Did you know that approximately three-quarters of the housing in the United States built before 1978 contain lead-based paint? That is about 64 million homes.  Lead paint can pose little risk, but it can also cause serious risks when it isn’t properly maintained and managed.

There are approximately 1.7 million children that have blood-lead levels above safe limits. Lead poisoning can cause permanent brain damage and damage other organs. It can also cause abnormal fetal development for pregnant women. Lead comes into bodies by breathing or swallowing lead dust, soil or paint chips.

The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction ACT of 1992 directs the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure people receive information needed to protect themselves from lead-based paint hazards.

In 2008, EPA issued the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule. It requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, child care facilities and schools be certified by EPA. If you are a homeowner performing renovation, repair, or painting work in your own home, EPA’s RRP rule does not cover your project. For information on the RRP click here.

For home buyers federal regulations require that home sellers provide lead disclosures to home buyers who are purchasing a home built before 1978. Buyers have 10 days to conduct a lead-based paint inspection or risk assessment at their own expense. The regulation does not require any testing or removal of lead-based paint by sellers.

 

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It is common question that real estate professional get; what is my home worth? Unfortunately, it is a question that does not have an exact answer. There are ways to determine about what your home is worth. You may find online estimates that say one thing but is that a true test of what the market will bear? So, how can you really determine what your property is worth?

1. Consider Solds-Look at other comparable homes in your area that have recently sold. This will give you a good idea what buyers are willing to pay.

2. Consider Under Agreements/Pendings-Although it is difficult to tell what a home has sold for before it closes you may be able to tell the demand in a price range. Look at the asking price of the home and how long it was on the market. If you see a trend of homes going under agreement quickly you may assume they are going closer to the asking price.

3. Consider Active Listings-Real estate is about competition just like any other commodity. It is important that your home be competitively positioned against other comparable listings. The asking price is a part of the marketing plan of the home.

4. Online Values-Be wary of online estimates. The very definition “online” takes the human factor out of determining the value.  A computer program cannot take into account the nuances of location, home style and home condition.

5. Sell It-The only way to know a home’s true market value is to sell it. At the end of the day a home is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay.

 

Did you know over 70% of consumers are utilizing social tools throughout the home buying and selling process. As a home buyer or seller you need a real estate agent who knows how to leverage the tremendous power of social media.

This blog is more than a blog, it is only one part of a connected internet machine. All of the components of this internet marketing machine help buyers find homes and seller advertise their property. Here is what makes it tick:

1. A Website

A real estate website that has an easy and constantly updated property search.

2. A WordPress blog

WordPress provides good search engine optimization (SEO), allows for consumers to get helpful real estate information and search for property.

3. A Facebook business page

Advertise where your customers already are and they are on Facebook. The Facebook business page has a unique property search within Facebook and connects to all other social networks.

4. A custom Twitter page

Every post on a social media channel helps with search engine optimization or getting found online. Advertising properties on Twitter reaches a very active internet audience.

5. A custom You Tube channel

You Tube is the second largest search engine and has over 800 million unique users each month providing the perfect place to advertise homes for sale.

6. A robust LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn operates in 200 countries and is one of the most widely used social networks.

7. A mobile website

Mobile marketing will account for 15.2% of global online ad spend by 2016. (Berg Insight, 2012). Having a mobile web site allows for your property to come up higher in a mobile search and be viewed more easily on a mobile device such as an iPad, iPhone or Android device.

 

Do the rooms in your home make you feel depressed? Do you feel they need to be completely refurbished? Every home can be transformed with  little touches, making it an abode that you always desires to be in. Here are some tips on how to spruce up your home.

 

  • Maintain Simplicity: Some people have the habit of leaving furniture and items they have not used in ages in the home. This clogs the home, making it less desirable. Look around, can you find anything that you have not used in a while? If you have no use for one of your belongings, dispose of it, sell it, or simply give it away.  Simplicity is fundamental to sprucing up your home.
  • Painting: This is the first idea that comes to mind as it is the one improvement that if done right, would transform the look of your home completely. All you need to do is get the right colors. Light blue, cream and peach are great colors that inspire. A little touch here and there would transform the entire home.
  • Replace The Furniture: The home can be given a complete face lift by the total replacement of the upholstery or furniture. Be careful when selecting new furniture or fabric as the colors need to match or blend with the walls and window blinds. If this is done correctly, the room will get a perfectly new and rich look.
  • Flowers: Adding a few plants at strategic locations lights up the home in a manner that can seldom be explained. They add visual appeal, style and allure to the home. Some have an aroma that makes the environment smell pleasant. You can find a great variety of house plants not far from your home. Visit your local nursery, florist, or even  the big box stores. Place the plants throughout your house, in the sitting room, veranda and even the bedrooms. Remember to water them regularly as they are most enjoyable when healthy and vibrant.
  • Wash The Drapes: Depending on the size of the drapes, this could be tedious. However, you would be amazed by how a simple washing can restore brightness to the drapes and add freshness to the room.  Whether you wash the drapes yourself or have them professionally cleaned, it will still be less expensive than purchasing new ones.

Finally, for your home to have the look you desire, you must get the arrangement right. Place furniture in a manner that inspires ones thinking. Do not just place things anywhere for the sake of placing them. There must be a function attached to the positioning of every item. Sprucing up and refreshing your home does not require a huge budget, simple changes can make your home feel more desirable at a minimal expense.

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