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How wifi can save you money during the summer!

by Jon Smith, CRB, CRS, GRI

In recent decades we have seen large advancements in thermostat technology, and even more so in recent years with the addition of WiFi controlled devices. Technology has gone from settable temperatures, to programmable (a huge break through of its time), to the all mighty WiFi Connected Thermostat. Since 2013, these devices have improved even more than the latest generation, saving even more money than any device before. 

WiFi thermostats are best known for drastically reducing homeowners energy costs. This is done through automatically adjusting the temperature depending on whether you are home, asleep, or away, by analyzing your heating and cooling patterns and adjusting for the energy-saving opportunities, and by letting you create temperature zones that can be independently controlled. According to many studies, home owners can save up to $200 annually by installing a WiFi device, which would pay for the device itself in the first year, and then continuously save you money from there on after. 

Make Your Roof Last

by Jon Smith, CRB, CRS, GRI

Extend the Life of Your Roof

Maintaining and caring for your roof, whether it is brand new or has seen a few seasons, is very important for extending the life of your roof and keeping your pockets full. Most owners do not realize there are issues with their roof until it is too late. Compare your roof to your car, it needs yearly maintenance to stay in top condition and last you a long time. 

Unwanted Guests

The shingles on your roof are used by some animals to chew on, eventually causing leaks. While other animals such as squirrels, mice, rats, and even birds, will make your roof their new home. How do they get up there? Tress surrounding your roof make perfect bridges or ladders, make sure to keep the trimmed back. 

Debris 

Complimenting the critter control, making sure that tree limbs do not rub your roof and will prevent leaf build up. Some people choose to have professionals do the trimming, and some choose not to plant trees near their house at all,

Regular Cleaning 

Debris build up on the roof and in the gutters can cause stagnant water pools, forcing the water to go into the siding of the house and possibly into the drywall. Extra debris can cause the gutters to fall as well, they are not meant to support the weight. So keep your gutters clear and your home happy. 

Keep your Eyes open & know when to ask for help

 

Periodically walking around your house and inspecting the roof can seem very simple and mundane but can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Look for loose or missing shingles, extra debris build up, and even damage from weather. If something seems a little too complicated or big of a job, do not be afraid to call experts, they are professionals for a reason. 

Be proactive about your roof, and it will make sure to keep you safe and dry!

Get Your Lawn Ready for Summer

by Jon Smith, CRB, CRS, GRI

Lawn care may not be everyone's favorite thing to do, and some may not know the proper way to prep their lawn for the coming summer. Spring is a sensitive time of the year for your yard the plants are just recovering from winter, the soil is like a sponge, and the weather is unpredictable. Taking  care of your lawn now will only make your summer that much more beautiful and you will thank yourself when it really starts to get hot out. 

Here are some helpful tips for the Spring Season, and how to take care of your yard:

  • Be Gentle: cleaning your lawn and doing heavy yard work can cause damage below the surface. Try to stay off your lawn when it is wet and do as much work when its good and dry. 
  • Control the Weeds: spring is the optimal time to prevent weeds, with new gardening technology,  you can treat your lawn to prevent weeds now and keep your lawn clean through out the summer.
  • Fertilize: Want lush, green lawn grass? feeding your lawn will help it grow strong and green. Now you can get fertilizer and weed control in the same mix, making both jobs even easier.

​​With the spring upon us, do not miss the opportunity to treat your lawn right. For more home tips, visit my website!

Top Tips for Selling your Des Moines Home!

by Jon Smith, CRB, CRS, GRI

Home Buyers are much pickier these days than they've been in the past.  This means that you need to think about every aspect of your home BEFORE putting it on the market!  You only get one shot to make a great 1st impression....so make it count!

Top Home Selling Tips for your Des Moines Home:

1. Price your Home Realistically from the start!  This is why partnering with a reputable, knowledgeable Real Estate expert is critical.  They know the local market and can price your home at the appropriate price the first time.

2. Walk through your home room by room and assess any repairs or tweaks that need to be made.  Spend the money to make sure every room is up to par.

3. Offer up Extras!  In a competitive market it's important to set yourself apart from other home sellers.  This may mean offering something extra to your potential home buyers;  include your kitchen appliances in the sale, offer the washer/dryer, pay partial closing costs.  Talk with your Real Estate agent to develop a plan from the start.

4. Don't forget about Curb Appeal!  This is the first impression that a home buyer has of your home.  Cultivate an inviting exterior and entry to your home.  Potted plants also give a pop of color!

5. Upgrade Appropriately.  If you have major areas of improvements in your home....choose them wisely!  Remember Kitchen and Baths give you the greatest ROI!

For more Home Selling Tips visit my website or give me a call directly to discuss your home!

Cabinet Refacing

by Jon Smith, CRB, CRS, GRI

Whether you are planning to sell your home or want to give your kitchen a fresh look, cabinet refacing can be a less expensive alternative to a complete kitchen remodel.  The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house. Outdated cabinets are a big turn off to potential buyers. Replacing cabinets can be quite costly, but refacing them can provide a completely new look.

If your cabinets are still in good condition, refacing with a wood veneer could be the best way to give your kitchen a makeover. Prices vary between different types of veneer so the overall cost will depend on the wood you choose.

Refacing cabinets means adding new doors and the framework that holds them.  Existing structures are left standing, no cabinets are removed and the layout remains the same. A typical refacing job involves replacing the cabinet doors, the drawer fronts, and the hardware. Matching wood, paint, or laminate veneer is used to resurface any exposed cabinet framework.

The cost of a refacing job will depend on the size of the project, the materials, and options, but a typical refacing job generally costs between $1000-$5000 depending on if you plan to do it yourself or hire a contractor.  To determine the projected cost of a refacing project, some companies will give a price per unit. They count each cabinet door, drawer, end panel, and false front as a unit, and add up the kitchen's units for a total unit count. Price per unit can range from as low as $150 to as high as $250, depending on options and material selection. Using a high-end wood door will up the costs, while a less expensive RTF veneer might be a more budget-friendly option.

Do You Have Hard Water?

by Jon Smith, CRB, CRS, GRI

You may have heard the term 'hard water' but many homeowners do not understand exactly what it is and even if they have this problem. According to the U.S. Geologic Survey, 85 percent of the homes in the United States have hard water.  While hard water is not considered to be unhealthy for people to drink, it can be damaging to household plumbing, water-using appliances and it can make it difficult to clean. Below are the basics of hard water, how to tell if you have it and what can be done about it.

 
What Is Hard Water?

Hard water contains calcium and magnesium and while this is quite natural, excessive amounts create what is commonly referred to as hard water. Hard water is not considered a serious health risk but people who are more prone to rashes and skin problems can have problems because it changes the skin’s pH and soap remains on the skin, clogging pores.

Ways To Tell If You Have Hard Water

The best way to tell whether water is hard or soft is the soapy factor. Soap and toothpaste do not lather up as quickly in hard water as it clogs skin pores and coats hair. The minerals in hard water can affect the ability of soap to clean kitchen and bath surfaces, dishware and laundry. Most homes have hard water problems without necessarily knowing about it.

Hard Water Solutions

If you suspect you have hard water, call a professional to test your water and recommend soft water solutions. The most common solution is to use a water softeners or water treatment systems. While many systems use salt, there are several water softeners available that have a salt free system. However if you are concerned about the presence of sodium ions in their water, use of sodium ions does not make the water noticeably salty or cause a significant increase in a person’s sodium intake. In fact, the FDA defines water that would result from softening 75 gpg hard water (where much more sodium ions would have to be exchanged that is typically the case) as a “low sodium” beverage.

There are many affordable solutions available for both purchase and for rent. If you are interested in a system for purchase, a typical household water softener costs around $1,000 to $1,500 with a monthly operating expense of around $2 to $8 if sodium is used. Many companies offer systems for rent with monthly costs ranging from $25-$85 depending on the model. Be sure to look for the WQA Gold Seal to find products that have been successfully tested to industry performance standards.

Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6

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Photo of Jon Smith, CRB, CRS, SRES, SFR Real Estate
Jon Smith, CRB, CRS, SRES, SFR
Iowa Realty
3521 Beaver Ave.
Des Moines IA 50310
515-240-2692
Fax: 515-453-6404
 

 

 

Licensed in the State of Iowa