August – 2012 – Lowe’s Home Benefits Guide

Lowe’s Inside Out

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Inside Out

Monthly Home Improvement Tips



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Happy August Amy

The sun is about to set on summer. Have you completed all of the items on your home improvement checklist?

Take advantage of the last of the long days to spruce up your home. Visit Lowe’s to find everything you need to turn your summer dreams into reality. From expert advice to outdoor furniture, to lighting options and everything in between, Lowe’s has you covered.

– Amy Wright, REALTOR® | contact me


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Pros’ guide to replacing patio spacers

Q: The wooden spacers separating the concrete sections of our patio need to be replaced. Each piece is 7/8 inch wide by 48 inches long. The depth varies because each piece has decayed at different rates. It doesn’t look like any of the pieces were nailed or secured.

Door clues can pinpoint home’s construction date

There’s a little parlor trick I like to pull when I’m doing consulting at people’s homes. I ask them what year their home was built, and before they can answer, I quickly stop them with a raised hand.

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TRENDS UPDATE

5 great options for shading your yard

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As the summer sun beats down, there’s nothing better than finding a little refreshing shade. Creating areas of shade around your home pays big benefits in lots of ways.

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BUYING & SELLING

Stop foundation issue from killing sale

We bought our home last year. It was a fixer-upper, but our home inspector found no major problems. After spending $75,000 on renovations, we put it on the market and had a buyer in just three days. But the buyer’s home inspector found a foundation problem that our inspector had missed.

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MORTGAGES

Mortgage rates post second week of gains

Mortgage rates have moved higher off of record lows for the second consecutive week amid signs that the U.S. job market is stabilizing, according to a weekly survey by Freddie Mac.

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REAL ESTATE & PERSONAL FINANCE

Cons of early mortgage payoff

DEAR BENNY: I owe $13,000 on my home and would like to pay it off.
Read more »

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Summertime is the perfect time for a Home Once-Over

Your Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

Santaluz Homes Can Use a Summer Once-Over

Your Busy August May Get Even Busier

August tends to be a busy month in most Santaluz homes. If you have kids who are out of school, it’s up to you to dream up new ways to keep them out of trouble (and away from non-stop video gaming). Even if kids are not at homes, you probably have to get twice as much done anyway – you want to be ahead at work and around the house so you can relax and enjoy your vacation. Or recover from it.

And then there is the likelihood that in the back of your mind is the knowledge that you’ve been putting off what should be an annual maintenance once-over. All homes have areas that need looking after, and August and September are the best time to get at them.  On dry days that aren’t too blisteringly hot to work, it’s prime time to fix areas that the year’s wear and tear may be turning into future problems.

Warm weather is perfect for conducting a timely energy audit. Any gaps or cracks around doors or windows – the likely culprits if heat leakage raised last winter’s energy bills  – can most easily be filled in warm weather. Other possible spots where heat can leak is the junction between different materials, and around fireplace dampers. If you’re a dedicated DIYer, grab some caulk or other professional-grade material and get filling. If you’re less handy, the energy audit may suggest a call to an appropriate professional. A review of the year’s energy bills will tell you whether that makes dollars and sense.

This is the time to pay attention to the big one: the foundation. It’s prudent in all Santaluz homes to clean visible concrete surfaces. Sidewalks and steps can be cleaned very effectively with the same pressure washer you use to clean your car. When it comes to the foundation, be sure to check for cracks, water or mold.. If mold or water is present, a trusted contractor or structural engineer will be able to recommend a solution that prevents real trouble later.

Summer is also a good time to take a look at your home’s deck or patios.  Standing water rots wood. The solution can be as simple as slipping planter “feet” beneath outdoor flower pots. As long as water is able to flow around or under stationary objects, the underlying wood will benefit.

These are only a few examples of what you can make part of your summer home maintenance checklist.  Call me anytime with home and maintenance-related questions, if you need a recommendation for a reliable local contractor or service provider, or if you want to check on the status of the Santaluz homes market in your neighborhood.