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Expert Tips for Home Buyers & Sellers

Our mission at The Lioce Team is to be your best resource for real estate advice. Whether you are a buyer, seller, or investor, our team of professionals can answer any questions you might have about real estate. Subscribe to this blog to get the latest news on local market trends and receive expert tips for buying or selling a home.

Friday, October 6, 2017

8 Tips to Prevent Flood Damage

After the wake of the devastating storms in the Gulf area and the Caribbean, it’s a good idea to have precautionary measures to protect against floods. Here are eight things you can do to guard against the worst.

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Today we’ll be talking about eight things you can do to protect your home against flooding. Given all the crazy weather and disasters that have happened recently, I thought it would be a good topic for you to learn about. 1. Get flood insurance. This kind of insurance isn’t all-encompassing, but it’s a great protector, especially if you live near or inside a flood zone or somewhere below sea level. Find out the cost and look into the coverage to see if it’s a good option for you.
2. Move your important things to higher ground. If you live in an area where water can seep into your basement, work on getting things to higher ground—stack items on pallets or cinder blocks to keep them above the level where water can damage them.

If you live in an area where water can seep into your basement, work on getting things to higher ground.

3. Patch up vulnerable areas where water can leak in. If you have a stone foundation, water can get into little openings and gaps and pour into your basement. Go around the exterior of your home and patch up any areas where you feel this could be an issue.
4. Clean out your gutters and drains. These can become clogged frequently, so be sure to clear them out regularly. If your downspouts sit by the foundations, get extensions for them so they don’t release roof water right by your foundation.
5. Install a backflow preventer. If flooding impacts water levels and causes your sewer to back up, it can be a disaster. A backflow preventer will lock down as sewage is forced backward into your plumbing, so you won’t have to worry about the mess and damage it might normally have caused. Call your plumber to get an idea of what a backflow preventer will cost.
6. Do a major retrofit. If you own a home that is close to a body of water and you don’t want to move, you may have to do a major retrofit. Friends of mine in Maine who lived by the ocean actually had to have their home raised up on what were essentially piers, so that water could flow under it and not damage the property. This can be very costly, but it may be necessary if you live in such an area.
7. Purchase a battery-powered sump pump. Putting in a sump pump will direct the water away from your home as it starts to rise up, which keeps groundwater flowing out, and not coming into the home. Make sure the hose that brings the water out is extended far away from your house.
8. Can you make any changes to your landscape? This is one I see quite often, especially in our area. Some people have a negative grade to their landscape, where the land is flowing down toward the house. Sometimes you won’t be able to address this without a lot of major retrofitting, but other times it can be easily dealt with, if you can add some grade to cause water to taper away from your house. In the worst-case scenario, install perimeter drains if the land grade can’t be changed. If you have any questions about this information, please reach out, call or email. I’d love to answer any questions you have.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

How Can You Increase Your Home's Curb Appeal?

The first impression people have of your home will be based on its curb appeal. Today, I’ve got some easy ways to add some vibrancy to the exterior of your property.

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When people see your home, their first impression will be based on the exterior. For this reason, curb appeal is incredibly important. Today, I’ve got some quick fixes and simple tips that you can use to boost the curb appeal of your property. If your home is looking a little drab, you should focus on ways to make a quick impact on the home. To do this, you should determine if the exterior of the home needs a fresh coat of paint or be power washed. Paint can actually go a long way in improving the appearance of a home. However, take your time. Don’t merely throw on a coat of paint. Before you do, make sure to scrape off the old paint in places where it might cause unsightly texture beneath the fresh coat. Take your time when power washing, too. 

    A little fresh paint can go a long way.

But what if it’s your yard that is lacking luster? If you have an upcoming home showing and lack the time to mulch, you still have options. Getting already potted plants to put outside your home can add a lot of vibrancy to your home’s curb appeal. Also remember not to neglect the appearance of your front door. As the entrance to your home, your front door is the focal point of your home. Repainting can go a long way, but sometimes a total replacement is a better option. It all depends on the condition of your home and the door itself. The final way to boost your curb appeal is something many people forget: your mailbox. Your mailbox is a feature of your home that people see easily as they drive past or approach your home. While most people tend not to notice a mailbox, they will certainly pay attention to one that is especially attractive. For a quick, easy impact on your front yard—update your mailbox. If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

5 Things You Need to Know If You're Buying a Property with an HOA

Today I wanted to take some time to talk to you about some things you should consider before buying a property governed by a homeowner’s association.

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Before you purchase a property with an HOA, I’ve listed five things that you should take into consideration:

1. What is the cost of the association? What are the monthly costs going to be and what will be included in the membership? The HOA membership dues are an automatic payment that you will need to pay on top of your mortgage payment and other taxes, so make sure it’s something that you can budget in and are comfortable with.

2. Understand what you’re actually paying for and what you’re obligated to do in regards to maintenance or upkeep. There are certain HOAs that are going to take care of all the groundskeeping, and others that will require you to take care of it yourself.

3. What are the rules? Understanding those rules and regulations will help you make a better decision about the neighborhood you’re moving into. Sometimes it will be in regards to what facilities you can use and when they’re open. Other times it will be about which days you can set out your trash, where you can park specific vehicles (or if you can park commercial vehicles in the driveway at all), and other regulations. If you don’t follow the HOA rules, then it could result in fines or expulsion from the HOA.

    Understanding those rules and regulations will help you make a better decision about the neighborhood you’re moving into.

4. Are you happy with the way a property looks? When you’re buying a property with an HOA, you more than likely won’t have control over certain things, like the colors of the house or front door, what can be hung from the porch, or if you can have a screen door. Make sure that you like the way everything looks when you buy your property, because you may not be able to change it.

5. Can you get involved in the HOA? Is it a small board or more of an open, town hall feel? See if you’re able to join that HOA so you can have a say in how it impacts your neighborhood.

Be sure to consider these things carefully before purchasing a home. If you have any additional questions or you’re looking to buy or sell a home, please give me a call. I’d be happy to help!