How To Find Storage In Your Kitchen

Feeling claustrophobic in your kitchen? Having a hard time finding the right utensils? Time to free up some space!

The kitchen is one of the most-used areas of the home, with a lot of traffic going in and out all day long. So, it’s easy to see how a kitchen could get to be cluttered and completely overrun by junk in just a few days. It’s important though to maintain a clean and clutter-free kitchen, since it’s really the hub of your home. Also, in terms of real estate, “A functional and attractive kitchen adds tremendous value to a home”,  according to writers at Realtor.com. You can easily clear out some space in your kitchen and effectively de-clutter by thinking creatively and and really dedicating some time to organizing.

Stop holding onto junk.

  • If you’ve been hoarding broken appliances or utensils with the noble purpose of fixing them some day, get rid of them to help free up kitchen space instantly.

  • Broken plates or cups? Toss ‘em. They’re an eyesore and a hazard.

  • Go through your refrigerator and kitchen cabinets-get rid of any condiments, spices, etc. that have expired or that never get used.

  • Tons of mismatched and warped-by-microwave tupperware? Time for those to go too.

Organize.

  • Keep countertops clear of unnecessary junk. Reserve countertop space for regularly-used appliances or simple decorative items like a vase of flowers.

  • Don’t keep sponges or dish towels on display. Try storing them in a wire basket that can easily be hung from the inside of a cabinet door.

  • Store appliances that don’t get much use. If you don’t use your blender or panini-maker at least every week, store them to make room for things you do use.

  • Make use of flatware trays to keep silverware organized and maximize drawer space.

  • Use larger flatware trays to keep larger utensils, like spatulas, whisks, and ladles organized.

  • You could also use a decorative canister to store larger loose cooking utensils.

  • Hang a pot rack from the ceiling to quickly clear out an entire cabinet (or two). Pot racks make pots and pans easy to access and free up tons of space for other kitchen items.

  • Drawers and shelves within cabinets also help keep things organized

  • Consider using food storage canisters to hold staple items like cereal, snacks, flour, and sugar – these canisters are easy to stack, which helps you maximize cabinet and counter space.

  • Invest in a spice rack to keep all spices together and correctly labeled.

  • Store cleaning supplies in the laundry room or a hall closet to free up even more space.

These quick and simple tricks can help transform even the most cluttered kitchen into a manageable, functional, attractive room. Freeing up space in the kitchen will allow you to feel more organized yourself, will make cooking and baking easier, and will ensure that your kitchen is the hub of the home again.

For more tips on home and kitchen organization, check out this article from Realtor. com.

Blog Signature

5 Ways to Work Smarter, Not Harder, on Your DIY Projects

Whether you’re working on a room or the whole house, updating your home can become quite expensive. Thanks to the ever-growing popularity of Do-It-Yourself projects, people have been saving money in places they never thought possible. Saving money is great, but don’t get stuck spending more time than is necessary on your project. Here are five ways that you can work smarter, not harder, on your DIY projects.

Prioritize and Make A Realistic Budget

Make a list of the projects that you want to complete and allot money for each of them. Put the high priority ones at the top of the list and work your way down. Having a realistic goal and budget in mind will ultimately keep you organized to ensure that you finish your project.

Set Up A Work Station

You don’t want you project to take up an entire room, nor do you want people destroying it when they continually walk by. Set up a station in your garage or a specific room in your house to ensure that your project won’t be disturbed when it’s in the beginning stages.

Read The Instructions

You can miss a lot of detail if you don’t read the instruction. Everyone thinks that they can figure it out on their own, but it ends up taking more time in the long run. Be efficient right from the beginning and read the instructions. That way you know what to do and what’s coming next.

Refurbish Instead of Replace

Buying an old table or shelves and sanding and painting them yourself can save you more time – and money – than completely re-making them. Scope out local garage sales or go antiquing to find what you’re looking for.

Know When to Ask For Help

Hiring a professional to get the job done sounds expensive. However, it could save you money in the long run if you’re not really sure what you’re doing. For example, if you’re trying to redo your bathroom on your own and you’re not familiar with plumbing, it might be time to ask for help. Hiring a professional from the beginning will ultimately prevent you from doing major damage to something that you’re not familiar with.

Do-It-Yourself projects are the best way to ensure that you’re getting exactly what you want for a price that fits in your budget. For projects that are just out of reach, hiring a professional is the next best option.

For more information on how to work smarter on your DIY projects, visit here.

 

 

Pros and Cons of doing a home pre-inspection in New Jersey

What is a pre-inspection?

A pre-inspection is when you are going to list your home for sale, but inspect your home before putting it on the market. This way you know about and can fix issues that arise before listing. A home inspector will check everything from the outside to the inside of your home checking the mechanicals, electrical system, plumbing, and more. The buyer who purchases your home will most likely do a home inspection and have that as a contingency when they write an offer on your home. Letting the buyers see the pre-inspection and the items you remedied could give the buyer peace of mind before they even write an offer.

A pre-inspection can be great for selling your home, but it also has it’s bad side. Know the pros and cons of a pre-inspection before you decide for yourself…

Pros

  • Allows you to know potential “deal killer” defects with your home so you can fix it

  • Allows you to provide peace of mind to potential buyers by showing them the pre-inspection report and things you have fixed (if any were needed)

  • Can improve the likelihood of the sale of your home to close on time by avoiding time consuming repairs and inspections

  • Improves chances of passing the buyer’s home inspection

Cons

  • You might discover a bigger, larger, more expensive issue with your home than you were prepared for. The buyer would likely find these issues anyway.

  • Once you or your real estate agent become aware of an issue with your home, you must disclose it to the potential buyer

  • Cash out of pocket before even selling your home is never ideal, but you can always adjust the price of your home accordingly

  • Even if you fix issues on your pre-inspection report, a buyer may come back with more things their home inspector found that they want fixed

Before you decide to do a pre-inspection, think about the pros and cons. Sometimes it is worth it to inspect your home before listing it. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense for your situation. Talk to your real estate agent about doing a pre-inspection, get their opinion on whether or not it could help the sale of your home go faster and smoother.

Helpful Tips For Maintaining Your Home This Spring

may16_037

As you go about your annual spring cleaning rituals, take a few additional steps to save money on energy bills, improve your home’s appearance and ward off big-ticket repairs later.

Here are 10 tips for you to help prepare your home for warmer months and keep it in top shape..

  1. Inspect the AC: For about $75 to $200, a technician will tune up your cooling system and make sure you don’t spend the first hot weekend of the year with an out-of-commission air conditioner. Dirty filters make your air conditioner work harder, increasing energy costs and possibly damaging your equipment. Check them monthly and replace them as needed!
  2. Clean Out The Gutters: Gutter cleaning generally costs $90 to $225 for a 2,000 square-foot home.
  3. Repair Your Roof: An easy way to inspect the roof to find damage is to use a pair of binoculars. If need be, hire a handyman or a roofer to repair any missing shingles or other damages. Make sure to clean out roof drains to avoid damaging the roof and causing leaks.
  4. Pressure Wash Your Home: Clean your home’s exterior to remove accumulated dirt, mold and stains from the siding, deck, sidewalks, driveway, garage floor, fences, and lawn furniture. You can rent a pressure washer or hire someone to help.
  5. Wash The Windows
  6. Prepare To Mow: A dull lawn mower blade doesn’t slice, but instead tears grass leaving it vulnerable to disease, sun damage, and insects. A blade typically needs sharpening once or twice a year, or more often depending on how big your yard is.
  7. Lose The Lint: Make sure to clean your clothes dryer’s lint trap before every use. A clogged vent can reduce your dryer’s efficiency and create a fire hazard.
  8. Put The Temperature on Autopilot: For an initial investment of $50 to $150 dollars for a programmable thermostat, you can save about $180 annually on cooling and heating bills. Set the hold feature for a constant, efficient temperature when you’re away for the weekend or on vacation.
  9. Caulk The Cracks: If the gap around a door or a window is wider than a nickel, you need to reapply exterior caulk. Add weatherstripping around doors, making sure that you cant see any daylight from the inside of your home.
  10. Repair Sidewalks and Driveways: Fix any breakdown in concrete or asphalt before it worsens. You can patch or fill surface cracks, chips or flaking concrete yourself using cement repair products. For deeper cracks, call a professional. To increase the longevity of your driveway, have asphalt resealed every two to five years, depending on climate and wear patterns. Have concrete resealed every one to three years.

For more tips to prepare your home for spring click here.
Jodi Goldberg
RE/MAX Central
(908) 770-2150
jodigoldberg@remax.net
www.JodiGoldberg.com
www.OldMillEstates.net

10 Tips For Home Improvement Safety

Home improvement projects often call for risky practices. We
always preach safety first, but we don’t always practice what we preach. Home Tips recently wrote an article passing along some tips for those of you tackling home improvement projects this Spring.

Accidents can happen. You need to be especially careful when you are working at heights; with power tools or sharp blades; with heavy, awkward, or toxic materials; or with electricity and natural gas. It isn’t worth it to do your own home improvements if you run a high risk of injuring yourself.

1. Tackle only those tasks that you feel safe handling.
2. Keep a tidy work area. Keeping a tidy work area helps you to avoid creating your own hazards. Don’t allow power cords to tangle. Pick up and properly store power tools, sharp tools. or dangerous materials that might cause injury. Pull all nails from old lumber.
3. Keep tools and supplies away from the reach of small children.
4. Dress for safety. Don’t work in flip-flops and shorts. Sturdy clothing, work boots, and gloves will protect you. Wear safety glasses when you use power tools, hammers, or other striking or cutting tools. If you are going to be working beneath construction, get a hard hat.
5. When using a ladder, position it on a flat, firm surface. As you climb or reach, keep your weight centered. Do not lean on one side, keep your hips between the rails and never stand on the top two rungs. When using the extension ladder to reach the roof, extend at least two rungs about the eaves this way you can hold on to the ladder as you step onto the roof.
6. Don’t go up on the roof in bad weather.
7. Equip your garage or workshop and your home with fire extinguishers. Every home should have two working fire extinguishers. Be sure they are large enough to handle home fires; they need to be rated a minimum size of “2A10BC” on the label. Periodically check them to make sure they are fully charged.
8. Protect yourself against exposure to hazardous chemicals and materials. Many varnishes, solvents, preservatives, adhesives, and other products used to accomplish projects contain hazardous ingredients. Pay attention to all label warnings, including instructions about proper ventilation.
9. Dust and fibers can be hazardous to breathe. When sanding wood, wear a dust mask. Never sand, scrape, or dislodge surfaces that you suspect contain asbestos; doing so can put highly hazardous fibers into the air.
10. Always keep a good first-aid kit on hand.

For more information and safety tips read the original article here.

Jodi Goldberg
RE/MAX Central
www.JodiGoldberg.com
jodigoldberg@remax.net
(908) 770-2150

Questions for Your Potential Real Estate Agent

A Smart Home Seller should always interview multiple real estate agents before deciding on one. Here are some questions for a successful interview:

1. What makes you different? Why should I list my home with you?

It’s a much tougher real estate market than it was a decade ago. What unique marketing plans do you have that will make my home stand out from other homes on the market?

2. What is your company’s track record and reputation in the marketplace?

It may seem like everywhere you look, real estate agents are boasting about being number one. It is important to know their individual performance and see it in writing.

3. What are your marketing plans for my home?

How much money do you have to advertise my home and where will it be listed?  Online? In print?

4. What has your company sold in my area?

Agents should bring you a complete listing of their sales and other comparable sales in your area.

5. Does your broker control your advertising or do you?

Are you in control of your own advertising or will the brokerage firm manage the advertising?

 6. On average, when your listings sell, how close is the selling price to the asking price?

7. On average, how long does it take for your listings to sell?.

8. How many buyers are you currently working with?

The more buyers your agent is working with, the better your chances are of selling your home quickly.

9. Do you have a reference list of clients I could contact?

10. What happens if I’m not happy with the job you are doing to get my home sold?

Nine Dos and Don’ts When Buying Your First Home

DO know where your credit score stands. Before you apply for a home loan you can get your free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com. This allows you to make changes in your spending habits and a chance to boost your credit score if it is not up to par. Most buyers cannot purchase a home without first taking out a home loan which requires certain “creditworthiness”.

DO research the home market. You can look at RealtyTimes’ Market Conditions or Coldwell Banker’s Home Price Comparison Index to find information regarding housing costs in various markets.

DO plan ahead. According to RealtorMag, “the average first-time buyer only stays in a home for four years”. Questions that you need to answer are: Will you raise children in this home? Do you plan to grow old here or do you plan on this being a starter home? Will Grandma be staying here in the future? Do you plan to have pets and will they need the outdoor space? All of these things should be taken into consideration when buying a home. It will influence the size and type of home you will need.

DO know when to ask for help. During your housing search you will most likely need to hire a real estate agent, a home inspector, an attorney to cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s, as well as a mortgage broker.  You have plenty on your plate as a first time home buyer; let these guys help you with the rest.

DO prioritize your needs and wants. Be willing to compromise in order to stick to your budget. A solid foundation and running water are things you need. Granite countertops and a pool are examples of things we may want, but don’t need. Make a list of your priorities.

DON’T buy a home for a quick profit. Buy a house because you need one, not to make money off it tomorrow. Don’t bank on your home price soaring. Especially right now, the housing market is unpredictable.

DON’T allow lenders to fool you. Know what YOU can afford, instead of focusing on what a lender will loan you. Take a look at your existing bills; college loans, car payments, cable bill, cell phone bill, life insurance, car insurance, and numerous utility bills. Rather than living paycheck to paycheck, choose a home that suites your budget comfortably.

DON’T settle for the first home you see. Keep an open mind and walk through many different homes to get a feel of what fits you and your family. You may end up loving a different style home or completely different neighborhood than you imagined in the beginning. This is a big investment; take your time during your search.

DON’T sign unless you understand the loan. Research your different mortgages and loans just like you researched the housing market. Find someone to help you understand every part of the loan, take your time, and find one that works best for you and your lifestyle.

The information in this blog was summarized from: http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20080416_firsttimebuy.htm