More than just real estate

Home Warranty 101

Studies show that homes listed with a warranty covering major appliances, plumbing, electrical and other mechanical systems have a better chance of selling than those without. It is a “must-have,” given that the practice is mutually beneficial.

The primary benefit of a home warranty is peace of mind for both parties.  Coldwell Banker protects the seller while the home is listed, and provides protection for the buyer after the transaction is complete.

Here are a few tips to help you find the best home warranty:

 

Check out pre-sale coverage. Make sure that the home warranty service covers the home while it is listed. (more…)


4 Easy-Living, Universal Design Tips for Any Home

One of the basic principles of universal design, also called ageless design, is that it makes homes more practical and safer for everyone — not just the elderly or people with limited mobility. If you’re remodeling or simply adding a few upgrades, be sure to keep universal design features in mind. There are lots of resources that’ll give you some great starting points, but here are a few of favorites:

1. Switch out doorknobs for lever-style handles. Doorknobs require lots of dexterity and torque to open; with levers you simply press and go.

Makes sense for folks with arthritis, of course, but think about an emergency situation when everyone, including small kids, needs to exit fast: A lever handle is a safe, foolproof way to open a door.

A big plus: Levers are good-looking and can contribute to the value of your home. (more…)


First-Time Homebuyers: Begin with the Basics

If you’re taking a look at today’s housing market, it’s impossible to ignore the many signs that say “Buy Now.” While current buying conditions present viable opportunities for first-timers, it still requires serious work to make the significant financial leap. As a soon-to-be homeowner, you must get your finances in order during the months leading up to the purchase.

Today’s market presents an excellent opportunity for first-time buyers to find competitive home prices and very low interest rates. But none of that matters if there isn’t a good sense of your financial situation before starting your search.

Here are some useful starter steps:

  • Run a credit check. When a mortgage company considers you for a loan, it checks into all your vitals including your credit scoreThey want to see how responsible applicants are when it comes to paying bills on time and if they have a detrimental amount of debt. These expectations have risen significantly in past years making it even more important to know your score and possibly improve it before applying. (more…)

Creative ways to keep your home toasty this winter

Well, it took a while to get here, but with temperatures hovering around five degrees today, it’s safe to say the tough part of winter is finally upon us. We may have been sitting pretty and toasty so far this winter, but with temperatures like these, our homes will inevitably be getting chillier. There are plenty of ways to keep your home warm, like installing storm doors, caulking gaps around windows and adding more insulation, but there are quite a few more creative ways to keep the warmth in this winter. Today, we’re providing you with tips and tricks for keeping your home toasty in frigid temps.

 

Optimize Your Cooking and Baking Schedule. When it’s time to cook or bake, turn down the heat in your home and benefit from the “free” warmth coming from your oven or stovetop. You can even crack the oven door after you’ve finished to let out the remaining heat inside. (more…)


10 Common Errors Home Owners Make When Filing Taxes

As of today, the IRS is accepting e-filing for your 2011 taxes. Chances are, if you’re a homeowner, there are a lot of tax circumstances you’re not completely clear on. There are so many things to consider when filing taxes, and many people make mistakes when filing taxes on their own.

As you calculate your tax returns, consider each home tax deduction and credit you are — and are not — entitled to. Running afoul of any of these 10 home-related tax mistakes — which tax pros say are especially common — can cost you money or draw the IRS to your doorstep. (more…)


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