Preparing Your Home for A Midwestern Winter

Preparing Your Home for A Midwestern Winter

Home Maintenance Tips for Fall and Winter in Columbus, Ohio

The cold season has arrived, it’s official – Winter is Coming. Here in Columbus, we’ve already experienced our first snow (with hale, no less)! For homeowners, that means it’s time to prep your home for winter to avoid costly emergency winter repairs, and keep everyone cozy through the season.

Taking a little bit of time to winterize your home can save you a lot of time, and money, later on. Check out these tips for preparing your home for the fall and winter.

1. Check window and door weather stripping for damage.

2. Disconnect water hoses and turn off outdoor water supply lines and irrigation system.

3. Wrap exterior water pipes or hose bibs with heating tape.

4. Clean your gutters.

5. Check your roof for damage or leaks.

6. Fill cracks in your driveway and foundation.

7. Check attic insulation for pest damage.

8. Have your furnace serviced.

9. Check your chimney for obstructions and make sure your damper is working.

10. Clean and store your lawnmower.

11. Aerate and fertilize your lawn.

12. Change the air filters in your HVAC system. Learn how to maximize the efficiency of your HVAC system for Winter HERE. Discover how to utilize your HVAC system to help protect against allergies and illness, even COVID HERE.

13. Change smoke detector batteries.

14. Clean and store outdoor furniture.

15. Have landscaping pruned and put fresh mulch down.

16. Bring potted plants inside.

17. Change your ceiling fan direction. Here’s how to DIY: How to Change a Ceiling Fan’s Direction

18. Clean humidifiers before using.

19. Check the condition of your pool cover.

20. Make sure snow equipment is working.

Remember, when in doubt, hire a professional to address home repairs. Should you ever need to utilize a home warranty or insurance to cover any damages or replacement costs, having record of maintenance performed by a licensed and insured contractor can bolster your claim! For recommendations on local contractors, or questions on which home projects to prioritize before winter – Connect with me directly.

5 Excellent Reasons to List Your Home in the Fall

5 Excellent Reasons to List Your Home in the Fall

Thinking about selling your home but not sure if the fall is the right time of year? There are actually several great advantages to put your home on the market in the Fall. Here are some of the benefits of listing your home during fall in Columbus:

  • There is Less Competition. Typically spring and summer are high season for listing family homes, as people want to move over the summer before the new school year starts, so listings usually decrease in the fall, which means less competition and higher sales prices. The Columbus, Ohio market saw a very strong summer season with still too little inventory for the number of buyers – with less competition you can still expect strong home values and fairly quick-turn sales (if listed strategically).
  • Great Weather for Buyers. When the heat of the summer is gone and cool crisp days return, people just want to be out and about more! That may be especially true this year, as we have all spent more time at home during COVID. With precautions put into place for showings and open houses, buyers can safely visit your home this fall. There’s also the option of virtual tours and showings – which has become very popular this year due to the pandemic; many homes in the Columbus area sold sight-unseen.
  • Fall Enhances Curb Appeal. Spend the summer taking care of any external repairs that need finishing, then you can celebrate fall by planting some seasonal flowers, staging you or front porch with potted mums, pumpkins, and a fall wreath, and carry the theme inside with fall scented candles. For very little investment, your home can stand out and appear cozy and inviting – even leaving a some of Ohio’s renowned fall leaves on the lawn can add further appeal.
  • Buyers are Serious. Fall and winter buyers tend to be more serious. They may need to move by the end of the year, or they want to get settled before the holiday season. The demographics of buyers may shift towards younger professionals, first-time home buyers, empty nesters, and retired people, who have more flexibility over when they move than people with schoolchildren and are therefore more likely to be serious when they do go looking.
  • Increased Corporate Relocations. Similarly, companies that relocate employees regularly sometimes take advantage of the fall market, knowing they can get better deals on moving expenses. Companies also tend to make personnel changes in the fall as that often corresponds with their new fiscal year.

If you’re considering listing your home and want to get an idea of the best time to list based on your needs, contact me to get a free market report and discuss your most optimal listing strategies.

10 Spring Cleaning Tips from the Pro’s

10 Spring Cleaning Tips from the Pro’s

Spring is in the air and in Columbus, Ohio that means there’s plenty of pollen and dust too. While we are all practicing responsible social distancing and staying home, why not take the time to do a deep cleaning?

Here are some ideas and tips from professional cleaners and organizers to help you get the job done.

  1. Designate an area to collect items to be donated. A closet, a corner of the garage, or a spare room. This way you can collect everything in one place until you are able to take it to a donation center.
  2. Pick a method for de-cluttering: Follow the Marie Kondo’s advice and clean out the entire house by category, in this order: clothing, books, papers, miscellaneous items, then sentimental items. Another approach is to tackle the task by area, one cabinet, closet, or room at a time.
  3. When cleaning, start from the top with ceiling fans, crown molding, door and window frames, and cabinet tops, and work your way down, finishing with the floors.
  4. Remember to clean these easily over-looked spots: the top of, underneath, and inside of the fridge, inside the microwave and oven, behind the washer and dryer, the dryer vent outlet, air vents, windows and screens, window blinds, computer keyboards and gaming controls, toys, the shower curtain and drain, the garbage disposal and splash guard, patio furniture, the grill, outdoor trash and recycling containers, and outdoor door mats.
  5. Set up an annual or semiannual appointment for carpet, rug and upholstery professional cleaning. A do-it-yourself option is to rent a cleaner from your local grocery or hardware store – these machines often have attachments to clean stairs and upholstery. If you don’t mind a little extra work and sweat, it’s a great way to refresh the home.
  6. Keep an ongoing list of needed repairs to tackle yourself or have a handyman come in periodically to check things off the list.
  7. Spruce up landscaping with fresh mulch and plants. Have tree limbs trimmed away from your roof.
  8. Have your home’s exterior pressure cleaned, including the roof, driveway and patios.
  9. Launder your bedspreads, blankets and mattress pads. Don’t forget about your pet’s beds also.
  10. Don’t waste money on a lot of cleaning products. Baking soda and vinegar can accomplish a lot for much less than brand cleaning products cost. Click here for some homemade cleaning solution from Good Housekeeping.

BONUS: Spring cleaning is also a good time to do a safety check on your home and hold a family fire or emergency drill. Check the pressure on fire extinguishers, test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, make sure doors and windows lock and open properly, and check for unsafe wiring, improperly stored flammable materials, and child safety hazards.

Sprucing up with the potential to list soon? Excellent – let’s connect to see what your home is worth today.

Real Estate in the age of COVID-19

Real Estate in the age of COVID-19

These are unprecedented times that we live in. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed how we socialize and conduct business. Some of that change is short-term and some may prove to be long-lasting.

In Columbus, Ohio, real estate has been deemed as an ‘Essential Service’. That doesn’t mean it’s business as usual. Realtors and related services are proceeding with caution as we innovate and prioritize ways to place health and safety first. With that said, real estate CAN be performed effectively with safety in mind.

I’m collaborating closely with clients as we proceed through the listing or buying process carefully. Realtors are also utilizing new contract addendum’s for Extensions and Terminations, which protect both the buyer and seller in a transaction should certain delays occur from government actions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. While some of our process have changed, the housing market in Columbus is still thriving; homes values remain strong and buyer’s are moving quickly with our low inventory. The following are just a few steps we’re adopting to ensure everyone’s health and safety through real estate transactions today. Click here for direct updates and safety precautions advised by the CDC.

SELLERS

The current understanding of the COVID-19 virus is that it does not remain airborne for long after coughing or sneezing. It resides the longest on surfaces such as counters and doorknobs. As we prepare to list and sell your home, I advise we follow these guidelines to ensure the safety of all parties:

  • Instead of holding open houses, we may choose to add a video walk-through to our marketing
  • We will limit the showing to just the agent plus two clients at a time. Now is not the time for the whole family to attend. I will convey a request the buyer’s agent to leave any children in the car with one adult while the other views the home and then the next adult can view the home.
  • Before and after a showing, either myself or the sellers should wipe down all doorknobs and general surfaces with a disinfectant.
  • To avoid buyers having to touch surfaces, seller’s should leave all interior doors and cabinets open and accessible.
  • We will require that all agents and buyers wear a mask or thick scarf during the showing, as well as gloves. I will provide disposable masks and gloves which will be left out for agent and buyer use as needed – and I recommend sellers offer a trash receptacle for their safe disposal.
  • If anyone in the household experiences any symptoms that fit those of the virus, I recommend getting tested (if available) and we postpone either listing or showing for at least two weeks.

BUYERS

Since the COVID-19 virus does not remain airborne for long and resides mainly on surfaces, you should be able to walk into a house and feel safe as long as you follow these guidelines:

  • As a means of reducing the exposure to my buyers I am offering to do a video call tour of the homes.
  • For in person showings, we are aiming to limit the showings to two clients at a time. For those with children, I request that the children remain in the car with one adult while the other views the home and then the next adult can view the home.
  • Before and after a showing, we should all use a liberal amount of hand sanitizer and be sure rub it in thoroughly covering all of the exposed skin on your hands until fully absorbed.
  • We will all wear a mask or thick scarf as well as disposable gloves, I will have extra on hand for use as needed. Only those with gloves should open doors and cabinets or touch any surfaces.
  • If anyone in your household experience any symptoms that fit those of the virus, I recommend getting tested (if available) and we will postpone the search for at least two weeks.

We’re all in this together. I am offering virtual meetings and presentations for anyone looking to proceed with their buying or selling plans, or to answer any questions. If you have doubts about pursuing buying or selling a home right now, you are not alone. Many people are overwhelmed by the many unknowns we’re all facing. However, I am here to address your concerns around real estate, and talk through the options that best suit your needs and current concerns. If you have any questions or want to have a chat, please don’t hesitate to contact me.