Monday, December 3, 2018 / by Gary Semeniuk
Along with the provocative spending and lavish feasts that are hallmarks of the holiday season also comes the cold, the ice and the snow. Like those extra three helpings of stuffing at Aunt Linda’s have just derailed your diet, the coming weather is capable of causing significant damage (and swelling) to your home if you aren’t prepared.
Winterizing means a lot of different things to people in different locations. For example, in New Jersey, you really need to go full bore and ensure anything that might be holding water is emptied, heated or insulated. In Texas, though, you might not even realize winter has come. With that in mind, take a long look at these seven things and check them all before the first freeze comes (or do it right now if it’s already freezing!)
The Big Seven Winter-Ready Checkboxes
Winter comes with a myriad of hazards, from black ice and deep snow to blowing winds in the negative digits. Please make sure that you’re wearing proper winter ...
Monday, November 26, 2018 / by Gary Semeniuk
Buying a house is a confusing process. Not only is there a lot of material to process, you really have to do a lot of introspection to find the house that’s right for you and your family. It’s about more than just ceiling treatments and square footage, there’s something else, too.
Irish poet Thomas Moore may have captured that little bit of something else best when he penned these lines:
Sometimes, the spirit of a place is so strong, you may think you see its face and glimpse it gambling over a field or peeking out of a forest. This spirit we sense in each locality would once have been described as the scintilla or spark of its soul, the pearl in the oyster. It accounts for the magic of a region, and, without it, an acute sense of place dissipates into a vague and lazy feeling of nowhere.
Maybe you’ve not started your home search yet, so you’ve yet to experience this strange phenomenon, or maybe you’ve just seen a few homes and they ju ...
Thursday, November 22, 2018 / by Gary Semeniuk
Just imagine it! Waking up to the sound of sea and surf pounding the sand right outside your very own home. You don’t have to call ahead for reservations, you don’t need to ask anyone for a key or have a check-out time. It’s all yours to do with as you will, and you’re going take advantage of it constantly because now you own your very own vacation home.
Not to burst any vacation home-shaped bubbles, but before you get too lost in the fantasy, you need to consider some of the many pros and cons of owning a home away from home.
Vacation Homes Aren’t For Everybody
As the real estate market begins to respond to financial pressures from higher interest rates that are only set to increase further, as well as trade wars and tariffs with some of the country’s best trading partners, more people are just waiting for their favorite vacation spot to experience a market correction. If you’re one of them, don’t jump into the vacation home market wi ...
Thursday, November 15, 2018 / by Gary Semeniuk
It’s been a busy year. It almost feels like we completely skipped over spring, summer and fall and found ourselves barreling head first into winter like a kid on an out of control snow sled. With those cold days just around the corner, now is the time to make sure all your heating equipment is safe to operate and ready to go when you need it. After all, you don’t want to learn that your furnace needs to be repaired by spending a freezing night regretting not having found out sooner.
Keeping the Home Fires Burning
There’s nothing like a toasty fire roaring in the fireplace, except maybe for forced air heating that distributes heat evenly throughout the house. Hey, old fashioned fireplaces are romantic, but they’re not the most efficient heat sources out there — that’s why forced air heating was invented and is subsequently the best thing imaginable when there’s snow on the ground.
Most of the time, the furnace and blower are the kin ...
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 / by Gary Semeniuk
Land can be a good investment, whether you intend to build a house or business on a particular lot or simply want a place where you can stretch your legs and breathe a bit more deeply. After all, they’re not making any more of it (ok, technically this isn’t true, but you’d need to be volcano adjacent to get dibs on brand new land).
Buying land can be tricky, though, even after you secure a mortgage for it. There are several important real estate concepts you’re going to want to familiarize yourself with.
Lessons in Land Buying
Unlike purchasing a house in an established neighborhood, where everything is pretty obvious and cut and dry, land can throw a lot of weird wrenches into the works. Let’s take a look at the most important aspects to keep in mind before and during your land acquisition.
Before you even set foot on a piece of property you’re interested in purchasing, ask about title restrictions. These are condition ...