Pierre C. Rumpf | Manchester-by-the-Sea Real Estate, Effex Real Estate, Beverly Real Estate



 Photo by kalcommodore via Pixabay

Beautiful railings, including the railing that surrounds your deck, plays a major role in your home's curb appeal. Even when it's not visible from the street, a strong, sturdy deck and the railing that surrounds it can still raise your home's resale value. That's extra living space, after all. Even if it is outdoors. But even more important, your deck and its railing need to be structurally sound for safety purposes. You don't want to take a fall off your backyard deck, and you certainly don't want your family, friends or guests to have a mishap. For these reasons, it's vital to keep railings in top condition. Here's how:

Choose the Right Material for Deck Railings

Today's homeowners have multiple options for creating a railing around a wooden deck. More popular ones include:

  • Pressure-Treated Wood -- A popular choice for deck railing, wood is the most high-maintenance railing material on the market. Even pressure-treated lumber will need to be re-stained or re-sealed intermittently. This type of railing may also warp or twist over time, but for an upscale appearance, it's difficult to beat. 
  • Vinyl --Vinyl is lightweight and requires little-to-no maintenance other than an occasional cleaning with the garden hose. Vinyl won't rust or rot, but the color may fade over time. 
  • Aluminum -- Aluminum is a lightweight, durable material that can withstand corrosion, rust and rot. It can be painted any color and is typically cheaper to install than heavier options such as pressure-treated lumber. 
  • Composite -- Composite deck railing is made from PVC and recycled wood. It combines the best of both worlds because it's impervious to warp, rot and rust. It doesn't need staining or sealing, it's available in many colors and can easily be painted. 

Once you've decided on a material, professional installation is best. Unless you're confident in your construction abilities, weight-bearing structures, such as deck railings, should be built to code. You'll likely need a permit, as well. Adding a well-built, professionally installed railing to your deck will impress future homebuyers. It will also delight your friends and family when the weather turns friendly. 

Maintaining Deck Railing

The best advice for maintaining your deck railing over time is simply to inspect it regularly. Take a good, long look every spring, and if you see issues -- nails that are popping up, boards that are weakening -- have them repaired right away. Clean your deck and railings annually, regardless of their composition, and make sure to stain and seal wooden railings at least every other year. 

The condition of the trim around your home, including railings, affects your home's value. Take the time to keep them in top condition to maintain their value and their safety. 

 


Moving day; you’ve waited months for this day to arrive, working hard to make sure you, your family, pets, and belongings are ready for the big move.

With all of the preparations and various people involved, it’s easy for moving day to become dangerous.

To ensure that you and your family have a safe and smooth moving day, I’ve provided some tips that every mover should keep in mind.

Make plans for pets and young children

The last thing you want on the first day in your new home is to be wandering around the neighborhood looking for your dog who slipped away during the move. If possible, make arrangements for pets to stay with friends or family for moving day to make things easier.

If you need to bring your pets along, it’s a good idea to put them in a “playroom” with their toys, water bowl, etc. while you have the door to the house open. Not only will it stop them from running out, but it will also prevent you from tripping over them while you carry the couch.

Don’t be a hero

It’s our tendency to want to do a job ourselves if we want it done right. But, when it comes to moving, that philosophy can lead to a thrown out back and a damper on your plans.

When it comes to getting large and heavy objects in and out of the house, make sure you have at least one other person ready to lift with you.

Stack from heaviest to lightest

It may seem obvious, but in the confusion of a move, it can be easy to pack your truck or van in a less-than-ideal way. Rather than playing Tetris with your boxes, try to focus on weight instead. You don’t want heavy boxes near the roof in case they fall on you or on your other belongings.

Place the largest and heavier items in the van first. This will allow you to plan the rest of the load around them, rather than having to move them around to make room.

Take a breather

As tempting as it may be, you don’t have to finish everything in one day. As long as your truck is locked and secure, it’s okay if you don’t bring in every single box. Resting throughout the day and staying hydrated, especially when moving in the summer, will help you stay sharp and ready to keep working.

Have an emergency plan

If you take precautions, you most likely won’t have to worry about emergencies. However, accidents do happen and it’s best to be prepared for them when they do. If you or a family member requires medication, make sure it’s handy and that everyone knows where it is.

Similarly, label your first aid kit and keep it with your necessities during the move.


If you follow these tips, your moving day should be a simple and safe process and you’ll be enjoying your new home in no time.


Image by Sandro Porto from Pixabay

On the basic level of supply and demand, a housing shortage leads to higher home prices. But let's look beyond the obvious at a few other considerations a homeowner might want to make in response to a housing shortage, as well as a few tips for the prospective homebuyer. 

More Housing, Same Space

Wondering what the best investment you can make to raise the property value is? Creating extra housing within the existing footprint of the property is one of the best ways to go. Creating an attic or basement apartment in the existing home is one way to go, so is building an entirely new structure to house a granny flat. You could look into garage conversions, see if there are changes that could be made to any existing outbuildings, or break ground and start from scratch. In response to the housing shortage there are many laws being passed to make it easier for homeowners to receive approval for adding additional residences to their property, including simplifying licensing procedures and even overriding some HOAs, including one that just went into effect statewide in California. 

A Great Time to Sell the As-Is Home

A housing shortage doesn't just drive prices up, it can cause buyers to quickly snap up houses with cosmetic flaws that would normally linger on the market. If the thought of doing needed house painting or landscaping feels like it defeats the purpose of selling the home, then now might be the right time to put your home on the market. Additionally, if you'd already been planning to sell your home, but have continually been adding to a never ending list of projects to complete before selling, then now is the time to list, while the market is hot, even if you're DIY home improvements are still a far cry from perfect. 

Getting Into the Rental Market Is a Strong Income Source

If you're planning to purchase and move to a new home, you may want to re-think selling your current one. Although it may be a strong market for selling a home, the rental market could be robust. If you can afford to keep your current home, you may have an ideal income-producing investment on your hands. 

3 Tips for the Homebuyer During a Housing Shortage

If you're looking to buy a home during a housing shortage, don't despair of the shortage. You'll have luck, just expect it to take a bit longer and follow this advice:

  • Work with a top-notch agent. To find the available houses you'll need to work with the agent who knows where to look.
  • Choose where you're most willing to compromise on your 'dream home' in advance.
  • Be ready to move quickly. Have all your paperwork and finances in order, and be ready to go when you find the right place.

  • If you're an apartment renter ready to take the plunge into home ownership, there are a lot of reasons to be excited! Owning your own home does bring with it additional work and responsibilities, but the feeling of pride that accompanies it makes it all worthwhile!

    Once you get used to the idea that "the buck stops here" and that there's no landlord to handle repairs and maintenance any more, it won't take long to get into the rhythm of being an established property owner. Here are a few tips to help ensure that your first experience with home ownership is a satisfying one.

    • Get a good real estate agent. A real estate professional can provide you with valuable guidance, advice, and information about houses you're considering in your desired neighborhoods and price ranges. A buyers' agent can help you avoid many of the potential pitfalls of buying your first home and help you stay within budget. They'll assist you in clarifying your priorities and work on your behalf to find homes that meet your requirements. A service-oriented agent will not only point out the positive aspects of houses you're considering, but they'll also discuss ideas for adapting the home to your specific needs and lifestyle.
    • Hire an experienced property inspector. A seasoned home inspector can take a close look at the condition of the house and property you're considering and help make sure there are no major structural defects, safety issues, or operational problems with the home's systems and components. Although every property inspector approaches their job a little differently, their inspection service should include everything from the roof and foundation to the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. They may also report to you on the condition of the home's insulation, its exterior, and any existing or potential drainage problems on the property. Certain aspects of the house may be excluded from the inspection if it's difficult or unsafe to gain access to them. A top-notch home inspector can also provide useful insights into repairs that need to be made on the house. As a side note, professional property inspectors are often members of The American Society of Home Inspectors and follow the organization's Standards of Practice.
    • Visit a lot of different houses for sale before making a final decision. It also pays to have a checklist with you to keep track of how each house stacks up to your requirements and expectations.
    While your emotions will invariably play a role in your final choice, many other factors should also be taken into account, including the character of the neighborhood, proximity to conveniences and shopping, and the quality of the school district. Your real estate agent and/or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development can provide you with a handy checklist for evaluating and comparing homes for sale.

    If you want to buy or sell a home, hiring a real estate agent is a must. With an expert real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble getting the best results.

    A real estate agent can teach you the ins and outs of the housing market and ensure you can make informed buying or selling decisions. In addition, a real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist you throughout each stage of the homebuying or home selling journey.

    Although many real estate agents are available nationwide, it is important to remember that not all of these housing market professionals possess the same communication skills. And if you hire a real estate agent who is an ineffective communicator, you may miss out on opportunities to buy your dream home or get the best price for your current residence.

    Ultimately, there are many signs that a real estate agent is a great communicator, including:

    1. A real estate agent keeps in touch with clients via emails, phone calls and texts.

    A real estate agent who understands the importance of effective communication will be able to stay in contact with you via emails, phone calls and texts. This housing market professional is happy to work with you in any way possible, and as such, is ready to lend a helping hand time and time again.

    Furthermore, a great communicator understands the importance of timely, accurate messages. This means a real estate agent who strives to maintain open lines of communication should have no trouble keeping you informed throughout the homebuying or home selling cycle.

    2. A real estate agent listens to your concerns and questions.

    Let's face it – buying or selling a home can be stressful, particularly if you're operating in a competitive housing market. Lucky for you, a real estate agent who acts as a great communicator can listen to your concerns and questions and help you alleviate stress.

    A real estate agent understands what it takes to assist a homebuyer or home seller. He or she also recognizes the importance of active listening and respond to your concerns and queries instantly. That way, this housing market professional can do whatever it takes to help you remain calm, cool and collected as you buy or sell a home.

    3. A real estate agent is unafraid to be honest.

    Although the homebuying or home selling journey should be simple, problems sometimes may arise. However, a real estate agent who serves as a great communicator will provide honest, unbiased recommendations to help you overcome any challenges.

    A real estate agent is proud to assist his or her clients. At the same time, this housing market professional is unafraid to deliver bad news. Therefore, a real estate agent who is an effective communicator can share good and bad news with clients, provide consistent support and help clients mitigate homebuying or home selling problems as quickly as possible.

    Employ a real estate agent who is a great communicator, and you can work with a housing market professional who can help you overcome the challenges associated with buying or selling a home.




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