Author: Christine Kersen

“Greening” Your Home for Winter

  With winter approaching we all start thinking about our heating costs going up. There are some inexpensive and easy things you can do to improve your homes energy efficiency. One of the simplest things you can do it to switch out all you incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs. Yes they are more expensive then incandescent bulbs but you could be saving on average up to $40.00 a month on your electric bills. Also, to the benefit of many, most electric companies offer incentives for purchasing LED bulbs. DMEA offers up to $8.00 a bulb. Click on the link for more information   The biggest expense in winter are your heating bills. 7 to 12% of a home’s heat loss is through windows and doors. Weather stripping around doors, and caulking around doors and windows, can cut down on drafts. Installing insulated curtains will also help keep the cold out. Make sure you change the filter for your furnace as well. This will help reduce energy bills, extend the life of your furnace and improve indoor air quality.       For those who are tech savvy a great way to lower heating costs is to install a smart thermostat.  Programmable thermostats let you set the temperature and have the thermostat change the temperature based on the time of day. What makes most smart thermostats so “smart” is that...

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Renter Beware! Renter Be Aware!

Many people rely on social media or internet sites to find rentals these days. I want to warn you about a scam on Craigslist that could potentially cause a great loss in money for people seeking rentals. Currently there are people who steal listing information off of sites like Zillow and and Trulia. They are taking information, pictures and sometimes even sellers’ names and creating a separate post on Craigslist for the home as a rental. Then they post a for-rent on the Craigslist site. They post fake rental fees per month and deposits too. The rental fees are usually much less than market rent. Because of this reason they get many calls about the property. Most often they tell some sort of story of why they are out of town and renting the property. They also require the renter to send money to secure the property. During this time frame the property is actually for sale. There is a sign in the yard and contact information for the sale of the property. Many times people will be instructed to walk around the property and decide if they want to rent it. As you can imagine this invites many a phone call to the listing agent with a distressed potential renter who has sent money and is wondering how to get it back. Renters beware! These scams are...

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 Do’s and Don’ts in buying a vacant lot.

DO Do consider the “lifestyle” of the lot before buying. Will the land require a certain amount of upkeep for the yard? Does it have irrigation to the lot? Does the size of the lot fit your lifestyle? If it is too small homes will be too close…. If too large neighbors might be too far. Do consider the proximity of the lot. Is the country where you want to be or is the closeness of town a necessity? Do consider the type of home you would like to build prior to buying the lot. A home with a walk-out basement requires different terrain that a ranch style home. Do think about your “lifestyle” for amenities to the lot. If your work requires fast speed internet you need to make sure those amenities are to the lot. A gas fireplace or stove needs natural gas to the lot! Do review covenants to see if your current lifestyle can fit the subdivision community. If you have large farm animals as pets make sure your covenants will enable you to keep them on the grounds. The same can be said for motor homes and large toys. Do drive to the property at different times of the day. It is interesting to see the property at night vs the day. Many times unsightly lights or other distractions to the property will show...

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