Home Repairs

What are the most inexpensive improvements that we can make to our house to make it show better?

No two houses ever seem to be in identical conditions. One home may need paint while another may need landscaping upgrades. We can easily compile a list of decorating suggestions to help “dress your house for success”.  The entire process takes less than 30 minutes.

However, some commonly overlooked interior items when sprucing up are things such as A/C registers, door knobs, door hinges, cabinet hardware and light fixtures.  These can be inexpensive items to replace and may really help freshen up the appearance!

For more info, please visit us at www.destinfloridarealestate.com . Please email questions to smith@realtor.com

We enclosed our attached screened porch on the back of our house. Our existing A/C unit won’t keep it cool. Will it hurt our resale value if we add a window unit to keep the new area cool?

In most cases yes, a window unit will detract from the value of your property. A much better option may be one of the new mini split air systems that are available both locally and online.

These are permanently installed climate control systems that work well in situations just like yours. Also perfect for mother-in-law quarters, garages or any area that needs additional climate control. No duct work is required making the installation very simple. You will need an A/C contractor to install your system, but the price can be extremely affordable.

For more info, please visit us at www.DestinFloridaRealEstate.com . Please email questions to smith@realtor.com

The Joys of Home Repair

Have you ever had a service company to your home to repair something and find out that it really wasn’t “broken”? It probably conjured up ambivalent feelings of joy that it wasn’t something serious and frustration that you had to pay a service call for something so simple. Before you call the repairman next time, keep these things in mind to see if it is something simple:

Disposer not working – check to see if the reset button has been thrown. It is usually on the bottom of the disposer. If the disposer is making a humming sound, the blades may be stuck. While the disposer is turned off, use a wooden broom handle as a lever to gently rotate the blades. Remove the broom handle and turn on the disposer to see if it works properly.

Air conditioner not working – check to see if a breaker has thrown on your electric panel. You might need to flip the breaker completely off and flip it back on.

Electrical outlets not working – Electrical plugs in bathrooms or outside, especially on a porch or patio, are many times connected to a ground fault interrupter. While the GFI circuit is sometimes controlled by a special GFIC breaker in your panel, it may also be a special GFI wall receptacle/outlet that may be located in a bathroom, near a sink, or even in the garage. Locate the outlet and reset the button that may have tripped. Note:  Most homes have more than one GFI circuit.

Clogged drain – a simple way to correct a slow or clogged drain is to use the water pressure from a garden hose. You’ll need a helper to turn on the water full-blast once you have safely placed the hose in the drain and are holding a hand-towel around the hose to direct the water to the drain. Be prepared to tell your helper to turn off the water when needed.

Whether it’s preparing a home to market or arranging repairs required by the sale, we know reputable, reasonable and reliable local service contractors. We’re here to share our contacts with you to help make home ownership better!

We bought a house 4 years ago and just found previous termite damage that had been covered up. What can we do?

We are sorry to hear about your problem.  However, that is not an easy question to answer. The discovery of such an item four years after the sale is problematic. There are several issues to consider:

You should have received a copy of a termite inspection report when you purchased four years ago. Did it mention any problems at that time? But please bear in mind that even the best termite inspector cannot see behind or through the walls. The inspector should have flagged any visible signs of wood rot, termite damage, as well as previous or current termite activity, if any.

You may have obtained a home inspection prior to closing.  but as in the case of the termite inspector, they cannot see behind or through the walls. Their disclaimers will typically state that the inspection is non-invasive in nature and that the inspector is only responsible for detecting that which is visually and readily observable.  

Another issue is that this previous damage may have even been covered up by a seller prior to the one who sold to you. If the property has been through several owners, your seller may not have been aware that a pre-existing problem existed.  The origin may be very difficult to determine.

If the problem is severe, you may wish to contact an attorney to see what your legal rights may be.