Six “to-do’s” before moving into your new home!

August 25th, 2016

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1. Change the locks.

You really don’t know who else has keys to your home, so change the locks. That ensures you’re the only person who has access. Install new deadbolts yourself for as little as $10 per lock, or call a locksmith — if you supply the new locks, they typically charge about $20 to $30 per lock for labor.

2. Check for plumbing leaks.

Your home inspector should do this for you before closing, but it never hurts to double-check. I didn’t have any plumbing leaks to fix, but when checking my kitchen sink, I did discover the sink sprayer was broken. I replaced it for under $20.

Keep an eye out for dripping faucets and running toilets, and check your water heater for signs of a leak.

Here’s a neat trick: Check your water meter at the beginning and end of a two-hour window in which no water is being used in your house. If the reading is different, you have a leak.

3. Steam clean carpets.

Do this before you move your furniture in, and your new home life will be off to a fresh start. You can pay a professional carpet cleaning service — you’ll pay about $50 per room; most services require a minimum of about $100 before they’ll come out — or you can rent a steam cleaner for about $30 per day and do the work yourself. I was able to save some money by borrowing a steam cleaner from a friend.

4. Wipe out your cabinets.

Another no-brainer before you move in your dishes and bathroom supplies. Make sure to wipe inside and out, preferably with a non-toxic cleaner, and replace contact paper if necessary.

When I cleaned my kitchen cabinets, I found an unpleasant surprise: Mouse poop. Which leads me to my next tip …

5. Give critters the heave-ho.

That includes mice, ratsbatstermitesroaches, and any other uninvited guests. There are any number of DIY ways to get rid of pests, but if you need to bring out the big guns, an initial visit from a pest removal service will run you $100 to $300, followed by monthly or quarterly visits at about $50 each time.

For my mousy enemies, I strategically placed poison packets around the kitchen, and I haven’t found any carcasses or any more poop, so the droppings I found must have been old. I might owe a debt of gratitude to the snake that lives under my back deck, but I prefer not to think about him.

6. Introduce yourself to your circuit breaker box and main water valve.
My first experience with electrical wiring was replacing a broken light fixture in a bathroom. After locating the breaker box, which is in my garage, I turned off the power to that bathroom so I wouldn’t electrocute myself.

It’s a good idea to figure out which fuses control what parts of your house and label them accordingly. This will take two people: One to stand in the room where the power is supposed to go off, the other to trip the fuses and yell, “Did that work? How about now?”

JUST LISTED in Enclave of Stonebriar!

August 19th, 2016

Lovely home in the very desirable Enclave of Stonebriar! This gated community in Edmond offers two pools, clubhouse and sidewalks throughout this lovely neighborhood! You will appreciate the custom touches in this well maintained home! Beautiful crown molding and stunning wood detail abound! Large living room with fireplace , surround sound and nice natural light. Kitchen opens to the living room and features ample counter space, stainless steel appliances and breakfast bar! Spacious split floor plan with private master suite with jetted tub and Austrailian closet. A study with ample wood details and a guest room with full bath on the master wing and the third and fourth beds with Jack and Jill bath on the other side of home. Tons of storage in this home! Zoned Heat and Air, two H2O tanks, dimmer lights, wood blinds and so much more! Great home for family living and entertaining! You must see this home to appreciate!

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Six simple steps to engage in a busy sellers market!

August 18th, 2016

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1. Know What You Want

Aside from the “wish-list” items you would love to see in your new home, like granite countertops or an updated garage, knowing the basics of what you need in a home will help narrow your search from the beginning. If you want a short commute to work, it helps to know what kind of homes exist in your chosen radius and whether those meet your needs. Researching an area to determine what amenities such as schools, restaurants, or outdoor activities are available can help you know where to start. From there, you can compile a list of other items that are important to you.

2. Know What You Can Afford

Many homebuyers enter the market thinking they can afford much more than they actually can. Before getting to the fun part of viewing homes, buyers need to be realistic about their financial situation, including their credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and a basic understanding of how home loans are calculated. What amortization is best for you? What if interest rates go up? How much do I have to set aside for closing costs? Home buying is much more than the final purchase price — it is ensuring that the biggest investment you will make is protected.

3. Get Pre-Approved

Once you’ve settled the basics of what you think you can afford, the smartest move is to visit your lender and get a mortgage pre-approval, especially in a competitive market. Obtaining a pre-approval shows sellers that you are serious about making a purchase — something that could put you ahead if pitted against other, less prepared, buyers.

4. Find an Agent

There really is no better resource to help you meet your needs than a qualified real estate agent. A local agent who knows the area can be a valuable asset if you aren’t familiar with an area, and can help you zero-in on a property that is perfect for you. Do your research and know what to look for in a great agent — after all, they are there to look after your best interests, so choosing one you are comfortable with is the most important step.

5. Know What You Can Live Without

Every buyer wants to find the perfect home that will tick all the boxes, but the reality of home buying can be a little more jarring. Know how to tell the difference between wants and needs to avoid getting caught up during your search. All home buying requires compromise, so knowing what you can live without — and sticking to it, will help you meet your goals and buy a house that’s on budget.

6. Don’t Rule Anything Out

This is where a good agent will come in handy. Don’t dismiss any property if it doesn’t look picture perfect over the Internet. Often a home needs to be viewed in person to get an accurate view of the area, yard, or room sizes. Your agent is there to help you find the right house for you, so if they find a contender, take a chance and have a look. Who knows? You just may end up finding the home of your dreams.

Some creative budgeting advice just in time for “back to school!”

August 11th, 2016

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Join Loyalty Programs. According to the 2015 Colloquy Census, there are roughly 3.3 billion customer loyalty memberships in the United States. Sign up for loyalty programs and you can score deals on restaurant meals, airline tickets and more. Start by visiting the websites of your favorite restaurants or clothing stores and see if they mention perks for frequent shoppers. If you simply need to sign up for a loyalty program, then go for it! Just avoid anything that’s based on getting a credit card.

Get Creative With Date Night. Eat dinner at home and go out for dessert. Go hiking on a nature trail instead of heading to the movie theater. Download an app like Scrabble. You can’t beat the value, and you definitely can’t beat the quality time with each other!

Take the Surveys. Those survey offers at the bottom of restaurant or retail store receipts are worth a few minutes of your time, especially when they offer free meals or a chance to win $1,000. Visit a website, give feedback, and earn a coupon for your next trip.

Buy Generic. It’s amazing how much more you pay for trash bags, pet food, and condiments just because of the label on the front. Purchase generic brands instead and you’ll be shocked at your savings.

Cut the Cable. TV is a lot more mobile nowadays—and a lot less expensive. If you ditch the cable and get your football or Real Housewives fix from sites like Hulu, Netflix or Sling TV, you can save hundreds of dollars a year.

Always Search for Online Promo Codes. Check coupon websites before ordering anything online. It’s very easy to do—just type the store’s name and “coupon” into Google and see what pops up.

Make Your Own Coffee. It costs a lot less to brew your own cup of joe than to buy it at a coffee shop. According to USA Today’s Coffee Calculator, one 16-ounce cup of regular coffee a day from Starbucks will run you $63 a month. That costs drops to $2.40 a month if you make your coffee in your kitchen—plus, you can add all the shots of vanilla and hazelnut syrup you want, and there’s no waiting in the drive-thru line.

Download Deal Apps. There are tons of apps that help you find the best price on everything from groceries to clothes to hotels. Download your favorite and start saving. We can think of 18 money-saving apps you should try!

Adjust the Thermostat. According to energy.gov, turning the thermostat back seven to 10 degrees for eight hours a day can save you up to 10% a year on your bill. Adjust the thermostat up in the summer or down in the winter when no one is home.

Just Listed in The Arbors at Summerfield

August 8th, 2016

CUTE! CUTE! CUTE! Come see this patio home! Light and bright kitchen with white cabinets, pantry and skylight Patio doors lead out to an awesome deck that is a great outdoor living space which is perfect for relaxing and entertaining. The neighborhood has community amenities such as pools and greenbelt areas. Close to popular grocery stores, library, Lake Hefner, park and bike trails, dining, hospital and so much more! Contact me today for more details! 405-503-3201.

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