Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 12/17/2017

Buying a new home is an exciting prospect. Touring a house can feel like walking around your favorite store, picking out all of the things you love. It's easy to get distracted by things like fresh paint or nice furniture†and forget to look for important structural aspects of the home that can make or break a deal. Most sellers will be honest and straightforward with you about the state†of the home. In some cases, they are required by law to inform you about costly issues with the home (lead paint or sewage issues, for example). Other times, a seller is under no legal obligation to inform you about potential problems†with the home. In these instances, you'll need to rely on your own†senses. To help you out, we've compiled a list of the top ten red flags to beware of when buying a home.

  1. Fresh paint† It's common practice when selling a house to put a fresh coat of paint on the walls. It's an inexpensive way to spruce up the home for potential buyers. Sometimes, however, the paint is used as a quick fix for hiding more serious issues. Water damage, mold, and mildew can all be covered up, momentarily, by a coat of paint.
  2. Strong odors We say "strong" rather than "bad" odors because sometimes someone selling a home will try to mask bad smells with air fresheners or candles. Bad smells in a house can be the result of plumbing issues, humidity, indoor smokers, water damage, pet urine, uncleanliness, and any number of undesirable things.
  3. Bad roofing Missing, broken or stacked shingles are all signs that the roof is in need of repair--a costly fix you probably want to avoid if buying a new home.
  4. Cracked foundation A damaged foundation could be a sign of serious structural problems with the house. Especially in sloped areas, cracked foundations can lead to water damage in the basement.
  5. Poor wiring† Don't be afraid to ask to test out the lights and outlets in a home or take a look at breaker boxes. Flickering lighting and faulty outlets are signs that a home is in need of electric work.
  6. Pest issues† Many people underestimate the power of insects when it comes to damaging a home. Wood-eating termites and carpenter ants can both devastate the structure of a home and usually results in an expensive repair.†Noticing ants is a huge red flag, but if you suspect a home could have an infestation for any reason try to get it inspected by a pest control firm before you make the deal.
  7. Locked doors and off-limit rooms† When touring a home there should be no areas that you aren't allowed to see. A locked door or "do not enter" sign are all red flags that the seller may be hiding something in that room.
  8. Leaking faucets Small plumbing issues like leaky faucets or toilets that run excessively are signs that there could be even larger issues with the plumbing in the house.
  9. Deserted neighborhood Multiple homes for sale in the neighborhood, deteriorating buildings and closed businesses are all signs of a problem neighborhood. It could be due to economic issues or a decaying community, but either way these are things you'll want to consider before moving into a new neighborhood.
  10. Defective windows† Windows that are sealed shut, fogged up, or won't open or close are all signs of costly repairs. You're going to depend on windows for the security of your home, lighting and aesthetic, and to a minor degree for retaining heat. They should all function properly.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 3/31/2013

Smoke detectors save lives. Many people may be lulled into a false sense of security thinking they have smoke detectors in their home. Smoke detectors that are not installed or maintained properly are not safe. Here are a few tips on what you need to know about buying, installing, and maintaining your smoke detectors: What should I buy? The National Burn Institute recommends only buying smoke alarms tested by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). You will also want to make sure the smoke detector has a battery backup. Smoke detectors that don't work in a power outage are no good. Consider buying a combination smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector, they may be more expensive, but well worth the money. There are two main types of smoke alarms, which are categorized by the type of smoke detection sensor used in the alarm. They are ionization and photoelectric. Ionization smoke detectors Ionization detectors respond quickly to flaming fires with smaller combustion particles. They†contain a chamber with two plates that generate a small, continuous electric current. When smoke enters the ionization chamber, the smoke particles disrupt the current flow, which triggers the alarm. Photoelectric smoke detectors Photoelectric detectors respond more quickly to smoldering fires. They†use a light beam and light receptor. When smoke is present between the light and receptor, the photocell sensor triggers the alarm. Combination smoke detectors The best smoke alarms can sense both types of fires (flaming and smoldering). For the highest degree of safety and preparedness, there are combination smoke alarms also that combine ionization and photoelectric detectors into one unit, called dual sensor smoke alarms. Check with your local fire department to see what kind of detector they recommend. Installation and Maintenance Smoke detectors should be installed on each floor, outside of every bedroom and sleeping area and near any air vents. Detectors should also be installed high on walls or on ceilings because smoke rises. Avoid installing detectors near windows, doors or where there are openings where smoke can escape. Check with your local fire department for specific regulations on the placement of detectors. Smoke detectors have a lifespan of about seven to 10 years, and it's important to replace old detectors according to the model's recommendations. Test your alarmís batteries monthly and remember to replace all batteries at least once a year. Clean and vacuum the grill of your detector to get rid of dust and debris. Other maintenance includes a monthly testing of the alarm and cleaning with a vacuum hose about once every month.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 4/22/2012

In order for your home to maintain value and to continually look in good condition, it is important that you maintain it on a regular basis. However, to ensure that you get the best quality maintenance, it is important that you find the right type of service to fix up homes. There is the choice of doing it yourself, but remember that while small jobs can be easy, when it comes to more complex maintenance work, you are better off using a professional service, because this in turn will ensure that you do get the right results once your home has been maintained. Maintaining a home can range from keeping the roof in good condition so that it does not leak during those rainy seasons, to replacing your windows so that you keep your home insulated from the heat and cold, which in turn can save you a lot of money on energy bills. Of course, there are also those intricate jobs such as plumbing, replacing the floor, and unblocking the drain. By finding a reputable service that can fix up homes, you can feel comfortable knowing that you can use them over the years, because as they begin to maintain one area of your home, there will always be something else that will pop up later down the road. Therefore, take your time to do a good amount of research on one of these services, which can easily be done by going on the Internet. The reason for this is because many of these maintenance services now have an online presence, so you will be able to get a good idea of exactly what they offer and get an idea of what they are charging for that service.