Living in Charlotte County Florida

Find the perfect home in sunny southwest, Florida


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Simple tips for making your home more energy efficient

Energy EfficiencyYou might assume that making your home energy efficient requires a lot of time and money, but generally that’s not the case. Often small fixes can have a big impact on your heating, cooling, and other utility bills. Here are some easy things you can do to make your home more efficient right now:

Tip #1: Don’t turn that dial

Keep your thermostat set at one temperature and leave it! In the winter around 68 degrees should be right, and 75 degrees in summer (in homes with a cooling system, of course). Avoiding constant adjustments will keep your energy bills stable.

Tip #2: Stop the drip-drips

Leaky showerheads and faucets are hard-to-miss energy wasters. Toilets that run can also cost you on your water bill. The majority of required repairs are covered in the most basic do-it-yourself handbook.

Tip #3: Go fluorescent

While compact fluorescent light bulbs cost more than the standard incandescent bulbs that you’re used to, they last up to five times longer and use only a quarter of the electricity. Many of these bulbs last over five years, and each energy-saving fluorescent bulb will save you $40 to $60 on your electric bill over the course of its lifetime.

Tip #4: Watch that fireplace

Energy can really leak out of that fireplace. Check the dampers and screens to make sure that energy isn’t leaking when the fireplace is not in use. If the fireplace is just for decoration, cover the chimney. A well maintained fireplace should be an economical way to heat your house and add a warm atmosphere as well.

Tip #5: Keep those appliances humming

Clean air conditioning and furnace filters frequently, and have your appliances inspected once a year. Efficient appliances lower energy bills and future repair costs.

Tip #6: Windows that waste

Windows are the most common energy waster. Make sure that all the weather-stripping is in good condition, and consider double-paned windows and storm shutters to reduce the energy drain.

Hopefully these ideas help you create a more energy efficient home. Energy efficiency is not only an important part of conservation; it’s also a great way to save money. More homeowners tips are available on my website. If you have any questions about your home, I’m only a phone call away.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor, Re/Max Palm Realty, Port Charlotte, FL, tammyhayesre@gmail.com


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Easy do-it-yourself repairs for homeowners

The best way to cut down on the potentially high cost of home maintenance is to tackle the simple jobs on your own. Here are some basic repairs that you should be able to handle without too much difficulty:
• Plugged Sinks- Pull out and clean the sink stopper. If the problem persists, turn off the water supply under the sink before removing and clearing the trap (the curved section of drainpipe under the sink). Avoid using chemicals if you suspect a serious blockage.
• Plugged Toilet- The first resort is the tried and true toilet plunger. If that doesn’t work, use a plumber’s snake to clear the pipe.
• Electrical Failure- Check the circuit breaker to see if the circuit has been tripped to the off position. You may need to replace a blown fuse (replacement fuses usually cost less than $5).
• Leaky faucet- Shut off the water under the sink and replace the washer on the faucet. If the dripping persists, you may need a new faucet unit.
• Damp areas- Make sure that gutters extend away from the house and that the earth is graded away from the walls. A dehumidifier can help dry the air, but you may need to call a professional if you find cracks in the foundation.
• Damaged caulking- Crumbling caulk around tiles, windows and doors needs to be replaced periodically. Caulking guns and caulk run about $20 total and are easy to use.
• Gouges or holes in walls or woodwork- Holes in plaster walls and drywall are easily fixed with plaster patching compound or spackling compound, respectively. Holes in woodwork should be filled with wood putty and sanded lightly. Refinishing may be necessary.
I hope these tips help you with the upkeep of your home! I’d be happy to give you recommendations for home repair experts should your house need additional attention. Let me know if I can be of assistance in any way.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor
Re/Max Palm Realty, Port Charlotte, FL
tammyhayesre@gmail.com
941-276-6185
http://www.tammyhayes.remax-florida.com


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Determining the market value of a home

You’ve decided to sell your home, so what is next? Pricing your home is obviously a key part of the home selling process. A home that is under-priced needlessly costs the client potential return. An over-priced home can remain on the market for an extended amount of time, forcing the seller to either wait out a long listing period or have to adjust down the asking price. Getting the pricing right from the start avoids these potential pitfalls.

To get us started I will prepare for you what is called a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) of your house. This compares your home to others in the area that are either currently listed, under contract, or have recently sold. Other things that can factor into the CMA are supply and demand, craftsmanship, and the amenities of your home.

The CMA will help us to determine the fair market value. What is “fair market value”, you may ask? In short, fair market value is the highest price that an informed buyer will pay for your home. Establishing fair market value will enable us to sit down and discuss in detail the pricing of your home. I want to help you settle on a price that you feel is competitive and consistent with the current market.

I understand that all of this can be a bit overwhelming, so feel free to call or e-mail me at any time. Please also explore my website, it has a lot of information to cover your real estate needs. I’m here not only to sell your home, but also to serve as a resource for you during this exciting time. I would love to be of assistance to you.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor
Re/Max Palm Realty, Port Charlotte, FL
tammyhayesre@gmail.com
941-276-6185
http://www.tammyhayes.remaxagent.com/