Birmingham Real Estate Blog

Tips for Protecting and Maintaining Hardwood FloorsHardwood floors are beautiful, functional and, like many home design trends, can add great value to your home. Taking care of your hardwood can help ensure that your floors will continue to be beautiful for years to come. These tips will help you avoid scratches, stains and other types of damage that can affect hardwood.

Pad All Furniture

Furniture has a way of scratching hardwood floors. This is especially true of furniture that gets moved frequently (like dining room chairs). Padding the bottoms of furniture can protect floors and prevent scratches. Check the padding on a regular basis, especially on dining room chairs. Replace the padding as needed.

Cut Pet's Claws

Pet claws can scratch hardwood floors just as easily as wooden chairs.

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What To Know About Home-Buying ContingenciesThe purchase of a home has always been the largest single investment that most people will make in their lifetime and that remains true today. This is easily illustrated by the fact that the current median price of single family homes in the United States is now almost a quarter-million dollars. The sheer cost of purchasing a home today makes it more important than ever for homebuyers to pay extra attention to the purchase process. This can be accomplished by effectively using contingency clauses to protect the buyer's financial interests whenever making any offer to purchase real estate.

How do contingency clauses provide protection for the buyer?

Real estate purchase offers that are properly signed by all parties are considered to be legal,

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How To Spot Roof DamageWhen it comes to protecting a home, the roof is out there 24/7 on the front lines, standing against everything from blizzards to thunderstorms. With all those beatings from weather, it’s no wonder they need a little repair every now and again. But what exactly should homeowners look for when trying to discover if their roof needs repair or not? Here are five different things to keep an eye out for to help keep any roof in good condition.

Granules in Gutters

The next time someone takes out a ladder to get dead leaves out of the gutters, they should take a closer look in the bottom of the gutters for shingle granules. It’s common for shingles to lose their granules as they age—when they’re young, some granules may be lost because they weren’t

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Is It Better to Buy or Rent?While the American dream may have always pushed the idea of having a home to call one's own, it's not fair to discount the benefits of renting. The idea that renting is throwing money down the drain doesn't really stand up once you start digging a little deeper. For anyone looking to move, this means taking a hard look at their priorities with an objective eye before deciding one way or the other.

Look to the Future

Most people in this economy will change jobs anywhere between 10 – 15 times before they retire. If they're living in an area that supports their career (e.g. a software developer living in Silicon Valley), then they'll likely be safe from protected from having to move every time they change jobs. But there are plenty of people who

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What Homebuyers Need to Know About PMIWhen buying a new home, there’s a lot of different things to keep an eye out for. There’s contingencies, mortgages, home inspections, and more. One more thing home buyers should know about before diving into purchasing a new home is called private mortgage insurance, or PMI for short. However, only some people have to worry about PMI while others don’t. But just why is that? The answer to this question and more follow in this explanation of the ins and outs of PMI.

What is Private Mortgage insurance?

Private mortgage insurance is just one variety of mortgage insurance that mortgage lenders will give to a borrower if their down payment is less than 20% of the home’s value, which is typically standard for conventional mortgages. PMI helps to

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Five Reasons You Should Get a Home WarrantyWhen it comes to whether or not people should get home warranties is always up for debate. Some people think they’re just a waste of money, while others find them helpful and convenient. For homeowners on the fence about a home warranty, here are five different situations where having a home warranty can be beneficial.

1. The Home and its Appliances are Already Old

Home warranties typically see the most use in old homes that have old appliances. When moving into and old home, the homeowner should have an idea of the home’s state, but there’s always going to be at least one thing that the home inspector didn’t notice. In these sorts of cases, a home warranty can be extremely useful. If the air conditioning stops working in the middle of the

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8 Strategies for a Stress-Free MoveBetween packing boxes, hiring movers, and working with real estate agents on final paperwork, moving can be a stressful time. However, with the right preparations, that stress can be reduced. Here are eight different strategies anyone can use to ease moving stress.

Start Early

Packing is a huge job that can take a long time and a lot of help to complete.  When preparing to sell the home, start packing things away. Not only does this help declutter the home, which can help entice buyers, but starting early means less to pack later on once the home has finally sold.

Get rid of Unnecessary Things

When packing, homeowners are going to realize just how much stuff they have and how much of that stuff they actually use. Packing is the perfect

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Should You DIY or Hire a Contractor? When it's time to fix your home, one of the first decisions to make is who will do the work. DIY projects can save homeowners money and can also give homeowners a deep sense of satisfaction. However, some projects need to be completed by a professional. Knowing which factors to consider when trying to decide who will do the work can help you pick the best person for the job.

Assess the Difficulty

Some home improvement jobs are far more difficult and complex than others. Simple projects are tasks like painting a room, installing blinds and replacing a door knob. The most difficult tasks are multi-step projects that involve multiple systems in the home, and tasks that must be done correctly or they will fail. Examples of the most difficult tasks

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Difference Between Selling Vacation Home and Primary ResidenceThe difference between selling a vacation home and selling a primary residence is substantial. Taxes and logistics can be different for each type of sale. As a home owner, it's important to understand the difference between these two transactions. Whether you're selling a vacation property or selling the home where you currently live, knowing what to expect can help you prepare for the process.

Tax Differences

Couples are allowed to collect up to $500,000 profit on the sale of a primary residence without paying tax (singles may collect $250,000 profit). Taxes must be paid on profits over the $250,000/$500,000 mark. However, a vacation home sale is not the same. Homeowners who sell their vacation property must pay 20 percent federal tax on all

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What to Look For in a Real Estate AgentWhen buying or selling a home, it’s important to work with a real estate agent who can help with all aspects of each process. But just how does someone go about finding the right agent for their needs? Regardless of buying or selling, here are some good traits all buyers and sellers should look for in an agent they are considering hiring.

Knowledgeable About the Market

An essential part of the role of real estate agent is staying up to date with the local housing market. An agent must know if there are homes that may appeal to their clients who are looking to buy as well as how to best appeal to buyers for their clients who are looking to sell. When talking to an agent for the first time, be sure to ask them questions about possible properties

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