Are you and your garden ready for summer?

A little seasonal maintenance can go a long way toward ensuring safety and security. Traveler’s Insurance provides a home maintenance checklist to help you do just that:

Indoors:

  • Furnace – clean or replace the filter
  • Fireplace – remove any ash and have the chimney swept
  • Smoke detectors – change the batteries and check that detectors are working
  • Water heater – inspect for leaks or corrosion
  • Air conditioning – have the system checked and tuned by a professional before turning it on for the season
  • Electrical outlets – check outlets and cords for frayed wires or loose-fitting plugs. Fuse boxes and extension cords also should be checked to make sure they are not overloaded.
  • Dryer – Clean lint build-up from the clothes dryer exhaust duct and the space under the dryer. Use a specialized brush to clean out the vent pipe.
  • Windows – Let the sun shine in through clean windows all over the house

Outdoors:

  • Roof – Check for loosened shingles or any damage from snow or ice, and make repairs now to reduce the possibility of leaks
  • Gutters: Clean leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts to keep water flowing and reduce the possibility of water damage
  • Trees: Visually inspect trees for damage or rot and remove, or have professionally removed, any dead trees or limbs. Be sure all healthy trees and bushes are trimmed and away from utility wires
  • Lawn Equipment: Make sure lawn mowers, tractors and other equipment are tuned up before using. Store oil and gas for lawn equipment and tools in a vented, locked area.
  • Walkways and Driveways: Repair any cracks and broken or uneven surfaces to provide a safe, level walking area.

7 reasons to work with a REALTOR®

This article is from the National Association of REALTORS®. REALTORS® aren’t just agents. They’re professional members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics. This is the REALTOR® difference for home buyers:

  1. An expert guide. Selling a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes. Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved, so you want to work with a professional who can speak the language.
  2. Objective information and opinions. REALTORS® can provide local information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They also have objective information about each property. REALTORs® can use that data to help you determine if the property has what you need.
  3. Property marketing power. Property doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. A large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts with previous clients, friends, and family. When a property is marketed by a REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
  4. Negotiation knowledge. There are many factors up for discussion in a deal. A REALTOR® will look at every angle from your perspective, including crafting a purchase agreement that allows you the flexibility you need to take that next step.
  5. Up-to-date experience. Most people sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each sale. Even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS® handle hundreds of transactions over the course of their career.
  6. Your rock during emotional moments. A home is so much more than four walls and a roof. And for most people, property represents the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on the issues most important to you.
  7. Ethical treatment. Every REALTOR® must adhere to a strict code of ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a REALTOR®’s client, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters.

5 tips for buyers in a tight housing market

When inventory is low, home prices tend to go up. Attempting to purchase a house in this type of market can make the already complex process of buying a home even more overwhelming. Get through the buying process with as little stress and difficulty as possible with these tips from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR):

  1. Determine and stick to a budget.
  1. Identify desired neighborhoods and home wants versus needs.
  1. Be ready to make a decision quickly.
  1. Bid competitively and limit contingencies.
  1. Work with a REALTOR® from Hall & Hunter Realtors. Meet our Agents

 

Spectacular mid-century modern ranch is renovated perfection!

7201 Bingham Road |  Bloomfield

Spectacular mid-century modern walk out ranch with over 4,800 square ft of living space renovated to perfection. Spacious rooms w walls of glass boasting vaulted ceilings, 3 fireplaces, 5 new bathrooms and hardwood floors throughout. Great room opens to all new kitchen featuring quartz counters, glass backsplash, stainless steal appliances, snack bar and door wall to new 1300 square ft deck overlooking private wooded yard. Open floorplan continues to dining room with fireplace and bright library. Bedroom wing includes master suite with 2 walk-in-closet, coffee bar and private bath w double vanities. Walk out lower level complete w 28×20 family room w fireplace, kitchenette, theatre room w 150 inch screen, 4th bedroom w private bath, 30×15 home office exercise room, 2-doorwalls to yard and second laundry. 1st floor laundry mudroom w lockers, new windows, exterior doors, paver patio and fire pit. Great location to all freeways, Bham, local markets and restaurants, easy to get anywhere from here! Conant Elem, BHMS, BHHS

Price drop on beautiful Quarton Lake Estates home

Custom French country home hits the market!

Welcome to 3185 Saint James Court in Oakland Twp.

Superbly appointed French country custom home built by Moceri & designed by Tringali (Alexis floor plan) on premium wooded cul de sac lot (.64 acres) backing to conservation area for privacy. Elegant interior finishes such as oversize crown moldings, casings & trim, coffered ceilings, solid wood doors, Weathershield windows, beautiful French doors w phantom screens off Great Rm onto porch & patio allowing interior exterior entertaining, premium lighting, plumbing fixtures & cabinetry t o, high end appliances, hardwood & slate on 1st floor. Huge phenomenal chef’s kitchen w abundant storage. Luxurious Master Suite w sitting room, 2 entrances to covered porch, dressing room, oversize walk in California closet & stunning marble bath. Finished daylight LL w bar, family rm w FP, billiard room, office (could be 5th bedroom) & unfinished storage space. French influenced landscaping includes perennial gardens, pathways, pergola, elevated pond, paver patios & covered porch on 1st & 2nd floors.

Contact Lynn Baker & Deby Gannes for more details.

Transform your small patio into a relaxing retreat

HGTV shares some tips on how to transform a small patio into a relaxing retreat. With the right furniture and accessories, even the smallest patio can become an inviting, private escape. Try these ideas to transform your underused patio into a secluded oasis for lounging and entreating.

1.Create layers of comfort: Dress your patio from top to bottom to make even the smallest space feel like an inviting retreat. Add lushness with layered outdoor rugs, throw pillows, greenery and string lights.

2. Hang curtains: Hanging curtains is an inexpensive and easy way to create a temporary wall — perfect for renters and anyone else whose neighbors are a bit too close for comfort. Flowing, gauzy fabric softens this patio while adding privacy.

3. Make a Statement With Lighting: Good lighting will not only help you enjoy your patio after the sun goes down but will also draw your eye vertically — important in a small space. This rattan pendant light makes a statement and shines a glow on the conversation area. Make sure to use outdoor cords and light bulbs

4. Boost Privacy: Creating a sense of enclosure in your outdoor room will make it feel like a secluded oasis. Use privacy screen to block a bad view or nosey neighbors. Upcycle some old shutters and a few hinges into a folding partition.

5.Wheel out a bar cart: If you don’t have room for an outdoor kitchen, a bar cart can be just as useful. You can easily roll it from indoors to outside, keeping your drinks and appetizers within arm’s reach.

 

 

Give your room a relaxing vibe with these paint colors

House Beautiful showcases select colors that promise to make you say “Namaste.” Here are our favorite three!

Mauve

Not too gray, not too violet. Its gracefulness and subtlety set the tone for relaxation.

Tan

Like the warm glow of candlelight, this soft shade creates a cozy feel.

Mist Gray

Gives any room a quiet sophistication & elegance

Mauve

Tan

Mist Gray

 

 

Just listed in Birmingham

Welcome to 680 Westwood Drive | Birmingham

This stately 4 bedroom, 4.2 bathroom Birmingham home welcomes you. Dramatic two story foyer invites you to the living room with hardwood floors that leads to three French doors ushering you out to a private deck and yard. The spacious floor plan is ideal for entertaining and active families. Additional features include 9′ ceilings, hardwood flooring throughout most of the entry level, dual staircase, center Island granite kitchen, 1st floor laundry, stunning wood paneled library, princess porch off master and much more. The master suite includes a magnificent marble master bathroom. The remaining bedrooms have en suite or Jack & Jill bathrooms. The beautifully finished 1,500 square foot lower level has a home theater, full bar, exercise room and play room. Walk to Quarton Elementary School.

For more information, contact The Newville Team.

Jason H. McKevitt Realtor (248) 644-3500

Gary & Ellen Newville Realtors (248) 320-2487

Don’t make these cleaning mistakes

8 Cleaning Mistakes You’re Probably Making by Real Simple

1. Placing all utensils in the dishwasher facing the same direction.
It’s fine for all the forks to point up. (This prevents the tines from bending.) But when spoons sit in one direction in a standard dishwasher basket, they end up, well, spooning, which prevents a complete clean. Place some up and some down for a more thorough, even wash, and do the same with knives

2. Washing windows on a sunny day.
Glass cleaner dries up much more quickly in direct sunlight, resulting in streaks on window panes. That’s why, in any season, the ideal time to clean windows is late afternoon or evening, or when the skies are overcast (and the temperature is below 70 degrees Fahrenheit). For quicker drying, swap your microfiber cloth for a window squeegee, which covers more surface area with each swipe.

3. Spraying cleaner directly on a surface.
This method is OK once in a while but should be reserved for extremely dirty surfaces that need extra solution. This shouldn’t be an everyday practice, because it will probably leave residue behind (for example, a gummy buildup on wood furniture and drip marks on walls). Instead, spray the formula onto a microfiber cloth. Wipe-downs done this way require less solution, which cuts down on buildup. (Your bottles of cleaner will last longer, too.)

4. Cleaning bare-handed (even for a quickie sink scrub-down).
Your skin is super-absorbent and will soak up almost any substance that touches its surface. Even natural products can dry out hands lickety-split. Avoid chalky rubber or latex gloves. Instead, choose gloves with a lined cotton interior (try these). They offer more of a protective barrier and are so comfortable, you’ll be motivated to put them on.

5. Treating liquid stains on a carpet superficially.
Scrubbing stains like pet urine, red wine, and coffee isn’t effective in the long term. Unless you remove fresh carpet spills at the deepest level, in time they may resurface. Try this method: As soon as you notice the spill, use a dry towel to sop up as much liquid as possible. Next, douse the spot with club soda or ice water and blot again with another dry towel. Step on the towel to absorb the liquid. Repeat the blotting until no more color is transferred to the towel. If the stain persists, apply a stain remover and repeat the process.

6. Putting a rinsed toilet brush right back in the holder.
Moisture breeds bacteria, so it’s important to let the brush dry completely before stashing it. Sandwich the handle between the toilet seat and the base, with the business end suspended over the bowl, or drip-dry. Leave it for at least 10 minutes or until fully dry, then return it to the holder.