5 Simple Ingredients for some of your Dreaded DIY Projects




Is there a DIY home maintenance project that’s been lingering on your to-do list for too long because you’re dreading the trip to the hardware or craft store?

Here are some projects you can tackle with items that are almost certainly already in your home.

  1. Vinegar: There’s probably a jug of vinegar in your pantry right now. You can soak items in vinegar to remove mineral deposits (like in a clogged showerhead), and you can boil vinegar in your microwave to remove odors and make it easier to clean.
  2. Cola: A can of Coke or Pepsi can be used to clean many surfaces, including your glass windows, porcelain toilet, or chrome fixtures. Just do some research before using it on metal surfaces, as it can be corrosive.
  3. Baking soda: This item may actually be more useful for applications other than baking. A baking soda-vinegar paste is great for cleaning bathrooms and kitchens. Baking soda can also be used to absorb odors.
  4. Butter knife: Screwdrivers are easy to misplace. If can’t find a screwdriver when you need one, a butter knife—preferably an older one that you no longer need for table setting—is pretty effective for both Phillips- and flat-head screws.
  5. Toothpaste: Is there an unsightly scratch on your car or bike? The grit in tarter-control toothpastes makes for an effective scratch remover. Clean the scratch, apply some toothpaste, let it sit for a few minutes, and then buff it out with paper towel.


Why all the different paint types?

It can be intimidating to stand in front of the paint swatches at the paint or hardware store and try to make a decision. Picking a color can be difficult enough—and then you have to choose the finish. Choosing the color is up to you, but here’s a simple guide to choosing the correct finish for your project.

High Gloss
High gloss paint has the most sheen, and will be the most durable. That durability is best suited for the kitchen, on surfaces like cabinets, door frames, and window trim. It’s best to avoid using high gloss on walls, because it will be too reflective.high gloss

It’s not as shiny as high gloss, but it’s still great for kitchens and bathrooms, because the sheen protects from drips, splatters, and other moisture.

Satin has a velvet-like look, but is still a durable finish, and works best in high-traffic areas. Be careful when applying, because satin paint will reveal sloppy brush strokes.

Eggshell and flat
These finishes have the least amount of sheen, and are the least durable. They’re great for hiding imperfections in your walls, but the low durability means they should be avoided if the room is subject to wear and tear from kids or pets. Use these paints in dining rooms, bedrooms, and other low-traffic rooms.paint-finishes-flat-satin-semi-gloss


6 Move-Up Mistakes Home Buyers Make

coastal southern home

Move-Up Mistakes

Nobody likes to make mistakes.  If your considering a move in your home residence, here are a few of the most common move-up mistakes in real estate.  Like everything else, the real estate market has its ups and downs.  For sellers in a tough market, getting the most from their home can be a challenge, but for buyers it often means getting more house for their money.

For those consumers looking to both sell their house and move into the home of their dreams however, it really does make for the perfect opportunity to move up. Before you make any decisions, take a look at the top six mistakes buyers make when looking to take advantage of this market trend.

Choosing the wrong (or no) agent:wrongagent2

In terms of getting the most from your current home and negotiating the best deal on the new house, don’t leave your investment options to chance.   A truthful and ethical agent can negotiate on your behalf and use all the tools and programs the industry has to offer to work for you.

Not putting First things First:

One of the trickiest things in moving up is knowing in which order to take each step in the process.

Do you list first?chickenbeforeegg

When do you look for a new house?

When do you make an offer?

What about possession of the current home?

An agent will guide you through these twists and turns with ease and help ensure that you have everything moving in the right direction at the right time.

Failing to thoroughly evaluate your Financial situation:

Buying and selling homes are major family decisions and as such should be thought through thoroughly. Unfortunately, many consumers leap before they look in this situation which can be a recipe for disappointment. Really dig deep and look at, not only how much you’re bringing in paycheck-wise but also, how much is going out. dti-chartThe loan to debt ratio is one of the largest factors consumers face when attempting to get a favorable mortgage loan. Things like making large purchases or applying for new credit immediately before hand can really have a negative impact on your buying power.

Overestimating your home’s value:

Many homeowners make the mistaken impression that they can price their home high and “come down” later when that strategy couldn’t be more detrimental to getting the most for their home in the shortest time. I can walk you through the wide spectrum of reasons why pricing right is your best chance at a fast sale.

Not knowing your liabilities:

Most know what their mortgage payment is but not necessarily their mortgage payoff or what liens may be associated with their loan. When considering both selling and buying a home, it pays to have your ducksinarow“ducks in a row.”

Not doing the math:

People get overwhelmed thinking about how much less they might get for their home but forget to look at the flip side: how much less they’ll pay for their next.  For example, if your home is worth $200,000 and you want to buy a $600,000 house, the difference in value is seemingly $400,000.   However when home prices were decreasing roughly 10% on average a few years back, your current home’s value was $180,000 and the home you wanted to move up to would have been worth $540,000.  So while your home value has decreased only $20,000, the home you want is now $60,000 less!  Home prices and interest rates are on the rise so these numbers aren’t as large now, but you still have time to take advantage of the situation.

If you’ve thought about moving up to the home of your dreams and taking advantage of the still low prices and low interest rates, call me to walk you through all the information you need.

Customer or Client?

 Customer or Client?

What’s the difference?

Have you ever had a REALTOR say that your their Customer or Client?  There is a lot of confusion over this wording.  Do you know what the REALTOR means when they say that you are “their Client”?  What about a Customer?  Do you REALLY know the difference?  Who does it benefit you to be a Client versus a Customer?  I will try to explain…..

If you are the Buyer:

  • If you’re a client, a buyer’s agent will seek to negotiate the most favorable transaction terms for you—and will not disclose any material facts about your situation that could hurt your negotiating position.
  • If, however, you are only a customer, a buyer’s rep may not be in a position to answer even basic questions, such as “Why are they selling?” or “Is this home priced competitively?” This is because they are acting instead as a sub-agent for the seller.


If you are a CLIENT (fiduciary relationship), your agent will:

Pay full attention to your needs

Tell you all that they know about the seller

Keep information about you confidentialsurvey

Focus on choices that satisfy your needs

Provide material facts as well as professional advice

Provide price counseling based on comparable properties and their professional insights

Protect and guide you

Negotiate on your behalf

Attempt to solve problems to your advantage and satisfaction

If you are a CUSTOMER (no fiduciary relationship), an agent will:

dollarMaintain loyalty to the seller’s needs

Tell the seller all that they know about you

Keep information about the seller confidential

Focus on the seller-client’s property

Provide just the material facts

Only provide price information that supports the seller’s listing price

Protect the seller

Negotiate on behalf of the seller

Attempt to solve problems to the seller’s advantage and satisfaction

* Note that not every state or Agency requires a signed Buyer’s Representation Agreement to create an agency relationship. In some cases, an agency relationship can be formed if both parties simply behave as if one exists.