6 Home Maintenance Myths You Should Know About

Proper home maintenance is an important part of home ownership. Being aware of the following myths about keeping up a home will help you avoid unexpected expenses in the future.

Solid-surface countertops are indestructible. Be nice to your countertops because they can easily be cosmetically damaged. Stone counters can be stained, and household cleaners will take away the luster over time. Direct heat from pots and pans can discolor countertops, and soft stones can be etched by acidic materials.

The test button on a smoke detector assures the detector is doing its job. The test button does not tell you if the smoke sensor is working, so always test it with smoke from a blown-out candle or match.

Short lawns mean less mowing. Keeping your lawn one to three inches long will allow it to retain more water while keeping it strong enough to withstand weeds and pests.

Energy is conserved if the AC is turned off when you leave. The reality is you will consume more energy if the AC has to work overtime to cool your home when it’s hot. Depending on the season, move the thermostat five degrees up or down when your home is vacant. Consider a programmable thermostat.

No gutter maintenance is needed with gutter guards. While guards are designed to keep out leaves, smaller debris such as seeds or pine straw can still get through. You will have less maintenance with a once- or twice-a-year moderate cleanout.

Permits for renovation aren’t necessary. Building codes and the permit process are in place to protect you by ensuring properly completed work. Insurance will better cover your losses if your work has been permitted.

Call or email us any time to go over these and other home maintenance myths so you can get even more enjoyment out of home ownership.

House-Hunting Etiquette: Questions You’re Afraid to Ask

Permission to view someone’s home for sale comes with some rules of etiquette.

Even if you are visiting an open house, you need to be aware of things that you may normally take for granted.

Preparing ahead will help alleviate confrontation or the need to ask these questions when you are in someone else’s home.

1. Is it okay to consume snacks or drinks? Unless you are prepared to clean up or pay for a spillage accident, have your refreshments before you enter a home. If a seller has left cookies out for the showing, feel free to take one and eat it in the kitchen.

2. Can I use the bathroom? If it’s urgent, ask for permission. You never know if the water has been shut off. Schedule stops to take care of your personal needs before visiting.

3. Is looking into closets acceptable? Look all you want, but don’t disturb what you see.

4. What about taking photos? Before you click the camera, first ask if it’s okay. This is especially important if you intend to post your photos publicly and the seller has personal effects that they don’t want promoted.

5. Can I sit on the furniture? This is not a good idea unless you have a physical need to do so. Ask for permission if you need to sit for health reasons.

Call or email us with any of your burning house-hunting questions. We are always here to help and make sure you have a pleasant experience.