Upcoming Free (& non-promotional) Home Buyer Classes:
Saturday, June 25th, from 12pm-3pm (ish)
Vancouver YMCA, conference room
11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver WA (corner of SR500 & Gher Road/112th Ave)
Saturday July 9th , from 9am-12pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)
If these class dates and/or times don't work for you, please let us know. We understand that you have lives, and families, and work. We will work something out that works better with your schedule. Just let us know....
....we also have home seller classes available too...link on left on website
Remember...with reservation...we will throw in lunch, or dinner! :-D
Happy Fathers Day!
...and what a beautiful day for it too! :-) Can't complain... LOL I want to take a moment to thank everyone who came to the Client Appreciation Event at Cinetopia yesterday for FINDING DORY! We love putting on these movie events for you...just a small way of saying, "Thank you". Thank you for asking Chris Berg, and/or I, to be part of your home adventures, and thank you for the referrals. We are grateful for you every day!
I am on bad run lately with getting these blogs out! I have been so busy that the time I am home, honestly, I am spending with my family and responding to emails....and yes, facebook posts. Say what you want about Facebook, but it is a wonderful way to keep in contact with clients, friends, and family. :-) You see, as an agent, I work closely with my clients for months, and I love to keep in contact with them. Please remember that real estate isn't just about houses, or even homes....it is about relationships! Being there to help even after keys is important. You should always feel comfortable with your agent, and hopefully, comfortable contacting them anytime after closing with any questions you may have...whether that is 2 weeks afterwards, or 2 years...or even more. Yes, you will have questions. Buying a home is all exciting and incredible....but then comes the hard part... maintaining that home.
What happens after you get keys to your home? You move in...right? Well, then you might paint rooms, and make that home 'your' own. That is all fabulous, but what else? Buying a home is expensive, but guess what? Owning a home is expensive too. Deferred maintenance is the death knell of many a home. As a homeowner there is no longer a landlord to call for repairs....YOU are the one responsible now. So, what is deferred maintenance? Deferred maintenance are those repair or maintenance items that home owners put off....sometimes because of lack of money, and sometimes because it doesn't seem like that 'big of a deal'. What starts off as little....grows...
Homeowner Maintenance...things YOU need to be aware of as a homeowner...
Around the home
When you are are walking around your home, take a look at vegetation. It's a good idea to keep vegetation at least 6 inches from your home. Vegetation retains water, and water against your siding isn't a good idea. When you walk around the home,take a look at the homes vents. Any missing vent screens? If so, you could have animals gaining access to your crawlspace. If this happens...animals under the home can/will pull down the insulation for warmth, urinate & defecate on the vapor barrier, and cause other issues. Do you, or have you had animals under the home? How bad is it? Is it salvageable? Does the entire vapor barrier need replaced? Have the animals torn down any insulation? The two places that homeowners never go is the attic and crawlspace...
Under the home
Most homeowners never go under the home to look for leaking pipes. Small leaks are easy to fix...big leaks are not so much. It is easier to catch them when they are small and get them fixed now.
During periods of heavy rain you need to pull up your crawlspace hatch and check for moisture under your home. I had FOUR inspections in a row this spring that had water in the crawl...and the sellers had no idea. This can be an easy, or expensive fix....depending upon the length of time under, and how bad it is. LOOK UNDER YOUR HOME!
Are you using those styrofoam blocks in times of extreme cold? Luckily, we live in a very temperate climate, so you really don't ever need those things, but some people like them. If you do use them during the winter cold, please be sure to remove them. Your home and crawlspace needs to breathe... keeping those blocks in your crawlspace vents can actually lead to moisture, and mold, problems under your home.
Most homeowners never look in their attic space either. This also needs to be looked into at least once a year...do you see moisture stains on the underside roof boards? Have any animals gained access? Are your attic vents clear? Do you have enough roof vents for air circulation? Remember, just like the crawlspace, your home needs to breathe. Most people don't even know their roof is leaking until they feel or hear a drop, drop. By the time you hear, or feel the leak from your roof...you have many more problems...roof, insulation, ceiling drywall.
On top of the home
Roof...for loan purposes the roof only needs to have a 2-3 year life expectancy to pass appraisal. This means that you might need to consider getting a new roof at some point during your home ownership. You can have up to two layers of roofing on a home, and still get financing. More than two? Well... you're going to need to be ripped off and start over. One layer, and the roof is at the end of its life expectancy, but still in ok shape? Get a second layer put over it.
One thing that as a homeowner you will need to remember is that moss is bad for your roof...it traps in moisture, and moisture is bad. Putting some Moss-out on your roof every couple of years will help prevent moss from growing on it. You can also put a copper strip on the ridge lien for the same effect.
Do NOT pressure wash the roof....it brushes off the granules that provide the protection. Do NOT use a laundry soap such as Tide to get rid of moss on your roof. What does laundry soap do to your clothes? Gets out oil and dirt, right? Well....isn't your roof oil and tar? Not good that to get rid of that on a roof!
Around the home
Look at the siding on your home every so often. If you have LP siding you need to look at the lower edges for moisture. LP & wood products need painted every 3-5 years to maintain it and to provide maximum life expectancy. Vinyl siding? Great...it's plastic and you can rinse it off, but it is plastic? What happens to plastic if left out in the sun too long? It fades, becomes brittle and can crack. My vinyl siding is 15 years old, and you can see the color difference between the south side, and the north side. Other than the color fading, it is still holding up. Most home sidings (vinyl, hardiplank, etc) get that 'slime' build up though...especially in areas that don't get as much sun. This you can have pressure washed off. Keep an eye on the wood trim around your windows...these trims can get wood rot. They're not difficult to replace though. Fibercement or hardiplank siding? Awesome! It does need to be periodically painted though still. I currently have vinyl siding, and the wood trim around my home though does need a fresh coat of paint.
Inside the home
Furnaces....supposed to be serviced yearly.
Wall heaters...use your vacuum to vacuum out the dust & dander that collects inside. Once a year take that cover off and get in there.
Ceiling or baseboards....honestly, your most likely to already be considering the efficiency of upgrading these soon. Clark PUD has a wonderful program that can help with a low interest loan for the very efficient mini-split or ductless heat pumps.
Electrical panel....double lugging? Not good! Old panels? What is the make & model? There are a couple of makes/models of electric panels that have been recalled. Electrical panels pretty much take care of themselves, but when homeowners start messing with it....better check it out!
Under your sinks.... as homeowners we don't look under that often enough. You will be surprised how many sinks have leaks under them! Every so often, check under yours.
Windows.... Remember to caulk around the inside of your windows. Caulking needs to be redone every so often. If you have vinyl windows, keep an eye out for a 'blown seal'...signs of this are moisture inside the window panes, and/or small crystal-like stars inside the panes, or just general 'smearing' (almost like a oil stain) inside the window panes. In my home I have 3 blown seals that I need to have fixed...one with moisture inside, one with the crystal -like stars, and one with the smearing, or oil like stain inside. I need to get those fixed before I put my home on the market this summer
Showers, Tubs, Toilets, and all sinks, and counters.... You need to upkeep the caulking around these areas because of moisture. You don't want moisture to wick in, underneath, or around these areas. Tip: Put a small line of caulking around these areas, and then put some liquid soap on your finger. Use that finger to create a nice line with no clumping for your caulking. :-)
Smoke Detectors & Carbon Monoxide Detectors.... Check your batteries, and remember that smoke detectors go high, and carbon monoxide detectors go low with one on every level, and never above your knee.
If you have a chimney do NOT burn paper products in it! It is not made to be used as an incinerator. This is the most common thing we see with Chimneys. Only using wood in your fireplace! Use the occasional CSL log to keep your chimney clean. Using it to burn paper, bills, boxes, Christmas wrapping? Well, you might want to call a professional to get that cleaned out. Remember...no paper products in your fireplace.
In short, owning home involves costs. Do NOT put off to tomorrow what needs to be done today. Home owners insurance is only good for things 'outside' of your control...not maintenance repairs. Home warranties are not good for windows, wall, flooring, siding, and roofs....but it does take care of plumbing, heating, electrical, and most appliances. Every year you can renew your home warranty. I advise clients to take around $25 from each check and have it automatically deposited into a savings account at a bank that you will never go to....no checks for it, and no cards. If you want to take money out you will have to go to the bank and physically take the money out. Use that account as a 'house repair fund'. Renew your home warranty with it, make home repairs with it, etc. $25 per check doesn't sound like much, but it adds up....and is about the cost of a couple of coffees in the morning. Just a thought.... :-D
Questions? Not sure about something? Please feel free to call, or email me! Owning a home doesn't have to break the bank...as long as you take care of it and love it. If you LOVE your home and take care of it, in return, it will take care of you....and when it comes time for you to sell, it will be easier for you. The age of the home doesn't matter as much as how you live in it. A home that is taken care of and loved is always easy to spot. :-D When you are looking at homes you can see it too.
Information is power, and I hope that I am able to help you. Good luck, and as always...May the odds be ever in your favor out there.... AND If you are looking for a real estate agent, I would love to be able to help you.
As always....this is just a quick overview.... please remember that your agent is NOT a salesperson, and should not be acting like one. Your agent, and your lender work for YOU. You drive the bus...we are merely GPS to help you get to your goals. Like the classes, this weekly blog email is to help you with your home adventure. The goal is to be informative and non-promotional. :-) We are, however, hoping you will call and want us to help with your adventure.
If you have any questions about this, or something you have heard...or if you would like me to help you with your home adventure, please call, email, text, or facebook me anytime. I am, as always, happy to help!
Thank you again for your business and your referrals!! ...and thank you for referring these classes to your friends, family, and co-workers.
. ..disclaimer...if you have already purchased a home, or would no longer like to receive these emails, please let me know and I will be happy to remove you from any further mailings...
Upcoming Topics: Buying a home & buying a car...how is that alike & different?
Last Week: Mortgage vs Rent...How does that work?
Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon,
Real Estate broker
Re/Max - Van Mall
360/ 903-3504 cell
360/ 882-3600 fax
“Interested in free and non promotional home education classes? Go to www.freehomebuyerclasses.com for local upcoming home buyer and home SELLER classes, or facebook: Tracie DeMars Real Estate for my home buyer education blog.”
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be."
- Shel Silverstein, American poet, cartoonist and composer, (1930 - 1999).