You Could Be Wrecking Your Home — And Not Know It (Yet)

First-time homeowners often make these 9 common — and avoidable — mistakes. Don’t be one of them.

You haven’t felt like this since you were a teenager. You have a crush on your new house. (You’re officially a home buyer — wait — owner!)

It’s soooooo great. You love its quirks. It’s your very first home, and you want to do everything right.

The feeling is fun, but also scary: You remember too well how badly you screwed up that first crush as a teenager (so embarrassing. Don’t ask).

Could you screw this up too?

No need to freak out. You can make this love a lasting one. For now, keep an eye out for these common no-nos that can result from good intentions.

#1 Using Bleach as a Cure-All

If bleach is your chicken soup for whatever ails your home, proceed with caution.

Bleach can:

  • Eat through the sealant on stone surfaces like granite
  • Discolor laminate and colored grout
  • Fade enamel and acrylic tubs
  • Dissolve vinyl and linseed-based flooring like linoleum
  • Corrode seals within the disposal

In addition, bleach kills mold on non-porous surfaces, but can feed future mold growth on absorbent and porous materials, like grout. Yep, whitening grout with bleach creates a mold feeding ground. Whoops.

Better options? Water and vinegar are all you need for most cleaning jobs. If you’ve got a heftier mold or mildew issue, apply a commercial anti-fungal product.

And to clean your disposal, just dump cold water and ice cubes down the hatch.

#2 Training Ivy to Climb Your House

You’ve dreamed of living in an ivy-covered English cottage since childhood. Well, sorry for this, then:

“Anything that climbs on the house will damage it,” says Marianne Binetti, a speaker and author who leads garden tours around the world.

The horticulture expert made the mistake herself.

“It looked cool for a while, but it dug into the siding so even when we pulled it off, it left damage. And it climbed up the drain pipe and tore the gutter off the house,” she says.

By sending roots beneath siding and shingles, ivy enlarges tiny cracks in brick and wood, introducing entrances for moisture and insects, says Jay Markanich, a certified home inspector based in Bristow, Va.

#3 Relying on Chemical Drain Cleaners

Clogged sink! Again! Pay a plumber more than $100, or grab a $10 product at the store? You can totally handle this one yourself, right?

Possibly. But the most common active ingredients in these solutions, hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid, can erode your pipes.

Even the old baking-soda-and-vinegar medley can result in cracked pipes, as the reaction causes a build-up of pressure.

Old-fashioned “mechanical” methods — your plunger, a drain snake, or a handy $2 gadget called the Zip-It — are safer and more effective, according to “Consumer Reports.”

And if that fails, that call to the plumber doesn’t sound so bad compared to an eroded or busted pipe, no?

#4 Using Glass Cleaners on Mirrors

Your newfound house crush has you scrubbing and spritzing everything. Look at you being so lovingly domestic!

But be cautious with your mirrors. Spraying can lead to what’s ominously called “black edge” — created when a liquid seeps beneath the reflective backing and lifts it.

Instead, clean mirrors with a lint-free microfiber cloth, dampened with warm water — especially mirrors in expensive, installed items like vanities and closet doors.

Avoid the edges and dry immediately with a second cloth.

#5 Planting Trees ThisClose to Anything

Kind of like adopting an adorable, tiny piglet on a whim, you’ve got to remember how a baby tree is going to grow, and what it’s going to require at maturity.

You probably don’t want a 70-pound pig digging up your daisies, and you definitely don’t want a tree root pushing through your driveway, sidewalk or — so much worse! — your foundation.

And watch out for evergreens. If planted too close to the house, they cast too much shade, encouraging mold growth, Binetti says.

Position trees according to its maximum height, crown size, and root spread. For perspective, even a small tree reaching less than 30 feet tall needs at least 6 feet of clearance from any exterior wall, according to the Arbor Day Foundation.

#6 Using the Wrong Caulk

As a dutiful homeowner, when you see failing caulk, you fix it. But the term “caulk” is as broad as the word “glue.”

There’s kitchen and bath caulk, concrete caulk, gutter caulk, mortar caulk — and that’s just the tip of the caulk-berg. And just like you’d never fix broken pottery with a glue stick, you don’t want to pick the wrong caulk either.

Markanich sees plenty of damage done when the wrong caulk is used. Such as using silicone caulk (totally great on non-porous surfaces like bathtubs) on concrete or brick or other porous surfaces. It won’t adhere, and moisture can seep in, compromising the bond and the structure.

Before heading to the store, check an online buying guide to find the right match for the project you’re doing. Odds are there’s a specific caulk just for it.

#7 Over-Sealing Countertops

Take care of your countertop, but don’t smother the darn thing.

Applying sealant too frequently can create a cloudy or streaky appearance on surfaces like natural stone, concrete, butcher block, and glass, which typically only require occasional resealing to resist stains. (Quartz, laminates, and solid surfaces like Corian are best left sans-sealer.)

How to know it’s time to reseal? Drip some water on a high-use area of the countertop. If the water doesn’t remain beaded after 15 minutes, consider resealing.

But always defer to your manufacturer’s recommendations. Different materials can have different needs.

#8 Over-Mulching

Nothing feels closer to giving your home a hug than being elbow deep in a landscaping project. But when it comes to mulch (which is so great, for so many reasons), it turns out elbow deep is a little too much love.

A layer thicker than 3 inches can suffocate plants and prevent water from reaching roots, so spread thoughtfully.

#9 Piling Firewood Next to Your Exterior Wall

Your fireplace is the highlight of your home. You love it. That’s why you keep your firewood right outside the back door, for easy access.

Oops. Storing firewood against your home’s exterior walls is akin to opening a B&B for termites.

In fact, “anything that creates a dark, climate-controlled area near the house will invite termites” and other pests into your home, Markanich says.

In one of the worst termite cases he’s seen, he found an enormous termite colony on an exterior wall in a bathroom, which got its foothold in a pile of bricks outside.

Twenty feet is a safe distance from home for firewood — and still not too far to go to fuel your awesome fireplace.

Price Reduction on Chenoweth Run Rd.

Can you Imagine drinking coffee from the dock?
Amazing view
Let’s take a dip!
Welcome Home!
Big Family room

Motivated sellers! This home is beautiful, has everything you can want and need! Call us today to check this home out! Enjoy peaceful living in metro Louisville in this 4BR/3BA brick home on 11.55 acres of nature. This home is equipped with all of life’s indulgences. Enter the surreal grounds starting with one of two stocked ponds to find an immaculately kept home beautifully landscaped. Open the custom designed front door with sidelights to be greeted by wainscoting, dentil molding, and a double closet in the foyer. The living room has floor to ceiling windows and built- in cabinets and shelving. You will love celebrating holidays in the festive ambience of the dining room with its floor to ceiling windows and precise detail of the wainscoting.

Home Maintenance for People with Better Things to Do

Owning your own home shouldn’t mean an endless list of chores.

Weekends are meant for coaching a youth soccer team to victory, chopping your way through “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” or training for a 5K to help save the pandas — not working your way through a tedious, 30-item maintenance checklist. But then, taking care of the home you love is important, too.

So how do you have your fun and keep a well-maintained home?

It’s simple: Just be mindful of your home. You don’t need a rigid maintenance list. (They work best for Type A people anyway.) Instead, train your senses to warn you of these problems, and then act ASAP:

Your Dryer Seems Hotter Than Usual

If your clothes and your dryer are super, super hot or, conversely, your dryer is taking longer to dry, you could have a clogged lint vent, a leading cause of house fires. “Sometimes the dryer connection will wiggle loose going to the outside, causing all sorts of issues with lint,” says Jeff Devlin, licensed contractor and host of DIY Network’s “Stone House Revival and “I Hate My Bath.” Heat and packed lint make the perfect recipe for fire. To defuse that combination:

  • Pull out the dryer connection — this is the tube or pipe that connects the dryer to the window vent.
  • Suck out all the lint from the pipe and pipe connection with a vacuum attachment.
  • Re-attach, making sure it’s not loose or bent.

You can also hire a pro to do it.

You Smell Something Musty

Your nose knows what’s normal in your home. “If you go into a room and it smells musty, there’s something going on,” says Frank Lesh, executive director of American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). When you smell that mildew-y smell, you know you’ve got a problem, he says. What kind of problem? Read on.

You Can See Mold or Mildew

Mold and mildew are the banners for moisture, your home’s No. 1 enemy. If you see them, you know moisture has broken through your home’s defenses and is bringing reinforcements. Find out where the water source is and eradicate it ASAP. Moisture is like cancer to a home. If you don’t catch it early, it will eat away at your home’s very structure, causing major damage to its foundation, walls, floors, and ceilings.

You Spot a Water Stain

You get it now. Water = bad. So even a faint water stain should light a fire under you. Zero in on the source before moisture can settle into your home’s bones. A water stain on the ceiling could signal a leak in your roof, or if it’s under a bathroom it could be a pipe that’s leaking. Stain under a window? Your window may need caulking.

Your Drain Is Really Slow (and It Gurgles)

Showering in water up to your ankles defeats the purpose. “A clean drain is a healthy drain,” says Devlin. If your drain makes odd noises and takes foreeeeeeever, you could be at risk of a sewer backup, which is not only a moisture issue, but one that ranks high on the stinky scale. If you’re lucky, it could be a simple clog, but either way it might be a good idea to put your plumber’s number in your cellphone’s favorites list.

You Hear Something That’s Alive

The pitter-patter of tiny rodent footsteps is enough to send shivers down your spine — and can quickly multiply into a mini stampede. One couple found out the hard way.

“We found that a squirrel had taken up residence in the attic and was chewing through electrical wires,” says David Bowers. By the time he and his partner, Sharon Bowers, (BTW, they co-authored “The Useful Book: 201 Life Skills They Used to Teach in Home Ec and Shop”) got around to calling a pro, an entire squirrel family (with more on the way!) had settled in to dine on those wires — a costly fix that was also a fire hazard.

If you hear unwanted visitors, evict them quickly, then block the entry they used. With squirrels, it might be an overgrown tree limb, which they use to jump onto your roof and then slip through a hole under roof flashing or rotting fascia, or an open window. For smaller pests, keep in mind they can come in through the tiniest of holes. (Mice can squeeze through a dime-sized opening.)

Your Gutters Create Waterfalls

You may love the smell and sound of rain, but when it’s cascading off your gutters in torrents instead of traveling neatly through them … well, remember those warnings about moisture? Cleaning the gutters is home maintenance 101 for good reason. “It can lead to exterior damage, as well as water damaging the foundations,” says Bowers. If you spot a gutter clog, clear it. You’ll be happier for it. It’s probably the best thing you can do to protect your home.

Originally posted with HouseLogic.

9508 Chadbourn Ct Louisville KY

Brand NEW listing!!

You will fall in love with this fabulous 4 bedroom 1.5 bath home just like the owners did when they first bought it. First floor features the large living room and even larger family room with easy to maintain laminate flooring. The large eat-in kitchen has newer appliances and has been updated in the last 5 years. This floor also has an office that could be turned into a dining room if needed and a half bath with laundry. All appliances stay, including the front load washer and dryer. Did I mention that there is plenty of storage in this home with it’s 9 closets? The second floor has an extra large Master Bedroom, and 3 other bedrooms that are nice size. See the Room information for details on all room sizes. This floor also includes a full bath.

On the outside in the backyard, you will think you have come to the islands for vacation as the owners have made this their paradise complete with a cabana area, 16 x 32 in-ground pool that is 3′ to 8.5′ deep and a one year old liner.

Every person’s work place is what the garage is all about and the sign above the door says Pop’s Fix it Shop. 2.5 cars and extra deep makes this a great place to do those projects you always wanted to do but did not have the space to do them. Garage has 220 outlet available too.

Be sure to get your appointment soon as it will not last long at this price.chadbourn

More pics to come on Tuesday

1103 Chamberlain Hill Louisville Ky

If you like the park, lakes and creeks, We have the perfect spot for  you!!!

Come check out all the home at 1103 Chamberlain Hill Road in beautiful Louisville Kentucky has to offer you!

The large formal living area has numerous floor to ceiling windows; allowing beautiful, natural sunlight to flood the space

This spacious 3 bedroom, 3 bath, unique property is a have to see!! Don’t let this property pass you by.

Watch our Vitural tour and I think you will be amazed!

chamberlain hillhttp://www.kw.com/homes-for-sale/40207/KY/Louisville/1103-Chamberlain-Hill-Rd/3yd-GLARKY-1439820.html

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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Making A Home Emergency Kit – Real Estate

dd97ac19058afbbf1981bccc587aa120555f45e0When a disaster strikes your areas, it is better to be prepared and assemble essential supplies for a home emergency kit. Sometimes, this may seem like a waste of money. But when disasters happen beyond your control, it can change your perspective.

Stock all items in a suitcase or easy-to-carry bag that is readily accessible during any time of the day. Brief all of your family members of it’s location and how to handle the kit.

Here are are some guidelines for a basic “grab and go” kit:

Water
For drinking and sanitation, provide one gallon per person in you family for 3 days. Consider doubling the amount if you live in a very hot climate, or have young kids. Bottled water is advised. Tap water can also be stored in food-grade containers or two-liter soda bottles that have been sanitized. If you have pets, give assign your pets portions too.

Food
Again, provide a three-day supply of non-perishables. Don’t forget a can opener unless you’re handy with a spoon. Pack protein, fruit, and vegetables, but prepare them in a way that you actually like. It is not bad to include cereal bars, trail mix, and candy bars. Store food in the best way possible, in a pest-proof plastic or metal tubs and keep it in a cool, dry place.

Flashlights and extra batteries
Flashlights are better than candles. Candles are recommended to avoid house fires. If you have chargeable lamps, remember to charge first before storing.

First-aid supplies
This will be your best friend in case of accidents. Gather Two pairs of sterile gloves, adhesive bandages and sterile dressings, soap or other cleanser, antibiotic towelettes and ointment, burn ointment, eye wash, thermometer, scissors, tweezers, petroleum jelly, aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever, and stomach analgesics such as Tums or Pepto-Bismol, and a laxative.

Sanitation and hygiene supplies
Sanitation is a way to avoid sickness. Remember that moist towelettes are sealed in packets.  Also be ready with paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags, and plastic ties. You might also want travel-size shampoo, toothpaste/toothbrush, and deodorant.

Radio or TV
Get updates; keep a portable, battery- or crank-operated radio or television and extra batteries to remain connected in case the power goes out.

Helpful extras:Duct tape, dust masks, a signal whistle, toys for kids. Have at least $100 for emergency cash

Tailor a emergency preparedness kit to your needs
You may not need extra blankets in case drastic changes in weather occurs.

Update your emergency preparedness kit regularly
Replace everything that needs to be changed. You definitely don’t want your emergency kit to grow some molds.

Buy a pre-made kit
As an alternative to making your own kit, you canbuy a stocked kitfrom the American Red Cross ($50-$100).

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

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Being Financially Ready When Buying A Home – Real Estate

7b7166d729e728fe8052d5001faa2a7a90daa785Home ownership today is easily attainable than most people know. Most reasons for owning a home is quite similar to every person, simply to have something of your own.

Home ownership makes sense for many Americans for a lot of reasons mostly of social and family reasons. Purchasing a home also makes sense financially. In the long run, it benefits the home owner more than expected.

Here are 5 financial benefits of home ownership

1.) Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available.
“Few households are interested in borrowing money to buy stocks and bonds and few lenders are willing to lend them the money. As a result, homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. Even a hefty 20 percent down payment results in a leverage factor of five so that every percentage point rise in the value of the home is a 5 percent return on their equity. With many buyers putting 10 percent or less down, their leverage factor is 10 or more.”

2.) You’re paying for housing whether you own or rent.
“Homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord.”

3.) Owning is usually a form of “forced savings”.
“Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.”

4.) There are substantial tax benefits to owning.
“Homeowners are able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from income…On top of all this, capital gains up to $250,000 are excluded from income for single filers and up to $500,000 for married couples if they sell their homes for a gain.”

5.) Owning is a hedge against inflation.
“Housing costs and rents have tended over most time periods to go up at or higher than the rate of inflation, making owning an attractive proposition.”

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

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How To Own A Home Again After Foreclosure

  1. It is never easy to get another mortgage after a foreclosure. Be patient, given time, proper discipline, and willingness, you can own a home again. Follow this guide to purchase a home again:
    1. Don’t jump on jobs after foreclosure, stick with just one
    If your job is not stable maybe this is the reason you lost your home in the first place. The first step to own a home again is find a stable job and hold on to that. Lenders require stable employment before giving you another loan after a foreclosure. Make it work.
    2. Rebuild yourself after foreclosure
    Create a safety net. Consider having three to six months of living expenses in a liquid account. Truth is, after a foreclosure, six is a minimum to show stability and that you’re able to pay your bills and mortgage. This could also prove that you can sustain yourself for an extended period if you lose your job.
    3. Build a better credit score after foreclosure
    Again, this is not easy. The timeframe itself could consume you. After foreclosure, your credit score dropped approximately by 150 points. Raise it back up with perseverance.
    Pay bills on time and keep your credit card balances below maximum levels. Details on the foreclosure will stay on your credit report for seven years, but if you prove your money management skills have matured, it will become less of a red mark as years go by.
    4. Decrease your waiting time for a mortgage after foreclosure
    Usually, you have to wait seven years after a foreclosure before you can apply for a loan again.
    However, you might wait only three years if you can show extenuating circumstances for your foreclosure, which are defined as “events that are beyond the borrower’s control that result in a sudden, significant, and prolonged reduction in income or a catastrophic increase in financial obligations.” These include:
    Losing a job
    Getting divorced
    Having unexpected medical expenses
    Another alternative if waiting isn’t your thing is obtaining a seller financing, essentially bypassing the traditional mortgage. If both parties are amenable, you can enter into a lease with an option to buy, or take a mortgage directly from the seller. You’ll most likely have to prove a source of funds, but if you’ve turned around your financial situation quickly after your foreclosure, it’s worth a shot to deal directly with the seller.
  2. Keep in mind that sellers may be motivated to agree to this if they need to sell and the potential buyers they’ve met with can’t obtain a conventional mortgage—perhaps because they’ve been through foreclosures, too.
    5. Be honest about your foreclosure
    When getting a new mortgage, don’t lie about your foreclosure. On the contrary, be proactive and reveal the steps you’ve taken to remedy the problems that led to your foreclosure.

If you stay disciplined and positive, the American dream—obtaining a mortgage and owning a home of your own—can, indeed, be yours again. Even after foreclosure.

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