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6 Tips to Protect your Home While Away

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

 

With the holiday seasons upon us, many homeowners will be traveling out of state to visit friends and family, leaving their house unprotected to burglars. Kijner & Sons International Realty would like to share some tips with you on how to protect your home and belongings while you are away.  

1. Set timers on frequently used lights, giving the appearance that you are home. Vary the on/off times to avoide creating a predictable pattern
2. Install deadbolt locks and an alarm system 
3. Stop newspaper and mail delivery or have someone pick up your mail daily
4. Make arrangements for lawn care or snow removal
5. Make sure the premiums for your homeowners/renters and auto insurance policies are paid and won't expire while you are away
6. Have a friend or relative check your home at random times while you are gone

By taking these precautions, you will better enjoy your time away knowing that your home is well protected.

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Source: AAA Magazine, Going Places (November/December 2012), page 72

10 Things to Consider Before Buying a Home

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

Don’t just buy a house because the price, style and size are what you’re looking for. Emotions run high when buying a home in Miami or Sarasota, Florida. You can forget about the factors that make a difference in buying the perfect home for you.

The neighborhood is not always what it seems at first glance. There may be a park around the corner so you assume the area is full of kids, but when you visit the park, its young couples walking their dogs.

1. Talk to neighbors

Find out how many neighbors are homeowners. It is harder than you think to tell if people are renters or homeowners. Find out all you can about the Miami or Sarasota area you are interested in.

2. Visit at different times of day

See what goes on near your house throughout the day. Is there morning traffic that drives past loudly, are the kids playing at the park going to distract you? Is the house in Miami or Sarasota exactly what you are looking for at all hours of the day, not just when you visited the house?

3. Quiz the sellers

Find out what problems they have had with the house, and if they fixed them. It’s a good idea to know what your house is prone to, like the basement floods when it rains, so you can take preventative measures. That way there are no surprises after you have bought the house in Miami or Sarasota.

4. Get a detailed list of all home improvements, when possible.

Knowing how much the repairs cost is great for new homebuyers, you can tell if cheap materials were used, so you will know you will need to redo them sooner than expected.

5. Get a home inspection

Virtually all houses have defects, according to the National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents (NAEBA). Some will be obvious and most will be curable. But knowing what needs fixing can help you negotiate a lower price – or at least prepare you for costs you’re soon to incur. Strongly consider getting inspections, too, for lead paint, radon and wood-eating pests.

6. Consider the view

See what the houses on either side of you look like. When you buy the house in Florida you are stuck with the view. So consider if the houses are something you can look at everyday.

7. Ask for utility bills

You may adore the Cape Cod architectural style or the high ceilings and walls of glass in a modern home but the utility bills may be more than you can afford to spend every month. Also ask for the water bill, the landscaping may be gorgeous but you may not be able handle the upkeep.

8. Check with city hall

NAEBA recommends looking into the property’s and neighborhood’s zoning, as well as any potential easements, liens or other restrictions relating to your property. The seller should disclose these facts, but it’s better to be safe. Kijner & Sons International Realty should be able to help you with this.

9. Reconsider the bells and whistles

Are you sure you can live with a one-car garage, can you afford the pool? Be realistic.

10. Explore the surrounding area

You don’t want to be surprised by a strange smell from a nearby agricultural area, after you buy the house. Or be startled by the sirens from the police station around the corner. Get to know the area a little bit, if you’re moving more than just across town.

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83-85 Boulevard de Charonne, 75011 Paris, France


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