A Pet-Friendly Home is a Happy Home

Weichert Realtors

No need to sacrifice comfort or style when you have pets!

There’s nothing like being greeted by your pet after a long day of work. That is, unless, you can smell your pet as soon as you open the door. Whether you have a long-haired cat or super active dog, it would be nice to have your home pet and home-owner friendly (while keeping guests who may not love your pet as much as you do happy). Here we share tips on how to do just that!

It’s all in the fabric. Choose stain-resistant fabrics for your furniture. Avoid fabrics like velvet that would basically be a magnet for any pet hair (and your hair!).

Find the best flooring. Hard surface floors are the easiest as far as cleaning goes. Ceramic tile is a great choice as it won’t get scratched by toenails. Hardwood is a cinch to keep clean with mops! Just be wary of your big dogs, as they may scratch natural wood.

Organize the toys. Find an attractive basket or another type of storage container to keep pet toys all in one place. Easier for your pet to find, and easy for you to put away when guests come over. Toss the smelly ones after a while – your pet will be happy with a new, fun toy!

Keep them clean. Proper grooming of your pet can keep odors at bay. Brush them regularly to remove the loose fur. It is so much easier to clean your pet (and sometimes fun, if they like it) than your curtains and furniture. Your home will stay cleaner much longer when you are proactive about collecting the pet hair!

Use washable where they sleep. If your pet sleeps on your bed (or their own), be sure to use something easy to wash like a duvet cover. This way if accidents happen, the bedding can be stripped easily and washed quickly. Bedsheets with a pattern can disguise pet hair for those times between washings as well.

Vacuum often. Simple and true, constant vacuuming is the best way to rid your home of pet hair tumbleweeds and anything else they may bring into your home with them. Use the hose attachment and vacuum off your furniture as well as curtains or any other surface that may get covered in pet hair.

Follow these tips to keep you and your pet happy at home! More Home Improvement Tips Here

Buying or Renting  ? Call Me at 571-405-8058 or email at ejakovac@gmail.com

If you are planning to place your home on the market, call me  for no obligation consultation  at 571.405.8058 /

 

First in Customer Service…

Elvira Jakovac 

Realtor. 

RSPS specialist

(571)405-8058

ElviraJakovac.com

Weichert Realtors / Old Town Alexandria VA

Carpenter’s Shelter COOK-OFF – support the homeless !

COOK-OFF

Mark your calendar for the 14th annual Carpenter’s Cook-Off!

Join us on Sunday, April 24, 2016 from 12-3pm at The Birchmere and indulge in an afternoon of food and fun while supporting Carpenter’s Shelter!

At Cook-Off, over 500 attendees enjoy tastings from over 20 area restaurants, bid on hot ticket items during the live auction and listen to live music.

Tickets on sale now!

 

Restaurants:

 

Join our talented roster of restaurants!

Is your restaurant interested in participating in Cook-Off and partnering with Carpenter’s Shelter to end homelessness in our community? Fill out the forms below and contact Rebecca Hightower at RebeccaHightower@CarpentersShelter.org or (703) 548-7500 x205. Come ready to show off your signature dish, and you could walk away with an award like the 2015 winners!

2015 Winners

Best Sweet Dish: Jackson 20

Best Savory Dish: Red Rocks Neapolitan Bistro

People’s Choice Award: The Grille at Morrison House

Kid’s Choice Award: Sugar Shack

This Year’s Restaurants:

Join in on the Cook-Off fun and see your logo here! Contact Rebecca Hightower at RebeccaHightower@CarpentersShelter.org or (703) 548-7500 x 205 with questions.

Ready to show off your dish? See the informational documents and necessary forms below!

Information Sheet
Restaurant Order Form & Menu Selection
Participation Agreement

—————————————————————————————————————–

Buying or Renting  ? Call Me at 571-405-8058 or email at ejakovac@gmail.com

If you are planning to place your home on the market, call me  for no obligation consultation  at 571.405.8058 /

 

First in Customer Service…

Elvira Jakovac 

Realtor. 

RSPS specialist

(571)405-8058

ElviraJakovac.com

Weichert Realtors / Old Town Alexandria VA

5 Steps To Help Sell Your Home

5 Steps To Help Sell Your Home

Weichert Realtors

Here are some helpful tips on how to get your home sold in today’s market.

  1. Get Creative With The Sales ApproachIf your home is cleaned up and priced right, it’s all in the approach. Think outside the box. The standard newspaper ads announcing the same old information may not catch your buyer’s eye. Have your agent reveal WHY people would want to buy your home. Awesome neighborhood? Say it! Family style eat-in kitchen? Say it! Market your home creatively.
  2. It’s all in the priceDo you ever wonder why sellers keep lowering the price on their home? Some may think there may be an issue with that home. A good rule of thumb is to follow what the last comparable home sold for. Price it too high, and you may just scare buyers off. Lower prices draw quick and competing bids.
  3. Renovations Are Not Selling MagicIt is true that renovations will help. It makes a home more appealing to the eye as well as adding value. However, if you renovate, and keep that listing price sky high, your home may just stay on the market longer than expected.
  4. How Your Home Looks Online is CrucialPerfect pictures are worth a thousand words. If you’re going to make your house sparkle for those open houses, why not make it sparkle online? First impressions count and today’s buyers see your home online (in some cases, first).
  5. Don’t Fight The MarketTake into consideration what is going on in your local real estate market. Speak to a Weichert Sales Associate.

More Information http://www.weichert.com/guides/selling/

Buying or Renting  ? Call Me at 571-405-8058 or email at ejakovac@gmail.comAlso If you are planning to place your home on the market, call me  for no obligation consultation  at 571.405.8058 /

 

First in Customer Service…

Elvira Jakovac 

Realtor. 

RSPS specialist

(571)405-8058

ElviraJakovac.com

Weichert Realtors / Old Town Alexandria VA

Preparing Your Home for Showings

Preparing Your Home for Showings

Weichert Realtors

Living in a home while keeping it in good condition for showings can be a difficult balance to achieve.

However, there are measures you can take to ensure that your home is primed and ready to impress potential home buyers.

House Hunting, The Take-Along Workbook for Home Buyers by Dian Hymer offers several suggestions for helping current owners keep their home in showing condition.

  • Buy a big plastic tub for each room. If a prospective buyer wants to see the home, you can quickly de-clutter by throwing unattractive essentials like toys and clothes into the tubs. Make sure to stow the tubs in the garage or closet.
  • Develop an escape plan. Decide in advance where you’ll go when potential buyers are on their way over. It doesn’t have to be far – taking a walk through the neighborhood is probably good enough.
  • Be flexible with showing times. Setting severe limitations makes it harder to sell a home. Not only will these tips help you keep your house tidy, but they will also help make the home selling process more manageable.

Buying or Renting  ? Call Me at 571-405-8058 or email at ejakovac@gmail.com

If you are planning to place your home on the market, call me  for no obligation consultation  at 571.405.8058 / Elvira Jakovac

First in Customer Service…

Elvira Jakovac 

Realtor. 

RSPS specialist

(571)405-8058

ElviraJakovac.com

Weichert Realtors / Old Town Alexandria VA

Reducing Energy Consumption in Your Home

Reducing Energy Consumption in Your Home

Weichert Realtors

You can make a significant difference in reducing your electric bill.

The summer heat is upon us, and with rising temperature naturally comes the rising cost of electricity as you cool your home.

You can make a significant difference in reducing your electric bill, however, by managing your energy consumption using home energy monitors and by taking advantage of the special rebates and incentives made available by the government and utility companies.

Additionally, you can take the initiative right at home by making a few changes to your home and routine:

Energy is wasted cooling drafty homes.  By caulking your windows and doors and installing appropriate weather stripping, you can reduce your energy waste by 10 percent!  Also, turning off your lights, television and other electronic devises when not in use can make a huge difference.

Your major appliances consume a ton of energy.  If you can limit the amount of uses for your dishwasher and washing machine to only full loads, it will have a positive affect on your consumption.  Hanging your clothes instead of using the dryer is equally beneficial.  Furthermore, if you can reduce your washing machine to shorter washes and use primarily cold water, it will keep costs down.

While at work, program your thermostat to allow warmer temperatures in the home.  There is little sense in keeping the home too cool when no one is around to enjoy it, so why waste the energy?  You can keep the temperature down by closing your blinds and curtains as well, preventing the sun from further heating your home.

  • Buying or Renting  ? Call Me at 571-405-8058 or email at ejakovac@gmail.com
  • If you are planning to place your home on the market, call me  for no obligation consultation  at 571.405.8058 / Elvira JakovacFirst in Customer Service…Elvira Jakovac Realtor. RSPS specialist

    (571)405-8058

    ElviraJakovac.com

    Weichert Realtors / Old Town Alexandria VA

Let the Lights Shine – Indoors and Out!

Let the Lights Shine – Indoors and Out!

Weichert Realtors

Window Cleaning Tips and Advice

March 20th is the official first day of spring, and with its arrival we can expect more sunshine, longer days and warmer temperatures ahead of us. For homeowners with their house on the market, the brighter days of spring can really help make their home shine by allowing more light to come in and by letting homebuyers see their outdoor areas.

Whether your home is for sale or not, giving your windows a good cleaning – both inside and out – should be a part of every homeowner’s annual spring cleaning agenda. While cleaning windows might not be the most exciting chore, it is an easy and low cost way to enhance both the interior and exterior of your home – and one that might pay dividends in the long run if your home is for sale. Click here for an expert’s take on how to make your windows shine.

Source: This Old House
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,20364019,00.html

If you are looking for an environmentally friendly alternative to using harsh chemicals for your window cleaning project, have you thought of using lemons? For smudge-free glass with a refreshing scent, try mixing lemon juice, rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle. Simply spray it on your windows and mirrors and wipe away with a cloth. Click the link below to see the results!

Source: Ask Anna
http://askannamoseley.com/2013/04/green-cleaning-cleaning-with-lemons/

Skylights are fantastic for letting in plenty of natural sunlight but they don’t have the same effect if they are covered in streaks and dirt. If you have any skylights, remember to include them in your task. But, wait a minute. Those skylights can be really high and seemingly hard to reach. If you’re wondering what the best way to properly clean them is, click here to find out.

Source: How to Clean Stuff
http://www.howtocleanstuff.net/how-to-clean-a-skylight/

In addition to clean windows, a brighter, gleaming look can be achieved by taking time to clean your light bulbs and fixtures as well. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, dirty bulbs shed 30 percent less light than clean ones, providing a legitimate reason to take the extra time required to give your light bulbs a full cleaning.

It may go without saying, but before you get started with your cleaning, you should always turn off the electricity to the fixture. For bulbs themselves, all that is necessary is a quick wipe down using a dry cloth – such as a dryer sheet – to remove dust and grime. Ceiling fixtures, pendant lights and other glass covers, can be removed and cleaned with either cleaning spray and a microfiber cloth or in warm, soapy water.

If you have motion sensor lights outside, spray some window cleaner on a soft rag and give them a quick wipe. Removing any dirt and/or grime will possibly help prevent your sensors from lighting up too soon, which can lower your energy costs. Another good idea is to use a can of compressed air to clean out additional dirt that may be encased in the brackets and behind the bulbs of your garage lights and driveway lights.

If you have time, dusting weekly will keep the time spent on a deep spring cleaning to a minimum, and help you enjoy a bright, light home all year long. Not to mention that fresh lemony smell!

Learn more about spring maintenance and enjoy this happy season at home!

What would you add?

  • Buying or Renting  ? Call Me at 571-405-8058 or email at ejakovac@gmail.com
  • If you are planning to place your home on the market, call me  for no obligation consultation  at 571.405.8058 / Elvira JakovacFirst in Customer Service…Elvira Jakovac Realtor. 

    RSPS specialist

    (571)405-8058

    ElviraJakovac.com

    Weichert Realtors / Old Town Alexandria VA

Why Is A Building Permit Necessary?

Why Is A Building Permit Necessary?

Weichert Realtors

Top Reasons to Abide By this Law

If you are planning on completing any type of construction or modification on your home, there’s a good chance you need a building permit.

While avoiding this process might seem easier at first, in the long run it might lead to many other serious problems.

When selling your home, you may need to disclose any previous additions or repairs to potential buyers. If you skipped the permitting process, the buyer may ask for a reduction in the sale price or have you get the work permitted and inspected before the final transaction.

  1. If the reason you are not getting a permit is to save money, the fine of three to 10 times the cost of the permit would negate any money you saved in the end.
  2. Along with being required by most municipalities, by going through inspections and the permitting process, you also help protect yourself and your family against structural failures, fire hazards, and electric shock.
  3. It can cause more work for you. You may need to undo and redo the work so the city knows it was completed properly.
  4. You will run into insurance problems. If one day you have a problem and decide to call the insurance company, they will deny the claim if the problem occurred in an illegally constructed area.

Have you received the proper building permit for your next project? If you are thinking of skipping this important process, remember to think of the consequences.

 

  • Buying or Renting  ? Call Me at 571-405-8058 or email at ejakovac@gmail.com
  • If you are planning to place your home on the market, call me  for no obligation consultation  at 571.405.8058 / Elvira JakovacFirst in Customer Service…Elvira Jakovac 

    Realtor. 

    RSPS specialist

    (571)405-8058

    ElviraJakovac.com

    Weichert Realtors / Old Town Alexandria VA

 

Homeowner Tips: Adding an Outdoor Deck

Homeowner Tips: Adding an Outdoor Deck

Weichert Realtors

Regardless of market conditions, a nice outdoor deck is a feature any homebuyer can appreciate.

According to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS), the size of the average deck on an upscale home has doubled to about 700 square feet in the past 10 years. Most decks (90 percent) are added as a remodeling project, particularly by families with young children. Parents like the idea that children can be outdoors, yet contained in a safe place.

The JCHS survey also determined that the cost of the average deck project was approximately $10,347. Although a large investment, the improvement tends to pay off well at resale. According to the Cost vs. Value Report by Remodeling magazine, a wood deck addition yielded an 85.4 percent return when the home was sold, one of the highest cost recovery rates. Aside from serving as an inviting haven for relaxation and entertainment, decks can improve the aesthetic appearance of the home and increase its potential resale value.

 

  • Buying or Renting  ? Call Me at 571-405-8058 or email at ejakovac@gmail.com
  • If you are planning to place your home on the market, call me  for no obligation consultation  at 571.405.8058 / Elvira JakovacFirst in Customer Service…Elvira Jakovac 

    Realtor. 

    RSPS specialist

    (571)405-8058

    ElviraJakovac.com

    Weichert Realtors / Old Town Alexandria VA

 

Tax Advantages of Homeownership

Tax Advantages of Homeownership

Weichert Realtors

Homeownership invokes more than a sense of pride and freedom.

It is also a long-term investment opportunity. It’s never a bad time to speak to your tax advisor about the tax advantages associated with homeownership. Some of these benefits include:

  • Reduce your taxable income: On your itemized income tax return, you may be able to deduct mortgage interest payments, property taxes and points paid to lower your loan’s interest rate.
  • Take advantage of special tax breaks: You might receive a tax credit or be able to take a tax deduction for certain home improvement projects if they are for medical reasons or if they fall into one of the many energy savings home improvement categories.
  • Lower tax on capital gains when you sell: When you sell your home, you will not have to pay federal income tax on capital gains of up to $500,000 for a married couple and $250,000 if you are single. This applies to the sale of a principal residence owned and occupied for at least two of the last five years.
  • Buying or Renting  ? Call Me at 571-405-8058 or email at ejakovac@gmail.com
  • If you are planning to place your home on the market, call me  for no obligation consultation  at 571.405.8058 / Elvira JakovacFirst in Customer Service…

    Elvira Jakovac 

    Realtor. 

    RSPS specialist

    (571)405-8058

    ElviraJakovac.com

    Weichert Realtors / Old Town Alexandria VA

Tips for Buying a Second Home

Tips for Buying a Second Home

Weichert Realtors

According to Forbes magazine, second-home buyers can find some great deals in today’s economy.

Interest rates are low, prices are affordable and there are plenty of available homes to choose from. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), many consumers are taking advantage of the current buyer’s market. Second homes are accounting for more and more of the total home sales every year.

The most commonly cited reason for purchasing a second home was to use the home for vacation or as a family retreat. The following tips from Forbes can maximize your second-home investment:

  • Consider the surroundings: Bike trails and hiking paths are a big draw for second-home buyers.
  • Look at the taxes: Income tax policies differ from state to state.
  • Take distance into account: Second-homes that are within an easy drive can save money spent on gas.
  • Look near resorts: Locales that are close to a popular resort area can have similar amenities at a lower price than homes considered part of the resort.
  • Think local: Parts of the country that are regional rather than national vacation spots can prove to be a bargain.
  • Buying or Renting  ? Call Me at 571-405-8058 or email at ejakovac@gmail.com
  • If you are planning to place your home on the market, call me  for no obligation consultation  at 571.405.8058 / Elvira JakovacFirst in Customer Service…

    Elvira Jakovac 

    Realtor. 

    RSPS specialist

    (571)405-8058

    ElviraJakovac.com

    Weichert Realtors / Old Town Alexandria VA