Typically, home sales are strongest in the spring and summer months; however, there are several advantages to shopping for homes in the fall and winter. Sellers are often more motivated in the winter and may be willing to negotiate terms such as price, repairs, and even a closing date. The rule of thumb is that anyone braving the elements (or taking the time during the busy holiday season) to view a home is a serious buyer, and the same can be said for those who leave their homes on the market during this time and continue to have viewings.
Fewer buyers in the marketplace during these months mean less competition and a better chance of getting a home at a lower price. Also, potential buyers in the winter months have the luxury of spending more time researching homes without as much concern of losing a house to another party. When viewing a home in the cooler months buyers get a realistic ide a of a home’s energy efficiency. Pay attention to the thermostat temperature and take note of any drafts in the home. Trees without leaves give potential buyers an accurate picture of the privacy (or lack thereof) from neighbors or the street.
Because the majority of moves take place in the warmer months, moving companies may be readily available when it comes to your desired move date and even flexible on their rates.
How to keep your gutters and downspouts flowing
Gutters and downspouts work hard to protect your house from moisture damage. If gutters leak or downspouts are clogged, water can spill out and accumulate near foundations, soaking the soil and causing foundation walls to settle. In worst-case scenarios, moisture-laden soil presses in on basement walls, causing bulging and cracking. Water can even be forced inside by means of hydrostatic pressure.
Keeping gutters and downspouts in good condition requires regular maintenance. Mike Gibson of Quality Gutter Services in Des Moines, Iowa, advises doing this chore twice each yearâ€”in spring and in the fall. “Yes, it can be messy,” says Gibson, “and you might get dirty. But it’s definitely worth it.”
Steps to clean your gutters
Clean leaves, sticks, needles and seeds from gutters, scooping out debris with a garden trowel or gloved hand. Don’t try to remove the debris with a hose because that may cause downspouts to clog.
Remove the pasty goo made up from the tiny granules from asphalt roofing shingles that have mixed with dirt and water.
Flush out residual matter, using a garden hose.
To clean downspouts, turn on the hose full blast and thread it into the drain opening.
Check gutters after flushing for pools that indicate low spots. Gutters should be sloped about one vertical inch for every 15 to 20 horizontal feet so that they drain properly. Adjust gutters as necessary.
Install new hangers to hold gutters firmly in place. Typically, gutters are attached with straps, hangers or long nails inserted through metal collarsâ€”a system called “spikes and ferrules.”
Don’t bother replacing straps, renailing old spikes or adding new spikes. Because you must pry up roofing materials to replace straps, it’s easier to make repairs using individual gutter hangers with self-tapping screws, available at home improvement centers.
Also replace spikes with gutter screws and matching ferrules. “Over time a spike is always going to push out,” says Gibson. “A gutter screw really has holding power.”
Fix leaks at seams with silicone sealer. Although patch kits are available for repairing rust holes in steel gutters, the patches will prove to be only temporary. “If you’ve got rust holes in steel gutters,” says Gibson, “they’re pretty much finished. It’s better to get new ones.”
If you need to replace your gutter, Tom Wood of Emerald Gutter Services in Eugene, Ore., says steel gutters generally perform better than aluminum or vinyl. “Aluminum gutters move too much during weather changes,” says Wood. “The expansion and contraction causes nails and screws to loosen up. And vinyl comes in 10-foot lengths, meaning there are lots of seams that need to be sealed.”
Both steel and aluminum can be installed without intermittent seams, and the best steel gutters feature baked-on enamel finishes with 40-year warranties. According to Wood, expect to pay about $450 for a professional to install new gutters and downspouts on a typical two-story suburban house.
A Safety Tip
Remember that gutter maintenance often means working on a ladder. As you work, make safety a priority. Make sure your ladder is firmly planted, and don’t stretch to make repairs.
Century21 Travis is pleased to announce that after a lengthy and carefully executed process, Maureen Roberts has been selected by Bank of America to represent them in this region for all Bank of America REO properties. Maureen was selected over many other very talented real estate agents in this area to handle this business sector for Bank of America. Bank of America has entrusted this opportunity to Maureen, and our congratulations go out to her.
As this program is beginning to unfold and pick up steam, buyers or investors should keep an open mind for any opportunities which may present themselves. REO purchases are sometimes drawn out and lengthy, but Bank of America is committed to working closely with Maureen and Century21 Travis to offer the very best service and customer service in working to match clients with available properties. Bank of America has a local processing center in Waltham, MA through which all applications will be processed. They have also dedicated one of their top performing loan officers to handle the actual transaction, and can usually close on these REO loans in 30 days.
We are honored to have Bank of America provide Century21 Travis with the opportunity to service the local region with their REO properties. We look forward to an exciting time ahead!
Century 21 Travis Realty, Inc. is committed to excellence by providing our Buyers and Sellers with superior real estate services. We treat our clients with respect, confidentiality, honesty and integrity – the way we would want to be treated ourselves. Our staff of multi-talented professional agents constantly strives to make the buying and selling experience a pleasant one, while ensuring complete client satisfaction. Come meet with us and see how we are different! Whether you’re interested in buying, selling, renting, or looking for commercial property, we can help you. Our business is making sure our clients are supported every step of the way, helping to make dreams of property ownership come true.
Century 21 Travis Realty, Inc. located at 630 Boston Road, Billerica, MA is a state-of-the-art office of 3,000 square feet. Our office is conveniently situated on 3A (the main roadway in town), is handicap accessible, and has the latest high tech equipment for all communication needs in today’s fast paced world.
The telephone system allows for complete confidentiality when contacting a sales associate with direct dial access. An Electronic Lockbox, a mini-computer system that uses an individual code for each Realtor, which tracks all activity for showing a property, accesses properties listed for sale by our office. The use of iPad’s and smart phones allow us to have access to listings and helpful information anytime and anywhere. These are just a few examples of our continual updating, which allows Century 21 Travis Realty, Inc. to stay on the cutting edge of technology.
Additionally, Century 21 Travis Realty, Inc. maintains major global real estate internet sites allowing Buyers and Sellers easy access for complete information on the real estate market including:
- … the list goes on!
Many of these sites allow Buyers and Sellers to preview properties at their leisure, with daily updates on changes occurring in the marketplace with just a click of a button.
In addition to these real estate technological advantages, Century 21 Travis Realty, Inc. continues to offer the personalized service that customers should expect when contacting a Realtor.
The combination of the most recognized name brand in real estate, Century 21®, our technical resources and advantages, and our truly splendid sales agents, guarantees Century 21 Travis Real Estate, Inc.’s Buyers and Sellers a significant edge in today’s fast paced real estate market.
Century 21 Travis Realty, Inc. opened for business as Billerica’s newest real estate office on September 1, 1998. Shortly after opening, envisioning the opportunities available through Century 21®, many of the top selling agents in the local area left other offices and along with several newer agents, joined us to create our new sales office.
Century 21 Travis Realty, Inc. quickly became the #1 real estate office in Billerica, listing and selling more properties in town than any other company. We have achieved many accomplishments and awards since our opening, including the Century 21 Centurion Office award during our first full year of operation – which was an achievement rarely seen in the entire Century 21 System during the ‘Rookie’ year. This annual award is earned by less than 10% of all Century 21 offices worldwide.
Century 21® is the world’s largest and most recognized real estate organization in the industry and continually growing. We have an extensive advertising budget and the largest global real estate referral network.
Our Sales Agents are given the best tools possible for completing their jobs each day. Many of our Sales Associates have additional specialties within the real estate industry including Broker Associates, mortgage backgrounds, and foreclosure expertise. Century 21® offers professional continuing education in addition to the federal and state mandated requirements. This assures that our Sales Associates are fully knowledgeable about the continual changes in legal and business aspects of real estate in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Florida.
Awards and Recognitions:
Best of Billerica/Chelmsford, Quality Service Award, Centurion Award, Pacesetter Award, Gold Medallion Award, Home Protection Top Office, and President’s Award
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