Home Improvement

Published by matt on 25 Aug 2011

Ask A Realtor…

Realtors can be a valuable resource when you are looking for a professional to assist with home ownership needs. During the course of a real estate transaction, we come in contact with a variety of experts that make an impression on us and our clients. Below is a brief list of experts from the Harrisburg area that I would be happy to refer you to should the need arise.

- home inspectors
- appraisers
- lenders (home purchase or refinance)
- roofers
- plumbers
- electricians
- wood pest inspectors or treatment
- asbestos testing and removal
- radon testing and installation of mitigation system
- general “handy man” services
- painters
- landscapers
- general contractors for remodeling/additions
- HVAC services
- septic inspectors
- real estate attorneys and/or title companies

Personally, I would trust a referral from a friend than simply picking a name that I see listed on the Internet. Also, if you know of anyone who provides top-notch service and is reliable, please pass along their contact information to me. I’d love to add them to my referral list.

As always, I’d like to be the one that you refer your family and friends to when they are looking for a real estate professional. I am NEVER too busy to accept a referral from you.

Published by Michelle on 14 Jul 2010

Want to Add Value and Desirability to Your Home?

Sellers ask me all the time “What can we do to make our home more attractive so it sells quicker?”.  Here’s a few ideas to consider:

- Remodel your Kitchen.  If you want to increase the value of your home, add modern appliances, clean or reface cabinets, consider adding a solid surface countertop and new fixtures.

- Remodel your Bathrooms.  Buyers today are looking for modern conveniences.  Do you need an updated vanity, countertop and fixtures?  If you have wallpaper, it’s a MUST for you to remove and replace with a fresh coat of neutral colored paint.

- Replace flooring where applicable.  Hardwood and ceramic tile are very popular among today’s buyers.  Carpet is passe! 

- Remove “unnecessary belonging” (i.e. clutter).  If you’re selling your home, you can get a head start with packing by boxing up all your knick-knacks, photographs, etc.  Clutter makes rooms feel small and dirty.  Open up your floor space and rearrange the furniture to take advantage of the floor plan.

For more ideas,  please contact me at Michelle@HarrisburgHouses.net.

Published by Michelle on 25 Feb 2010

New Home Ownership Incentive Program for Properties in Harrisburg

Are you looking for a home in Harrisburg?  You’re in luck.  In addition to the current tax credit and low interest rates, there’s a new home ownership incentive program that’s available. 

Announcement_of_Harrisburg_Home_Ownership_Incentive_Program

Please contact me at Michelle@HarrisburgHouses.net for more information.   

Published by Michelle on 25 Feb 2010

Preparing Your Home for a Home Inspection

Even though the contract negotiations are over, you still can’t relax because the dreaded home inspection is right around the corner.  Below is a list of some of the most common defects that home inspectors look for during their detailed inspection.

- Improper or insufficient electrical wiring.  An inspector will be looking for potential fire hazards.  Wires need to be housed properly in a box, not hanging loose.  If you need electrical work done, make sure you hire a certified electrician who obtains the proper permits (when applicable).  This is an area where you don’t want to cut corners to save a few dollars because in the end it may cost you thousands!

- Plumbing problems such as leaky faucets, corroding pipes, improperly installed hot water heaters, and loose toilets.  Something as small as a leak can lead to mold, mildew and even structural damage when left unattended.

- Roof deterioration.  Home owners should routinely check for loose, missing or damaged shingles.  If you tend to the small repairs on a regular basis, you can stave off costly repairs (or even a full roof replacement).  Eventually, you’ll have to succumb to a roof replacement  but until then, take care of what you currently have.

- Overall neglect.  The details speak volumes as to what type of home owner you are.  If a potential buyer sees peeling paint, decayed caulking around windows and doors, broken fixtures, gutters overflowing, etc., it may lead them to the conclusion that overall “health” of the home is poor.  However, if you take care of the visual details and disclose service maintenanace records, chances are the buyer is going to go into the home inspection feeling confident about their decision and may overlook the small stuff should the inspector find anything.

Depending on the situation, a seller may want to have a pre-listing home inspection.  The benefit is that there won’t be any surprises once a willing, able buyer is identified.  However, sellers must keep in mind that what you know about your property you MUST disclose.  Therefore, if the inspector indicates that the current electrical wiring is insufficient for the current size of the home due to the family room addition, the seller has two options.  1) Upgrade the electrical service to accommodate the square footage of the home and document this upgrade in the seller’s disclosure, or 2) Do nothing and disclose the home inspector’s observation in the seller’s disclosure.  Obviously, it’s recommended for a seller to fix the problem so it’s no longer a potential issue. 

For more information, please contact me directly at Michelle@HarrisburgHouses.net

Published by Michelle on 08 May 2009

Energy Efficiency Federal Tax Credits

Federal tax incentives are better than ever now for home improvements that conserve energy. The Stimulus package offers some great tax advantages for work you have done to save energy (and money). The Federal Weatherization Assistance Program allows for up to $6,500 to spent on energy saving improvements. Tax credits up to $1,500 are available for energy saving improvements are Energy Star qualified including; insulation, windows and doors, roofing, HVAC and solar systems.

For a great explanation and chart on what is covered take a look at the Energy Star website