furniture. Declutter.
  3. Sure, you aren’t likely to be selling your furniture but if you clear out our drawers you’ll have emergency storage for showing days.
  4. Make your beds daily. Perhaps a new bedspread can freshen up the room. Remember the buyer wants to visualize each room as theirs and a fresh room is inviting.
  5. Put away stacks of books on the nightstand. If you have drawers, put them inside and keep the tops of the nightstands clutter free.
  6. Remove excess art and family photos from the walls.
  7. Clear the walls in the bedroom hallways of art to make the hallway appear larger.
  8. Remove all items hanging on the backs of doors. Even in the closet, extra items hanging on the doors can make the closet appear too small.
  9. Kids rooms: remove all excess posters. If you do not intend on painting the walls, a cluster of posters will signal to the buyers that there is wall or paint damage they’ll have to fix. If there is wall or paint damage, roll on a fresh coat of paint.
  10. Neutralize any brightly painted bedrooms. The buyers will want to visualize the room for what it is and bright pink or green or purple may be a turn off.
  11. Pack away excess kids’ toys. Pull them out after the move.
  12. Tidy the electronics areas.

Eileen Saunders, REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford MS 38655, 662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344 Equal Housing

photo credit: 1.SNWHY.506.BR via photopin (license)

Home Buying: 8 Possible Deal Breakers

You found your dream home, or so you think. The offer you made to the homeowner was accepted and now you have to hire an inspector to make sure it checks out A-OK.

Hopefully there won’t be any major flaws to make you think twice about your offer.  A satisfactory inspection is a contingency to the contract and if there is something major, you can ask for it to be fixed, decided to fix it yourself or walk away from the house completely.

Here are 8 possible deal breakers you should be aware of:

  1. Water Damage. With every water mark and rusty pipe, ask for an explanation.  A water ring on the ceiling the size of the toilet pipe on the floor above it could mean a constant dripping problem. OR, it could simply mean there was an overflow a few years ago and the water mark is just now showing up as a stain.  Rusty pipes, dampness by the A/C unit in the attic or hallway closet could be a bigger issue.
  2. Asbestos. This hazardous material was used in many homes that were built before July 1989.  Removal must be done by a professional and could be costly.

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    Courtesy of Creative Commons
  3. Lead paint. Lead paint was used in older homes and could be a hazard. Removal may be expensive so have a professional give you a quote on removal.
  4. Pests. Termites, roaches, rats, mice and more can cause extensive and expensive damage to a home.  Sometimes the repair can be expensive but not all of the time. Have a termite or pest control professional quote you a price to take care of the problem.
  5. Mold. Some molds can be easily remedied, but long-term invasive damage from a pipe, roof leak or irrigation can cause a bigger problem.
  6. Electrical or plumbing problems. Always have these taken care of by a professional.
  7. Foundation issues. Foundations tend to crack from settling. Some cracks are minor, some can be a major problem. Why are the cracks there? What caused them? If you really don’t feel good about the cracks, seek the advice of a foundation specialist. It will cost more than the initial inspection but the peace of mind will be worth it
  8. Old roof. A homes inspector can assess roofing issues from missing shingles, wood or structural issues. An old roof will need to be replaced and can be expensive. In addition to the inspector’s report, a roofer can assess the remaining life of the roof.

While there are a few other issues that can make you walk away, these eight are the most common, so be prepared to consider any of them.

Each of these things can be worked out if you really want the house and not all houses have more than one or two of these issues to consider. Meet with your real estate agent. Together, construct a list of things you have to have repaired and what you can live with or fix on your own. If the cost of items to fix yourself is high, renegotiate a credit at closing. Until you sign off stating the inspection contingency is clear of issues so you can move toward closing, you, the buyer, are still in the decision-making seat.

Know that the seller may think your request is too extensive. The listing and the property condition disclosure may state the issues that need repair but the owner will not be responsible for. If that is the case, you and your agent should have known this from the time you started considering the house. The seller could also state that he will only pay a particular amount on repairs. Be prepared for negotiating, but also be prepared that the seller could walk away, too, if you ask for too much.

So, do you want the house or not?

Thanks to Kaye Ladd, Broker at Tommy Morgan Realtors branch office for contributing to this article.

photo credit: Cracked Red Brick Wall via photopin (license)

Eileen Saunders, REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655 662-404-0816/662-234-5344  Equal Housing

19 Ways to Prepare Your House for Sale: Bathrooms

Bathrooms are an important part of the house. There are either too many (that need cleaning) or not enough. Bathrooms need to be a certain size for comfort. Buyers want a tub or a shower or both. Double sink or single sink.

The counter top is always a sticking point: what is it made of? How high or how low is it? And what about the finish on the fixtures? Tile floors, wood or carpet?  There are too many options and everyone has a different requirement for this room.  After all, an article by the American Grandparents Association claims that Americans average 30 minutes a day in the bathroom.  (I really think its a lot longer).

Like the kitchen, the bathrooms can look dated quickly but with a little work, your dated bathrooms can look great even to a picky buyer.

Here are some tips:

  1. Clear floor space. Put away trash cans, plungers, cleaners, hampers and the extra toilet paper holder on a stand.
  2. Invest in a new shower curtain.
  3. If you have a sliding shower door, repair or replace caukling around the frame, clean the glass so it sparkles.
  4. Keep reading material out of sight.

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    Courtesy of Creative Commons
  5. Place personal items in the cabinet.
  6. Hang matching towels. Perhaps they can match the new shower curtain.
  7. Keep the rug by the sink clean or remove it. If it takes up too much floor space, pack it away.
  8. Clear the counter tops. Put makeup and other items away in a drawer.
  9. Remove excess soap and shampoo bottles from the shower/tub area.
  10. Fix leaking and dripping faucets. Replace if necessary.
  11. Fix grout in the tub/shower and floor where applicable.
  12. Replace or paint the vanity cabinets if possible. Update drawer pulls, tighten cabinet door hinges.
  13. Tighten towel racks.
  14. Consider hiring a cleaning person to come through each week just for the bathrooms to keep them clean for showings.
  15. Linen closets in the bathroom should be tidy.
  16. Replace broken toilet paper holders.
  17. Clean mirrors.
  18. Make sure all light bulbs work.
  19. Clean your shower head. Buyers will turn it on and if it is mostly clogged, they will view it as a problem.

Eileen Saunders, REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655 662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344 Equal Housing

photo credit: Geyser View Room via photopin (license)