July 22, 2016

5 Numbers You Need to Know When Buying a Home

C21_Jan_B2_Blog-5Numbers

C21_Jan_B2_Infographic_v2

July 21, 2016

5 Home Projects to Complete in 10 Minutes or Less

C21_Feb_Batch2_Blog_JC_0002_HomeImprovement2

You probably have a laundry list of projects you’ve been meaning to complete around your home. Luckily, there are tips to help you complete some of these tasks in ten minutes or less. Your home can feel more organized (almost) instantly.

Organize your kitchen pantry: Start by sorting out expired items. Now organize your shelves by function. Separate snacks, baking necessities, spices, and more. Take inspiration from your favorite grocery stores. This ten minute task can save you time when you’re cooking your favorite recipes or making a quick midnight snack. As an added bonus, it reduces the chance of adding salt instead of sugar or vice versa.

Make natural cleaning products: Skip the store. Make your own cleaning products using things you probably already have on hand. You can save money, have a clean home, and be more environmentally friendly. 

Organize your closet: Set a timer and organize your closet for ten minutes. We recommend organizing by color, type, or function. For example, hang all shirts, jackets, sweaters, skirts, pants, and dresses with each other. You will probably end up saving time in the long run, because it will be easier to find what you’re looking for.

Peeling wallpaper: Put a drop of wallpaper paste on a sheet of paper, rub the paper on the underside of the exposed wall, then press the peeling wallpaper against the glue. Smooth any bubbles out with a clean cloth and the wall can look as good as new!

Sliding glass doors or windows: If your glass fixtures are not sliding as smoothly as they should, spray a cloth with silicone lubricant and wipe it along the tracks. It’ll make it easier to get some fresh air.

Get off your computer, turn off the TV, and get started!

July 15, 2016

5 Common Questions Potential Home Buyers May Ask

 

C21_Feb_B1_Link_CommonQuestions_v3

After seeing your home online or during an open house, potential home buyers may have additional questions for you, the homeowner. Being knowledgeable and honest with potential buyers may expedite your home’s sale. Below are five questions you should be able to answer during the selling process.

What is the status of…?

Although you’ve probably listed the vital information about your home’s integrity in accordance with state law, there’s some information that may be absent from those forms and of general interest to potential buyers. They will likely want to know the quality and age of items such as your roof, appliances, plumbing, windows, central heating and cooling, and garage doors. Research your home’s various parts to know this information for potential home buyers.

Has your home ever had a pest problem?

Potential buyers may want to know if your home is prone to infestation by rodents, insects, or any other irksome little creatures. You’ve most likely managed any pest problems before putting your home on the market, but it’s important to give an honest account of your pest history if asked.

How’s the neighborhood?

This question is intentionally open-ended to let you share any pertinent information about the neighborhood that potential buyers should know. Buyers may be curious about neighbors, schools, restaurants, entertainment, safety, and other general facts. Be sure to highlight the stellar aspects of the neighborhood and shift emphasis away from any negatives.

Where is…?

Certain features of your home may be harder for buyers to locate. They may want to inspect items such as the water heater, sprinkler controls, thermostat, pool filter, and circuit breaker. Show potential buyers where these can be found and how they’re maintained.

Is there anything else I should know about this house?

This is your chance to share all the information you wish you’d had known when you moved in or things that may not have been covered yet. You could share things like when trash day is, the nearest hospitals, the best way to care for your lawn and garden, or which neighborhood dogs are your favorite.

Be ready to answer any question a potential home buyer asks. If you don’t know the answer right away, be honest about it and be sure to get back to them promptly.

July 14, 2016

Local Event - Friends of Cambridge Library Annual Book Sale

Friends of Cambridge Library Annual Book Sale

8/5/16 - 8/6/16

Friday: 9:00am - 5:00pm and Saturday: 9:00am-3:00pm

Amundson Community Center, 200 Spring St. Cambridge

www.cambridgelibraryfriends.org

608-423-3900

Posted in Local Events
July 8, 2016

New Homes are Less Expensive to Maintain

 

new-home-exteriorApril is new homes month. And one of the virtues of a newly constructed home is the savings that come from reduced energy and maintenance expenses.

In a previous analysis, we used data from the 2009 American Housing Survey (AHS) to offer proof. The AHS classifies new construction as homes no more than four years old.

For routine maintenance expenses, 26 percent of all homeowners spent $100 or more a month on various upkeep costs. However, only 11 percent of owners of newly constructed homes spent this amount. In fact, 73 percent of new homeowners spent less than $25 a month on routine maintenance costs.

Similar findings are available for energy expenses. According to the 2014 AHS, on a median per square foot basis, homeowners spent 81 cents per square foot per year on electricity. Owners of new homes spent less: 68 cents per square foot per year. For homes with piped gas, homeowners spent on average 50 cents per square foot per year. Owners of new homes spent just 34 cents per square foot per year.

The 2014 data show similar results for various other utilities. For water bills, homeowners averaged 28 cents per square foot per year, while owners of new homes averaged 22 cents. For trash bills, the median for all homeowners was 15 cents per square foot per year, while for new construction the median was 13 cents per square foot per year.

These data highlight that a new home offers savings over the life of ownership due to reduced operating costs. And in fact, these reduced costs result in lower insurance bills as well. The median cost for all homeowners of property insurance is 39 cents per square foot, while it is only 31 cents per square foot for owners of new homes.

These reduced expenditures represent one of the many reasons that the current system of appraisals needs updating to reflect the flow of benefits that come from features in a new home.

View this original post on the NAHB Eye on Housing blog

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

July 7, 2016

Local Event - Fort Atkinson Youth Triathlon

Fort Atkinson Youth Triathlon

07/30/16

7:30am - 11:00am

Fort Aquatic Center - 1200 Lillian St, Fort Atkinson

Website: http://fortparksandrec.com

Posted in Local Events
July 1, 2016

Be My Guest: How to Get Your Home Guest-Ready in 15 Minutes

 

Guest_Ready_KitchenAnticipating some last-minute company? While you may not have time to scrub down the house, some simple tricks of the trade will make it look like you did. Prepare your home for the unexpected—even if the unexpected is your mother-in-law inviting herself over for dinner.

Take a whiff:
Burning a few candles around the abode will not only brighten up the space, but it will also upgrade the usual aromas of your home. Light up a rich Mahogany Teakwood in the den, or perhaps indulge your guests’ senses with a fresh Vanilla Bean scent in the kitchen.

Pillow talk:
Upgrade your low-key loveseats and couches with hints of color. Take decorative pillows and throws out of the closet and add them as accents to the coziest spots. Be sure to fluff them, and then watch as everyone sits back and relaxes.

Reduce, reduce, reduce:
Having a magazine or book at arms’ reach in every room may be convenient, but there are stylish ways to hide them away. Minimize your reading materials clutter by stashing them in a basket or bin. It instantly improves the ambiance of your living space.

Show off your green thumb:
Pick out a simple bouquet from your garden and proudly display it on the dinner table. Also, swap out the run-of-the-mill vase with an empty wine bottle to highlight your creativity and charming style.

Feng shui the space:
If you haven’t moved your couch since it was first delivered, now’s the perfect chance to rearrange and harmonize the room. Even the simple act of angling your furniture a few inches can make each living space look brand new.

Throw it down:
Every room needs an anchor—and for those who are missing one, a bright throw rug brings the space together.

June 30, 2016

Local Event - Summer Sale at Johnson Creek Outlets

July 4 Summer Sale at Johnson Creek Premium Outlets

7/1/16 - 7/4/16

10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Monday; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday

Johnson Creek Premium Outlets, 575 W. Linmar Lane, Johnson Creek

www.premiumoutlets.com/johnsoncreek

(920) 699-4111

June 24, 2016

HHA Program!

June 23, 2016

5 Ways to Warm Up Your Open House

 

Cozy_Open_HousesThe winter weather is sure to have potential home buyers shivering before they even get to your open house, so it’s crucial to keep your home as warm and as welcoming as possible. Turning up the heat may help, but we have five other ways to create warmth without touching the thermostat.

1. Serve hot drinks 
Provide potential home buyers with a hot beverage when they arrive. Coffee, tea, or hot
chocolate can warm their whole body and may make them forget about the harsh
temperatures outside. The sweet surprise could make your spot a bit more memorable,
too.

2. Add warm colored accents 
Reds, oranges, and yellows are all on the warm end of the color spectrum. We don’t
recommend going out and painting the walls any of these colors, but adding a touch of them as accents instead. Think: throw pillows, candles, or decorative vases.

3. Open up the drapes 
Though it’s getting darker earlier, it’s best to soak up all the natural light you can. Keep
the drapes open to let in outdoor light, supplementing with indoor lamps so your place doesn’t appear too dark.

4. Lay down throws
Add some comfy, textured throws to your couch, such as knits or quilts. Though
potential buyers might not actually cozy up on your couch with a good book, an enticing blanket hints at the idea.

5. Incorporate warm scents 
We all know that scent is the strongest sense tied to memory. Play on this by
infusing fragrances such as vanilla, cinnamon, and maple into your home. Try lighting a candle near the entranceway… but always remember to use any open flames safely.

Keep your open house cozy with these tips and potential buyers may never want to leave!