Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley - CENTURY 21 Cobb Real Estate



Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 4/23/2017

Buying a house is only the beginning when it comes to spending money on a residence. Buy the wrong house and you could incur heightening costs that you hadn’t planned or budgeted for. One of the best ways to avoid stepping into a house financial minefield is to avoid buying a house based solely on emotion.

Start saving on housing costs early

For this reason, a first step to save on housing costs starts during the house hunting process. While you are house hunting pay attention to more than just the square footage, layout and design of a house. Ask to see the furnace, boiler and air conditioning unit, whichever utility type the house operates off of.

If you’re not knowledgeable about appliances, bring someone who is appliance savvy house hunting with you. The same goes for the roof, flooring and walls. The right construction knowledge could prevent you from investing in a house that has termites, roaches or other creepy crawly pests hidden in the walls.

Don’t let realtors or housing agencies only show you the model if you’re buying a house that’s in the process of being built. Make sure that you get it in writing that you can stop by and check on the home while it’s being built. Bring someone you trust who knows the ins and outs of a home, including the best way to build and wire a house, when you visit the property.

Keeping housing costs down is an ongoing effort

After you buy the right house, develop a schedule that highlights when you will perform certain types of maintenance on your new home. For example, decide whether you will mow the lawn on a Wednesday or a Saturday.

Applying a fresh coat of paint to your house or washing down the siding are other items to add to your house maintenance schedule. De-weeding your lawn, painting the interior of your home, replacing floor tiles as needed and inspecting the insulation and appliances are other maintenance activities.

You also have to clean your gutters and inspect your roof. Again, if you don’t know what to look for during a roofing inspection , consider hiring a professional to do this work for you. In addition to performing regular maintenance on your home, practice safety habits.

Make sure that there is a properly functioning fire extinguisher in your house, preferably at least one extinguisher on each floor of your home. Smoke alarms are another must. Avoid floor or space heaters, as these devices can become afire hazard. Also, clean out fireplaces.

Each of these steps helps to maintain and protect your home. It’s also important to buy and keep payments current on your homeowner’s insurance. Get enough homeowner’s insurance coverage to protect your house from natural events that occur in the area where you live.

For example, if you live in California, you may want to get coverage for mud slide damage.In Florida, you may want coverage for hurricanes and floods. Even if the additional coverage raises your monthly homeowner’s insurance premiums, the added protection could be worth it.




Tags: Save Money   house prices  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 11/6/2016

Kitchens sell houses. So having a great looking kitchen is important if you are thinking of putting your home on the market or maybe you just need a fresh new look. Cabinets are one of the biggest expenses in a kitchen remodel but with a little elbow grease and creativity, you can update your kitchen cabinets without going through the hassle of an entire remodel. Here are some tips on how to make your kitchen look like new with a cabinet facelift. Give the wood a Good Cleaning You will be surprised what a good scrubbing can do. Heat, water, grease and food residue all take a serious toll on your cabinets.

  • If you choose to remove the doors, label or number them so you'll put them back in the right place.
  • Make sure to test any kind of cleaner before using it on the entire cabinet. Cleaners with large amounts of alcohol may cause the wood to dry and crack.
  • Clean and Update the Hardware Hardware gets greasy and grimy so make sure to clean those too.
  • Soak the hardware in a soapy-water solution for 30 minutes.
  • Scrub lightly with a soft brush and rinse.
  • Let dry and apply the proper polish.
  • You may decide instead to replace the hardware. In choosing the finish for your hardware, think about what style will look best in your home. Add Some Detail Add some detail to drab cabinets with moulding. Applying a contrasting finish or color is a quick and inexpensive way to change the look of your cabinets. Stripping and Refinishing If after cleaning your cabinets still need some help, you may decide to refinish or paint them
  • Make sure to remove all the cabinet doors and number them.
  • Liquid strippers work best, but be sure to use the gel or semi-paste types.
  • Place doors on a vertical surface. The finish won't drip as much.
  • Let the stripping agent do the work and start with an inconspicuous area.
  • Patch any conspicuous holes, scratches and nicks with wood filler. When dry, sand lightly to smooth out the patch. Before painting, sand lightly and prime.
  • Before painting remember that the wood expands and contracts with the seasons, which will cause the paint bead to separate and expose unpainted wood. So with a little hard work you can have a whole new look to your kitchen in no time.




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    Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 10/11/2015

    Do you have clogged drains? All of us will experience a backed up drain at some point in our life. Store bought drain cleaners have harsh chemicals and can be expensive. Homemade drain cleaners can be an effective alternative to the store bought ones, and you probably have everything you need in your home already. Here is how to clear your drain the natural way in just a few minutes: 1. Pour ½ cup baking soda into the drain. 2. Pour ½ cup of vinegar into the drain. 3. The ingredients will start bubbling and fizzing. 4. When the bubbling and fizzing has stopped pour boiling water into the drain. 5. Flush the drain with hot water. You may have to do this a few times, but soon your drain should be as good as new.





    Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 5/31/2015

    The warmer weather is here. If you don't have air conditioning or just want to save money by not turning it on as often there are lots of ways to keep cool. So before you turn on the air or get overheated here are some tips on how to cool down your home as well as some tips for cooling yourself.   1. Keep the blinds shut Keep the heat out by closing your blinds, curtains and windows during the day. This will block the sun's heat. Keep everything shut until night falls and its cool enough to open the windows. 2. Open the windows After nightfall open the windows to allow the cool night air to blow throughout house. 3. Use a fan Place ceiling fans and window fans in upstairs rooms to draw off the heat and push the heat outdoors. Set up fans to suck up the cooler air from the floor below, and blow the hot air upwards towards the ceiling. 4. Create your own air conditioner Believe it or not you can make your own air conditioner. Place a metal bowl of ice in front of a fan, and adjust the fan so that the air is blowing over the ice. 5. Avoid adding heat Don't add heat to your home especially during the day. Wait until the evening to take a hot shower, wash dishes and clothes or turn on the oven.





    Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 3/1/2015

    Money experts recommend having an emergency fund, however, that is easier said than done. You will want to have at least three to six months of living expenses in your emergency fund. Here are some tips on how to get there: Determine how much you need                                                                                               Calculate how much you spend each month. Add up your rent/mortgage, car payments, insurance, food and utilities. This will give you an idea of how much you will need to save. Start small If you find it hard to save, start by saving small amounts. Even if you only saved $20 per week for one year, you would increase your savings account by $1040.00 Have achievable goals                                                                                                                     Start with a small goal and gradually work towards a larger one. Set your initial goal of one month's savings and build upon that. If you start small and make savings a habit it will be easier to save. Make it automatic                                                                                                                           Set up automatic contributions to your savings account. Move a specified amount of money to your savings account through direct deposit. If you do this you may not even miss the money. Watch where your money goes                                                                                                 Keep track of how much money you spend. Calculate your spending average and try to spend less. Another great way to save is to find areas where you can cut back. What are some of your best tips for saving money?