Mark Galante's Blog
Your roof is an important part of your home, and for something of its size, it is surprisingly delicate. Even minor problems can have a lasting impact on the integrity of your home. Learning how to spot some of the most common problems allows you to seek out help when you need to. Any one of these signs should trigger a call to a roofing company, just in case:
You see damage: You should never climb out on the roof yourself, but if you see visible signs of damage, you should call a roofing company. They can perform a full inspection and make sure that your roof is in the best possible shape. Damage doesn't mean a huge gaping hole; missing shingles, shingles that are curled or curved up and split shingles can lead to more extensive damage in a short period of time.
There are leaks: If your roof is leaking, then you definitely need assistance. Even a small trickle means moisture is where it shouldn't be -- and that will lead to more extensive damage. A drip or leak could also lead to mold growth and impact the air quality in your home.
You hear rodents: Squirrels, raccoons and other rodents love your roof and attic, particularly in the colder months. If you hear the pitter patter of little feet, then one or more of these critters could have moved in, damaging your roof in the process. For safety reasons and to protect your roof, you should have any animal signs investigated right away.
Your neighbors have roof problems: If you live in a community where the homes were all built from the same materials at the same time, then those materials could begin to fail at the same time, too. If you notice a lot of homes in the neighborhood getting repairs, it is a good idea to get an inspection soon, just in case.
You're planning on moving: If you want to sell your home soon, a roof inspection lets you find problems early and make any needed repairs before you list your home. This can prevent problems at closing and ensure you get the best possible price for your home.
Roof issues can go from minor to expensive in a flash and they won't go away on their own. If you spot one of these signs, the best thing to do is to get it repaired right away. Delay, and you could be looking at a more costly and extensive repair.
Do you keep tabs on your HVAC system regularly? For many people, the heating and cooling system in their homes is an out of sight out of mind item. Only when there is a problem with the system do people think about it.
The important thing for you to remember is that you don’t need to wait for an issue to arise for you to take continual care of your HVAC system. You can take action to continually have a supply of efficient, uninterrupted heating and cooling. With the right maintenance, your system will also run more efficiently as well. Keep the tips in mind below and show your HVAC system some love.
Keep Regular Maintenance Appointments
As with most other things that we own, a little tune up from time to time helps to keep things running smoothly. You can keep a checklist of the monthly and annual tasks that you should complete for your HVAC system. You could ask your oil or gas company for some advice on regular tasks that you should complete as well. These could include everything from clearing out leaves and grass to changing air filters. Doing these things will not only help your utility bills and HVAC system performance, but can also help you to ward off allergens that may cause bothersome symptoms right inside your home.
Tame The Trees
While it can be tempting to want to disguise your outdoor units with trees and shrubs, these can do some damage. You should make a habit to trim any nearby bushes to your units as well as clear away debris. Be sure that the system isn’t clogged with pollen, grass clippings, and dust. There should be at least a 2-foot clearing around the unit to prevent damage and airflow restriction.
Inspect Before Each Season
At the end of each season, you should make a point to inspect your HVAC system. See what the system looks like from the outside. Is the system doing its job as far as heating and cooling go on the inside of your home? Does the system sound extra labored while it’s running? If there doesn’t seem to be enough airflow or there is too much noise coming from the system, then you could have a problem with your system. You may need to call in a qualified professional to help you remove debris from your system, as leaves and branches can get into the coils of it, severely impairing the system‘s function. A professional can also help you to learn how to properly clean the HVAC system yourself.
With a little effort, you’ll save big in many ways just by paying close attention to your HVAC system.
The homebuying journey may seem daunting at first. Lucky for you, we're here to help take the guesswork out of finding and acquiring your dream house.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you approach the homebuying journey with poise and confidence.
1. Be Diligent
A diligent homebuyer may be better equipped than others to enjoy a seamless and successful property buying experience. In fact, this buyer likely will do whatever it takes to find the right house at the right price, regardless of the current real estate market's conditions.
To become a diligent homebuyer, it generally is a good idea to learn about the housing market in your preferred cities and towns. With this information, you can determine whether you're pursuing a home in a buyer's or seller's market and plan accordingly.
Furthermore, it may be beneficial to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you enter the housing market with a mortgage, you'll know exactly how much you can spend to acquire your dream house.
2. Know Where You Want to Go
Establish homebuying criteria – you'll be glad you did. If you know what differentiates your dream house from others, you can quickly and effortlessly search for residences that match your expectations.
Also, you may want to hone your home search to specific cities and towns. For example, if you want to find a house close to your office in the city, you may want to explore residences in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if your goal is to buy a house near the top schools in a particular state, you should narrow your house search based on school rankings and other pertinent data.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
Buying a house is no small feat, and ultimately, there is no reason to try to navigate the homebuying journey alone. Thankfully, you can hire a real estate agent who can provide expert support throughout the homebuying journey.
A real estate agent is a must-hire, and for good reason. He or she will guide you along the entire homebuying journey and respond to any of your homebuying concerns and questions. In addition, a real estate agent offers recommendations and suggestions to help you make informed decisions as you pursue your dream residence.
Usually, a real estate agent will learn about your homebuying goals and craft a personalized homebuying strategy for you. He or she next will keep you informed about available residences that meet your criteria and set up home showings. Once you find your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to acquire this house. And if your offer receives a "Yes" from a home seller, a real estate agent will help you finalize your house purchase.
Ready to streamline the homebuying journey? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can kick off a house search and discover your ideal residence in no time at all.
After settling into your home, you start to notice a few things either need to be retouched or completely overhauled. The biggest issue that a lot of homeowners run into is the money for the project. Even after assessing whether the project is a DIY or you’ll need a professional, funding still comes before action. Here are a few funding options to consider before you begin your home improvement projects.
Borrow from Your Future: 401(K)
A vast number of traditionally employed homeowners have a 401(K). Often, an employer will deposit funds into this account just as the employee does, but did you know you can borrow from it? If your housing project requires a little more than what you have in your savings account, try taking a little from your 401(K). Remember, even though it’s your account, it’s not free money. You will have to put it back once you’re able, and if you separate from your current company, you may run into a few extra fees if the money isn’t returned within five (5) years.
Government-Backed Improvement Loans
There are a few different types of government-backed loans that allow you to improve your home. You just need to identify the category your home improvement falls under. If you’re looking to do a few moderate improvements, try the 203K loan. These loans are great if you’ve purchased a preexisting home and have a few hefty renovations to cover. You can even add this loan to your mortgage payments.
If your home improvement project happens to fall more along the “greener” side of things, such as heating/cooling, water-efficient landscaping, energy reduction systems, etc., you may be able to apply for a PACE loan. These loans are pretty easy to get approval for, can often receive tax credits and may be sold to your next buyer when you decide to move.
Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)
Have you been in your home for a while? Maybe a HELOC would be the best method for you to finance your home improvement projects. Since your home has accrued equity over the years, you’ll be able to secure the loan by using it as collateral. These loans are often suited for long renovations or projects that may require a few extra stages.
If your home improvement projects end up with a longer price tag than you were expecting, don’t fret. There are several other ways that you’ll be able to cover the cost, including tax credits and grants. If you’re prepping your home to sell in the near future, chat with your agent about the best renovations, improvements and repairs, as well as, how to fund them.
A "lowball" homebuying proposal is unlikely to do you any favors, particularly if you want to acquire your dream residence as quickly as possible. In fact, after you submit a lowball offer, it may be only a matter of time before you receive a "No" from a home seller.
When it comes to buying a house, it helps to prepare a competitive offer. That way, you can increase the likelihood of getting a seller to accept your home offer and speed up the homebuying journey.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you avoid the risk of submitting a lowball offer on your dream residence.
1. Analyze the Housing Market
Are you searching for a house in a buyer's or seller's market? Are homes selling quickly in the current real estate market? And are houses selling at, above or below their initial asking prices? These are just some of the questions that homebuyers need to consider as they assess the real estate sector.
With a diligent approach to buying a house, a homebuyer can become a real estate market expert. This buyer can assess a wide assortment of housing market data, and by doing so, gain the insights that he or she needs to submit a competitive offer on any residence.
2. Understand a Home's Condition
A home purchase is one of the biggest transactions that an individual will complete over the course of his or her lifetime. As such, the decision to submit an offer on a house should not be taken lightly.
To make the best-possible choice, it helps to look at all of the available information about a residence. You should review a home listing closely and attend a home showing. In many instances, it may be beneficial to check out a house a few times to get an up-close look at it before you submit an offer.
The condition of a home will play a major role in how much you are willing to offer to acquire a residence. Therefore, you should learn as much as possible about a house's condition. And if you feel comfortable with a home, you should be ready to submit an offer that will match a seller's expectations.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Hiring a real estate agent generally is a good idea, particularly for a homebuyer who wants to reduce the risk of submitting a lowball offer on a house. A real estate agent can help a homebuyer prepare a competitive offer, as well as ensure that a buyer can enjoy a seamless home transaction.
Furthermore, a real estate agent will allocate the necessary time and resources to help you analyze a house. He or she will even offer homebuying recommendations and teach you everything you need to know about the homebuying cycle.
Avoid the temptation to submit a lowball offer on a house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can submit a competitive proposal to acquire your dream residence.