How To Stage Your Home To Sell

Should I stage my home? This may be one of the most frequently asked questions when a person is putting their house on the market. This question is often followed by, How? There are many things to consider and we’re here to help! Check out some tips below to get your home staged to sell.

 

 

1. Clean and RepairImage result for cleaning a home

Starting with the most obvious first, you want to make sure your home is sparkly clean with nothing damaged. Put your home’s best foot forward with a good cleaning. If your home is large or you don’t have enough time, you could always hire a pro. Also, be sure the outside of the home is cleaned in both the back and front yards. When a home is clean, it suggests to the potential buyer that the previous tenants took care of the home and property. Alongside cleaning, you should also patch and repair anything that could be a sign of neglect. Use a melamine foam eraser pad to remove any scuffs from the walls. If there are any holes in the walls, be sure to spackle, caulk and paint that area. Additionally, apply paint to any areas where it seems to have chipped. And once again, this goes for the yard too. The overall goal of this step is to make the home look well taken care of.

 

Image result for depersonalize your home before and after

2. De-Clutter and De-Personalize

When it comes to clutter, the less you have, the larger your space looks… and space sells! You may need to find a spot to temporarily store your belongings. Do not store them in your garage or closets because often times those get looked in. Alongside de-cluttering is to de-personalize. Remove pictures, personal knickknacks and anything that could identify the space as yours. It may be difficult to remove all the things that make your home feel like you, but it’ll be worth it.

 

 

 

Image result for curb appeal to sell3. Work On Curb Appeal

First impressions are everything. Often times potential home buyers will drive by the property first to make sure it’s worth their time. Make sure it’ll lure them in and make them feel like they could be walking into their home. Blooming flowers are always a nice way to add a bit of color and flare to the front of your home. Be sure everything is clean: siding, sidewalks, windows, and porch. Keep your lawn watered, mowed and overall put together. Your porch should have a clean doormat and neat porch furniture if there’s room. Be sure your number is easily readable and even keep your lights on during the evening in case there are drive by’s at night.

 

 

 

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4. Brighten Things Up

Use the natural light to your advantage. Pull back curtains or open blinds, this will make the rooms feel bigger. Turn on all the lights, even during the day. This will help make your home look more inviting and save perspective buyers from fumbling around trying to find the switch. Also be sure your light fixtures are clean and appealing, even dusting your light bulb if needed. There are also different color temperatures on light bulbs, you could play with your options to find the one that works the best.

 

 

5. Rearrange FurnitureImage result for stagged furniture

First, remove any damaged or large pieces of furniture or anything that doesn’t match the rest of your decor. With what you have left, decide if there’s still too many pieces or if you need more. You can always rent furniture if the home is too empty. Once your furniture is picked, you want to arrange it in a way that allows for plenty of open and walkable space. Additionally, there is a design technique called “floating” which positions your couches, chairs, and tables away from your walls. Add an area rug to make it feel more cozy, even if the room is carpeted.

 

 

 

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6. Be Neutral

Bright colored walls can be a major turn off for buyers. Although it expresses individuality, it signifies the home’s past, not future. Not to mention, bold colors distract from a rooms assets and can be all somebody sees. When picking the new paint for the wall, you do not have to go straight white. There are plenty of sophisticated neutral colors to choose from and they will help make everything look cleaner and put together. Additionally, when decorating the master bedroom specifically, remain neutral. You want to appeal to all types of people, including single or married.

 

 

 

7. Use Every SpaceImage result for decorated awkward space in home

If you have a room that is used as storage or junk dumping area, clean it up. Each room should have a clearly defined purpose. Identify what a buyer could see, maybe it’s an office, a spare bedroom, or a kids room and decorate accordingly. This goes for any awkward areas too. Whether that’s a small nook or space under the stairs, decorate it in a way that can show off the potential.  You could set up a small workstation, put up a bulletin board or build some shelves. Even if this means you need to rent or borrow additional furniture to make this happen.

 

 

 

Staging a home requires much time, effort and often times, money. It may not seem like it would be worth it. But let us assure you, it is! According the the National Association of Realtors, in March of 2019, 83% of buyers said that a staged home made it easier for them to visualize the property as a future home. 1/4 of the buyer’s agents said that staging a home increased the dollar value offered between 1%-5% compared to homes that weren’t staged. Often times, staging a home will provide you with the result you’re looking for.

 

Credit: Moving.com, Trulia, FoxNews, NAR

Posted on February 27, 2020 at 8:03 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Category: Helpful Tips, Home & Projects, Listings & Selling your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Home Features Every Buyer Wants

Whether you’re buying, selling, building or remodeling – it’s good to know the home features that every buyer is looking for. Especially if you’re remodeling or building and plan to resale, some of these items may make or break your real estate transaction.

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What Not To Do

Let’s first start with a quick list of no-no’s. Although the idea and everyday use of some of these items may work for you, they could severely hurt you if you plan to sell you home since they’re not practical for the average buyer:

  • Removing closets
  • Combining two rooms
  • Adding a sunroom
  • A garage converted to a living space
  • Adding a pool or hot rub
  • Any feature that is too personalized such as wall color/texture,  too much wallpaper, or lavish lighting that may look dated overtime

 

What To Do

Below are some home features that will increase the resale value of your home and what most all buyers are looking for.

Hardwood Floors

white bed frame

White Couch Near Black Mat

Since they are much easier to clean, durable, long lasting, and have a contemporary look, hardwood floors are one of the top features a buyer wants. Engineered wood flooring is a good option if you’re on a budget, although it may not last as long it’s still just as easy to clean and has the same look.

 

 

 

Modern Kitchen

Kitchen and Dining Area

silver French-door refrigerator

Kitchens are where we spend a lot of our time, whether we’re entertaining or cooking. So this feature is obviously going to make the list. A buyer will likely be looking for a modern kitchen with an open floor plan. Specific features that are of importance is a large pantry, an area to eat separate from the dining room (either an eat-in kitchen or island with a breakfast bar), new appliances that are stainless steel & energy efficient, ample counter space & storage, and quartz or granite countertops all with a modern design.

 

 

 

Energy Efficiency

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Who wouldn’t want to save money? Buyers look for and are more likely to be interested in a home when it’s outfitted with energy efficient appliances, windows, lighting and HVAC. These items help save money in utilities each month but don’t take away from the buyer’s  comfort level.

 

 

 

Laundry Room

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Having a dedicated laundry room is increasing in importance with buyers. Especially one large enough to sort, iron, fold and stack the laundry until it finally gets put away. The placement of the laundry room in a home is also important. Having the laundry room near bedrooms, just off the kitchen, as a laundry room/mud room combination or even a laundry chute if it’s downstairs are all considered to be good locations

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Walk-in Closet

Assorted Clothes Hanged Inside Cabinet

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Many older homes do not have the luxury of a walk in closet, but the feature is quickly gaining popularity. Although closet space in general is very important, walk in closets off the master are considered essential for most buyers when purchasing a home. Depending on how large the closet is, it provides a space to showcase your wardrobe & accessories, keeps your clothes organized, and allows for enough room for a couple to store all of their clothes & accessories.

 

 

 

Large Garage

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A large 2 car or 3 car garage allows for the buyer to park their vehicle indoors plus adds storage space. Unlike an attic or basement, the garage is much more accessible to store belongings. The space could also be used as a workshop or mudroom with space to build shelves and cabinets. The possibility with a large garage is endless.

 

 

 

 

Patio

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Image result for simple backyard patio"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outdoor patios are a simple way to extend the living space of your home. It’s really easy for buyers to see themselves sitting outside playing with their children or entertaining when the backyard is really nice. This is typically an easy and cheaper way to increase the value of your home.

 

 

Credit: GOBankingRates, SpaceWise, Kiplinger, Organized Interiors

Posted on December 10, 2019 at 8:45 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Category: Costs and Spending, Helpful Tips, Home & Projects, Listings & Selling your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Don’t Forget! Top 6 Overlooked Winterizing Tasks

As a homeowner, you likely already have a checklist of items you need to complete before the snow falls. But, there are a few items that you may have forgotten about. Don’t let these items go unchecked or you may have unnecessary headache and expense in the future. Below are 6 tasks that should be completed but many homeowners overlook.

Note: If you do not have a checklist of home maintenance before winter, take a look at ours here!

1. Drain Gasoline and Oil From Your Yard Equipment

Mowing your lawn may be the last thing on your mind right now. But, to ensure your power equipment still runs in tip top shape next year, drain the remaining gas and oil out. If gasoline or oil sits too long it could cause changes in the chemical composition which could lead to a number of problems. Read about how gas can go bad and how to identify it here.

 

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2. Clean Your Window Weep Holes

There are many windows that have weep holes on the exterior bottom of the frame. Their purpose is to drain any water that collects in the frame’s bottom channel. But often times they get clogged with bugs or debris of some kind which could then spill into your house. First, test the weep hole by pouring water into the track. If it doesn’t steadily drain out, there is likely a clog. If that is the case, you could spray it out with compressed air or poke a wire hanger into the hole.

 

 

3. Drain Sediment From Your Water Heater

You should drain some of the water from your water heater every year otherwise sediment will collect at the bottom. With gas powered water heaters, this will cause hot spots that will damage the tank. With electric powered heaters, it could cause the lower heating elements to fail. So draining it once yearly will not only extend the water heaters life but also save you money on your energy bills.

 

4. Clean Dryer Vents

If your dryer vent is plugged, it could cause your dryer to run inefficiently or even cause a house fire. Before winter arrives, be sure to clean out your vent to prevent that from happening. It may not always be lint that causes the backup, there may be pests nesting or stuck exhaust hood flappers could also be the culprit. Each year, take the vent off the back of your dryer and clean it. You could get any debris out with a wet/dry vac or use a cleaning kit that can be purchased at home centers. Inspect your exhaust hood flappers to ensure they are in proper working order as well.

 

5. Check For High Water Pressure

High water pressure can cause issues with pipes, connections and appliances not to mention it wastes water. It is very easy to test to pressure, you just need to purchase a pressure gauge that hooks up to spigot or tub faucet. If the pressure is too high, just change the pressure reducing valve.

 

Image result for test sump pump"

6. Test Sump Pump

It’s best to test you sump pump twice a year to avoid your home flooding. It is very simple to test it, you just need to dump water into the basin to make sure it’s working. And be sure your pump has a vertical float switch.

 

 

 

Consider adding the above tasks to your winterizing checklist to help with any possible issues that may arise over the winter season.

 

Credit: Family Handyman, Do It Yourself 

Posted on December 3, 2019 at 6:09 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Category: Helpful Tips, Home & Projects, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

7 Easy Tips To Keep Your Garbage Disposal Spinning

We all love our garbage disposal but when it breaks down, it definitely becomes a love/hate relationship. We’ve scoured the blogs and professional opinions and we have a short list of ways to keep your disposal grinding away.

Easy maintenance tasks done every few weeks or months can really extend your garbage disposals life span.

  1. Really think about what you’re putting in there. Most food should be alright, but take note if the food is prone to absorbing water further, if its very hard or tough or if it might get really gunked up in cool water. Heavy and hard things like bones might break the mechanical parts of your disposal. Fats and oils can solidify in cold water and clog your pipes. Foods that absorb water will eventually turn into a gunked up clog.
  2. Cold water is best when grinding your waste up. You can absolutely use hot water at all other times, but cold water is recommended so that oils don’t melt and then solidify in the drain plug of the disposal. I personally run hot water after to push anything lingering further on down the drain.
  3. Clean it up! I like to use citrus peels and some dish soap to keep the disposal clean and smell free. You can put the peel and the soap in while the disposal is running and you can tell right
  4. Use an allen wrench to free up the disposal. Sometimes they get bound up or maybe you over did it when cleaning out the fridge. Don’t stress! Just grab an allen wrench and hand turn according to directions. Usually that will do the trick and you won’t burn out the motor! Win!
  5. Experts recommend keeping your disposal blades sharp by dropping some ice cubes down the disposal. It doesn’t take a long time but it does sound a little intense. Bonus feature- it’ll act as an abrasive and clean off any built up food from the blades and the housing.
  6. Did you know there are disposal cleaners? There are. But they are not to be confused with your standard drain cleaner- which have caustic chemicals that can/will damage your disposal’s seals and integral parts. Don’t do that. You love your disposal too much.
  7. Be very vigilant and cautious when you’re getting things that fall in to the deep, dark, slimy disposal. Set up a barricade, nail the kitchen door shut- do what you must do so that you don’t turn into a horror movie character and lose your pretty fingers. Please.

We are not plumbers nor are we disposal experts, mostly just parents who have had to take care of a few household maintenance issues. But if you’re looking- we do have a plumber we can recommend. These are just our real life bits of advice and some info from the pros. Please use common sense when trying to do any work on your disposal. If you think about it- its really a sink full of spinning knives… so safe.

For more information on proper use of your disposal, click here!

For a checklist to prepare your home for the colder months, click HERE!

If you have any other disposal tips or if you can think of a topic you’d like to hear about, please let us know in the comments.

 

Let’s Make Awesome Happen,

 

Posted on November 20, 2019 at 7:01 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Category: Best of CDA, Costs and Spending, Helpful Tips, Home & Projects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Leaf Fest 2019

It’s that beautiful time of year again here in Coeur d’Alene… Fall!

 

With Fall comes all of the beautiful and colorful leaves that we love and enjoy for about the first 2 weeks.  After they have fallen off the trees, the fun begins with leaves all over our yards and driveways.  We then being the clean up as we ready our yards for winter.  The raking of those beautiful leaves into piles and then scooping them into bags to take to the landfill to throw way. 

DON’T BOTHER with that this year! Spend more time inside this year enjoying your hot cocoa and cozy PJ’s!  Our City of Coeur d’Alene is not only beautiful but they are also awesome!  One of the benefits of living is Coeur d’Alene and our Leaf Pick Up program and its absolutely FREE for you! 

Leaf Pickup! Starting Friday November 12th

Image result for leaves in a yard

 

Click the link here for leaf pickup map. Find your zone – leaf pickup will happen in alphabetic order.

 

Some things to keep in mind:

Do:

  • You may start putting your leaves out Friday November 2nd.
  • Please move cars out of the street if at all possible during leaf pick-up.
  • Keep the leaves about one foot off the curb line to facilitate storm water flow.
  • Be alert for leaf pick-up equipment traveling through your neighborhood.
  • Keep a safe distance away from leaf pick-up heavy equipment.
  • Recognize that we have a tough job to do in a very short window between when the leaves fall and when the snow flies.
  • Understand that city and private trucks are exempted from covering loads during the leaf pick-up period. Sweepers will follow city trucks to collect remaining/excess leaves.

 

Don’t:

  • Place bagged leaves in street.
  • Mix branches, rubble or other refuse in with the leaves.
  • Miss the deadline… we only have time for one pass!
Posted on November 4, 2019 at 9:17 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Category: CDA is Awesome, Fall, Helpful Tips, Home & Projects, Our Great City, Whats Happening | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fall Home Maintenance

The purchase of a home will likely be the biggest invest anybody will make in their life. Our homes are the centers of our lives because they hold everything and everyone important to us. Our top priorities are taking care of that invest.  Winter is a harsh season here in North Idaho as a result it can cause some damage to our homes, properties, our loved ones, or even our wallets! It can be avoided if we take extra steps this fall or start of winter to prepare.

The next question is where do I start? Not knowing can be overwhelming and stressful. Below is just a small list of some important home maintenance ideas. Included is the reason you should do them. It can make a huge difference on your home and property this year.

 

 

Interior

  • Windows & Doors ~Image result for inserting weather strippingInstall cool weather storm windows & doors, repair and/or replace loose or damaged window or door frames and insert weather stripping or caulking around windows & doors. This will all keep your house better insulated through winter.

 

 

  • Heating Systems ~Replace the filter in your furnace and clean your ducts to help your furnace’s efficiency and help save money

 

  • PlumbingImage result for insulating pipes for winterBe sure your pipes are well insulated to help avoid freezing. You’ll also want to know where the water shut off valve is in case your pipes do freeze.  Be sure to remove hoses from hose bibs on your home in colder weather so that your bibs and frost fee bibs don’t freeze in the low temperatures, causing leaks in the warmer months.  

 

 

  • Ventilation ~Image result for checking attic ventilation Check the eave vents to be sure it’s clear of insulation and other debris to prevent mold.  Clean out your dryer vents to protect from possible ignition.  Close your foundation vents durning the fall and winter to keep pipes in your crawl space from freezing. 

 

  • Safety Devices ~ Now is a good time of year to check all your safety devices to be sure you can make it through winter. Check the expiration date on your fire extinguishers, test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (changing the batteries if necessary) and test your home for radon.

 

Exterior

  • Gutters & DownspoutsImage result for outside home maintenance in fallClean our your gutters and downspouts of debris to put a stop to any possible rot and to keep your gutters in proper working order

 

  • Chimney & Fireplace ~ Have a professional inspect & clean your chimney  to help avoid chimney fires. Test your fireplace flue for a tight seal when it’s closed to prevent water getting into your chimney.

 

  • Landscaping & Outside Work Image result for outside home maintenance in fallTrim any limbs that are close to power lines, cover or store your patio furniture, check your walkways, stairs and driveway for easier winter navigation. To help promote yard growth, you could fertilize and reseed your lawn as well as prune your trees and shrubs.

 

 

  • Air ConditionersRelated imageIf you have a window AC unit, be sure to remove it and store in a dry play before winter. Or cover your AC unit with a piece of plywood held down by bricks. This will help protect the unit from falling debris but also continue to allow airflow. You don’t want to put a waterproof cover over it during winter because it creates a warm environment which attracts unwanted guests.
Posted on September 11, 2019 at 9:48 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Category: Fall, Helpful Tips, Home & Projects, Keeping it Real - With John & Tracey | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How To Get The Most From Your Home Renovations

Everyone has an idea of their dream house. Maybe it has an elaborate built in shelf for your trading cards. Maybe there is a slide to go downstairs. While these are both awesome, they might not be part of the next owners dreams. When you are ready to invest some money into the house, consider this list of renovations that have the best return on investment (ROI).

 

 

 

 

Minor Bathroom Update

You’ll see a trend throughout the list. There is a breaking point where an investment will start to cost more than you will get back. That’s why there are lots of items that are a “minor” remodel or update. These are that happy medium ground that still makes an updated room scream that its shiny and new, but it will cost you less in the long run.

To replace tubs, tile and caulk in a bathroom might run a little over $1000 and you can expect a return rate of about 102% (at current market values).

Image by Jean van der Meulen

Landscaping

I’m 100% certain that when you walk up to someones front door, you take notice of their grass or the plants growing, if their siding is dirty or if their walk is swept. Everyone does. So when buyers are shopping for homes, you want their attention to be focused on your yard. You want it to yell at them and tell them to come check out the rest of your awesome home! DIY landscaping can be cheaper than paying a professional, but it can take longer and you might accidentally find the sprinklers with your shovel like I definitely didn’t do. There is no right answer when you decide if you want to pay a pro or be a weekend warrior. There is, however a good payoff for your investments when you sell your home, like 100%-good.

 

 

Major Kitchen Remodel

If your home is like ours, the kitchen is the absolute heart of it. Maybe because we love food, but that is besides the point. Consider updating your dated appliances, cabinets from circa 1990 and the flooring. Tile is amazing, but even quality vinyl will really lift the rooms appeal. Most of our clients head straight for the kitchen to try and picture themselves slaving over the stove. You try it. Are yo able to picture plenty of work space and uncluttered counters? If not, think about pairing down some of the obstacles. The average ROI for kitchen remodeling is about 91%. Not quite as high as the other projects, but definitely one of the BIGGEST selling points.

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians

 

House Exterior

Just like the landscaping, a fresh coat of paint or updated shutters and fresh siding can really draw people in. And since you are taking the time to improve your home, do the things that will get you the most in the long run. Current market trends predict a ROI for exterior improvements at about 95%. And let’s be honest, that particle compressed siding the color of avocados… has to go.

 

 

Image by Kelly Alpert

Posted on April 4, 2019 at 7:55 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Category: Helpful Tips, Home & Projects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spring Checklist

If you’re like us, on the first day of spring you’re still waiting for the snow to melt so you can get on with enjoying spring proper. We’ve provided for you, a quick home maintenance checklist of things to look over after a long winter. 

Gutters

roof gutter home house water investment

Your rain gutters are designed to direct water away from your house. A yearly inspection for damage and improper drainage will help you keep your home from dreaded water damage. Image by Felix Ulich

Fall loves to dump leaves all over your roof and winter likes to cement them in your gutters. In early spring the freezing and thawing can cause the watery leaf dam to expand and crack your gutters and down spouts. Keep this frost heaving in check by cleaning out leaves as soon as you can. If you didn’t catch it in time, the spring is a great time to inspect for damage and get it replaced.  Remember, water that isn’t directed away from the house properly can permeate into your foundation causing loads of problems down the road. 

 

 

 

Chimney

chimney roof break broken diy investment inspection

Lots of snow and strong winds can compromise your chimney and other brick work your home might have. When you can safely get on the roof, inspect for water intrusion or any misplaced and ill fitting bricks. Image by AxxLC

Chimneys stick out like a sore thumb on the top of your house. That means they’re especially vulnerable to the wind and inclement weather of North Idaho winters. There are some chimney features that really need to be inspected after a winter. Check for obvious problems like bricks that look out of place or… if it’s fallen down. That’s a good indicator of a problem. Check the flashing at the base of your chimney. That’s the thin sheet metal that keeps the water from puddling and directs it down the roof. Furthermore, a periodic cleaning of the inside bits will make it firstly, more efficient. And secondly, safe as heck. 

Siding 

After a damp fall and winter your siding will most likely accumulate mold and mildew and dirt like its going out of style. You can easily fix this with a pressure washer. If you don’t own one, they cost maybe $30 to rent for a day. When you hose your house down, two magical things will happen. You will experience the oddly satisfying pleasure of pressure washing and your house will look brand new. Seriously.

Some of the worst areas are under eaves and near downspouts. Any stains and mold in these places definitely indicate that there is a problem with how your gutters are handling roof water. 

Foundation

Remember when we said that water can permeate into your foundation and cause problems? Ground water is no joke and can completely compromise your home’s structural integrity. Concrete is porous and readily holds water that water will cause the concrete to break down over time. If you live in areas that get cold, you also run the risk of frost heaving. Both of these scenarios will cause your foundation to crack, or your home to be unsettled and shift.

The spring is your first opportunity to check your foundation for any problem areas. We recommend checking near downspouts and areas that tend to be waterlogged. 

 

Roof

roof house moss mold investment diy clean

Unless your roof moss problem is a wild animal, a simple gentle scrub with soap and water should fix your fuzzy roof. There are chemicals available at home improvement stores to make this process easier. Image by RitaE

As below, so above. Shingles, slate and other roofing materials are not indestructible. While you’re topside checking out the smokestack and gutters- give the roof a good look over. Look for out-of-place shingles, sagging spots or raised shingles. Water will get in any way it can. Your vigilance will keep your roof at the apex of its abilities. 

Additionally, check for moss or other organic material. Moss holds water like a pro and the last thing you want is water perched on your roof waiting to find a way in. 

 

 

Lawn

grass lawn green landscape landscaping home yard

Feed your lawn with a fertilizer of your choosing to give your turf a head start this summer. Image by Hans Braxmeier

We have tons of leafy beautiful deciduous trees in our yard. Every spring, without fail, we find clumps of leaves we missed before the snow fell. When the snow is gone go clean them up, debris that is left on turf for too long will suffocate and deprive grass of valuable sunlight.  This is also a perfect opportunity to rake and fertilize your lawn and give it the best fighting chance of yard of the month (instead of those Smith’s who have won it for the last 5 years).

 

 

 

Pests

Many pests and critters breed in spring. You can help keep them in check by cleaning the places they would typically habituate. Basements, window sills, under cabinets, behind appliances and ceiling corners are a good place to start. Prevent unchecked population growth by getting rid of the dust and debris that would typically provide shelter. Keeping your counters and trash bins clean will offer less food to the critters. If you’re more concerned with poisonous spiders or the bugs are taking over, call for reinforcements! (pest exterminators)

Energy Rating

This winter, we found tons of drafts and cold places throughout our house. This is not good. Remember, air is small and goes wherever it wants. Including your bathroom windows and under your front doors. You get the idea, and just think of all the dollars you are literally letting slip through the cracks. My dad always used to yell “Close the door! We’re not heating the neighborhood!” Turns out that if you don’t repair the seals and weather strips, you are- in fact, heating the neighborhood.

Also. Bugs are small, they too come through the cracks. See paragraph above.

Climate Control 

Your furnace was crucial during the winter and fall. Your AC will probably be a close friend during the summer. Take care of your friend before its in the triple digits. There are some really easy preventative maintenance tasks that you can do, or if yo don’t feel confident- call an HVAC technician to service and inspect it.

Some easy things you can do; Clean and/or replace your air filters, check hose connections for leaks, dust/blow off/ vacuum dirt from fans and electronics and check drip pans. Not too painful, right?

 

Posted on March 21, 2019 at 3:22 am
John and Tracey Tindall | Category: Helpful Tips, Home & Projects, Spring

Homeowners Exemption

Tax season is upon us! That means we not only need to file taxes by April 15th, but also to file for the homeowners exemption.

If you’re not sure if you qualify or where to file, we are here to help!

 

 

What Is The Homeowners Exemption

This exemption is provided by Idaho state law, for the purpose of reducing the taxable value of your home up to $100,00 or 50%, whichever is less. For example, if your home is worth $400,000, you may only pay tax on $300,000. As a result, this exemption will save you money and reduce you property taxes!

 

Who Qualifies

A home owner can file the exemption if they are an Idaho resident and they occupy the home for more than 6 month out of the year (Primary Residence). It can only be filed on the primary residence, it can not be put on a second home or a rental.

 

When  To File

New Construction you must file within 30 days of purchasing the home.

For Existing Homes, the deadline to file for the homeowners exemption is April 15th for THIS year’s exemptions.

File one time per house. After you file, the exemption stays with the house until you sell the house. Then you will need to file it again on your next home.

 

Where To File

Real Estate Concept

Filing must be done at the county’s assessors office where the house is located. Every county does it a little differently, but you have to file each one in person,  it can not be done online. Below are a list of the addresses of nearby counties:

 

Kootenai: 451 Government Way, Coeur d’Alene

Shoshone: 700 Bank St #100, Wallace

Boundary: 6452 Kootenai St, Bonners Ferry

Bonner: 1500 US-2 #205, Sandpoint

Benewah: 701 College Ave # 7, St Maries

 

Do Not Share Sales Price

Idaho is a non disclosure state. That means you do not disclosure the purchase price of the home with the county or on any external sites like Zillow because it is not required. This is a good thing! If the county has the home assessed at a lower value than what you purchased it at, you will continue to be taxed at the lower rate. If you share the higher purchase price with them, they will start taxing you at that higher level.

 

Other Exemptions

Below are a few other exemptions you can file on your property. Click on the links to learn more about how it works in Kootenai county. You would file each of the below exemptions the same way as a homeowners exemption, at the county’s assessor’s office where the land is located.

Agricultural: This program will reduce the taxable value on agricultural land.

Timber: This program will reduce the taxable value of the private land used to primarily harvest timber.

Property Tax Reduction Program (Formally known as Circuit Breaker): This program reduces property taxes for individuals who meet age and income requirements. 

 

Contact Us!

If you have any questions, concerns or confusion, never hesitate to contact us! We are here to address any roadblocks you have and point you in the right direction so that you can save some money on your taxes.

John: 208.818.2456

Tracey: 208.818.2365

 

Check out our video below regarding important tax information for home owners. Also,  subscribe to our YouTube page to keep up with all things real estate! 

 

 

 

Posted on March 12, 2019 at 11:04 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Category: Helpful Tips, Home & Projects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Home Maintenance

Home Maintenance for Fall/Winter

 

 

The purchase of a home will likely be the biggest invest anybody will make in their life. Our homes are the centers of our lives because they hold everything and everyone important to us. Our top priorities are taking care of that invest.  Winter is a harsh season here in North Idaho as a result it can cause some damage to our homes, properties, our loved ones, or even our wallets! It can be avoided if we take extra steps this fall or start of winter to prepare.

 

The next question is where do I start? Not knowing can be overwhelming and stressful. Below is just a small list of some important home maintenance ideas. Included is the reason you should do them. It can make a huge difference on your home and property this year.

 

For a full list of maintenance ideas as well as a printable checklist, go to our website by clicking here!

 

Image result for changing filter in heating system Image result for cleaning out gutters

What to do

Why

Clean gutters and downspouts throughout fall         A build up of leaves and other debris could lead to wood rot, pest issues, and ruined gutters.
Change summer screens to cool weather storm windows & doors         Removing screens stop snow from getting trapped between the window and screen. That avoids damage to the sill and frame as well as lets in more light. Installing storm windows & doors helps keep your home insulated through the cold months.
Replace the filter in your furnace This helps the lifespan of your heater, reduces energy bills and improves air quality.
Flush and insulate your hot water tank Flushing removes sediment which in turn could extend the life of your tank. Insulating can help conserve energy, in turn saving you money.
Place a sheet of plywood held down by a few bricks on top and your AC, not a waterproof cover    Plywood can stop falling icicles and other debris which in turn would cause damage to the unit. Waterproof covers creates a warm environment for unwanted guests to stay for the winter.
Trim limps that are close to power lines or the  roof of your home Avoids heavy snow/ice building up causing damage.
Image result for pruning trees and shrubs in fall Image result for air conditioners in the winter

 

For a full list of maintenance ideas as well as a printable checklist, go to our website by clicking here!

 

Posted on December 27, 2018 at 6:24 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Category: Fall, Helpful Tips, Home & Projects, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,