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Entries Tagged as 'Buyer Info'

Smart Gadget Ideas for the Home

August 9th, 2017 · No Comments

Smart Gadgets are quite fun to look at and try out but have you ever considered purchasing a few for your home?  Why not take the plunge to make your home a more interesting place to be by purchasing a few or all of the gadgets mentioned below. 

  1.  Many of you may have already seen or perhaps even tried the smart vacuum.  If you haven’t tried it you need to do so.  Just imagine pushing a few buttons and sitting down to relax while your vacuum cleaner does all the work for you.  What a revolution!  Be prepared to dish out $700 to $900, but it will likely be quite worth it in the end. 

  2. Smart trash cans have perhaps not been as heard of as the vacuum cleaners but they are just as cool none the less.  If you are the type of person that cannot stand to touch the top of the trashcan due to the fact that it is loaded with germs, this may be just the thing for you!  Not only will you not have to touch the lid but some of these gadgets even tell you when the trash is full and needs to be taken out!  How do you like that for smart?! $150 to $200 will buy you this luxury item! 

  3. Washers and dryers have had intelligent features for years but are beginning to add more and more as each year passes.  Some of them now have phone apps that let you remotely control them.  Some will sense when you are home and instantly begin using their quiet mode so as not to disturb you.  These types of machines will run you $1400-$1800 each but are well worth the money if you have it to spare. 

  4. Even air purifiers have been added to the list of smart gadgets folks are buying these days.  These items puts your homes air through different filters, then analyzes the data and sends it to your phone to tell you what types of things are prevalent in your air such as pollen, dust, pet dander, etc.  These cost from $200 to $750.   

You may have thought that your home couldn’t be this smart but it can if you have the money to make it happen.  These items are so amazing that if you don’t currently have the money to buy them, you may want to consider saving up for one at a time.   

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership · Seller Info

Small Ways to Save Money At Home

August 2nd, 2017 · No Comments

Just because your home doesn’t have any major issues such as a leaky basement or a floor that is about to cave in doesn’t mean you don’t have a lot of little ways you are losing cash each month.  Below are a few small tips to help you save money at home that may eventually add up big.

  1.  If you have yet to change your lights over to energy efficient ones you should do that right away.   This is an easy way to save a little bit each month that doesn’t take long at all to accomplish.  LED lights are going to cost you a bit more than regular light bulbs but in the long run they will be a big help to your budget.
  2. Big ticket items such as air conditioning systems can cost you and your family a lot each year if you don’t do your part to make sure they work to the best of their ability.  Make sure to change your air filters on a regular basis and clean all the vents as well.  This type of maintenance should be done before the heat of the summer begins so that all will work correctly when it is needed most.
  3. Another small way to save money at home  is to make sure you eat what you put in your refrigerator.  Wasting food is a big money pit that affects many Americans today.   If you buy a lot of produce and other perishables you need to be sure to put them at eye level so that they don’t get lost in your fridge only to have to be thrown out later.  If you have a small family you might want to purchase smaller amounts of foods that don’t have a long shelf live to avoid wasting each week.
  4. If you haven’t already done so, get rid of your landline phone.  Most everyone these days has a cell phone and the need for a landline phone has almost become obsolete.  Save that $40 per month and put it towards something of better use.  You may be surprised at just how quickly $40 each month can add up.
  5. Before you decide to bring a furry family member into your home, realize that they are quite expensive.   If you are trying your best to save money perhaps buying a pet might need to go on the back burner for a while.

These are just a few ways in which your pocketbook can get a bit of rest  on a regular basis.  Use the ideas you like and see what a difference they can make.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home ownership · Money matters · Seller Info

Tips for Buying Land to Build On

July 26th, 2017 · No Comments

If you have decided you want to buy land to build on instead of buying an already built home, there are a few things you need to consider first.  The biggest thing you need to consider before buying land is whether you want to live in the country or the city.  Do you want acreage or do you want neighbors, or perhaps both?  Below are a few tips for buying land that may be of some help to you.

  1.  If cost is important to you then you may want to purchase land  out in the country instead of the city.  The price for buying a spot of land in the city is a lot more expensive and the size of the land will be much smaller as well.  If you like to have your space then buying a lot of land out in the country may be just the thing for you.
  2. Once you have decided where you want to live, city vs. country you then will need to go to the land you are considering and look around.  Look up and see what there is to see.  Do you see a lot of cars passing by or do you see a school close by or a factory?  All of these things can become issues for you when buying a piece of land so be sure to pay attention to all of your senses when on the land, sights and smells.
  3. Find out what the zoning requirements are on the land you want to build on.  You may have plans to build a small home on your land when the zoning requirements are that you build a house that is at least 2,000 square feet.
  4. Pay attention to how close the land you want is to water.  Are there any flooding problems?  Have there been problems in the past?  These are things you need to think about.
  5. You also need to find out about the water quality on any land you are considering purchasing.  Find out if the water is pure or if you will need to purchase a water filtration system for your home once you build.  These types of things can be costly so be careful to ask as many questions as you need to get the answers you need.

Hiring a Real Estate agent to help you find land to purchase  is the best thing you can do because they already know all of these tips and can help lead you in the direction that is best for you and your family.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home ownership

Fung Shui Ideas for Your New Home

July 12th, 2017 · No Comments

Decorating a new home is a fun process.  Whether or not you are an experienced decorator,  you can look and feel like a pro with the aid of some fung shui.  Below are a few ideas on how to make it work for your new home.

  1.  Many folks like to hang mirrors at their entrance way to make the space look larger and more inviting as well.  Be sure to place your mirror on a side wall as you walk in instead of directly across from the door.  This will help with the flow of things as guests enter your house.  They will be able to see themselves and feel welcomed as they arrive as opposed to feeling like they are being pushed out with their own reflection.
  2. Another way to make fung shui work for you  is to keep clutter to a minimum.  This is especially true in the bedroom because a bedroom is a place of rest.  If there is a lot of junk all around the room those who spend time there will likely feel a bit disheveled.  If you feel as if you don’t know enough about this topic to do the job right, you can always higher an expert to help get you started in the right direction.
  3. Make sure that if you want to have live plants in your home that you place them in areas where folks will be hanging out and spending quality time together.  Try not  to place live plants in areas where sleep takes place such as the bedroom because you need items that give off restfulness.
  4. Leaving the toilet lid closed is a great, easy little trick that will help to make everyone who enters your bathroom feel good about the space.
  5. Keeping the flooring all one type in the home helps the energy to flow freely.  Try not to use two different types of flooring butted up against one another if you can help it as this will weaken the energy of the home.
  6. Be sure to place your bed across from the door to the bedroom or at least at a spot where the door can be easily seen.  This will enhance the comfort level of the room as opposed to putting the bed on the same wall as the door.

Fung Shui is fun and interesting and it really does work to help the energy of the home   feel comfortable and welcoming.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership

How to Make Your Outdoor Space More Inviting and Fun

June 28th, 2017 · No Comments

This time of year folks begin to get outdoors to do more around their homes because it is nice and warm outside.   It’s also a good time to do a bit of work outside the house and make your outdoor space more inviting and fun for family and friends.   Below is a list of ways in which you can accomplish this.

  1.  If you already have landscape lighting, why not purchase a few fun colored lights to use in them for different holidays.  This will defiantly make your outdoor space a lot more fun.
  2. If you are getting tired of mowing your grass then you may want to replace your grass with a garden.  You might want to add a garden of flowers or a garden of vegetables or even put in a koi pond.  Any of these ideas will help to keep you from spending your summer evenings mowing the grass all the time, therefore making your outdoor space more fun.
  3. If your patio furniture is old and outdated, now is the time to go out to purchase some that allows you to show your style more effectively.  Outdoor furniture always makes outdoor spaces more inviting and fun.
  4. Adding a new doorbell to the outside of your home may seem like a small thing, however if you find a nice one that lights up the front door area it can do wonders towards making your home seem more inviting at night.
  5. If you don’t already have a swimming pool, summertime is a great time to add one.  Not much can make your outdoor space more fun than a swimming pool for all to enjoy.
  6. If you do add a swimming pool why not go out and make it really fun and cool by adding an outdoor shower to the mix.  This type of thing is pretty rare unless your home is at the beach, therefore your outdoor shower may quickly become the talk of the neighborhood.

There are so many ways in which to make your outdoor space more inviting and fun; these are just a few of them that you may want to try.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership · Seller Info

Tips for Creating a Perfect Kitchen Pantry

June 21st, 2017 · No Comments

The typical household kitchen pantry is full of items that are needed and some items that may have been in there way too long that are no longer needed or good for that matter.  Perhaps you have tried in the past to clean out your pantry to make it more efficient to no avail.  Below are a few tips for a perfect kitchen pantry that may help you clean and organize yours once and for all.

  1.  The best way to start organizing your pantry is to clean everything out of it and start from the beginning.  It may make a mess at first when you begin taking all of the items out of your pantry but sometimes you have to make a mess in order to get rid of a mess.   Be sure to look through all of your items throwing out anything that is outdated or spoiled.
  2.  Another tip for a creating a perfect kitchen pantry is to install shelving that makes it more efficient.  You can purchase shelving for your pantry at most local hardware stores or you can build them yourself out of wood, whichever works best for you.   You can make the shelves stationary or you can choose to make them where they will pull out so that you can get things out a bit easier.
  3. Putting all your staples such as flower and sugar into air tight containers then labeling them is a great way to organize your pantry and make it more user friendly.  Once you get all of your staple items into containers you can then more easily organize them.
  4. Another good tip for creating a perfect kitchen pantry is to use one shelf for each type of food.  For example you can put cereals together all on one shelf,  spices on one shelf and  items that you use daily on a shelf that is eye level.
  5. If your pantry is dull and dreary, you can always paint it a light color to brighten it up after you organize it all.

Once you get your kitchen pantry all organized exactly like you want it you will likely want to spend more time in the kitchen creating fantastic meals for your friends and family.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership · Seller Info

3 Mistakes First-Time Buyers Make (and How to Avoid Them)

June 14th, 2017 · No Comments

There are a few mistakes that many first-time home buyers make. Here are three of the most common mistakes and how you can avoid them when purchasing your first home.

Mistake #1: Assuming your credit is good.

The information in your credit report determines whether you can get a loan — and how much interest you will have to pay – so it pays to be certain your credit reports are accurate.

Check your credit reports for free from all three credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to make sure everything is correct. If you find errors, contact both the credit reporting company and the information provider (the person, company or organization that provided information about you to a credit reporting company) involved in the errors and ask them to fix the credit report errors.

Mistake #2: Getting pre-qualified, not pre-approved, for a loan.

It’s far better to be pre-approved for a loan than to be pre-qualified. Here’s why…

With pre-qualification, your lender does a preliminary evaluation of your ability to pay for a home and gives an estimate of the mortgage amount they’ll give you. The lender does not verify the information you provide.

Mistake #3: Allowing emotions to influence your decisions.

Buying a home is an investment. It needs to be treated as any other investment. You don’t buy stocks because they are pretty and you shouldn’t pick your home that way either. Make sure the home you buy fits your needs and allows you room to grow over the next few years. As with any sound investment, time is the key to a good return.

If you are a first-time home buyer, I would be happy to help you find (and get the best price for) your first home.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home ownership

Selecting Plants and Flowers for Your Home Garden

June 7th, 2017 · No Comments

Many of us select plants for the garden at our Gainesville FL home based on their visual effect—color, height, size of blooms, etc. And so we should, as the sight of our plantings should be pleasing to our sense of sight. As we plan our garden, however, we should also be aware of the other four senses—and include plants which appeal to each of them.

SMELL: Aromatherapy is a powerful practice. With nothing more than a simple scent, the brain can be triggered to remember long forgotten memories, emotions, and feelings. With that being said, it is important to carefully select the flowers you want in the garden of your Gainesville FL home. With a few simple choices, you can create your own “memory lane’ or relaxing oasis. In terms of fragrance, it’s hard to beat roses or lavender. Wisteria and jasmine are scented climbers which can really enhance the sensory pleasure of a garden, and amaryllis belladonna and spirea both add pleasant scents.

SOUND: Few of us associate the sense of sound with our garden, but the rustling of long grasses and the chirping of birds add a much-appreciated dimension. To attract songbirds, use fruit-bearing understory trees like dogwoods and service berries and shrubs such as viburnums and hollies and introduce low growing perennials and dwarf shrubs like creeping juniper and cotoneaster. You can also plant vines, ground covers, and sunflowers to increase chirping and tweeting.

TOUCH: Texture in garden design refers to the surface quality of the plant. Plant textures range from delicate and fine to coarse and bold. The feel of the foliage in your Gainesville FL home’s garden is not the only element of texture, however, as the texture can change with the play of light and shadow and even with viewing distance. Plants with thread-like leaves call out to be touched, so consider adding cosmos, baby’s breath, asters, and grasses. In addition, iris and lamb’s ear will each provide softer tactile experiences.

TASTE: The world of herbs is nearly without limits. Think about basil, chives, rosemary, chamomile, cilantro, mint, and parsley, to name just a few tasty garden additions. Consider, too low bush blueberries or ligonberries. Lesser known, but equally valuable as salad additions are the flowers of the hibiscus shrub, columbine, and daylilies.

Some of the plants you have selected for your garden will serve more than one purpose and will appeal to more than one sense, so be sure to sniff, feel, taste, listen to, and view each of them!

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership · Seller Info

Fun Rainy Day Things to Do Inside Your Home

May 24th, 2017 · No Comments

If you have small children you know all too well how easily they can get bored when they are stuck inside due to bad weather. Below is a list of a few rainy day things you can do inside your home so that you and your family don’t get bored being stuck inside.  Get them and read this list together to get started on some fun!

  1.  One fun indoor activity you can do with your small children is to have an indoor scavenger hunt.  Write down some clues to where you have hidden items in your house and set your children out on an indoor hunt to find them!  This can be fun for you as well as you watch your kids trying their best to find what you have hidden.
  1. Another fun rainy day thing to-do inside your home  with your family is to go camping inside!  Get your tent out and set it up right in the middle of your family room.  You and your family can sleep in the tent together all night long!  If everyone doesn’t fit you can use sleeping bags to make it a full fledge family event.  A super fun way to make your indoor camping event even more real is to make smores in the microwave!
  1. Yet another fun rainy day thing to do inside is to gather all of your board games and get the entire family involved in playing them together!  If you don’t have any board games you can likely find some type of game for all to play online.
  1. If you don’t want to have to create something fun to do with your family, why not bake some cookies together!  It is always fun to get your little ones together in the kitchen to bake.  Have each child create their own cookie with the ingredients you have available, then let the rest of the family be judges to give the best cookie award!

These are a few fun rainy day things you can do inside your home that is sure to make everyone have an enjoyable time even if they can’t go outside!

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home ownership · Just For Fun · Seller Info · Things To Do

Now Is The Time For You To Buy A Piece of Real Estate

May 17th, 2017 · No Comments

So your life circumstances indicate that now is the time for you to buy real estate. Perhaps this will be your first home or you need a larger space to accommodate a growing family. You may be in search of a better school district or be forced to move because of your job. Whatever the reason for your housing search, there are four basic areas you need to investigate and specific questions you should ask before making a final decision on any house.

WISH LIST:

Before you actually tour any homes, you should determine exactly what you are looking for by asking yourself (and your family members) questions such as “What type of house do I want”? How much space will I need? What type of community and amenities are important to me? How much can I realistically afford to pay?

LOCATION:

Once you have narrowed down your neighborhood choices, do further exploration of these locations by asking about zoning, since apartments and commercial/industrial buildings lower the real estate value of homes. Is the appearance of the community appealing? Does the school district have a good reputation/rating? What about noise? Consider nuisance factors such as traffic sounds, barking dogs, railroad tracks, etc.–anything that will disturb or annoy you on a recurring basis. Ask, too, about property easements, commuting time to and from work, and demographics. Will you be the only family with young children or the sole 50+ resident in the neighborhood?

CONDITION OF Home:

In order to determine and structural or maintenance issues, ask about the age of the house, roof, and appliances. What kind of foundation and insulation does the home have? If you’re looking at an older property, ask if the plumbing and electrical systems have been updated. Has the house been inspected or appraised recently, and, if so, were any problems documented? Will the exterior of the residence require annual maintenance?

COST:

Asking the right questions in this area is extremely helpful in determining your offer on the Gainesville real estate. Inquiring about neighboring comps, what the seller paid, and how much he owes will give you an idea of the rise/fall of nearby prices and alert you to possible short sale or foreclosure status. Ask how long the house has been on the market and if there have been any offers; perhaps the seller will be willing to negotiate price or offer incentives. Addition inquiries should be made re: the cost of insurance and property taxes on the property and the amount of any homeowners’ association fees.

Arming yourself with answers to questions such as these should help you make an educated decision as to whether or not a particular piece real estate is for you.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home ownership