9 Tips for a Spring-Clean Home All Winter Long

You know, when you think about it, we should be obsessing over fall cleaning instead of spring cleaning. After all, you’re about to shut yourself inside for months with all the dust and dirt your home has collected during the hot, dusty, open-window days of summer. And who wants to inhale that?!

The EPA even estimates that indoor air quality can be five times more polluted than outdoor air. So here’s a checklist to help you breathe easy all winter long in your home.

#1 Wash and Disinfect Garbage Cans and Wastebaskets

You’re going to be shut in all winter with these germ havens, so now’s a good time to clean them thoroughly. Take them outside where you can blast the insides with a garden hose, then add disinfectant.

For an environmentally safe way to sterilize these nasty grime collectors, use undiluted hydrogen peroxide or vinegar mixed 50/50 with water. Caution! Don’t mix hydrogen peroxide with vinegar — the result is harmful peracetic acid. Regular bleach is an effective disinfectant (one part bleach to six parts water), but we much prefer environmentally safe.

Let the garbage cans sit for an hour, then pour out the contents and scrub the insides with a stiff bristle brush to remove any residue. Rinse and, if possible, let the wastebasket dry in direct sunlight, which helps eliminate bacteria.

#2 Wash and Disinfect Toilet Brush Holders

Take the holder and the brush outside, and spray wash thoroughly with a garden hose. Immerse the holder and brush in a bucket of hot water mixed with one of these solutions:

  • 1 part bleach to 6 parts water
  • 2 to 3 cups of environmentally friendly washing soda crystals
  • A 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water

Let everything sit in the solution for a couple of hours, then rinse the holder and brush with a hose and place in direct sunlight to dry.

#3 Turn Over Furniture and Vacuum the Bottoms

You might shift furniture around so you can vacuum the floor, but there’s another side to the story — the underside.

Tilt upholstered chairs and couches all the way back (much easier with two people) to expose the bottoms. The dustcovers tacked underneath furniture can catch dreck and dust bunnies, so vacuum them off, being careful not to press too hard on the fabric.

#4 Clean the Tops of Doors, Trim, and Artwork

Tables and countertops aren’t the only household items with horizontal surfaces. In fact, just about everything in your house except Rover’s tennis ball has some kind of horizontal surface where dust and dirt will nestle, often unnoticed. You’ll want to clean the top horizontal edges of:

  • Interior doors
  • Trim, including baseboards and chair rails
  • Artwork and mirrors
  • Electrical wall plates
  • Wall-mounted smoke detectors, CO detectors, and thermostats
  • Upper kitchen cabinets
  • Light bulbs and light fixtures
  • Computer monitors
  • Books on shelves

#5 Vacuum Behind the Fridge

Your fridge needs to be cleaned periodically so that it operates at peak efficiency. Ignore this chore and face another $5 to $10 per month in utility costs. Worst case: a visit from an appliance repair pro who’ll charge $75 to $150 per hour!

The object is to clean the condenser coils. Here’s how:

If the condenser coils are on the back of the refrigerator, then pull the unit out completely, and unplug it while you work on it. Brush or vacuum the coils to clean them, and clean up any dirt and dust on the floor.

Also, check to make sure your freezer vents are clear. Freezers circulate air to reduce frost, but piling up too much stuff in front of the little grill-like vents inside your freezer blocks their business.

If the condenser coils are on the bottom of the fridge, then you’ll need to clean them from the front of the unit.

Take off the bottom faceplate to expose the coils.

Clean dust using a condenser-cleaning brush ($8) or a long, thin vacuum attachment made for cleaning under refrigerators ($14).

You should still pull your refrigerator all the way out and vacuum up dirt and dust that accumulates in back of the unit. Unplug it while you work on it.

Put down a piece of cardboard so that grit under the wheels doesn’t scratch your flooring.

#6 Winterize Your Entry

Keep winter’s slush and gunk at bay by making your entryway a dirt guardian.

  • Get a boot scraper ($19 to $35).
  • Add a chair or bench for taking off boots, and have a boot rack for wet footwear.
  • Put down a tough coir outdoor doormat ($30 to $190) for cleaning footwear.

Related: Check Out These Clever Entryway Solutions

#7 Clean Windows

By some estimates, dirty window glass cuts daylight by 20%. That’s a lot less light coming in at a time of year when you really need it to help chase away winter blues.

Clean windows inside and out with a homemade non-toxic solution:

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon eco-friendly dish detergent
  • 2 cups water

Wipe clean and polish using microfiber cloths.

#8 Clean Ceiling Fan Blades

Those big blades on your ceiling fan are great at moving air, but when they’re idle they’re big dust magnets — dust settles on the top surfaces where you can’t see it.

Out of sight maybe, but not out of mind. Here’s an easy way to clean them: Take an old pillowcase and gently cover a blade. Pull it back slowly to remove the dust. The dust stays inside the pillowcase, instead of all over the floor, the furniture, your hair (ugh!).

#9 Change Furnace Filters

Yeah, this is a no-brainer, which is why it’s last on this list. But everything else you do could be moot if you’re not changing your filters at least once every 60 days (more if you’re sensitive to allergies).

Air filters for furnaces are rated by level of efficiency. The higher the rating, the better the filter is at removing dirt, mold spores, and pet dander.

Filters are rated one of two ways (you’ll see the ratings on the packaging); higher numbers mean better efficiency, but there’s a point of diminishing returns — some filters with extremely high ratings also restrict air flow, making your HVAC work so hard that the system heats and cools inefficiently.

  • Minimum efficiency rating values (MERV) for filters range from 1 to 16, but 7 to 13 is typical for households (14 and up are used in hospitals).
  • Microparticle performance rating (MPR) range from 300 to 2,400.

Cheap filters cost about $2, but won’t do you much good. You’re better off paying $12 to $17 for a pleated filter with a 1250 MPR, or $20 to $25 for a filter rated 2,400.

Happy cleaning (and breathing!) this winter.

Article Courtesy of HouseLogic

Selling Your Home with Fido

The Kentucky Derby, Thunder Over Louisville, Lights Under Louisville – these are just a few of the events you have to look forward to now that you are moving to Louisville. What about Fido? Start by tasting and wagging your way through the many dog-friendly restaurants such as Molly Malone’s or the Down One Bourbon Bar & Restaurant. Next, take in the view of Downtown Louisville at the Waterfront Park (Bonus: If you plan your trip in the evening hours, you’ll see the light show of the Big Four Bridge illuminated over the Ohio River). To truly become a Louisvillian, leash up your pup for a walk under the city in the Mega Cavern.

All this and more awaits you once you sell your home and make the move, and with this guide to selling your home, you’ll be falling in love with Louisville in no time.

For more information:

Visit rover.com to find a place to board your dog.
Visit thebalance.com for expectations on scheduling showings.
Visit bhg.com for other tips on decluttering.
Visit getridofthings.com for tips on eliminating pet odors.
Visit realtor.com to find more things you should be talking to your realtor about.

Selling your home involves the entire household, and your pup just happens to be one of the furrier family members. Simply keep your dog in mind throughout the buying and selling process, and enjoy this new life experience.

For more pet friendly places in and around Louisville, be sure to check out our friend Medina over at dogetiquette.info.

For the best homes checkout our site Home Finder In KY

To find out about the numerous dog parks in and around Louisville go to louisvilledogs.org. All in we have 8 great parks for you to walk your dog or be safe with your dog off of a leash.

Open House – Sunday Feb. 21 – 2pm-4pm

Patio Home Style condo in Coach Gate. Great curb appeal-25 park-like areas including a lake and creek to enjoy. Unique in that it has 3 bedrooms and 3 full baths. The style of this unit is somewhat like a raised ranch as all living spaces are above grade. As you enter the foyer you go up a small set of steps to the main living area. The large formal living area has numerous floor to ceiling windows; allowing beautiful, natural sunlight to flood the space. The kitchen has nice cabinetry and a pantry. At the end of the kitchen is a wonderful casual dining area where you can enjoy your meals looking out the windows and taking in nature. Just off the dining area is the family room/den with a fireplace flanked by built-ins.

Just outside the sliding glass doors of the family room is a private patio area for parties, pets, grilling out, etc…The master bedroom is really nice size and features a walk in closet. The master bath has a double vanity and a shower/tub combo. The other two bedrooms are nice sized and can easily fit large bedroom furniture. There is another full bath for your guests on the main level. In the lower level you will find that third bedroom, another full bath, a space great for a home office or craft room and the laundry room. Access to the large 2-1/2 car garage and loads of storage space is located on this level too. Secure buildings and security systems for your peace of mind. Coach Gate offers many amenities and has a very stable Homeowners Association. A wonderful clubhouse, pool and tennis courts to name a few. Your new home is waiting.

Click here to view more condos in the St. Matthews area.

171,414,933,957,mailto:rhogue@findahomeinky.com|45,312,982,1006,http://www.homefinderinky.com/|45,374,1006,1030,http://www.kw.com/kw/mobile_real_estate_search.html|
171,414,933,957,mailto:rhogue@findahomeinky.com|45,312,982,1006,http://www.homefinderinky.com/|45,374,1006,1030,http://www.kw.com/kw/mobile_real_estate_search.html|

Sitting At The Dock of the Lake

This waterfront property positioned at Guist Creek Lake offers a serene environment with its gorgeous views of nature. Spend time sitting on the private boat dock passing the time fishing.

Enter the immaculately kept 3BR/2BA brick home through a custom designed door. The spacious eat-in kitchen celebrates the heart of the home with an abundance of custom designed cabinets and pantry. You will love celebrating holidays in the festive ambience of the dining room that highlights an incredible view of trees through its French Doors. The finished walkout basement hosts a family room and office space. There is a detached workshop with compressor and 220 volt service that will most definitely put a smile on that handyman’s face. You can spend hours on the extended balcony deck reading a book or enjoying a cold beverage with friends. Features of this one of a kind home include all new windows, 95% efficient furnace, dual heat, heat pump, thermostat that monitors both indoor and outdoor air temperature, gutter guards, an outbuilding, and fully fence yard. This property screams PRIVACY and BEAUTY! Words cannot properly describe the many features this property offers, so schedule your private showing today so we can “show off” this wonderful home!

Click here for more homes in this area.

bass

New Listing – Condo In The Highlands

Fully renovated 3rd floor Condo in the Highlands. Near to shopping, entertainment and so much more for this happening area. Kitchen features custom cabinets, stainless steel appliances and white quartz countertops. This unit has in unit laundry which was just added. Both the master and main bathroom have been completely remodeled as well. Sit in the mornings on the covered tiled balcony and enjoy your favorite morning beverage. If you want part of the Highlands without the maintenance of a yard, then look no further. Make your appointment today.   For more information on homes in this area, click here.

parsons7

950 Persimmon Ridge – Beautiful home inside and out

Living is easy in this impressive 4BR/3.5BA home in the sought out Persimmon Ridge community that overlooks the 2nd fairway of the Persimmon Ridge Golf Course. Magnificent sunrise and sunset views await you! Enter through the custom designed front door, with its side lights, into the 2 story entry foyer and immediately be captured by the dramatic double height great room and abundance of sunlight. You will be amazed by the precision to detail in the crown molding, wainscoting, recessed lighting, built-in niches, oversized windows and architecture of the home. The great room boasts a gas fireplace with a custom designed built-in space for a television.

The formal dining room with its columns on each side of the arched doorway, along with the intricate wainscoting and crown molding, will absolutely create a festive ambiance while celebrating holidays. The eat-in kitchen is the perfect place to prepare gourmet meals. Picture friends sitting at the breakfast bar and visiting as you prepare meals on the Quartz countertops using all GE Profile appliances including a GE Profile Advantium Convection Oven. The custom designed cabinets and drawers provide more than ample storage space. The covered porch off the kitchen has a ceiling fan and will surely provide peaceful moments in one’s busy day. The large laundry room comes with built-in cabinets with a hanging rod and utility sink. The first floor master bedroom is a sanctuary in itself. Enjoy hours of reading in the sitting area under a vaulted ceiling. The bedroom has double trey ceilings with crown molding that flows into the master bathroom. The ensuite has a cathedral ceiling, shower, raised double sink vanity; custom designed master closet and a jetted garden tub to enjoy baths.

The landing of the stairs leading to the 2nd level has a Palladium window. The stair runner has a matching area rug that can be used in the great room. The catwalk leading to the bedrooms overlooks the great room. One of the three bedrooms on the 2nd level has a built-in desk with shelving and double closets. The second bedroom has a walk-in closet and opens into the upstairs bathroom. The third bedroom has a built-in window seat with storage and double closets. A large bonus room with a built-in window seat and built-in entertainment center is used as a common area. The upstairs bathroom has a double sink vanity and provides separate access to the shower/bathtub area.

The size of the finished portion of the basement is incredible with 9ft ceilings, decorative columns and recessed lighting. The gas fireplace has built-in cabinets and shelving on each side. Your entertainment needs will totally be met with the built-in projection television, built-in surround sound and 100″ screen. You need only walk across the room to the built-in bar for refreshments. There is a bar sink and custom designed cabinets/drawers. You will also find an additional full bathroom. The large unfinished storage area in the basement can be completed later into additional living space. This immaculately kept home has 2 HVAC systems, irrigation system that also supplies water to potted flowers and plants, a humidifier attached to the furnace and many additional upgrades and features. Just minutes from the interstate, shopping and restaurants, come visit and see for yourself. Schedule your private showing TODAY and experience the serene setting this home offers. Call Gary: 502-376-0374 to schedule a showing! For more information on homes in this area, click here.

Big Brother, Or Maybe Just The Homeowner Is Watching You.

maxresdefaultBuyer 1 to Buyer 2 in the house, “Yes I know the house is 235,000 and I know that we are approved for only 218,000, but maybe we can get an extra 12 or 13,000 from our folks to get this home if you really want it.” Or, “This place is a real bargain at the price they are asking and I know if we get it for the asking price we would be happy, but why don’t we offer a much lower price to see how much they will come off?” Or, “We can get this house for 215,000 just make sure that our pre-approval doesn’t show any more than that.”

Do any of these sound familiar? As a real estate agent we hear these and more said by clients all the time. If you heard a recording of that as the seller would that possibly give you an advantage over the buyer? Sure it would.

Video surveillance cameras used to cost 100’s and even 1,000’s of dollars. Not anymore, You can find these cameras complete with audio for less than 200 dollars in any big box store that sells technology.

That being said, no matter what the price of the home is, you could be recorded during your showing. Also what you say could be on tape as well.

You may ask if this is an invasion of privacy? Possibly and possibly not. In the part of being a real estate agent showing a home, the homeowner should leave a notification that the home is on camera and audio. Many don’t and that can be considered an invasion, but will be hard to prove in court unless the recording included information that gave the owner an unfair advantage during the negotiation of the home for purchase.

Buyers should consult your agent about the home, take notes while going through the homes and at the end of the tour decide where to meet to discuss all of the points that are for and against the property(s).

Using a professional Realtor will help you not have this happen to you.

For more information about purchasing a home, click here.

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The 3 Reasons Your Home Will Not Sell – Real Estate

3 Reasons Why Your Home Won’t Sell –  In the real estate world we call a property that does not sell within the contracted listing term an Expired Listing.  For the home owner who has been trying to sell a home this can be a frustrating thing.  These home owners, however, are not alone.  The average real estate agent unfortunately sells only between 60% – 70% of his/her listing inventory.  This means that during a balanced market up to 40% of listing contracts expire before the home sells.  The Seller of an Expired Listing is then forced to make two decisions: to re-list and try again; or to stay at the property for an indefinite period of time and to re-list with another agent or to attempt to sell on their own, as a FSBO (For Sale By Owner).
Here is a countdown of the top 3 reasons why a property will not sell during it’s listing contract term:
 3.  Condition:  The condition of the property can either be a huge deterrent or an appealing factor in a buyer’s decision to bring an offer.  Has the home been updated in the last 5 to 10 years or is it sporting shag carpet from the 70’s?  The Retro look is making a comeback but most buyers are not all that down with purchasing a home with counter-tops and cabinets that show 40 years of wear-and-tear.  In general, if you keep the home updated with current trends, not only will it sell faster but it will sell for more money than a home that has not been updated.  Selling a home that is dated for the most possible money is not impossible however… in order to do this, you have to be “on-point” with the next 2 reasons.

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2.  Marketing:  How is your listing being marketed?  Most agents will put your home on the local MLS System and rely on their broker’s marketing systems to do the rest.  Unfortunately, most brokers follow a standard IDX (Internet Data Exchange) marketing campaign that merely shares the listing with all the other local brokers in an attempt to promote more exposure.  The problem with this is that we currently live in the Information Age where trends in mobile apps, social networking sites and social media sites change faster than you can say Twitterpated!  If you are looking for the best chance to sell your home in this fast-paced internet age, you will have to focus on the software and applications that give your property the ultimate market exposure.
And now for the #1 reason why most homes do not sell during the first listing contract term…

  1.  Price:  In a tight race with Marketing, Pricing ends up being the #1 reason homes do not sell during the first listing contract.  There are many reasons for this.  If the home is priced accurately according to the neighborhood but it doesn’t line up with the Condition of the property in relation to comparable homes then is it essentially overpriced.  If the market is heading in a downward direction and the property is priced well today, it will not be priced well in as little as 2-4 weeks.  If the home is priced right but the Marketing does not line up, then the home actually becomes overpriced considering the lack of marketing…  In short, these 3 factors work together to either create success or to create another expired listing.  If you would like to ensure your real estate sale goes smoothly, the best thing you can do is to take these three factors in to account and either find an agent who knows his/her stuff or make sure you have the time to do it on your own.

To find out more about real estate in Louisville and the surrounding areas, click here.

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