Today on my KOMO 4 TV Home & Lifestyle segment, I talked about two issues that most real estate buyers and sellers should be more aware of.
First, the complexity of Form 17, the real estate disclosure form that must be filled out by every seller of property and should be read very carefully by every buyer. Second, the common belief of buyers that a home inspection protects them as a consumer when they purchase a home.
A couple in Rexberg, ID purchased their dream home only to find out that the home sat literally on top of a snake lair, aka a snake pit. The home was crawling with hundreds of snakes. In this case the seller did disclose that they had in fact seen snakes. Even if the home owner had an inspection done on the home prior to the purchase our state only holds the inspector liable for the fee of the inspection, which is typically around $300. Our state is riddled with disgruntled buyers seeking reformations in court and frightened sellers that believe common maladies will prevent them from selling their home in this tumultuous market.
Rodents and spiders are in fact very common in the NW, yet pests do adversely affect your property as a seller on Form 17 when you go to sell your home. Rats love to eat insulation and electrical wiring and if they enter your residence and cause property damage the home owner must disclose that fact on Form 17. Potential buyers should look for pest infestation. A tip to homeowners/potential sellers: keep your home on an annual pest inspection and maintenance schedule. Pest maintenance is worth the investment to avoid the property damages that you must disclose at the time of sale on Form 17.
Old oil tanks: This is very common with older homes. It’s great if a new home has a new furnace, yet you need to know if the old tank was buried (this is VERY common). The oil commonly leaks under ground and this type of problem now involves the Dept. of Ecology to find a remedy due to the potentially serious effect on ground water. Such a leak may negatively impact salmon, and with the state’s involvement this could cost the new buyer thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to mitigate the leaking oil. If you are looking at a home that is more than ten years old ask if there was ever an oil tank and if there was one how was it removed. My advice is that if there is a buried oil tank run from purchasing this house.
Roofs. Here’s a little good news for both buyers and sellers, even really bad roofs can often be repaired and receive an additional five years on the life of a roof. I recommend Western Exterior Maintenance, www.westernexterior.net, for roof repairs, which can save many if not most roofs. (360-658-5439)
Appliances: Another great tip to protect both buyers and sellers-get a home protection insurance policy (this could be a carrot for the seller); the cost is around $550. While it won’t pay for all new appliances it will pay for repairing such items as your furnace, washers, dryers... even the hot tub.
Cheers, Tami Michaels
My first rule of design is that form must follow the function. Function comes first, and its shape and appearance are second. There are a number of ways to rethink available storage space, not only to locate new and innovative ways to store items in their homes, but also to show how technology makes storage more functional.
1. Drawers Under Stairs- (Credit Storage Solutions) To find storage solutions in your home try to play ‘open space detective’ and look around your home to try to determine where excess storage can be found. I love that storage can be found under the stairs.
2. Hydraulic Hinges- (Credit: Blum) I love this lift hinge by Blum; with just a slight touch it lifts up and overhead.
3. Knee-Touch Open/Close hinge- (Credit Blum) . This hinge was designed for drawers and cabinets where one must bend down to open and close often. By tapping your knee against the drawer the drawer opens and closes, allowing garbage, recycling, or pots and pans to be moved more easily.
4. Added Function to Drawers- (Credit Dura Supreme) New clever more functional drawers and cabinets are the rage. Drawers and cabinets are now designed specifically for the items that you may store inside them. There are new layered drawers and electrified pullout shelves made for small appliances. This provides better utilization of the space, and is more organized.
5. Storage Under Floors- (Credit Storage Solutions) Wine storage under the floor. Unused space under the floor may provide hidden storage options.
If you need more storage, and who doesn't (?), take a look around your home and use these ideas to create more space and organization in your life.
Cheers, Tami Michaels
I recently attended the National Kitchen and Bathroom Industry Show (KBIS) in Las Vegas. The surprising feature that drew the attention of designers from around the world at this year’s show was the innovation that has taken place for outdoor kitchens. Outdoor kitchens have continued to grow in popularity and the grills, outdoor dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators, etc have become more elaborate and expensive despite the slow economy.
The outdoor kitchens and appliances I feature in today's News segment are expensive and high end and are selling in record numbers. Why? The answer seems to be that many people have accepted the devaluated price of their homes and do not plan to move, unlike the situation a few years ago. The new term for this grand remodeling craze is now called "domestic luxury", and all of this exterior interest is occurring in spite of our weather here in the NW.
This segment features-
· A new gas outdoor pizza oven which vents to the back (no tall chimney required), it can sit on a counter and makes amazing pizza. (retail $6K)
· A new hybrid grill featuring gas, charcoal and wood burning capabilities. ($12K-$16K)
· New hybrid grill surfaces that allow separate cooking surfaces for meat, fish and veggies and allow the griller to vary the temperature from section to section.
Outdoor kitchens: Our featured kitchen was designed by local designer Tristan Brown from Queen Anne Gardens. Outdoor kitchens have a wide price range from a few hundred dollars for a brick patio to tens of thousands of dollars.
Cheers, Tami Michaels
Choosing an exterior paint color can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips-
1. When looking at a small paint chip recognize that your home will appear two to three shades lighter than the paint chip. If the home is painted too light it will look as if it has disappeared.
2. Ask neighbors of homes you like that have a similar architectural style. Be specific, such as identifying the paint brand, the descriptive name and color numbers.
3. Tear out pictures from magazines and look at photos from books
4. Virtual painter: Parker Paint offers this virtual painting software. It allows even the most creatively challenged a simple tool to assist with color selection. Go to http://www.parkerpaint.com/vpainter/parkerpaintjvp.htm
Color can make quite the difference; here is one home in four different color schemes:
Fine China w/ Brazilian Blue Nantucket
Gray w/ Purple Rain
Bisque w/ Santa Monica Blue
Colorado Clay w/ Burnt Sienna
Photos are courtesy of Benjamin Moore Paints.
Konecto! I believe that most people want functional and affordable flooring. The floor I recommend quite often for budget minded people is made by Konecto. (I recently mistakenly called it Kartak).
Konecto is a beautiful floor that I had to closely examine because I actually thought it was real wood. I like this vinyl product (commercial friendly as it is used in the produce depts of many grocery stores) immensely because it features a peel and stick installation, http://www.konectousa.com/installation.html
I prefer the Prestige collection from Konecto for realism, yet I would be open to reviewing any new profiles that may have been added by the manufacturer. What can I say, the Konecto floor is pet, family and budget friendly so you can consider me a fan.
Now that winter is solidly behind us, it is time to prep our outdoor spaces for summer. For many of us the foundation for all the future barbequing and entertaining is the deck. Here are some tips that you can use to maximize your enjoyment while minimizing your maintenance!
Look outside and you'll notice that our exceptionally wet winter was the perfect incubator for unwanted green, slimy, mossy growth. Yuck. Daly's has developed a 1-2-3 Deck Care System to help you go from gross to gorgeous.
Step 1) Daly's Deck and House Cleaner
This is a concentrate that you mix with water, apply and agitate with a bristle scrub brush, and after it's soaked in you simply hose off. You will be impressed with how lovely the wood looks after just this one step.
Step 2) Daly's Wood Brightener
If your newly cleaned deck is looking grayed-out, or perhaps you are needing to mix in some replacement decking with existing and want to ensure you don't have a mish-mash with the differently aged woods, or maybe you are wanting that 'like new' appearance - then this step is key. As before, all you do is apply the brightener, agitate it and after it's soaked for a while you hose it off. Typically you do not need to do this step every time you clean and stain, only when it's greyed-out.
Step 3) Daly's Deck Stain
After your deck is good and dry, you are ready for step three. Daly's DeckStain is a penetrating product that 'feeds' your wood - which means your deck will last quite a bit longer than if left untreated. It even comes in 'Clear' if you don't want to add any color. What are you waiting for? It's time to hit the deck and enjoy your work all summer long!
Thank you Robin Daly for this blog!
Cheers, Tami Michaels