Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA
RE/MAX Leading Edge | 781-944-6060 |

Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 3/8/2018

A home inspection represents a key stage during the homebuying journey. This inspection enables you to examine a house with a professional property inspector. And if you discover minor or major property issues, you can ask a seller to perform repairs. Or, you may choose to reduce your initial home offer or rescind your proposal.

Ultimately, it pays to be diligent during a home inspection. If you perform an in-depth assessment of a house, you can understand whether this residence is the right choice.

On the other hand, there may be property problems that you identify during a home inspection that you won't ask a seller to repair. These issues may include:

1. Cosmetic Problems

If you ask a home seller to perform cosmetic repairs, the seller may choose to walk away from your homebuying proposal. And if this happens, you could lose your dream house to a rival homebuyer.

There is no need to jeopardize a home sale due to a cracked floor tile, a deck that needs to be stained or other cosmetic problems. Instead, plan to perform cosmetic repairs on your own.

In addition, keep in mind that many cosmetic issues are quick and easy to fix and won't require you to break your budget. This means you likely will have no trouble completing myriad cosmetic repairs after you close on a home.

2. Loose Fixtures

A loose doorknob or light fixture can be frustrating. And as you walk through a house during an inspection, you may feel like repairing a loose fixture is a top priority.

Loose fixtures generally require simple hand tools to repair, and problems with these fixtures frequently can be solved in just minutes. As such, you may want to focus your attention on bigger and potentially more expensive home repairs as you determine which property repair requests to submit to a seller.

Of course, if a loose fixture creates a safety hazard, you should not hesitate to ask the seller to fix this problem. Because if a hazardous fixture remains in place, it may put your health and safety at risk.

3.Non-Functional Light Switch

A non-functional light switch may raise red flags as you inspect a house. But in many instances, this problem is minor.

If you notice a non-functional light switch during a home inspection, there usually is no need to worry. In fact, a property inspector typically can tell you whether a home's electrical system is safe to use and up to code.

For homebuyers who are uncertain about how to proceed with a residence following an inspection, it pays to consult with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer expert tips to help you make informed decisions at each stage of the homebuying journey.

Consider your potential property repair requests following a home inspection. By doing so, you can prioritize major property repairs and increase the likelihood that you and the seller can find common ground as you work toward finalizing a purchase agreement.

Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 11/17/2016

Being handy with minor repairs is a skill that benefits any homeowner. Whether it's tightening a door knob or hanging a picture frame there are certain jobs that you don't want to waste time calling someone to help you do. Furthermore, basic maintenance in the home can save you money on repairs. If you're not the do-it-yourself type who dreams of a garage full of every type of power tool there is, fear not. Today we'll show you the essential homeowner's toolbox that contains everything you need to make quick fixes without taking up much room in your cabinet. 1. Tape Measure From measuring a space to fit furniture in to measuring your child's height against the wall, a tape measure will come in handy often. When shopping for tape measures keep in mind that you'll only need one as long as you pick one that's long enough to stretch across the rooms of your home. 2. Hammer and nails There is an endless variety of hammers to choose from. For simple home repairs or hanging things on your wall, you'll only need a simple nail hammer. This is really a two-in-one as it serves as a pry bar if you need to remove any nails as well. For your small toolkit you don't want a huge box of nails. Buy a small box with assorted sizes. The ones you're most likely to use are small or pin-sized nails for hanging picture frames. 3. Level Your hammer and nails won't be much use if you can't hang your picture straight. 4. Duct and electrical tape So you've got a broken broom handle and want to sweep out the house. It isn't the prettiest fix, but duct tape will save you until you have time to get to the store for a new broom. Duct tape has innumerable uses and if you use enough it will hold. Electrical tape should be used for things like live wires or items that are battery powered. This type of tape is an electrical insulator, so you won't get zapped if you use it properly. 5. Screwdriver set To save space in your toolbox buy a handle with detachable bits that suit any occasion. You won't have to worry about whether to buy a phillips head or flathead because you'll have all that and much more. 6. Utility knife A utility knife with replaceable blades will serve you well whether it's trimming a piece of carpet, cutting wrapping paper, or breaking down cardboard boxes. 7. Wind-up flashlight Chances are if you need a flashlight you just use the built-in one on your cell phone. But if the power goes out and you haven't changed the battery in your flashlight for five years you might be out of luck. Wind-up flashlights are battery-free and relatively inexpensive. 8. Pliers  A small set of pliers will fit nicely in your toolbox and will eventually come in handy. Needle-nose pliers are great for bending small objects and often come with a wire cutter included; another two-for-one space saver. 9. Adjustable wrench Whether it's a loose bolt on a lawn chair or a dead spark plug on your lawn mower, you'll need an adjustable wrench to make the fix. 10. Zip ties  Slightly more elegant and less messy than grouping your cables together with tape is connecting them with zip ties. They're handy because they're easy to put on, quite sturdy, and can be removed with one snip of your scissors.  

Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 7/14/2016

Take a drive down any residential road in your town or city, and you're bound to notice a neglected porch or two. Is your porch giving your home the best face it can have? Could your porch use a little spice? Here's how to get the most out of your porch, whether it is only a few feet, or a covered area spanning the length of your home. 1. - Replace things when needed. New welcome mats, address numbers, doorknobs and deadbolts can breathe new life into your porch space. All of these experience significant wear-and-tear in only a short time, and replacing them when needed shows passers-by and potential home buyers that you live in a house that is well taken care of...Even down to the last detail. 2. - Don't be afraid to paint. Often times, painted areas on a porch can be overlooked. If you are in the middle of a deck painting, then don't hesitate to touch up your porch as a part of your project. 3. - Bring a little life onto your porch. Consider buying a few weather-hardy plants that could complement the color scheme of your home. Tasteful plant window boxes installed on the windows closest to your porch can make your porch appear much bigger than it is, and is an optical effect that will definitely work in your favor. Just be sure to pick plants that don't run afoul of your home's outdoor color scheme, and you'll find that bringing a little plant life onto and around your porch is a very enjoyable investment. 4. - Lighting is not only important for looks, but for safety as well. Make sure that your porch light is always in working order, and be sure to choose quality bulbs that match the wattage of the outlet. Some homes have faulty porch wiring, and sometimes lack proper lighting. If you are in one of these homes, consider making a project out of it. Proper lighting will show off your porch at night in all the right places, and will be a welcome safety addition for your family and visitors.

Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 5/29/2013

Are you considering a large-scale home remodel?  Whether you are looking for a project intended to increase your home's value, or you're splurging on a pleasure project for your family, many of you will be turning to contractors to carry out the work that needs to be done.  However, not all contractors are equal.  It is important for you to outline your priorities for the project.  You'll want a reliable contractor that can perform satisfactory work for a reasonable price.  Here's a few tips to help get you started. 1. - Find yourself an insured and licensed contractor.  Don't just pull a number from the classifieds and run with it without doing some proper homework.  Licensing ensures that the contractor in question is qualified to do the work being discussed.  To find out if your prospective contractor is licensed, contact your state license board and check up on them. Insurance is another matter.  Insurance protects the workers the contractor will be employing, and your home from accidents resulting in damages.  Ask your contractor to provide you with proof of insurance.  If they can't provide this, then move on to a new contractor. 2. - Referrals and reviews - Before you strike out on your own, ask your friends and family if they have anyone that they'd recommend.  Many times, the best contractors are found word-of-mouth.  Every contractor on the planet wants his clients to think that he's the best for the job, but results speak for themselves.  Again, make sure any referrals are licensed and insured.  You don't want to take the chance of incurring additional damages to your property due to negligence and accidents.  If no referrals can be found, then check online for reviews of local contractors.  Most reputable contractors will have solid online reviews that are easily accessible.  Contractors that operate their own websites are a plus. 3. - There's no such thing as a stupid question.  If your contractor acts annoyed with you for asking too many questions, then you should probably consider someone else for the job.  Questions to consider asking are - How long have you been in business? - How much will this project cost in total? - Have you performed this type of work before? - What is the protocol if the project goes over-budget? If you don't like the answers given, then continue looking for a contractor you feel comfortable with. 4. - Don't pay too much up front.  Paying up to a third of the total estimate up front isn't unheard of.  This initial payment will more than likely be used to hire employees and buy supplies.  However, be wary of giving the contractor any more money until after your project is finished.  Also, don't be afraid to get a rundown of how that initial payment will be spent.  Be thorough if you want to be.  The contractor should be able to give you a pretty good picture of the project in terms of cost and time. 5. - Get a contract - No matter the size of the project being undertaken, a contract should always be written up.  This will ensure a legally-binding agreement between you and the contractor exists in the event of the unforeseen.  Without a contract, there is no way to hold the contractor accountable in the event he performs an unsatisfactory job.  And trust me...Any hassles you may incur in securing a contract is nothing compared to going to court without one in the event something goes awry.  A proper contract should include the following information.

  • When the project will start and end
  • How and when you or the contractor is in default of the contract
  • How any disputes will be rectified
  • What happens if there is a delay due to weather, available materials, and so on.

Categories: Money Saving Tips  

Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 8/14/2012

In order for your home to maintain value and to continually look in good condition, it is important that you maintain it on a regular basis. However, to ensure that you get the best quality maintenance, it is important that you find the right type of service to fix up homes. There is the choice of doing it yourself, but remember that while small jobs can be easy, when it comes to more complex maintenance work, you are better off using a professional service, because this in turn will ensure that you do get the right results once your home has been maintained. Maintaining a home can range from keeping the roof in good condition so that it does not leak during those rainy seasons, to replacing your windows so that you keep your home insulated from the heat and cold, which in turn can save you a lot of money on energy bills. Of course, there are also those intricate jobs such as plumbing, replacing the floor, and unblocking the drain. By finding a reputable service that can fix up homes, you can feel comfortable knowing that you can use them over the years, because as they begin to maintain one area of your home, there will always be something else that will pop up later down the road. Therefore, take your time to do a good amount of research on one of these services, which can easily be done by going on the Internet. The reason for this is because many of these maintenance services now have an online presence, so you will be able to get a good idea of exactly what they offer and get an idea of what they are charging for that service.