Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 9/6/2019

So many people face two choices when it comes to natural disasters. Do you stay in your home to protect it, or do you evacuate with your family? Whether or not they like it, the truth of the matter is that nobody has to face their problems alone if they only know how to plan.

If you are a homeowner, making this decision is harder because you need to keep your property protected while at the same time you have to keep an eye on your family.

When faced with a dilemma during a hurricane you will be thankful if you follow these tips to help you survive.

First, invest in a backup power generator. While you may be safely tucked up at home, the electricity may go out. So, you would end up not having any communication lines open, or power to run essential services. This situation is worse if you use well water as the pump will not work.

If you have a backup power generator, you will not have to walk in the dark. Just keep your family in one room and make sure you have enough fuel to last for a week's worth of time running your generator. Have the generator properly installed by an electrician so that noxious fumes cannot enter the home and the power doesn't flow back into the grid causing problems for utilities personnel.

You can market your generator as one that comes with the house while it continues to protect property values.

Second, keep survival supplies at all times. A supply bag that lasts for three days to one week should be enough for you and your family. The kit should comprise your much-needed supplies and medications as listed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The necessities should be available as well such as snacks and foods that do not require cooking, and a comprehensive first aid kit.  

You should also keep the following items in a waterproof bag: 

- Flashlight; 

- Potable water;

- Change of clothes made up of layering materials;

- Batteries;

- Manual or solar phone charger; and

- The first aid kit.

While this kit does not necessarily increase or protect your property value, they are necessary for your survival.

Finally, maintain your insurance coverage always up to date. The best way to protect your property is to have a backup plan when a horrible hurricane hits it, and the backup plan is insurance.

Now that you know some tips that would help you survive a hurricane while keeping your property value, keep in mind that you should always prepare for anything. Ask a real estate professional today to help you plan for whatever weather system you have to face.





Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 8/30/2019

When you settle in your home and time passes, you may not notice your surroundings in detail anymore like you did when you first purchased your house. Alternatively, you may think to yourself, "This place could use an update or some pizzazz." There are many things that help reinvent a space or even the entire house on your own. The best part about these ideas is you can complete each of the following on a budget and over your timeline. That way, you can do your research and wait for sales to get the items to add that bit of glamour or elegance. 

Details Win the Day

Beautiful tiles in the kitchen will grab the spotlight when you walk into the space. A backsplash with a punch of fun color or an elegant finish that adds glamour is a simple change that is visually creative. The trim work is not an exciting thing to shop for but, can create a rich luxury feeling throughout a home. Your handrails and railing can look like every other home or, you can invest in upgrading to get a wow factor. Consider metal spindles instead of plain wood ones. Mixing together dark wood with metals or light woods can enhance a stairway. Updating the window blinds to the type without drawstrings and a remote for easy adjustment is a bonus.

The Little Extras that Bring the WOW!

Beautiful lighting that reflects your style can enhance whatever room it illuminates. Try a small chandelier in the half bath. Or a sleek modern designed light fixture in the family eating area above the kitchen table. Remember you can easily update outside lighting too. Outdoor lighting located near your garage door is part of the curb appeal and first expressions of your property. A unique item to include in an upgrade is a standalone ice maker that makes the small easy-to-crunch bits of ice. If you drink or collect wine, an inset wine rack near the kitchen complete with back-lighting can add drama. In the bathrooms, you can install a towel warmer to keep you warm after your shower or bath. Installing a shower head system with many different options such as rainfall, waterfall, or body jets can feel like a four-star hotel experience. Let your imagination run and make your favorite place to hang out your home.

Contact your local agent for the open houses in your area to visit this week to gather upgrade ideas.





Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 8/22/2019

Photo by: Annie Gray via Unsplash

In many homes, the dining table is the ideal get-together spot to share a meal, hold gatherings and talk about important topics. However, it’s not only for eating, clinking glasses or having family discussions. It’s one of the focal points of your house and should be carefully considered. If you're interested in buying a dining table, you'll probably want to buy it to last, to compliment your home’s decor and only have to buy it once. Here is a guide on how to choose the best dining table material for your home.

Choosing Materials

Sturdy Wood

The ideal dining table is one that can last through years of wear and tear. A traditional dining table made from hardwood will take what you dish out. The best hardwood tables to go for are walnut, oak, mahogany or maple. Make sure that the hardwood is solid and from a reputable manufacturer to ensure its strength and durability. If hardwood isn’t your favorite option but you still want a solid table with a nice, wood finish, try composite wood. These tables are engineered from different, sturdy materials and are very economical.

Glass

Though wood remains at the top of the list, glass dining tables are also a popular choice, especially if you’re looking for a sleek or minimalist design. One of the unique advantages glass has is that it can blend seamlessly with many home decor themes. Additionally, it makes the room appear larger, lighter and brighter.

Marble or Granite

If you’re looking to impress your guests, a marble or granite dining table may be worth looking into. Natural stone has an irresistible and timeless appeal. They're also incredibly sturdy. However, they still have their downsides such as weight, cost and upkeep. If you decide to go with a natural stone table, remember marble can stain easily and granite requires annual treatment with sealants.

Choosing the shape

One of the advantages of a round table is its ability to fit into any room, be it a small nook, large dining room, or a part of the living room designated as the eating area. They offer flexible seating for conversation; an attribute many other dining tables lack. Likewise, a long, wooden, trestle table allows for guests to sit across from each other for friendly conversation and may still give you that classic, traditional rectangle. Finally, the ever-popular pub table adds ambiance to your space with a modern yet vintage appeal. 

Finding Your Color

Just because your table may be natural hardwood doesn’t mean it can’t have a splash of color. Chalk paint finishes on wooden, farmhouse tables might be just the look to tie your spaces together. You can also stain your wood in a dark finish to give it a dramatic glow. Glass tables come in colored or frosted glass, giving you the option to stick with a clear surface or add a little color to your dining area. Marble and granite range from pale off-whites to deep red or black hues. Whatever your choice may be, be sure to let the colors accentuate your interior decor.

Getting a dining table might seem like a daunting task, but with these tips, you will be able to choose one that serves the exact purpose you envision. If you don’t have space for the table of your dreams, let me know, so I can make a larger dining area one of our priorities during your home search.




Categories: design tips  


Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 6/25/2019

Have you looked at your bathtub or shower lately and thought that it was in need of some work? Maybe you want to do something yourself but don’t know how to do it or even if you can. If you want your tub to look clean and fresh, try renewing the caulk.

Replacing the caulking

This remedy can bring new life to many a surface. If your caulking—that is the rubbery material in the edges and corners of surfaces designed to protect wet areas like tubs and sinks—has changed color over time, it is simple to cut it out and replace it. All you will need is a knife to cut out the old caulk, a fresh tube of caulking in the color of your choice, and a caulking gun. Each of these should be relatively inexpensive and readily available at your local home improvement store. If you have no idea how to use one ask an associate and they will be happy to show you. 

Preparation

First things first cut out the old caulk. Removing caulk can be done partially to take care of a small section that needs replacing or the whole length of caulking to maintain uniformity and a clean look. Once the old caulk is gone, you will need to make sure that you clean and dry the surface to prepare it for new caulking. Insert the tube of caulk into the caulk gun and cut off the tip of the tube. 

How to apply

Slowly apply a line to the prepared surfaces and take your finger along the caulk to ensure that it goes into to crevasse and is smooth on the edges. As you do this, it is important to note that you may wipe up edges that go too far out. But, you do not want to tape or in any other way make sharp edges of your caulk line as this will compromise it causing it to peel away or allowing the water to seep underneath it. Make sure that you completely and carefully follow the instructions on the caulk that you got to ensure that it has the proper time to cure. Final setting up usually takes about 24 hours. 

Value-added

Get ready to enjoy knowing that you have a fresh, clean bathtub that will be good for you, or for anyone else down the road. Replacing the caulking in your house is a cost-effective home improvement that will bring great value for the cost to your home and your sanity when you see it.




Categories: Home Improvements   DIY   bath tub  


Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 6/5/2019

The advancement of technology has inadvertently aided the schemes of scam artists, and even though people are now aware enough to avoid being scammed through texts, calls, and emails, technology has only given these scammers new sophisticated ways to maintain their level of menace in the world today through the use of the internet.

Address fraud, a type of identity theft, is one of such ways that scammers dupe people. The change of address process for someone who is moving is unbelievably simple as one fills in a form online or on paper, and all that is needed is mover's name, old address, new address, and signature. 

This change of address form is so that mail redirects to the new address and homeowners that move don't miss any mail. The simplicity of this process is also what makes address scams easy, and frequent because really, all they need is a name, the address, and a forged signature and every single piece of mail redirects to wherever they want it to go. This simplicity gives them access to credit card information and very personal information like bank statements, and health care statements.

In fact, the clutter moving creates makes it hard for them (the movers) to notice any missing mail giving these scammers days, and sometimes even weeks to cause havoc. There are different ways to protect oneself from this kind of fraud and they include;

Make a switch to paperless communication 

Request all important documents like bank statements, insurance statements, and other materials with sensitive information to be sent via email not physical mailbox anymore. As long as you have hard-to-crack passwords and are security conscious, this should deter identity theft and online fraud. 

Protect new information 

Tell as few close friends about the new address as possible. Keep documents containing information about new address away from outsiders. If some of these documents need discarding, it's best to shred them to bits first. 

Update address

Take note that to prevent cases of fraudulent change of address a confirmation card is sent to both the old and new address. The mail should be checked daily to detect and report any suspicious change that wasn't put in effect by the mover. Notify the bank, school, utilities (electricity, phone, tv, gas, etc.), and every other service utility about the move as soon as possible. Don't be put in a vulnerable position when something as little as a loyalty card gets sent to the wrong address, letting all the wrong people know of the recent move.

Be sure to complete your mail change forms correctly before moving and confirm that it is done correctly to avoid being scammed. 




Categories: Real estate   Moving Tips   homeowner