Tag Archives: idaho home buyer help

Winter Energy Saving Tips

259301_4451The Winter heating season is already underway; for many in the Northwest this year means even higher energy costs.

Heating costs can make up 45% of your Winter energy bill. Hefty energy bills don’t have to dampen your holiday season however! Here are some great tips to help you save on staying warm during the cold months.

First, do an energy audit. You can do this yourself by taking a look at your energy bill and thinking of ways that you can cut back on non-heat related costs. This may be as simple as unplugging electronics that aren’t in use, or turning off lights in rooms that you’re not going to be using.

Set the thermostat at 68 when you are home; even lower if you are not going to be home. Don’t let it slip below 58 degrees if you live in a really cold area. By just setting the temperature a little lower for a few hours a day you can save over 10% on your bill in most cases.

Set the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees to cut back on heat lost to the environment. Heating water can account up to 18% of your energy bill so it’s good to insulate your water heater and also any pipes that carry hot water as well.

Seal up air leaks. Use a candle to test windows for drafts. If you find a draft you can seal the edges of windows with caulking or spray foam depending on the size of the leak. Also consider under door sweeps for exterior doors.

Window glass can be a big reason your home loses heat. Clear windows on the South side of your home to let as much natural light and heat in as possible. If you don’t have double paned windows, you can also keep drapes closed or use a window insulation kit to help keep cold air from coming in from the outside.

Don’t hesitate to contact a local handyman or home service provider to ask them for advice on improving your home efficiency, in some cases they will have tips that can help, or you can even hire them to come and fix the issues for you.

Saving pennies can make sense in the long run! Don’t get all heated up over high energy bills this Winter! Still looking for that perfect home? We can help!  RE/MAX Elite Properties specializes in the best homes in the Treasure Valley including Boise, Nampa, Eagle, and more!

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How to Choose a Good Real Estate Agent

Shaking-HandsEven with the amazing amounts of information online today regarding real estate, buying and selling homes, and market conditions real estate is still a complex industry; it is imperative to make sure you are not attempting to go it alone.

It is crucial to find an honest, competent, agent who will represent your best interests throughout the entire process.

We could easily just say here are our extremely qualified Idaho REALTORS® of course – and you’d be hard pressed to find a more dedicate group of real estate professionals! – but here are some good things to keep in mind no matter which brokerage you choose:

Experience
Despite huge amounts of on-going education, like many industries, agents in real estate simply will not know how to deal with unusual situations without some experience. Therefore having an agent that has been out working in the market for a little while is only to your advantage. All real estate transactions are complex so having one that has been through the process itself numerous times is a real asset – be sure to ask your prospective agent how many transactions they’ve closed in the last year; ask about their general amount of time in the industry.

Availability
Real estate agents often have to handle multiple clients and offer scenarios at once. It is important that while you want an experienced agent that you don’t pick one that simply may have “too much going on” to help you with your needs. Especially if you are a first time buyer or seller it is important your chosen agent be able to spend a little extra time with you, educating you about the transaction process.

Knowledge
Not just knowledge about the type of house you want to buy, but also the info on the kinds of amenities in the area, schools, and what things are important to the way of life you are looking to lead. An agent knowledge should extend well beyond just the correct procedures in negotiating and shuffling papers. Make sure you work with an agent that knows the area!

So do some homework before you settle on an agent. Remember, chances are your home will be the biggest financial decision you make in your entire life. Having a qualified professional to help you navigate through the transaction will be absolutely necessary for success. Beyond that, trust your gut. Make sure the agent you select is someone you can trust and who you feel will be great at providing you with just the right service!

Curb Appeal: First Impressions Count

Home buyers can be quick to judge, and your first impression may very well be your only impression – so curb appeal is a very important factor in getting your home sold. It’s pretty standard policy for real estate agents to suggest homeowners keep up on the yard work, trimming the trees, and making the home look as presentable as possible, there are still some smaller details that might not make the list.

We’ve talked with some home staging experts to get their take on what makes for an appealing home and have put these tips together to help you get your home looking it’s best for buyers.

Start at the Front door
Your front door is often the focal point of drive-by buyers. Replacing an old out of style door with a new one can be fairly cost effective; has been rated among the biggest bangs for your buck when it comes to quick fixes for home appeal. Sometimes your existing door just needs a fresh coat of paint, but don’t go crazy – a wild color choice could sabotage the whole effect. Look into possibly just changing the fixtures also as updated hardware can really turn a door from blab to fab.

Yes You SHOULD Do Windows
Washing the windows of your home inside and out is a good start. Seeing your home every day can kind of make these small detail blend into the background but as the eyes are windows to the soul, so windows themselves are to the spirit of your home. New shutters or window planters might also be a nice option depending on your style of home.

Kick the Dogs Off the Front Porch
Don’t be quick to discount this part of your home as just the place between the curb and the door. With new home trends available outdoor living spaces are all the rage; it’s important to make these spaces as inviting as the rest of your home because they can be real extra selling points.

Rock the Garage
Often this will be the biggest part of the front of your house, so make sure it looks it’s best. Replace or repair a door that is damaged in any way, or give it a fresh coat of paint. This is another place that value outweighs cost when it comes to improving your home. Have any oil stains or other damage to the garage floor also repaired. If your walls are unfinished sheet rock go ahead and give them a paint as well.

Don’t be afraid of the dark
Curb appeal isn’t just for daytime. As a lot of home buyers work regular day jobs it’s frequent that you will get interested parties doing a quick drive past in the evening time. Adding path lighting or exterior lights to showcase the front of your home can be fairly inexpensive and really make a big difference at night. Leave more interior lights on than you normally might, especially towards the front of the home as it will give a nice warm glow from the exterior.

Do you need to sell your home in Idaho or do looking to buy a home? we can help! Our team of experience real estate professionals know the market here in Idaho; can help you regardless of what your needs may be. Visit our real estate website to start searching now and feel free to LIKE our fan page on Facebook to stay up on the latest Idaho real estate news and more!

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