Articles Tagged "Home maintenance"

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June
20

Summer Maintenance Tasks - Homeowners - CB Prime Properties

Home maintenance is a must if you want your home to look its best and be in top condition. Our real estate agents will tell you, it's also a great way to add value before listing. Add to your comfort and improve the aesthetics and functionality of your Albany home for sale with this home maintenance checklist for the summer.

  1. Take Care of Your Exterior
    Check for and replace any rotten boards on your deck. Reseal the boards to protect against any further water damage.

    Click Here to Read More...

December
20

Winter Indoor Projects - Homeowners - CB Prime Properties

Colder weather might mean more time spent inside Albany homes for sale. But that doesn't mean your DIY home projects have to come to an end. There are all kinds of things you can do to complete upgrades, improve energy efficiency, or even make your surroundings a little more pleasant. Crossing a few of these projects off your to-do list this winter will be well worth the effort.

  • Keep the cold air out by sealing leaks and openings
    This is an excellent DIY project for colder weather because it will keep drafts out, making your time indoors a little cozier. And it can even help lower heating costs, limit noise, and prevent pests too. Check around windows and door frames, attic and crawl space access points, and around vents, fans, and electrical outlets. Those are just a few of the places cold air can get in. For a list of other places to check, visit Energy.gov
     

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November
15

Recycling Tips for Homeowners - CB Prime Properties

One of our real estate agents' favorite annual events is coming soon: America Recycles Day on Nov. 15. It's the only nationally recognized day dedicated to empowering Americans to recycle more and buy recycled products. The day educates and encourages individuals to reuse as much as possible, be mindful of what they consume, repurpose items, and focus more on the recycling bins than trash cans.

  • Know What Can and Can't Be Recycled
    Just because an item has the recycling triangle does not mean it is recyclable. There's green-washed recycling and there's real recycling. For instance, some companies will have a recycling program for their waste products, but instead of recycling, they'll take the items to another part of the country. You need to read the recycling rules for your area's recycling program and follow the guidelines as best as you can. Each city has its own specifics, but here are basic guidelines:


    • Paper: Paper is generally recyclable, including magazines, books, flyers, colored paper, and junk mail. However, the paper should never be sticky, wet, or mixed with other types of materials. Avoid waxy papers or those saturated with grease and food.

      Click Here to Read More...

October
18

Fall Leaf Pickup - Homeowners - CB Prime Properties

Homebuyers considering some of the many gorgeous Albany homes for sale are often attracted to the majestic trees and lush lawns that surround them. But as the leaves transition from green to gold and red, they also drift to the ground, creating clean-up chores that can cut into your Saturday mornings. Our real estate agents wanted to share several helpful tools designed to keep that imposition on your time to a minimum. Here are some of their favorites:

  • Leaf Vacuum
    A leaf blower may have been your favorite option until now, as they do work well to clear sidewalks and driveways. But you've got to love a tool that picks up those pesky leaves, not just pushes them around. Coming in at under $100, these ingenious devices can operate in either blowing or vacuuming mode, providing you with an additional option. They normally come with a vacuum tube and a zippered collection bag but may have other accessories. Several models offer variable speeds for maximum control. This device leaves us wondering why we didn't think of that!

    Click Here to Read More...

August
24

You don't need a real estate license to find your dream home, but it does help to become familiar with the real estate jargon you might encounter during the process. When searching for a home or applying for a mortgage, you may hear your real estate agent or lender use any of the terms or acronyms below.

Keep this four-part guide handy — you'll be fluent in the language of home buying before you know it.

When you're searching for a home

  • Approved for short sale: A term that indicates that a homeowner's bank has approved a reduced listing price on a home, and the home is ready for resale.
  • Buyers market: Market conditions that exist when homes for sale outnumber buyers. Homes sit on the market a long time, and prices drop.
  • Comparative market analysis (CMA): An in-depth analysis, prepared by a real estate agent, that determines the estimated value of a home based on recently sold homes of similar condition, size, features and age that are located in the same area.
  • Comps: Or comparable sales, are homes in a given area that have sold within the past six months that a real estate agent uses to determine a home's value.
  • Days on market (DOM): The number of days a property listing is considered active.
  • Listing price: The price of a home, as set by the seller.
  • Multiple listing service (MLS): A database where real estate agents list properties for sale.
  • Sellers market: Market conditions that exist when buyers outnumber homes for sale. Bidding wars are common.
  • Short sale: The sale of a home by an owner who owes more on the home than it's worth. The owner's bank must approve a lower listing price before the home can be sold.

When you're applying for a mortgage

  • Back-end ratio: One of two debt-to-income ratios that a lender analyzes to determine a borrower's eligibility for a home loan. The ratio compares the borrower's monthly debt payments to gross income.
  • Depository institutions: Banks, savings and loans, and credit unions. These institutions underwrite as well as set home loan pricing in-house.
  • Debt-to-income ratio (DTI): A ratio that compares a home buyer's expenses to gross income.
  • Housing ratio: One of two debt-to-income ratios that a lender analyzes to determine a borrower's eligibility for a home loan. The ratio compares total housing cost (principal, homeowners insurance, taxes and private mortgage insurance) to gross income.
  • Loan estimate: A three-page document sent to an applicant three days after they apply for a home loan. The document includes loan terms, monthly payment and closing costs.
  • Loan-to-value ratio (LTV): The amount of the loan divided by the price of the house. Lenders reward lower LTV ratios.
  • Origination fee: A fee, charged by a broker or lender, to initiate and complete the home loan application process.
  • Pre-approval: A thorough assessment of a borrower's income, assets and other data to determine a loan amount they would qualify for. A real estate agent will request a pre-approval or pre-qualification letter before showing a buyer a home.
  • Pre-qualification: A basic assessment of income, assets and credit score to determine what, if any, loan programs a borrower might qualify for. A real estate agent will request a pre-approval or pre-qualification letter before showing a buyer a home.
  • Underwriting: A process a lender follows to assess a home loan applicant's income, assets and credit, and the risk involved in offering the applicant a mortgage.

When you're shopping for a mortgage

  • Conventional loan: A home loan not guaranteed by a government agency, such as the FHA or the VA.
  • Down payment: A certain portion of the home's purchase price that a buyer must pay. A minimum requirement is often dictated by the loan type.
  • Fannie Mae: A government-sponsored enterprise chartered in 1938 to help ensure a reliable and affordable supply of mortgage funds throughout the country.
  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA): A government agency created by the National Housing Act of 1934 that insures loans made by private lenders.
  • FHA 203(k): A rehabilitation loan backed by the federal government that permits homebuyers to finance money into a mortgage to repair, improve or upgrade a home.
  • Foreclosure: A property repossessed by a bank when the owner fails to make mortgage payments.
  • Freddie Mac: A government agency chartered by Congress in 1970 to provide a constant source of mortgage funding for the nation's housing markets.
  • Mortgage broker: A licensed professional who works on behalf of the buyer to secure financing through a bank or other lending institution.
  • Mortgage interest rate: The price of borrowing money. The base rate is set by the Federal Reserve and then customized per borrower, based on credit score, down payment, property type and points the buyer pays to lower the rate.
  • Piggyback loan: A combination of loans bundled to avoid private mortgage insurance. One loan covers 80% of the home's value, another loan covers 10% to 15% of the home's value, and the buyer contributes the remainder.
  • Principal, interest, property taxes and homeowners insurance (PITI): The components of a monthly mortgage payment.
  • Private mortgage insurance (PMI): A fee charged to borrowers who make a down payment that is less than 20% of the home's value. The fee, 0.3% to 1.5% of the yearly loan amount, can be canceled in certain circumstances when the borrower reaches 20% equity.
  • Points: Prepaid interest owed at closing, with one point representing 1% of the loan. Paying points, which are tax deductible, will lower the monthly mortgage payment.

When you've chosen a home

  • American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI): A not-for-profit professional association that sets and promotes standards for property inspections. Look for this accreditation or something similar when shopping for a home inspector.
  • Cash-value policy: A homeowners insurance policy that pays the replacement cost of a home, minus depreciation, should damage occur.
  • Closing costs: Fees associated with the purchase of a home that are due at the end of the sales transaction. Fees may include the appraisal, the home inspection, a title search, a pest inspection and more. Buyers should budget for an amount that is 1% to 3% of the home's purchase price.
  • Contingencies: Conditions written into a home purchase contract that protect the buyer should issue arise with financing, the home inspection, etc.
  • Earnest money: A security deposit made by the buyer to assure the seller of his or her intent to purchase.
  • Escrow account: An account required by a lender and funded by a buyer's mortgage payment to pay the buyer's homeowners insurance and property taxes.
  • Escrow state: A state in which an escrow agent is responsible for closing.
  • Home inspection: A non-destructive visual look at the systems in a building. Inspection occurs when the home is under contract or in escrow.
  • Homeowners insurance: A policy that protects the structure of the home, its contents, injury to others and living expenses should damage occur.
  • In escrow: A period of time (30 days or longer) after a buyer has made an offer on a home and a seller has accepted. During this time, the home is inspected and appraised, and the title searched for liens, etc.
  • Title insurance: Insurance that protects the buyer and lender should an individual or entity step forward with a claim that was attached to the property before the seller transferred legal ownership of the property or "title" to the buyer.
  • Transfer taxes: Fees imposed by the state, county or municipality on transfer of title.
  • Under contract: A period of time (30 days or longer) after a buyer has made an offer on a home and a seller has accepted. During this time, the home is inspected and appraised, and the title is searched for liens, etc.
  • Walkthrough: A buyer's final inspection of a home before closing.

When you own a home

  • Equity: A percentage of the home's value owned by the homeowner.
  • Homeowners Association (HOA): The governing body of a housing development, condo or townhome complex that sets rules and regulations. They charge dues used to maintain common areas.
  • Property tax exemption: A reduction in taxes based on specific criteria, such as installation of a renewable energy system or rehabilitation of a historic home.
  • Tax lien: The government's legal claim against property when the homeowner neglects or fails to pay a tax debt.

Find out what else you can do to prepare for buying a home here.


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July
26

New Homeowner To-Do List - CB Prime Properties

Moving into a new home is an exciting time, and our real estate agents know you can't wait to start making that space officially your own. If you're like most people, you probably have a lot of projects in mind to help you do exactly that. But before you get started, take a minute to do these 10 things first. You won't regret it!

  1. Change the locks and key codes
    You don't know how many people the previous owners may have given keys to, and changing everything will let you rest easier. Don't forget about the codes for garage door openers or security gates as well.

    Click Here to Read More...

June
7

Choosing Mulch for Landscaping - CB Prime Properties

Improving the appearance of your landscaping can boost the curb appeal of Albany homes for sale and give your home that wow factor. Mulch is an essential part of the overall look of your landscaping. It gives everything a neat and finished look making your yard look well cared for. The right kind of mulch will help keep your plants healthy too.  

Mulch vs. Rocks vs. Ground Cover Plants

There's more than one way to finish off your landscaping, so here's how to know if mulch is right for your situation:

  • Mulch is very common and appropriate for a wide variety of soil and plants. It gives your landscape an immediate finished look, and individual plants will be visible. Mulch helps control soil temperature, moisture, deter weed growth, and helps prevent erosion. Organic mulches decompose and add nutrients to the soil, so they will need to be replaced periodically. You won't want to use it in a steep-sloped area or where it can wash away easily.

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March
8

Central New York: Women In Business 

Real Estate and Women: A Perfect Pairing

Without a doubt, 2020 was a year that no one will ever forget – and for Coldwell Banker Prime Properties, that's not just because of the pandemic. Last year, we grew by double digits, expanded into new markets, and helped more than 6500 individuals find a place to call home. At the core of our surging success is our local leadership teams, which are made up of 22 individuals, 18 of whom are women.

As a top 2% Coldwell Banker affiliate, we are especially proud this year to celebrate Coldwell Banker's recent honor of the Women's Choice Award. The Women's Choice Award is the only award that recognizes and identifies brands that women recommend.

At Coldwell Banker, we value women in real estate. I am beyond proud to work for a brand that empowers women to take on leadership roles and strives to make the industry better. Through our work with our Inclusive Ownership program and What Moves Her initiative, we are continuously exploring new ways to support leadership development, promote shared values, and provide resources for enhancing leadership tools and capabilities for women in the industry." – Liz Gehringer, chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

Not only is Coldwell Banker recommended as a brand to work with, but as real estate leaders in customer experience and quality, Coldwell Banker Prime Properties is an incredible place to work for.

Want to BE PART OF THE COLDWELL BANKER BRAND? Contact one of our local branch offices today!

March
8

Capital Region Women In Business 

Real Estate and Women: A Perfect Pairing

Without a doubt, 2020 was a year that no one will ever forget – and for Coldwell Banker Prime Properties, that's not just because of the pandemic. Last year, we grew by double digits, expanded into new markets, and helped more than 6500 individuals find a place to call home. At the core of our surging success is our local leadership teams, which are made up of 22 individuals, 18 of whom are women.

As a top 2% Coldwell Banker affiliate, we are especially proud this year to celebrate Coldwell Banker's recent honor of the Women's Choice Award. The Women's Choice Award is the only award that recognizes and identifies brands that women recommend.

At Coldwell Banker, we value women in real estate. I am beyond proud to work for a brand that empowers women to take on leadership roles and strives to make the industry better. Through our work with our Inclusive Ownership program and What Moves Her initiative, we are continuously exploring new ways to support leadership development, promote shared values, and provide resources for enhancing leadership tools and capabilities for women in the industry." – Liz Gehringer, chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

Not only is Coldwell Banker recommended as a brand to work with, but as real estate leaders in customer experience and quality, Coldwell Banker Prime Properties is an incredible place to work for.

Want to BE PART OF THE COLDWELL BANKER BRAND? Contact one of our local branch offices today!

March
1

Things That Impact Property Value - Sell a Home - CB Prime Properties

Your home's value is determined by two types of issues: (1) things you can control and (2) things you cannot. Despite the things you can't change, you can improve your home's value to ensure that it's among the most desired Albany homes for sale.

Our real estate agents are familiar with the factors you can control and can help you maximize your home's value:

  1. Lack of Curb Appeal
    As the old saying goes: You never get a second chance at a first impression. Curb appeal is shorthand for everything someone sees as they drive up to your home, including the front yard, windows, porch, front door, and exterior paint. If your front yard is a tangled mess of weeds and faded and chipped paint, all your potential buyers will see are the thousands of dollars they will need to spend to fix the curb appeal. Conversely, your home will shine with a manicured lawn, clean windows, and a fresh coat of paint.

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October
5

Fall Home Repair - CB Prime Properties

There is nothing worse than having to put on the tool belt and perform home repairs in the dead of winter. Our real estate agents suggest getting a jump on those last-minute home repairs before the last leaf hits the ground this autumn. It is not only a great way to avoid frosty fingers and toes, but it is also the best way to ensure your home is protected from the wind, rain, snow, and sleet that Mother Nature is likely to deliver when winter arrives.

  1. Disconnect Your Hoses, Faucets, and Sprinklers. The sooner you take care of this, the better. Surprise frosts can and do occur in the region. Disconnecting hoses and faucets and blowing out your sprinklers is essential for protecting your plumbing system.

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July
6

AC Maintenance - Homeownership - CB Prime Properties

Are you listening to what your air conditioning unit is trying to tell you? Like other appliances throughout our home, our HAVC system may display symptoms of malfunctioning long before it breaks down. Unfortunately, it's much easier for us to ignore these signs if we're not trained to recognize them. Our real estate agents would hate for you to wake up to a broken A/C unit in the middle of the night. We suggest that you keep your eyes and ears open for these 10 tell-tale signs of a problematic air conditioner.

  1. Old Age
    When a cooling system is properly maintained, it can run well for decades. However, all elements of your home have an average lifecycle and your air conditioning unit will likely only last between 10 and 15 years. If you've had your air conditioner for over a decade, it might be time to replace it before it inevitably breaks down.

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May
11

Washing Machine Cleaning Tips - CB Prime Properties

There are spots in every house we don't really think about cleaning very often. For most people, the washing machine is one of those places. The inside of the washing machine can harbor offensive odors, mold, or mildew. None of those things are good for your clothes or your washer! For Albany homes for sale, thoroughly cleaning is a must. You won't want to risk anything that could leave a bad smell and bad impression with buyers. Here's how to get your machine sparkling clean in no time.­­

Front-Load Washing Machines

  1. Make sure the washing machine is empty.
  2. Remove any visible debris and pet hair from the tub.

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