Jan. 15, 2021

Charity of the Month : January : Big Brothers Big Sisters

 

Here at Elite West Realty, we give back to a local charity at every closing. We've donated more than $10,000 to local charities in the last two years alone - our favorite company stat! One of our goals is to continue increasing our charitable donations year over year. How can you help? By simply referring your friends and family to Elite West!

Now on to this month's donation recipient, Big Brothers Big Sisters' Powell branch!

"Big Brothers Big Sisters is not your typical organization. We help children realize their potential and build their biggest possible futures. We nurture children and strengthen communities."

To Learn More about this wonderful organization, click here to visit their site!

 

Posted in Local Charities
Nov. 30, 2020

Boost The Mood Of Your Space

If you’re still working from home, you may be feeling down about your current space. While working from home can be fun, it is important to make sure your space keeps you motivated. The best way to do that is to change up your style! Here are some of the easiest ways to boost the mood of your space:

Compartmentalize

If you’re working at home, it is easy to get distracted by your typical home responsibilities since they are now right in front of your face. To stay focused on work, try designating different areas for certain activities. By assigning specific areas for fitness, work and leisure, you will have an easier time letting your brain and body know what you should be focusing on.

Try Some Color

Adding an accent wall, or even painting a whole room, is one of the easiest ways to immediately boost the mood of a room. Consider adding a feature wall with a pop of color or lighting up the space where you work during the day. If you’re not ready to commit to painting your walls you can use accessories like throw pillows, curtains, or artwork to bring color into your space.

Declutter!

Spending more time at home can make a space that didn’t seem cramped before feel overwhelming. There’s no better way to bring harmony to your space than decluttering. While having a clean, decluttered space is aesthetically pleasing, it can also reduce your stress and help you stay focused on work instead of worrying about all the clutter in your field of vision during the day.

Try a Digital Detox

Staying informed is important, and many jobs require technology, but cutting down on screen time can greatly impact how you feel in your space. To reduce screen dependence, set up manageable boundaries based on time or place. Designate phone-free times or remove tech devices from your bedroom for a daily reset.

Lighten Up

If your home is now your office, you can now control the light conditions of your workday. Natural light is one of the best ways to literally and figuratively lighten up a space. Try positioning your desk near a window and keep drapes and shades open during the daytime. You can also add reflective surfaces to enhance the light in dark rooms.

Posted in Homeowner Tips
Nov. 30, 2020

What Do I Do About Radon?

Chances are you don’t worry too much about radon until it is time to buy a home. Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas that comes from the natural decay of uranium, which can be found in nearly all soil types. It can travel through the soil, into the air and into your home through cracks, gaps or the water supply. Radon isn’t picky about the homes it enters, found in all types from new builds to 100-year-old homes. Radon causes approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year, second only to smoking. You can’t see, smell or taste radon. It can take years of exposure before health problems become apparent. The EPA estimates that as many as 8 million U.S. homes contain elevated levels of radon.

So, how do you know if your home has radon? Having testing done is the only way to check your home’s radon levels. Some states already regulate providers of radon measurement and mitigation services by requiring registration, certification or licensing. If your state does not regulate testers, you can buy a radon test kit online or from a home improvement store. When buying or selling, the EPA recommends radon testing before finalizing any real estate transaction. Reported as pCi/l, or pico curies per liter, radon levels of 4pCi/l or higher is unacceptable. If your first test comes back higher than 4pCi,I, you should retest. If a second test also comes back with an unacceptable reading, you will need to take steps to reduce your home’s radon levels.

The most common radon mitigation systems rely on fans. Placed in an attic or outside the building, the fans are used to draw air out from under a crawl space, basement, or concrete slab. The fans reroute gases coming from the soil beneath your house to the outside the structure, far enough they can’t re-enter through the windows. Once your mitigation work is complete, you should have your home retested to ensure the radon is gone.

Posted in Homeowner Tips
Nov. 30, 2020

Why Did My Credit Score Drop?

If you’ve seen a change in your credit score recently, you may be wondering why. There are a number of factors that contribute to a dropping credit score and it is important to know what may be causing that! When buying a home, it is important to maintain your credit and not make any major purchases that could impact your score. Here are the top 5 reasons for a drop in credit:

YOU MADE A LATE PAYMENT

Accounting for about 30% of your total rating, your payment history has a big impact on your credit score. If you make a loan or credit card payment more than a month after the due date, it could cause your credit score to drop. A payment 60-90+ days late will have an even greater impact on your score.

YOU MADE A LARGE PURCHASE

Your credit utilization ratio can largely impact your credit score. Your ratio is how much of your credit you use in relation to your total available credit. The goal is to have a lower ratio so if you’ve been using more of your available credit lately, you may see a drop in your score. If for any reason your credit limit is lowered, it can impact your credit utilization ratio and impact your score.

AN ACCOUNT GOES TO COLLECTION

Timely payments on all accounts is an important part of your credit journey. Late payments on credit cards, loans, to medical facilities, student loans and utilities can be sent to a collection agency, which could in turn show up in your credit report.

YOU OPENED A NEW LINE OF CREDIT

When you apply for new credit, you are giving lenders the permission to access a copy of your credit report, which is known as a hard inquiry on your credit. If your credit report indicates that you’ve applied for multiple new credit lines in a short period of time, your credit score may be impacted.

YOU CLOSED A CREDIT LINE

Closing a card means losing available credit, which could increase your credit utilization ratio. As a result, your credit score may drop. If closing a card helps you stop spending, it may be a good idea. Otherwise, it is usually wise to keep lines of credit open. The length of time you’ve had accounts open shows that you have a solid payment history, so that could be another reason to keep that card you’ve had awhile open if you are using it wisely!

Posted in Buyer Tips
Nov. 30, 2020

Prevent Cold Weather Falls On Your Property

Winter is coming which means an increased risk of ice on your property. While bad weather can be inevitable, decreasing fall risk at your home can help. Here are a few ways to just do that:

INDOOR TIPS

The first step to preventing your own falls start indoors. Preparing your entryways can help! Try placing skid-resistant door mats near entrances to dry your footwear. Make sure you check the bottoms of your feet each time you enter the home, and clean off the accumulated ice, snow or water. Keeping your floors as dry as possible is another great way to prepare your home.

OUTDOOR TIPS

To start, you will need adequate supplies of salt and sand. Clear your walkways and treat outdoor surfaces to prevent falls. Wooden porches, decks or steps can become especially slick in winter. Be sure to shovel and treat pathways with salt or sand immediately after storms. Prevent dangerous ice buildup by clearing sidewalks before snow is compacted by footsteps or melts and refreezes. Salt lowers the freezing point of water and can be spread on sidewalks or driveways to keep them from getting icy, or to help melt away ice that has already formed. Sand doesn’t melt ice but is applied to icy walkways to provide traction. If you don’t have sand on hand, other abrasive materials such as kitty litter, saw dust and wood ashes can be used to create traction on icy walkways. You will want to adjust downspouts to drive water away from pathways - it doesn’t take long for pooling water to become icy patches.

Posted in Homeowner Tips
Oct. 2, 2020

DIY Projects for the Entire Family

DIY Projects for the Entire Family

Having kids doesn’t mean home improvements need to go on the back burner. While children can’t help with every project, letting them help when the project meets their skill level will not only help them feel included, but it will also turn household projects into fun activities that everyone can enjoy. Here are a few projects that are kid-friendly!

Painting a Room

While the final layer should be done by an adult, letting the kids help with the undercoat is a great way to include them. They will get to feel like they played a part in making a change in your home and will be able to see that room and know they helped to make it new. If your kids are a little older, you may consider letting them help paint their room or letting them have a free wall to design as they wish.

Plant a Garden

Starting small with a window box, letting children help planting a garden has endless benefits. While teaching them the basics of gardening, they can also learn about the plants you choose and follow along on their journey of growth. Letting kids help can give them a sense of ownership while also playing in dirt. Does it get much better than that?

Cleaning Drains

While your first thought might be that this could be dangerous, don’t worry! You can clean your drains without using harsh store-bought chemicals. Your kids can help mix the non-toxic ingredients and you can turn it into a science experiment! You will just need to mix a cup of baking soda, half a cup of salt, and 1/4 cup cream of tartar. Let the kids pour half the mixture down the drain and then you can pour 2 cups of boiling water immediately after.

Posted in Homeowner Tips
Oct. 2, 2020

What Does Your Door Say About You?

 

What Does Your Door Say About You?

Doors don’t talk — but they can say a lot. Your front door is the first thing visitors will see, and it may say more about you than you think! If reading that made you think you might need to update your door or even replace it, now is the time to consider your options.

Steel, fiberglass and wood are the most popular material choices for exterior front doors. There are several styles that combine these materials like a fiberglass door with a wood frame. Here is a brief overview to help guide you toward a door that sends the message you want to be saying!

Steel

If security is your priority, a steel door might be best for you. Usually the least expensive option, steel doors start around $150 for a paneled door. The downside is that a steel door system with sidelights and stellar hardware can rival that of a quality solid-wood door system. Steel doors come in a variety of finishes and typically come as part of a pre-hung door system.

Wood

Solid-wood doors are the most expensive option but are a popular choice because of their versatility. Natural finish doors come in oak, cherry, walnut, mahogany, maple, fire and pine as well as paint-grade doors usually made of pine or western hemlock. A standard-size, six-panel pine door will cost around $600; similarly sized hardwood doors are considerably more expensive. A complete wood door system can cost close to $5,000 and only increase in price if additional items are added. If you love wood but not the price tag, consider a stock door with a wood-veneer skin.

Fiberglass-composite

Fiberglass-composite doors are gaining popularity for their durability and low maintenance. Fiberglass is much less susceptible to dings and dents and have wood grain texturing and can be stained to match natural woods. These doors usually come as complete entry systems with the frame. Depending on the investment you want to make, they can start at $200 for a door with no glazing or hardware but can cost upward of $4000 for a fully loaded fiberglass entry system.

Posted in Homeowner Tips
Oct. 2, 2020

Design Trends for 2021

Design Trends for 2021

It is hard to believe that 2020 is a little over 100 days away. With a new year approaching quickly, now is the time to start thinking about how you want to update your space in 2021. If you’re wondering how the design trends are looking for the new year, here is a great place to start!

Less Is More

After Marie Kondo took over last year, there is no surprise that the idea of ‘less is more’ is trending in the decor space. Take the time to check each space in your home and ensure your decor is intentional. Make sure all of your belongings have a place and that they all serve a purpose.

Scandinavian and Japanese style

Both cultures celebrate minimalism while also encouraging functionality. With white shades dominating spaces in this style, you will also find natural woods and materials in large spaces that are open and bright. 

Personalization

One of the most marked trends in interior design is focused on the personalization of your space. Take into account what you already love when creating spaces in your home without worrying about what others consider stylish or up-to-date. Let your creativity shine through your space.

A Touch of Color

Neutrals are great in most settings, but a pop of color allows you to add personality to your space. Yellow shades add warmth while blue shades give a sharpness and can be used to enhance certain elements of a room. If you want to introduce a little color, use colors inspired by nature.

Posted in Homeowner Tips
Oct. 2, 2020

How Often Should I Check My Roof?

How Often Should I Check My Roof?

While you may not think about your roof every day, you want to make sure that your roof stays in good shape and remains leak free. To do so, regular inspections need to be performed. But how often should that happen? According to the National Roofing Contractors Association, you should check your roof at least twice of year, during fall and spring. The mild weather of those seasons can help make inspecting the roof easier and it also allows you to ensure that your roof will be prepared potential seasonal weather hazards. While it may not be easy to complete an inspection as often as recommended, doing so will help prevent minor roof damage from leading to serious problems.

Preventing minor problems from turning into major ones will also save you money in the future. Your bi-yearly check can be done yourself unless you find reason for concern. Here are some things to look out for when doing a DIY inspection:

  • Broken or missing shingles

  • Cracked or curling caulk

  • Patches of moss/lichen

  • Worn or peeling plastic rubber boots around pipes or other roof projections

  • Cracked or rusted spots on metal flashings

  • Shingles that are blistering, cracking or buckling

  • Loose, cracked or rusted gutters

  • Crumbling or missing chimney mortar

  • Tree branches or other large debris

If during your own inspection you notice any cracked or rusted flashings or gutters, crumbling or missing chimney mortar, sunken spots in the roof, or several shingles that are buckling, cracking or missing, you should call a roofing company. A professional roofer can inspect both the inside and outside of your roof and give you peace of mind about the safety of your roof and your home.

 

Not sure who to call? Reach out to us and we can send you in the right direction!

Posted in Homeowner Tips
Oct. 2, 2020

Grey Is Out, Earth Tones Are In

Grey Is Out, Earth Tones Are In

Shades of tan were all the rage for years. It was impossible to find a home that had any ‘modern’ paint styles when wood finishes and brown decor were everywhere. Over the last half decade, there was a major shift to sleek white or gray walls paired with metal finishes. While it seemed like that trend would stick around for a while, it seems that home decor is slowly shifting back to earthy tones. If you love those hues or soft pastels, here are some colors that might inspire your next paint job!

Earth Tones

2020 has been the time to let nature inspire design. As many of us look for more ways to unplug in the time of COVID, shades of chestnut, burgundy, and deep olive green can offer a natural element to your indoor space. Try adding a dark earth tone to an accent wall as an easy way to introduce color into a neutral room.

Delicate Pastels

Soft pastels such as pale pinks, greens, and blues can bring peace to a space and give your eyes a chance to relax. Pastel colors with gray undertones can help diffuse the color saturation, making it softer on the eye. Try pastels on cabinetry, interior doors, or a bathroom vanity where the area already has neutral tones.

Posted in Homeowner Tips