Posted by Marie Presti on 1/10/2016

Mold could be lurking in your home, often found in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and laundry rooms. You can also find mold near leaking pipes, faulty air ducts, leaking roofs, and areas that have previously been flooded. Mold found in your home can cause you serious health problems and major damage to your home. The only way to truly know if you have a mold problem is to have a professional mold inspection. Here are a few reasons why you should hire a professional home mold inspector: 1. To see if you have hidden mold growth. A professional mold inspector has special equipment to locate mold. Hidden mold is found in places like in the drywall, under the carpets, and in the air ducts. 2. Do you suffer from allergies, coughing, or headaches? All of these could be symptoms of mold exposure. 3. Before you buy a home have a mold inspection to identify and address any mold issues before closing on the home. That way you will feel more comfortable and confident with purchasing the home. 4. Most home insurance policies do not cover major mold damage. It is important to protect your investment by knowing if the home has mold that needs to be addressed. A professional mold inspection can help protect your health and protect your investment as well.





Posted by Marie Presti on 12/20/2015

Many homes in our area have stories to tell. If you live in an older home, you may want to know its hidden secrets. You may have wondered who slept in your bedroom or when the home was actually built. Your home holds many clues to its history and its prior owners. With some detective work you will be well on your way to uncovering your home's hidden past. Here are some hints to get you started. Gather Information In order to get started you will need to uncover all of the information you have, you will want to gather your deed and title paperwork. Make note of the first owner, year built, and the year the original owner sold it. You will also want to know the names of all the owners, as well as the years they bought and sold the property. All of this information may not be available on your deed but you will be able to find it at town hall or the registry of deeds. You may find clues in the names of owners and years owned. Pay attention to details and look for clues. Some clues to the history of the home may be: a family that owned the home for a long time, multiple property turnovers and inconsistencies in property or land descriptions. Tackling the Records Wading through the mountains of information may be difficult but don't get discouraged. Information about your home’s owners will most likely be contradictory. Census records dating back to the year your house was built are likely available at your public library, a nearby university or your local historical society or museum. Review census rosters from the year closest to the one your house was built. Census records from the 1800s and early 1900s have lots of fun and interesting information and often include the names of all those living in a household at the time, their ages, occupations, places of birth, and sometimes more. You may also want to search for census data on the U.S. Census website. Getting Help Some of the language on deeds and title paperwork can be hard to understand put older language in the mix and it can be even more confusing. Ask friends who are lawyers, title-company employees or experts in historical documents for help. You can also turn to the internet for help. Use the internet to dig up any information you can find about the families who lived in your home, as well as the surrounding streets, neighborhoods, and landmarks. If prior owners of your home are relatives you can use genealogy web sites for research. Getting a Feel for the Times Read through newspapers from the year your house was built. You will start to get a sense of the historical times. Keep notes on everything you find that mentions your house and its occupants. In those times local papers covered social news of all kinds—dinner parties, haying trips, visits from out-of-town relatives—in addition to chronicling everything from world events to weather. They often covered construction of new homes, and may offer you information on where the builders got the materials used to build your house, why they made certain design decisions, and more. More Information For more information regarding researching homes you may want to try some of the books listed. American Shelter: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American Home, by Lester Walker, Overlook Press, 1981 How Old is This House? by Hugh Howard, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1989 House Styles in America, by James C. Massey and Shirley Maxwell, Penguin Studio, 1996 Old American House, by Henry Lionel Williams and Ottalie K. Williams, Bonanza Books, 1957 A Field Guide to American Houses, by Virginia and Lee McAlester, Random House, 1984





Posted by Marie Presti on 12/6/2015

Are you thinking of buying a home with a septic system? Septic systems are common in the suburbs and more rural areas where municipal sewers are not available. So what is a septic system? It is a self-contained, underground waste water treatment system. It consists of a septic tank and a drainage system. The septic tank is a large, watertight container. It can be made of concrete, steel, fiberglass, or polyethylene. The septic tank is connected to your home's sewer line and collects all water and the waste in it. The drainage system has several parts; an outflow pipe, a distribution box, a network of perforated pipes, and a leach field. When liquids inside the septic tank get high enough, they flow out of the tank into the outflow pipe. The outflow pipe leads to the distribution box which then channels waste water into the perforated pipes. The waste water is then distributed into the leach field. There is usually no cause to worry when buying a home with a septic system. It is prudent to have the septic system inspected or ask for proof of inspection during the purchase process.  If maintained properly, a septic system can last between 25 to 35 years.





Posted by Marie Presti on 11/29/2015

Candles can make a home look inviting, cozy and warm. They can also give a glow to many people’s skin tones. Candles come in many sizes, shapes and scents. Burning of candles during a showing can make the home feel warm and inviting making the buyer feel relaxed and calm. Try to pick out colors like maroon (cinnamon) orange (pumpkin) these scents are soothing and relaxing scents and will help make the potential sellers feel like home. The placing of the candles is very important. The best places to put them are in the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen table, window sills, and fireplace mantel. If you have a fireplace, lighting a fire is a sure way to give that room a warm and welcoming feeling. Everybody loves a fireplace and your buyers will too. Bake something delicious smelling. The Real Estate experts swear by the just baked smell when showing a home. It makes your potential buyers feel right at home. Things like Apple pie; chocolate chip cookies or fresh baked bread all will create that warm and inviting feeling. Family photos in the home make your home feel like a house full of love. Potential buyers who see photos of a family having fun, and enjoying life in their home will create a sense of a home that has a lot of memories and love. Bottom line, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere can help you sell your home.





Posted by Marie Presti on 11/15/2015

If you were to guess which area in your home poses the most safety hazards, what would be your answer?  The kitchen?  The basement? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year about 235,000 people over age 15 visit emergency rooms because of injuries suffered in the bathroom, and almost 14 percent are hospitalized. More than a third of the injuries happen while bathing or showering. More than 14 percent occur while using the toilet. By taking some simple steps in your own bathroom, you can cut the risk of serious injury to yourself and your loves ones dramatically.

  • Install support railings right outside of your tub.
  • Put down an anti-slippage mat on the floor of your tub.
  • Take extra care when using electrical outlets in your bathroom. Install a hand towel holder next to outlets, and get in the habit of making sure your hands are dried before plugging and unplugging electrical devices.
  • Be sure that bathroom rugs around your toilet and sink have excellent anti-slip capabilities, and replace your rugs when they become worn.
After following these steps, re-evaluate your bathroom. Can you find anything else that may pose a danger?