As the coolness and crispness of Autumn begin to settle in here in Wisconsin, we thought we would share an article that recently ran in the Appleton, WI newspaper about the rising popularity of radiant in-floor heating in new homes and as a home improvement. A toasty warm floor on a chilly morning – sounds pretty good!
There are many, many different reasons for buying (and occupying) real estate. Some common reasons are that a mortgage payment is often less than a rent payment, mortgage interest is tax deductible, real estate tends to be an appreciating asset, and the list goes on and on. The common theme often relates to money and how we can get the most out of our investment. With that in mind, make sure you’re aware of the tax credits that are currently available for certain home improvements. Examples are some window and door replacements, some roof replacements, and some furnace and central air conditioning replacements. The list is long and you can should familiarize yourself with the factors needed to qualify for a particular tax credit before committing yourself to anything. But for those that make the qualifying home improvements, enjoy yet another monetary perk of home ownership!
It’s officially Fall (can you believe it?) and here in Wisconsin that means leaves are (or will be) changing colors, temps start to cool, the apple orchard and pumpkin patch are open for business, and your house needs to be tweaked for the changing season. There are many quick and easy things that you can do inside and outside of your home to prepare for fall and winter. Here are a few to get you started:
Put the storms on your windows and doors. Once the temps spiral downward you don’t want to let precious (and pricey) heat escape needlessly.
Clean your carpets and area rugs. Your house is about to be closed up a lot more than usual and you want to get as much dirt and dust that’s been dragged into the house all summer outside where it belongs.
Reset your thermostat timer. here at our house, we have settings conducive to our air conditioning needs and they differ from our furnace needs. Check the settings and be sure your heat turns on when you really want it to.
If you have a fireplace, get it prepped and checked for safety. For natural fireplaces this may mean making sure it’s safe to operate. For gas fireplaces you will also want to ensure the unit is still safe to operate and you may also need to turn on the gas to the unit (if you happen to turn it off in spring).
Bring in the patio furniture. if you have patio furniture that is not all weather and will likely dry out and/or crack during the cold months, bring it in and put it into storage (like your garage, basement, or shed). If you have furniture that can stay outside year round, make sure you bring in the accents like cushins and pillows.
Pack away the garden hose.There is nothing worse than discovering you left your hose out all winter and then in spring it’s cracked. Disconnect from the source and put it in the garage, basement, or shed. You may want to shut off the water to the spiggut while you’re at it too.
Plant your bulbs. Come spring you will be very, very happy that you took a little time to do this in the fall.
Clean out the gutters. Depending on when most of the leaves fall in your neighborhood you will want to time cleaning out the gutters. Be careful, and you may want to consider hiring someone to take care of this for you if it requires a high ladder.
There is plenty more that you can do, but these tips will get you started. If you ever have questions about what’s best for your home in any season, be sure to email firstname.lastname@example.org!
If you have worked with Glass Slipper Homes you know that we go paperless whenever we’re able to. For example, when you visit one of our listings you will receive a cd containing scanned copies of property information rather than a packet of paperwork. We like it that way – and we hope you do too!
This leads to the question of the day – how and where do you store important documents in your home? While we strive to make sure our homes are safe at all times, sometimes accidents happen. With this in mind, where do you keep documents like insurance policies? The title policy for your home? The closing documents that the title company gave you after a property purchase or refinance? Copies of your tax returns? Receipts if you’re a business owner?
A common answer is a Banker’s Box that you can purchase at any office supply store. While this is handy and economical, what if you store it in your basement and then you get water down there after a heavy rainstorm? Or if you put the same box anywhere else in your house, what will happen to the information if something like a fire or smoke damage occurs? These aren’t things that we like to think about, but it’s important as responsible homeowners to do so.
If possible, consider scanning documents into your computer and then backing up your computer system using an on site option like an external hard drive or an off site option like Mozy or Carbonite. If scanning isn’t an option for you, consider a water and fireproof container for storing important documents – you won’t regret it!