Winterize Your House. Hose Bibs and Crawl Space Vents.

Most of the leaves have fallen.  The sky is dreary. Some houses have Christmas

Hose still attached?

decorations; yet pumpkins still exist.  And, yes, the city has put salt brine on the roads for tomorrow’s snow.  Winter is coming!  No, the dead are not attacking from north of the wall, but have you prepared your house for the cold weather.  Here are two common problems I have found looking at so many houses with buyers and sellers. 1) Not removing your garden hoses from the outside spigots and

Vents still open?

2) Not closing the vents/access to the crawlspace.

 

 

 

Remove Your Garden Hoses or Risk Broken Pipes!

You may or may not have used the garden hose the whole year and forgotten it hidden

Remove hoses from Spigots

behind the bushes.  But, it is about to become a means to burst your pipes in the cold weather.  A garden hose filled with frozen water becomes a heat sink to freeze the water inside the faucet pipes and cause them to burst!   Ahh, but I have anti-freeze spigots and this does not affect me.  Wrong!  Anti-freeze spigots do not work if the hose is still attached.  An anti-freeze spigot is designed to have the shutoff valve inside the house (or basement / crawlspace) to prevent water from being exposed to freezing temperatures.  But if the hose is still attached then frozen water will extend from the hose into the spigot.  The frozen water then has a chance to burst the pipes inside.  Remove your garden hoses and allow the anti-freeze spigot to work.

Anti-freeze hose bibs have the valve inside to prevent frozen water from bursting pipes.

If you leave hoses attached, the water inside the spigot can freeze and burst pipes.

Shut the Crawlspace Vents and Make Sure the Access is Shut!

Close the crawlspace vents.

If you have a crawlspace, then you have openings to keep the space ventilated in the summer to prevent stagnant air during the warm months.  Now, during the winter months, these vents and openings should be shut to prevent freezing temperatures in the crawlspace.  Similar to the hose bib issue, we do not want any pipes to freeze and we want you to spend less on winter heating bills.

 

Consider adding optional vent covers.

 

Make Sure the Crawlspace Access is Shut

 

 

 

 

 

Cheers, Eric.

Team Howlett Residential Real Estate, TeamHowlett.com

Day after blog. It’s never too late!

Flipping your own house

There’s a lot of talk about getting rich quick by “flipping” houses. Fueled by the HGTV

Before. Dark paint, burns in the carpet, patches in the walls, windows covered, and clutter.

shows, you simply find a distressed property, fix it up, sell it and voila! You’ve made money! Right? Well, the thing is, this is much easier said than done. You have to be prepared for the unexpected. Who knew that the tub would fall through the second floor bathroom into the kitchen the day after closing?! (This happened to a client of mine when I was a broker in Washington State)

After. Living Room: Freshly Paint and Fixed Walls, New Carpeting, Sunny Windows, and Team Howlett Staging. Move-in ready home for sale!

Here’s a safer bet. If you are considering moving for whatever reason, how about flipping your own house? New carpet, paint and other more minor repairs can make a world of difference. If you want to do the work yourself, please have Eric and I stop by ahead of time to give a free consultation on the best way to proceed.

 

Before. Lots of clutter. Damaged walls, burn marks in floor.

Check out these before and after pictures from our seller in Lafayette! Our seller was out of town, so Team Howlett, with the amazing help of Property Solutions, did the “flip” for him. Jeff Martin,owner of Property Solutions, is a genius in getting the biggest bang for the buck for our sellers. He painted the entire interior, including walls and all trim, replaced both bathroom floors, recarpeted all bedrooms and great room, and put a new counter top

After. Freshly painted walls, repaired flooring, cleaned, cleared and staged. Then fantastic photos to market.

and mirror in the master bath. All materials and labor were only 5,000 and the seller stands to make at least twice that from putting the money in ahead of time.

 

 

 

Before. Master bedroom. Dark, damaged walls, stained carpets.

 

Then Team Howlett came in and worked our FREE staging magic!  This transformation of real estate in Lafayette is astonishing!  Click on any of the photos to expand!

 

 

 

After. Newly painted, sunny windows, new carpets, and staged to perfection.

We never get tired of seeing a job well done.  Give us a call to see how we can help you!  We pride ourselves on pre-sale project help, great staging and then fantastic photos!

 

 

 

 

Before. Master bath. Burn marks on sink, worn sink, damaged mirror, scratches on walls.

Team Howlett.

Meg Howlett, 765-414-6531.

Eric Howlett, 765-414-1795.

Realtors. Residential Real Estate Experts.  Coldwell Banker Shook Broker Associates.

 

After. New countertop, new mirror, new vinyl flooring, freshly painted and staged with decorative items. A bathroom you would be proud of.

Snow & Ice = winter weariness!

I honestly don’t know anyone over the age of 10 who is happy about all the snow we’ve

Hard to park for an hour if the space has snow piled in it!

received in 2014! The hardest thing is all the ice. I know the businesses are trying to clear their parking lots, but it’s just impossible to get rid of the underlying ice until we have a melt. Private citizens are doing the best they can too.  If you are within the city of West Lafayette, here are the guidelines for snow removal from the www.westlafayette.in.gov website.

“Property owners or occupants are responsible for clearing snow and ice from sidewalks that are adjacent to their property? Section 66.01 of West Lafayette City code requires that the owner or occupant of a property adjacent to a sidewalk removes snow and ice within six hours after daylight and after snow fall has ceased.

If you live in West Lafayette IN then you will need to clear your sidewalks. Or you will get a fine. Community service is a good thing.

Failure to remove snow and ice from sidewalks may result in fines and costs for clearing the sidewalks. Fines up to $50 can be issued to the property owner or occupant if a sidewalk for which they are responsible is not cleared. Also, failure to remove the snow and ice may result in the clearing of the sidewalk by the city and the owner being charged for the costs, which start at $80.

Enforcement priorities are elementary school routes first, followed by commercial and retail areas, and then residential neighborhood streets.”  Think spring everyone!!!

West Lafayette IN Home for Sale

Meg & Eric, Team Howlett, are your West Lafayette Real Estate Experts. Buying or Selling. We Help!

Meg, 765-414-6531, or Eric, 765-414-1795.  Please call us today to help you buy or sell your home.  We’ve been selling homes in the current conditions! We just harness up the Huskies and get to work! We are full time real estate agents and care for you!

Indiana water quality officially bumming you out?

So you moved to Indiana and after a month or two your glasses are covered with white

There is a way to keep your dishwasher sparkling without chemicals.

film. Your dishes feel chalky. You’re wondering if everyone has this problem or if you just have bad pipes. Oh…..it’s not your plumbing. Did you know that the Empire State Building was built with Indiana Limestone? Well, us Hoosiers are proud of that, but all that limestone in our soil leaves that horrid film on our dishes.

Team Howlett to the rescue! We have the solution and it is cheap.

Vinegar. It’s natural. It’s inexpensive. Use it!

And the winner is…..VINEGAR!

Yup, vinegar. We buy it by the gallon. Pour a tablespoon or two into your dishwasher every time you run it. It will not only keep your glasses shiny, it will actually remove any buildup that has occurred.  Cheers! Meg & Eric.

Glasses and dishes with no film. We can’t believe it. Try it!

Home Staging Works & It’s Free w/ Team Howlett

When a buyer walks into your house, they are looking for the space and layout for their next home.  It’s really surprising, but people can not help seeing the furniture and the  decor.  The National Association of Realtors (NAR) conducted a survey and found that staging a vacant home or properly staging a lived-in home will sell the house faster and at a higher price.

Home Staging for Free

Team Howlett Provides Furniture and Decor Items for Free!

There are a couple of basic issues to address.  The basic home staging needs to follow Clean, Clear, and Organized. If it is an older house, then some new furniture / decorative items will give the house a new feel. We have had stunning results from our staging!

Homes for Sale West Lafayette, See Home Staging by Team Howlett

An empty room does not illicit a strong response.

Team Howlett (Meg and Eric) will review your home and give you advice about needed cosmetic repairs and staging.  We have a warehouse of staging furniture to help you.  We will provide the furniture and decorative items for FREE.  It is just part of the services we provide for our commission, which is not paid unless the house sells.

There are a lot of houses that don’t have overhead lighting. Staging helps with that too!

Home for Sale in West Lafayette

After staging, the home looks move-in-ready! The furniture softens the lines.