Claire LeBlanc - REALTY EXECUTIVES



Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 5/12/2021


It's tempting to plant shrubs and other plants against your house to hide the basement or crawlspace area. However, you could be asking for trouble. Before you buy or plant anything new for spring, find out why it's not such a good idea to have plants too close to your basement or crawlspace.

Roots

Trees, shrubs and bushes all have extensive root systems to help the plant get enough water to survive. If you plant them close to your basement or crawlspace, the roots could erode the soil under and around the foundation. They could also damage any waterproofing you have. A tree's roots can grow to be up to three times the size of the tree's canopy. Some trees, such as poplars, willows, silver maples, cottonwoods and aspens have aggressive root systems that will head straight for moisture. To prevent damage to your foundation, trees should be planted at least 25 feet from your home.

Pests

Think of plants and shrubs as superhighways for bugs and rodents. If you plant them close to the foundation, not only can the roots erode the soil around the foundation, but the branches can provide an easy way for these pests to find their way into your house. If you have window wells in your basement or vents for a crawlspace, these areas can also get clogged with plant debris including dead leaves. This provides a great spot for bugs to hide out. Bugs, like roots, can also damage the waterproofing on your foundation as well.

Grade Erosion

Every home has a grade to keep excess water away from your foundation. If the grade erodes, water could pool against your home and eventually seep into your basement or crawlspace. Keeping plants and shrubs away from the foundation allows you to maintain the grade. If the grade deteriorates over time, you can add more backfill as needed, though once you plant grass or cover it with gravel, it shouldn't erode.

Tips for Choosing Plants and Trees

Keeping grass or gravel close to the foundation deters pests and rodents such as termites and mice. In addition to that, you still have options for plants that won't cause harm when close to your foundation. Here are some best practices:

  • Choose trees that do not have aggressive root systems.

  • Keep large trees and shrubs at least 50 feet away from the foundation.

  • Keep small shrubs and trees at least 25 feet away from the foundation.

  • Make sure your yard has the proper slope going away from your house.

  • Keep small shaped shrubs at least 5 feet away from the house. For those that you plant as close as 5 feet, choose evergreens that keep their leaves during the winter.

Tips for Protecting Your Foundation

If you have a slope that directs water toward your house, have your builders install a French drain or other drainage solutions to redirect the water away from the house. If you have a low area in the yard that is far enough away from the house, direct the water there. You can then landscape that area with plants that prefer the extra water.

Finally, if you are building a new home, be sure the builders use the best waterproofing material on the basement or crawlspace so that you don't end up replacing it later. If the waterproofing material cracks or tears and allows water in, it will always be damp under the house. The dampness attracts pests and allows mold and mildew to form in your home. Spending a little extra money now for extra drainage and better waterproofing can save you thousands in the future.





Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 5/5/2021

If you recently bought or sold a house and need to move in the near future, there is no reason to put off packing. However, procrastination sometimes can get the best of people and lead individuals to wait until the final possible moment to pack.

Packing items at the last minute can be stressful. As such, it is important to do everything possible to avoid the risk of packing procrastination.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you prep for your upcoming move and ensure all of your belongings are packed and ready to go for moving day.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that you can use to overcome packing procrastination.

1. Plan Ahead As Much As Possible

Although it may be several weeks or months before you need to leave your current address, it never hurts to start planning for moving day early. That way, you can identify any potential moving day hurdles and eliminate these obstacles as quickly as possible.

To plan ahead for moving day, take a close look at your belongings and determine which items you intend to keep. If you have excess belongings, you should sell, donate or dispose of these items as soon as you can.

In addition, you may want to reach out to local moving companies. If you hire a moving company today, you'll be able to receive expert support when you finally transport your belongings to your new address.

2. Eliminate Distractions

Let's face it life is busy, particularly for those who are moving to a new city or town in the foreseeable future. Therefore, it pays to eliminate distractions that may hinder your packing efforts.

For example, if you spend several hours each day browsing the web, you may want to use some of this time for packing. You can even reward yourself with a few minutes of exploring the web for every hour that you pack.

Remember, you need to pack your belongings to ensure you can vacate your current address by a specific date. If you remove distractions along the way, you can increase the likelihood of packing all of your belongings in time for moving day.

3. Reach Out to Family Members and Friends for Assistance

Contact family members and friends for assistance as you prep for moving day you'll be glad you did. These loved ones may be able to lend a helping hand with packing. Plus, family members and friends likely will hold you accountable for your actions and ensure you can stay on track with your packing goals.

Lastly, if you require additional help with your upcoming move, you may want to reach out to a real estate agent. This housing market professional can put you in touch with the best moving companies in your area to help you streamline the moving process.

Remove the risk of packing procrastination use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble preparing for moving day.




Tags: packing   packing to move  
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Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 4/28/2021

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

When you make an offer on a home, your real estate agent will create a real estate contract, also known as a purchase agreement. Before you sign this, you should make sure you understand it. This is a legally binding agreement, and you need to be certain you’ve made the right choice. So what’s really in a real estate contract? Here are the key points it will contain.

1. The Price

The price you are offering to pay for the home is a key point in the contract. This may or may not be what the seller listed the home for. Make sure your price reflects the current market trends and the condition of the property.

2. Important Dates

Your contract will include several important dates. These include:

Target date for the closing

Offer expiration date

Deadline for certain things, like the home inspection

Choose dates that are reasonable but that give you answers soon enough to make your own decisions about the purchase of the home.

3. Earnest Money

To show that you are serious about the offer, your contract will include earnest money. This is like a deposit on the purchase of the home, and the money will go towards the purchase at your closing. If you walk away from the home purchase without just cause, the seller can keep that earnest money

4. Contingencies

Contingencies are a major part of the contract, and often one that’s the least understood. These are the conditions you’re asking the seller to fulfill before you will proceed with the contract. Contingencies may include the inspection, any known repairs needed or any allowances you want to purchase items for the home or do repairs yourself. You can add any number of contingencies to the offer contract, but they do make the contract less appealing to the seller. That said, it’s always wise for buyers to make an offer contingent on inspection, as the inspection offers important protection.

5. Additional Details

Finally, the contract will include details about who pays for the various costs of the home sale, including the title insurance, closing costs, survey and inspections. It will also contain the details about how and when the utilities will change from the current owner to the new one if the sale moves forward.

Whether you are a buyer making an offer or a seller receiving one, take some time to have your real estate agent walk you through these components of the contract. Make sure you understand the document fully before you sign it. This will protect you from making a mistake on this serious and legally-binding agreement.




Tags: Contract   Seller   Buyer   Legal  
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Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 4/21/2021

Photo by Alex D'Alessio on Unsplash

Purchasing a foreclosure property is a great opportunity to own a home at an extremely affordable price. While many people successfully buy foreclosed homes and are happy with their decision, before making this large financial commitment, it’s a good idea to understand what you might be walking into—before you buy.

Homeowner Left Home in Disrepair

In many foreclosure situations, a home is left in poor condition. If the homeowner couldn’t keep up on their mortgage payments, there is a high probability they’ve neglected general upkeep and maintenance too. Common problems associated with foreclosed properties include:

  • Improvements made on the cheap and not up to code.
  • Garbage or other forms of waste strewn about the home.
  • Odors from rotting food left in an unplugged refrigerator.
  • Termites, rodents or other pests scurrying about.
  • Mold conditions due to leaky roofs, burst pipes or drippy plumbing.
  • Appliances or fixtures intentionally damaged.
  • If a home needs significant repairs, even if they're well-priced, it still might be a poor investment.

    Vandalism has Occurred

    When a home is left empty for a prolonged period of time, unfortunately, vandals or squatters sometimes identify these homes and enter them illegally. Problems to consider include:

  • Broken windows, doors and other areas of the home.
  • Graffiti on the interior and exterior of the house.
  • Evidence of drug activity or unsanitary waste left behind.
  • Stolen items including fixtures, appliances, copper piping or other items deemed to be of value.
  • Added up, these types of events might negate any savings you'd get on a foreclosed price.

    Expensive to Make the Home Habitable

    Even if no disrepair or vandalism is present and the home looks to be a good investment, it’s a smart financial strategy to tally up the general costs of any repairs and cleaning needed to see if these expenses outweigh any savings.

    For instance, if a prolonged leaky roof created a serious mold situation or structural problems, you could be talking about thousands of dollars for the cleanup and repair alone. Any major repairs necessary to get the home up to living conditions may not be worth the investment, especially when you add in other minor repairs or desired cosmetic work.

    Difficulties with Lenders

    In foreclosed homes, lenders sometimes won’t want to give a mortgage to borrowers looking to purchase what they deem as a risky property. They’ll look at appraisals and, if it falls below the purchase price, they may deny you a mortgage. You also might encounter problems with the bank (or lender) currently in possession of the house. 

    Always do your homework. Understanding the pitfalls associated with buying a foreclosed home will help you to make an educated decision. Hire a qualified inspector to carefully comb through the home and talk to neighbors about the house’s history. Once you gather solid information, you can better determine if purchasing a foreclosure is a smart investment.





    Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 4/14/2021

    Listing a home may prove to be challenging, particularly for a first-time house seller. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to prepare for the housing market.

    Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready to list your home.

    1. Upgrade Your Home's Curb Appeal

    How your home looks to prospective buyers will have major ramifications on your house selling experience. If you allocate time and resources to enhance your residence's curb appeal, you could help your house stand out to potential buyers.

    To boost your home's curb appeal, mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform other home exterior upgrades. Also, you should repair any cracked or damaged home siding.

    Don't forget to clean your home interior, too. If you mop the floors, wipe down countertops and perform other house cleaning, you can help buyers fall in love with your residence as soon as they walk through the front door.

    2. Craft an Engaging Home Listing

    Why should you be forced to settle for an "ordinary" home listing? Instead, explore ways to differentiate your home listing from all others.

    To create an engaging home listing, you should highlight your home's strengths. If your residence provides convenient access to local parks and attractions, for instance, you may want to include this information in your listing. Or, if your residence boasts a beautiful swimming pool, you may want to include photos of your pool in your listing.

    In addition, provide accurate information about your home in your listing. This ensures homebuyers can make an informed decision about whether your house matches or exceeds their expectations.

    3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

    When it comes to listing a home, there is no reason for a seller to work alone. If you hire a real estate agent, you can get the help you need to seamlessly navigate the house selling journey.

    A real estate agent is happy to meet with you, evaluate your residence and help you determine if your house will generate significant interest from buyers. He or she can provide tips and recommendations to help you upgrade your house before you list it. Plus, a real estate agent will provide expert guidance at each stage of the house selling journey so you can optimize your home sale earnings.

    Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent provides after you receive an offer to purchase your home, either. At this point, a real estate agent can help you decide whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal. And if you accept the offer to purchase, your real estate agent then will help you finalize your house sale.

    If you are preparing to list your home, it helps to plan ahead for the house selling journey. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can get your house ready for the real estate market. And as a result, you could boost the likelihood of enjoying a fast, profitable home selling experience.




    Categories: Uncategorized  




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