Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 1/8/2017

It's many homeowners' worst fear to come home to a water disaster in their home. Water damage can cost thousands to repair and will include a lengthy process in order to adhere to safety standards, potentially disrupting your home life for weeks. In this article we'll give you tips on how to avoid water damage and what to do when you discover it.

Water damage vs. flood damage

Many people are unaware of the difference between water damage and flood damage. Water damage can occur when you have plumbing issues such as a leaking pipe or overflowing bath tub. Flood damage, on the other hand, is defined by FEMA as an "overflow of inland or tidal waters, unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters," or even mudflow. Flood damage tends to be the more costly and the more dangerous of the two, as it puts home inhabitants at serious health risk. Part of the stipulation in differing between the two types of damage is insurance coverage; water damage is often covered by homeowner's insurance whereas flood damage is not.

Avoiding water damage

To avoid costly and time-consuming repairs, follow these steps to prevent water damage from occurring in your home:
  • Keep your gutters clean to avoid backups and drainage issues
  • divert rain water away from your house with downspouts
  • Disconnect hoses and turn off their water supply when temperatures drop to freezing overnight
  • Don't leave water using appliances running while you are away from home for extended periods of time
  • Keep up with maintenance on your dishwasher, washing machine, toilets, and tubs
  • Turn off your water main when you go away on vacations
  • Check the water pressure to your home. High water pressure can be nice in the shower, but pressures too high can cause your plumbing to fail
  • Check regularly for leaks. Some water damage may go unnoticed for weeks or months, which subjects you to another danger: mold

What to do if you have water damage in your home

If it's too late for prevention and you've discovered water damage in your home there are several steps you'll need to take to ensure the safety of your home.
  • Turn off electronics in the affected area. If possible switch off power to whole the whole section of your home at the circuit breaker. This first step is to ensure your own safety. Once you've turned off power to all potentially dangerous electronics, you can move on to the next step.
  • Remove electronics and other perishable items from the area. If you remove the items soon enough you might be able to salvage them by drying them out.
  • Soak up the bulk of the water. You can do this the old fashion way by using towels and buckets. Or you can use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to suck up the water from rugs, carpets, and other surfaces.
  • Dry the area completely. To avoid mold, use fans and a dehumidifier to fully dry out the area.
  • Disinfect. Spray the area to remove any bacteria that may have accumulated due to moisture.
  • Contact the professionals. A contractor will be able to tell you the full extent of the damage and whether any serious repairs will need to me made.
 





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 10/30/2016

Your home's wood floors have experienced heavy foot traffic over the years. As a result, they are scratched and battered and must be improved before you can add your home to the real estate market. Unfortunately, it may prove to be costly to have a professional floor refinisher remove wood floor scratches. And as a home seller who has already invested in a number of home repairs, the last thing you need is another hefty home repair bill. So what does it take for home sellers to remove wood floor scratches on a budget? There are many fast, cost-effective ways to eliminate scratches on your wood floors, including: 1. Disguise the Scratches. You may be able to use a crayon or marker to camouflage your wood floors' scratches. Wax sticks also are available at just about any home improvement store and contain stain and urethane that can help you cover up scratches and safeguard your floors' finish. In addition, you may want to try mixing colors to find the right combination to match the color of your hardwood floors. But remember, hardwood floors boast a combination of hues and tones. Therefore, even if you're unable to find the right blend of colors, you should be able to cover up white scratches instantly if you apply similar colors from crayons, markers or wax sticks. 2. Leverage a Combination of Vinegar and Olive Oil. Using a mixture of vinegar and olive oil may help you minimize scratches on your wood floors as well as transform your ordinary floors into dazzling ones. Typically, you'll want to pour a mixture that is equal parts vinegar and olive oil onto the affected area of your wood floors. After 24 hours, wipe off the mixture, and you should notice a significant improvement. It is important to note that this mixture won't deliver instant results every time. However, applying a new coat of vinegar and olive oil onto an affected area of your wood floors over the course of several days may help you eliminate scratches altogether. 3. Use Sandpaper to Your Advantage. Lightweight sandpaper may prove to be an ideal option to fix wood floor scratches. For instance, you can sand the affected area of your wood floors, use wood filler on this area and seal the area accordingly. This may allow you to enhance the appearance of your wood floors and ensure they look brand new. Keep in mind that you may need to sand, fill and seal an affected area of your wood floors a few times to eliminate scratches. But home sellers who remain persistent can use sandpaper to their advantage and minimize scratches on their wood floors without delay. Getting your home ready to list on the real estate market sometimes can be tricky, but your real estate agent can help you find ways to help your residence stand out in a competitive real estate market. In fact, this real estate professional can offer expert insights and ensure you can find ways to maximize the value of your house. Work toward improving the wood floors in your home, and you may be able to speed up the process of selling your residence.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 8/14/2016

Did you know there are home upgrades that may wind up costing you more than they are worth? That's right, and these are home improvement projects you'll want to avoid at all costs. Some of the most common high-cost, low-return home improvement projects for home sellers include: 1. Installing an in-ground swimming pool. When it comes to installing swimming pools, the fantasy usually is better than the reality. Ideally, you should be able to install an in-ground swimming pool in your backyard quickly and enjoy it for an extended period of time. But when it comes time to complete the project, you may end up committing thousands of dollars and dozens of man-hours to a project that may add minimal value to your home. Consider the costs and timeline associated with an in-ground swimming pool installation before you commit to this project. By doing so, you can determine how much this project will impact your home's value both now and in the future and decide whether the return on investment (ROI) meets your needs. 2. Adding a backup power generator. Homeowners often try to err on the side of caution, and for good reason. However, a backup generator may prove to be costly, especially when there are viable, cost-effective alternatives at your disposal. A power outage may seem like the end of the world when it happens, but in most cases, it is only temporary. And those who have flashlights, lanterns and other emergency supplies will be better equipped to stay safe during a power outage. Remember, a backup generator may seem like a great idea at first, but you should consider its short- and long-term value. Those who explore the alternatives that are available, meanwhile, may find it is more cost-effective to invest in other home improvement projects. 3. Installing new windows. The latest windows are incredibly energy-efficient, making them exceedingly valuable for homeowners who want to cut their energy bills for years to come. Comparatively, home sellers may fail to reap the benefits of these windows, especially if they hope to find a buyer for their residence in the immediate future. New windows may cost thousands of dollars to install, so you'll want to look at the ROI of new windows before you find a contractor to complete the project. And if you discover the upfront costs outweigh the long-term savings of a home you'll soon be selling, it may be better to avoid installing new windows for the time being. As a home seller, you'll want to do everything you can to highlight the true value of your home, and choosing a reliable real estate agent can help you do just that. A qualified real estate agent possesses the experience and understanding of the real estate market. As such, this professional can help you decide which home improvement projects are priorities and which tasks can be put on the backburner. Find a top-rated real estate professional to help you sell your home, and you can benefit from the support of a real estate expert who can guide you along the home selling process.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 2/24/2013

Garages aren't just for parking cars and storing all of your stuff. The garage could just be the key to selling your home. Homeowners don't typically think of putting much effort in the garage when preparing a home for sale. Investing a little time and effort into staging your garage could just be the difference from for sale to sold. Follow these quick and easy steps to a garage home buyers dream of. 1. Get organized. Everyone loves storage. Show off your garage and make it a selling point. One of the best ways to showcase your garage is an organized place where buyers can picture their things. Shelves, bins and storage closets are available at any local hardware store. When your garage looks spacious and organized it is more appealing and may even result in the buyer feeling like they are gaining square footage. 2. Light it Up Lighting can make all the difference. Replace dangling, plain bulbs with fixtures or strip lighting. Adding an eight-foot fluorescent light strip can turn your garage from dark and dreary to open and inviting. 3. Finishing Touches Garages that have appealing floors and walls go a long way in the buyer's eyes. Concrete garage floors can be coated with an epoxy resin-based paint or rubber mats and tiles. This hides spills and makes cleaning a lot easier. Don't forget the walls. Adding sheetrock makes a very clean surface and makes the garage feel more like a finished space. The sheetrock can also be painted to create a warmer atmosphere. 4. Properly working doors There is nothing worse than a garage door in disrepair. Garage door openers should be quiet and have safety mechanisms in place. Have the garage doors evaluated by the garage door company that installed it or sometimes all it needs is a good oil job to lubricate it.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 10/14/2012

It is great to have a room renovation every once in a while but painting and changing the look of a room can be costly and time consuming. Here are three quick and simple ways to change the look of your room without busting the budget.

  1. Window Treatments are one of the quickest, simplest and most affordable ways to change the whole look and feel of a room. If you prefer to take the focus away from the windows, choose neutral colors, and a simple style. If you would like to create a dramatic look and emphasize the view, choose more color or a bolder style in the window treatments. A layered look with sheers or a top treatment will also do the trick.
  2. Lighting can definitely add color. A simple solution would be to add colored bulbs to some of your light fixtures. Incandescent lighting can also add more warmth, and accent lighting can highlight an area of the room. Transform a room’s mood with dimmers, uplights, and sheer textile lampshades. Wall sconces, floor lamps and even candles can also change the look of a room.
  3. Artwork can change the look without busting the budget. Artwork can be from a local gallery, children’s drawings or just what you already have hanging around the house. Choose pieces that showcase intense colors but also work well with the existing pieces in your room. Try moving your current artwork around. Photos, vases, and other collectibles can give new life to a room. Group them in sets of three or five for an instant eye-catching display.
The possibilities are endless. You can infuse a lot of color into any room without once having to pry open a paint can or spend a fortune. Have fun!