Joe Kulle and Katie Riley - Heritage Homes Real Estate



Posted by Joe Kulle and Katie Riley on 4/29/2018

If your house is already on the market, you're probably familiar with the hectic process of getting it in presentable condition for the next showing.

Since there are so many things to remember, it can be helpful to create a "pre-showing checklist" you can refer to whenever you need it. Your reliance on the list will probably diminish over time, but it can be a good way to become more organized, focused, and efficient.

Even the simple action of writing down your priorities will make an impression on your mind and help reinforce your memory of what needs to be done prior to a showing or open house. Here are a few tips for staying on track, simplifying the process, and remembering important tasks that are all-too-easy to forget.

Stay One Step Ahead of Dust

Ideally, every room in your house should be dusted at least once a week, but that chore often tends to get postponed, overlooked, or just plain avoided! The problem with not dusting on a regular basis is that it tends to accumulate and get worse. What often occurs to home sellers is the sudden realization -- typically, just before walking out the door prior to a scheduled house showing -- that there's a thick layer of dust on your window blinds, baseboards, or book shelves.

If you're literally minutes away from a real estate agent showing up at your front door with clients, it's generally too late to do anything about the dust accumulations. However, if you've tackled those issues a day or two before they're walking up your front pathway, you can put your mind at ease that you've conquered the "grunge factor"! If you happen to have a housekeeper handling those details, it might pay to casually remind them to do an extra-thorough job on those dusty, grungy areas.

If you have kids (and even if you don't), dirt, finger prints, and hand smudges can often be found around light switches, cabinets, and door areas. While that might be the last thing you think about when preparing your home for a showing, it could be one of the first things potential buyers notice. Although perfection is an unrealistic standard to aspire to, "the devil is in the details!" In other words, it can be the small, easily overlooked details that undermine your chances for making a great impression on prospective buyers.

A Word About Mouse Traps

Whether you live in a mansion or a bungalow, nearly all homeowners occasionally have problems with mice sneaking into their basement, garage, or attic. Sometimes the little critters even find their way into your main living area (eek!). That's why it makes sense to set up a few mouse traps in areas where mice are most likely to enter. Mouse traps come in a variety of designs, some of which are better for homes with pets, children, or squeamish adults!

When it comes to preparing for a house showing, it's always a good idea to check mousetraps for "victims" that may have sprung your devices. Ideally, mousetraps shouldn't be placed in conspicuous spots, but you definitely don't want buyers to see dead mice anywhere in your house. Granted, live ones are worse, but -- in either case -- any infestation (or the perception of one) could be a deal breaker!





Posted by Joe Kulle and Katie Riley on 11/20/2016

How frustrating is it when the drain is clogged? It really doesn’t matter which drain and whether or not it is in the kitchen or bathroom but inevitably there will be a clog. It seems to be at its worst when it is your turn at the sink. First let’s look in the cabinet and see if you have what we need to remedy the problem. Do you have baking soda? If you do, you are half way to an unclogged drain. Do you have vinegar? If yes, get your gloves, we are off to unclog the drain(s). First if you want to remove the hardware, that little drain stopper, go ahead. Keep in mind, it might be a yoga position of sorts to get under the sink. Sometimes the piping under a sink is so tight that it isn’t worth the effort, even if you are a yoga instructor. If you do opt to remove the drain plug, do remember to screw the cover back on the hole so that when you start this project, water isn’t pouring out under your sink and soaking your floor. Start with two to three teaspoons of backing soda. Baking soda is a “lifter” and letting is work its magic will begin the unclogging and lifting of all blockages. Once the backing soda is down the hatch, pour the same amount of vinegar, two to three teaspoons, into the drain. Can you hear the cleaning process, maybe even see the science experiment taking place? Let this home remedy sit for thirty minutes and return with hot water. Boil water in your tea kettle to ensure the proper temperature. You should be ready to put the hardware back under the sink in no time.





Posted by Joe Kulle and Katie Riley on 5/22/2016

Kitchens sell houses. So having a great looking kitchen is important if you are thinking of putting your home on the market or maybe you just need a fresh new look. Cabinets are one of the biggest expenses in a kitchen remodel but with a little elbow grease and creativity, you can update your kitchen cabinets without going through the hassle of an entire remodel. Here are some tips on how to make your kitchen look like new with a cabinet facelift. Give the wood a Good Cleaning You will be surprised what a good scrubbing can do. Heat, water, grease and food residue all take a serious toll on your cabinets.

  • If you choose to remove the doors, label or number them so you'll put them back in the right place.
  • Make sure to test any kind of cleaner before using it on the entire cabinet. Cleaners with large amounts of alcohol may cause the wood to dry and crack.
  • Clean and Update the Hardware Hardware gets greasy and grimy so make sure to clean those too.
  • Soak the hardware in a soapy-water solution for 30 minutes.
  • Scrub lightly with a soft brush and rinse.
  • Let dry and apply the proper polish.
  • You may decide instead to replace the hardware. In choosing the finish for your hardware, think about what style will look best in your home. Add Some Detail Add some detail to drab cabinets with moulding. Applying a contrasting finish or color is a quick and inexpensive way to change the look of your cabinets. Stripping and Refinishing If after cleaning your cabinets still need some help, you may decide to refinish or paint them
  • Make sure to remove all the cabinet doors and number them.
  • Liquid strippers work best, but be sure to use the gel or semi-paste types.
  • Place doors on a vertical surface. The finish won't drip as much.
  • Let the stripping agent do the work and start with an inconspicuous area.
  • Patch any conspicuous holes, scratches and nicks with wood filler. When dry, sand lightly to smooth out the patch. Before painting, sand lightly and prime.
  • Before painting remember that the wood expands and contracts with the seasons, which will cause the paint bead to separate and expose unpainted wood. So with a little hard work you can have a whole new look to your kitchen in no time.




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    Posted by Joe Kulle and Katie Riley on 11/8/2015

    Did you know you can clean your house with things you already have in the cabinets? No need to buy expensive cleaning products. Save time, money and clean with less chemicals by using everyday products. Here are some unusual ways to clean your home. Use white bread to: Dust an oil painting. Gently dab a slice of white bread over the surface to pick up dirt and grime. Use ketchup to: Remove tarnish from copper and brass cookware. Squeeze ketchup onto a cloth and rub it on pots and pans. They should go back to their coppery color in minutes. Rinse with warm water and dry with a towel. Use oatmeal to: Scrub very dirty hands. Make a thick paste of oatmeal and water; rinse well Use rice to: Clean the inside of a vase or a thin-necked bottle. Fill three quarters of the vessel with warm water and add a tablespoon of uncooked rice. Cup your hand over the opening, shake vigor-ously, and rinse. Use club soda to: Shine up a scuffed stainless-steel sink. Buff with a cloth dampened with club soda, then wipe dry with another clean cloth. Use hydrogen peroxide to: Disinfect a keyboard. Dip a cotton swab in hydrogen peroxide to get into those nooks and crannies. Use cornstarch to: Clean grease spills on carpets. Pour cornstarch onto spots and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes before vacuuming.




    Tags: cleaning tips  
    Categories: Help Around the House