Monthly Archives: January 2016

Refrigerator Tips

Your refrigerator is one of the most important appliances in your home, mainly because they run all day everyday. So it is important to maintain your refrigerator to prevent problems. This article that we have shared below gives some tips on how to maintain your fridge so you can help it do it’s job efficiently… Read below!

 

Posted by to DIY Skills, Preventive Home Warranty Maintenance

guide to refrigerator maintenance (photo by https://www.flickr.com/photos/sugarhiccuphiccup/)

Your refrigerator works harder than perhaps any other appliance in your home. It runs around the clock to keep your food at a safe temperature — and most refrigerators will do this for 10 years or more. Give your fridge a break and help it do its job effectively my performing these simple refrigerator maintenance tasks regularly.

  • Cover all food: Avoid food odors by covering any food that is placed in the refrigerator.
  • Clean out old food: Before you head to the grocery store, take a few minutes to clean out any old food you don’t need in your refrigerator. This will help prevent the spread of mold and odors as well as the accumulation of moisture.
  • Clean shelves and walls: While you’re clearing out old food, take a few minutes to quickly wipe down shelves and walls with a cleaning solution. This will also prevent the spread of mold.
  • Avoid refrigerator gazing: If you or anyone else in your family has a habit of leaving the refrigerator door open, do your best to cut down on it. Leaving the door open lets warm air in and causes your refrigerator to have to work harder, putting strain on the compressor and motor.
  • Avoid placing hot food in the refrigerator: Another action that can make your refrigerator work harder than it has to, placing hot food in the refrigerator is not a good idea. Let food cool down a bit before you store it in the fridge.
  • Keep vents clear: Allow air to properly circulate by keeping vents clear. Avoid over stuffing your freezer and refrigerator.
  • Use the correct temperature setting: Refrigerators should be set between 35 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit, and freezers at zero degrees Fahrenheit or below. These settings are ideal for food safety and energy consumption.
  • Clear out your ice: With time, ice cubes can sometimes form into a solid block at the bottom of your bin, interfering with air flow. Ice can also absorb freezer odors. Empty your ice bin completely on a regular basis to avoid ice blocks and off flavored ice.
  • Store baking soda: Cut odors in your refrigerator and freezer by placing an open box of baking soda in both compartments, then replace them every few months. It will absorb some of the odors and keep your food fresher.
  • Clean your door gasket: Dirty gaskets can make it difficult for your refrigerator door to close completely. Clean them with soapy water and dry them. If they are cracked or appear brittle, it’s time to replace them.
  • Vacuum condenser coils: Clogged condenser coils can put stress on the compressor and cause your refrigerator to work harder than it should. Vacuum them out every few months and use a refrigerator coil brush to further clean the coils. This is also a good time to clean the condenser fan.
  • Check for leveling: Your refrigerator may not close properly if it isn’t completely level, and that can put stress on the motor and cause condensation. Use a level to check your refrigerator and adjust your refrigerator’s feet if necessary.
  • Clean the drain hole and pan: Check the drain hole and drip pan for food and mineral deposits.
  • Replace your water filter: Make sure you have clean ice and water by replacing your water filter. Most refrigerators have an indicator for replacement, or you can simply replace every six months.

Signs of Refrigerator Trouble

Even if you stay on top of cleaning and maintenance, your refrigerator can run into trouble. These are clear signs that it’s time to call for help and have your refrigerator repaired:

  • Your refrigerator or freezer is not cooling effectively
  • Your freezer has ice buildup
  • Your refrigerator cycles on and off frequently
  • Your refrigerator runs constantly
  • Your refrigerator is sweating (inside or out)
  • Your food is spoiling quickly
  • You have a puddle of water under your refrigerator
  • Your refrigerator has become noisy
  • Your ice maker isn’t working
  • The back of the refrigerator is warmer than usual

http://www.choicehomewarranty.com/blog/tips-for-maintaining-your-refrigerator/

Home Warranty Questions

Are you a first time home buyer? Or have you thought about getting a Home Warranty? This article that is featured below shares some common questions homeowners have about getting a home warranty for their house. Read below and see if a home warranty might be a good choice for you….

 

Posted by to Choice Home Warranty Information, Home Costs, Real Estate

home warranty coverage faq for first time home buyers (photo by https://www.flickr.com/photos/23155134@N06/)

Buying a home for the first time brings up a long list of questions. How much house you can afford, how many bedrooms you’ll need, where you really want to live, and more. But one important question that shouldn’t be overlooked is whether or not you need a home warranty.

A home warranty can protect you during your first year of home ownership and beyond, offering a safety net for home repair expenses and peace of mind in your new home purchase. But just like buying a home, buying a home warranty brings up a lot of questions. We’ve compiled a list of the most common questions (and answers) about home warranty coverage for first time home buyers here. Read on to learn more about how home warranty coverage works and what it can do for first time home buyers.

What is a home warranty?

A home warranty is a home service contract that will repair or replace your home’s properly maintained appliances and major systems that break down due to normal wear and tear.

Is a home warranty related to insurance?

A home warranty contract may sound similar to homeowner’s insurance, but it’s not the same thing, and they offer different types of coverage. With a homeowner’s insurance policy, you will be covered for damage to your home due to emergencies and major incidents such as a burglary or fire, but not for everyday breakdowns of appliances or systems. A home warranty, on the other hand, offers coverage for appliances and systems that have worn down with regular use.

How does a home warranty work?

With a home warranty, the home owner will pay an annual fee for the contract. If or when a problem occurs with a covered appliance or system, the home owner calls Choice Home Warranty to arrange for a service call. Choice Home Warranty will send a prescreened contractor in our network to repair or replace the covered item. The home owner will pay a flat $60 call fee whether the item is repaired or replaced and regardless of the actual cost of repair or replacement. The coverage can be renewed annually.

Who pays for the home warranty?

Often, home owners pay for their own home warranty coverage directly. However, first time home buyers may have other options during the home sales process. You can ask the seller to provide you with one year of home warranty coverage. Some Realtors offer home warranty coverage as a gift to their clients as well. Of course, you can just buy your own coverage if the seller and Realtor don’t offer it as an option.

Why is a home warranty a good idea for first time home buyers?

After buying a house, many first time home buyers are cash strapped and may be unprepared to take on expensive repairs and replacements — especially in the first year of home ownership. A home warranty service contract provides a good safety net that can save you from having to spend thousands to repair a system or appliance that fails while you’re still a new home owner. Home warranties are especially good ideas for home owners that are accustomed to renting, where landlords typically take care of problems with the home, and ideal for new home buyers that have purchased an older home with appliances that may be reaching the end of their usable lifespan.

How much is a home warranty contract?

The actual cost of a home warranty contract depends on the coverage level selected as well as any additional coverages. Most home owners will pay between $350 to $500 per year for a home warranty contract.

Are there any additional fees?

Choice Home Warranty customers will pay a flat $60 call fee.

Should I get a home inspection for my home warranty?

A home inspection is helpful when signing up for your home warranty coverage, but it is not required. However, most experts recommend getting a home inspection any time you purchase a home, and an inspection can identify any pre existing conditions with systems and appliances that should be addressed.

Can I get a home warranty if my home or appliances are old?

Choice Home Warranty covers home systems and appliances regardless of the age of the home or unit. As long as items are properly maintained and in good working order when the contract begins, they will be covered.

What’s covered under a home warranty?

Actual items covered will depend on your plan level, but Choice Home Warranty covers heating, electrical, and plumbing systems as well as water heaters, dishwashers, ceiling fans, ovens, and more on all plans. Optional coverage includes pools and spas, central vacuums, pumps, roof leaks, and septic systems.

Will my appliances and systems always be repaired under a home warranty agreement?

With few exceptions, Choice Home Warranty will repair or replace all well maintained covered items in your service contract. Exceptions include abuse or unusual wear and tear, improper maintenance, pre existing conditions, and code violations. Of course, the service contract can’t be used on appliances or systems not included in the policy.

How do I get service?

If you have a need for repair or replacement, you can call the claims department toll free 24/7/365 at 1-888-531-5403. Claims can also be submitted online via the Account Center.

What happens if an item can’t be fixed?

If a covered item can’t be fixed, it will be replaced at no additional charge. In some cases, a replacement unit may be unavailable. If that’s the case, you’ll be offered a cash payment for the amount of Choice Home Warranty’s replacement cost.

Strongest Buyers Market

Below we have shared an article that tells the top 10 strongest buyers markets. Read the graph below of those counties…

 

The Nation’s 10 Strongest Buyer’s Markets

Buying trumps renting in more and more cities as rental costs continue to escalate. SmartAsset recently pinpointed where buying a home is better than renting in the shortest amount of time.

SmartAsset factored its rankings by culling data on average rents and home prices and comparing buying to renting in counties throughout the U.S. It used the costs of renting and buying a typical home in each county for a household earning $100,000 a year.

The data they used to figure out the costs associated with buying included a mortgage rate of 4.5 percent, closing fees of $2,000, and a 20 percent down payment.

View more of the data used and more findings from SmartAsset’s Rent vs. Buy calculator.

Source: “Rent vs. Buy,” SmartAsset (January 2016)

http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2016/01/19/nation-s-10-strongest-buyer-s-markets

Is it time to Sell?

The article that is shared below tells how Americans say it is time do sell. Do you think so? Maybe this article could change your mind. Read below why it may be a good time to sell/list your home…

Image result for nv house

 

More Americans Say It’s a Good Time to Sell

An improving financial picture prompted more consumers to say that they believe now is a good time to sell a home, according to Fannie Mae’s latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index, which capped off its strongest year so far. The share of consumers who reported their income was significantly higher than it was 12 months ago rose 9 percentage points on net in December.

Read more: A Good Time to Sell in These 10 Markets

“Consumers ended the year on an improved note with regard to their income, job security, and overall economic outlook,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. “Brightening economic prospects, if sustained, should stimulate demand for home ownership. However, continuing upward pressure on rental prices and constrained housing supply, particularly for starter homes, may mean prospective first-time home buyers could face affordability constraints.”

Fannie Mae’s survey found that 40 percent of 1,000 respondents surveyed said they are confident home prices will rise this year.

Also, their financial picture is improving too. Eighty-five percent of respondents said they are not concerned about losing their job, which ties an all-time survey high. What’s more, the number of respondents who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago increased 9 percentage points to 15 percent in the survey.

http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2016/01/11/more-americans-say-it-s-good-time-sell

Ideas for cute entry ways!

Want some cute ideas for your Entry Way at your house? Featured below is an article that shares a couple of ways you can organize your entry way in a unique and cute way for when you or a guest comes into your home! Read all the ideas below..

 

Inviting Entries: Tips for Organizing Your Entryway

Sometimes you only have one opportunity to make a good impression, especially when it comes to your home. The entryway is the first thing guests see when they walk through your front door, but if it’s anything like mine, it’s easily overrun with stray shoes, coats, bags and mail. Luckily, there are simple ways to tidy up a formal foyer, mudroom, or hallway. Get your entryway cleaned up in no time with some of my favorite ideas for entry organization.

Get Hooked on Hooks

1via Photogmommie.com

Entryways tend to have disorganized piles of jackets, bags and other items, but you can easily organize everything by utilizing hooks. Take it to the next level and put names or photos of family members above each hook, so everyone knows where their stuff should go!

Give Unused Items a Purpose

2VintageCrateBootRackTutorial_thumb

via FindingHomeFarms.com

Tap your creative side and put some practical storage solutions together. Say goodbye to messy mudrooms or hallways by repurposing unexpected items like crates, wood pallets or baskets and creating rustic storage containers to sort out your shoes, umbrellas and gloves. These older items often have a weathered finish that lends beautiful character to the space, too.

Keep Everything Segregated

DSC_8770 copy

via SweetAprils.com

Keep your entryway tidy by creating a space for each category. Store your keys on hooks or in shallow trays so you can cut back on time spent searching for them. Have pockets for bills and other mail so that they’re always visible, and put shoes in dedicated trunks or handy compartments.

Maximize Smaller Spaces

mudroom_done

via JenWoodHouse.com

Make the most out of smaller hallways and spaces by utilizing layers of storage, such as using rod extenders in closets and putting in different levels of shelving. Another tip is to use narrow furniture that can do double duty, such as a bench that has drawers for stowing away household necessities, or a trunk that you can put shoes in.

Take Time to De-Clutter

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via LizMarieBlog.com

A good rule of thumb is to just keep items that you need on a daily basis on hand in your entryway; things that don’t get used as often can be stored elsewhere. Making time to tidy the entryway daily is a great way to keep the family more organized and on schedule while teaching kids to pick up after themselves.

With a bit of time and effort, you’ll be well on your way to having a neater, more organized and welcoming entryway. Which tip is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

Jennifer Lutz is a design and decorating enthusiast who has over a decade of experience transforming ordinary rooms into stunning spaces. Jen regularly writes for Christmas Tree Market.

http://hotpads.com/blog/inviting-entries-tips-for-organizing-your-entryway/

Bring Creativity to your Home!

Do you ever want to add in some DIY crafts into your home. Here is an article shared that shows some fun ways to add in champagne and other bottles into your home decor. Some of these are pretty neat! Read below to see..

 

Once the smoke clears from the festivities of your New Year’s Eve party, you’ll have a bit of cleaning up to do. While most of the evidence will find its way into the trash the next day, you may have a collection of champagne and wine bottles to dispose of. You could take them to your local recycling center – or – you could tackle a few DIY projects such as these:

Bottle Candles

Pinterest

These fragrant soy candles have been popular in specialty gift shops over the past few years; but at $45 a piece, why not make them yourself? Find candle making kits at Etsy, complete with wax, wicks, and fragrances.

Learn how to easily cut bottles in half using a glass cutter to score the glass, followed by boiling hot water, and an ice water rinse in this how to video tutorial.

Bottle Pendant Lights

DIY Network

You have to look twice to realize these pendant light are bottle tops wrapped in copper wire. Use a simple ceiling light conversion kitand slip the bottle tops over the light socket to create these stunning light accents in your home.

Bottle Candle Holders

Pinterest

Light up your outdoor party with these bottles turned candle holders. This idea is nothing new as images from the 19th century show these very same candle holders. Taper candles fit perfectly inside the bottle opening and the melted wax makes spectacular designs.

Bottle Lamps

Satechi

Turn almost any bottle into a table lamp with the Satechi Touch Lamp Kit. These LED lampshades are powered by USB, making them ideal for use at a desk or bedside table.

What About The Corks?

Pinterest

Now that you’ve found several ways to reuse wine and champagne bottles, what to do with the corks? The wine cork backsplash is an easy weekend project and such a conversation piece for your next party. Step-by-step instructions can be found here.

There are many DIY Wine Cork Projects to be found online, order some extra corks from Widgetco and have at it.

http://hotpads.com/blog/creative_uses_for_empty_champagne_bottles/