Tips for Interior Painting

Painting a home’s interior make a dramatic improvement in how the room looks. Making the decision to paint is a simple one, but painting the wrong way result in a complete mess. To avoid mistakes, there are certain things you can do to ensure that your painting job turns out perfectly the first time.

Mix multiple cans of paint into one large container

The exact same paint color can vary from can to can. This means that when you finish with one can of paint, the contents of the next can look slightly different, creating an uneven look on the wall. In order to avoid this issue, pour several cans of paint into one large container. Mix it all together, and you’ll end up with a uniform, consistent color that is ready to be spread over large surfaces.

Prep your walls thoroughly by cleaning them before you begin painting

A dirty, dusty wall will lead to a dirty, dusty paint job. In addition, paint does not adhere properly to dirty walls. In order to make sure that your newly painted walls are pristine, clean them before you begin painting. Remove dirt, grime, scuff marks on walls and baseboards with a cloth and warm soapy water. Use a mop to get into hard-to-reach corners of the ceiling, removing cobwebs and dust. A diluted vinegar solution can be used to wipe any residue off the walls, usually causing no damage.

Prepping for painting may take a bit more time and effort, but doing so can help ensure that you end up with professional-looking, beautiful results.

For more on smoothing wall imperfections and picking a good primer, see JasonCohenPittsburgh.org.

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7 Open House Mistakes to Avoid

For agents, a good impression at an open house is a jump start toward a successful sale. A bad impression can hurt future opportunities by leading to negative reviews and word of mouth.

Obtain a good impression by steering clear of these mistakes during your next open house.

No Marketing

Today’s buyers don’t read a front lawn sign or read a newspaper. Agents must take the announcement to them….

No Parking

It’s problematic to accommodate every buyer with a great parking space, but it’s mandatory. No buyer wants to attend an open house without ensuring his or her vehicles are safe

Both Unpleasant and Pleasant Smells

Agents know to remove unpleasant smells. However, good smells like candles or air fresheners can irritate buyers too, triggering allergies and sensitivity…

Unwanted Guests

Buyers are at ease talking to an agent rather than speaking to the seller. Although not intentional, sellers and his/her family annoy buyers with their bias viewpoint of the home…

Background Noise

Like smells, music playing in the background is a distraction….

Blocking Rooms

What are sellers hiding?…

Pitch Black

Similar to music and blocked rooms, a dark house is a signal for hiding something….

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To read my full blog and get all the info you need for your next open house, please visit this link to the full version of my blog

 

The Basics of Home Inspection

Home-Inspection-101-Basics-Jason-Cohen-Pittsburgh

Prior to buying a property, you’ll want to ensure that you hire a reputable, qualified inspector to examine the home’s overall condition. No house is perfect, but you should know what you’re getting into if you want to avoid unforeseen problems later down the road.

Home inspections can also be helpful for homeowners who wish to proactively examine their existing property, or sellers who want to learn of any problems before listing their property.

Generally, it’s recommended that your inspector be ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) certified. It is a highly respected non-profit organization that promotes excellence in home inspection.

What Do They Inspect?

A typical home inspection covers a handful of basic areas:

  • Exterior. The inspector will examine roofing and flashing materials, decks and chimneys, drainage conditions, etc.
  • Interior. Plumbing, electric, windows, doors, HVAC systems will all be inspected to insure they were installed correctly and are still in working order. This part of the inspection is extremely important because it could raise red flags that weren’t noticed by an untrained eye.
  • Attics and Basements. No part of the home goes unseen. The inspector will look in every accessible crawl space and floor level to examine insulation, ventilation, and ensure that everything is in working order.

Inspectors know that a home might be lived in when they come to look at it. However, it’s in your best interest to ensure that the inspector can easily navigate through the home to give the most accurate report possible.

Should I Be At the Inspection?

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For the rest of this article, please see my full version on my personal blog

How Crime Rates Affect the Real Estate Market

Many factors affect a potential homeowner’s decision to buy a house, but one of the most important is safety. Neighborhoods with low crime rate are much more attractive than those with a higher tendency for crime.

Crime and the Real Estate Market

Because housing markets fluctuate due to a plethora of different factors, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact role of crime rate in the overall health of a market. However, there is one common thread that was discovered in a 2010 study by researchers at Florida State University. They found that robbery and aggravated assault most highly influenced housing values across different neighborhoods. Another study from the University of Troy found that an area’s home prices fell 0.25% for every 1% increase in violent crime.

Another interesting trend is that sometimes crime rate in one city can affect the real estate prices in another. For example, if City A slashes their police force in half and crime rates rise, neighboring City B may experience a spike in home prices because of people moving to that city. This happened in California back in 2008.

Potential Homeowners

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It’s not uncommon for homeowners to research an area’s crime rate before house hunting in that region. They would rather know in advance than be surprised after they move in. A history of high or rising crime rates may also take these areas off a homeowner’s option list entirely. When this becomes a pattern, it leads to the overall decrease in an area’s property value.

Pittsburgh Crime Rates

Unfortunately, Pittsburgh has one of the nation’s highest violent crime rates across all communities. In the entire state of Pennsylvania, you have a 1 in 316 chance of being a victim of a violent crime. In Pittsburgh, your chances jump to 1 in 126. Pittsburgh residents also have a 1 in 30 chance of becoming the victim of a property crime, such as burglary, theft or motor vehicle theft.

Crime Prevention Methods

When the residents of an area understand how crime affects their property values and other aspects of the community (such as business, school quality, etc.), they’re more invested in finding effective methods for crime prevention. Two common examples are neighborhood watch programs and after school programs to teach good habits from a young age. If you’re concerned about your neighborhood’s safety, get involved with the community to find solutions.