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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

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

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

How To Not Let Your Pets Ruin Your Home Sale

February 15th, 2017 · No Comments

selling with pets

When you have pets and you are trying to sell your home there are a few ways that you can avoid your pets ruining your home sale.   Many times folks love animals but that doesn’t mean they want to see evidence of your pets in your home when they are trying to envision themselves living there.  Below are a few ideas on how to not let your pets ruin your home sale.

  1. Vacuuming your home is a great idea before you have someone tour your home for a showing but it is essential if you have pets.  Pet hair and tufts of fur can find their way into your guest’s noses and faces if you aren’t careful and that is not going to be good for your potential sale.  If you have someone who happens to sit on your furniture during their home tour you don’t want pet hair to get all over them.  A good way to insure that this doesn’t happen is to run a damp sponge over the furniture before they arrive.
  2. As you already know pets are bad about leaving little surprises for you on your floors especially if you are gone during the day. Pet stains are not a welcomed sight to anyone that might be interested in buying your home.  Think about it, would you want to see someone else’s pet mess when touring a home?   I think not.  Do your best to remove any types of these stains before your potential buyers come to tour your home even if you have to spend some money to get things cleaned and stains removed by professionals.
  3. Pet odor is another thing that can ruin a potential home sale.   You are likely use to the way your pet smells and may not even be aware that they have an odor but they do.  Those folks who may come to tour your home will likely be able to smell it as soon as they enter the house.  Spraying odor neutralizing sprays can help with pet odor as well as perhaps having just baked some cookies for your guest to enjoy.  Whatever you have to do to get rid of the odor is what you need to do.
  4. If your pet has a bed in your home it is best to stick it in the closet or to remove it from the home before your home tour begins.

These are just a few ideas on how to not let your pet or pets ruin your potential home sale.  Hopefully they will get you thinking in the right direction so that you may be more able to walk away with an offer.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Seller Info

Top Things to Purge from Your Kitchen

February 8th, 2017 · No Comments

Top Things to Purge from Your Kitchen

Let’s face it we all have stuff we need to get rid of in our homes, and typically the kitchen has a ton of stuff that doesn’t need to be there lying around in it.  Since we are currently in the cold of winter, there is no time like the present to start cleaning out your kitchen and making it look a bit more presentable.  Below is a list of the top things you should purge from your kitchen.

  1. We all have one, a junk drawer and that junk drawer is many times located in the kitchen. It’s where we put all the items we have no idea what to do with but aren’t; quite sure we want to get rid of just yet.  Take that junk drawer and go through it with a fine tooth comb and decide what you need and what you don’t need.  Throw away all that you don’t need.  Most times the things you don’t need are the items you haven’t used in the past 6 months.  I promise you won’t miss anything.
  2. Another thing we all seem to have lying around our kitchens is all those restaurant sauce packets we feel the need to keep. Sure you might use one once in a while but most times they just take up space either in the junk drawer or in the refrigerator.  Throw all the restaurant condiments out!  It will make your kitchen look much lovelier.
  3. Yet another thing we all need to purge from our kitchens is the dressings, sauces and other items that have long since expired. There isn’t much worse than getting ready to put some sauce on your food only to find that it expired two years ago.  Clean out your fridge and only keep those things that you are going to use within the next week or so or at least make sure that all the dates are current.
  4. Most everyone has some sort of a stack of lids in their kitchen that they just can’t seem to find a container for. If you have a bunch of lids that don’t have matching containers to secure them to, why not just throw them out.  They no longer serve a purpose.

Hopefully this list of items you need to purge  from your kitchen will get you starting thinking in the right direction.  At least it will be a starting point for you.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

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

Money Saving Ideas for Furniture Shopping

February 1st, 2017 · No Comments

furniture shopping

If you have recently purchased a new house and you would like to fill it up with new furniture you have likely found that it can be quite the overwhelming task and an expensive one as well.  There are a few money saving ideas for furniture shopping that can help you out quite a bit in your search for new furniture and those have been listed below.

  1. One good thing you can do to help you save a bit of money when furniture shopping is to call a few of the stores you are going to be visiting ahead of time.  This way you can find out if they have prices you can afford and also if they have brand names that you are interested in.  This can save you a little bit of time and money so that you don’t waste it traveling long distances.
  2. Another money saving idea for furniture shopping  is to make sure to look at every piece of furniture that the store has by walking the entire shop.  Many times there are clearance items or items that perhaps are slightly damaged in the store but they are not out for all to see.  Do your due diligence and walk the entire space so you don’t lose out on any good deals.
  3. Yet another good way to save money when furniture shopping is to purchase consignment furniture. You can find lots of really nice pieces by shopping consignment.
  4. If you find a piece of furniture that you have your heart set on do your best to bargain with the seller. You never know unless you ask.
  5. Shopping estate sales is another way to get good prices on furniture. Many times you can get pieces at estate sales that are worth much more than you pay for them so you can make your home look very nice.
  6. Lastly if you want to save a good amount of money on furniture why not refinish what you already have!  Old furniture can become new again if you are able to successfully refinish it.

Hopefully this list of money saving ideas on furniture buying has gotten you thinking in the right direction before you begin making your purchases.   Now get out there and save some money and furnish your home with beautiful new furniture.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

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

How to Know When It’s Time to Sell Your Home

January 25th, 2017 · No Comments

You may have thought about selling your home before but you just aren’t sure now is the time.  There are a few signs that now is the correct time to sell your home and some of those signs are listed below for you so that you can be sure you’re making the right decision.

  1.  If your home has gotten a bit too small for your growing family and you are trying daily how to figure out where to put everyone, you may need to put your house on the market.  If you are making your kids bunk together and then trying to add another baby to the mix, you may need to purchase a home that will be more able to fit your needs.
  2. If you have changed to a job that has taken you father away from your home than you had anticipated and therefore has caused your daily commute to be longer than you like, it may be time to sell your home.   Selling your home for a job change is a big reason that many folks sell.
  3. If your lifestyle has changed and you simply don’t have time to take care of your home anymore, you may want to sell it.  This can be caused by such things as your children moving out and you becoming empty nesters.  Many times the room you once needed becomes way too much for just you and your husband once your kids move out.
  4. If you need a bigger home to accommodate your growing family but the thought of remodeling sends your head into a spin, you may want to go ahead and put your house on the market to see if you have any interest in it first.
  5. If you have equity in your home and you want to take advantage of the great rates that are currently available before they disappear you may want to go ahead and put your house on the market.
  6. If you live in a neighborhood in which a lot of houses are currently selling, you may want to put yours on the market  to see if you get any interest in it and possibly even sell it.   Now is the time that folks are many times getting full asking price for their homes so it is a buyer’s market.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Seller Info