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A new edition every month! May 2015 Electronic Real Estate Newsletter
Beware of Home Improvement Scams
Get Your Deck In Shape This Spring
Cut Your Summer Energy Bills
Turn Your Castoffs Into Cash
Burglar-proof Your Home
How To Choose The Best Purchase Offer
Give Your Home A Makeover This Season
Sellers Can Benefit From Home Inspections Too
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  Homeowner Alert
 
 
Beware of Home Improvement Scams
Spring brings out colorful blooms, warmer weather and, unfortunately, home improvement con artists. They might show up at your door offering an array of services-from repaving your driveway to repairing your roof-and they'll likely promise you a really "great deal." But keep in mind the old adage, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." Before you give anyone a dime to do any work in or on your home, check out these important tips from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI):
  • Get the name and address of the company that person allegedly represents.
  • Get all details of the offer in writing and carefully review it. Be sure you understand everything in the contract and that any verbal promises made are included in the contract.
  • Determine how long the company has been in business and contact organizations with which the contractor is affiliated, such as NARI or other trade associations, to determine the firm's legitimacy.
  • Ask for references and call each one.
Remember that any legitimate company that wants your business will be more than willing to allow you the time to do your homework. Don't fall prey to high-pressure tactics such as "this is the only chance you have" or "by tomorrow the extra materials will be gone."

Also, be skeptical if a home improvement contractor:
  • Comes to your door unsolicited.
  • Uses high-pressure sales tactics.
  • Requests full payment before completing the work.
  • Gives a post office box without a street address or phone number.
  • Promises to begin and complete the work more quickly and cheaply than any other company.
  • Says they just finished work on your neighbor's house and have just enough materials to do repair work on yours. They might say they can give you a better bargain if you let them do the work today since they have the supplies now.
If you would like additional information on choosing a qualified remodeling contractor, call the NARI National hotline at 800-611-NARI and request a free copy of NARI's brochure, "How to Select a Remodeling Professional," or visit www.RemodelToday.com and click on the homeowner's guide.
 
 
 
 Deck Maintenance
 

Get Your Deck In Shape This Spring
Whether your deck was just installed or it's years old, you'll enjoy it a lot more if you maintain it regularly. These expert tips will help you keep you deck in tip-top shape:

  1. Keep it clean - Brush off leaves, sticks and other debris; remove debris stuck between deck boards with a blast of water from your garden hose. Then, using a stiff-bristle brush, scrub the surface with a mixture of water and a mild laundry detergent.
  2. Seal it - After you clean the deck, apply a good quality sealer that's both water-repellent and protects the wood against the sun's ultraviolet rays.
  3. Replace damaged boards - Unscrew the damaged board, measure the length and cut a replacement. Screw down the replacement with rustproof deck screws. To replace deck boards that were nailed down, carefully remove the nail(s) with a hammer, and then reattach the replacement board with a screw.

Experts recommend cleaning your deck at least once every year (others suggest a thorough cleaning in spring and fall) and treating your deck every two years.

 
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Beware of Home Improvement Scams
Get Your Deck In Shape This Spring
Cut Your Summer Energy Bills
Turn Your Castoffs Into Cash
Burglar-proof Your Home
How To Choose The Best Purchase Offer
Give Your Home A Makeover This Season
Sellers Can Benefit From Home Inspections Too

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