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How to Prepare a Rental Property for Market

Posted on August 01, 2017 by James Florence

If you own a rental property that has recently been vacated, you’ll need to prepare it for going back on the market. While this primarily consists of cleaning and basic maintenance, a vacancy also provides an opportunity to increase the property’s value and maximize your investment. Here are some steps to consider:

Address maintenance needs. Four to six weeks before your intended market date, make a list of maintenance items that need to be addressed. This should include standard maintenance measures like cleaning the carpets as well as deferred tasks such as fixing a roof leak or broken window blind. It’s also a good idea to have preventative HVAC, plumbing and pest inspections performed during this time. Read more

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Start Fresh: A New Year’s Checklist

Posted on January 03, 2017 by James Florence

It’s no wonder the custom of adopting annual resolutions coincides with the year’s beginning rather than its middle or end. A new year means a fresh start—a milestone that signals an opportunity for positive change. Like a blank canvas to a painter, the New Year invites us to entertain new possibilities, inspires us to innovate upon the past and fills us with “momentum of purpose.”

While this sense of positive propulsion is often directed toward personal development, it can also be useful for accomplishing tangible goals, which is why the New Year is an ideal time to review and renew your to-do list. Whether you need to catch up on overdue maintenance, have a project you’ve been putting off or simply want to start off on the right foot, Read more

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Tip Sheet: Readying Your Home for Labor Day Entertaining

Posted on September 01, 2016 by James Florence

Labor Day is just around the corner, and if you’re like most people, you already have plans for how you’re going to spend the three-day weekend. If those plans include having friends and family over, you’ll need to make sure your home is in suitable condition to receive guests. Here are five quick things you can do to get ready:

1. Clean your living room. Expelling the clutter that has accumulated in your living room can be a daunting task, so it’s best to take a systematic approach. Begin at the top of the room (removing cobwebs and dusting high shelves, for example) and work your way downward—this will help you avoid having to redo things like floor cleaning. Read more

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Time to Tidy Up!

Posted on March 22, 2016 by Chris Bjorklund

I’ve been tidying up my house since mid-January. To be truthful, I didn’t intentionally set out to declutter and reorganize my home. Instead, it was a byproduct of my latest home improvement project. After nine years, it was time to re-paint a bathroom, three bedrooms and all the closets in my house. Every organizer will tell you to completely empty your closets and then edit the things you’re going to put back into them. So, that’s how my tidying got started. Now, I’m continuing to tackle other rooms and even our garage. I’m on a roll!

Popular organizing books suggest only keeping things that you truly love and giving or throwing away everything else. Read more

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Diamond Certified Experts: House Cleaning How-Tos

Posted on November 12, 2015 by James Florence

Most people think of spring as the season for cleaning, but there’s another time of year when it’s even more important: the holidays. As summer’s vibrant pulse recedes to the calm cadence of autumn, it’s time to break out the standard seasonal décor (gourds, anyone?) and get your house spick and span in preparation for the influx of visiting friends and relatives.

The problem with house cleaning, however, is it’s a deceptively simple task, which is why people often get into the habit of using inefficient or just plain incorrect methods. To shed some light on a few of these home hygiene hiccups, we’ve asked six Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to provide their house cleaning how-tos. Read more

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Posted in: House Cleaning, Diamond Certified Experts, Home Tips
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Welcome Home! Here’s Your New House Checklist.

Posted on November 05, 2015 by Jennifer Chan

You spent countless Sundays at open houses. You signed 50+ legal documents. You wrote a check for a single, heart-stopping, six-digit figure. And now, drumroll please…you’re the lucky owner of your very first house! Congratulations! Now it’s time to get to work. Here’s a checklist of all the things you should do when moving into a new house. Read more

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Posted in: Consumers, Home Tips, Home Improvement
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Spring Cleaning: Simple Ways to Brighten, Freshen and Rejuvenate Your Home

Posted on April 07, 2015 by James Florence

April is here, which means it’s once again time to engage in the longstanding domestic ritual known as spring cleaning. In addition to tackling annual maintenance tasks like cleaning your carpets and flushing your water heater, spring cleaning offers a chance to optimize your home for enjoying the temperate weather and extended daylight. Here are some simple things you can do to brighten, freshen and rejuvenate your home.

Brighten
During the sunny season, you’ll want to bring as much light as possible into your home. Start by washing your windows. Regardless of the tools or methodology you employ (most professionals recommend using a squeegee and a 100 percent cotton cloth), there are a couple of important rules to follow. Read more

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