Article by Kimberly Dawn Neumann
Featured Expertise by Jason Gelios
Would you be willing to buy a house if you only got to see half of it?
That was a question that real estate agent Jason Gelios had to weigh when he was contracted in early 2023 to help sell a house in Armada, MI, that had been converted into a duplex, with tenants already living on one side.
Gelios, an agent with Community Choice Realty in Southeast Michigan and author of “Think Like a Realtor,” knew that today’s buyers were definitely drawn to properties with money-making potential.
The problem was that these tenants refused to let him inside.
In this installment of “Real Estate Confessions,” find out how Gelios managed to sell this tricky property, and learn some smart lessons about how any kind of property baggage can be turned into a boon with the right spin.
Read the full article here
Episode 292 AskJasonGelios Show
Episode 293 AskJasonGelios Show
Episode 290 AskJasonGelios Show
Article by Leanne Potts
Save your cash for more important things, like, you know, your mortgage.
You can’t swing a tool belt without hitting a website or TV network offering tips on taking care of your digs. Save money by watering your lawn at night! No, water it in the morning! No, dig it up and replace it with a drought-hardy meadow!
Throw in the info you pick up from well-meaning friends, and there’s a sea of home care truisms out there, some of which can sink your budget.
Myth 1: Stone Countertops Are Indestructible
Fact: Even rock can be damaged.
Marble, quartz, travertine, soapstone, and limestone can all be stained. Regular household cleaners can dull their surfaces over time. And marble is maddeningly fragile — it’s the prima donna of stone.
Marble is easy to scratch. It’s easy to stain. Here’s the worst part: Mildly acidic substances like soda, coffee, lemon juice, even hard water will eat into marble, creating a cloudy, dull spot in a process known as etching.
“Spill a glass of wine on a marble counter and go to bed without cleaning it. The next morning you’ll have a problem,” says Louwrens Mulder, owner of Superior Stone in Knoxville, Tenn.
And while stone counters won’t crack under a hot pot, such direct heat can discolor quartz or marble, says Mulder. So be nice to your counters, no matter what they’re made of. And note that the best rock for your buck is granite. “It doesn’t stain or scratch. It’s tough because it’s volcanic rock,” Mulder says. Which means it can stand up to all the merlot and barbecue sauce you can spill on it.
Myth 2: Your Smoke Detector’s Test Button Is Foolproof
Fact: The test button doesn’t tell you what you really need to know.
Yes, check your smoke detector twice a year. But all that test button will tell you is whether the alarm sound is working, not if the sensor that detects smoke is working. Pretty key difference there.
The best way to check your device is with real smoke. Light a long, wooden kitchen match; blow it out; and hold it near the unit. If the smoke sets off the alarm, it’s working. Replace the batteries if the smoke doesn’t set off the alarm. If the smoke detector still doesn’t work after that, you need a new one. And replace those batteries once a year anyway, because dead batteries are the No. 1 reason smoke detectors fail.
Myth 3: Gutter Guards Are Maintenance-Free
Fact: You gotta clean gutter guards, too.
Gutter guards keep out leaves, but small debris like seeds, pine straw, and flower buds will still get through.
Gutter guards can lessen your work, though — sometimes a lot. Instead of shoveling out wheelbarrow loads of leaves and other crap twice a year, you might just need to clean them every two years. But if there are lots of trees in your yard, once a year might be necessary.
Myth 4: A Lemon Is a Great Way to Clean a Disposal
Fact: While wanting to use natural cleaners is admirable, most of them will damage your disposal and pipes over time.
The lemon’s acidic juice will corrode the metal parts of your disposal. The mixture of salt and ice contains metal-eating acid, too. The coffee grounds are abrasive enough to clean the gunk off the blades and make it smell like a cup of Americano, but they’ll accumulate in pipes and clog them.
The best natural cleaner for your disposal is good old baking soda. It’s mildly abrasive, so it will clean the blades. But it’s a base, not an acid, and won’t damage the metal. Best of all, a box with enough baking soda big enough to clean your disposal twice costs about a buck.
Myth 5: Mowing Your Lawn Super Short Means You’ll Mow Less Often
Fact: You might not have to mow as often, but your lawn will look like awful.
Cut that grass under an inch high, and you’ll never have to mow again because your grass will die. Mowing a lawn down to the root — a screwup known as scalping — is like cutting all the leaves off a plant.
Grass blades make and store your lawn’s energy. Removing more than a third of the length of the blade will leave your grass too weak to withstand weeds and pests. It also exposes the roots to the sun, causing the lawn to dry out quickly. Leave one to three inches of grass above the roots to keep your lawn lush.
Myth 6: CFLs Cost Too Much and Are Dangerous
Fact: CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) have come down in price since they first hit the market and don’t contain enough mercury to cause any harm.
You can buy a package now for less than $3. And replacing one incandescent bulb with a CFL will save nearly $40 a year for the life of the bulb in replacement costs alone, says Save on Energy. The major benefits of an Energy Star-rated CFL include using about 75% less energy than a standard incandescent and lasting up to 10 times longer.
And CFLs are a safe option. Using CFLs (and other fluorescent bulbs) instead of incandescent bulbs lowers your exposure to mercury indirectly, because they use less electricity than incandescent bulbs. That means the coal-fired power plants that spew mercury into the air each year won’t have to run as long to keep our houses lit. Fewer toxins, lower power bills.
What’s not to love?
Myth 7: A Trendy Kitchen Redo Will Increase My Home’s Value
Fact: Décor trends come and go as fast as viral videos.
Remember those Tuscan-style kitchens with mustard gold walls, ornate cabinets, and medieval-looking light fixtures that were the must-have of the late ’90s and early aughts?
Today, they’re as dated as flip phones. Instead of remodeling in the latest look, which costs an average $45,000, according the the National Association of REALTORS® “Remodeling Impact Report,” try repainting in on-trend colors, which costs $600 to $1,320, according to FixR. If you do opt for a full remodel, choose elements like Shaker cabinets, wood floors, and subway tile, a timeless style you’ll love 10 years from now.
Myth 8: A Contractor Recommendation from a Friend Is Good Enough
Fact: Good contractors have more than just your buddy to vouch for them.
Your neighbor’s rec is a good start, but talk to a couple of sources before you hire anyone. Check the contractor’s reviews on Angie’s List or other online rating sites.
Ask a local building inspector which contractors meet code on the properties they inspect. Ask the contractor for the names of past clients you can talk to, how many other projects they have going, how long they’ve worked with their subcontractors, and if they routinely do projects the size of yours.
Look at this as a job interview where the contractor is an applicant and you’re the hiring manager. Make them show you they’re the one for the work.
Myth 9: Turning Off Your AC When You Leave Saves Energy
Fact: Turning off the air conditioner when you leave could actually cost you money.
That’s because when you turn it back on, all your savings will be lost as the unit works overtime to cool your hot house. A better way to save on utilities is to turn the thermostat up or down (depending on the season) 5 to 10 degrees when you leave, says home improvement expert Danny Lipford of TodaysHomeowner.com.
And the best option? “Install a programmable thermostat,” he says. Even better, buy one you can control remotely with your smartphone and adjust the temperature before you get home. Because thermostats you have to touch are so 1998.
Myth 10: Permits? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Permits
Fact: You do.
Let’s say your neighbor’s brother-in-law, Cecil, is an electrician. Cecil can rewire your kitchen in a weekend because he won’t inconvenience you with a permit. Should you hire Cecil? No. Building codes protect you. From Cecil. Getting a permit means an inspector will check his work to make sure he didn’t screw up.
Plus, if your house burns down in an electrical fire and your insurance company finds out the work was done without a permit, it won’t cover your loss. Check with your local planning or building department to find out if your project needs a permit. If it does, get one.
Episode 288 AskJasonGelios Show
Episode 287 AskJasonGelios Show
Episode 286 AskJasonGelios Show
Episode 285 AskJasonGelios Show
Article by T.J. Porter
Featured Expertise by Jason Gelios
When you’re a first-time homebuyer looking through home listings or touring homes, you may come across houses for sale “as is.” It may seem like all homes come as they are, but in real estate, the term “as is” has a specific meaning that’s important for homebuyers to understand.
What ‘As Is’ Means
Buying a home as is means the seller won’t make repairs or improvements before closing. It also means the seller won’t provide a seller’s disclosure or credits for potential defects, and is making no guarantees that the home is in good condition.
“Purchasing a home as is simply means the buyer is agreeing to purchase a home, in its current condition, without the seller making any repairs or changes to the property,” says Jason Gelios, a Birmingham, Michigan-based Realtor and author. “The buyer will be responsible for making any repairs needed after closing.”
Article by Kelly Walters
You may need to swap out your mop.
Someone, somewhere probably gave you some bad information, which is why you may have some bad habits.
Here are three things you need to stop doing in July:
#1 Stop Watering Grass at Night
Running the sprinklers late at night might seem smart, since it’s cool and you’re less likely to soak dog walkers. But without sun to dry grass, water clings, encouraging fungal growth. Instead, water your lawn in the morning when the air is still cool, and the sun’s on its way.
#2 Stop Closing Vents in Unused Rooms
It seems so logical: If you close the vents (or doors) to rooms you’re not using, you won’t have to pay to cool those rooms. But alas, your HVAC will work just as hard, no matter how many vents are open. You may even wind up throwing the whole system off-balance, decreasing efficiency and costing you more money.
#3 Stop Using String Mops
Use microfiber mops; they’re cleaner! One study of health care facilities (where clean really counts) showed disinfectant cleaner applied with string mops only reduces microbial levels by 68%, compared to microfiber mops at 95%. Those stats are worth a mop swap.
Article by Kelley Walters
Now’s the time to stock up on paint.
When it’s hot outside, smart homeowners focus their energies inside on these four tasks. You know, like taking advantage of your nice, cool basement.
#1 Organize the Basement
The two most common types of clutter? Old clothes and seasonal items. Just the kind of stuff that winds up in the basement. So this month, face your messy basement head on. Not only will you regain space, but you’ll also save time and could even knock back clutter-related depression. (Yeah, that’s a thing.)
Now that you’ve got it organized, maybe it’s a good time to consider this next project:
#2 Finish the Basement
The solution to a cramped house could be right under your feet. Transforming an unfinished basement into a media room, home office — or even a rentable space — builds equity, upping your home’s resale value. Start this project now, and you can kick back and enjoy your new space all winter long.
#3 Buy Paint on Sale
July. Not really the time of year you think of painting, right? It’s usually too hot and humid. Probably why so many places put paint on sale this month. Stock up now, and you’ll be ready for that painting project on your fall to-do list. (P.S. Latex and acrylic paint can last up to 10 years; oil-based, up to 15.)
#4 Hit Up Recycling Centers
Summer is home improvement season. That also makes it the savvy buyer’s time to seek out deals at recycling centers and home improvement resale stores. Since this is project time — not to mention moving season — lots of folks are ditching their old stuff. Take advantage and grab it up at super-low prices.
Article by HouseLogic
Hardwood is a top choice for flooring. What options are right for you?
For years, homeowners have preferred hardwood flooring. These floors are an investment because they’re timeless and durable. On top of that, you can choose from different colors, stains, and grains to get the look you want.
Because hardwood floors are popular, they can help homes sell faster and increase your home’s value. Installing new wood flooring can recoup 118% of their cost, according to the National Association of REALTORS® “2022 Remodeling Impact Report.” That made it one of the survey’s top two interior remodeling projects for cost recovery, behind hardwood floor refinishing.
Another benefit of wood flooring is you don’t need to replace it, unlike carpet or tile flooring. Instead, you an simply resand or refurbish it, saving money over time.
Even though wood floors have so many benefits, they have a few downsides. For example, wear and tear can easily dent and scratch them, and mold, detergents, water, and termites can damage them.
If you’re considering replacing or updating your floors, follow these basics to help you find the right hardwood flooring.
Refinishing vs. New Floor Installation
A new hardwood floor has a lot of selling points, but it may not be in your budget. In that case, you can refinish your existing floors to make them look brand new without the high price tag.
If you’re unsure which way to go, have a professional look at your floors. With an objective opinion, you can more easily decide if refinishing is right for you.
Of course, if you refinish your existing floors, you’ll spend less than you would on installation. Refinishing can cost $1.50 to $5 per square foot without staining and $2 to $7 per square foot with it. But new hardwood floors run $9 to $12 per square foot.
Considerations for Choosing the Right Hardwood Flooring
In choosing the type of hardwood you want, you’ll select from engineered or hardwood flooring, and prefinished or finished on-site. You can also pick from different wood types and plank widths.
Engineered vs. Solid Hardwood Flooring
Solid hardwood planks are single pieces of wood, while engineered hardwood combines multiple layers of hardwood. Interlocking options make installing engineered hardwood easier.
Another plus for engineered hardwood floors: They reduce moisture problems you’d usually find in standard hardwood flooring.
Both types typically cost $5 to $15 per square foot.
Prefinished vs. Finished On-site
Prefinished hardwood floors are finished at a factory, and a coat of polyurethane tops each board. Site-finished hardwood is shipped to your home unfinished, and the process of sanding, staining, and sealing is done after the floor is installed.
Prefinished boards have more uniform color and staining, and some come with anti-scratch coating. But with site-finished planks, you can test and select stains and finishes that work with your interior. Many flooring experts can provide on-site guidance to help you find the best match for your home.
Unfinished boards cost less per square foot, but prefinished boards cost a bit less overall because of installation.
Wood Types: Grain and Color
Wood flooring comes in different styles and shades, including grains and light and dark colors.
The way the wood flooring is cut and sliced determines the grain. Your floor’s wood grain is like its own unique fingerprint. Because no two look alike, this feature adds character to your home. The three common types of wood grain are flat, straight, and curly.
Wood flooring is available in a wide range of colors. Trending colors include beige and gray tones, natural-looking wood, and dark charcoal or black stains.
Look for wood colors that complement your home’s overall design and your lifestyle. Darker wood floors will show scuffs and scratches more easily, while wear and tear will be less visible on lighter floors.
Keep in mind that applying stains on-site will alter the natural colors of the wood. Most floor teams will help you select stains that hit your goal hues.
The plank width of your hardwood floors can make a world of difference in your finished floor design. You can make a room look bigger or smaller depending on the width.
If you choose wider wood planks, you’ll get a rustic or modern upscale look to your home. The wider the planks, the fewer the seams you’ll have. Wide plank flooring ranges from five inches to 12 inches.
More narrow plank flooring boards can work well in smaller spaces and add a clean, contemporary look. Standard plank widths are between three inches and 4.75 inches.
Alternatives to Hardwood Flooring
Despite wood floor advantages, they aren’t in everyone’s budget. Here are some alternatives for a great look minus the hefty price tag.
Bamboo flooring is a budget-friendly option that comes from the bamboo plant. The bamboo is sliced, shredded, and pressed with heat to form wood-like boards.
Bamboo floors resist pests and are durable, easy to maintain, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. They also cost much less per square foot than most solid hardwoods.
These floors react to moisture, so they’re not a good choice in a humid climate. They also may show scratches more easily, and the range of tones and finishes is more limited.
Laminate flooring is made of multiple layers of products combined through lamination, and it resembles wood flooring.
These floors come in planks or tiles that snap together, making them easy for DIYers.
They aren’t made from trees and are extremely durable (great for high-traffic areas). Maintenance is easy, too.
Once laminate floors start to lose their sparkle, they can’t be refinished. You’ll have to replace them.
Because laminate is made with plastic and sometimes formaldehyde, it isn’t environmentally friendly.
People with chemical sensitivities should make sure that any laminates conform to health regulations.
Moisture may damage some laminate flooring, so it shouldn’t be used in bathrooms or laundry rooms.
Luxury Vinyl Planks
Luxury vinyl plank flooring is made of several layers of vinyl and often includes a layer of long-wearing urethane. It’s available in a lot of styles and resembles different species of wood, according to FixR.
Installation uses a click-lock floating process that’s easy to DIY.
You can choose from several thicknesses and qualities.
Durability makes LVP floors a good choice for homes with kids and pets.
The material used in LVP isn’t sustainable.
It likely won’t have as high a return on investment as wood floors.
Questions to Ask Your Flooring Contractor
When it comes to your home, you want information. Here are some critical questions to ask your flooring contractor so that you’re well informed before and during the installation process.
Episode 284 AskJasonGelios Show
Jason Gelios sits down with Gary Nowak from the Wish I Knew Podcast Show to discuss these highlights:
Episode 283 AskJasonGelios Show
Episode 282 AskJasonGelios Show
Jason Gelios is a Husband and Father. After that, a Top Producing REALTOR®, Author of the books 'Think like a REALTOR®' and 'Beating The Force Of Average', Creator of The AskJasonGelios Real Estate Show and Expert Media Contributor to media outlets across the country.