Avoid expensive home maintenance mistakes

Avoid expensive home maintenance mistakes

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No one likes to waste money, but is it possible that’s exactly what you’re doing in regard to your home’s maintenance? A recent article from RIS Media discussed the most common mistakes we’re making in our homes that, if corrected, should result in significant savings. Here’s a recap of five of those tips:

• If you’re still using incandescent lightbulbs, considering switching to CFL or LED bulbs, which last far longer and use much less electricity.

• Fix leaky faucets! One drop per second can actually waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. That’s money down the drain!

• Replace your HVAC system air filter on a regular basis, and make sure you’re using the correct size.

• Purchase a programmable thermostat for your home that will automatically regulate your home’s temperature while you’re away. Heating or cooling an empty home wastes a lot of energy and money.

• Adjust air vents throughout the home to direct airflow more evenly throughout the entire house. This will help combat rooms that always seem too hot or too cold.

We’ll be back next week with a few more money-saving tips, so stay tuned!

Avoid expensive home maintenance mistakes

As the senior population grows, so will employment opportunities

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Have you noticed all the senior housing developments springing up across Western New York? Well, it’s a trend that’s in full bloom across the nation, and with good reason.

It was back in 2011 when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services first predicted a significant boom in our nation’s senior population. How significant? We’re talking more than 72 million people over the age of 65 living in our country by the year 2020. This staggering figure more than doubled the number identified in the 2000 U.S. Census.

It’s seems logical then to also predict that one of the employment trends that will help drive our economy now and well into the future will be jobs related to the healthcare industry. Economists are saying that healthcare will remain a fertile area for hiring for many years to come.

A trend at colleges and universities today is the addition of degrees focused on areas such as senior housing, aging, health policy, therapeutic recreation, dementia care, etc. For those interested in pursuing a career in one of these fields, an online search should produce a number of opportunities available at our institutes of higher learning.

There’s a line from an old movie that says, “If you build it, they will come.” Colleges and universities are building the degree programs to fill an employment gap, and wise students looking for a long-term career are already lining up at their doors!

Do you know the cost of renting vs. buying? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Do you know the cost of renting vs. buying? [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Some Highlights:

  • Historically, the choice between renting or buying a home has been a close decision.
  • Looking at the percentage of income needed to rent a median priced home today (30%) vs. the percentage needed to buy a median priced home (15%), the choice becomes obvious.
  • Every market is different. Before you renew your lease again, find out if you could use your housing costs to own a home of your own!
Avoid expensive home maintenance mistakes

Tips to turn ‘for sale’ into ‘sold’

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Today we’ll conclude our recent series of articles in which we’ve recapped a story that first appeared on Forbes.com highlighting some easy tips for selling your home quickly and efficiently. If you like articles featuring helpful real estate tips, check back again soon because we’re always unearthing new stories!

When attempting to sell a home …

• Group your living room furniture into arrangements that inspire conversation. Buyers like to picture themselves relaxing and conversing with family and friends.

• Do a practice run through your house to make sure nothing disrupts the flow. You don’t want your guests bumping into furniture as they walk through the house.

• Baking cookies just before an open house will connect buyers with the kitchen. If you’re not prepared, you can fake it with a delightfully scented candle.

• Get creative and showcase how your space can be utilized. For example, a chair or rocker with a strategically placed coffee cup and a book can turn an empty corner into a comfortable reading nook.

• Draw attention to focal points. For example, red throw pillows can draw attention to a window seat, while a striking fern on the mantle can highlight the fireplace.

• Spend some time outdoors and trim the shrubs, weed the flowerbed, touch up the paint, etc. And remember, first impressions are the most important!

Avoid expensive home maintenance mistakes

Multiple powers of attorney? Less is best

The role of the power of attorney — an individual authorized to act for another person in legal or financial matters — is an important one. And, it’s a role that we often encounter in real estate proceedings.

A power of attorney may take responsibility for any number of decisions, including issues involving payment of debts, distributing assets, selling real estate and personal belongings, and much more. With numerous responsibilities to fulfill, you may wonder if multiple powers or attorney would be more efficient. In a word, the answer would be “No!”

Decisions can be easily short-circuited when two powers of attorney must agree on everything. Dealing with one trusted individual simplifies the process and makes it easier for all parties involved. And when real estate is involved in the process, the power of attorney needs to sign off on all paperwork. Therefore, multiple powers of attorney can lead to delays, especially if they are located in different geographic areas.

If more than one close family members wants to serve in that capacity, consider appointing one as power of attorney and the other as a “back up.” This may help family members who feel obligated to serve feel more involved in the overall process.