Pinder Braich's Blog
Buying a new home can be an exciting but anxiety-inducing experience. With so many things to consider, it can be difficult to keep track of the things that matter most to you.
This process is complicated further when you discover a second or third home that you like as much as the first and you’re trying to decide which one to make an offer on.
In today’s post, we’re going to talk about how you can effectively compare houses to ensure that you’re making the most sensible, long-term decision for you and your family.
It’s all about the spreadsheet
Today, our method isn’t going to rely on any fancy new apps or paid tools. Everything you need to accomplish your spreadsheet is a tool like Google Sheets (it’s like a free version of Excel) or a simple pencil and notebook.
The columns of your spreadsheet will be made up of the factors that will influence your decision. This will include the obvious details like the cost and square footage of the home, but also finer details like its proximity to key places in your life.
The rows of your spreadsheet will be the properties you’re comparing. Now, it may be tempting to start listing every house on your radar in the columns of your spreadsheet. However, I think it’s more time-effective to only include the homes that you’re likely to make an offer on. This means doing some hard thinking and having a conversation with your family about your realistic goals for buying a home.
What is most important to you in a home and neighborhood?
Let’s turn our attention back to the top row of your spreadsheet. We want to fill that section with around 10 factors that are most important to you in a home and the location the home will be in.
In this section, you can include the estimated cost of the home and the estimated monthly expenses for owning that home (utilities, taxes, etc.).
Here’s the secret weapon of our spreadsheet, however. Rather than listing the actual cost of the home in this row, we’re going to give it a rank of 1 to 5. A score of 1 means the house is a lot more expensive than you want. A score of 5 means the house is the ideal cost. A 3 would be somewhere in the middle.
We’re going to use this 1 to 5 ranking system for all other factors on our spreadsheet as well.
Next to these costs, you’ll want to add other important factors to your home buying decision. Does it have the number of rooms you’re looking for? If a backyard is important to you, does it provide for that need?
In terms of upgrades, how much work will you have to do on the home to make it something you’re satisfied with? For DIY-minded people with time to spare, home improvement might be a welcome concept. For others, it simply would take too much time to accomplish everything you want. So, when you fill out the “Upgrades” column of your spreadsheet, make sure you determine a system for ranking the homes that suits your needs.
House location shouldn’t be overlooked
It’s a sad truth, but in today’s busy world, the average homeowner spends most of their time away from home, whether they’re at work, commuting, or bring their kids to and from after school activities.
You’ll want at least one column on your spreadsheet to be devoted to location. When ranking the location of a home, consider things like commuting time, distance to schools, hospitals, parks, and grocery stores. All of these things will have a larger impact on your day-to-day life than small details of the house itself.
Ranking the homes
Now that you have the first row and column of your spreadsheet built, it’s time to fill in the details and tally up the totals. These numbers will help inform your decision as to which house is really right for you.
6 Fuller Road, Sutton, MA 01590
Everyone loves barbecue, whether you are from the South (famous for barbecue) or New York City. There is nothing like a grilled steak. As city and state laws have changed, though, how you can barbecue has changed too. Years ago, an everyday barbecue cooked on charcoal briquettes was the norm. Today, although you can still buy charcoal and an inexpensive grill, laws have changed limiting the use of starter fluids, for example. Compounding this is that the available time to barbecue is shorter (getting home later), so many homes have transitioned to the gas grill.
Propane or LP gas grills are quick and easy. You turn them on and instantaneously you’re ready to put the meat on the grill. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of barbecue; it works for a lot of people. But if you like the smoked wood flavor of the charcoal flame, you’re not completely satisfied.
Or maybe you have turned on the TV and seen those fantastic cooking shows where they are showing smoked brisket or fall-off-the-bone ribs done with wood flames, and you wish you could do that. But, since you have neither the time nor the skill set to make that happen, you settle for getting your “smoked barbecue” out or when you travel to the South.
Welcome to the new world of barbecuing! It is several years in the making, but maybe you have not seen them or even heard about them. Introducing the “chip” barbecue—a new revolution in barbecue grills. Now, you can get the smoky flavor of oak or apple or mesquite woods without having to chop wood or figure out how to get it started. Now in just about as quick as it takes to get a gas grill started, you can have your own wood-fired barbecue.
These barbecue smoker-grills come with a hopper that holds wood pellets (we’ll talk about them next). There is an auger that delivers the pellets to the center of the grill into a hotspot that causes them to catch fire and burn just like a chunk of wood, without the starting hassle. The grill, controlled by a thermostat on, uses a fan to circulates the air-smoke inside the grill. The thermostat also turns on the heat to the firebox and then turns on the auger that begins to feed the pellets into the firebox. Most of these grills have temperature settings from 0 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, as the grill reaches the temperature chosen is haunts the augur from feeding pellets once the temperature starts to degrees is starts back up.
Now you can grill like a professional
You can set the temperature to 95-105 degrees—the perfect “smoking” setting, and you can slow smoke your meat as long as you want to. Or, you can set it at the highest temperature. When it reaches that setting you can throw the steaks on and grill them just like you did when you had a fresh hot bed of charcoal.
There are a plethora of ways you can use this grill other than grilling or smoking meat. You can make wood-fired pizza, bake bread and desserts, cook vegetable skewers or place the veggies directly on the rack. You name it; someone has a recipe for it. All this is possible because you have control of the temperature and the flame created by burning wood.
Not all wood pellets are created equal.
Look for pellets that are bored out of wood, and not compressed wood. Bored pellets give a hotter flame and have very little dust. Those that are compressed are mostly dust, and so they fall apart very easily, and they can clog up the augur. Having to take the auger apart to clean it is not fun. So, a word to the wise.Finally, while summer is the regular barbecuing time, now that has changed as well. You can buy heat blankets that fit your grill so that it can be snowing outside or -10°F and you can still smoke or grill as much as you want. The blanket keeps that heat inside so you have the same temperature control.
Happy smoking/grilling year ’round!
If grilling is what makes you do your happy dance, make sure your real estate professional knows to find you a home where you can grill to your heart’s content.
Any pet owner will tell you that their pets are a part of the family. They bring joy to new families getting their first dog, and companionship to people who would otherwise live alone. However, they also bring the pet odors associated with having them around the house.
Since we spend so much time in our own homes, we oftentimes don’t even notice pet odors. So, even if you think your home is free of odors, it’s a good idea to get an unbiased opinion of the various odors of your home so that you can address them if necessary.
In this article, we’re going to teach you how to identify and neutralize those pet odors before the open house or first home showing. That way you can make the best impression on potential sellers and leave them feeling like your home has been well-maintained.
Identifying pet odors in your home
Whether you’ve got a dog, cat, rabbit, or hamster, odds are your little friend puts off some amount of odor. To discover where, if any, odors can be found, invite a friend over to your home who isn’t familiar with the smells and ask them their honest opinions about the various rooms in your home. This will give you a good idea of where you need to focus your efforts.
Important areas to clean
First thing’s first: the fabrics, surfaces, furniture, and carpet in your home in your home hold onto odor the most. Renting or buying a carpet cleaner, mopping the hard surfaces, and washing or refreshing curtains is a great place to start.
Many steam cleaners can be used on various surfaces, making them a good solution to get the most value out of your cleaning budget.
Don’t forget the carpet pad
If your pets have ever had “accidents” on your carpets, it’s vital to remember that their mess likely soaked through the carpet onto the carpet pad. While it may seem like a lot of effort to pull up the carpet just to clean the pad, it may be your only option in severe cases of pet odors.
Repainting is a guaranteed way to remove any lingering odors in your home. Try to time your painting so that the room has the chance to air out and the smell of fresh paint isn’t overpowering.
Repainting is also the perfect opportunity to brighten up the rooms of your home, making them feel more spacious. Sticking to neutral, proven colors will give you the most bang for your buck.
Let some fresh air in
Before showing your home, open up the doors and windows and doors to closets and basements and let a draft run through the house. This can eliminate any musty smells that have accumulated in the lesser used parts of your home, as well as help mitigate the effect of pet odor.
Last minute additions
The day of showing your home, use a high-quality scented candle or two in places that your pets frequent. You don’t want it to be obvious that you’re trying to mask any bad odors, so don’t use anything overpowering. Rather, opt for a pleasant-to-neutral fragrance that isn’t too noticeable.