Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley - CENTURY 21 Cobb Real Estate



Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 4/22/2018

The windows in your home are important. They provide a source of air, but they also provide a source of protection from the elements and help to keep the heat in the home. They also prevent the cold air from escaping in the summer months. With properly insulated windows, you’ll actually save on heating and cooling costs. That’s why the windows in your home are so important. 


At some point, you’ll need to replace the windows in your home. While there’s no definitive time, there’s plenty of recommendations as to when you know your windows are failing you. It’s important to the overall health of your home to know that the windows are “doing their job.” Below, we’ll give you some tips on how you’ll know when you need to make the switch to newer windows. We’ll also show you the disadvantages in waiting too long to replace the windows in the home.  


How Many Years Do Windows Typically Last?


A basic rule is that windows last between 15 and 20 years. Then they’ll need to be replaced sometime soon after they reach that age. Many times, homeowners will provide some touch-ups to the windows, adding additional insulation and caulking. This, however, is a mere temporary fix. Eventually, the entire units will need to be replaced.  


Design Moves Forward


One of the best advantages to replacing your windows is that advances in their design continue to make your home better. Newer windows provide much more insulation than older versions. The temperature in your home will be better regulated with newer windows, helping you to save on your overall energy costs.


New Windows Add Value


Putting new windows in your home can help you to add value to your home. While more energy efficient types of windows are an investment, you’ll save money on a few things in the long term. The money that can be saved on energy bills alone can be worth it.

 If you plan on selling your home in the near future, replacing the windows can also be a big bonus. They will add money to the overall value of the appraisal and entice buyers. There’s one less thing a buyer will have to do in your home once you move, making your home more attractive.  


The Right Number


The 15-20 year mark is simply a suggestion as to how often windows should ideally be replaced in a home. Keep tabs on the windows that are in your home and make note if you’re feeling drafts or the windows start to get stuck, crack, or even break completely. You’ll know it’s time to replace the windows when you see these signs.





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 4/15/2018

For some people, caring for the lawn is a tedious, but necessary chore. For others, it’s a quiet way to enjoy the outdoors on the weekends.

Regardless of your feelings on lawn care, it’s important if you want your grass to look green throughout the warm months.

There’s a lot more to lawn care, however, than simply mowing and pulling weeds. In this article, we’re going to focus on one factor in particular: soil quality.

How can you ensure your grass remains well-fed and watered during those hot summer months? The answer is underground, in your yard’s topsoil.

Read on for tips on caring for your soil.

Salvaging your soil

Most people don’t have the time or money to remove their entire lawn and start from scratch with seeding or turf. So, how can you begin to help your soil now?

There are several ways to improve soil quality to encourage grass growth. Let’s start with the consistency.

Regardless of whether your soil is more sand, silt, or clay-based it can become compacted throughout the years. Compacted soil makes it difficult for roots to take hold and to reach vital nutrients.

Furthermore, when soil compacts it often builds a layer of debris on the top called thatch. A small amount of thatch isn’t a bad thing. It can help build your grass’s resiliency to impact, namely the feet of your pets or children when they’re playing in the yard. However, if you have too much thatch, it can create barriers to new growth.

There are two ways to manage thatch effectively: remove and prevention. To prevent the buildup of thatch, avoid mixing too much fertilizer and clippings into your lawn. While clippings and fertilizer are both useful ways to improve the quality of your soil and protect your grass, too much can be suffocating to the lawn.

Removing thatch is more difficult than prevention, but you can achieve it will a vertical mower, as well as by raking and collecting trimmings when necessary.

Why acidity matters

In the same way that we need proper nutrients to maintain or health, grass needs the right fertilizer and pH level to grow. Acidity levels range from 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic (things like battery acid, lemon juice, and vinegar are all acidic), and 14 being the most alkaline (things like lye and ammonia).

A good pH for grass varies depending on the type of grass you have in your lawn, but a base level would be 6.5 or slightly acidic.

To test your soil pH, you can purchase a kit online or you can send a sample to a lab and they will report back to you. Once you know the pH of your soil, you can find the right type of fertilizer.

Fertilizing

Choosing a fertilizer can seem difficult, but there are a few main things you’re looking for. Nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium are the three main nutrients required by most plant life, and they are the top three ingredients in most fertilizer. There are, however several “micronutrients” that grasses need as well. These include copper, iron, boron, and zinc.

Follow the instructions on the formula you choose. Over-fertilizing your soil can cause harm. You might notice that the tips of the soil like “burnt” or that the blades turn yellowish. This is a good sign that you’re applying too much fertilizer.




Tags: lawn care   soil   yard soil  
Categories: Lawn Care   soil   yard soil  


Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 4/1/2018

Moving into a new home can often be a frantic, exhausting task. Matters are made worse if the house you are moving into wasn’t cleaned thoroughly after the previous movers left.

 However, the best time to clean a house is before you move in. This is due to the fact that cleaning shelves is easier before they’ve been filled, and vacuuming carpets is simpler if the house doesn’t yet have any furniture.

 So, in this article we’re going to show you the best way to clean your new home before you move in to avoid having to move objects around once you’ve brought them inside.

 Before moving day

 The idea moment to clean your new home is before the moving truck arrives. If possible, pick a day after the previous owners have moved out that is close to your move-in date. Bring all of your cleaning supplies with you, including cloths, towels, a duster, vacuum, hardwood floor polish, glass cleaner, bathroom cleaner, and so on.

It might be tempting to just start scrubbing as soon as you’re inside, but first take a moment to walk through the house and make a list of all the cleaning tasks you would like to accomplish before moving in.

Not only will your list help you determine how long you’ll need to clean, but it will also give some organization to your day and keep you on track.

On or after moving day

You don’t always have the luxury of being able to clean your new home beforehand. If you’re moving across states or are on a tight move-in/move-out schedule, you might have to clean your house as you move in.

In this case, the best solution is to organize your boxes and furniture by room. Then, when moving them inside, put them in the corner of a room in a neat pile. This will leave access to most of the room so that you can clean before putting things away.

Make sure you and your family are on the same page in terms of organizing items on moving day. If you have family members who start unpacking boxes, let them know they could be more helpful by picking up a duster or cleaning some windows rather than putting items in their future places.

Room by room cleaning

There are some rooms in your house that require special attention. Let’s start with the kitchen.

When it comes to cleaning your appliances (refrigerator, oven, microwave, etc.), it’s a good idea to spray on some degreaser or baking soda/vinegar solutions in advance to let them soak and loosen up any debris before you start scrubbing them. Soaking them all at once will help you save time cleaning.

The bathroom poses a challenge when moving in for two reasons. Since bathrooms tend to be small and crowded, it can be hard to work inside of them if there are boxes in the way. To avoid this, stack all of your bathroom items outside in the hallway or in the bathroom closet while you clean.




Categories: Moving Tips   Cleaning   move-in  


Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 3/25/2018

A real estate agent is a must-have for homebuyers, particularly in a highly competitive housing market. However, it is important to understand what it takes to work with a real estate professional to ensure you can enjoy a fast, seamless homebuying experience.

What does it take to get the best results from the homebuying journey? Here are three rules to follow so that you and your real estate agent can work together to find your dream house.

1. Establish Realistic Homebuying Expectations Before You Begin Your Home Search

Buying a home can be a long, costly process if you're not careful. But with the right real estate agent at your side, you can simplify your house search.

Ultimately, you should work with a real estate agent to establish clear-cut homebuying expectations before you embark on your search for the perfect residence. This will enable you and your real estate agent to work together to achieve a common goal.

With realistic homebuying expectations, you'll be able to help your real estate agent understand what you'd like to find in your dream residence. Meanwhile, your real estate agent can get to work and keep you up to date about available homes that will meet or exceed your expectations.

2. Understand Your Real Estate Agent's Role in the Homebuying Process

A real estate agent should define his or her role in the homebuying process. That way, you'll know exactly what to expect as you go from homebuyer to homeowner.

Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, negotiate with home sellers on your behalf and offer honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations. He or she also should be available to respond to your questions throughout the homebuying journey.

Your real estate agent will be happy to assist you in any way possible. By doing so, he or she will make it simple for you acquire to acquire your ideal residence at a price that matches your budget.

3. Ensure That Both You and Your Real Estate Agent Are Comfortable Working with One Another

Communication plays a key role in the success of a homebuyer and his or her real estate agent. If you keep the lines of communication open with your real estate agent, you should have no trouble staying on top of the housing market.

In most instances, a real estate agent will be able to keep in touch with a homebuyer via phone, email and text. At the same time, you should try to remain available to your real estate agent as much as possible.

With ongoing communication with your real estate agent, you'll be able to stay informed as new properties become available that fit your homebuying criteria. Furthermore, your real estate agent can help you alleviate stress by listening to your homebuying concerns at each stage of the homebuying journey.

Many real estate professionals are available in cities and towns nationwide. Start your search for a real estate agent today, and you can move one step closer to discovering your dream home.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 3/18/2018

When you're a homeowner, it's tempting to save money any way you can. Oftentimes people take repairs into their own hands when they don't have the knowledge or experience to complete the job safely. What begins as a way to save money can quickly turn into a disaster--as you spend lengthy periods of time on a project and find yourself going over your initial budget. It isn't always easy to know which projects you can attempt yourself and which ones are better left to the pros. And, of course, it will depend on your comfort and skill level when it comes to various household repairs. So, if you're a plumber, disregard our plumbing advice and dive in to your DIY plumbing projects since you have the know-how. But if you're an average homeowner looking to make some renovations and repairs, read on to find out which ones you should attempt and which ones are better left to the pros.

1. Electrical work

So you've got a few faulty outlets in the new home you bought. It doesn't seem worth calling in an electrician just for those few minor issues. However, due to the dangers and complications that can arise from electric work, it's a good idea to hold off and call in the experts. Aside from shocking yourself (which can be deadly), you could also create fire hazards or damage circuitry, resulting in much higher repair costs than you initially had. Another benefit of calling in an electrician, other than having the project done correctly, is that they will be able to diagnose your home circuitry to let you know what other problems might arise in the foreseeable future. So, when it comes to power issues, always call in the pros.

2. Hazardous materials

Many people will tell you not to worry about asbestos or lead paint unless you have children. However, these are both dangerous materials than can create several chronic health problems in adults as well. If you're concerned for the safety of yourself and your family, call in contractors who will remove the lead or asbestos. What can go wrong if you try to do it yourself? Lead chips and dust will fly through the air when attempting to remove lead paint. Breathing in these fumes is dangerous initially and down the road when the dust settles into the corners of your home. Asbestos, especially in blown-in insulation can be particularly dangerous. Aside from ensuring your safety, a contractor will also be able to assess the situation and determine whether your hazardous materials need to be removed or can just be "repaired" or covered up. Simple repair jobs on asbestos or lead-containing objects can save you some serious time and money.

3. Roofing and siding

There's a reason even building contractors bring in third party companies to install roofs and siding. These are both labor-intensive and time-intensive jobs that require specialized skills and tools that only dedicated companies can accomplish correctly. Roofing and siding are both dangerous jobs that carry the risk of falling off of roofs and ladders, as well as injuring your back lifting heavy shingles. The pros have the tools and experience to avoid these injuries. When you hire the professionals to do your roofing or siding, you can rest assured that the job is done correctly and will last much longer than if you made it a DIY project as well.