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It’s Time to Kick These Outdated Real Estate Myths to the Curb

The real estate market is constantly changing, and it can be hard to discern fact from fiction. However, there are some false facts that have been circulating for far too long. Buyers and sellers, beware: here are just a few of the most common real estate myths and misconceptions to kick to the curb for good.

 

It’s always a good investment to purchase the worst property in the best neighborhood.

 

This has long been considered a piece of great advice in the real estate world. Unfortunately, it’s not always true. About 50% of the housing stock today is 37 years or older, and most of these aging homes have roofs, furnaces, flooring and appliances that have reached the end of their lives. Plus, there could be other factors that detract from the home’s potential for appeal:

 

“The strategy of searching for a low-priced steal in high-priced ZIP code isn’t always the best game plan. If the cost of making the house livable will be sky-high, or if it has too many drawbacks that can’t be fixed (for example, if it’s located next to an interstate or a noisy business), then the house may not be such a bargain after all,” writes Debra Immergut on Bob Vila.

 

As a buyer, you should always put down a 20% down payment.

 

This isn’t always true either. There are many different ways to finance your home, and if you don’t have a 20% down payment, you can still arrange a payment plan that works for both parties.

 

It’s not a good idea to sell my house fast for cash.

 

It’s a common misconception that paying cash for homes is a bad idea. Some homes may be best sold for cash: for example, if your home needs kitchen or bath remodels, a new roof, or foundation repairs, there’s an 80%-plus chance your buyer is going to be an investor, and in many cases, they’ll pay cash up front because they can get a better deal. Examine your home carefully to determine whether or not paying cash for homes in Lincoln is a good idea.

 

Ultimately, understanding these tips is the key to making the best real estate decisions for your needs. For more information about getting cash for homes in Omaha, contact us.

These Are Some Of The Grossest Things In Your Home

There are a lot of things and places within your home that people associate with the “gross factor”. Any cleaning company can attest that what people don’t realize is that some of nastiest spots in their homes are also the least regarded. Hence, they get grosser and grosser over time.

In the United States, households spend an annual average of $660.48 on cleaning supplies. How much of those get used properly and regularly remains unknown. Any way you cut it, some of the germiest parts of your home might take you by surprise. After hearing about this list, you may find yourself wanting to clean up your act.

Coffee Makers

That’s right, your precious coffee maker is often a cesspool of bacteria. It’s warm, it’s moist, and sometimes you forget to change the filter for days at a time. Bacteria love this environment. Plus, the lines the water goes through to brew your beloved coffee very rarely sees a decent cleaning. A lot of people assume that steaming hot water does a good enough job of sanitizing coffee makers, but bacteria thrives in those lines. Try an occasional vinegar soak, then run it through the lines. Of course, give those lines a couple rinses with water or your coffee might taste funny.

The kitchen sink

This is disturbing because your dishes are cleaned here. Yet the kitchen sink and, especially, dish sponges, rags, and cloths are some of the worst germ culprits in the house. The awful part is that they’re used for cleaning, but instead of a cleansing scrub, it’s a dissemination of disgusting-ness. Scatter the germ symposium by microwaving your sponges for two minutes every day and replacing them at least once every couple weeks. Rags, if you use them, should see a hot wash cycle every couple days maximum. Beyond that, the surface area of your kitchen sink and surrounding counter space should be disinfected after every use.

Sure, house cleaning does a lot to focus on the general cleanliness of rooms that get a lot of traffic, but the devil is in the details. In fact, those small details that professional cleaners look out for sometimes fall outside their jurisdiction. It’s unlikely that cleaning services will flush your coffee maker or replace your sponges, so stay on top of things like that. Your cleaning company can be a powerful ally in the game against gross, so let’s get to work.

Have a Heavy-Traffic Home? Install Bamboo Flooring for Durability and Elegance

natural bamboo floor

Are you considering redoing your floors and looking at all the choices available to you? Have you considered natural bamboo flooring, which is a great environmental choice that’s also relatively inexpensive, beautiful, and durable? You can get bamboo flooring at most home improvement stores, as well as from specialized environmentally-friendly stores, depending on what kind of bamboo flooring you’re looking for. There’s a wide variety of bamboo flooring brands, bamboo flooring colors, and bamboo flooring styles, so you don’t have to feel limited in terms of creating your own unique look. Natural bamboo flooring can add an elegant, modern, and clean look in any room of your home. Whether you have pets, kids, or heavy traffic, bamboo flooring can stand up to it all, making it a great choice.

What are the Benefits of Using Bamboo For My Floors?

  • Eco-Friendliness 
    Strand woven bamboo floors come from stripping Moso or Mao bamboo stalks that are still young, and 100% of the stalk that gets stripped is used, resulting in no waste. Furthermore, unlike hardwood, which can take hundreds of years to regrow, the root system of these bamboo plants sends up new bamboo shoots annually. And these shoots only need five to six years to come into the right kind of maturity that’s used in natural bamboo flooring. Only about 16 to 20% of the bamboo crop is used every year, which leaves 80% or more of the bamboo forest to continue growing and putting down new shoots.
  • Durability 
    Compared to hardwoods, natural bamboo flooring is incredibly durable and hard. Most hardwoods have about a 1450 on the Janka scale in terms of hardness. Tropical hardwoods like a Brazilian cherry have a hardness level of about 2800. Bamboo can have an average Janka hardness rating of over 3500. Getting a dense, hard wood is important for homes that see heavy wear and tear since they’re less likely to dent and need repair or heavy maintenance.
  • Safety 
    Bamboo flooring can also be also non-toxic, free of formaldehyde, and has no VOC (volatile organic compounds), which is not a guarantee for all types of flooring. If you have pets or young children who spend a lot of time on the floor (and who may not always wash their hands after being on the floor), this can be a good, safe flooring choice for your home. Check with the supplier to find the best type of bamboo flooring.

 
What Types of Bamboo Flooring are Available?
One of the most popular types of bamboo flooring is the strand-woven flooring, which is manufactured to resemble hardwood flooring, with a greater density and durability than hardwood flooring can provide. There are also horizontal and vertical options for bamboo flooring — horizontal bamboo flooring has wider planks, while vertical bamboo flooring has skinnier boards.

There are also different finishes and glosses that you can choose from to further customize your bamboo floors to your satisfaction. Factory finished bamboo flooring offers the most durability for your floors, though oil finishes are also growing in popularity, as it’s harder to notice scratches. And of course, you can always opt for unfinished bamboo flooring.

How is Bamboo Flooring Installed?
Most bamboo floors get nailed or snapped/glued down into place, so it’s possible to do it yourself if you feel comfortable with that. However, hiring a professional does tend to make the work go faster. You should look for an installer with the right certifications and plenty of experience installing bamboo floors for the best job. Your installer may also be able to offer tips on how to keep your floors clean and well maintained going forward.

Consider natural bamboo flooring among your new flooring options. It’s growing in popularity and is relatively maintenance free, provides a sleek look to your home, and is incredibly durable, which makes it perfect for homes that see lots of feet or paws going in and out.

Tips for Keeping Your Water Well Happy and Healthy

Water is a precious commodity. It is crucial for life as we know it.  Americans use a lot of it; we use at least 100 gallons of it each day. Many people around the country get their water from private wells. There are at least 15 million private wells in the United States that are used in residences. All of these wells rely on ground water. While it may not be the most fun part of home ownership, if you have a well, you should be aware of the steps you should take to properly maintain it. Well drilling services companies have the following tips for well maintenance.

Tips for Keeping Your Water Well Happy and Healthy:

  • Practice prevention to save money. If you pay decent attention to the state of your well, you can often discover small problems and fix them early so that they do not grow to be large and very costly to fix. While most homeowners with wells know this, the vast majority never practice it. A recent survey by the National Ground Water Association found 80% of people who own wells have never had them inspected by a professional. Just like your HVAC system or your car, you need your well to be inspected on a regular basis to make sure everything is running the way it should.
  • Hire professionals when your well needs service.  This is not the time to save money servicing your well yourself. Unless you work for or own a well drilling services company, you probably do not have the specialized equipment you will need to properly service your well. It is also much easier than most people think to contaminate a well with pathogens such as bacteria. If you are trying a do it yourself basement sump pump installation you can do more damage than good. You also run a big risk of dropping your equipment and tools into the well. The costs you think you will save you may end up costing you more in long run in lost items and whatever it the costs to have a professional company clean up your mess.
  • Do your research into local well drilling services companies before you hire one. When you hire a well drilling service company, you need to make sure they will include several services. When they are doing a routine maintenance check of the well, they should look at the flow (flow test), a test of the water level before and after it is pumped, a test on your pump to see how efficient it is, a pressure check of the switch contacts and the tank and then the general quality of the water. Ask about all of this before you have the come to your home.Your report should include a thorough report of what they have found and what they recommend be done at this point. They need to look at the water quality and safety in terms of what, if any, pathogens or other contaminants are present in your water. Verify the company will be making all of these checks when they come to your home.
  • There are things you can do to maintain you well. Do not let your well be inspected or serviced by non licensed or certified professionals. Do not pour anything such as fertilizer, paint or pesticides down into your well. Anything you put in your well will be consumed by your family. Make sure you never let your landscaping to cover the well cover.

If you wait until you notice a problem with your well, you risk needed very large and expensive repairs. Your water storage tanks can become contaminated or infected with a wide variety of pathogens or other problem substances like sulfur or lead. To prevent this, make sure you know who the best well digging services or well drilling services companies in your area who can help you keep your well running the way it should. Proper, preventative measures can be taken to keep your water tasting great while keeping your family safe from contaminants and your wallet safe from expensive repairs.

6 Tips for Getting Great Window Treatments

shadesWindow treatments can greatly alter the look and feel of a room and a home. They can also serve a number of functional purposes. They can improve the home’s energy efficiency. Nearly half of the heating and cooling is lost through the windows and this can be prevented with the right window treatments. During the summer, they keep the cool air in and the sun heat out. In the winter they keep your heating in. They are a powerful security tool, they prevent people from peering into your home. You have more privacy with the shades drawn.

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