Afonso Real Estate



Posted by Afonso Real Estate on 8/21/2019

If you have walked into your kitchen at midnight, put on the lights and watched an army of cockroaches scatter into the dark crevices of your cabinets, then you know you have a bad situation on your hand. Cockroaches are not just terrible insects, but they can contaminate food and spread germs around the home. Follow these simple process to get rid of cockroaches in your home once and for all.

  • Eliminate food and water sources. Cockroaches need stores of food and water to survive, so the first step in getting rid of them involves cutting them off from food and water. Always clean up spilled or leftover food or use sealed containers to store them. Your kitchen appliances, cabinets and even behind the refrigerator should be cleaned thoroughly every night to remove grease and spilled food. Their water sources include leaky pipes and wet drains, so they should be fixed and dried respectively. Place wet items like sponges and toothbrushes in an airtight bag to dry.
  • Eliminate hiding places. Roaches love hiding in dark and damp places during the day, so you should focus on ridding your home of spaces like these. Clean up any clutter you have around such as cardboard boxes. You should also seal up cracks and holes in your walls with caulk to prevent entry. Make sure your under-cabinets are not damp and inviting for them.
  • Use bait. Applying cockroach bait is also a simple and effective way of getting rid of cockroaches. While pesticides are not always advisable because of their likelihood of contaminating surfaces like countertops and appliances, baits are more straightforward and safer to use. Place bait in the areas of the highest cockroach traffic such as behind cabinets and countertops, around the sink and bathroom fixtures and pipes that come into the home.
  • Use Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs). Insect Growth Regulators are synthetic chemicals that work to disrupt the natural life cycle of insects, functioning as a form of birth control for them, the idea being that if an insect cannot reach adulthood, then it becomes impossible for it to reproduce.

When finished with all these, there is the need for patience in waiting for results to become complete. Always bear in mind that getting rid of cockroaches is a constant process that has to be carried out regularly. Not sure of what kind of bait or IGR to buy, ask for recommendations at your local supermarket.




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Posted by Afonso Real Estate on 8/14/2019

When it comes to purchasing a home, there is no need to settle for an "average" homebuying experience. Instead, there are many things that you can do to become an expert homebuyer, i.e. someone who can discover a first-rate house at a budget-friendly price.

Now, let's take a look at three ways that a "typical" homebuyer can become an extraordinary one:

1. Evaluate the Housing Market Closely

The housing market can be complicated, particularly for those who are searching for a house for the first time. Fortunately, an informed homebuyer will be able to identify real estate market trends and plan accordingly.

For example, if there is an abundance of houses available and a shortage of homebuyers, you likely are operating in a buyer's market. In this market, you should have no trouble locating a top-notch house at a price that corresponds to your budget.

On the other hand, a real estate market that features a limited number of outstanding houses commonly favors property sellers. Therefore, you'll need to proceed cautiously if you want to acquire a high-end house at an affordable price.

Of course, you should always check out a wide range of houses in cities and towns where you'd like to live. This will enable you to explore many houses and improve your chances of finding a residence that matches or exceeds your expectations.

2. Get Your Finances in Order

Although you'd like to buy a home in the near future, you still need to figure out how you'll pay for it. Lucky for you, many credit unions and banks are available that can make it easy for you to get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Lenders are happy to meet with you at your convenience. These financial institutions can outline a variety of mortgage options and help you make an informed mortgage decision.

With a mortgage in hand, you can enter the real estate market with clear-cut financial expectations. This may help you avoid the temptation to overspend on a home. Plus, you'll be better equipped than other property buyers to narrow your home search, thereby accelerating the process of acquiring your ideal house.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a housing market professional. As such, he or she can help you simplify the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

For homebuyers, hiring a real estate agent is essential. This housing market professional can keep you up to date about new properties as they become available, set up home showings, submit home offers on your behalf and much more.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is available to respond to your homebuying concerns and queries at any time. He or she will even provide homebuying recommendations to ensure you can navigate the property buying cycle quickly and effortlessly.

Ready to become an expert homebuyer? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can streamline the process of acquiring a terrific home that you can enjoy for years to come.




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Posted by Afonso Real Estate on 8/7/2019

Your garden shed can be an organized place, the same way your indoor is neatly arranged and functional. You can dedicate some time to organizing your garden shed and getting rid of clutters. There are many practical tips here that can help get your garden in order. Whether you want to... 

Get Rid of Things You Do Not Need

Expired items, broken items, empty containers, faulty tools, etc. are things that litter a garden shed and cause an eyesore. Get rid of these things and concentrate on the ones you need for work. Doing this will leave you with more space, clutter-free and also attractive. 

Get Rid of Things from the Ground

Unlike your home, you have so little space to use. Hence, instead of littering the shed floor with tools and gardening materials, you could get creative. With walls, you get other options to decorate your garden.

  • Hanging: You could hang pegs, hooks, broom clips, magnetic strips, etc.
  • With a broom clip, you can easily hang shovels, rakes and other gardening tools with long handles.
  • Storing smaller tools using magnetic strips is a great idea. Tools like hand trowels and gardening shears are perfect for attaching to a strip on the wall.
  • Shelving: With a shelf, you can make your garden more organized. You can use it with a pegboard and does not require extensive skill to set up

Reuse Old Furniture

An old dresser or wardrobe just sitting around in your store or garage can be transformed to be used in your shed. You can use it for storing seed, tools, fertilizers and other small items.Old tables are great to use as a workbench. If you have an old index card catalog, it is perfect for organizing your seed.

Plan for Seasonal Garden Work

While planning for seasonal garden work, you can also arrange your shed at the same time. With this, you work efficiently throughout the year. You could have a whiteboard or chalkboard in your shed. Be sure to add a calendar with seasonal dates and notes. With this, you get to monitor your gardening schedule. With a tackle box, you can organize seeds based on the months too conveniently. 

It is also good to store items that you hardly use away and have frequently used items easily accessible. Visit your local hardware store today to find simple tools you need to keep your garden shed in good condition to make your gardening easy and productive.




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Posted by Afonso Real Estate on 7/31/2019

Smart tech is quickly taking over the home landscape. From thermostats to flooding detection technology is being designed to create a safer home and lower bills. But in a world where everything can be controlled from your cell phone, your home screen becomes cluttered with icons… and fast.

Wemo from Belkin has created a solution that allows you to control multiple devices from one app so your phone can be as efficient as your home. In addition to issuing commands from your cell phone, Wemo also works with Amazon Echo and Google Home. You’ll literally have your very own home assistant to take care of your every whim.

Monitor your electricity usage with Wemo Instant Smart Plug. You can run reports to drill down on how much energy each device in your home uses and even how much total energy a room uses. With the Smart Plug, you can also schedule lights to turn on and off to fit your schedule. Come home to a bright welcoming home and schedule everything to turn off while your family is out for the day.  

The Smart Dimmer replaces your light switch to give you ultimate control of your home's lighting. Create schedules for your home that automatically dims lighting when it’s time to start unwinding at the end of the day or use night mode when you get up in the middle of the night but don’t want to be blinded by harsh lighting.

Wemo’s NetCam can give you peace of mind with its wide-angle view. Keep an eye on the kids in the other room, a parent with mobility impairment or the overall safety of your home from intruders. The push-to-talk capability allows you to give a disobedient pet a command whether you’re just a room or town away.

Indulge you're inner techy with IFTT commands. For the uninitiated, IFTT stands for If This, Then That. It’s an automation service that allows you to create commands, or “recipes”, that are triggered when a specified action occurs. Setup specific cues for when to turn lights and devices on or off. Whether you want to do so by email, text or simply set up a schedule. You can also set up a series of events so that when you turn one device on or off others in the room will do the same.

Wemo works with your Nest thermostat through a mutual partnership. This means that Nest can trigger your Wemo devices to turn on or off and you can use the Wemo app to control your Nest thermostat. Which means one less app on your phone and one more available space on your home screen for the latest addition to the Candy Crush Saga.




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Posted by Afonso Real Estate on 7/24/2019

Every industry has its specific vocabulary. Real estate is no exception. If you are new to the home-buying market, you may find yourself stumped by the abbreviations, lingo, acronyms, and unfamiliar jargon commonly used in real estate sales materials, online listings, contracts, and the like. Do not be confused. Learn the terms so you can read that paperwork with ease. Abatement is a real estate term with which you need to become familiar.

Abatement

In standard legal terms, abatement means the removal or diminishment of something. In residential real estate, this term usually refers to property tax in the form of a property tax abatement. Since property taxes become ongoing annual homeowner expenses even after you entirely pay off a mortgage, being able to access a property tax abatement is an asset. For example, if a municipality such as a city, county, state, or other property-tax entity offers you a tax reduction, it could reduce the monthly housing costs by up to five percent during the period of abatement.

Property tax abatement programs can make it easier to qualify for a larger mortgage by reducing your income/debt to housing cost ratio. Also, while the reduction is effective, it adds value to your home when you're ready to put it on the market. 

Certain tax abatements are for one-time improvements to an existing property. These could be for upgrades such as:

- Converting non-residential buildings to residential use
- Installing environmentally friendly additions
- Renovations that increase property value

Typically, these improvements must conform to the requirements, and follow building codes and permitting processes. If you've planned to purchase a home for renovation purposes, make sure that your agent knows so that you get advice on any reductions in effect for the houses you consider.

Along with state or local abatements, there are some federal tax incentives for restoration and preservation of homes designated as historical or with public value. Other abatements may be for qualified newly constructed homes.

Some municipalities have property tax abatements that are effective for several years. Most often these are in place to attract buyers to redeveloping neighborhoods or areas that are under renewal, in the process of revitalization, or are in lower demand. The specific qualification requirements for tax abatements differ, so be sure to talk with your agent about access to potential abatements when house-hunting.

Asbestos and Lead-Paint

Other uses for the term abatement relating to real estate include some expenses associated with buying an older property or a property's repurposing from commercial to residential. For example, when purchasing a home built prior to 1978, any renovations or improvements might need to conform to lead paint abatement requirements. A potential abatement cost is for asbestos removal. Before the 1970s, asbestos featured regularly as insulation in ducts and pipes, concrete exterior siding, floor tiles, as vermiculite attic insulation, in wall or ceiling acoustical tiles. The Environmental Protection Agency oversees asbestos removal, so if you plan to make changes to a property older than the 70s, your realtor can help you navigate all the requirements of asbestos abatement and may recommend qualified professional asbestos removal contractors. Certain older homes might be eligible for asbestos or lead paint removal grants. 

Your agent can help you determine for which programs the home you are considering buying might qualify. Be sure to ask them about both tax abatements and asbestos or lead paint abatement grant programs.







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