Jane Cheetham - RE/MAX Acclaim



Posted by Jane Cheetham on 5/19/2020

Image by fede13 from Pixabay

Just as your car needs regular maintenance, so does your home. It may not be the highlight of your weekend, but home maintenance is crucial. Keeping your home in tip-top shape will help prevent problems down the road and give you an edge when you decide to sell.

Check Your HVAC System

A general guideline is to swap your HVAC filters every two to three months. If you have a large household and/or pets, you may need to replace your filters more frequently. New HVAC filters can better trap dust and allergens and improve airflow throughout your home, benefiting both your health and your wallet. Service your HVAC system in the spring and fall before extreme temperatures hit.

Clean Kitchen Appliances

Freshen and de-grime your sink disposal. You can do this with conventional cleaners or with vinegar ice cubes. Grind up some orange peels to make the disposal extra fresh. Next up is the range hood filter. A degreaser mixed with hot water should do the trick. Lastly, you'll want to vacuum your refrigerator coils. Doing so will make your fridge run more efficiently and cut down on your electricity bill.

Check Your Fire Safety

Make sure your fire extinguisher is accessible and has sufficient pressure. This should be visible on the gauge. Next, test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Most modern systems have a test feature that will sound an alarm if all is good. Clean the detectors and replace the batteries as needed.

Check Your Water

Inspect your water heater to make sure all valves are working properly. While you're at it, check your water softener and add salt if needed. Inspect your faucets, tubs and toilets for leaks and water pressure issues. Any problems will most likely stem from the aerator, which is a simple fix.

Test Your Electricity

Check that all your outlets are working properly. You can follow various online guides on how to re-wire dead outlets. If you feel nervous about working with electricity, call an electrician.

Deep Clean Your Home

At least twice a year you'll want to dust, vacuum and scrub your interiors as thoroughly as possible. Remove stains and caked-on dirt from floors, carpets and countertops. Get into the nooks and crannies. Clean tile grout and showerheads.

Don't Forget the Outside

Hose and sweep your patio, clean your gutters and clear debris from around entrances. Trim overgrown plants. Inspect roofing, siding, paint, and brick for damages. Use caulk to patch up minor damages and seal gaps in window and door frames.

With proper maintenance, you can keep your home in excellent condition regardless of its age. Make a checklist of what you need to do monthly, seasonally and yearly. Fix seemingly small issues now before they turn into big, costly ones. If you have a busy schedule, consider hiring a professional to keep your home well-maintained.




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Posted by Jane Cheetham on 10/15/2019

The garage can be a haven for your vehicle or a total dumping ground for everything else under the sun. Sometimes that space can become the black hole that you just toss items at when you're in a hurry to move on with other activities. 

Then Spring cleaning fever hits and you are determined to get the garage cleaned out and make it more useful to you and your family. Envisioning space for your car(s), sports equipment, tools and holiday decorations you dive into the weekend project of sorting through and organizing all the stuff.

Useful and Necessary

Emptying everything out of your garage space out into the light to sort through can be half the battle, so enlist the help of the entire able-bodied household member. Put your items in categories when you take them out, this will make evaluating what to keep easier. Take your lifestyle into consideration and then rank each grouping by how often you use them. By the frequency of use, you can assign the proper location. 

Once empty, you can see the layout of your garage space and how to create areas for storage. Frequently items up front towards the garage door for easy access. Holiday storage or seasonal items stored in the back or even up high on shelves or ceiling racks. Once you understand what things will be going back into your garage and the space you have available for storage you can decide how to keep your items organized.

Containers galore

You may dream of neat and tidy boxes all in a row, clearly labeled and uniform in size. That is mostly just a dream. Your items are of all shapes and sizes and need their own individual way of storage. Try to stay away for cardboard boxes since garages can be damp. Clear boxes can help you find your items quickly without having to label. Remember that you can hang things on the wall like yard tools or sports equipment. 

Many creative storage options can be found out there to help you make the most of your garage storage possibilities. Taking a look online can help you find what may work for you. Whatever you choose make sure it has ease of use for those individuals that will be assessing those items on a regular basis.

Take a tour of your local open houses and make sure to peak into the garage space and note the storage possibilities.





Posted by Jane Cheetham on 10/8/2019

When you consider the cost of a long distance move with a professional moving company, you will discover that DIY movement has an advantage of saving you a substantial amount of money, especially for a long-distance move. You will spend less when moving by yourself. There are lots of options for DIY moving. The choice ranges from moving containers and truck rentals to moving equipment rentals and labor-only professionals. Getting all you need for your DIY move is easy. Here are some tips that you need to know for a successful DIY move:

Timeline and Plan 

One of the advantages of DIY moving is that you can move based on your schedule. It is, therefore, your responsibility to plan and coordinate your move. You need to create a timeline for yourself to ensure a stress-free and successful DIY move. Your planning will include deciding on the exact date and time of your movement as well as all stages of the moving process. 

Moving Container or Moving Truck Rental

If you are not using your car to move, you have to decide on which one to go for, whether a moving truck rental or moving container. Truck rentals are relatively cheaper; they give you total control over your schedule. A moving container is also a more comfortable option to consider but cost a little more than moving truck rentals. When you rent a moving vessel, your only duty is to load and off-load the container. The moving container will be responsible for transportation, giving you the privilege to concentrate on crucial aspects of the move.

Professional Moving Labor 

You are going to need assistance especially during the loading and offloading of your things. If your family and friend are not around to help, you can employ the services of labor-only movers. They will help with the heavy lifting and any other demanding task associated with the moving.

Proper Packing Supplies 

You need the right packing supplying to protect your household belongings from getting damaged. Look for the right moving box that will protect your things when moving. Consider using specific boxes like telescopic boxes, wardrobe boxes, corrugated boxes, plastic bins, and banker’s boxes. 

An Essential Bag 

Get an essential bag a day before moving to keep everything you are going to need on the first day you get to your new home. The kit should contain household supplies like trash bags, paper rolls, bath towel, light bulbs, plastics, cups, cleaning supplies, plates, and many more.

Are you planning to embark on a DIY move? Do not be discouraged; follow the tips given above for a stress-free, cheap, and successful transition to your new home.




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Posted by Jane Cheetham on 10/1/2019

Low-cost energy upgrades

Making a few efficient changes around your home can save you money with a small bit of time and money. Programmable thermostats are an inexpensive, money saving, option to lower your utility bills. You can also replace current light bulbs with LED light bulbs. Each LED light bulb may be a bit costly compared to regular light bulbs, but they last longer and take considerably less energy to light. One option is only to replace those light bulbs that you use most often and as time goes along replace the remaining bulbs. Another money saving tip is to replace the air filters as often as recommended. The frequency may be less often in a vacation home or more often in a primary residence with pets. All of the energy-upgrades mentioned above take little time and are relatively low-cost ways to increase the energy efficiency of your home. 

Moderate cost energy upgrades

These next suggestions may require a bit more time and are a higher cost, but the savings can add up quickly. Insulating your attic and crawlspaces can make a big difference when it comes to heating and cooling your home. Replacing weather stripping around doors can block off airflow from the outside. Strategically placing your landscaping like trees and shrubs to block heat in the summer can help with keeping your house cool. Replacing older toilets with low flow types saves a large amount of water with each flush. You can also use low flow faucet aerators which replace some of the water with air thus, saving water.

Higher cost energy upgrades

The last few suggestions are true investments into your home. These will be large ticket items that make your home a more enjoyable space and energy efficient. Replacing windows and doors that have leaks can bring considerable energy savings benefits. Besides, new windows can bring in more light which can lead to turning on the lights less. Old furnaces and water heaters are major energy wasters. You could see immediate improvement in your utility bills when replacing these with more modern equipment. Kitchen appliances with the energy star ratings cost much less to operate than the older models some houses still use. Finally, if you are progressive, you may want to look into installing solar panels that soak up even the smallest amount of sunlight to heat or cool your home.

Check out some open houses in your area and check out the energy efficient options.




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Posted by Jane Cheetham on 2/14/2017

Homeowners have become increasingly aware of the dangers that face them and their homes. More Americans than ever lock their doors at night and own home security systems to protect themselves and their homes from intruders.

However, one danger that many homeowners aren’t prepared for is posed by scammers. These scammers are innovative and use tools like the internet and the semblance of authority to their advantage. What’s more, the nature of their scams is always evolving.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the most common scams affecting homeowners. We’ll talk about how to protect yourself from these scams and recognize them so that you and your home can avoid potential disaster.

Foreclosure scams

There are few things more concerning to a homeowner than the thought of losing their home. Scammers take advantage of these fears by promoting “relief programs” that promise to reduce your monthly payments or otherwise protect you from being foreclosed on.

The scam here is that these companies might not help you at all but will still charge for their services. They’ll often browse public foreclosure notices or post ads online. When they reach out to a homeowner they’ll do so via a letter that seems personal and professional. They could also call your phone or send you an email offer.

By U.S. law, such companies cannot charge you for any services unless they successfully help you gain relief from your lender, and even then you must still accept the offer before the relief company can ever charge you.

Home maintenance and repair

One of the more dangerous scams on our list involves something seemingly innocent--a knock on your door to let you know your roof needs repair. While some startup companies may go door-to-door offering their services, most of the time this should send up a red flag. There are a few potential scams that come in the form of a person in work uniform knocking on your door.

First, a company might be selling real services, but they could be services you don’t need. Make sure you understand facts about your home, such as the last time your roof was repaired. This will help you avoid making a bad deal to replace something that doesn’t need replacing.

Also be sure to never let someone into your home, regardless of their uniform, if you are alone or it’s late at night. Someone may be dressed like a salesperson or utility worker, but they could in reality be doing research on your home and your valuables. Would-be burglars can often spot your valuables, and see how secure your home is before coming back when no one is home.

Protect your identity

The issue of identity theft has been in the public eye with the rise of online communications. However, one of the easiest ways to steal your valuable information could be sitting right in your mailbox or in your garbage can.

Always be sure to shred papers that have personal information on them. And, if you go away on vacation, ask a neighbor or relative to bring in your mail for you. Not only will this help keep your identity safe, but it will make it look like someone is at home by keeping the pile of mail and newspapers outside low.  




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