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How to control indoor humidity

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

High humidity in the home can cause more than discomfort. Excessive moisture can promote mold and mildew growth, and when combined with warm temperatures can also allow dust mites to thrive. The causes of high relative humidity (RH) levels are varied. Showers, clothes dryers, steam from cooking, splashing from tubs and sinks, and other activities can increase humidity. Plumbing leaks, poor ventilation, and other structural and systemic issues are also likely culprits. If not addressed, excessive moisture can lead to odors, wood rot, problems with painted surfaces, and even structural damage.

The first step in determining if a home has elevated RH is to measure it using a hygrometer, which is readily available in hardware stores. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, keeping indoor humidity below 50% is best for warmer months, while levels as low as 30% are acceptable during colder weather. Measurements should be taken in various parts of the home to determine if high RH is localized to certain rooms or areas such as the basement or attic, or if the levels are elevated throughout the home.

Using exhaust fans to ventilate bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens is a very effective way to reduce RH. Exhaust fans should be used regularly and must be installed so that they vent to the outside. Another benefit is that odors and pollutants will be ventilated along with the moisture. Many newer exhaust fans are both extremely quiet and efficient. Exhaust fans should always be used especially after showering to not only rid the room of moisture-laden air, but to discourage condensation on walls, ceilings, and other surfaces.

Portable dehumidifiers can be used effectively in locally damp spaces such as a basement. Dehumidifiers work best at minimum temperatures of 65°F/18°C. If the space is cooler than this, the unit may ice up; some models have an automatic shutoff functions should this occur. The manufacturer will indicate the square footage appropriate for various models. A unit with insufficient capacity for a particular space will not effectively reduce humidity to desired levels and wastes energy, too.

Find and fix any local sources of excessive moisture. A leak in a basement or crawlspace wall can significantly raise humidity levels and should be addressed. Once the source of moisture is eliminated, RH in that area should fall. Be sure that clothes dryers vent to the outside at all times, and check the hose leading from the dryer to the vent to make sure it is clear of lint and other debris.

Questions? Comments? Looking to buy or sell a house in Miami or Sarasota, Florida? Contact Kijner & Sons International Realty at


Source: 25th Edition of CRS Consumer Article (January 15th, 2013) - CRS-Pillar To Post Partnership - Article courtesy of Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspection

The 2012 Curbed Cup Neighborhood Of The Year: Midtown!

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

Midtown Miami has just won the 2012 Curbed Cup as the "Neighborhood of the Year". Started in 2005 as a large scale urban development comprised of high rise residential buildings and retail stores, Midtown Miami is now famous for its outdoor entertainment district known as "Shops at Midtown" offering vistors and locals, some of Miami's best shops and trendy restaurants such as Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill and Mercadito. This trend neighborhood, south of the Miami Design District, is also home to "Art Miami", a yearly international contemporary and modern art fair.  

To read the full article, please click on the image below or here.

Questions? Comments? Looking to buy or sell a house in Miami, Florida? Contact Kijner & Sons International Realty at


Source: Curbed Miami, The Miami Neighborhoods and Real Estate Blog

Updating the kids’ rooms on a budget

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

Whether it’s food, clothing, or especially their rooms, children’s likes, dislikes and tastes are ever-changing. “Themed” bedrooms are constantly being outgrown, yet most parents want their kids to have an environment they’ll enjoy spending time in for play, homework, and sleep. No need to break the bank -- it’s possible to decorate and equip a child’s room using some imagination and not a lot of money. Here are some ideas on how to pull it off.

  • Paint is your friend. Nothing transforms a room like a new coat of paint, especially if you go with a bright or trendy color selected by your child. If your child is old enough, get him or her involved in painting the walls or trim, and be sure to keep some extra paint for sure-to-be-needed touchups. Changing the color again in a couple of years is not difficult or time consuming; watch the home stores for paint sales and make your move. Add to the color scheme with inexpensive throw pillows or pillow covers.
  • Think twice before creating an entire room based on a very specific theme, such as a popular cartoon character, dinosaurs or space travel. Kids often lose interest quickly and shift their attention to the next thing that captures their imaginations. Instead, consider using just a few relatively inexpensive elements to recognize these interests – posters and collages are just a couple of ways to include a theme without going overboard. Garage sales can also be a good source of well-priced themed items that were previously loved by another child.
  • For larger items such as dressers, bed frames and other furniture, see if your community has a website that lists items for sale or trade. A quick coat of paint and minor repairs may be all that’s needed to transform an inexpensive (or free) piece into a real find. This ultimate form of recycling is also a great way to find new life for unwanted items from your own home.
  • Shelves and bookcases make great places for children of any age to create ever-changing displays that reflect their interests – from artwork and action figures to favorite books, or gear from their sports teams of the moment. The flexibility of these spaces will be appreciated by small children to teenagers for years to come.

With some creativity and resourcefulness, you and your children can create personal spaces that they’ll love, and that can be changed and updated without spending a fortune.

Questions? Comments? Looking to buy or sell a house in Miami or Sarasota, Florida? Contact Kijner & Sons International Realty at


Source: 24th Edition of CRS Consumer Article (January 5th, 2012) - CRS-Pillar To Post Partnership - Article courtesy of Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspection

Considering Pre-Listing Home Inspections

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

As a real estate professional, you invest a great deal of time, money, and energy to market your listings. Between advertising, open houses, and meeting with clients, you need to get a good return on that investment. Don’t be caught unaware of problems that could seriously undermine your dedicated efforts to sell a home. Having a home inspected before it’s listed is more important than ever in the current real estate market, so make the most of your time and effort by recommending a professional home inspection prior to listing.

A pre-listing home inspection can uncover previously unknown problems – major and minor – allowing sellers the opportunity to make repairs or replacements as needed or as they wish. By addressing these issues before the home goes on the market, you can list a home with greater knowledge of its condition and will have a better chance of maximizing its value. Being aware of issues in advance will also allow for disclosure of problems when selling, which can result in cleaner offers and a smoother transaction for both parties. Having well-informed sellers and buyers will work to everyone’s advantage, including yours.

Be sure that the home inspection is comprehensive and that you can get the report immediately upon completion of the inspection. This will allow your sellers to get the information they need right away, so they can decide on their next steps prior to listing. Photographs should also always be part of a professional report so that full documentation of conditions is available to both the sellers and potential buyers. This is especially important when it comes to disclosure of issues that might not be addressed or repaired prior to sale.

With a pre-listing inspection in hand, you can market your sellers’ homes with confidence.

Questions? Comments? Looking to buy or sell a house in Miami or Sarasota, Florida? Contact Kijner & Sons International Realty at


Source: 24th Edition of CRS Consumer Article (December 19th, 2012) - CRS-Pillar To Post Partnership - Article courtesy of Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspection

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4




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