Archive for the ‘Great Kills Parks’ Category

Check List of Spring Outdoor Maintenance for Homeowners

Start at the top-the roof.
There is on need to climb. Just get a good pair of field glasses and take a look. Check for missing shingles, debris around the chimney and for loose gutters.

Exterior.
Check the siding for gaps of caulking that came off, peeling or blistering paint, tree branches too close to the siding, and trim or call a professional. Mildew can be power washed off and make the siding look like a fresh paint job. Power wash before painting for better adhesion.
Repair loose siding now to save from having additional repair work later. Check the gutters for debris from last fall’s tree droppings, and for loose gutters caused by winter ice dams.

Windows.
Check caulking and trim. If paint is pealing, repair now.

Foundation.
Now is a good time to look for any cracks before growing plants hide them. While you’re at it, check to see that the ground sloops away from the house and not toward it. This could save you $$$ by preventing water from coming into the basement when we get a heavy summer rain.

Yard.
Clean up fallen tree twigs and any other wood lying around before termites find out about them and decide your house will be the next place to visit. See my website for more detailed information about termites.

Check the trees around your property, to see if any branches look dead, have no sign of growth, and check to see if you have an insect infestation. Carpenter ants will also make their home in live trees. Termites look for dead wood, like your house framing. Call a professional inspector at least once every few years, just to be sure. They can save you plenty if they find something.

For a more detailed list please see Mr. Jay’s list

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Fire Safety

According to Fire-Extinguisher101.com, 85% of fire deaths occur in the home.

These are the leading causes.

Kitchen fires.

One third of all fires in houses are related to cooking. In my house, we always unplug the coffee maker and toaster when not in use. If we’re not at home and there’s a malfunction in one of these units, which are under cabinets, a fire could start. Grease from cooking is another problem. Oil or grease can reach high temperatures when heated, and could ignite under the right conditions. When this happened to me, I just put a lid on the pot, shut the flame off and let it die. The one thing you never want to do with an oil or grease fire is to use water to put it out. The hot oil will quickly bring the water to a boil and will make matters worse by spreading the fire.

Smoking in bed.

“Smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths in the United States.” Quote taken from Fire-Extinguisher101.com.

Thankfully, more folks are quitting and hopefully the number of deaths will come down. So to avoid this, just smoke outside or quit.

Heating equipment.

When most people think of heating equipment, they think of the main furnace, but what about hot water heaters and clothes dryers? Recently, I cleaned out my clothes dryer vent. It was loaded with lint. This should be done periodically. I was surprised at what I saw. It could ignite a fire under the right conditions. There was such a fire on my block a few years back, so I’m writing from experience. I’ve posted on my website some pictures of a clothes dryer vent that was dangerously heavy with lint.

Read more about it online at my blog. See http://tinyurl.com/6a26dpm

You may not believe what you see. More important is what you don’t see. (what’s inside your vent)

There’s just so much I can write here, so for more detailed information please log on to Fire-Extinguisher101.com and read up on preventing fires in your home. You may also log on to my website for additional information. Look on the left hand side of my website for informational links.

Great Kills Parks

A new park is born, for a slide presentation click here Great Kills Park
Great for the 3-8 year olds and their grandparents.

For more information about this area, Annadale, Eltingville, and Great Kills, please visit my web sitewhere you can take a video walking tour. Just scroll down on the left side for the links.
Also more information on buying and selling your home.

How can a Good Realtor save me money as opposed to selling myself? (edit/delete)

How can a Good Realtor save me money as opposed to selling myself?

If you sell your own home yourself, you will not have to pay a commission. But by doing that will you actually SAVE money?

If your unit is perfect, and you are good at pricing houses, and negotiating terms and conditions, and have the time to market properly, then yes you can save money. But what about the other factors that most home owners never think about?

#1-What are the possible future expansion options of your unit allowed by your town or city that could impact price? If the code says you can expand the living space, what is the value of that factor? Could it be enough to pay the Realtor’s fee alone and make your unit more desirable?

#2- Have you made any alterations since you bought the property and do you have the current C of O? (Certificate of Occupancy) If alterations were made and the contractor or architect did not file the work, that could impact the sale price also. If alterations were made before you purchased in a time of lax appraisals and no inspection by a qualified home inspector, you may think that all is OK until your attorney calls you and tells you “we have a problem.” Sometimes sellers get away with it and sometimes they don’t. You don’t want to be the one that gets caught.

#3- A pre home inspection; What is the value for you the seller to have a pre home inspection? How much do you know about home construction and the present codes? Will some issue cost you at closing? Get the facts before you put your unit on the market and you could save big time.

#4- Is being present at the showing hurting your sale? How can you show your unit and not be present? Sometimes buyers don’t feel comfortable having the owners present when they look at a house. Some sellers are all over the place, showing this and that, actually hurting themselves. A good agent will read the buyers actions and proceed accordingly. Some want to take their time in certain areas and think. Leading the buyers around too soon can kill a sale.

#5- How to answer personal questions. You would be surprised at some of the questions buyers ask. Are you prepared to answer in a way that will not hurt your sale price? After all, that’s the main point of all this. The sale price.

Realtors with experience can help you to avoid most if not all of these issues.

Think about it and don’t be afraid to interview a few good agents in your area.
See more on my new web site where you can search like a Real Estate agent at http://kennethcole.listingbook.com/?&page=home

A job well begun, is half done!

Is that the house they can’t sell?

I wonder what’s wrong with it, it’s been on the market a long time. Maybe there’s a building code violation on it and the bank won’t finance it until it’s corrected.

Ever ask yourself this question?

Sometimes, there is a building code violation and that’s what’s holding up the sale. Any unit that has work not filed with the city, is illegal. Example; when an owner makes an additional alteration and the city has no record of it, the bank is going to reject the mortgage until the violation is corrected. The bank wants to see the home inspectors report as well as the appraisal. It will show up. A clear example is changing the garage into a living space. There was a time when the banks looked the other way, those days are gone.

Just for your own protection, and for a future sale, always get the job done with city or township approval. It’s not only a safety issue but if the job is done incorrectly, you may need to tear it out and redo it. So it’s a monetary issue as well. Ever see Homes on Homes?

So don’t paint yourself into a corner;

because, you wanted to go the easy way, or save money.

A job well begun, is half done!

Website

http://www.kennethcolerealestate.com

See more on my new web site where you can search like a Real Estate agent at http://kennethcole.listingbook.com/?&page=home

Water Vapor

Moisture in the air. We need it, we want it. It can make you feel comfortable, or it can make you feel uncomfortable. Too much is bad for the house, and too little is also undesirable. So what’s a person to do? Let’s start with what we need.

Did you know that, in winter, some homes are dryer than the Sahara desert? True. We heat the air in our homes without adding moisture, bad news for our sinuses and our furniture. Also, if the relative humidity in our homes is what it should be, between 50-60% in summer and a little lower in winter, we can save money on our utilities bills. Adjust this figure to suit your needs best, but most will agree that this is a good starting point. The relative humidity makes us feel comfortable, allowing the thermostat to be either lowered or raised according to the season. So, in summer we can be comfortable at higher temperatures and in winter be comfortable in lower temperature. So a meter will pay for itself in no time, as well as our health. Ask your doctor about that.

How do we add or subtract moisture? It’s easy in the summer, set your central air to 55 % relative humidity. In the winter we need to add water vapor. This can be done in several ways, most folks will have a humidifier on their forced hot air furnace. If you have hot water or steam, you will need to add water vapor manually. In the “olden days” we would put a big pot of water on the stove and let it boil on low heat to add moisture.
Today you can buy a machine to add the moisture, but you must check on it to keep it filled. Now for the problems. Too much moisture can cause MOLD.

I am told that there are over 100,000 species of mold. For this newsletter, I will only talk about the few that make our lives miserable. Mold can make us very sick, and can destroy our homes. Wherever there is moisture, cool temperature, little light, there is mold.
Mold spores are all over. We breathe it in the air and it’s on our clothes, shoes, and pets. There’s no getting away from it, but we can make our homes less susceptible to mold by following a simple maintenance program.

First and foremost, remove or reduce moisture in areas that don’t get sunlight. A simple way to do this is to vent the area. Remember mold spores need moisture and little or no light to thrive.
Second. Remove the food source. Mold spores eat organic material. So, paper and glue, found on the inside of wallpaper, earth, wood, clothes, almost anything. I know if you removed all of these things you would not have a house left, but that’s the place to look for mold. Clean shower stalls with a bleach solution if you see black stains in the corner or at the bottom at the shower doors, shower curtains, or under sinks. Be careful here, read directions on the label of the product you are using. Again, easy to remember, take away the food source, moisture, and vent the area. Don’t give the mold a chance to build a colony!

Kenneth Cole, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, Appleseed Homes, 917-696-0275

Michael Grimm, Congressman Elect from Staten Island/Brooklyn, 13th district.

For victory speech see video below.