Real Estate Blog

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Once you've decided to put your home on the market, you're looking to sell quickly for the best possible price. One tactic that can help sell your home faster is staging.

At first, staging may seem like a real estate term that doesn't actually mean anything. Isn't staging just decorating? Well, not exactly …

Appeal to the masses
Your home is likely decorated to your tastes. It could be colorful and eclectic, or rugged and industrial. But when you're staging your home, rather than appealing to a specific decorating sense, you want to furnish your home in a way that appeals to everyone-and more importantly, doesn't turn anyone off who just isn't into your personal style.

Tone down the personal flourishes
Buyers want to be able see themselves in a

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Our homes require regular maintenance, both to protect our personal safety and to avoid costly repairs. Here are five of the most important items you should check in your home.

 1. The fire extinguisher: It’s recommended that you keep at least one fire extinguisher on every floor. You should also keep one in the garage and in the basement.

 2. Staircases and banisters: A loose railing or banister could spell disaster. Regularly check your stairs and the accompanying railings to make sure they’re secure.

 3. Smoke detectors: Be diligent about testing your smoke alarms (and carbon monoxide detectors) and replacing batteries. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, smoke detectors should be tested at least once a month, and batteries

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The federal reserve recently raised interest rates, and if you have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM), it may be a good time to consider refinancing your home. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to whether your should refinance, so here are a few of the main considerations.

How long does your introductory rate last?
Most ARMs have a fixed rate for the beginning of the mortgage. This is an introductory period (usually 3-10 years) when your rate will remain constant before it can be adjusted. If you have several years left in your introductory period, you can monitor interest rates for a while before making a decision. But if the intro rate is ending soon, it’s a great time to explore refinancing at a fixed rate.

How long are you staying?
If you plan

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The acronym "M.L.S." is an everyday term in the real estate industry. So what exactly is the MLS? On a basic level, the MLS is database of all of the properties available for sale and represented by a real estate agent in a given area. The MLS also creates the framework by which agents agree to cooperate and compensate one another. There is also a high level of supervision by the system administrators, which provides accuracy and professionalism, reducing fraud. With the emergence of search sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com, the consumer has been empowered with valuable information, which is important. The key thing for home buyers and sellers to know is that these sites don't always have the most up-to-date or accurate information. If you are

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Watching the snow melt means warmer weather is upon us. It also means that that your basement or crawl space is at risk. Take a few precautions now to save your basement from becoming a flooded mess.

1. Clear snow and debris from roof gutters if you can do so  safely. Check that downspouts and sump pumps drain away from the house.

2. Move excess accumulations away from the foundation, downspouts, basement window wells, and outside stairwells.

3. Create a drainage path to catch basins or to low point water collection areas.

4. Clear drains, including the storm water drain in your street, of excess snow and debris.

5. Check hose bibs for leaks.

6. Shovel your walkway if you can. Melted snow gets into concrete cracks, refreezes, and expands, thereby

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We may be a little removed from New Year’s Day, but it’s not too late to make some 2017 resolutions for your home.

 1. Start a home repair slush fund: Things in your home are going to break and need to fixed. It’s just a fact that comes with home ownership. Rather than letting expensive repairs take you by surprise, start planning for them. Set aside some money each month that you can eventually draw from when an appliance breaks or unexpected damage occurs.

 2. Inspect your fireplace: Even if you have a gas fireplace, you should still inspect the valves and ceramic logs yearly to ensure that everything is operating safely and correctly. If you have wood fireplace, hire a certified chimney sweep to do the job.

 3. Maintain your garage door:

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A New Year means tax season is right around the corner. One of the many perks of homeownership is big tax breaks. So whether you’re doing your taxes yourself or getting help from a professional, it’s important to take advantage of those breaks!

Mortgage Interest Deduction: Before buying a home, a standard deduction may have made the most sense when you prepared your taxes. But homeowners can deduct the interest portion of their mortgage payments, and the earlier you are in your mortgage, the greater the percentage of each payment that goes toward interest, so take advantage right away!

Home Office: There are specific criteria that have to be met in order to deduct home office expenses, but it can lead to a very large deduction. In general, your home

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Organic food usually tastes better, and is better for you, but it can also be very expensive compared to non-organic products. Organic food can cost nearly 50 percent more, thanks to the extra labor required to produce it and consumers’ demand exceeding supply.

So how do you get tasty organic food without spending a ton of extra money? Follow these tips to get more bang for your buck.

Shop at farmers’ markets: You can get fresh organic produce for far less at a farmers’ market than you’d pay at the grocery store. It’ll taste just as good, and you’re getting your food straight from the source.

Choose seasonal produce: Out-of-season produce usually has to be imported, and that can really drive up the price. Focus your meals on in-season fruits and

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