Maintaining Your Seattle Real Estate Home Investment

Home ownership is an important investment that can create both a sense of pride and a place in The World That Is All Your Own.

seattle home inspectionWhile the investment in purchasing or building your own home is sizeable, letting your home fall into disrepair can be even more costly. However, home maintenance doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following a few simple steps and making maintenance a regular activity, you’ll not only preserve the quality of your home, but you’ll likely save money over the long term.

Keep A Regular Maintenance Schedule

Whether you’ve just moved in or have lived in your home for decades, it’s important to establish a regular routine to maintain your home. Some tasks should be checked off the list regularly, while others are more seasonal. [Read more…]



Cypress Siding Provides A Natural Choice For Today’s Seattle Real Estate Homes

Seattle Home Inspection Across the country, cypress siding is becoming increasingly popular among homeowners who are looking to add value, durability, and a lifetime of good looks to their homes.

Even as new high-tech siding materials flood the market, Chuck Harris of the Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association, www.cypressinfo.org, says homeowners continue to treasure the inherent beauty of nature’s purest building material, genuine wood.

“When homeowners are first acquainted with cypress siding, they are immediately impressed with its rich grain and texture,” he explains. “They like it even better when they learn that, unlike pressure-treated wood or composite materials, cypress is innately durable thanks to a preservative oil that nature itself puts into the wood.”

Architect Frank Harmon of Raleigh, N.C., agrees and says cypress possesses many qualities he prefers in a material that will be exposed to the elements. “Cypress weathers well, resists decay, and is friendly to the touch,” he notes. “Used in siding applications, cypress will easily last 100 years with proper care and maintenance.” [Read more…]



Selling Your Seattle Real Esatate Home? A Great Deck Spruces Up The Curb Appeal

Seattle Home Inspection Curb appeal is integral when selling a home, but when the trees are bare and the ground is covered in dirty snow, the winter months can make it very difficult to showcase your home’s attractive landscaping.

But smart sellers know that taking extra steps to care for and present a home’s exterior is a worthwhile investment, particularly during the real estate off-season. There is one improvement you can make that will help boost your home’s outdoor appeal no matter what the season: a deck.

When potential buyers visit your home in winter, they might not be able to envision how green and lovely your backyard will look come spring, but they will be able to see with their own eyes what a deck adds to the home’s living space. Decks, patios, sunrooms and porches have always been popular with homebuyers, but real estate agents say that too often these spaces are neglected or not used to their best advantage. [Read more…]



Preparing Your Credit Profile For The Spring Real Estate Season

Seattle home inspectionWhen You Are Out Shoveling Snow And Scraping Ice Off The Car’s Windshield, Winter Can Seem Like An Eternity.

 Yet when it comes to your credit profile, house-hunting and the spring real estate season is just around the corner.

“Warm weather will bring an increase in homes on the market and buyers shopping, so it pays to take steps to make sure your credit profile is in the best shape possible if you’ll be looking for a house come spring,” says Barrett Burns, president and CEO of credit score model developer VantageScore Solutions. “Real estate experts are already predicting that this spring will be an important season for the industry, with mortgage rates still low and prices creeping back up. In addition to other criteria such as down payments and income, a good credit score can make a big difference when it comes to getting a mortgage at favorable rates.”

VantageScore Solutions recommends home buyers start now to prep their credit profiles before the spring real estate season arrives in March and April.

Here are some tips and tidbits to keep in mind as you’re working toward qualifying for a mortgage loan:

* It Is Essential To Know What’s On Your Credit Report Before It Will Be Viewed By Potential Lenders. Make sure your credit report is up-to-date and accurately reflects your credit behavior. You can obtain your report at AnnualCreditReport.com, the only official site where you can obtain your report every 12 months for free from each of the three major credit reporting companies (CRCs), which are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. And you can access your credit score through all three CRCs from the same website for a small fee.

* Creditors Are Interested In Seeing How You Manage Credit, And The Consistency Of Behavior Counts. In addition to paying your bills on time every month, avoid applying for any new credit between now and the time you will apply for a mortgage. Almost every credit score “inquiry” from a lender is recorded with one or more of the three national CRCs. This can result in a decrease to your VantageScore credit score by 10 to 20 points.

* Keep In Mind That Some Lenders Will Pull A Credit Score At The Time You Apply For The Loan, Then Again Just Before The Loan Closes. You want to avoid credit score reductions during that time frame, which can occur if you take on unnecessary credit. Also be sure all payments on existing debt are made on time during this timeframe.

* Shop Around For Mortgage Options Before You Actually Apply. Understand lenders’ qualifying criteria so you know where you may need to improve. Once you’ve done your research, go ahead and apply to multiple lenders all at once. Multiple applications at the same time will register on your credit report as a single inquiry – as long as they’re all within 14 days of each other – and will have minimal impact on your score.

* Different Lenders Use Different Scoring Models And Different Models Can Have Different Score Ranges. For example, the VantageScore model’s range is 501 to 990. You may or may not be able to find out from your potential lender which model they use. What’s important is where you fall in the model’s score range, which tells you how your score compares to others.

Finally, Burns says, don’t worry too much over small fluctuations in your score. “It’s possible for your score to be 772 on Thursday and 765 on Friday,” he says. “It may be back up to 770 the next week. The changes are likely due to updates to your credit files and expiring data. Remember that consistent, responsible behavior is more important than small ups and downs in your credit score.”- –

For more information and tips on how to get your credit ready for spring real estate season, visit www.VantageScore.com or test your knowledge about credit scores at www.CreditScoreQuiz.org, which was created by VantageScore Solutions along with its partner, Consumer Federation of America. Both websites are completely free and neither display any advertising nor collect any personal data. Both the online quiz and a corresponding brochure are available in Spanish at www.creditscorequiz.org/Espanol.

Seattle Home Inspection News is Real Estate News You Can Use!

 

Seattle Home Inspection News is updated every week with a variety of information that you can use in and around your home. In the Seattle Home Inspection News, we share home decorating and home improvement ideas, as well as information on senior living, green living and much more.

Make Seattle Home Inspection News your exclusive source for information and ideas related to your home!

Plus, be sure to check out all of the wonderful local Seattle businesses here on our website! They stand ready to serve you today!  Please don’t forget to mention to the merchant that you saw their information here in the Seattle Home Inspection News You Can Use.

Seattle Home Inspection News!



Click With Confidence: Three Tips To Protect Your Privacy When Shopping Online

Bellevue Real Estate If the growing online shopping statistics from the past few years have been any indication, buyers will again be flocking to online retailers this holiday season – perhaps in larger numbers than ever before.

However, as people become increasingly savvier as Web shoppers, awareness and concerns about online privacy and safety have also grown. As many as 91 percent of consumers say that they’re concerned about privacy when shopping online. Frequent news stories about consumer information being sold or mishandled have helped contribute to an atmosphere of mistrust, and more than half of consumers say they don’t trust businesses with their personal information.

For those who love the convenience and choice that come along with online shopping, there are a few ways to ensure that your information is kept safe and private.

1. Read Privacy Policies. You’ve probably seen them countless times, but how often have you actually read a privacy policy? If you’ve shopped without reading, you’re certainly not alone. While 97 percent of websites have a privacy policy, those documents average nearly 2,500 words – which is almost twice as long as the Declaration of Independence. It would take the average person at least 10 minutes to read that, and not too many online shoppers want to spend that much time. However, reading the privacy policy will give you the details about what a site is doing to keep your information safe. [Read more…]



Winterize Your Home In A Weekend

Preparing For Jack Frost’s Arrival Can Send A Shiver Down Any Homeowner’s Spine.

Bellevue Real Estate A long to-do list for getting your home ready can feel overwhelming, leaving you wondering where you’ll find the time and resources. But, with some optimism, easy tips and access to a few rental tools, you can winterize your home in just one weekend, leaving plenty of time to enjoy autumn’s splendor.

Prepare Your Lawn And Landscaping

Cold temperatures cause grass and other plants in your landscape to go dormant. Spend a few hours preparing your lawn for beautiful greenery next year.

Start by aerating. Renting an aerator is a cost-effective and efficient way to reduce thatch and provide extra space in the soil for water and oxygen to reach the roots. Find a local American Rental Association (ARA) member store near you by visiting RentalHQ.com. After aerating, spread a quality winter fertilizer to give your grass the nutrients it needs to grow strong. If you live in an area with harsh winters, remember to cover roses and delicate perennials so that they are protected. [Read more…]



Homeowners Tackling More Home Improvement Projects Themselves

Real Estate Seattle On any given weekend, homeowners can be found climbing around in attics to add insulation, repairing shingles on the roof, installing new floors in kitchens and bathrooms, and handling many other home improvement projects that, with a little elbow grease, they are able to do themselves.

This trend is crossing many generations. Forty-four percent of millennials (born between 1980 and 2000) and 57 percent of Gen Xers (born between 1960 and 1980) prefer to do home improvement and renovation projects themselves, according to Iconoculture researchers.

“Small updates can make dramatic improvements to the look and feel of your home, like adding a fresh coat of paint, replacing an exterior door or installing new flooring,” says Kathy Krafka Harkema, Pella Windows & Doors spokesperson. “Renovations can also help increase energy efficiency, which may save money on utility bills.” [Read more…]



Clean Water Act Celebrates 40 Years Of Water Improvements

The Clean Water Act was established 40 years ago with the goal of protecting waterways and ensuring homes and offices receive clean drinking water.

As the legislation marks its 40th anniversary, water officials and water consumers alike are looking back on the accomplishments and planning for new ways to continue water quality improvements.

“The Clean Water Act touches every source of water and establishes a goal for protecting our waterways and systems in the cities and communities where we live and work,” says Mike Musgrave, director of program development for MWH Global, a water-focused engineering consulting firm that has helped organizations and municipalities meet demands of the Clean Water Act. [Read more…]



How To Tackle Household Chores Quickly This Fall

Bellevue Real Estate As Fall Approaches, The Daylight Hours Are Dwindling, Kids Are Headed Back To School, And The Lazy Days Of Summer Will Soon Be LongForgotten.

As you establish new routines, it seems like there are 10 additional tasks to handle each day, and cleaning, while one of the most important things on your to-do list, often falls to the bottom due to lack of time.

In fact, a recent CLR Brands survey revealed that on average, women spend 15.5 hours per week cleaning in and around the home while men spend 10 hours per week – a significant amount of time. Ever wondered how to clean more effectively and quickly, to actually find some extra time to spend on your favorite things this fall? [Read more…]



Tips For A Thorough Fall House Cleaning

Foreclosed Homes Seattle With the changing of the season right around the corner, most Americans are beginning to clean up the exterior of their  homes by raking leaves and cleaning out the gutters, but what about the interior?

Fall can be the perfect time to revisit that spring cleaning list that you never completed and give the interior of your home a deep clean in preparation for the holiday season.

While most people rely on their own cleaning know-how to tackle germs and dirt, they depend on their eyes to show what they think is a clean house. In fact, more than two out of three people believe that vision is the most important sense in determining the cleanliness of a home, according to a recent national consumer survey conducted by Stanley Steemer. [Read more…]