Blog :: 01-2019

Buying With an Eye Towards Resale

When you are purchasing a home for your personal use, you should obviously look for a home that you love and one that has a layout and location that works for you and your family.   

However, always keep in mind that you might want to sell it at some point in the future. Maybe you love old homes with charm and quirky character, but does the market prefer a more modern open floor plan? Or maybe you love an edgy contemporary, but Colonials are what most people want in your town.  For example, we have noticed that barn style homes with high ceilings sell well in the Salisbury, CT area and surrounding towns

Talk to your realtor about what is popular in your area.  Are you buying in a price range that is easy to re-sell? Building something that is too specific for your personal needs —say a huge house that only has two bedrooms—can make it difficult for future resale. Call us at Best & Cavallaro Real Estate if you would like to explore this topic more thoroughly.

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    Is It Time for a Septic Inspection?

    If you haven’t had your septic inspected in the past three years, give your local sanitation company a call and they’ll be happy to come out and check on it.

    Regular maintenance can save you thousands of dollars in repairs if an issue arises. Typically, an inspector will check the sludge levels to determine if the tank needs to be pumped, as well as the components that prevent wastewater and scum to be released in the drainage fields. These components protect the absorptive quality of the soil and prolong the life of the septic system.

    Sanitation professionals will also give you maintenance tips on how to care for your septic. One easy tip to follow is to avoid as much water waste as possible. Efficient water use improves the operation of a septic system and reduces the risk of failure.

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      Little Tips for Saving in the New Year

      As many articles explain at the start of the new year, this is a good time to look at your budget and consider some instant gratification with immediate savings. Here are a few easy money-saving tips:

      First, make sure to shop your electric rate. The website

      www.energizect.com allows you to choose your supplier based on rates and also provide helpful energy saving tips. As of the start of the year, Eversource was charging 10.14 cents compared to other suppliers with rates as low as 7.99.  Cut your cable bill by subscribing to streaming services such as Sling TV, Hulu Live TV, Netflix, and HBO. If you subscribed to all of those services, the bill would be around $88. Cable starts at around $100. Remember that cutting cable doesn’t mean you lose basic TV; you’ll still receive your local channels.

      Finally, check with your insurance agent about installing security cameras and smoke detectors; they could save you more than the cost of the equipment and installation.

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        Radon Testing - Why Wait?

        Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas found in the earth that causes an estimated 20,000 lung cancer deaths every year in the United States according to the American Cancer Society—only smoking causes more. 

        Much of the Northeast is in a radon “hot zone.” It is estimated that 28% of tested homes in Berkshire and Litchfield County, 37% in Columbia County, and 39% in Dutchess County, have over the recommended maximum level of 4.0pCi/L that is considered dangerous to health. 

        Radon can affect one house and not the one next door, and there are no warning symptoms of radon poisoning. The American Cancer Society suggests that ALL homes be tested for radon levels. If the reading is over 4.0pCi/L, contact a contractor who can fix the problem; the EPA website lists some. 

        When you decide to sell your house, you’ll find out from the buyer’s inspection the amount of radon in your house and whether or not your family has been exposed over the years, so why wait?

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          Winter Roof Tips

          The key to preventing ice dams is simply to keep your attic and roof cold.  While frozen, they’re no more trouble than the icicles that hang down. But during the warmer parts of a winter day, water melting off the roof pools behind the ice then seeps back up under the shingles.

          To keep your roof cold, follow these steps:

          1. Close up attic bypasses. In the average home, about 1/3 of heat loss is through the ceiling into the attic, mostly from air leaks caused by unblocked walls, gaps in drywall, and cracks around light fixtures, pipes, and chimneys. A professional will pull back insulation and plug the leaks using foam, caulk and other methods.

          2. Measure your attic insulation level. Check the depth of your attic insulation. Building codes require about 12-14”. Add more if you have less than 8”. Blown-in cellulose and fiberglass are best because they fill more tightly leaving fewer gaps. It’s usually worth hiring a professional for this job.

          By stopping air leakage to mitigate ice dams, you’ll save energy and reduce both your heating and your air conditioning bills.

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