RSS Feed

Category Archives: Home Sellers

Don’t Fall For This Mortgage Relief Scam!

“If you’re a struggling homeowner trying to save your house from foreclosure, beware the latest mortgage-relief scam: Dozens of companies have been accused of falsely promising mortgage relief—while collecting millions of dollars in illegal upfront fees, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently filed three lawsuits against eight firms accused of ripping off homeowners. The agency says the companies collected more than $25 million in illegal upfront fees while promising to modify mortgages or prevent foreclosures.

The crackdown on the mortgage-relief scam is code-named “Operation Mis-Modification”.

“These companies pocketed illegal fees, taking millions of hard-earned dollars from distressed consumers, and then left those consumers worse off than they began,” Richard Cordray, the bureau’s director, told the Los Angeles Times. “These practices are not only illegal, they are reprehensible.”

According to the bureau, there are a few red flags to tip off potential victims. Consumers should be wary of any demands for upfront payments and any guarantee that a modification or other assistance will be obtained.

The Federal Trade Commission also filed six lawsuits, according to the Los Angeles Times. Overall, officials from 15 states—including Florida, Illinois and New York—have filed a combined 32 lawsuits.”

Advertisements

Weatherproofing Your Windows

Step 1

Cut metal or vinyl v-strips to fit in the sash channels.

Cut them long enough to extend at least 1 inch beyond the sash ends when the window is closed. Cut vinyl with scissors; cut metal with tin snips.

Step 2

Remove the adhesive backing and stick the vinyl in place.

Tack metal strips in place, driving the tacks flush so that the window sash will not snag on them. Flare out the open ends of the metal V-channels with a putty knife to create a tight seal with the sash.

 Step 3

Wipe down the underside of the bottom sash with a damp rag and wait for it to dry;then attach self-adhesive closed-cell vinyl foam to the edges of the underside. The surface must be at least 50 degrees for self-adhesive strips to stick.

 Step 4

Seal the gap where the top sash meets the bottom sash.

For double-hung windows, raise the bottom sash completely to the top, and then lower the upper sash a couple of inches. This reveals the lower rail, which is normally hidden. Seal with V-channel weather stripping. If the top sash is stationary, tack tubular gasket to the outside of the lower sash so that it compresses slightly against the top sash when the window is locked shut.

Step 5

Apply paintable caulk around both the interior and exterior window trim. Smooth with a wet finger.

 

January Home Tasks

January Home Tasks

Happy New Year.  I hope you had wonderful holiday season.  Now it’s time to return to reality. :)

Now is a good time to review home tasks for the month of January:

  •     Organize your home improvement files. Review warranties and product manuals to check on recommended maintenance for furnaces, equipment, appliances and tools. Mark your calendar to track scheduled upkeep and service.
  •     Inspect furniture, cabinets and vanities for loose knobs, pulls and hinges. Tighten or repair as necessary. Lubricate squeaky door hinges with lightweight machine oil. Free sticky doors by trimming edges or shimming hinges with thin pieces of cardboard.
  •      Fix squeaks in floors and stairs by applying weight to the area (having a partner stand on it works) and driving an 8d or 12d galvanized finish nail through the flooring into a floor joist or stringer. If you have access to the floor from underneath, glue and screw backs to the floor or treads and to the joist or stringer.
  •     Look for bargains on discontinued appliances and tools. Before buying, make sure that warranties are valid.
  •    Make a room-by-room inventory of everything in your house. In the event of fire, flood or other disaster, it will be important in filing an insurance claim. Photographs or video of your possessions can also be helpful.
  •    Don’t close vents to crawl spaces. If you live where pipes can freeze and the floor becomes very cold, insulate pipes and under the floor. Vents play an important role in controlling condensation beneath a house.
  •    Double-check insulation around exterior pipes that are exposed to freezing weather to be certain that water cannot seep under the insulation.

Here’s to a very prosperous 2013!

 

 

Area Unemployment Drops

Unemployment in Georgia has dropped to 9 percent in September, according to a report by the state’s department of labor.

Macon fared well, adding 1,600 jobs from September 2011. The city’s number of unemployment claims dropped 28.7 percent.

Warner Robins added 200 jobs and saw its unemployment claims drop by 12.5 percent.

This time last year, the jobless rate in Georgia was 9.8 percent.

According to a news release from the state department of labor, the state as a whole lost 400 jobs from August to September but it still added 61,800 jobs since September 2011.

The biggest gains in the state were in professional and business services; trade, transportation and warehousing; and education and health care. Manufacturing was up 8,700 jobs and technology, up 1,100.

 

Air Conditioner (AC) Upgrade or Replacement

Isn’t it ironic how all winter long you crave the warmth of summer, then when it gets here you run for the air conditioner? And isn’t it sad when the AC doesn’t blast you with that winter-cool air you want?

ACs are complicated gadgets, so having an AC professional check it out to make sure it’s in optimum condition is always a good idea, whether it’s for late-season heatwaves or next summer.

Here are a few potential problems you may want a professional to check:

Refrigerant leaks: Your AC needs a refrigerant to carry heat from your house to the outside. If a leak occurs and this chemical is low or gone, you’ll be sweating faster than you can say summer heatwave.

Inadequate insulation: The more your house heats up, the harder your AC works to cool it back down. So insulating your home is a way to help Mr. Cool do his job.

Faulty component: Your AC has many different and specialized components, like fans, coils, filters and motors. It’s a good idea to have these checked by a professional to make sure they’re in good working order – or a late heatwave might discover these issues for you, and you probably won’t enjoy that.

Electrical problems: ACs use a lot of electricity and have a lot of wiring. And this wiring doesn’t particularly get along well with heat. So, making sure all connections are clean and wiring is intact is a very cool thing to do.

 

Painting

Is it time for a whole new look and feel to your home’s interior or exterior? Aside from buying all new furniture, there are probably not many projects that will totally reinvent your living space like a fresh coat of paint.

And now is a great time for this project, whether you do it yourself or hire a professional.

A good first reason to tackle this in late summer, is temperature. Paint typically likes to dry in temperatures above 40 to 50 degrees. And without proper insulation, the exterior walls could be a lot colder than the interior walls. This means those exterior walls could have problems drying. This could lead to some walls being a different shade, or even faint stripes.

Another great thing about summer painting is you can ventilate your house by opening windows. This way, you may avoid some nasty—and potentially dangerous—fumes.

Finally, summer’s extra natural light and longer days will give you a better idea of the true color you’re putting on your walls. This could help you avoid waking up to a shade much different than you anticipated.

5 Simple Secrets to Updating Your Bathroom

Streamline the vanity. Double sinks have long been popular, but having just one gives you more counter space, saves the expense of an extra sink and faucet and because there is less plumbing involved, gives you more storage space in the cabinet.

Choose soothing colors. Updating the accessories, such as towels and the shower curtain, and repainting the walls is an inexpensive way to bring color into the bath. Although stay away from dark green, it can give your skin a sickly hue.

Take a shower instead
. The trend for huge whirlpool baths has cooled, mostly because homeowners realized they rarely used them. Large showers are becoming more popular, especially because they provide easy access and universal use for aging baby boomers.

Conceal the toilet. Setting the toilet apart from the rest of the bathroom with a partial wall or door of its own provides privacy and also makes for a more attractive bathroom.
Layer the light. Overhead fixtures can cast shadows on your face when you’re trying to shave or apply makeup. Instead, create layers of light, including wall-mounted sconces or other vertical fixtures on either side of the vanity.

 

%d bloggers like this: