Annemarie Torcivia - RE/MAX  Trinity



Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 5/25/2020

Image by Steve Heap from Shutterstock

According to a report by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, more than 25 million people in the US live with asthma. The most common type is allergic asthma. With that in mind, improving the quality of air in your home is an important consideration. When the air quality in your home is good, it can reduce common symptoms like shortness of breath, red eyes, and wheezing.

Allergens in your home like pollen, pest droppings, dust mites, and pet dander often aggravate asthma symptoms. HVAC systems are built to filter these allergens but if the system is not optimized, it could do more harm than good. 

Here are four basic but effective ways to allergy-proof your HVAC system:

Schedule annual maintenance

Schedule a visit with a licensed professional every year to ensure your HVAC system is running clean and efficient. Ensure the service call includes replacing air filters and cleaning ductwork.

Clean or replace your HVAC filters

A typical HVAC filter should be deep cleaned every two to three months. A HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter does not need to be cleaned as often, upgrade to save some maintenance time. Generally, a filter must get rid of at least 99.97% of the contaminants in the air to acquire a HEPA rating. If you choose a HEPA filter, select one with a MERV rating of at least 10. MERV ratings grade the quality of the air filtration on a scale from 1 (lowest) to 20 (highest). The higher the score, then the more satisfying the quality of the air. 

Run your HVAC system regularly

Run your HVAC system for at least 30 minutes each day to help with air circulation. The air conditioner moves air in your home by bringing in the fresh outdoor air. If you own a smart thermostat, consider programming your system to run at a specific time and duration.

Install a UV light near your HVAC evaporator

An HVAC contractor can help you install a UV light close to your system’s evaporator. A UV light can control mold growth and other bio-organisms that might be present in your HVAC unit.

For more effective ways on how to allergy-proof your HVAC system, contact a professional HVAC contractor. Let your professional real estate agent know if you've optimized your HVAC system for allergen control.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 5/18/2020

If you intend to sell your house, it pays to get expert support throughout the home selling journey. In fact, if you hire a real estate agent, you can put various home selling myths to rest.

Ultimately, there are many home selling myths that you may hear before you list your house. If you take these myths to heart, you may struggle to prepare for the home selling process.

Let's take a look at three common home selling myths, and the problems associated with these myths.

1. Selling a house is a quick, seamless process.

The process of selling a house often can be long and complicated, particularly for a first-time home seller. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you can reduce the risk of encountering home selling hurdles.

A real estate agent will learn about you and your home selling goals. Then, this housing market professional will offer recommendations about how to promote your residence to the right groups of buyers and maximize your house's value.

Furthermore, a real estate agent is available to respond to questions at each stage of the home selling journey. He or she will guide you along each stage of this journey, and as such, help you identify and resolve problems before they escalate.

2. What you originally paid for your house matches what it is worth today.

The real estate market fluctuates constantly. Thus, what you initially paid for your house is unlikely to match what your residence is worth today.

A real estate agent can help you evaluate housing market data to better understand how your residence stacks up against the competition. That way, you'll be better equipped than ever before to establish a competitive price for your residence.

Also, a real estate agent may recommend that you complete a home appraisal. This appraisal will enable you to receive a property valuation to help you determine the optimal initial asking price for your home.

3. There is no need to make home improvements, because a buyer will make home upgrades after finalizing a purchase.

When it comes to selling a house, it pays to go above and beyond the call of duty. Therefore, if you complete myriad home improvements before listing your house, you can increase the likelihood that your home will stand out to potential buyers.

Take some time to examine your residence both inside and out. If you identify any major problems, you should fix these issues immediately. Because if you fail to do so, you may miss out on opportunities to stir up interest in your house.

A real estate agent generally can provide recommendations about home upgrades. This housing market professional may even be able to put you in touch with the best local contractors who can help you upgrade your residence in no time at all.

Don't fall victim to the aforementioned home selling myths. Instead, work with a real estate agent, and you can get the help you need to quickly and effortlessly navigate the home selling cycle.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 5/11/2020

Photo by Craig Adderley from Pexels

Housing design has undergone significant changes in the past few decades, with open concepts and flexible living arrangements quickly taking over. Such designs reflect, in part, the increased prevalence of multi-generational families, in which family members of all ages live together.

Why Today's Residents Love Multi-Generational Arrangements

During the Great Recession, the rise of multi-generational living largely stemmed from financial concerns. For years, young adults simply couldn't afford to move out. That has since changed, with low unemployment rates and a fast-paced housing market encouraging young buyers to invest in condominiums, townhouses, and single-family homes.

Despite recent housing developments, many young people still prefer to reside with close family members for purposes of convenience or family togetherness. This is particularly prominent in communities in which cultural norms dictate that young adults will continue to live with their elders long after they have completed their schooling, secured jobs, and even established long-term relationships or had children of their own. The close connections fostered by multi-generational arrangements are not nearly as easy to replicate elsewhere.

What to Look For in Multi-Generational Homes

There's a lot to love about multi-generational living, but such arrangements can feel stifling in the wrong setting. Some houses simply aren't designed to accommodate anything beyond the nuclear family. Thankfully, creative construction is on the rise, with flexible solutions available to help families make the most of once unconventional setups. Key features worth seeking include:

The Opportunity for Privacy

Young adults often venture out on their own simply because they lack privacy. The right structures, however, can resolve this issue by emphasizing private spaces. For example, instead of including one master bedroom and several smaller rooms, such homes may feature multiple master bedrooms. Suites that resemble mini-apartments are even better, as they allow residents to spend entire days in private spaces if desired.

Plenty of Communal Spaces

While privacy is critical in multi-generational homes, communal spaces are just as important. Families should enjoy the opportunity to regularly spend time together. Communal dining spaces, in particular, make it easy to build close connections in a festive atmosphere. Open concept communal spaces are especially popular, as they provide an open feel while also offering flexible space that can be adapted to accommodate evolving needs.

Addressing the Concerns of Several Age Groups

Today, the very homes that require extensive baby-proofing may also need accessible features that enhance mobility for seniors. While not necessarily incompatible, these considerations can be difficult to incorporate in the same space. Universal design principles such as level-entry showers and single-story homes make life easier for residents of all ages.

Today's diverse families and housing preferences call for a broader range of housing options. Cleverly designed multi-generational homes provide an excellent opportunity to accommodate a close-knit and valuable living arrangement that will only continue to grow in prevalence in years to come.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 5/4/2020

Preparing your home is one of the most important things you can do before leaving for an extended period of time.

Whether you have a vacation home that you spend your summer months in, you travel for work, or you simply have a second property that will be unoccupied for an extended period of time, it’s vital to take the steps to preparing the home for the elements while you are gone.

In this article, we’ll talk about winterizing, preparing a home for heavy rains, and protecting it from a number of external forces. That way you can rest assured that your property will be safe while you’re away, saving you money in costly repairs.

Winterizing

Many Americans spend the winter months in a warmer climate. Similarly, it has become quite common to purchase vacation homes and cabins in the northern part of the country to visit during the summer months. Regardless, these homes will have to be winterized to avoid damage.

First, and most important, be sure to turn off the water at the main supply sources. Next, open up your faucets and drain all of the lines that carry water throughout your home and yard. Drain, and put away your garden hose, to protect it and your fittings from damage.

Now that you’re protected against water damage, you’ll want to protect against potential fires. Turn off and unplug all appliances. Not only is this a way to avoid fire, but it will also help you avoid needlessly spending on electricity.

It’s a good idea to turn your thermostat down so that your home is kept above freezing, but not at a needlessly high temperature.

Preparing a home for extended leave

Even if your home isn’t facing the winter cold, there are still measures that should be taken during an extended leave.

Cleaning your refrigerator out completely and then washing the interior will help avoid odors from spreading throughout the house.

Other odors can arise from the drains in your home, especially if it’s likely to get hot. To prevent this you can cover up your drains with painter’s tape.

You’ll also want to remove any food from your cabinets that could attract mice, ants, or other pests. While you’re cleaning, wash and put away any linens that you won’t be using for some time.

Be sure arrangements have been made at the post office for any mail you receive at your home. You could set up mail forwarding, have neighbors take in your mail, or purchase a PO box for the time you’re away. Regardless, it’s a good idea to not have mail piling up outside an empty home as it could attract the attention of those seeking to benefit from your house being vacant.

Before leaving, make sure all windows and doors are closed and locked. Remove any spare keys from obvious locations around your home, and make arrangements for someone, such as a neighbor, to check on the home and report any problems to you.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 4/27/2020

If a seller approves your offer to purchase his or her house, conducting a home inspection likely will be the next step of the property buying cycle. Although you may have the option to forgo a house inspection, you should not avoid this evaluation. Because if you forgo a home inspection, you may wind up purchasing a house that fails to meet your expectations.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to perform a house inspection before you finalize a home purchase, and these reasons include:

1. You can gain deep insights into a house's condition.

A home showing enables you to get an up-close look at a residence so you can determine if a residence is right for you. Meanwhile, an inspection goes one step beyond a showing, as it allows you to work with a property expert to analyze all aspects of a house.

During a home inspection, a property expert will walk through a house and analyze the residence's underlying condition. Then, this property expert will provide an inspection report that details his or her findings.

It is important to assess an inspection report closely. That way, you can learn about a home's condition and decide whether to continue with a house purchase.

2. You can review potential property repairs.

If you want to identify potential house repairs, a home inspection is key. If you conduct a home inspection, you can find out about possible property repairs, review the costs associated with them and plan accordingly.

Of course, if the costs of home repairs are significant, you may want to request a price reduction from a house seller. On the other hand, if various home repairs are simple to complete on your own, you may want to proceed with a home purchase.

3. You can make the best-possible homebuying decision.

Let's face it – buying a home may be one of the biggest decisions you will make in your lifetime. If you make a poor decision, you may suffer the consequences of your choice for an extended period of time.

Thanks to a home inspection, you can gain the insights you need to make a data-driven home purchase. Best of all, you can use a home inspection to perform a full analysis of a house and feel good about your decision to buy a residence.

As you get ready to pursue a house, you should hire a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional can help you prepare for a house inspection and complete other homebuying tasks.

For example, a real estate agent will attend a home inspection with you. And after a home inspection is finished, you and your real estate agent can review the inspection results together. Finally, your real estate agent can offer an honest, unbiased recommendation about how to proceed following a house inspection.

Ready to find and acquire your dream home? Conduct an inspection as part of the homebuying process, and you can learn about a house and determine whether a residence matches your expectations.




Categories: Uncategorized