Getting your pool ready for summer as the temperature rises means preparing your pool for a season of fun in the sun. Proper maintenance and preparation will ensure a safe and enjoyable swimming experience for your family. Grab your swimsuit and sunscreen, and get ready to make a splash all season long!

Clean & Clear — Start by removing any debris, leaves, and dirt from the pool using a skimmer or leaf net. Thoroughly clean the pool walls and floor with a pool brush and vacuum to remove algae and other buildup.

Check Chemistry — Test the water chemistry using a pool testing kit or bring a water sample to your local pool store for analysis. Adjust the pH, chlorine, and alkalinity levels as needed to maintain a balanced pool environment.

Inspect Equipment — Check all pool equipment, including pumps, filters, and heaters, for any signs of damage or wear. Replace or repair any faulty equipment to ensure proper functionality throughout the summer months.

Safety First — Inspect and test all pool safety equipment, including fences, gates, decking, and alarms, to ensure they are in good working order. Review pool safety rules with your family and guests to prevent accidents and injuries.

Maintain Regularly — Keep up with regular pool maintenance tasks, such as skimming the surface, cleaning the filters, and checking the water chemistry, throughout the summer season. This will help keep your pool clean and inviting for swimmers.

Don’t ignore these home necessities — it could cost you. Your home is a significant investment, but you need to stay on top of the necessities of home maintenance or you might end up making a costly mistake. Don’t forget these common things on your to-do list in taking care of your home.

Over- or Under-Watering Your Landscape

For a healthier, more sustainable lawn and garden, balance your water usage, the climate you live in, and the weather so that you are taking care of your lawn without drowning it and wasting water, or drying it out from neglect. Water for a longer period of time with several days in between waterings, as opposed to a short watering every day. You don’t want to have to replace huge chunks of your lawn!

Leaky Faucets or Pipes

A leaky faucet can seem harmless, but you’re actually wasting water, and causing rust and calcium buildup on your faucet, sink, or tub. And leaky pipes, say in the garage, seem harmless as well, but again you’re wasting water, and ignoring a small problem that can perhaps grow and turn into a bigger problem. Fix leaks right away.

Check on That Roof

Your roof covers your entire house — it’s super important. Take the time to inspect it regularly and repair any little issues before they escalate into costly repairs from water damage or structural problems. Your roof can last a long time if you take care of it.

Spring clean and refresh your car to ensure it looks and feels its best for the warmer months ahead. Just like our homes, our vehicles benefit from a thorough cleaning and maintenance routine. Here’s how to spruce up your ride this spring:

1.Exterior Makeover: Wash away the winter grime with a thorough car wash. Remove salt and debris from the undercarriage to prevent corrosion. Wax your car to protect the paint and give it a shiny finish.

2.Interior Refresh: Declutter and deep clean the interior of your car. Remove trash, vacuum the floors and seats, and wipe down surfaces. Use a fabric freshener to eliminate lingering odors.

3.Under the Hood: Check your car’s fluid levels, including oil, coolant, and windshield washer fluid. Inspect the battery for corrosion and ensure its securely in place. It’s also a good idea to inspect belts, hoses, and filters for any signs of wear and tear.

4.Tire TLC: Inspect your tires for signs of wear and proper inflation. Rotate your tires if needed and consider getting a wheel alignment to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

5.Windows: Clean the interior and exterior of your windows for optimal visibility. Use a glass cleaner and microfiber cloth to remove streaks and smudges.

By following these spring cleaning tips, you can ensure your car is in top condition and lookin’ good for all your upcoming adventures. Happy driving!

What your credit score means for a mortgage? It means you’ll fare better when buying a home. A strong credit score is crucial for favorable mortgage terms when buying a house, impacting the interest rate you’re able to secure significantly. 

Risk-Based Pricing

Lenders assess credit risk to determine loan costs, with scores ranging from 300 to 850. Scores above 620 are typically required for conventional mortgages.

A Good Credit Score

A score of 670 or higher is generally considered good and will help you lower your mortgage interest rate. Obtain your free credit report annually to monitor your score.

Interest Rate Calculation

Higher scores result in lower rates, reflecting lender confidence in you making timely payments. Even slight score differences can lead to substantial rate variations.

Long-Term Impact

Minor rate changes significantly affect total loan costs over time. A half-percent difference could add over $20,000 to a 30-year mortgage.

Credit Repair

Address overdue payments, resolve debts, and rectify inaccuracies in your credit report to improve your score before seeking a loan.

Protective Measures

Avoid actions that could lower your credit score, such as large purchases or new lines of credit, before applying for a mortgage.

A higher credit score translates to lower interest rates, which give you a substantial advantage when you are purchasing a home. Whether your score is excellent or needs improvement, proactive measures can optimize your mortgage prospects.

How to choose paint colors for your home can be an overwhelming task. But, follow a few tips and selecting house colors can enhance your curb appeal outside, and your satisfaction inside.

What to plan for in a new home when you’ve just moved in? Plan for what you know (and don’t know) can happen next. You’ve going to want to start saving to cover all the new things that come with home ownership. Those things can be needs, wants, and even the unexpected.

Get Your Emergency Fund Together

Be sure to save money for your home in an emergency fund. This money can help you in a pinch if you need to replace something large like a water heater or refrigerator. Having a few thousand dollars saved will give you peace of mind in your new home in case something big breaks.

Try a Home Warranty for Maintenance

As a new homeowner, you’re going to be the one replacing the dryer, fixing the air conditioner or repairing your sprinkler system. One tip to get you started might be to pay for a home warranty. These plans can cover some of these costs for a small service fee. And, since you’re new to home ownership, this can be an easy way to find service providers recommended by your warranty company.

Future Amenities Fund

Thinking about a swimming pool someday? Want to remodel the bathroom in the near future? Start a renovation fund in a separate savings account and contribute to it regularly. This money will accumulate and in a few years you’ll have what you need to make a dream come true in your home.

How do you know it’s time to move and sell your home? Perhaps you’ve thought about it in the past few years, but it never seemed like the right time to move. Usually life changes or external changes in the market can be your sign that it might be time to sell.

Congrats — You’re in a Seller’s Market

Right now, in this seller’s market, there are not very many houses available. And the ones that are available are being fought over. Sell now and you’ll get the highest value, and you may even see multiple buyers outbidding each other to get your home. If you already have a plan for where you’re going next, this might be a good time for you to sell and maximize your profit.

The Size of Your Family Just Changed

Whether that’s one more baby, or one less college student. An extra grandma or a Great Dane, the size of your family can change and make your cozy home feel too big or too small. This is the number one reason people sell their home.  

You Got a New Job

Maybe you’ve accepted a job in another city. Or you’re going remote and need a home office. Work is often a reason people change homes. Would a different style or location for your home make your life easier? Maybe it’s time to reassess your location, and choose to sell.

Get your garage into shape this spring and make it work better for you and everyone in your family. Ready to start organizing? Try these four ideas for efficient garage storage that will help you love your garage, enjoying more space and more peace of mind!

  1. Holiday Decor Storage: instead of bulky boxes, use canvas zipper storage bags that are easy to move around and take up less space. Add ceiling storage hooks to keep them off the floor and out of your way since you only have to access them once a year.
  2. Tall Container Shelf: Go vertical! Build or find simple vertical shelving to stack storage containers high all the way to the ceiling. Put the items you need less frequent access to at the top. This way the footprint for your storage is small — it’s only taking up the floor space of one container.
  3. Garden Implement Storage: Use cardboard concrete-form tubes which are quite inexpensive, secured to a wall stud to store brooms, rakes and other tall implements out of the way, with easy access. This method can work for sports equipment too. Think bats, hockey sticks, golf clubs.
  4. Pegboard Organization: Using this storage system, all the small things that simply got lost or hidden in a toolbox previously, now hang organized and easy to grab. Strong pegboard systems can also work for heavier items like shovels, rakes and ladders.

How to choose a real estate agent becomes ultimately important when venturing into the realm of home buying. Your real estate agent becomes your trusted ally, offering invaluable information, essential insights, and at times, the much-needed emotional support. Interviewing and choosing the right agent not only streamlines your search process but also facilitates a smoother journey through the complexities of home buying.

Try these interview questions to minimize your stress and maximize your home buying or selling process, when you’re choosing an agent.

Standing Out in a Seller’s Market: 

“What strategies do you employ to help buyers stand out in a competitive seller’s market?” Look for agents who offer solid tips and innovative strategies to give you a competitive edge amidst intense market conditions.

Experience Matters: 

“How long have you been in the industry?” Experience breeds familiarity with market nuances, local expertise and insider knowledge, enhancing the agent’s ability to cater to your needs effectively.

Track Record: 

“How many homes do you typically close in a year?” A seasoned agent demonstrates proficiency and efficacy in navigating the real estate landscape.

Client Load: 

“Do you currently manage a substantial client portfolio?” Understanding the agent’s workload provides clarity on the level of attention and dedication you can expect throughout the home buying process.

References: 

“Could you provide references from past clients?” Satisfied homeowners serve as testament to the agent’s professionalism and capability, instilling confidence in their ability to deliver.

Preparing your home for emergencies means ensuring your home is equipped to handle unexpected emergencies. It is a responsibility that can safeguard your family and property. Here’s a checklist to help you prepare for power outages, water shortages, fire, storms, and other unforeseen events:

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