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Entries Tagged as 'Buyer Info'

How to Go Green This Spring

May 3rd, 2017 · No Comments

These days it seems everyone is all about going green.  Have you ever given any thought on taking part in going green?  If so you have come to the right place.  Below are a few tips on how you and your family can go green this spring!   Why not add going green to your spring cleaning list!

  1.  One way that you and your family can go green this spring is to simply take your shoes off before you enter your house!  You read that right; you can go green by simply taking off your shoes. 40% of all indoor contaminants actually come from the bottom of our shoes so do your part to keep this from happening to you and your family by taking those shoes off!
  2. Learn what ingredients are considered to be green so that when you go to the store to purchase all of your new green cleaners you can be confident that you are actually doing some good for the environment.  Some companies that claim to be green actually have some ingredients that are not green once they are mixed together.   Just read up on what ingredients are green and what ingredients are not and are typically passed off as green and you should be heading in the right direction on what to buy and what not to buy.
  3. Don’t forget the outside of your home when you are going green.  Many grasses are able to grow and thrive without the help of any type of pesticides and /or fertilizers.  The best way to start going green with the outside of your home is to replace the grass you currently have with native grasses to your particular area.  One perk of this switch is that you may find that you have a lot less upkeep of your lawn once you do this!  Who wouldn’t enjoy having more time with their family and less time doing yard work on a weekly basis!

These are just a few ways in which you can help to make your home a bit more green this spring.  Once you get started going green it is likely that you will find more and more ways in which to do so.  It can become addicting once you make the decision to go green in and around your home!

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

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

How to Clean Your Grill

April 26th, 2017 · No Comments

Spring is here and that means that summer is right around the corner!  Summertime brings with it many things but one of the awesome things about summer is that it means many meal prep times will move from inside of the kitchen to outside on the grill!  Yum!  You will have to do your part to get your grill ready for all the outdoor cooking that is about to begin!  Below are a few ideas on how best to clean your grill for the upcoming season!

  1.  The first place to start when beginning to clean your grill is to clean the grates.  These can get quite dirty during the outdoor cooking season.  If you were smart when the last season ended you cleaned them and wiped them down with cooking oil, however if you didn’t, there is still hope. One good and easy way to clean your dirty grill grates is to place them into your self-cleaning oven and let it do the work for you.  Another way to get your grill grates clean is to simply put them in the dishwasher.
  1. Clean the burner tubes by simply brushing them and wiping them clean.   Be sure not to use any metal brushes as these have been deemed unsafe if the metal pieces come off and get into your food.
  1. Clean the grease collection tray by scrubbing it with a clean damp cloth.
  1. If you happen to have a charcoal grill, your cleaning process will be a bit simpler than with a gas grill.  Scrub the grill with a nylon brush and then clean the grates and that is it!  If you have old charcoal simply throw it out and buy some new for the season.

These are just a few ideas on how to clean your grill to get it ready for the upcoming outdoor cooking season.  The best way to clean your grill is honestly just to clean as you go. If you do your part to clean up after yourself after each and every meal you will have a much easier time when it comes time to get the grill out again for the next season.  If you don’t do your part to clean as you go, at least now you have a few ideas on how to get rid of the grit and grime easily.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

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

Home Buying Made Easy

April 19th, 2017 · No Comments

home buying made easy

If you are currently in the market for buying a house, then you are likely already aware of just how difficult it can sometimes be.  There are many stressors throughout the process that can make the home buying process seem anything but easy.  Below are a few ways that home buying can be made a bit easier if you do your part to put them into action.

  1.  The first and most important thing you need to do before looking for a home to buy is to find an agent.  The reason this part is the most important is because buying a home is a huge financial obligation and you want to choose the right person to help you with such a big decision in your life.  A good way to find an excellent Realtor is to talk with your friends and family members that you trust to see whom they have used in the past.  Once they give you a few suggestions, you can meet each one and see which one best matches your personality wishes.  You will be spending quite a bit of time with this person so you want to make sure that you get along beautifully with them.
  2. The next step in home buying made easy  is to find a lender.  Many times you can find out from your Realtor about what lenders they tend to use or who they think can be the best match for you and your particular situation.  If your Realtor doesn’t lead you to the best match, again you can talk to your friends and family for suggestions.
  3. You then need to make sure your credit is as clean as it can possibly be.  Lenders can many times give you a bit of guidance in this area so that you can get approved for a loan.
  4. It is important that you get pre approved for a loan before you go out searching for the home of your dreams.  The lender that you choose will help you to know exactly how much of a house you can comfortably afford before you get your heart set on one.
  5. Lastly, figure out exactly what you are looking for in a house.  Make a list of your wants and desires in order of their importance.  This will help to guide you in your home buying  adventure and will help avoid wasting precious time.

These are just a few ideas on how to make the home buying process a bit easier.  Once you do your part to put all of these in motion you will be well on your way to finding the home of your dreams.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info

Spring Maintenance Check List for Your Home

April 5th, 2017 · No Comments

Spring cleaning has likely already become underway in your household.  What you may not have given much thought however is spring maintenance for your home.   There are several things that folks generally check around their homes before the winter months but there are also a few things you need to check in the early spring months.  Below is a spring maintenance check list for your home.

  1.  Springtime means it is time to start mowing your lawn again.  If your lawn mower has been outside all winter due to lack of storage space you may need to do a bit of maintenance on it before you get it going.  Sharpening the blade is always a good idea before a new season so that you get a nice clean cut on the grass.  It’s also a good idea to check the oil on your lawn mower before beginning to use it for the warm season.
  2. Spring is a great time to check your house for worn paint areas such as your shutters.  If you find worn or chipped paint on your house what better time to fix that than in the typically perfect weather of spring.
  3. Be sure to check your crawl space vents for any debris that may have accumulated there over the winter months.  Also you want to keep your eye out for any animals such as snakes or rodents that may have made their home in your crawl space over the last few months.  Get rid of anything that doesn’t belong and repair anything that may be broken such as the vent covers.
  4. Get your flower beds and any garden areas ready for spring by cleaning out any debris that may have accumulated and trimming back any old growth.  It is also a good time to add mulch to your flower beds and fertilizer to your garden.

The above list of spring maintenance ideas is just a start in the right direction.  There is certainly much more that you need to do in and around your house before the summer time approaches.  Once you get started with these, you will likely find and think of more things that need to be done.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

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

Keeping Our Children Safe in This Digital Age

March 29th, 2017 · No Comments

Technology surrounds us in every aspect of our lives, including this blog; it is always with us especially since it became handheld. Emails are sent and received, topics are searched for, books are written, video conferences are done, and listed homes are viewed online. Our kids aren’t just seeing us constantly be digital but they are becoming more tech-savvy at a younger age themselves, out of necessity in part. Even schools require students as young as lower elementary school to do projects involving computers. As parents we of course want nothing but the best for our children and always want them to be safe, keeping them safe in this digital age can be overwhelming to navigate.

Here are a few tips I think can be helpful in getting started to keep the kids safe.

Set Rules- Give them a set screen time when they can use digital devices and keep that time a constant. Decide what timeframe you are comfortable with beforehand. Create rules or actions if they break the amount of screen time they’re allowed or sites that are okay, e.g. losing the internet for a few days, not watching a show they enjoy, etc.

Be a part of their computer time– Know what sites your kids are visiting and check in on them to be sure they don’t need assistance and to be sure they are on ‘approved by you sites’.  Setting up an ad-blocker can be useful in aiding with younger children who are still navigating the web. Putting up the computer in a common family area like a dining room, living room or basement will make monitoring their online activity easier.

Make them aware– Let them know that things can happen online and to be careful of online encounters (e.g.- bullies, people talking to you that you don’t know, things that they know their parents wouldn’t want them to view, etc.). Telling your children, stressing how significant it is, on a regular basis the importance of protecting their privacy and always being aware and alert of what can go on in the digital world we live in.  Whether it is to understand there are cyber bullies around to the various cybercrimes, password strength and security importance and how identity theft works, or how to identify and handle it and being mindful of online profile.

Parent approved kid-friendly sites– There are sites out there that are parent approved yet kid- friendly and popular. Which still allows them to have fun online and gain experience with technology but they’re still child-safe. Options could include:

As a parent it doesn’t matter where your child goes when it comes to anything digital, when it comes to aiding in keeping them safe remember these guidelines. Teach them information and awareness, give them guidance, and encourage them.

A couple good websites for additional reading: SafeKids & iKeepSafe.

 

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home ownership · Just For Fun · Seller Info

Tips for Adding a Fence on Your Property

March 22nd, 2017 · No Comments

Owning a home is a wonderful thing, but you should always be really careful to make the best choices if you make changes to the outside of your home and this includes putting up a fence of any kind.  There are a few tips for adding a fence to your property that you might want to take into consideration before doing so and some of those are listed below.

  1. Before putting up a fence on your property be sure to talk with your neighbors about it. You need to keep in mind that you are not only putting up a fence in your backyard but you are also adding a fence to your neighbors land as well.  Talk with the neighbors that your fence will directly affect and discuss such things as property lines and types of fencing etc.
  2. Another thing to consider when adding a fence on your property is the color of the fence and also the style.  Will the color and style of your fence match your home?  If you need ideas of what style fence will look good with your house consider looking online at some ideas.
  3. You may want to consider planting trees to use as a fence if you decide you can’t find a style of fencing that will look good with your homes style. Cypress and pines are great for this type of privacy fencing and they never go out of style.
  4. If you decide to add a wooden fence, be sure that you know you will have to take care of it and paint or stain it every so often. If you want something that has less maintenance than that you may want to purchase a vinyl fence.
  5. You may want to consider cost as well when deciding what type of material you want your new fence made out of. Keeping within your budget is always a good idea when adding to your home.
  6. Longevity of the fence material is another thing to keep in mind when choosing fencing for your property. You don’t want to purchase a material that will need to be replaced sooner than you wish for it to.

These are just a few tips for adding a fence of any kind to your property.  Once you have gone over these tips you should be able to choose more wisely than you would have without them.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

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

How to Use Color to Brighten Up Your Neutral Home

March 15th, 2017 · No Comments

adding color to brighten your house

Many houses these days tend to have very neutral colors in them.  One reason for this is because painting your house neutral can sometimes make it easier to sell.  If you plan to stay in your home for more than a few years, why not use a bit of color to brighten up your neutral home.  Below is a list of a few colors you might want to try and where you might want to think about using them!

  1. You might think that magenta would be a bit bright to use as a wall color in your home, but you may want to give it a try!  You don’t have to paint the entire room this color, why not just paint one wall magenta and let the others be a neutral color.  This will help make your room a bit brighter than it otherwise might be as it adds a bit of pop and pizzazz.
  2. Another color you may not have thought about adding to your neutral home is purple. A good place to use a deep purple color in your home to brighten it up a bit is a bathroom or hallway.  Deep purples can add a touch of class to an otherwise drab area of your home.
  3. You can also use blue and shades of blue to help brighten things up a bit. A good place to use blue paint in your home would be the dining room, living room or den.  There are quite a few different shades of blue to choose from these days but don’t be afraid to choose a bright blue to make a room stand out.
  4. Green is another color that can help to brighten up your neutral home. You can choose from shades of green all the way from forest green to lime green.  It may be a good idea to use a more calming forest green for an office space and maybe a lime green for your child’s room.  Greens are also good for sunrooms as they tend to help bring a feel of the outdoors inside.

These are just a few ways to use color to brighten up your neutral home.  Hopefully it has got you thinking of how you want to bring more color into your life  and what rooms you want to add the color to.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

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

Tips on Purging Items from Your Closet

March 8th, 2017 · No Comments

If you are like most people you likely have a ton of stuff in your closet that you don’t really need.  There is something about having a full closet that makes one feel like they have all they need however the art of purging can make you feel so much better about life!  Below are a few tips on purging items from your closet to get you started in the right direction.

  1. When you begin to purge items from your closet  the best place to start is any clothing you haven’t worn in the last year.   A good way to figure this out if you struggle knowing what you have and haven’t worn is to turn all of your hangers backwards and as you wear a piece of clothing turn that hanger the opposite direction.  At the end of the year get rid of any clothes that still have the hanger turned backwards.
  2. Most likely you have a ton of shoes that you haven’t worn lately in your closet. A good idea for purging when it comes to shoes is to just look at them.  Do they have any holes or a lot of wear and tear?  If your answer to either question is yes then it is time to purge those particular shoes.
  3. Many of us have clothes in our closet that we simply can no longer fit into.  If this sounds familiar, do yourself and your closet space a favor and toss those clothes out.  Why waste much needed space in your closet with clothing you can no longer wear.   Make this fun by going out and purchasing a few new clothing items that fit you.  It’s always fun to purchase new clothes!
  4. If you have any clothes in your closet that you absolutely love but they have stains on them that just won’t come out….throw them away and purchase the same shirt or pants new if you just have to have them.
  5. T-Shirts and promotional clothing can also take up space in your closet that is unnecessarily wasted space. Find a spot or a drawer in which you can place these types of items if you feel the need to keep them for nostalgic reasons.

These are just a few ways in which you can get started purging items  from your closet to make the space a more useful and functional area.   Take what ideas work best for you and leave the rest.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

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

Tips for Working from Home

March 1st, 2017 · No Comments

Working from home can be an amazing thing if you get the chance to do it.  Working from home can open up an entirely new world to someone who has always had to work outside of them home.  It can be extremely comfortable to work from home for many reasons; one being you can stay in your pajamas all day if you choose to do so.  If you are someone who doesn’t mind spending the day alone away from other colleagues, then working from home might just be for you!  Take a look at these few tips for working from home so that you will know more about whether or not you want to give it a try.

  1. The best way to work from home is to make space in your home that is specifically for working.  If you let work spill over into other parts of your home you are more likely to lose paperwork and turn your home sanctuary into a stress filled place that no one wants to spend time in.  Your home (even if you work in it) should be a place of rest and relaxation where you go to get away from it all.  Keep it that way by using this first tip.
  2. Another tip for working from home is to set time boundaries for your work. If you work from a computer and you have a family that needs taking care of, it is best that you set your work schedule around your family time.  This way you won’t end up losing out on quality family time by spending that time on your computer away from those you love.  If it is possible spend only a certain designated time of the day working on your job.   If you need to turn off work email notifications in order to accomplish this, so be it.
  3. Use technology to stay in touch with those you work with. When you work in an office and you have a question about your job or something that needs to be discussed, all you have to do is pop in to another office and talk about it.  Working from home  can sometimes cause communication gaps between you and those you are working for or with.   Keeping those lines of communication open through email and/or video chat is most beneficial and many times can be crucial to your job.

Again, working from home can be the best thing since sliced bread, just do your part to make sure it doesn’t overtake your everyday life.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · Just For Fun · Seller Info

Things to Look For Before You Purchase a Home

February 22nd, 2017 · No Comments

things to look for before purchasing a house

While purchasing a home can be a wonderful thing, if you don’t do your due diligence when it comes to checking things out beforehand you may find yourself in a bit of a mess.  Below you will find a few things that you should look for before you purchase a home. 

  1. If you go to look at a home and the house seems smaller than the listed square footage you may want to get someone to check it for you. It isn’t likely that a seller of a home will out and out lie about the square footage of their home but they might include things that shouldn’t be included in the total such as attic space or garage areas.
  2. Another thing you should check out before you purchase a home  is crime in that particular area.  You can do this by looking online at such sights as Trulia but you can also call the local police department in that area and ask point blank what the crime rate is there.  You can also check for registered sex offenders to see if any might live nearby.  Once you find out these things it may change whether or not you actually want to purchase that home.
  3. If the home you are looking at is in a neighborhood that has an HOA you need to check into all the details surrounding the home owner’s association. These details might make or break the deal for you.
  4. Be sure not to pass up the pest inspection before you purchase a home. Sometimes folks will skip this part of the inspection to hurry up the process of home buying.  This is a very important step in home buying  that can potentially cause you to be sorry you bought the house in the first place if you don’t have it done.
  5. Lastly be sure to talk to those who know the house or live near the house and ask them if there are any weird stories about it such as a death in the home or rumors of ghosts. While this may seem silly, it is my guess that no one wants to purchase a home with either of these issues.

If you do your best to get the answers to all of your questions about a particular house before you buy it, you will likely be happy with your purchase.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · Real Estate