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Home Inspections: What to Expect

by The Jansen Team

So you made an offer, it was accepted, and now your next task is to have the home inspected prior to closing. Oftentimes, agents make your offer contingent on a clean home inspection.

This contingency allows you to renegotiate the price you paid for the home, ask the sellers to cover repairs, or even, in some cases, walk away. Your agent can advise you on the best course of action once the report is filed.

How to Choose an Inspector

Your agent will most likely have a short list of inspectors that they have worked with in the past that they can recommend to you. Consider the following 5 areas when choosing the right home inspector for you:

  1. Qualifications – find out what’s included in your inspection and if the age or location of your home may warrant specific certifications or specialties.
  2. Sample Reports – ask for a sample inspection report so you can review how thoroughly they will be inspecting your dream home. The more detailed the report, the better in most cases.
  3. References – do your homework – ask for phone numbers and names of past clients who you can call to ask about their experiences.
  4. Memberships – Not all inspectors belong to a national or state association of home inspectors, and membership in one of these groups should not be the only way to evaluate your choice. Membership in one of these organizations often means that continued training and education are provided.
  5. Errors & Omission Insurance – Find out what the liability of the inspector or inspection company is once the inspection is over. The inspector is only human after all, and it is possible that they might miss something they should have seen.

Ask your inspector if it’s okay for you to tag along during the inspection, that way they can point out anything that should be addressed or fixed.

Don’t be surprised to see your inspector climbing on the roof or crawling around in the attic and on the floors. The job of the inspector is to protect your investment and find any issues with the home, including but not limited to: the roof, plumbing, electrical components, appliances, heating & air conditioning systems, ventilation, windows, the fireplace and chimney, the foundation, and so much more!

Bottom Line

They say ‘ignorance is bliss,’ but not when investing your hard-earned money into a home of your own. Work with a professional who you can trust to give you the most information possible about your new home so that you can make the most educated decision about your purchase.

 

Information in this post taken from: https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2018/05/08/home-inspections-what-to-expect/?utm_campaign=Blog_Promo&utm_medium=email&utm_source=email-automated&utm_content=DailyBlogSubscription&utm_term=BlogPost​ 

How To Keep Your Home Running Smoothly, Month by Month

by The Jansen Team

Maintenance on your home is extremely important, especially if you want to avoid costly repairs. Experts say in order to keep your home running smoothly, month by month, stick to this basic checklist:

January:

  • Clean kitchen light fixtures
  • Declutter

February:

  • Dust baseboards and vents
  • Clean light fixtures in the living and dining rooms

March:

  • Wash and fluffs pillows and bedding
  • Turn, rotate, and vacuum mattresses
  • Test and replace smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries

April:

  • Get the HVAC system serviced
  • Clean gutters
  • Check decks and wooden exterior features

May:

  • Review contents of your emergency kit
  • Clean light fixtures in the master bedroom

June:

  • Get ducts and vents cleaned
  • Wash windows inside and out
  • Check the attic
  • Clean light fixtures in other bedrooms

July:

  • Deep-clean the refrigerator and freezer
  • Clean the dishwasher
  • Dust ceilings, corners, and ceiling fans

August:

  • Get an annual inspection of the chimney and fireplace
  • Touch up paint inside and out where needed
  • Clean light fixtures in living and dining rooms

September:

  • Trim back overgrown and dead branches
  • Check caulking and weather stripping around windows and doors
  • Wash and fluff pillows and bedding
  • Test and replace smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries

October:

  • Get the HVAC system serviced
  • Vacuum or sweep the garage
  • Service and winterize outdoor equipment

November:

  • Clean gutters
  • Shut down water for winter
  • Vacuum the basement or storage areas
  • Dust baseboards and vents
  • Clean master bedroom light fixtures
  • Dust ceilings, corners, and ceiling fans

December:

  • Vacuum lampshades
  • Assess holiday decorations
  • Clean light fixtures in the bedrooms

Every month:

  • Spot-clean furniture
  • Wash kitchen and bath mats
  • Wipe switches, phones, computer keyboards, and remotes
  • Wipe down appliances

Quarterly:

  • Spot-clean walls
  • Change furnace filters
  • Clean bathroom light fixtures and exhaust fans
  • Clean window treatments and blinds
  • Clean the oven

​​

Information from this article found at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/how-to-keep-your-house-running-smoothly-month-by-month/2018/01/02/6c537712-db88-11e7-b859-fb0995360725_story.html?utm_term=.de10ee0264be​ 

10 Ways To Get Ready For Spring!

by The Jansen Team

The official date of spring is March 20th. Now is the time for stepping out into the yard, inspecting your property, and preparing for warm weather. Here are some helpful tips for you:

 1. 

Put out water, seeds, and suet for birds.

 2. 

Replace storm windows with original screens.

 3. 

Clean gutters: clear any blockages, leaves or branches.

 4. 

Call a chimney sweep for maintenance after the winter season.

 5. 

Check/replace air conditioning filters (Have your HVAC system inspected at least once a year).

 6. 

Clear old foliage from flower beds and yard.

 7. 

De-clutter your home: focus on desks, closets, office spaces, etc.

 8. 

Check your sub pump for proper operation.

 9. 

Prepare an emergency kit with flashlights.

 10. 

Make any minor repairs to exterior.

We wish you a beautiful, refreshing Spring!

Home Decor Trends for 2018

by The Jansen Team

Looking for a way to keep your home fresh with the new year?

Here is a list... 

Complementing Colors that Also Contrast
Bright red and vibrant blue or cool grey and a playful green. While these types of colors provide a deep and dimensional contrast, they also complement each other quite well.

Everything is Getting a Little Fringe
In the coming year, you will see throw pillows, wall hangings, even some furniture pieces adorned with a stylish new brand of fringe.

Artisan Crafted Everything!
Anything hand crafted and artisanal inspired will definitely be trending. In many ways, 2018 will pay homage to the timelessness of true craftsmanship.

Simply Fun Rugs
Featuring everything from giant clocks, to tropical prints, to geometric shapes, area rugs in any room of the house are going to be a very popular, and potentially colorful choice!

Farmhouse Meets Fabulous
A reinvented farmhouse style will be a recurrent design motif in 2018. In the new year, farmhouse style will enter with a whole new level of chicness added to it.

Make your home hot for 2018!

Easy Winter Preparation

by The Jansen Team


 

Here are just a few steps that may help you lower your utility bills and protect your biggest investment.

•           Reverse Your Ceiling Fans - If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the fan's blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat. The fan will produce an updraft and push down into the room heated air from the ceiling.

•           Caulk Around Doors and Windows Plus Add Weatherstripping - Silicone caulk is best for exterior use because it won’t shrink and it’s impervious to the elements. Weatherstripping can help seal air leaks in areas of your home, such as doors, windows and attic access points.

•           Clean the Gutters and Check Downspouts - If your gutters are full of leaves, twigs, etc., water can back up against the house and damage roofing, siding and wood trim. Add extensions to downspouts so that water runs at least 3 to 4 feet away from the foundation.

•           Chimney Sweep - Make sure your fireplace (or any heating appliance burning gas, oil, wood or coal), chimney and vents are clean and in good repair. That will prevent chimney fires and prevent carbon monoxide from creeping into your home.

•           Check Snow Supplies and Equipment - Make sure you have snow shovels and a roof rake on hand. Stock your ice melting compound to melt ice on walkways. Have your snow blower and generator serviced before you need it.

Welcome to the winter season!

Homeownership Tips You Might Not Think About

by The Jansen Team

Whether you recently became a homeowner, you have bought your second or third home, or you are about to take the plunge and buy your dream home, you are have a great responsibility! As we have discussed before, being a homeowner has its many benefits. When you purchase a home, you are making a sound financial investment in your future. But in order to get the most out of that investment, homeowners need to keep up with annual maintenance of their home.

 

Read on to find out which maintenance tasks are absolutely essential for homeowners to perform each year. If you do, you’ll have an investment that will appreciate for years to come.

 

Save 1% of the home’s value. The general rule of thumb is that annual maintenance of a home will cost about 1% of the home’s value. So, even if you don’t have plans for big renovation projects, it would be wise to plan on setting aside at least 1% of the home’s value. The truth is that, as a homeowner, expenses can and will hit you from every direction, and often when you least expect it. Costs like a new roof or driveway can potentially eclipse that 1% figure on their own, so you always want to be prepared.

 

Update your emergency kit. You don’t necessarily need a bunker full of years’ worth of provisions, but as a homeowner, you absolutely need to be prepared for weather emergencies that may leave you without power for a day or two. It’s important to keep this kit in a safe, easy to find place, and to make sure that it always has the things that it needs, such as flashlights, canned goods, batteries, and first aid. Check it once a year to make sure nothing is expired or needs replacing.

 

Know your humidity. As you probably know, humidity can cause problems in a house. Too much humidity can cause dangerous health problems like mildew and mold. Too little can cause surfaces to crack and peel, not to mention potential itchiness and sore throats. Buy a hygrometer and check that the humidity in your home is between 30-50%.

 

Salt your water softener. Many homeowners don’t know that they need to maintain their water softener by adding salt periodically. Without having the proper amount of (rock, NOT table) salt in the water softener, the minerals present in the water will start to harden and form big, heavy mineral rocks. These will ruin your water softener and you’ll have to replace it. For a guide to salt and your water softener, click here.

 

Take a photo. Taking a photo is a great way for you to not only track the evolution of your home through time, but to also be able to notice small things that may need your attention. Whether it’s peeling paint or a gutter that has come loose, taking a photo and comparing it to previous years’ versions will help you stay on top of the little things that add up over time.

 

We hope this blog has got you thinking about what it takes to be a smart homeowner. If you have questions about homeownership, the Omaha real estate market, or working with The Jansen Team, we would love to hear from you! Click here to get in touch.

Home Fixes: When to DIY and When to Call a Pro

by The Jansen Team


 

If you’re thinking about selling your home in the future, you’ll want to start thinking about ways that you can improve the value and the curb appeal of your home well before you actually put it on the market. At the Jansen Team, we know the importance of home staging (did you know it’s part of our services we offer when you hire the Jansen Team?!) So when it comes time to invite potential buyers into the house, you can feel confident that it’s going to feel light, bright, and inviting.

 

But, even before we start thinking about staging your home, you’ll likely want to undertake a few home improvement projects so that you can get the absolute best purchase price out of your home. However, while some fixes you can handle yourself (with maybe a little help from YouTube), others require a licensed professional to handle the job. Read on to find out when to DIY and when to call a pro.

 

A good rule of thumb is: if it could be dangerous, call a professional. Anything involving electrical or gas lines can obviously cause a fire or explosion, so that is definitely an area where a professional is required. Using power tools can also be dangerous if you don’t know how to use them properly. If a project ever calls for a tool that you do not know how to use, call a professional. It is not safe to use tools you are unfamiliar with. Remember: you want to get that project done (and save some money) but your health and safety is the most important thing!

 

Another important rule of thumb is: if it could cause permanent damage to the home, call a professional. The other thing to remember when considering a DIY project is, is there any way this could go wrong a permanently damage the home? The idea with home projects is to increase the value of the home. For example, if you started blindly tearing down a wall without realizing that it was load-bearing, you would be in for an unpleasant surprise. If you aren’t sure about the structural implications of a project you’re about to take on, that’s a sign that it’s probably not a good idea.

 

So, what kind of project can you do? Generally, anything that you have the experience and skill to do. Generally, projects that begin with a person saying, “I’ve never done it before, but how hard could it be?” don’t end up looking great. And it’s important to keep your end goal in mind here. Spending a little money now will directly translate into a larger sale price when you actually list the home. Simple, cosmetic repairs like painting, scrubbing, and adding or changing fixtures could all show up on a list of safe, easy DIY tasks for the would-be home seller.

 

If you’ve been considering whether to DIY or call a pro, we hope this blog has been helpful. Remember, professional work will look better in the end, and when it comes to potential buyers walking into your space, first impressions matter! If you need help finding a professional in the Omaha area, get in touch with The Jansen Team today. We have lots of great connections and we will be happy to advise you throughout the process and help you get the best possible price for your home.

4 Reasons You Will Feel at Home in a New Build

by The Jansen Team


 

Many aren’t sure exactly what they want when they begin the homebuying process. They have an idea of some of the things that are most important to them, but may not be sure about the answer to one big question. That is, whether you should buy a renovation or a new build. We work with homebuyers in the Omaha area every year, and many come to the conclusion that a new build will offer more of what they are looking for.

 

Below, we’ll talk about 5 of the major reasons why so many people ultimately reach that decision.

 

Customized Just For You

 

Most builders have options for different sized floor plans, but that’s not where the customization ends. Not even close. Typically, you can dictate much of the layout and functionality of your home. Need an expanded mud room area? No problem. Need a certain type of shower fixture to satisfy your style? Consider it done. You’ll also take a certain satisfaction in knowing that you are the first owner of the home and you are really in control of what it becomes.

 

All New Everything

 

You also shouldn’t underestimate the value of all new updated guts and appliances. We can’t tell you how many new homeowners have seen the estimate of their renovation skyrocket when they find out that the old house they just bought needs new plumbing and electrical work. Buying a new build guarantees that all the work is up to current code and has been done with high quality, modern materials. This also means newer, more efficient appliances, which will save you money in the long run.

 

Save on Maintenance

 

When you have new appliances, wiring, plumbing, roof, etc, it follows that you’re going to have to spend a lot less on maintenance of those big ticket items over the time you spend in the house. When you decide to buy a fixer-upper, you’re also accepting the fact that you’re most likely going to have to deal with certain aspects of the home needing fixing or replacing sooner than later. Buying new delays those costs for a good many years.

 

Look to the Future

 

For many, buying a new home is about planning for the future and establishing a home base where you and your family will make memories for years to come. That’s why so many people feel comfort in knowing that they can grow into the house together, and that the house itself likely has many more years ahead of it, should the original owner ever want to sell. It also means that, as the original owner, the house will retain a better resale value than if it was an older home. At the same time, newer homes are better equipped for the energy efficient and technological innovations that just about everyone wants to see integrated into their home today.


In conclusion, every homebuyer is a little bit different in their wants and needs. But we have seen a pattern over time of people realizing that, for many reasons, a new build is the right move for them. Want to start looking for your dream home today? Start here, with an easy online search. If you’d like to learn about new home builders in the area, contact us today. We’d love to talk about building your dream home!

8 Things to Keep in Mind for Your Next Renovation

by The "Did It Again" Jansen Team

1. Make a list of what you want to change.

Look at websites, Pinterest, magazines or model homes to get inspiration for the redesign. Write down what you like and why you like it, and look online and at your local home store to get pricing ideas. Once you know what you want to change, prioritize each item for what gets done first. Refer to your list throughout the project to help keep you on track.

2. Consider your resources.

Time budget and energy all come in play. When deciding between an update and an overhaul, take into consideration the amount of time, money and energy that you'll have to dedicate to the project. And - add 20%.

3. Set a budget. 

Once you figure out hoe much you can spend, subtract 20-30% from this number and set it aside for emergencies.

4. Sketch it out.

A rough sketch of the layout will help you narrow down the fixtures, cabinets and storage options you'd like to incorporate.

5. Measure everything more than once.

It may sound persnickety, but take the time to measure things twice to ensure you don't make costly mistakes or painful corrections.

6. Replace the underlayment.

A tempting item to skimp but just not worth it! If you are ripping up flooring and fixtures, this is the time to replace the underlayment. Not only does this allow you to start fresh, it also gets rid of any water damage, pet smells or other issues.

7. Reduce the impact of the renovation.

Move your stuff and prepare to camp out a bit. For a bathroom, organize everything well in the new space. For a kitchen, even the best of temporary quarters can get dusty and make the cook grumpy. Plan alternative cooking facilities, grill outdoors, or make a deal with a local restaurant.

8. Check references of all vendors.

Keep track of the details! Keep a file on any workman, designers, and all of the materials. Warranties can come by email, stuck in a box or taped to the side. A finish schedule is a must for touch-ups later. And - when reselling, buyers love an excel spreadsheet with every paint, stain, finish and where/when items were purchased for the home.

 

 

6 CAUSES FOR FAILED WINDOW SEALS

by Guest Blogger

Having an effective window seal is necessary to reduce the escape of heat from your home as well as the occurrence of drafts. Understanding the cause is the first step in knowing how to rectify it in order to keep your windows properly sealed.

1. Age

There are not many types of window seal that come with a lifetime guarantee, and this will especially be the case when it comes to older windows. You are likely to find that the older the method of weather protection, the more likely it is to fail. By updating the weather stripping on your windows as and when it is required, you can ensure that it continues to work effectively.

2. Elements

Though window seals are designed to withstand whatever the elements can throw at them, there is a limit to what they can take! For example, where certain types of seal are deluged with a large volume of rain on a regular basis, the water can seep behind it and cause it to lift. This can make the failure even worse as the seal will not be flush with the window frame and will allow water and cold air to pass through. Where water comes into contact with metal parts of some types of weather stripping, rust can result which will eventually cause corrosion if it is not rectified as soon as it is noticed.   

3. Mold

If your window regularly suffers condensation which is not wiped away, the window seal can often be affected by mold. This can destroy the effectiveness of the seal, especially when it is made from materials such as rubber. If you notice any mold or discoloration, ensure that you clean it immediately with an alcohol-based cleaner to kill the spores, or with vinegar if you want to use a more natural cleaning substance.                                 

4. Temperature

The proximity of window seals to the external facade of your home means that it can be subject to extremes of temperature. As well as prolonged exposure to extremes of heat or cold, sudden changes to the temperature can cause some types of window seal to crack shrink or sag which will make the weather protection less effective if it does not negate it completely.

5. Movement

If the window seal has not been fitted correctly or has become dislodged over time, it will not work well as a weatherization method as the weather stripping needs to be fitted in a particular place depending on the variety used and the type of window. All the correct tools and fasteners should be used to fit all weather stripping and replacements must be made when it is necessary.

6. Maintenance

The instructions that come with most types of weather stripping will often outline what needs to be done in order to maintain it and keep it at its best. Though this will usually mean nothing more than wiping it to keep it dry and clean, it may also outline particular cleaning substances that can be used. Make sure that you undertake the work required to maintain the stripping in line with the material it is made from.

 

 

Stop by the Home Show 2/18-2/21 and see us at booth 844

Sincerely,

Excel Window Solutions and Screenmobile
402-215-3838

Get the fog out!

 

Thanks to our friends at Excel Window Solutions in Omaha for sharing such valuable information to home window maintenance and/or getting a home ready for sale!

- The Jansen Team

 

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The Jansen Team
NP Dodge Real Estate
601 N. 108th Circle
Omaha NE 68154 USA
402 330 5954
Fax: 402-330-5365