When it comes to your Oakland County Michigan home and its survival through our tough and blistering winter, you need to winterize your home. Hopefully you have already taken the steps to winterize your home and are one step ahead of this blog post and if not, this is sure to help you.
- Store patio furniture
Winter isn’t the time for barbecues and dining alfresco, so it’s important that you protect your grill and patio furniture in the winter months along with winterizing your home — that way, they’ll be ready to roll when the weather starts to warm.
Take your patio furniture and grill and put them into a nice storage area. This is especially important if you have aluminum patio furniture, which can rust once the snow hits. If you don’t have a place to store your grill and furniture (or if your furniture is made of a more durable material), you should at the very least cover it up to protect it from the winter elements.
- Empty and store hoses
You’ll also want to store your garden hoses before the temperature drops. If you leave your hoses as is, the water in them can freeze, which can cause holes and leaks.
Drain each of your garden hoses and store them inside until the spring.
- Protect your home from chilly winter air
One of the trademarks of winter is cold air, and if that cold air finds a way into your house, you’re likely to find yourself shivering no matter how high you turn up the heat.
It’s important to seal off your house to keep cold air from getting in. Look for any gaps in the walls or foundation and seal them with foam or caulk (you can also use caulk to seal any gaps around windows). If your home is notorious for being cold in the winter, you’ll also want to check the insulation. Your attic and basement should be insulated, and if the insulation is old or improperly installed, it can cause dropping temperatures in the colder months.
Redoing or adding insulation isn’t cheap, so if you’re unsure of whether your insulation needs an upgrade, consult an insulation professional and get an estimate.
- Get the right thermostat
One of the most important ways to protect your home in the winter is keeping it at the proper temperature. But “proper temperature” is relative; obviously, you’ll want your house warmer while you’re home, but it’s fine to turn down the heat while you’re out. But if you turn OFF the heat, you run the risk of the temperature dropping too low.
A programmable thermostat will allow you to control the temperature in your home at all times. You can program your thermostat to automatically lower the temperature when you leave, and raise the temperature before you get home so you get to return to a nice, toasty environment. Many of the new thermostats even connect to your smartphone, allowing you to control the temperature in your home straight from your mobile device.
- Switch to winter fabrics
When the winter chill kicks in, you’re going to want lots of warm, cozy fabrics to keep you warm. Replace your summer linens with more substantial fabrics, like velvet, fleece, or faux fur, to match the season. Put a throw or blanket in one of these fabrics in each room so you always have something on hand to wrap yourself up with when the temperature drops.
- Replace your furnace filter
Old, dirty filters will make your furnace less efficient, driving up your energy bills and making your home more difficult to heat. Replace your furnace filter this fall to ensure that your furnace is in tip-top shape when winter hits.
Colder temperatures are on their way, so it’s important to protect your home while you still have time. And with these winterizing tips, getting your home ready should be a cinch.
Once you sold your Oakland County Michigan home recently there was quite a learning curve. This was your first home, which you’ve lived in for more than a decade, so you expected to invest a lot of time cleaning, organizing and making some minor repairs that you had been putting off. Here’s what you didn’t see coming as told by the couple who got their Oakland County Michigan home “Sold”.
1.White and bold wall colors are no-nos
We worked with a stager — a person who specializes in making homes more sellable. Walking through our house with her was humbling and a bit exasperating. In the past four years, I’ve painted every single room in the house and applied a decorative finish in the kitchen. I’d repaired any problems with the walls and filled all nicks, cracks and holes to make the walls look smooth. I used paints that were easy to clean to keep the walls looking fresh.
The problem? The colors. The white in the foyer and family room (too bland), the green in the dining room and the ocean blue in the kitchen (too bold), the blue-gray in the basement (too dark) and one bright red wall in our older son’s bedroom (too bright) were all the wrong choices to entice buyers. We ended up having to paint nearly every room a neutral color to get our Oakland County Michigan home “Sold”.
2.What ‘cut the clutter’ really means
We knew the real-estate mantra in Oakland County Michigan that having the house tidy and organized, with only the minimum amount of furniture in each room, makes the space appear larger and more enticing. So we knew we’d have to clear out plenty of clutter. We didn’t expect to have to take out almost everything.
Three bookshelves in my office, one apiece in three bedrooms and one in the basement all had to go. That meant packing up and carrying about 600 books to the garage. We also had to remove sofas, chairs, dressers, cabinets, lamps, televisions, a desk, kitchenware and one-third of the clothes in our closets. Our garage is now filled to the limit with furniture and full boxes. Be prepared to park your car outside when preparing to sell your Oakland County Michigan home.
3. It’s not your Oakland County Michigan home anymore
We’ve lived in this home for more than a decade, so the walls are covered in plenty of family pictures. Our stager wasn’t impressed. She told us that almost every picture had to go. To show the house, the walls had to be almost bare, with the exception of a strategically placed mirror or two and a couple of small scenic pictures in nice frames. This removes personality, allowing potential buyers to see the house as theirs, not yours.
4. The walls are in worse shape than you think
Once you start removing the clutter, you’ll find all kind of unpleasant surprises. Once we removed those dressers, we found myriad nail holes, gouges and cracks that were easily visible in the naked walls. They required filling the holes and fixing the damaged spots, then sanding the walls smooth and then vacuuming up all the dust. It proved to be a time-consuming project that we hadn’t planned to undertake. On the plus side, the new homeowners of our Oakland County home are going to have perfect walls.
5. Those large items might not come back out so easily
You may tell yourself that anything you got in a room in one piece will come back out in one piece. But as anyone who has ever moved can attest, getting a large item, mainly a sofa, through tight doorways can be like trying to solve a puzzle that weighs several hundred pounds.
Our absurdly heavy sofa with a hideaway bed refused to come out of a room. No matter how we twisted, flipped or contorted the couch, it jammed against the wall opposite the doorway before we could get it out. I ended up taking it apart and removing the bed to get it through the door. It didn’t seem to be a problem when we purchased out Oakland County Michigan home, but I guess either the sofa grew or the house shrunk.
6. Some cleaning projects will be frustratingly stubborn
A decade’s worth of hands running up and down our handrails had caused the brown-stained wood to turn dark and ugly. The wood grains were nearly black. We had cleaned the railings periodically with a wood cleaner, but it didn’t remove or prevent what looked like black stains running the length of the rails. Finally, we used a liquid dishwasher detergent mixed with water to cut through the grease. Then we used a lemon-based furniture cleaner and a lot of vigorous scrubbing to get the wood clean. There are going to be projects that won’t come clean with just a sponge, soap and water, especially if you’ve lived in a home for many years.
7. Fix those nagging problems — but don’t expect them to be easy
The pop-up sink stopper in the bathroom sink hadn’t worked in awhile. It was a problem we could live with — the water still drained just fine — but I wanted to fix it before listing the house; even small, neglected problems could put off buyers.
What should have been a simple fix turned into a major project. The replacement stopper wouldn’t work either. Since one of the faucet handles was cracked anyway, we decided to replace the whole faucet and drain assembly. After three trips to the home center — one for the stopper, one for the new faucet and then one to replace the shutoff valves that decided to start leaking after being turned off for the first time in years — and spending plenty of time working in the tight quarters behind the pedestal sink, the faucet and drain worked great. But it shot an entire afternoon.
8. Everything will take longer than you think
We made the decision to sell our Oakland County home in early April. My kids and my wife, who’s a teacher, were on spring break, and I took the better part of the week off to get the house in order. With all four of us working, we expected to have the house ready for listing by the end of the week. And by working 12-plus hours a day, we almost made our goal.
We ate up four days filling nail holes, sanding and giving each room two coats of paint, which put us behind schedule. We also ran into the common problem most people face when they prepare to move: We had a lot more stuff than we thought, and it took a long time to pack it up. It also made us wonder why we didn’t have a garage sale a long, long time ago.
9. The house won’t stay clean
With the house freshly painted, thoroughly cleaned and filled with just a minimal amount of furniture in the rooms, our mission of making the home look large and inviting was accomplished. It actually looks better now than when we bought it. But maintaining that clean and organized look is a challenge that we have to answer every day because of constant showings.
Despite a new family-wide policy of not wearing shoes indoors and not touching the walls, the house won’t stay clean. The floor in the foyer seems to magically attract mud, the carpet constantly needs vacuuming, schoolbooks and backpacks appear throughout the house and the walls get dinged and need to be touched up. Some of this is unavoidable: You can’t live in your Oakland County Michigan home without kicking up a little dirt. It’s what we’ll be dealing with until the house sells.
Source: MSN Real Estate