Four Reasons Why You Should Caulk and Seal Your House

Caulk is your best friend when it comes to home maintenance.  It seals your home from unwanted moisture, insects, energy loss and much more.

Here are my top four reasons to caulk:

  1. Reduce moisture and mold in your house by sealing around sinks, faucets, bathtubs, and exterior doors;
  2. Prevent air leaks and energy loss by sealing around windows and doors;
  3. Sealing keeps your home cleaner and less susceptible to pollutants, allergens and dust; and
  4. Reduce the possibility of insects entering your house.

That part about insects was upsetting so off I went to Smith’s Ace Hardware on Northside Parkway where I knew I could get a quick lesson and the necessary product to begin my project.

This is just the caulk aisle at Smith’s Ace Hardware. Imagine how overwhelming it would be at Home Depot!

caulk isle

Here is my patient teacher, Phil who navigated the various varieties of caulk to select the ones on needed.

Phil

There are so many distractions in my family: work, golf, sports viewing and Amazon Prime Video, so I will understand if you ask your handyman to take care of this.

Your Three Major Areas to Caulk:

  • Reseal the areas in the kitchen behind the sink between the counter top and the back splash to prevent water getting in the space there;
  • Reseal the areas around the bathtub, again to prevent moisture from getting on the subfloor or behind the wall; and
  • Caulk around the windows in a room where humidity runs high and we tend to get bugs which is completely not an option with me.

This is the basic moisture barrier caulk to buy. I even bought a new caulk gun.

caulk and gun

This is paintable caulk which is not silicone-base

You will follow six easy steps:

  1. Clean and dry the area you wish to seal. Use rubbing alcohol in kitchens and bathrooms applied with a cotton ball. A damp cloth can be used in other areas.
  2. Prepare the area with painter’s or masking tape along the edges of the bead area.
  3. Cut a very small hole in the nozzle at a 45 degree angle. You want the hole to be the size of the bead you will be making. It’s best to start small as you can always make the hole larger.
  4. Insert the caulk into the caulk gun and begin applying with consistent pressure to make your bead. Keep the tube moving. Don’t stop.
  5. Use your finger, dipped in a disposable bowl of water to smooth out the bead. Do this immediately. Remove the tape slowly after smoothing.
  6. Close the caulk tube for storage. Wipe off excess caulk from your hands with a dry cloth before washing them. To clean the area around the caulk use mineral spirits or alcohol for silicone caulk, soap and water for paintable caulk.

Why Buyers Can Now Afford a Higher-Priced Home

hn web shot duluth

Now you can buy more house with a regular conforming loan as the loan limit increased to $453,100. New higher loan limits, which take effect Jan. 1, were increased as a result of rising home prices for a second straight year.

Why is this good news? Because the conforming loan limit is the maximum amount buyers can borrow before they have to consider the jumbo loan option which carries higher costs and more stringent underwriting requirements. Buyers now have almost $30,000 more to spend and still be able to use the conventional loan with lower-costs and more flexible underwriting. Conventional loans are backed by the federal government (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac).

Sellers should be happy too. If buyers have access to higher loan amounts through conventional lending they can afford higher-cost homes.

 

The increase is a reflection of the healthy housing market that has seen prices rise over the last three years.

Read more here.

https://www.housingwire.com/articles/41904-fhfa-increases-conforming-loan-limits-for-2nd-straight-year

Home Again House Envy

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One King’s Lane

After seeing the movie Home Again, I realized that it was an entertaining chick flick with a happy ending but what really makes me want to see it again is the house. It’s comfortable, happy and fresh!  I love walking into a house that is clean, bright and creates a sense of a lifestyle in which buyers want to move right in. The furnishings and accessories don’t have to be expensive but they do have to show the home to it’s best possible advantage so that the buyer wants to learn more.

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One King’s Lane

This house captivates me. It’s light, bright with natural textures and neutral tones and just enough color to make it warm. It’s a collected or curated look that makes invites you to stay. The house is a typical beautiful Brentwood Spanish style and the interior is a New York meets LA Bohemian.

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One King’s Lane

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Habitually Chic

The creamy white walls an natural floors photograph so beautifully. I know we can’t all have those windows. They make the room.

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Amy Neunsinger

Any house that is professionally staged brings more buyers in and adds value to the sales price, but one that has a few personal touches invites the buyers to stay longer. I don’t mean quirky, just elements that make it look loved and lived in.

This chest. I love the way it adds a bit of old soul to warm up the room. I guess we can bring our blue and white pottery out again.

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One King’s Lane

Back to the chest, it prompted me to run to see Betsy DiGorgio at The Bird & The Bee for an emergency lesson on chalk painting an old chest. The closes color is Paris Gray in case you’re wondering. Betsy is so wonderfully helpful. If you are considering bringing fresh life to older pieces please visit the website.

bird and bee

home-again-movie-houe-habituallychic-015 patio

One King’s Lane – Pottery Barn Table and Chairs

To see more of the house and find out how to get the look visit:

One King’s Lane Blog

Habitually Chic

Los Angeles Times

Posts to inspire you to love your house now and make it easy to sell later:

Homeowner and Designer Work Together to Get a Home Picture-Ready

IKEA Hacks to Help You Love Your House and Make Selling It Easy

How to Sell Heirloom Furniture

chair drawing

There comes a time when:

a. You become tired of your furniture and need a major update, or

b. You have a friend or family member who has lots of older furniture and other items that no one else in the family can use.

What to do? Here’s a quick guide on how to sell your heirlooms that doesn’t involve your becoming a Craigslist or eBay expert. Notice I said, “heirlooms”. You must first establish if you have any antiques.  Is the item over 100 years old? Does it have historical significance or a beautiful patina? Then it may be an antique, and should first be appraised.

Anything younger falls into “vintage” or “collectible” category meaning that it could be either an older reproduction of an antique or a piece made less than 99 years ago that is representative of the style at the current time. A good example of the latter is mid-century modern.

Mid-Century_Modern_Home_with_open-beam_ceiling_1960

Charles S. Pharr Jr., the owner of  Aardvark Antiques & Estate Liquidations  and Four Seasons Auction Gallery has some great advice. The first being, set reasonable expectations as some heirlooms might not be worth as much as you think. The dark woods than one generation loved doesn’t have the same appeal to everyone. Here’s a simple step by step approach.

  1. HAVE THE ITEM APPRAISED

Your parents and even you may have an idea as to how much it is worth, but you won’t know for sure until a professional appraises it. Either way, knowing exactly how much it is worth can help you sell it without shortchanging yourself.

  1. DOCUMENT THE ITEM

Take several photos of the heirloom, including any special markings. Make note of its appearance, condition, and those same markings, as well. If you decide to contact an expert for a second opinion or an auction house, you’ll need to provide as much information as possible.

antique table

  1. DO YOUR RESEARCH

Take a look online and see if there is a market for the heirloom you want to sell. Are people selling similar items? Are people in search of those items? Are there message boards, communities, social media pages, and other sites dedicated to collecting those items? Google what you are trying to sell and take a look at current prices.

  1. KNOW YOUR OPTIONS

There are many outlets for selling heirlooms and antiques:

  • Advertise on Craigslist or eBay;
  • Conduct your own yard/estate sale;
  • Bring in a professional estate sale company for a total liquidation (usually right before a house is put on the market)
  • Consign the furniture; or
  • Send the furniture to be auctioned.

When evaluating estate sale or auction companies be sure to read each company’s contract which should clearly delineate how much they charge, what services they provide, and give an estimated timeline, as well as post-sale documentation and payment.

Advertising is critical. How do they do it? How many websites will your items or sale be featured? Do they have a large social media presence and large following? How many people are on their mailing list?

 

  1. BE PATIENT

If you want to get rid of the item quickly, you may have to take a price cut. But if you choose an option like consignment, the right buyer will eventually come along and pay more.

Here are some resources, although they are not endorsements:

Professional Appraisal:

Consignments, Estate Sales and Auctions:

 

Senior Transitions:

Done and Done, Amanda Thrasher, 404-819,0374
Amanda’s team will manage the process of downsizing including selling family heirlooms and managing the move.