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Bathroom Remodel

How to Buy a House

As part of the home search process, after looking at many houses, you may find one that that you like. How do you determine objectively whether you should make an offer and how much to offer? How do you know what kind of offer makes sense? The answers to these questions will be a mix of careful study, professional support, and your own subjective concerns. In this article, we will consider how to evaluate the condition of the house, in light of considering making an offer to purchase a residential property.
When you walk through the house, if there are significant problems, these will often present themselves if you pay attention. For example, if the floors seem uneven, you should suspect that there might be foundation issues. If you see rust stains in the sink, there may be deteriorated galvanized piping. If you notice 2-prong outlets, you can be pretty sure that the electrical system is antiquated.
We do not suggest that a homebuyer try to develop the trained eye of a professional property inspector, but your real estate professional should be able to help you locate an experienced one for you. But the more carefully you look, the more likely you are to see issues to which you can direct your attention when reading the disclosure reports that will be provided by the seller. In a complete set of disclosures, in addition to the disclosures that are mandated by law (such as those concerning water heaters, smoke detectors, etc., and the transfer disclosure statement and its supplements) you will typically find reports that give you a good general picture of the condition of the house. The most common ones are structural pest control reports (or termite reports) and general property inspections (which typically includes all the major elements of the house structure, inspected in general depths). For those who want to cover additional grounds, they may get other inspections such as structural (typically foundation and the structural integrity-related issues), structural pest (termite report), roof, chimney, soils, septic system, water quality (for wells), and others, especially when you suspect there may be something wrong with a specific part of the property.
The inspection reports, coupled with what the seller discloses about the defects of the house in the transfer disclosure and its supplements are very valuable information. The seller is required by law to disclose to you what they know about any material defects the property has. As a practical matter, you should not expect a lot of detail in the transfer disclosure, so carefully note any faults that are indicated, and consider the potential implications. If you learn to interpret the information from the seller and the inspectors, which your real estate agent can guide you with, you can often gain a pretty clear understanding of the physical condition of the property. Not always, though. Frequently, the most important inspection reports are absent, either because the seller doesn’t want to pay for the reports, or because the seller believes a better price may be achieved if the defects of the house are not too explicitly defined. It is good real estate practice for sellers to fully disclose any defects they know, so they can avoid future liabilities. Where full disclosures are not available, we strongly suggest that buyers either enlist the help of their own inspectors or take extreme care when bidding on such properties, especially in overheated markets where non-contingent offers are common. You could be acquiring problems that are not explicitly known to the seller (who therefore cannot be held at fault for not telling you). Whatever it takes, in most situations you need to have a clear sense of the magnitude of the defects in the house you are buying and what it will cost to fix them.
Based on the finding in the different inspections, a structural inspection for example, it may be clear that the foundation is not performing adequately. Depending on the specifics, you might get a bid from a foundation contractor or consult with a structural engineer. An indication that the roof was near the end of its life may warrant getting a roof report, or if the contractor is willing to do so, a bid for repair/replacement (which is usually free).…

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Bathroom Remodel

Top Tips For Maintaining Your Wool Carpet

The carpet that you picked for your home was not an easy decision. You had to match the decor of your home, search for the best price, and get it installed. The quality of the carpet may be high-caliber but if it isn’t maintained properly it will not last. You need to ensure that your carpet will last you a long time. Here are the top tips for maintaining your wool carpet.
If you carpet is located in a high traffic area it will collect dust, dirt and trash. One must constantly vacuum to keep it clean. The longer it sits on the carpet the greater it has a chance to become trapped within it and make it harder to clean. This can also cause stains which might not come out.
If you see any dirt, liquids, or food particles on the carpet immediately remove them. This helps to eliminate it from getting worse. Many stains that are stubborn can be cleaned easily when they are fresh. Because the carpet is made from wool material it has a chance to break down and damage the look and quality of the rug if stains are allowed to remain for a long period of time without being cleaned.
Any stain is best removed with a liquid solution that has been combined with water. This helps to lift the particle from the wool. You only need to then allow it to dry after rinsing the cleaning agent out with water. Pat the area with a towel to remove excess moisture.
For any serious stains that aren’t getting relief with regular cleaning agents try steam. You can hire a professional company to perform the service for you for a small fee. Or you can rent or purchase a steam cleaner to do it yourself.
Make sure that you check the label of any chemicals you decide to apply to the carpet. Some contain harsh chemicals that cannot be used. Any oxygen cleansers are one such type that does not mix well with wool material. It erodes the material which may leave it discolored or disfigured. Do not use bleach on the carpet. Even if the carpet is white it is not a good idea.
Wool does not do well in high heat. That expensive wool sweater that you purchase must be dry cleaned. It states to not wash it in high heat. The same is true for your carpet. It cannot take excessive heat as well. It will shrink.
If you take great care of your wool carpet it will last you the length of time that you live in your home. You may decide to change the decor because you want to, not due to any replacement from damage or stains. By using the correct cleaning agents, removing dirt, grime, and stains as they happen you will keep your carpet looking new and fresh. Steam cleaning is the method of final choice that can help you in the case of a dire cleaning emergency.…

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Basement Remodeling

Reclaimed Pine Flooring: Go Green And Save Money!

Pine has been a very popular floor material because of its durability and easiness to work with. It can add a gorgeous vintage touch to any home, and can even be taken from an older structure and restored to beauty. This product is referred to as reclaimed pine flooring, which means that old wooden planks are recycled and new trees don’t have to be chopped down to provide wood. Hence, the wood is environmentally friendly and perfect for people who want to have beautiful homes while reducing their waste impact. The wooden planks that are used to make reclaimed flooring are acquired from sources such as old timber, destroyed buildings, old barns, tobacco warehouses, factories and mills.
If you desire a new floor for your home or office and you are on a budget, this material is a wonderful option for you because it is reasonably priced and many reclaimed flooring options are available. Often, vendors that offer this type of flooring do business online and save money on their expenses. They are then able to share the savings with their clients. Online vendors offer huge discounts because they do not need retail facilities and usually don’t hire many employees.
Finding this type of floor online is easy. All you have to do is use the search engines and pull up various reclaimed wood businesses. Placing an order is also easy and convenient, as many reliable vendors have toll-free phone numbers and the option to complete request forms online. Just make sure you purchase flooring with a good company. If you are not sure if a company is a legitimate, complete a background check by doing research online and visiting the Better Business Bureau website.
It is important to note that reclaimed pine flooring is made from genuine wood for a rich, warm tone. It’s perfect for people who want to update and modernize the look of their homes with an individual twist. The wood has distinctive characteristics which are unique and invaluable.
It is also worth noting that heating systems work well under this material. Solid wood is an excellent conductor and it distributes heat effectively.
There is no doubt that you will be very satisfied with your new floor. It is a smart investment that you will not regret. This type of flooring is available in many exquisite designs and it is made from quality materials, so it’s perfect for your home or office. It will make your property more elegant and add richness and beauty to your home decor. Plus, if you purchase this type of flooring for your home, you will be doing a service for the environment by not encouraging the wasteful production of new material. Finally, this type of flooring is also a cost-effective choice that can save you hundreds and thousands of dollars, especially if you purchase it online.…

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Basement Renovations

Timeless Classics – Making Antique Furniture Work For Your Home Design

Interior design trends over the years have grown and developed. Though classic design will never go out of style, the modern and sleek look of contemporary interiors has largely dominated the industry. There is also the introduction of cross-cultural influences that widened the interior design field even more.
With the variety of styles to choose from, antique furniture sometimes looks and feels out of place in a home. Heirloom pieces, in particular, could be difficult to part with, especially if inherited from relatives and holds a particular sentimental value for the family. The dilemma is this: how do you make antique furniture a part of your overall look and design? Is there any way to make an heirloom piece blend in with your contemporary home? Before you decide to sell your antique piece or bury it in storage, consider some ways into making that one-of-a-kind and special piece a part of your home.
Some pieces do not hold any real monetary value at all, but more of a sentimental and memorable piece for the owner. If this is the case, consider giving it a refurbished look with a simple paint job to match the rest of your home’s color scheme. You could also strip down dated pieces to modernize its design. For pieces that hold an investment and historical value, you could use the design of the antique furniture and make it the centerpiece of the room. Ornate pieces can be balanced with and highlighted by keeping the rest of the room simple in order to draw attention the careful detail that went into the crafting of your antique furniture.
Another way is to use antique pieces in surprising ways. Pair an ornately carved chair with a simple wooden desk and use it in your office. Use a chandelier in your powder room to make for an interesting space for your guests. Breathe contemporary design into an old lamp with a quirky lampshade for a unique and eclectic addition to your living room. Use your grandmother’s antique china for everyday meals and make each day an elegant and special dining experience.
Aside from their value, the craftsmanship of antique furniture is without question, incomparable. Antique pieces are worthwhile investments and their seemingly unsuitable design can be creatively incorporated into your home’s design with a little creativity and imagination. Take care of your antique furniture and they will continue giving a distinct touch to your home for many years to come.…

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Basement Remodeling

Furnishing Your Home With Moroccan Furniture

For a home or office that is exotic, intriguing, welcoming, and stylish for anyone who visits, Moroccan furniture can achieve these effects. Some of the most popular home decorating items right now are Moroccan furniture, Moroccan lamps and lanterns, and bedding. The biggest reason for this is because of the unique look and feel that the stunning patterns and colors used in Moroccan home decor will bring to your home. If you are willing to shop around some you will find Moroccan home decor items with prices that can fit in any budget.
Choosing Moroccan home decor means making a statement with your home. This style provides elegance without causing a loss of personality. Utilizing Moroccan home decor and Moroccan furniture can really reach out set the mood that you are aiming for with your guests, making them extremely comfortable. Moroccan furniture also has the advantages of being extremely durable and sturdy, which means these pieces will last for many years while staying in excellent shape without any signs of wear and tear.
Patterns And Colors Used In Moroccan Home Decor
Moroccan furniture and Moroccan lamps can include a number of exquisite patterns and gorgeous colors. The colors used in these lamps are comforting yet exotic. The artisans in Morocco use the colors found in their natural surroundings for inspiration. This means you will find colors that include grain, blue, red, orange, yellow, brown, and purple. The patterns and colors used are combined with wool, wood, silk, and leather so that a very dramatic effect is seen. Some common patterns seen with Moroccan furniture and home decor include flowers, designs which swirl, and many geometric shapes. All of these are combined into one piece of Moroccan furniture or one Moroccan lamp.
Essential Moroccan Home Decor Items
Moroccan lamps and Moroccan lanterns are necessary to finish off any Moroccan home decor. Hanging exquisitely from the ceiling and adding beauty and elegance to any room, Moroccan lanterns normally have frames which are wrought iron and that contain stained glass fragments in many patterns and colors. The oldest type of Moroccan lantern, and one of the best known, is a type called the Djamae Moroccan lantern. This lantern looks rustic and includes a shape which is semi-oval. The glass used is colored green, amber, and blue, as well as clear, and these lamps are exquisite. Moroccan lanterns also come in other styles as well, as these can include the Moroccan Chandelier, Anelka,
Dareh, Alwan, Blue Samaka, and Maroc.
If you want to take the Moroccan home decor even farther you can include Moroccan furniture in the form stools, tables, and chairs, as well as mirrors, rugs, doors, ceramics, and ceiling tiles.
Floor tiles can also be used for a beautiful Moroccan decor in any hallway or foyer. Moroccan floor tiles can be found in many different patterns, and make an excellent accent in any area of your home or work space. These tiles can be found in packages which may include anywhere from a single tile up to six tiles. The cost of each package will vary depending on the tile type and number of tiles in the package. Moroccan floor tiles are very attractive and really stand out in any room where furniture is minimal. For a bedroom with Moroccan home decor simply install the desired number of Moroccan floor tiles, and then place your bet with some fellows, a few nightstands, a room divider, some Moroccan wall sconces, a Moroccan lamp or lantern, and an armoire. A couple of paintings or rugs in your bedroom will soon become your favorite room in the house.
Moroccan furniture and Moroccan home decor and accessories can help you create the look you want, whether this is exotic and luxurious or simple and comfortable. Moroccan decor does not have any set rules, and you are only limited by your imagination.…

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Basement Renovations

Bamboo Flooring Prices – A Guide On How To Determine The Prices For Solid Bamboo Flooring

Solid bamboo flooring is one of the most environmental choices that is becoming popular these days. Before you decide to make an investment on this new flooring, consider what may affect their prices.
Finished or Unfinished Wood?
When choosing the material for your bamboo floors, you may find the unfinished type of wood cheaper at first glance, because they normally run for only about $1.50 per sq. ft. However, check how much extra labor would you have to hire in order to improve the floor finish. This may cause the price to skyrocket, making unfinished wood not an economical choice. If you do decide to do the finishing and installation yourself, there will still be some additional costs that you have to consider, such as the tools you may need to smoothen the wood, stain and coat it.
You can instead consider buying standard finished bamboo flooring which may range between $1.99 to $4.99 per sq. ft. Prices vary on the length of the warranty, the quality of the finish and whether the boards are snap types or simple plank boards.
Coating
Another thing that can make bamboo flooring prices go higher is the coating. For instance, if the boards use Klumpp coating, the price will be higher, because it has lower formaldehyde, which is considered a toxic substance. This type of coating, however is more expensive to manufacture, thus the price is higher.
Installation Type
If you choose the floorings with snap lock joints, they will for sure cost more than ordinary boards planks. The easier it is to install the floorings, the higher the price will be. You will, however, save some money from labor cost, because snap on floors take a shorter time to install.
Warranties
Warranties differ, ranging from none to lifetime guarantees. You may choose to buy boards with extended guarantees, in order to protect your investment. When making your choice, check if you are still saving money even after paying lifetime guarantees.
Luxury Flooring
If you choose to buy high end designer’s bamboo floors, they will for sure be more expensive. There are boards that are hand finished and demand higher bamboo flooring prices than the mass produced ones. Such specially designed planks may cost more than $12 per sq. ft.
Prices for solid bamboo flooring will vary, but it still boils down to durability, which can only be achieved with proper care and maintenance.…

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Bathroom Renovations

Purchase a Home Warranty – Things To Watch Out For Before You Buy

A home warranty service contract will allow you to have peace of mind and save you tons of money. It will basically cover the replacement and repair of your homes “moving parts” or home systems and major appliances. There are some things you should do prior to buying a warranty.
Before purchasing, you should estimate the level of coverage your home will need. You don’t want to dish out too much money on coverage if your house is brand new because it’s highly unlikely certain things will break during that time period. However, if your home is more than 10 years old you should spend extra money to get additional coverage.
Research the Home Warranty Company
One of the biggest nuances with some companies is that they are really slow about replying to your claims and they take ages to come by to your home and conduct repairs. Some companies may even deny your claims and not come over to your house at all. If you are dealing with a bad company, it won’t be uncommon at all to have to convince their representative that your replacements and repairs are listed on your contract. This is why it’s so crucial to do some research and find a trusted company that is straightforward and fair. It’s important to find one with good customer service.
Make Sure Your House Needs a Home Warranty
One of the disadvantages to purchasing any type of insurance is that you may not end up using it. You may end up wasting hundreds of dollars every year on a home warranty that is never utilized to repair your home. In the end when you do use it, it may be for a small appliance that doesn’t cover all the costs in premiums you have paid. It’s important to take a look at your home and judge whether you need a warranty plan; if your home is in great shape then you might just be throwing away your money. Remember most homes that are 5 years or younger don’t usually have any major problems; however if your home is older than 10 years old you should probably look into buying a plan.
Compare Prices
Before you invest any of your money, you should compare the prices of the best companies. Find a reputable company that covers all your needs and falls into your price range.…