Quick Home Fixes

With the Spring cleaning hopefully soon to begin you may have noticed a few things around the house that need to actually be fixed or replaced in the process of sprucing up.

If you are thinking of selling your home it’s also a good idea to go through your home and take care of any minor little problem areas as well – it is often the small things that can mean the difference in getting your home sold for the best return.

Here are some good quick fixes to get you started:

The squeaky wheel gets the grease; a squeaky door can really drive you nuts and add that haunted house ambience to your home that you want to avoid during a showing. Easy to correct: give it a little spritz with the WD40! If it keeps squeaking after that look at pulling out the hinge pins and giving them a liberal dose of lubricant as well.

Squeaky Floor
Believe it or not you can actually sometimes fix this with just a little baby powder – especially if you have wood floors. Just sprinkle a little baby powder into the cracks of the floor near the problem area. For carpeted floors you may have to roll back the carpet to get to the sub-floor if the offending squeak is not near the walls in the room.

Tub Stains
Water stains on tubs can be rough. Here’s what to do: combine equal amounts of cream of tartar and baking soda with enough lemon juice to make a paste. Rub the mixture into the stain with your fingers or a soft cloth. Let sit for a half hour, then rinse well with water.

Flat Cushions
Couch cushions lost their fluff? Pillows not so poofy? Place them outside in the sun for a few hours – flip them halfway through. The sun will help evaporate the moisture that gets into the filling over time, and the cushions should plump up nicely. Don’t leave them out too long, sunlight can fade fabrics!

Scuffed Linoleum
A couple of common items can help with scuffy lino! Just rub the spot with white toothpaste and a dry cloth or with an eraser. Not cutting it? WD-40 to the rescue! Spray a little on a towel and rub lightly, making sure to degrease the area afterward with liquid dish washing soap and water.


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Tips Before Closing

There’s no putting it off, there will come a time during your home buying process when you will need to do a final walk through of the home before closing. Usually about a week before you close on your new home take the time to visit it one last time before it’s yours – this is a great opportunity to spot any last minute items that may need attention.

Check to make sure the terms of your contract have been met and that the condition of the property has not change significantly since talks began. It doesn’t hurt to bring your a copy of your purchase contract as a reference guide during this visit as it can help you track down the little details without losing sight of the whole picture.

Here are a few things you should be on the lookout for:

1. Major appliances: Be sure that any items that were to remain in the home are still there, and that they are in good working order.

2. Major systems: Do the air conditioning, heat, and plumbing still function properly?

3. Repairs: As part of your purchase contract, the seller may have been required to make repairs. Be certain that these have been completed, or that the seller has a written timeline for when the repairs will be completed.

4. Walls and floors: Has any damage occurred to the floors or walls during the sellers move? Were rugs, artwork, or carpets covering water damage that was not disclosed? Dings in the walls?

5. Screens and Storm Windows: If it is the season for these items to be in storage, be sure they have indeed been left in storage and that they are in good shape.

6. Remotes: Garage doors, alarms,and sound systems likely all use a remote, some of which can be very expensive to replace. If these items were part of your agreement, be sure they have been kept with the house.

7. Cleanliness: The home should have been cleaned and all debris removed. Moving is stressful enough without having to clean up other peoples mess the first week you are there.

8. Fixtures: Light fixtures, curtains, and other items that were agreed upon should still be in the home. If they are not, let your agent address the conflict.

9. Landscaping: It may seem hard to believe but yes, some sellers may try to run off with your shrubs and plants! Check your contract to see what is supposed to stay; if plants were taken, let your agent handle the situation.

10. Exterior: Has there been any storm or other damage to the home since your inspection or first visit? Be sure to visually inspect the exterior of the house for damage. Once you have signed on that dotted line, the house is yours — and that could mean storm damage and all.

Closing time can be very hectic. Take the time for your final walk-through. It’s the smart thing to do in order to make sure no last minute items have been forgotten and that nothing has changed regarding the property during the time since your first visit.

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Buying Vs Renting Saves Dollars And Makes Sense

There are any number of reasons to consider moving from renting to owning your own home, but becoming a homeowner requires more than just the desire to have a place to call your own. Unfortunately this stops many people before they even look into it seriously just because it seems so daunting when it doesn’t have to be.

We’ve put together a few tips to help this not only seem less intimidating but also help you get a jump start on the process!

Just Talk To A RealtorĀ®
It doesn’t have to be complicated, just a phone call, email, or coffee meetup. Many people underestimate how important it is to have an agent they get along with, so start looking for one early. Ask questions, find out if you are even ready to think about buying right now.

Look Around
Online and off, go for a drive or surf the net and just see what’s out there. Find out what kind of home you like, and start looking at pricing and getting familiar with the area. If you’ve already talked with an agent about what your price range it never hurts to start getting a feel for the market on your own.

Start Saving
It’s never too early to start saving! Take a look at your credit and work to improve it if you can and sock away a little cash each month as you go. There will be things like closing costs, moving and cleaning costs to prepare for and even if you should decide now isn’t the time to buy you can always use a little more padding in the nest egg.

Buying your own home is rewarding not just for the sense of pride it can bring but also because of the equity in your future it can provide. Don’t let the small challenges that may be in front of you keep you from seizing your dreams – you don’t have to do it alone, we can help! – contact us today to see what we can do for you!

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3 Things You Absolutely Positively Must Get Rid Of Before You Move

While moving can be one of the most dreaded tasks we saddle ourselves with, it doesn’t have to be, and in fact can be a great time to simply your life.

One of the best tips for anyone getting ready to move is just this: Don’t Move The Clutter With You!

Take control! You’re already making big changes so this is already prime time to make it as good an experience as possible.

Here are the three big things you can get rid of to save yourself a lot of hassle when it comes time to move.

Old Stuff
It’s only antique if it has value. That old holey pair of gym shorts from jr. high does not satisfy this criteria, so toss out old junk. This includes things you haven’t seen or used in years, things that someone else gave you as a keepsake that had more value to them than to you, or really anything that’s not actually important.

Some things you need to keep for taxes, that’s a given, but there is also likely a ton of loose paper in your house that’s just taking up space. Old magazines, newspapers, coupons, project books or receipts that are too faded to read – any of these items can be cleared out. If you’re not sure put it in a box and organize it, but just by taming some of the bigger piles of paper you’ll be ahead of the game when it comes time to unpack in the new place.

Broken Stuff
We’re all about re-using, re-purposing, and re-cycling….but if a project has sat unfinished or even unstarted in the garage for more than a year chances are it’s RE-diculous that you’re going to get it done. Use the move as a chance to toss out that broken chair you meant to fix, or that set of old tires that “still has some good rubber on it”.

It can be tough! This is your stuff that you worked hard to accumulate and it’s hard to just get rid of it – especially if you think you might somehow need it later. But it’s better to be free of it and have to get another one later than to haul a bunch of old junk around from house to house every time you move. If you need help relocating to Idaho we would love to help! Get in touch to see what we can do to make your move a breeze!

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Reasons to Stop Renting NOW

emmett idaho homesStill renting? There are plenty of reasons you might be. It could be related to your job, or kids school, or just it’s what you’ve always done. Maybe it’s a matter of credit, finances, or other life events.

Whatever the reason you’re still making payment to the landlord every month there’s a number of reasons why it’s a great time to buy now; here are just a few to consider:

Home Prices Are Still Low
Despite limited inventory home prices are still lower than they’ve been in years; there are still some good deals available on the market. One thing is for certain, prices aren’t likely to come down any time soon so take advantage!

Renting is fine if you’re going to be moving soon but if you’re looking to put down roots one of the best reasons to buy instead of rent is equity. When you rent if property values go up it’s likely only going to raise your rent, as an owner when values go up your equity increases as well. Your home is more than a place to live, it’s an investment.

Buying Is Cheaper
Rent is rising all over the country but even at current rates a mortgage payment is still going to generally be more affordable than paying rent. While $900 in rent might pay for a one or two bedroom townhouse or apartment that same amount when applied to a mortgage is more likely to cover a 3 bedroom house.

There are plenty more reasons to buy a home instead of continuing to rent, and it’s more attainable than you might think. We would love to have the opportunity to help you find your dream home if you’re looking to buy, or sell your current home as well! Contact Evans Realty today to work with on of our experienced agents!

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Easy Fixes To Sell Your Home Faster

There are a million and one details to get in order when the time come to sell your home, and having the help of a qualified Idaho REALTORĀ® will prove invaluable, but beyond their assistance there are a few things homeowners themselves to avoid in order to help the sale go smoothly.

Overgrown Lawn
Take care of dead patches and be sure to keep on top of cutting the yard during the sales process. Pull weeds and maybe even add just a few potted flowers to spruce things up a bit.

Touch Up The Paint
A can of paint can go a long way! If there are damage spots go ahead and give them a once over. Patch any minor holes as well. If it’s within budget don’t be afraid to take this time to even consider painting a room or taking care of any exterior paint issues as well.

Keep It Clean
Clean away cobwebs, sweep up leaves, and consider even having the outside of your house pressure washed. It’s a great idea to have the windows cleaned as well. Living in your home day to day you often don’t realize how grimy the outside of your house can get; giving it a good wash is almost like a new coat of paint.

Don’t Go Overboard
De-cluttering is one of the most important things and it’s usually the easiest to do. You don’t have to remodel the entire house or put in a new deck to add value to your home and make it more saleable, so focus on the little things. Make your home inviting and showcase all the reasons you’ve loved it over the time you’ve been there and your agent will do the rest!

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Homeowner Summer Maintenance Tips

The Summer months will be fast upon us Idaho, so get the jump on those household tasks before they pile up and the heat is on!

Don’t panic! You’ve still got time and we’ve put together a quick checklist of items to help make getting those honey-dos under wrap before you really start to sweat.

Get The Grill Ready
Hey, it’s important! There’s nothing worse than having the meat and the charcoals and company on the way over only to discover your grill is filthy – or worse yet rusty or in need of real repair. So use this excuse to dust that Weber off early, fire it up for a test run, and clean out all those old ashes.

Check The A/C
You’re gonna need that air conditioning this Summer! If it’s been a while consider having it serviced by a professional. At the very least hose it off to clear it of dust and clear any debris from around the unit itself as well. Another good idea is to change the air filter inside your house also!

Wash The House
This goes for windows but also for your whole home as well. There’s been plenty of dust and grime blown in over the last few months; if you own a home with vinyl siding there are plenty of easy to use cleaners that will help get the place looking fabulous!

Beat Back The Bugs
All the creepy crawlies have been busy all Spring making their own little homes. You’ll want to be sure and keep them under wraps before Summer hits in full swing or you could be facing an invasion when temperatures heat up. Go around the perimeter of your home and knock down any visible nest from wasps or other bugs. Take a stroll through your attic or crawl space if you’re really motivated; consider pest barrier granules around your foundation to keep them out.

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