Lisa M. Corr's Blog
When you’re searching for a home to buy, you’ll probably attend many different open houses. The open house is meant to help you get a feel for different properties. While you can’t get to know all the ins and outs of a home in a short time, you can get an understanding of some of the best things (and not so great things) about a property. Below, you’ll find some of the biggest warning signs that a property may not be all that it appears to be.
There’s A Lot Of Odor Masking Elements In Place
When you walk into an open house, you may get the smell of freshly baked cookies or a lovely candle. While these are great marketing techniques, they also can be a tactic to hide things. Perhaps there are some offensive odors in the house from mold, leaks, smoke, or mildew. You may not be prepared to deal with these kinds of problems once you move into a home.
You Notice Glaring Issues
While the home inspection will reveal many problems that may be invisible to the casual observer, you should still be on the lookout for issues on the surface of the home during the open house. These issues can include cracks in the ceiling or walls, cracks in the floor, or even squeaky floor boards. If you happen to see patchy walls in the home, that could indicate that repairs have been made several times. Be alert for these potential problems.
Does The Home Look Well-Kept?
When you pull up in front of the home is the lawn trim? Does the home appear clean? While everyone would hope that a homeowner would clean up their property before an open house, small and big things like this can indicate a bigger problem. If the home is not cared for on the surface, how many other underlying maintenance issues are there in the home? Neglected regular maintenance can cause larger problems of all kinds in a home.
Strange Cosmetic Fixes
A freshly painted wall could be suspect of a big problem. Under the paint could be mold, cracks, or other issues. Some homeowners do put fresh paint on their walls before selling in order to give the home a neutral feel. However, you should be on the lookout for other signs of problems in the home.
Channel Your Inner Detective
While you don’t need to dig as deep into a home as a home inspector does, you should be on the lookout as you scan a home for the potential livability for you. Things like glaring cracks in the ceiling, or a strong odor of cigarette smoke could be signs of future problems living in the home. The open house is your time to find a home that fits you and your life, so make the most of the opportunity.
Packing for a move is fun, and at the same time challenging. The fun side is you are moving to a new home, on the other hand, there is the task of making sure you do not forget anything. Homeowners with an eye to saving on costs prefer a DIY move, and for most of them, their go-to rental truck company is U-Haul. U-Haul trucks are cheap and are available across many cities. Although they may look inviting, there are some specific things many people do not know about U-Haul rentals. Knowing these things might help you make a more informed decision:
1. Reserve Special Vehicles for local moves
Are you going on a long-distance move? If yes, then you need to have a second thought before visiting the nearest U-Haul because you may not get the kind of vehicles you want to rent. Special vehicles like a cargo van, open trailer or pickup truck are not available for a long distance move so if you are going on a long journey and you were thinking of renting a cargo van then you have to consider another truck rental company.
2. You may not be able to speed or Use Cruise Control
Still, on the long-distance move, you might be hoping of stepping on the gas and zooming off to your new home before nightfall. However, not all U-Haul vehicles have the cruise control option. Also, the weight of the equipment on the vehicle and a possible speed governor system might play a significant role in how fast you will drive.
3. You are not guaranteed the truck that you reserve
How would you feel if you requested for particular kind of vehicle and upon arrival, it wasn't available? Angry, right? That is what happens most times at U-Haul. Customers are not guaranteed the ruck they reserve, and when they get there, they are sent to another location or in a worst-case scenario given a bigger truck that might use more gas, which costs more money.
4. U-Haul doesn't add fuel to their prices
Depending on how far your trip might be, fuel has a significant impact on the total cost of a U-Haul rental. When you rent a truck from U-Haul, you will have two options; fuel the truck yourself or use the U-Haul's EZ-fuel service which is separate from the cost of renting the truck.
5. U-Haul is a franchise business.
Lastly, before you rent a truck from U-Haul, get your mind ready to deal with different procedures, regulations, and management. These may determine how long you spend the office since each office will have completely different management and practices.
When moving to a new home, you will need to rent a truck that can carry all your belongings. If you don't like the option of doing it yourself, there are many professional moving companies that you can use to make your move as smooth as possible.
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Architecturally speaking, many home buyers have very definite ideas about their preferred house style.
Whether it stems from a sense of practicality or positive childhood memories, few house hunters are "on the fence" when it comes to the number of stories their ideal house should have.
Perhaps you're one of those people who grew up in a two-story house and wouldn't feel right sleeping down the hall from the kitchen and family room. Some people just prefer their sleeping quarters to be on the second floor!
Although it's a matter of personal preference, there are certain practical aspects to buying a ranch-style or traditional rambler house.
Less stair climbing: While this is an advantage that seniors typically value the most, stairs can be a burden anyone -- especially when you're lugging suitcases, boxes of books, or that heavy new futon you wanted to put in the guest room.
You can probably also recall countless evenings when exhaustion set it, and the last thing you felt like doing was climbing a long, winding staircase to get to your bedroom. (Okay, well maybe it's not "winding," but you get the idea!)
Then, of course, there are those times when you haven't been to the gym in a few months -- make that years -- and your home treadmill has turned into more of a clothes rack than an exercise machine! Although going up and down stairs a few times a day can help counteract the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, sometimes stairs can feel like they're more trouble than they're worth! That would definitely be the case if you have any physical conditions or health problems which make climbing stairs painful or medically unsafe. (Your physician can provide helpful advice on the latter.)
Home maintenance: If you hate getting up on tall ladders to paint your house or clean your rain gutters, owning a one-story home is a solution. Since home maintenance and repairs can often end up costing a bundle, it may make sense to consider doing your own exterior house painting. Although it's time consuming, messy, and sometimes a bit strenuous, painting your own house can potentially save you thousands of dollars in labor costs. Naturally, you'll still need to buy your own paint, brushes, rollers, and other supplies, but the amount of money you can save on labor is substantial.
Personal safety: If there's a fire or other emergency and you need to quickly evacuate your home in the middle of the night, a first-floor window can be safer and less scary than having to exit your house though a second-story window. While this type of dire situation is unlikely and will hopefully never happen to you, it's one of many factors to consider when comparing and contrasting ranch-style homes with other architectural styles.
If you do opt for a two-story (or three-story) architectural style, such as a colonial, craftsman, Tudor, Victorian, or farm house, it's especially important to have a fire escape ladder on hand, as well as a working knowledge of its proper use.