Latest News

Recent Theft

  • There has been a theft in our neighborhood. SSERT leader Debbie would like all of us to be aware. An expensive bicycle disappeared from a neighbor’s home on 9/5/18. Police & management were notified. It is strongly suggested that all of us lock up valuables and your sheds. Items with serial numbers should be recorded for police to use for recovery. Also take photos of items, if possible. And if you think a neighbor is not on this notice list, you might do the “neighborly” thing & give them a heads-up.
  • ALSO, the first meeting of the CEHOA “season” is set for 2 p.m. on Thurs., Sept. 20. Mark your calendars.

All for now. Your “Hot Flash” reporter~~~~~Craig

Affordable and Doable: Tips for Adding Value to Your Home

Homeowners often fall into the get-it-all-done-now trap, a high-pressure state of mind that will cost anyone a boatload of money and can lead you to make rash decisions when you should be thinking it all through. If you’re not in a must-sell predicament, why not be discriminating and treat it as a marathon rather than a sprint? The better and more informed your decisions, the more value and aesthetic appeal you’ll add to your home. Most homeowners have a long list of things they’d like to get done, but it’s important to be organized and prioritize what you can do now and in the near future based on your financial circumstances.

In general, realtors are recommending upgrades over major renovation projects as more economical ways to increase value. There are many ways to upgrade your home that won’t break the bank, from replacing kitchen and bathroom fixtures to improving window treatments and adding new artwork. Bear in mind that the best upgrades are those that you can do yourself without having to hire a contractor to see it through. Adding value without making a large investment is an excellent formula for staging a home for sale.

The basics

There’s nothing like giving a home a clean, fresh look if you’re trying to add value. Decluttering your environment is a simple but important first step. Get rid of everything you don’t need anymore and organize the other items that are lying around so you can store everything away neatly. This may make it easier to spot areas that need touching up as you clean and clear away all the unnecessaries. Keep an eye out for areas that need a fresh coat of paint, both inside and out. The next step is to add new lighting, one of the most important features if you’re looking to add some pizazz. Stylish new fixtures with white metal switch plates can brighten things considerably.

A splashy kitchen

Kitchen and bathroom upgrades are some of the most valuable additions you can make to your home. A nice faux cherry wood finish can make your cabinets look brand new and give the kitchen a classically sophisticated appearance. Best of all, you can do it yourself. Consider adding a hanging pot rack with some shiny new kitchen accoutrements or putting in a colorful tile backsplash to give your kitchen a bright and appealing look.

Bring the bathroom to life

Home buyers always pay special attention to the bathroom because renovations there tend to be among the most expensive. Fortunately, a few simple improvements can make yours look as though you’ve invested heavily. Granite, though the most expensive material for countertops, is more affordable in the bathroom with its smaller counter space than in the kitchen. Under-mount sinks are another hot and trendy item these days, and make a much stronger impression on buyers than the traditional drop sink. Bathroom vanities and tops are relatively easy to install and make a cost-effective addition.

A solid roof

A good solid roof is a must-have for any home buyer. If yours is looking a little ragged, make sure that any loose shingles are replaced, and that it’s sufficiently vented. You might also consider having a thorough inspection done to ensure all’s well. If repairs are needed, be sure that any roofing company you contract with is fully certified and registered with the Better Business Bureau. Be wary of high-pressure tactics and shifting bids, as these are two of the most common indicators of a scam.

Getting the most value for minimal expense is a fundamental strategy for staging and selling a home. Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to make simple and inexpensive upgrades that will appeal to the most discerning buyer. And you’ll get great satisfaction from making many of them yourself.

Courtesy of Pixabay

Cue the Warmth: Spring Maintenance Projects to Prep Your Home by Ray Flynn

Don’t wait until the summertime heat has arrived to prepare your home for the warm days and cool nights. The onset of spring is the best time to put plans in motion to start spring home maintenance that will carry your home through to the end of summer. Taking care of spring home maintenance projects helps you save money and stay cool during the spring and summer months.

Cleaning the Guttera
Cleaning rain gutters should be one of the first things on your spring to-do list. Clogged gutters can lead to flooding inside the home, falling gutters, and a cracked foundation. While all homes need their gutters cleaned once a year, homes directly under a tree or on a lot with many trees may need more frequent cleanings. If you’re cleaning the gutters yourself, check the weather; the task is much easier if the debris inside the gutters is dry. There are several different variations for cleaning gutters, but regardless of which one you choose, ensure you’ve researched the steps, gathered your tools before you start, and always follow proper ladder safety.

Although cleaning gutters is fairly simple, it can be dangerous if you don’t take the necessary precautions. “If you’re unsure about anything, it’s best to hire a professional,” recommends Fox News. When looking for a company, choose one with experience that’s fully licensed, bonded, and insured. Whether you do the work or hire a professional, inspect your gutters and spouts afterward by checking to see if the water is coming out the next time it rains.

Furnace and Plumbing
While most manufacturers suggest changing your air filter every three months, you should do a monthly check to ensure it’s not filled with dirt and other debris. Also, if you smoke or have pets, it may need to be changed more frequently. At the start of the spring season, have an HVAC professional inspect your A/C and give it a spring clean and tune-up. A licensed technician can ensure your unit is running efficiently and can spot potential problems before they’re wallet-busting issues.

In the winter, pipes are at risk for freezing, which can cause the pipes to break. Pipes most at risk include those that are exposed to the weather (outdoor faucets, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, etc.) and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas (basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages). To protect those pipes, you probably drained the water from the swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines and disconnected hoses from outside faucets. Now that you’ll be watering your yard and garden and swimming in the pool, give those same pipes a check for leaks to avoid a hefty water bill.

Windows and Chimneys
Check doors and windows throughout the house for gaps and potential places where cool air can escape, and caulk or apply weather stripping to areas with a draft. While caulking and weather stripping can help in many instances, outdated windows may need to be replaced with more energy-efficient models. Weatherproof windows can make a remarkable difference in your energy costs and comfort levels, especially in older homes.

Before the weather gets too hot, go ahead and give those exterior windows a clean, and check the screens in the process. Holes in your screens allow bugs, dirt, and debris in, taking away from all the hard work you put into polishing the glass to perfection. Depending on the size of the hole, you may be able to patch it instead of replacing. Repair and repaint frames too to prevent movement and the accompanying wind damage.

From cleaning the gutters to checking outdoor plumbing to patching windows, your spring maintenance to-do list is sure to keep you busy, but you’ll definitely reap the rewards. Preparing your home for spring and summer saves on energy, which is not only good for the planet, but also good for your wallet. It also means you and your family will be comfortable and safe throughout the warmer months.