Moving Checklist: RealtorKJ

The whirlwind of moving can quickly take on the effects of a hurricane when you add in kids, pets, or special circumstances. As is the case with most things in life, planning is key!

Whether you have six months, or six days to get it all done, just take a deep breath, prepare and let’s get planning!

Once you have decided to move, and established a loose timeline, its time to prep, prioritize and pack. Knowing what you touch and use daily as opposed to items in closets, storage and in the very back of cupboards makes it easier to start packing early on. If you are able to spread the work out, you, your family, and your pets will all feel at ease.

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An Incredibly Handy Home Maintenance Checklist

Thanks to a quick internet search, I found this very informative article from The Art of Manliness covering the ins and outs of home maintenance. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by all of the tedious tasks when you look at it as a whole. When you break it down seasonally, it is approachable and easy to plan for. 

They even went so far as to build a handy checklist!

home-maintenance

When buying a home, most people probably first think of the financial responsibility. Don’t let yourself forget, however, about the time and labor that home ownership also requires. Just like regular oil changes for your car keep your engine happy and healthy, keeping up with regular home maintenance tasks will keep you from future headaches and wasted money.

It can be intimidating to think about these various tasks, especially if you’re a new homeowner. It’s a long list — there’s no denying that. The good news is that you can do the majority of it on your own without much experience. Google is your best friend, and if you really get stuck, call up your local handyman to help you out.

In order to maximize your efficiency and actually get all of these tasks done, you might want to create a home maintenance calendar for yourself. Whether online or on paper, you can jot down small, regular tasks for each weekend and not be too overwhelmed. We’ve listed tasks that need to be done monthly, quarterly, and biannually. We’ve also given you a list of tasks to be completed seasonally. Not every expert agrees as to which task needs to be done in which season, so this isn’t a black and white list, necessarily. Do what works for you and your schedule, and as long as all these things get accomplished, your home will be happy for years and years to come.

Monthly

  • Inspect, and possibly change out HVAC filters. Many experts will say to change the filters monthly, but that’s not always necessary. For smaller families without pets or allergies, you’ll likely be okay changing the filters every 2-3 months. If the filter is dirty, change it out, otherwise inspect it again next month. I’ve also been told by handymen to go with cheaper filters and replace them more often versus going with the expensive filters.
  • Clean kitchen sink disposal. There are a bunch of ways to do this, but the handiest and best all-around solution seems to be vinegar ice cubes. Put some vinegar in an ice tray and let it freeze, then run the ice cubes through the disposal. It freshens it, but as a bonus, ice sharpens the blades. You’re welcome.
  • Clean range hood filters. If you’ve never thought of doing this, you’re in for a real “treat” when you get that filter off the hood to clean it for the first time. The Family Handymansuggests simply using a degreaser from an auto parts store mixed with hot water. Let the filter sit for a few minutes, rinse it off, and you’re good to go.
  • Inspect your fire extinguisher(s). We’ll assume you have and know how to use an extinguisher. This inspection doesn’t require much: ensure it has easy access (not being blocked by a garbage can or anything else), that the gauge shows adequate pressure, and that it has no visible signs of wear and tear.

Quarterly

  • Test smoke/carbon dioxide detectors. Another simple task; your detectors should have a “test” button. If the alarm sounds, you’re good to go. If not, replace batteries immediately and test again. If it still doesn’t sound, it’s possible there’s simply corrosion on the battery terminal, and it won’t detect new batteries.  Clean it and try again. If it still doesn’t work, you’ll likely need a new detector.
  • Test garage door auto-reverse feature. In 1993, federal law required all garage doors to have this feature after multiple child deaths. Test every month by placing a 2×4 on the ground where the door would close. It should reverse after a second or so when the door hits the wood. Also test the photo-electric sensors if you have them by placing something in front of them (not your body). If the door doesn’t immediately go back up, you have a problem.
  • Run water and flush toilets in unused spaces. This mostly applies to guest bathrooms, or any other sinks/water sources you don’t use on a regular basis. The idea is to prevent grime or any other kind of build up. Regularly running a little bit of water through will prevent this.
  • Check water softener, add salt if needed. You shouldn’t need to add salt every month, but better to check anyway, as it only takes about 5 seconds.

Semiannually

  • Test your water heater’s pressure relief valve. This will prevent mineral and corrosion buildup, which safeguards against leaks. It will also help your heater run more efficiently.
  • Give your house a deep clean. Take one Saturday every six months with your whole family, and give the whole house a proper deep clean. Appliances, windows, dusting every nook and cranny (including the basement), etc. Keeping things clean and not letting dirt/grime/dust build up over years and years will help keep your home in tip-top shape.
  • Replace batteries in smoke/carbon dioxide detectors.I’d never heard this before, actually. I just assumed you changed it out when it started giving you the low battery beeping noise. This tip was in everything we researched, however. With something as important as this, you can’t be too careful, and batteries won’t break your bank. Change ‘em out every six months.
  • Vacuum your refrigerator coils. I actually learned this tip from a refrigerator repairman, and our research confirmed it. The fridge can use up to 15 percent of your home’s total power, so you want it running as efficiently as possible. Over time, the coils get dirty and your fridge requires more juice. You can save up to $100 a year by doing this, and it’s not at all a difficult task.

Annually (Organized by Season)

Spring

Spring is a big month for home maintenance. They don’t call it “Spring Cleaning” for nothing. Especially focus on the exterior of your home as it’s just gone through winter and is preparing for summer heat, and in some parts of the country, brutal humidity.

  • Check the exterior drainage. Will rain water flow away from the house? Puddles should not stand around your home for more than 24 hours. If water stays, or moves toward your foundation, you have a few options. First, check your gutters. It could be a bad spout or a loose connection there; they may also just need cleaning. Second, you can grade the area around your home yourself with some dirt; this has worked just fine for me in the past. Third, for pavement, you can have professionals come out and raise it so it drains away from your home.
  • Clean out gutters. They’ve likely accumulated leaves from the fall and grime/sediment from the winter snows and/or rains.
  • Inspect the exterior of your home. Is any paint chipping? Is any siding damaged from winter? Are there any holes in your brick? Take a close look all around your house, and make any repairs as needed. Also be sure to check the foundation for any cracks. A good silicone/caulk can fix a lot of your problems.
  • Get your air conditioning system ready for summer; consider having it serviced. This one really depends on your individual home, and even which part of the country you live in. Some places mostly just use window air units, while other places (like my home in Colorado) use a big swamp cooler up on the roof — these are fairly basic machines where a quick internet search can help you fix any issues that come up. Also refer to the user guides for specific regular maintenance. Central air is obviously a more complex system. Getting it serviced by a professional should be around $100 or less, and it will save money and headaches down the road.
  • Repair/replace damaged window screens. You don’t want bugs making their way in because you missed a hole in a window screen. And no, duct tape doesn’t count. It can be a quick fix, but don’t leave it for long. It just looks bad.
  • Clear dead plants/shrubs from the house. This could double as a gardening tip, but if you didn’t trim trees or shrubs in the fall, do so now. Plants can weasel their way into cracks and holes on the exterior of your home, causing damage and shortened longevity. Nip that in the bud before it’s an issue. If you have decorative vines on the exterior, pay close attention.
  • Check trees for interference with electric lines. Have professionally trimmed if necessary.
  • Inspect roofing for damage, leaks, etc. Repair as needed; you may need a professional.

Summer

Summer is a great time to focus on the exterior of your home, as well as your lawn and garden. It’s also perfect for having that garage door open and utilizing the prolonged daylight to work on any manly projects you’ve had on the backburner.

  • Check grout in bathrooms, kitchen, etc.; repair as needed. This will prolong the life of your tiled surfaces and just looks better.
  • Inspect plumbing for leaks, clean aerators on faucets.Go around to all your faucets and toilets and check for any small leaks. If you have poor water pressure out of a faucet, the aerator is the likely culprit and it’s an extremely easy fix.
  • Take care of any insect problems you may have.Summer is their playground. You probably won’t have to look too hard to notice any insect problems. Ants, spiders, moths, etc. are all common, and fairly easy to take care of. Keep cobwebs clear, have ant poison handy, make sure all doors are tightly closed, etc. If termites are common in your area, this handy article gives some tips on how you can do some inspection and prevention yourself.
  • Clean and repair deck/patio as needed. It generally just needs a good washing. A deck may also need re-staining. Also check for any loose boards or posts and repair as needed.
  • Clean out window wells of debris. If you have a basement, you also have window wells. All kinds of things can get down in there from leaves, to trash, to animals.
  • Check and clean dryer vent, other exhaust vents to exterior of home. While the dryer is running, check that the exhaust is coming out. It should smell nicely of fresh laundry. If there isn’t much exhaust, check for blockages as well as you can. You may need a professional. Also vacuum the lint from the hose at the dryer.
  • Clean garage. Cleaning the garage should be a summer ritual for every man. Keeping it clean and tidy will extend its life, and it often gets neglected of regular care. With all the extra dust it gets from the manly projects you’re working on, you should actually clean it even more. Once a year, however, give a thorough going-through.

Fall

Fall is an in-between season where you’re finishing up your summer home maintenance tasks as well as getting your home ready for winter. Cold, snow, and rain can do a number to a home, so you don’t want to ignore winter preparation.

  • Flush hot water heater and remove sediment. This prolongs the life of the heater and helps with efficiency as well.
  • Winterize air conditioning systems. Remove and store window units. If you have central air, cover the outside unit with a tarp or plastic sheeting and secure with bungee cords.
  • Get heating system ready for winter. Check for any leaks in windows or doors; these can cost an arm and a leg. Make sure heating vents are open and not blocked by furniture. Get furnace serviced/inspected at least every other year, preferably annually. As with the AC, this shouldn’t be a huge expense. Don’t forget about fireplaces if you have them.
  • Turn off and flush outdoor water faucets. Also flush hoses and store them. Winterize sprinkler systems as well, if you have one.
  • Get chimney cleaned, if you have one. Some folks say to do this in the spring, some say fall. Either way, just make sure it’s done once per year.
  • Test sump pump. You don’t want to wait until you need your sump pump to find out it’s not working.
  • Check driveway/pavement for cracks. Make sure to have re-sealed before winter; water can freeze and expand in the cracks, causing more damage.
  • Buy winter gear. Have sidewalk salt, good shovels, etc. ready for winter. You never know when that first snow will come!

Winter

Winter is the time to go around the interior of your home and check for any little things you may have overlooked, or perhaps noticed and said, “I’ll get to that later.” Winter is your later. If you have any interior honey-do projects, whether it be painting, building shelves, etc., now is a great time to tackle those as well.

  • Regularly check for ice dams and icicles. De-icing cables that sit at the front of the roof work well. Don’t let icicles grow, as much as the kids may want you to. They’re not only a danger to people standing beneath them, but they’re incredibly heavy and can cause damage to your home. They also can cause water damage to your foundation when they  melt.
  • Test your electricity to the extent that you can. Always, always be extra careful when working with electricity. You can do a couple things on your own, though. Check that all outlets work; if they don’t, you can re-wire them on your own. Also, test your GFCI outlets. There are wildly varying opinions on how often to test this. Some say monthly, others say annually.
  • Tighten any handles, knobs, racks, etc. Go through the house and inspect anything that could have a loose screw.
  • Check all locks and deadbolts on your doors and windows. If anything doesn’t work right, replace.
  • Check caulking around showers and bathtubs; repair as needed.
  • Remove showerheads and clean sediment. This prolongs its life and helps with water pressure as well.
  • Deep clean and inspect the basement. Basements are notoriously overlooked, especially if they’re primarily just storage areas. Dust ‘em up, clean any windows, make sure there isn’t mold anywhere, etc. Give your basement a good inspection at least once a year.

While this list is certainly extensive, it’s not a complete list of all the things you can do for your home. What do you do to keep your home in tip-top shape? Do you have any hacks for doing these tasks as efficiently and effectively as possible?

To read the original article, check out their wonderful blog, here!

New Years Resolutions for Your Home -PART TWO

If you missed the first post, check it out here.

Kids are back in school, work has resumed, and life is in full swing. 2017 can be just like every other year where you resolve to make changes and then lose steam a few weeks or months in, OR you can take the necessary steps to set yourself up for success. Having a plan, set goals and defined timeframes is a surefire way to stick with these resolutions. The benefits of a healthy, efficient home far outweigh the initial time investment it takes to implement them. Read below to find five more resolutions as they pertain to your home:

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Eat Healthier

You are what you eat! In your diet and in your home. Think of gas or electric as the food you eat. It gives you energy to do the things you need, and want, to do. Energy consumption in the home is something we can control through some simple efforts.

  • Fan/space heater in one room instead of heating/cooling entire home
  • Make sure your home doesn’t allow heat to escape
  • Adjust thermostat seasonally
  • Plug entertainment devices into a power-strip and turn it on and off
  • Investigate if gas or electric is most cost-effective for you

The debate of gas versus electric is as long lasting as it is long winded. In order to know which option is best for you, take note of the rates for each in your area. This information should be easily accessible on your bill, or on the provider’s website. Once you have all the information you can re-evaluate your appliances and heating

 

Drink Less. 

Laying off the libations is great for your waistline and your wallet! In your home, especially in California, consuming less water is a necessity. We all know the typical tricks, like reducing shower time, turning off the tap while you brush your teeth and lather your hands, but what can you do to reduce water use in your home?

  • Check for leaks, and fix them promptly
  • Switch to timed watering systems in your yard
  • Reduce lawn space, or better yet, switch to dryscapes
  • Update fixtures. Switching to low-flow toilets or aerated faucets can potentially off rebates as well!

 

Exercise More

Do you have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to “Someday I’ll do This….” but you haven’t done any of it? Exercise your DIY muscle! Why not tackle one of those projects? Repurpose that old outdated furniture. Move it into a new space. Transition your backyard from pile of stuff to haven of rest. You live in California, take advantage of it! There are so many resources, YouTube tutorials, How-To books, and guides to give you step-by-step of any project! Houzz.com is a great place to gain inspiration on larger projects, while Pinterest can give you thousands of ideas from quick and inexpensive to huge and costly. You get to take on whatever you want AND you get to benefit from your handiwork! Hop to it!

 

Family Time

Time is our most precious resource and the only thing can never get more of. Setting a space within your home for family time can be as simple as designating a movie night where family members rotate picking the film, or setting a game closet that kiddos can easily access. Other fun ways to enjoy your home with those you love are:

  • Plant an Herb garden
  • Invite the kids (or significant other) to help you cook
  • Tackle a house project together
  • Makeover the kids bedroom as a family, rework the furniture and it can feel like a new space!
  • Plant a family tree!
  • Install a swing
  • Build a sandbox

 

Reduce Stress

In our homes, just as in our personal lives, many things contribute to added stress. Your heater and air conditioner may have it’s work cut out for it if you’re not taking care to insulate your home properly. Checking window and door seals can be a quick and inexpensive way to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. If you have the ability to update old windows, or take on larger, more expensive projects– think about spraying insulation into existing walls. Not only will it help the comfort of the space, but it serves as a noise barrier as well. Local energy companies will often do free in home analysis’ providing you with suggestions on how to cut costs, usage, and how to maximize heating and cooling efforts.

Other items in your home that may not be standing up to the stress of regular wear and tear are flooring, fixtures, appliances and lighting. Changing out one of all of these can provide you an updated look, energy-efficiency and potential cost savings in the long run.

 

Understanding your home is the first step in knowing which areas need a little extra love. Implementing these resolutions could allow you to be prepared if you take the leap of listing your home, if it sells faster than you anticipate, or if you decide to purchase. Having your life organized, being educated and prepared will make the moving process far easier to handle. I am always available as a resource and am happy to answer any questions, refer you to resources, or help to navigate your next step toward homeownership. I look forward to finding your first home, an additional income property, or your forever home. Give me a call (831) 801-8206 or shoot me an email at KJurevich@gmail.com and let’s resolve to make a move in 2017!

 

Cheers to the New Year!

New Years Resolutions for your Home – Part ONE

For many people, the start of the new year is an opportunity to set new goals; a chance to achieve the things that may have overwhelmed them previously. Whether your goals are for your pocketbook, your waistline or your family- they’re all achievable! Make a list, set a plan and hop to it! Below are some of the top resolutions, no matter how cliche, and how they pertain to your home. This year could be the year you not only improve your mind, body and soul… but your HOME! Enjoy these top 5 resolutions, and check back in a few days for the remaining five.

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Lose Weight

Fitting into your favorite jeans, or buying a size down is exciting, but in your home, fitting all of your belongings in the space you have is key to pleasant day-to-day living. It doesn’t have to be a long drawn out, over the top project. Break your space out into zones. Perhaps its easiest for you to go room to room. Maybe you prefer to pull anything that doesn’t have a home into a common space and organize it from there. The most effective practice for me is setting locations for everyday items. Office supplies, utility items, craft, miscellaneous can all migrate into designated areas. Streamline your life! Imagine what you could do with an empty shelf in the garage, or how much easier it would be to cook after clearing old items you no longer need or use in the kitchen. You know what you can handle. Set a timeframe, and goals– you can do this!

 

Quit Smoking

Everyone knows it’s a nasty habit, its rough on your body and is proven to shorten your lifespan. In your home, smoking can be interpreted in many ways. Make new, healthy habits in 2017 by designating January as the month you ensure the cleanest air possible inside your home. Check and replace air filters, vacuum out registers, wipe down hard to reach surfaces, and clear your dryer vents. You’ll be shocked by how much dust might be lying around your house. Especially living in Central California with seasonal weather. Another way to protect those in your home would be replacing batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors, using air purification machines and dehumidifiers can also reduce allergens like dust, mildew and mold in your home.

 

Save Money/Get Out of Debt

Your home can be a money pit or you can leverage it to be a worthwhile investment. Understanding your finances is the first step. Know what your limits are and don’t over extend yourself. Some simple steps could free up cash to be put toward your mortgage, or toward various projects to increase your equity. Reevaluate your utilities- has your gas bill jumped? Is your water use out of control? Are you throwing money at landscaping that dies every season? Are you paying for more channels than you could watch in a year? Take stock of your daily habits and examine how you could make changes to put some extra cash in your wallet.

 

Learn a New Language

Learning something new, as challenging as an entire language, can seem daunting. The home-buying process can hurl new words, acronyms and topics that can easily sound like greek at times. An easy way to reduce stress before you start your search, is by reading up on the basics. Get to know financial terms, discover essential steps, and clarify any questions you might have prior to beginning the process. Learning these things before you proceed is a great way to ensure you make educated decisions. Find a book, a blog, a magazine or website that you can relate to, and always, always  make sure it is a reliable source. Some of my top picks are: Forbes  Money  and for real estate RealtorKJ , of course.

 

Get Organized

Don’t worry, we already covered purging your closets and tackling those junk drawers. This topic is dedicated to the organization of everything that goes into your home. Collect all of your utilities, chart them on a calendar (electronically allows you to set reminders), and streamline everything from home maintenance to monthly expenses. Additionally, you will benefit come tax-season! Get rid of those stacks of papers and make your life easier.

 

Implementing these resolutions could allow you to be prepared if you take the leap of listing your home with me Kristen Jurevich, if it sells faster than you anticipate, or if you decide to purchase. Having your life organized, being educated and prepared will make the moving process far easier to handle. I am always available as a resource and am happy to answer any questions, refer you to resources, or help to navigate your next step toward homeownership. I look forward to finding your first home, an additional income property, or your forever home. Give me a call (831) 801-8206 or shoot me an email at KJurevich@gmail.com and let’s resolve to make a move in 2017!

 

Check back in a few days for part two of two!

Keeping the Heart of the Holidays Alive

Today, you may be running from errand to errand with a to-do list as long as your arm; stress may be building up about finding “the perfect gift,” preparing for visitors, or taking that trip. You may wonder how you’ll ever get everything done in time. Many non-profits are in the same state of wonder, regarding their year-end donations. Many organizations rely on holiday spirit and kindhearted contributions to fund the coming year.

If you are looking to donate your time, or resources, to those less fortunate, there are many ways to do so. The cause closest to my heart is the Intero Foundation.

Supported by Intero’s offices in Hollister, Gilroy, Santa Clara and Silver Creek (San Jose), the Intero Foundation donated $49,860 to local nonprofits that support low-income and disadvantaged youth in August of 2016. Since its inception, the Foundation, which is funded, promoted and governed by Intero Real Estate Services’ agents and employees, has raised more than $4.5 million. All members of the Intero community – executives, staff, and agents – donate their time to further the Foundation’s mission.

Of specific interest to this round of giving is the $23,860 grant that was presented to Camp Taylor. It’s one of the largest single grants that the Intero Foundation has ever given and will go to support various programs within the nonprofit.

“We are so honored of the positive impact the Intero Foundation is having on the children in our communities,” said Tom Tognoli, Intero President & CEO. “We are especially proud of the incredible grant that was given to Camp Taylor and look forward to the positive impact it will provide to the organization.”

Ugly, Christmas, Sweater, Party, Kristen, Jurevich, Kristen Jurevich, Realtor, Real Estate, Homes for sale, How to buy a home, House, Intero, Intero Foundation, Holiday Giving, Donations, Cherity, Bay Area, California, CA, Santana Row

Intero Foundation will be having their 2nd Annual Ugly Sweater Party on Thurs. Dec 15th.

A fun way to give back is by attending Intero Foundation’s benefit on Thursday, December 15th for Intero Foundation at Rosie McCann’s on Santana Row.  This 2nd Annual Ugly Sweater Party will take place from 6pm-10pm and is open to all ages. Come hungry! All proceeds from food will be donating to the Intero Foundation! Don’t forget your most festive apparel!

Some of my favorite recipient’s are

If you are looking for a way to give of yourself this Christmas season, but don’t know where to start- here are several online resources that can keep you informed giving options and where you can volunteer:

Merry Christmas and Happy Giving!

Kristen Jurevich, (831) 801-8206

How to Attract Serious Buyers During the Holidays

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Kristen Jurevich can market your home to sell, even at the holidays.

The year is quickly coming to a close and many homeowners have placed the idea of listing their home on the backburner. While it may seem prudent to postpone marketing your home until after the New Year, there are some benefits to placing it on the market, or purchasing, now.

Over the holidays, many buyers are busy and don’t have time to be anything other than serious. The tax benefits may not come in time, but with fewer homes available, supply and demand will work in your favor. Interest rates have increased since the Presidential election, and buyers are ready to make home ownership decisions.

As a seller, you can be sure that Kristen will continue to market your home through the right channels, while allowing you to preserve your holidays. Features you can appreciate this time of year include: no “for sale” signs, no lock box, and no open house for either public or Realtors (unless home owner requests otherwise).

Regardless if you’re looking for an upgrade, downsize, or a relocation, Kristen has the insight to ensure your needs are met. Knowing the area, the available inventory and how to get exactly what you’re looking for, she, and Santa can work their hardest to give you a touch of Christmas magic.

Thinking about moving during the holidays but don’t want all the stress? Let Kristen Jurevich with Intero Real Estate Services help you with all your home buying or selling needs. Call today to learn about Kristen’s special holiday marketing program. (831) 801-8206

Pop, clink, drink…309 Riesling Way is ready for your celebrations

Do you love wine just as much as every other Realtor? Why not live on Riesling Way, so everyday is a celebration of life?

The move-in ready home has three bedrooms plus an office with new paint and carpet. The open kitchen has granite counter-tops, pantry cabinets, a new dishwasher, under cabinet lighting, secretary desk, breakfast bar, and eat-in kitchen area. Separate family and living/dining areas. The living room and dining area has built-in cabinets, archways, and half-walls for open entertainment. Cozy up this winter by your fireplace. The master bedroom has a huge walk in closet and private backyard access. The two bathrooms has new flooring, toilets, a tub and shower combo. The home has an indoor laundry room and extra storage in the attached two car garage. The hallway has built-in storage for all your treasures. Enjoy your low maintenance private back yard. Alarm system. Close to Target, Walmart, BJ Brewhouse, and more.

Since the topic of wine made you come to my blog, here are a few local Rieslings that would be great for your first New Home party:

Matt Laconis Riesling Monterey County 2015 a Racy Riesling with a touch of sweetness

ONEHOPE MONTEREY RIESLING Our 2015 Monterey Riesling leads with aromas of honeysuckle flower and peach blossom on the nose.

SeaGlass Riesling the high acidity is lusciously balanced by its fragrant floral aromas and sweet fruit flavors.