Summer Utility Tips for Harrisburg PA

Summer Utility Tips for Harrisburg PA

Saving Money on Summer Utilities Can Save Hundreds of Dollars Each Year

There are countless methods available for lowering your energy bills and one of the best times to cut back is during the dog days of summer. Making the proper adjustments to your home and your lifestyle can work wonders in helping save money on electric bills but also do your part to help the environment as well. Just like other money leaks, just spending $10 or $20 more a month than you have to is very costly over time.

1. Save Money Cooling Your Living Space

The US Department of Energy has estimated that 31% of all energy costs in the home are devoted to keeping the living space at a comfortable temperature, especially during the hottest and coldest months. For many people, summer is a big energy drain because of the need to cool the home to a comfortable level.

Saving money on your home energy bills all year round requires proper ventilation and insulation of your space as a foundation for controlling the heating or air conditioning applied to the home interior. According to Greenpeace.org, improving the insulation and ventilation can reduce heating needs to about one third (or 50 kWh heat/m2/y) to 1/10 of that of other average homes. If your home is properly insulated and has good ventilation you can save money without having to keep your house really cold in the winter and warm in the summer. You can have comfort year round.

2. Head Off Hot Water

Over-consumption of hot water is the second-largest area of energy usage, and should be addressed at the source of the problem — reduce the amount of water released into the house. Replace any inefficient faucet or especially shower head in the home (this alone can save almost 1500 kWh electricity if using an electric boiler, or 1900 kWh of heat using a gas or oil boiler). Not only will a more efficient shower head reduce your energy bill by cutting back on electricity or gas usage, but you’ll be simply using less water as a whole which is good for everyone.

Beyond reducing your hot water usage you can go a step further and tackle wasted energy at the water heater itself. These heaters will have a thermostat that allows you to set how hot you want the water to be, so just like knocking off a few degrees on your furnace thermostat will make your furnace run less the same is true for your water heater.

In some cases this isn’t enough and you may simply have such an old water heater that it’s using far too much energy compared to newer models. Technology has come a long way and spending a few hundred dollars on a new energy efficient model could pay for itself in no time.

3. Go Energy Star

Become more conscious of your appliances in terms of their Energy Star rating or qualifications. According to advice from EnergyStar.gov, for example, swapping out your old incandescent light bulbs for a “compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) will save about $30 over its lifetime and pay for itself in about 6 months. It uses 75 percent less energy and lasts about 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb.”

Major appliances in the home that also guzzle a lot of electricity include the modern flat screen television and the refrigerator. If you have the option to turn a major appliance completely off and avoid a standby mode you can see significant savings. If your refrigerator hasn’t been cleaned in a while you can do wonders for its efficiency if you spend a few minutes cleaning all of the dust clogging the coils either behind or underneath the unit. And ultimately, like an old water heater you may be simply better off replacing your unit with a newer and more efficient model. It will cost money up front but the savings might be far greater than any small improvements you can make with the old one.

4. Dry Clothes Naturally

Clothes dryers are modern technological marvels, but highly inefficient. The increased use of home drying machines ratchets up energy consumption significantly. Try air drying clothes, especially during the warmer months of the year when it’s easier for the natural heat to do it without a machine — your utility bill will thank you for it.

5. Check Your Attic

One of the reasons the air conditioner works so hard to cool the house is that some spaces get much hotter than others, but particularly the attic since it may receive the bulk of the heat through the roof courtesy of the baking sun. Consider installing a radiant barrier roof decking product, which can prevent up to 97% of the radiant heat the sun is beating down upon the roof from getting into the attic. This will lower attic temperature by about 30% and would thereby reduce the amount of work your air conditioner needs to do in order to keep the house cool.

If installing a radiant barrier isn’t something you can do right now a cheaper option may be to install an attic fan. Installing this large fan can create a massive flow of air that pulls in cooler air at the lower levels and then expels it out through the top of the attic. These can be especially helpful in two-story houses and can save upwards of 30% on your cooling costs overall.

Can’t afford an attic fan? Here’s the ultimate frugal route if you have a multi-story house. Grab a box fan or two and take them upstairs to the highest windows in the house. Put them in the window so that the fan is blowing air to the outside. Then be sure to go downstairs and open up the windows on the lowest level. You’ll create the same effect of drawing in cool air from the lowest levels and expelling it out through the highest point. This works best when it’s not excessively hot outside.

6. Go Low-Tech

In many cases simply going back to low-tech methods can do a lot to keep your energy bills down. Installing a humble ceiling fan can reduce your needs for full air-conditioning most of the time. It will help circulate the air in the house and create a constant light breeze which may be just enough to make a warm day comfortable.

No ceiling fans? No worries. For as little as $20 you can buy a powerful standalone fan that can be used anywhere in the house. Put it next to you when you’re in the living room watching TV or take it into the bedroom when you’re going to sleep.

And finally, use some common sense and pay attention to the weather. Sometimes it can be very hot during the day but cool down to very comfortable temperatures at night. If you look ahead and see that it’s going to cool off nicely you can turn off your AC before bed and open the windows to let the night air naturally cool the house.

7. Consider an Energy-Efficient Mortgage (EEM)

Buying a new home? You may want to consider a new Energy-Efficient Mortgage, or EEM. EEMs are typically used to purchase a new home that is already energy efficient such as an Energy Star qualified home. The term EEM is commonly used to refer to all types of energy mortgages including Energy Improvement Mortgages (EIMs), which are used to purchase existing homes that will have energy efficiency improvements made to them. EIMs allow borrowers to include the cost of energy-efficiency improvements to an existing home in the mortgage without increasing the down payment.

While not for everyone, and certainly only if you are serious about having an energy efficient home, these loans can be a way to help you maximize efficiency without breaking the bank. For more information on EEMs you can visit the page dedicated to them on the Energy Star site.

Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate  as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

Cell: 717 514-1793
email: mailto:Ken@KensHomesales.com

Fall Maintenance Tips in Harrisburg PA

Fall Maintenance Tips in Harrisburg PA

Fall is upon us and that means cooler weather is setting in. With this colder weather comes higher energy costs when heating your home, additional chores to take care of around the house, and the potential for damage to your home thanks to the weather. So, before the really cold weather arrives you should use this time to do some fall maintenance to ensure your home is ready for the winter. This can not only help you save money by making your home more efficient, but it could also prevent significant and costly damage if a problem goes unnoticed through winter.

Outside Jobs

1. Clean the gutters.

Your gutters are important part in keeping your home in good working order. Did you know that clogged gutters can lead to everything from roof damage to a flooded basement? The gutters should be collecting the water from your roof and safely diverting it down and away from the house. Clogged gutters mean the water will not flow away from the house and will fall right next to your foundation. Heavy rains could then lead to water entering your basement. Even worse, this could pose a significant problem in freezing weather when the water freezes and you end up with heavy ice dams on your roof. The weight and leaking water can also cause significant roof damage.

Cleaning your gutters is as easy as getting a ladder and going up and pulling out all of the junk that has collected in there. A pair of gloves makes this job a little more enjoyable. If you live in an area surrounded by trees you may have significant buildup in the fall as the leaves drop, so you might want to do this chore a few times. And don’t neglect the downspouts. These can also get clogged and they are vital in moving the water away from the house. If you can’t see if they are clogged you can take a small bucket of water up and dump it down the spout and see how fast the water flows out at the bottom. If it doesn’t rush right out there might be some blockage. You can try using a long pole or pipe of some sort to dislodge what’s in there. If you can’t reach it you might want to opt for replacing the downspout. The materials are fairly inexpensive and it’s usually a simple job.

2. Repair driveway and sidewalk cracks.

If you live in an area that experiences temperatures below freezing, then you should look to repair cracks in your cement before the cold sets in. When water gets into these cracks and freezes it expands. This expanding ice can not only make the existing crack worse, but it can create even more cracks and even lift portions of the cement up and make it uneven. You can find various sealers to apply to the cracks at your local hardware store and it’s relatively cheap and easy to apply. Replacing concrete can be costly, so if you can prevent damage and make it last as long as possible you’ll save money in the long run.

3. Inspect your chimney.

If you have a wood stove or fireplace it’s important you inspect and clean your chimney before using it. A clogged or dirty chimney or flue can be extremely dangerous and it could result in dangerous gasses filling up your house to starting a fire. If this is a job you’re not equipped to do on your own it’s well worth the money to pay a professional. Your life and home is far too valuable to skip this annual task.

4. Remove hoses and clutter from your yard.

As the cold weather settles in you’re probably going to be spending less time outside so it’s a good time to start picking up around the yard. If you have hoses, make sure they are drained and properly stored. If left attached and full of water they can freeze and burst, thus requiring you to buy a new hose next spring. You’ll also want to take some time and go around the yard and clean up the fallen debris, but also take some time to retrieve any tools that may have been left behind. Especially if you have kids, you don’t want to let them go play out in the snow only to have them accidentally stumble onto a misplaced rake or other item left hidden under the snow.

 

Inside Jobs

1. Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

Since the weather will be colder that means you’ll be spending more time with all of the windows closed and possibly even running the heat. That means there is a chance of carbon monoxide buildup. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer so don’t take a chance. A basic detector can be had for as little as $20 and it could save your life. And don’t forget to check the batteries in your smoke alarms. Again, batteries are cheap and it’s a small price to pay when it comes to protecting your family.

2. Clean out the dryer vent.

Did you know that the U.S. Fire Administration estimates that dirty dryer vents are responsible for at least 15,600 home fires each year? Since you’re already checking other areas of your house for fire prevention it’s a good idea to add the dryer vent to your list. Make sure it is free of lint buildup and there are no other obstructions. It is also a good time to make sure your vent is properly sealed where it exits the house. Large gaps around the vent can be a significant area of heat loss.

3. Check and replace furnace filters.

Before firing up the furnace for the first time of the season you should check the filter. Dirty filters are inefficient since air flows less freely. This results in your furnace running longer and using more energy just to keep the house up to the right temperature. You’ll usually have to replace the filters at least twice a year so if you can, see if you can buy filters in bulk or in a multi-pack. This way you’ll not only save money, but you’ll have the filters on hand so that you’re more likely to change them again when they get dirty.

4. Inspect and/or flush the hot water heater.

As time goes by sediment collects in your hot water heater. This sediment forces your water heater to work even harder and could possibly even lead to leaks. If you’ve never drained your heater and have been using it for years you’re way overdue. Generally, it’s as simple as hooking a hose up to the bottom valve and opening it and the water is drained away along with most of the sediment. In addition to eliminating the sediment you might want to consider additional insulation if your water heater is in an unfinished part of the house like a cold basement. They make special insulation to wrap around your heater and you should also insulate the pipes that are attached to the heater to minimize heat loss.

5. Check the remainder of the house for energy leaks.

When was the last time you looked up in your attic? You might want to take a peak up there and see what type of insulation you have. Losing heat through the roof of your house is the number one source of heat loss so having inadequate insulation up there can be costly. Check the R-value and see if that is sufficient for your needs. You can actually look up R-values and see how effective each is for certain climates and usage at energy.gov.

It’s also a good idea to inspect all of your doors and windows for possible leaks. Over time the weather-stripping can wear down and create gaps that is a prime source of heat loss and drafts. Usually a leak can be fixed with just a new piece of stripping or some caulk so it’s an easy and cheap fix that could save a lot of money on your heating bill.

6. Consider a programmable thermostat.

If you’re like most households and aren’t at home all day every day it can make sense to install a programmable thermostat. This allows you to specify the times and temperatures to keep your house at. For example, if nobody is home between 8am and 6pm there’s no need to keep the whole house at 70 degrees. With a programmable thermostat you can tell it to keep the heat off or at least at a much lower temp during those hours and then automatically kick back up right before you get home in the evening. Since your furnace will be running much less with this setup it will pay for the cost of the thermostat in no time.

Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate  as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

Cell: 717 514-1793
email: mailto:Ken@KensHomesales.com

Seller Resources for Selling a Home in Harrisburg PA

Seller Resources for Selling a Home in Harrisburg PA

Selling a home is a complicated process that should not be taken lightly. If you’re thinking about selling a home, you’ll find answers to commonly asked questions below. When you’re ready to move to the next step, be sure to contact me – my experience can make all the difference.

Look before you leap into Selling a Home

You’d never buy a home on a whim, you shouldn’t try selling a home that way, either. So before you try selling  a home, take some time to study the local market and current trends. The best way to do that is to schedule a pre-market consultation. I can help you understand your competition and how to properly prepare your home for sale.

 

Is this a good time to try selling a home?

YES! There are ample buyers to purchase homes that are priced correctly, staged appropriately, and properly marketed. Each home has a range of value. Make your home as presentable as possible. Have a professional Realtor help you price your home. List your home with a real estate company that has a comprehensive marketing strategy. When you do all three, you will receive the maximum net proceeds after selling a home. It is not only a good time for selling a home, it is an excellent time to purchase your next home. Interest rates are at historical lows giving you more purchasing power. Due to increased cost of land development and home construction, prices are lower today than what they will be tomorrow. If you are looking to purchase a larger home, you may have an opportunity to purchase more home for the money if you act now.

 

How do I set a price for selling a home?

Please take advantage of my experience in the market and extensive training in determining the best price attainable for selling a home. My knowledge of economic trends, the local real estate market, recent sales in your neighborhood, and an understanding of your situation help me advise you on an effective pricing strategy. In helping establish your price, I will complete and interpret a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). In a CMA, your home is compared to recent sales, competing properties, and listings that failed to sell. Selecting the right properties for the CMA is critical to a proper understanding of what the market will pay for your home. It would be my pleasure to provide a CMA for you.

 

Tips to Help  Selling a Home Faster and For More Money

Outside tips for Selling a Home

  • Mow and water the lawn
  • Trim trees and plant flowers
  • Store all bikes, toys and equipment out of sight
  • Paint or touch-up the outside of the house
  • Put potted flowers in the front

Inside tips for Selling a Home

  • Get rid of unnecessary furniture. Use a self storage facility if
    necessary.
  • Clean closets and clear off countertops
  • Scrub all tile floors
  • Clean all carpets
  • Clean all windows and mirrors
  • Clean stains in all sinks and tubs

Fix-It tips for Selling a Home

  • Fix leaky faucets
  • Replace missing door or cabinet handles
  • Fix or replace broken appliances
  • Replace broken tiles in bathroom or kitchen
  • Paint, if necessary
  • Major repairs, I can discuss those with you

Freshen Up tips for Selling a Home

  • Stop smoking in the house
  • Bathe pets and clean out litter boxes
  • Empty all trash, recycle bins, etc
  • Dry-clean drapes
  • Use baking soda boxes in smell-prone areas
  • Place flowers, potpourri or air fresheners around the house

Ask a “Buyer” before Selling a Home

Selling a Home – Marketing

A fast, profitable sale is seldom a matter of luck. Far more often, selling a home is the result of sound planning and a marketing strategy that makes the most of all the available tools. I carefully track which marketing sources generate the most leads so that we market your home in the best possible venues. Our Relocation Division’s ability to reach out-of-town buyers is superior to that of any other South Central – Southeastern Pennsylvania broker. PLUS we have an array of unique, exclusive programs to generate buyer interest in your property. Contact me to discuss a comprehensive marketing plan for your property.

 

Selling a Home – Is a Home Warranty Important?

There are reasons to purchase a home warranty, and there are circumstances where a home warranty may be less important. What I can tell you is that statistics indicate that selling a home with a warranty sell will yield  prices higher than homes sold without a warranty. Buyers feel more confident that the warranted home they are purchasing will not cause them major problems in the future. The warranty you purchase can protect you during the time your home is on the market, to your date of closing, and will protect the buyer for one year after closing. I can help you determine if a home warranty is a good investment for you.

 

Should I get a Home Inspection if I’m Selling a Home?

Would you feel more confident in making an offer on your next home if you had the opportunity to see an inspection report prior to making the offer? Have you ever heard of stories where a real estate sale fell through because the buyer did not like the results of the inspection report? Generally speaking, when a buyer has a chance to see an inspection report prior to making an offer, the home is sold for a higher amount with a decreased chance of the sale falling through. I can describe the pros and cons of getting your home professionally inspected prior to placing it on the market.

 

How do I purchase home #2 if I have to sell home #1 first?

Most of us cannot afford two mortgage payments; we need to sell our current home before completing the purchase of our next home. In a marketplace where there is a good supply of homes for sale, it’s probably best to market your home successfully first. Then you enter the marketplace as a stronger buyer. None the less, you may find your next home prior to marketing your current home. I can help you choose from several different options in this case so that you can still have your dream home and avoid a double payment situation.


What happens at the closing?

The terms “real estate settlement” and “closing” mean the same. It is the meeting where the seller conveys the ownership of the property to the buyer. A settlement officer, either a title company representative or the buyer’s attorney, will conduct the closing. Many papers need to be reviewed, signed, notarized and witnessed while selling a home.  Among the documents you will be asked to sign is a seller’s affidavit and deed. Upon execution of the deed and the exchange of keys, you will receive your proceeds. I’ll walk you through what to expect at settlement and answer any questions you may have.

Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate  as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

Cell: 717 514-1793
email: mailto:Ken@KensHomesales.com

presented by KensHomesales.com

How to Sell a House in Harrisburg PA: Make Sure Your Home Sells At The Right Price

How to Sell a House in Harrisburg PA: Make Sure Your Home Sells At The Right Price

Establishing a reasonable and profitable listing price for a home is perhaps the biggest challenge in considering how to sell a house. Before coming to a final figure, many sellers ask themselves: “That home down the block went for a lot; can I just price my home in the same ballpark?” “Can I jack the price up in a hot market?” These and many other factors must be considered before deciding how to sell a house and settling on a listing price.

As a Real Estate professional, while considering how to sell a house, I recommend taking the following steps before setting an asking figure.

Do The Homework. Ask for a written comparative market analysis (CMA) before you continue on your quest of how to sell a house. This will provide a list of recent sales prices of similar homes in the area (with comparable numbers of bedrooms, baths, square footage and lot size), the asking prices of homes currently for sale nearby and other important information. I will then provide a professional estimation of a legitimate selling price.

Take the Emotion Out of It. While the seller likely has great affection for the home, I will not set the price based on the seller’s emotion. Instead, I will evaluate the location, condition and size of the home and decide how to price the house, and therefore educate you on how to sell a house.  A house in a secluded, exclusive area may appeal to some, while others will want to be closer to schools, shopping and health care facilities. What is the physical condition of the home? Is it a fixer-upper? Does it make a good first impression (the ever important curb appeal)? Will it appeal to a growing family, or is it better suited to empty nesters?

Determine If It Is a Buyers/Sellers Market. Home inventory, mortgage interest rates and the economy play a role in determining how to sell a house. It  will determine whether the buyer or seller has a negotiating advantage. Interest rates remain at historically low levels even as the economy shows signs of improving, putting buyers in a good position to shoulder “good” debt of homeownership.

Do the Math. Do not forget to figure in closing costs, legal fees and other selling expenses when determining how to sell a house. I can provide cost estimates, and negotiate with potential buyers to ensure a good sale price.

Give It the Once Over. There is one more step to ensure that your steps in how to sell a house have been met. Do as much as possible to improve the home’s appearance: touch up the paint, fix leaks, seal any cracks, clean up the clutter, and eliminate pet odors. The house has only one chance to make a first impression.

Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate  as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

Cell: 717 514-1793
email: mailto:Ken@KensHomesales.com

presented by KensHomesales.com

How to Sell a House in Harrisburg PA: Looking Through the Buyer’s Eyes

How to Sell a House in Harrisburg PA: Looking Through the Buyer’s Eyes

 

Below are questions to ask yourself when preparing your home for sale to ensure it looks the best it possibly can in the buyer’s eyes.


How to Sell a House: Prepare the Exterior

Does your yard look well maintained?

Are the trees and bushes trimmed?

Is your lawn mowed and edged?

Is your lawn free of weeds?

Are the decks and patios clean?

Does your house need painting?

Are there any exterior holes or cracks?

Are your walks and porches clean and in good repair?

Does your roof leak or sag?

Are any shingles or tiles missing?

Is your chimney in good shape?

 

How to Sell a House: What Condition are the Carpeting/Walls/Ceilings In?

Are your carpets clean and in good condition?

Do your carpets need to be stretched?

Are there any pet or smoking odors?

Do your walls have any cracks or holes?

Do your walls need painting?

What about that wallpaper?

Do your ceilings have any water stains, cracks or peeling?

Do your ceilings need painting?

 

How to Sell a House: Look at Your Kitchen

Are your appliances clean and in good working order?

Are your cabinets in good condition?

Are your countertops in good condition?

Is your tile grout clean?

Is your sink stained, chipped or in need of recaulking?

 

How to Sell a House: The Bathroom Can Make or Break a Sale

Do your faucets shut off completely?

Do your sinks drain freely?

Are your toilets in good condition?

Are your shower doors shiny?

Do your tubs need caulking?

Is your floor in good condition?

Are your vanities and mirrors in good condition?

 

How to Sell a House: Look at the Living Room

Is your fireplace clean?

Is the fireplace screen in good shape?

Are all drapes, shutters and shades clean and working properly?

Are any window screens bent?

Do all the windows open and close easily?

Are the windowsills clean?

Are your doors in good condition?

Do any doors sag or stick?

Do the locks work?

Is the paint in good condition?

Do the doors seal tightly?

 

How to Sell a House: Never Overlook the Basement/Attic

Are your basement and/or attic organized?

Are they well lit?

Are they clean?

Are the stairs in good repair?

Do the doors open and close easily?

Are there any signs of insects or rodents?

 

How to Sell a House: Don’t Forget the Garage

Is your garage organized?

Is it well lit?

Is the floor swept?

Are there oil spots or other stains on the concrete?

Every single item on this list is imperative to keep in mind when considering how to sell a house. I will walk you through the process of how to sell a house, and we will get you top dollar if you are willing to do your part. 

 

 

Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

 

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate  as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

 

Cell: 717 514-1793
email: mailto:Ken@KensHomesales.com

 

presented by KensHomesales.com

Home Improvements that Increase your House Values in Harrisburg PA

Home Improvements that Increase your House Values in Harrisburg PA

A home is one of the largest financial investments a person will make in their lifetime. While property values overtime are determined by national variables, the economy and local market conditions, the care and upkeep of a property is also a crucial element toward achieving a solid re-sell. Whether you are planning on adding more rooms to create extra space, upgrading your kitchen with new appliances or are thinking of putting your home on the market, I can offer some essential home improvement tips that might increase the value of your home.

 

Kitchen Makeover:Out of all the rooms in the house, the kitchen is the most popular to remodel. According to Remodeling Magazine, money spent to upgrade a kitchen produces the highest return on investment. “Hot” kitchen makeover trends include adding dual sinks, cooking stations, extra-long dishwashers, under-cabinet lighting, warming ovens and wine coolers.

 

Bathroom Fixer-Upper:Upgrading a bathroom is also a sound choice and will usually provide a significant return on investment. Large bathrooms are typically on the top of the list of priorities for those seeking to purchase a home. Adding skylights, glass block windows, ceiling fans and sunken whirlpool baths are also attractive selling features. If you don’t have the room to expand or to accommodate larger appliances, or you don’t think you’ll be living in your home long enough to enjoy the changes and/or see a return on this kind of investment, stick with neutral, mid-builder level updated cabinetry, refreshed flooring and shower/tub, or a new sink and toilet.

 

Room to Grow:Adding a room or two, such as a spare bedroom or a study, is a significant home improvement that you will be able to take advantage of every day. In addition to the much-needed extra space, it can also potentially provide you with a good return on your investment when it comes to selling the property.

 

Landscaping:A professionally landscaped yard can certainly increase the “curb appeal” or desirability of a home. In fact, beautifying your lawn can be one of the most inexpensive home improvements. Additional simple landscaping projects include trimming and edging the grass, manicuring the trees and shrubs to open up the view of the house, removing any dead plants and planting flowers to brighten up the yard.

 

Repair Jobs:While many homeowners may want to update and remodel their kitchen, if the roof needs to bed fixed or if the chimney has to be repointed, then they should prioritize these necessary repairs over any cosmetic changes. This applies to both sellers and those who plan to stay in the home for years to come, as these essential repairs must be taken care of before they cause the house to lose value. It is vital to look after the minor problems such as a leaky faucet or a loose cabinet to ensure that your house doesn’t undergo any long-term damage. As soon as you notice a problem, even if it seems minor, fix it right away.

 

Cosmetic Touch-Ups:A paint job, new double-paned windows and new carpeting will increase the price of a house virtually dollar-for-dollar. Neutral paint and eliminating clutter can make a world of difference. However, don’t go overboard with home improvement projects that will push a house too much above the current average value of homes in your neighborhood. It is important to make sure that your home has standards that are in line with the other houses in the neighborhood, but you do not want to price yourself out of the market.

 

Home Improvement Professionals for Hire:Whether you need an architect, gardener, interior designer or contractor, it is always important to do a background check prior to hiring a professional. Get references from family or friends and interview them – checking is critical. The most important quality to look  for is trust, not initial price.

I can offer some essential home improvement tips that might increase the value of your home. Call me today for guidance, to get that house valued as high as possible for your future sale.

 

Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

 

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate  as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

 

Cell: 717 514-1793
email: mailto:Ken@KensHomesales.com

 

presented by KensHomesales.com

Moving With Kids Does Not HaveTo Be A Struggle

Moving With Kids Does Not HaveTo Be A Struggle  

 

Summer is the busiest home moving time of the year, as families try to get settled before the start of the new school year.  Many thousands of kids move each year.  Scared, excited, angry — are just a few of the feelings kids have about moving. Moving isn’t easy for anyone, even for adults. And while moving can be a time for some great new things — like your own room or a new place to explore — it can also be a time that’s sad and stressful, too. 

Carefully preparing children for the move will ease the transition and make the process smoother for the entire family.  Here are some ways to make a move a little easier.

Communicate
Maintain an open dialogue with the children about the decision to move. Engage them at the beginning of the process to give them time to get used to the idea. Explain why you must move and answer questions truthfully.

Here are some helpful questions to begin the conversation:

How do you feel about moving to a new area?                    
What are you going to miss most about our current home?
What are you looking forward to at the new house?

 

Listen
Listening to your kids’ concerns is equally important. Pay close attention to statements so you can alleviate any fears.  Avoid being dismissive of any social concerns; acknowledge them and remind the kids about the new opportunities ahead.

Check Things Out
Involve your children in exploring the new area.  They will feel less nervous when they know what to expect, and second, they may start getting a little excited about the new place you’re headed to.

Take them to see the new home.  Exploring the inside would be ideal, however if you are unable to show them the inside at least drive by and explore the outside and the neighborhood.  This will gives them a chance to think about how they want your room to look. And they may be able to run into kids who live on the street.

Stop by their new school.  It is another important place to visit.  Call the school and ask for a tour so they will know what it looks like inside.  If they are into band, sports, or other clubs, it will give them the opportunity to ask which activities are offered at the new school.

If you’re moving far away to another part of the country, or even a different part of the world, you’ll need to check things out in a different way. You can do an Internet search and find out about your new town. You also can visit your library and check for books on that city or state.

 

Pack It Up

Before you move, your house will probably be full of chaos and boxes. Have the kids pack a special box of their favorite stuff – stuff they will want to have as soon as you get there. This can include personal items, such as stuffed animals, photos, and other stuff that will make them feel at home. It’s also a wise idea to include stuff they’ll need the first night, such as sheets for their bed, a pillow, pajamas, toothbrush, and other must-haves. Mark this box with their name on it, so they can get it as soon as it comes off the truck.

Once they taken care of their most precious stuff, have them help with other moving tasks.

Another suggestion would be to pack up the kids’ rooms last to minimize the feeling of any disruption.  The longer they feel secure in their own rooms, the easier the transition will be.  Then, set up their bedroom first so they feel like they’re back in familiar surroundings.

Preparing for Goodbye
It’s sad to say goodbye to friends, family, and neighbors. Have them make it less sad if by grabbing an address book (or just a plain notebook) ahead of time and have everyone write down his or her address, phone number, and email address. You can also get them a big blank book so they can ask their friends to fill it with messages.

Have them take lots of pictures or videos of their friends, favorite places, and neighborhood. They can even put together a scrapbook or shoebox full of things that remind them of Their hometown and all their friends.

Moving Day
When moving day finally comes, let them know that it’s OK to feel sad.  Let them know what do your going to do when they get there?

Have them start with unpacking the special box of favorite stuff. That will help them feel more at home.

Surprise
Arrange for special treats to be waiting for everyone at the new house.  New games or new cuddly friends will keep the kids busy during the unpacking and make the first memory of the new house a pleasant one!

 

Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

 

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate  as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

 

Cell: 717 514-1793
email: mailto:Ken@KensHomesales.com

 

presented by KensHomesales.com