10 Reasons To Start House Hunting In The Winter

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10 Reasons To Start House Hunting In The Winter – House hunting can be a huge task during any time of year, but looking for your next home in the winter months can have its benefits. Whether you are looking to move now or within the next few months, it is a great time to begin your search. Check out these ten reasons to start house hunting in the winter.

 

It’s A Good Test

Winter is a great time to test out your potential new home. You can find out how good the heating, plumbing, roofing, etc? How the home holds up in the winter weather will be a good indication of the shape it’s in overall.

 

Low Competition

Not many people house hunt in the winter when compared to the spring, summer and fall. When you find a home you love, you are less likely to find yourself in a bidding war.

 

Realtors and Mortgage Brokers

While many people think that the professionals are hard to find in the winter months, that is not always the case. They will likely have more time on their hands to focus on your specific needs.

 

Landscaping vs. Larger Expenses

You may not be able to see the full potential of the curb appeal in the winter, but hiring a landscaper in a few months will be less expensive than having to repair the heating system.

 

Sellers Are Motivated

Sellers in the winter are more motivated than during any other time of the year. They are not getting as many offers as they would in other seasons so they are more likely to negotiate.

 

Easier Scheduling

You are more likely to be able to view homes at your convenience, as there is not as much competition and they can work with your schedule.

 

Neighborhood Atmosphere

In the winter, you will be able to see the entire neighborhood without the lush greens and bountiful plants. Seeing every home for what it is during the winter will give you a much better idea about how much your home will be worth in the future.

 

People Are in the Holiday Spirit

It is a rather festive time of year and everyone is in the holiday spirit, making the home-buying process much more pleasant.

 

Get The Deal

Getting the deal you want can be easier in the winter, especially if the home you are looking at has been on the market for a while.

 

Better Rates

Mortgage rates tend to be lower and easier to get in the winter because not as many people are applying for mortgage loans, so you should be able to take advantage.

 

For information about the top markets for house hunting this winter, visit here.

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How To Get Your Fireplace Ready For Winter Weather

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How To Get Your Fireplace Ready For Winter Weather – Winter is coming very soon! The simple thought in your head of bundling up and staying cozy by a warm fire during the freezing cold months will soon become a reality. There are numerous things you will need to do to ensure that your fireplace is prepared to handle the heat. Here are five tips to help you get your fireplace ready for winter weather.

Exterior

Go outside your house and check out your chimney to ensure it is not damaged or leaning a certain way. Search for corrosion, stains, or anything that might need to be repaired before you begin using it again.

Clean It

This is not always a DIY project, but you can use your own judgment based on your knowledge of appropriate fireplace and chimney cleaning. You should consider hiring a professional cleaner to ensure your fireplace is in good, clean shape for the winter months.

Be Prepared

It is very important with the winter months approaching that you are prepared with the best wood if you have a wood-burning fireplace. Softwoods such as pine and fir often spark excessively, which creates a potential fire hazard. Choose hardwoods such as oak and cherry instead and make sure the wood is dry.

Replace Batteries

If your fireplace is a gas-burning fireplace, then make sure to replace the batteries in any optional remote transmitters.  It is never a good feeling when you want to turn on your fire, but do not have any batteries on hand for the remote.

Test Smoke Detectors

Whether you have a gas or wood burning fireplace, you will want to double check all of the smoke detectors in your home. Remember safety is more important than anything else.  And while fireplaces are wonderful in the winter months, you want to make sure all of the safety precautions are met before starting your fireplace.

For more information and tips on getting your fireplace ready for the winter weather, visit here.

Tips To Avoid Ice Damming

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Winter time means less lawn care, but the cold and snowy weather can lead to several serious problems for your home. One such problem is ice damming, which if left untreated can damage your roof, gutters, paint, drywall and structure extensively and even lead to mold. In this blog, we’ll discuss what ice dams are, how they form and offer several tips to help you avoid them.

What are ice dams?

Ice dams occur when melting snow runs off your roof and refreezes at the edge, causing water to become trapped on your roof and creating a larger ice dam. They form most often after a large snowfall because the snow acts as an insulator. The heat from your home makes your roof warmer than the freezing point and the snow begins to melt, then refreezes in the cold winter air.

How can I prevent ice dams?

The best way to prevent ice dams during the winter is to reduce or get rid of any sources of heat in the attic of your home and ventilate the attic space of the roof. The goal is to make the roof of your house the same temperature as the eaves, so water won’t freeze at the end of your roof. There are several things you can do to properly ventilate the area under your roof and prevent heat from escaping:

  1. Cap the attic hatch or whole-house fan with weatherstripped caps made from foil-faced foam board held together with aluminum tape.
  2. Make sure all exhaust goes to the outside, preventing heat from warming the roof.
  3. Add more insulation on the attic floor.
  4. Seal and insulate your ducts.

If you’d like to learn more about how to prevent ice dams, this article from This Old House offers good advice.

Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be able to prevent ice damming, keeping your home in top shape this winter.

Do you have tips for winterizing your home? Leave them in a comment below and we could feature them in a future blog post.

3 Tips for Painting Your Home In The Winter

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3 Tips for Painting Your Home In The Winter – Planning home improvement projects such as painting when it’s cold out is easy – you don’t want to go outside, so you might as well be productive, right? Wintertime is a convenient time of year to do interior work, but there are plenty of obstacles that can impair your progress.  Below are our top tips for painting your house in the winter. Check them out for a stress-free painting job.

Top 3 Tips for Cold Weather Painting

  • Start early to decrease additional heating costs. In order to get rid of the paint fumes you’ll need to open the windows, which creates a loss of heat. This means you’ll need to increase your heat, which adds up. Starting your project earlier in the season before the coldest weather hits can limit these extra costs.
  • Use cold weather to your advantage. Cooler weather allows paint to dry faster, plus the lack of humidity helps paint dry properly. You’ll also be able to finish sooner, as you won’t have to stop when the sun goes down like with exterior painting.
  • Boost your home and mood with color. Many people experience low moods or depression during the wintertime, and one way to help with that is to add a splash of color to your home. Painting an accent wall or a lighter, brighter color on the walls can boost your home, and can also update your home’s interior.

Are you planning on starting a painting project this winter? What do you think of these tips? Tell us by leaving a comment below.