Todd Finn - RE/MAX Partners



Posted by Todd Finn on 6/18/2017

Don't make a mistake that some first time home buyers make. Don't fall in love with a house a few days or weeks after you start shopping for a house. Even if the house is large enough to comfortably fit all of your furniture, you could regret deciding on a house to buy so early.

You could regret buying a house less than a year after you move in

If it helps, think of shopping for a house similar to dating. You won't see everything about a house during the first visit. Enter into a closing deal too soon and you could miss seeing several other houses that would in the long term cost you less money to maintain.

Buy a house too soon and you could over look structural damages at the house. For example, you might miss or overlook water stains on walls, ceilings or floors because you can't stop thinking about how spacious and modern the kitchen is. You also might:

  • Get upset when your spouse or friends point out shortcomings with the house that you've gotten too attached to. Rather than to face the fact that even the house you love has drawbacks, you force yourself and everyone else to perceive of the house as perfect.
  • Pay thousands more for a house than you should have. You want the house so badly, that you're willing to pay nearly anything to own it.
  • Focus on one to three features of the house but ignore the fact that the house is located in an area that adds 30 or more minutes to your work commute.
  • End up buying a house that you love and your spouse or children hate.
  • Take on the need to pay for ongoing upgrades and renovations.
  • Become sad or angry when you realize that you don't like the community that the house is located in. For example, if you love the fast pace of a big city and the house you fell in love with is in the suburbs, you might feel too far away from the center of town. You might feel bored.
  • Lack nearby places to take your children for fun and entertainment.
  • Increase the distance between you and your parents, siblings or friends.

Consider as many factors about your next house move as you can

Getting too attached to a house could cost you months of peace and quiet. Fall in love with a house that needs a lot of love and care and you could convince yourself that,with just a few renovations, you can turn the house into the perfect place to live. Three to four years later, construction might still be going on at the house, annoying you and your family.

It's this type of drawback that can put strain on your relationships. You and your spouse might end up arguing about the house more than you end up bumping heads about anything else. If your children hate the schools that are located in the jurisdiction where the house you fell in love with is, their mood and disposition might take a dip as well. Avoid these headaches by taking an objective approach to house shopping. Consider as many factors about each house you love before you decide to buy.




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Posted by Todd Finn on 6/4/2017

Between 30 and 70 percent of the water used by homeowners is used outdoors. Water usage in the summer time skyrockets as the heat rises and the grass starts growing. People are watering their gardens, their lawns, and themselves as a means to fight back against the heat of the season. Water usage, however, is becoming an increasingly serious issue as global temperature rises.†In recent years, droughts have affected much of the continental United States, from California to the Carolinas. Most of us have become familiar with the concept of local water bans; limits on water usage for things like watering the lawn, washing cars, etc. However one good practice to get into is conserving water usage even when your area isn't in a time of drought. Follow these tips to start conserving water. They'll help you save money and help you do your small part for the environment as well.

Tips for conserving water outdoors

Since water usage peaks during the summer when we spend more time outdoors, we'll begin with tips for saving water in the backyard.
  • Sprinkler systems.†Homes with sprinkler systems use significantly more water than those without. Sprinkler systems often water the grass when it doesn't need it or it overwaters. Properly setting up your sprinkler system will keep your water bill down.
  • Watering the grass.†Before you water the grass, determine if it needs water. Will it rain soon? Step on the grass and see if it springs back. If it does, you might want to hold off.
  • Keep the grass long.†The roots grow deeper when the grass grows longer. Deeper roots mean the grass taps into groundwater deeper into the earth, so you won't need to water as much.

Indoor water conservation

  • Replace old faucets and shower heads.†Upgrading to more efficient faucets and shower heads will significantly cut down on water usage. If you're concerned about water pressure in the shower, go with a shower head designed for such a purpose.
  • Use a shower bucket.†When you're heating up water for your shower, catch it in a bucket and use it to water your indoor and outdoor plants. Or, take the opportunity to wash your tub with this water.
  • Only run the dishwasher when it's full.†Many people don't want to wait to wash the dishes, but doing so will conserve a lot of water in the long run.
  • Turn off the faucet while brushing teeth and washing hands.†These are habits that might take some time to break, but they're well worth the effort. Keeping the water running while washing your hands and brushing your teeth uses exponentially more water than is needed.
  • Go to the car wash.†Instead of washing your car at home where the water you use runs off into the ground, head to a car wash that utilizes recycled water to wash cars.
  • Wash dishes by hand efficiently.†If you don't own a dishwasher or only have a few dishes that need to be washed, do so efficiently. Don't keep the water running while you're scrubbing the dishes, or fill the sink with a couple inches of water and use this for washing all the dishes you have.





Posted by Todd Finn on 5/28/2017

You're off to a good start if your house is designed with popular, modern amenities like crown molding, newly laid hardwood floors, a kitchen pantry, master bedroom en suite and a kitchen island. Your home already has features that people appreciate and gravitate toward.

Amenities and products home buyers love

Put your house on the market and you could receive thousands more for your home than you would if your house didn't have these amenities. Yet, you could increase your home value even more, perhaps by thousands more. And despite what you might be thinking, you won't need a hammer, wood or nails to add more value to your home.

To raise your home value, add products that people have long respected. Some of these items are pricey. But, the pricier items could easily add more value to your home than they cost. And here the products are:

  • Piano - Leading the way is the shiny, black grand piano. At the top of the line, a grand piano easily cost as much as a house. Even if home buyers don't play the piano, you could get more for your house simply because there's a quality piano in it.
  • Jacuzzi - It's not as popular as it was years ago. But, a Jacuzzi is still a great relaxer. It's also a great social and conversation piece.
  • Laundry room - Pushing a washer and dryer into the corner of a room doesn't count. The laundry room should at least be as large as a walk in closet. A family size washer and dryer should fit comfortably inside the room. So too should three to six shelves.
  • Screened in porch - Bring a sofa, two chairs and a table onto the porch. The space should feel comfortable, as welcoming as your living room or den.
  • Entertainment center - Leave a high definition, wide screen television in your house post sale and you might start receiving more bids. Build a full size entertainment center with television, popcorn machine, billiards or pool table and theater chairs and your home value generally goes up more.
  • Home office - Telecommuting has increased. People who work from home appreciate knowing that they won't have to spend money to design a home office after they move.
  • Gym - Turn half of your basement into a gym, adding a treadmill, rowing machine and dumb bells. Use the other side of your basement as your entertainment or media center.

Share amenities and household products that you love with others

Amenities are as big a part of a house as the actual structure of a home. Get the right amenities and you'll get more than compliments from visitors about your house. You may receive competitive bids when you put your house on the market.

When it comes to raising your home value, even easier than amenities are the right products. These products celebrate the arts, convenience and possibilities. It very well may be these takeaways that home buyers appreciate most about these products. You can love them too, even as you prepare to part with the products during an impending home sale.




Tags: home   home value  
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Posted by Todd Finn on 5/21/2017

When you have kids, the dynamics of your home change. You often go from refined to durable. If we looked at flooring from a simply practical standpoint, weíd end up with uncomfortable flooring's like ceramic, laminate, or engineered wood. Thatís why carpets come in handy.  


For one, children spend a lot of time playing on the floor. When you put down a carpet and there are children around, you fully expect that there will be spills, blood, and much roughing around done right on the surface. So, youíll need to choose your fibers carefully when picking a carpet out. 


Know that polyester, nylon, and triexta are among the most durable types of fibers. Stay away from wool carpets, as they are really not the best choice for homes with children. Polyester (also known as PET), is a budget friendly, and environmentally friendly type of carpet that provides stain resistance and a long life. Nylon is known for durability and softness. This is another material thatís great if you want a carpet with a long life. Triexta is a unique fiber that provides the highest amount of stain resistance and really will be soil-free. 


Modular Carpeting


There is another option when it comes to carpeting and that is modular carpeting. This type of carpeting can be laid out in the form of tiles. If a piece is soiled, stained, or ripped, youíll be able to just switch out that piece of the carpeting puzzle if it canít be cleaned. This is an option for homes with children, however, itís not a popular choice in residential settings. Generally, modular carpeting is used in commercial settings like office buildings, and indoor public places like shopping malls. This can be a good option for you depending on the size of your home and your needs. If you have a room thatís completely dedicated to children, like a playroom, for example, you could use a modular carpet.


Treating The Carpets


There is an option to have your carpets pre-treated with a Scotchgard like chemical. This is also available for your furniture. It helps to prevent your furniture and carpets from stains and soiling, surrounding each fiber for a total protection. Once a fiber is treated, it will never wash or wear off. Itís a good option to treat your home with this especially when you have children.


Whether you decide to do wall-to-wall carpeting or simply place some area rugs around in order to make the floors of your home more durable and comfortable for children, you have some options to take the curse off of the inevitable mess that children will make.




Tags: carpet care   kids  
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Posted by Todd Finn on 5/14/2017

Home is the place where you go to enjoy ultimate privacy. Itís generally not the place where youíd want perfect strangers sleeping on your bed, lounging on your sofa or cooking in your kitchen. Yet, that is exactly what some homeowners have been welcoming.

Important points to consider before you rent out your home

Renting out houses has become a way to generate income. Itís becoming somewhat of the Uber or Lyft of the overnight stay world. Renting out houses has also become more convenient. Digital technology has made it easier to find tenants.

Because of digital technology, people seeking a house to rent for a few days, a week or perhaps a month or longer, can find you with the click of a button. Due to the short length of the rentals, you could to rent out your house without having to buy a second home. Yet, that doesnít mean that it will always be a piece of cake. Following are some important points to consider if youíre thinking about renting out your house.

  • Post security deposit information in your rental house listing. Also, indicate when the deposit is required and when the deposit will be refunded.
  • Add a picture of your home to your online rental house listing. As a safeguard, requests that tenants provide a photo ID.
  • Collecting rent is a must. You could collect the funds up front or at the end of the rental period.
  • Depending on how long you rent out your house,damages could occur at the property. You could be responsible to arrange and pay for these repairs.
  • Keeping the property up to housing codes keeps you legal as a landlord. It could also help you to attract more renters. For example, youíll have to ensure that there is adequate heating, clean running water and cooling.
  • How about pets? Decide if you are going to let people who rent your property bring their pets inside your home. If you do,have a plan to clean when the tenants leave. Also, take into account that pets could damage one or more of your belongings.

Additional points to consider including what to do should you decide to stop house renting

Clearly state what you are responsible for and what the tenant is responsible for in the rental agreement. Also, outline in detail what the start and end dates of the rental are. Have a list of emergency and legal contacts on hand should a tenant get injured on your property or refuse to vacate at the end of the rental agreement.

Speak with other homeowners who have rented out their house. Get the inside scoop on what the arrangements are like. Donít just listen to the success stories. Pay attention to the cautionary tales as well. Approach renting out your house from a business perspective, and be certain to conduct a background check on prospective tenants before you give them the keys to your front door.

If you decide to get out of the house rental business and sell houses that you rent, check with your accountant to see how much profit you can receive before you have to pay federal taxes on the sale of the house. You may have to pay residential and investment taxes on the sale.




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