Tag Archives: home

TO DO (To Get it Done!) Fall List: Protect Your Austin Home

13 Oct

Now that you don’t feel like your skin is going to melt off every time you step outside of your property in Austin, TX, this is the perfect time to tackle a few household projects.  (Don’t forget the Importance of Maintaining Your Property.)  Here are a couple starter projects to get you on your way:

1Caulk: You know, that sealant that keeps moisture on a rainy day out, also stops air leaks that lets your heating and cooling escape. When we have had a year like this, where extreme  dry conditions pervaded it is time to “touch up” around the home. Review areas around windows, doors, and any openings that are entry or exit areas for pipes etc. In most cases, you can touch up the caulk where it has opened up or lost some adhesion. In some cases, in might be better to take a screwdriver and carefully remove any real loose caulk, and then touch up.

2Do you ever bother to look at that outside Air Conditioning condenser? Hot dry climates pack dust in the fins, which causes loss of efficiency and could lead to failure. Get the garden hose out, make up a bottle of 50% water and Vinegar, spray the fins on the condenser and let sit for a moment, then carefully spray off the fins starting at the top and working downward.  Do NOT use pressure that bends the fins; you want good pressure, but not too much!  You will be surprised at the gunk that comes out!

Don’t forget your air filters on the inside: Hot dusty climates make change out every 30 days or so a must; other factors like pet dander, or fall cleaning can kick up a lot of debris in the home as well.

One trick that I have learned from the pros, is that most HVAC units have provisions for more than one air filter. You can buy the cheap fiberglass filters 5 at a time, and a couple of those nice pleated pollen filters too. Then, take the cheaper filter and put it first in the air flow, backed up by the pleated filter, this keeps the pleated filter from catching all the big stuff and choking up.  Change the cheap filter out in 30 days or so, and then change both out 30 days from that, as it helps the more expensive filters last longer and do their job with little waste.

3. Give your trees a ‘haircut:’ Walk around the home and look at any surrounding trees.  Remember to cut branches back 6 feet from the roof if possible to keep them from damaging your roof shingle.  (With the dry conditions and brush fires which have abounded in Austin, TX we should all take a hard look at our dead branches!)

4. Paint: If areas are looking thin or exposed, time to touch up now.  Water behind the paint causes many issues.  In general,  a good coat of paint reduces wood rot and deterioration of the exterior surfaces as well.

5. Do you know where your freeze protectors are for the outside hose bibs? They are cheap this time of year, but the price goes up as the cold front comes in (yes, think back really hard, and you’ll remember those frigid nights last year in Austin), have them on hand. You may be like me, and have to buy new ones each year as for some reason the dogs thing these are “chew toys” mounted on the outside walls.


Do you have a great home maintenance project idea or tip?  Please share in the comments below!  We’d all love to learn from you!


Now, STOP reading and start DOING!

*These Great Ideas Are Courtesy of Austin Pillar to Post!


How To Remove Streaks and Marks from Your Floors

28 Sep

Scuff Marks on your Floor Shoes

As you know in Austin, TX and any real estate market really, first impressions matter to the Buyer!  Don’t let scuff marks on your floors distract Buyers and cost you money!   Instead try these cheap, quick fixes.

1. Fight Fire with Fire!  Black-soled shoes may have made streaks on your tile floor, but rubber-soled sneakers can remove them. Simply tie on your sneakers and buff the marks with the point of your sole.

…It’s OK if you can’t resist attempting the Moon Walk while you’re at it.

2. Aw Sheet!  Have hardwood floors? Lift scuff marks by using a dryer sheet (even a used one will do). Simply rub at the marks, making small, circular motions.

3. Alcohol (Rubbing not Drinking)! Vinyl floor looking streaky? Dab a little rubbing alcohol on a clean white cloth and wipe. The marks will disappear without damaging the floor’s finish.

I’m a professional Realtor, not a professional flooring cleaner, so if you’re unsure, please check with a flooring specialist before trying any of these tactics.


Using Zillow to Price Your Home or Develop an Offer Price

10 Aug

The internet is a great tool and provides folks in the real estate market with a myriad of resources which were not available even just a decade ago.

As a Realtor in Austin, TX, my clients regularly share with me, ‘So I was looking on Zillow….’

While  I find that Zillow is a useful tool that Buyers and Sellers may use when they are early in the process or researching and getting a ‘ballpark’ feel for pricing in neighborhoods, it is not a good substitute for a good Real Estate Agent and a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA).

Why is a Realtor with a CMA Better than Relying on Zillow?

The main reason that you need a Real Estate Professional when determining the sales price of your home or developing an offer price on a particular home as opposed to relying solely on Zillow is because Zillow and the Real Estate Market use two different sets of data.

That is, using Zillow to develop your list price or offer price is like studying from your Geometry Book to prepare for your Calculus Final; while there might be some mathematical overlap, it’s just not going to give you the most efficient and accurate way to prepare for your sale or purchase.

So How Do Zillow and Market Data Differ?

Zillow uses public information, like tax records, while Realtors use Market Data.  Public information can be quite different from Market Data, and I’ll explain more  later.

For now, know that using Market Data allows your Realtor to see exactly the prices at which homes have been selling similar to the one you’re considering selling or purchasing, which gives you the best chance of marketing your home properly and getting it sold or offering a price that is going to get you that home!

Can You Help Me Price or Develop an Offer Price on My Austin, TX Property?

Yes!…And just like Carl’s Jr. touts their chicken is made by people and not robots, all of my Comparative Market Analysis work is performed by me and not a system. Pricing homes is largely science and part art, and you need a human to process the information, take into consideration unique aspects of the home and current market trends, as well as interpret the market’s response to the home.

If you would like me to work a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for your home in the Austin Real Estate Market and surrounding areas, please contact me, today!