Debi Face - KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY / Metropolitan



Posted by Debi Face on 1/21/2018

Although home ownership brings with it a lot of benefits, there are times when the cost of maintaining those benefits can seem pretty high. Fortunately, it's possible to control many of those costs with a little planning, organization, and research. When it comes to choosing service providers, home improvement contractors, or even retailers of major appliances, it pays to compare prices, features, and guarantees. Whether you're looking for a dependable swimming pool builder, a house painter, or a kitchen remodeling contractor, online customer reviews can provide valuable feedback and help steer you in the best possible direction. That, combined with a few other techniques for evaluating services and contractors, can help ensure that you make wise decisions you'll be satisfied with for years to come. Why Comparison Shopping Pays Off If it seems too time consuming or inconvenient to get more than one quote for a major purchase or home improvement, here are a few compelling reasons to reconsider your position:

  • Significant price variations: Getting multiple quotes can help put you in the driver's seat when it comes to controlling household expenses. It's all too easy to overpay on a product or service when you have no points of comparison. Even if you're just saving $50, that's hard-earned money that can be saved, invested, or spent on something else you and your family needs. It's amazing how much of a price variation there often is between providers of similar services. When you rely on one contractor, retailer, or landscaper to deliver the most value for your money, you're failing to look at the full range of choices. However, when you factor in other prices, customer service policies, payment terms, and features, then you're giving yourself the information you need to make the most economical decision. In many cases, that can translate into hundreds of dollars of savings, enabling you to keep more money in your pocket or bank account.
  • Comparing features and benefits: Once you start comparing things like customer reviews, price differences, guarantees of satisfaction, and value-added features, then one contractor, service provider, or manufacturer may quickly emerge as the clear winner. When it's an individual you're considering, such as a handyman, house cleaner, or plumber, things like experience, references, attitude, and work ethic can also make a big difference in your level of satisfaction.
  • Knowledge is power: One of the advantages of reading online reviews, getting at least three estimates, and comparing different proposals is that you become more knowledgeable about what you're going to be spending your hard-earned money on. This not only helps you make an informed decision, but it gives you the knowledge to communicate your expectations more clearly to the person or company who ends up getting your business.
One final benefit of comparing proposals and evaluating all the pros and cons of each offering is that you'll never have to wonder if you overpaid for the product or service you're getting -- whether it's home improvement, an HVAC installation, or a bi-weekly property maintenance service.





Posted by Debi Face on 1/14/2018

There are a lot of advantages to living in a low-crime neighborhood, such as family safety, peace of mind, and a minimal risk of getting your personal property stolen.

Perhaps the only downside of living in a relatively secure, desirable part of town is that you might let your guard down completely. When that happens, especially on a regular basis, you're creating a vulnerability that could eventually be taken advantage of. That's why is pays to be consistent when it comes to locking doors, teaching your kids good security practices, and always making your home appear as if someone's home.

Your home IS your castle and -- short of building a moat -- there are a variety of practical measures you can take to keep it safe and secure.

  1. Install a burglar alarm or home security system. There are a lot of options for making your home more burglar-proof, such as installing video surveillance cameras, window and door alarms, or a whole-house alarm system that alerts the local police department or alarm monitoring service of a break-in or other security breach. Virtually any security steps you take will help "tip the scales" in your favor, but a professional advisor from a reputable home security company can assist you in identifying potential vulnerabilities and choosing the options best suited for your budget, your degree of risk, and your comfort level.
  2. Plan ahead when going on vacation. Allowing your mail or newspaper deliveries to pile up on your front steps or driveway is like extending an open invitation to burglars who might be scoping out the area. Temporarily suspending your deliveries while you're away is a good starting point for keeping your house looking occupied in your absence, but you might also ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye out for unexpected deliveries. If you really trust them, you could even give them a key to your house, in case they're inclined to water your plants and take care of your pets! (That would eliminate the need and expense of sending your dogs and cats to a pet-boarding facility.) One tactic that a lot of homeowners forget about when they're going away for a few days (or even just overnight) is to hook up an automatic timer to a few of their lights. That simple step will help ensure that their house isn't pitch black at night. There's also the more expensive strategy of having a home security system that can be activated and monitored from your mobile device. Do-it-yourself installation kits are available, but some homeowners prefer the technical support features that come with a professional home security service.
  3. Outside lights can be a deterrent. A few motion-activated outdoor floodlights placed in strategic locations around your home can significantly reduce the risk of night-time prowlers staying on your property for very long. Since one of their primary objectives is to remain undetected and low profile, bright spotlights that turn on when they approach the house will often be enough to send them on their way.
Other home security strategies may include changing all the door locks when you first move into a home, adopting a good watch dog to help scare away potential intruders, and keeping bushes and trees pruned so they don't provide convenient hiding places for would-be burglars.





Posted by Debi Face on 1/7/2018

Let's face it – the thought of entering the home selling market can be stressful, even if you don't plan to put your house on the market for several weeks or months. However, there are many simple ways to ensure you can enjoy a fun, exciting and successful home selling journey.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that you can use to kick off an unforgettable home selling journey.

1. Examine Your Home's Interior and Exterior

How will a potential homebuyer view your residence when he or she sees it for the first time? This is a question that you'll want to consider closely, as a homebuyer's first impression of your residence may dictate whether he or she moves forward with an offer.

Take a close look at your house's interior and exterior from a homebuyer's perspective. If home improvements are necessary, now may be the ideal time to complete these tasks. That way, you can enhance your house's interior and exterior before you add your residence to the real estate market.

Also, a home appraisal may help you identify problem areas with your residence. This appraisal enables a property inspector to examine your residence from top to bottom and can help you better understand your house's strengths and weaknesses.

2. Declutter Your Residence

Unfortunately, clutter can accumulate in a home over an extended period of time. But if you start decluttering your home today, you may be able to avoid the stress of cleaning out your residence as you get closer to adding your home to the housing market.

To declutter effectively, consider items that you need to keep and store them safely. Then, take the items that you no longer require and consider all of your options to get rid of them quickly and safely.

In many instances, you can sell excess items or donate them to charity. Or, you can always offer these items to family members and friends as well.

3. Meet with a Real Estate Agent

What does it take to get your house ready for the real estate market? Meet with a real estate agent, and you can learn everything you'll need to know about selling a house.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the real estate market. As such, he or she can answer any questions that you may have about the home selling journey and help you plan accordingly.

In addition, after you list your residence, your real estate agent will streamline the home selling cycle. This housing market professional will set up home showings and open houses, promote your residence to large groups of potential buyers and much more. By doing so, your real estate agent will do everything possible to help you maximize the value of your residence.

When it comes to getting ready to sell your home, there is no need to worry. Instead, use the aforementioned tips, and you'll be able to enjoy a memorable home selling journey.




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Posted by Debi Face on 12/31/2017

Pets are part of the family. They look to us for food, protection, and a daily routine. In return, we get the joys of having a tiny, furry best friend (or in my case a huge, slobbering goofball of a dog). When you want to go away on vacation, however, pets become an added layer of planning that makes the process much more stressful and complicated. The good news is you have options. Depending on your pet, your destination, and your financial situation, some options may be better than others for you. In this article, we'll go over pet planning for when you go away on vacation so you can rest assured knowing your pet will be safe so that you can do what vacations are meant for: relax.

Where are you going?

Depending on your destination and the type of pet you have, it might be possible to bring your animal friend along. Pet friendly hotels, bed-and-breakfasts and rental homes are all ways that allow you to keep you and your pet together during vacation. If you don't have the money to spend on expensive hotels, you could try out campgrounds or staying with a friend or relative in the area. There are also websites designed for couch-surfing that sometimes allow pets.

What's your pet's personality?

We hold pets to a pretty high social standard. If someone scooped you up and took you to a strange place away from your family for a week you might be a little nervous, right? Your pet is no different. Depending on your pet's comfort level, boarding could be an option. However, it's a good idea to test this out for just a night before going away on a long vacation. Similarly, you could try having your pet stay at a friend or relative's house for a sleepover to gauge their reaction. Training and conditioning could be all it takes to help your pet feel comfortable away from you or your home while you're on vacation.

Calling in a sitter

A less expensive option to boarding your pet is to have a pet sitter stay at your home while you're away. Odds are you might have a teenager or college aged relative who wouldn't mind having your home to themselves for a week to get away from their parents and siblings. If you aren't lucky enough to have a relative who's up to the job, you can almost definitely find someone on pet sitter websites or on Craigslist. People who work from home, or college students are often happy to stay at your place and watch your pets for a small fee. They get free TV and WiFi for a week, and you get the assurance that your pet and home is being taken care of; everyone wins. If you're worried about leaving your pet with a stranger, don't worry--we understand. Fortunately, most sites come with references and testimonials and you can always meet your pet sitter in person before handing them the keys to your home.




Tags: home   pets   dogs   cats   house   pet sitting   vacation  
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Posted by Debi Face on 12/24/2017

The kids are gone and your home that once always felt full to the brim might begin to feel like too much for just the two of you. Which also means it’s the perfect time to buy just the kind of home you always dreamed of having. And let’s be honest, this isn’t always the home young couples need to raise their growing family.

Open the next chapter of your life by, quite literally, opening a new door.

One of the most important factors to consider when house hunting is whether to stay within your existing community. Many couples are excited to not be tied to one place and have the ability to move to somewhere much warmer or scenic. However, it’s important to consider a few factors that some couples find they wish they had when they first started house hunting for homes across the country.

One of the biggest factors to consider is your family and friends. Moving across country can mean seeing them a lot less. And even though we now have video call technology there’s no replacement for that one on one interaction you get when they’re just a drive around the corner.

Instead of jumping in feet first, consider vacationing in the location(s) you are considering for a week or two at a time. Get to know the surrounding community while you are there. What types of people are in the area and can you see yourself easily becoming one of the group? Visit the restaurants, coffee shops, library and community center to see where people gather and if they are “your” people. If you have a hobby or are looking to take one on look into what sort of activities are in the area. Look for sewing/knitting circles, cooking classes, speaking events, and/or hobby shops in the area.

You might just find that the area is best for visiting time to time and not a place you’d like to grow roots. However, you do find you love the location look into the different travel options and what pricing will look like throughout the year. Especially around the holidays. You don’t want to find out after the fact that you need to drive to a train station two hours away just to get on a train or pay an arm and a leg for a plane ride.

One last thing to consider is planning for your budget both now and in the future. Retirement has a lot of perks but cash flow can get tricky when it comes to big-ticket items. Look for homes that you can pay as much of the total as possible up front. Having small, or no, mortgage payments will ensure you are well within your means. If this is a home you plan to live in for a very long time you’ll want to make sure that all expenses can be covered by one of you if anything should happen to the other’s income source.   







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