IS YOUR HOMEMAKING YOU SICK?
FUN FACT: Did you know the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) projects that indoor air has the probability of being 2 – 5 times MORE polluted than the outdoors?
Many people really don’t realize the massive importance of taking care of your home’s indoor air quality. There are common & well known sources of indoor air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, second-hand smoke & radon. In addition to these, however, there are lesser known sources of common indoor air pollutants people don’t think about.
One of the most surprising pollutants known as ‘ozone’ actually comes from air purifiers or common indoor air pollutants. Hundreds if not thousands of dollars go into investing in these gadgets to help kill mold and bacteria. Little do we know, that these “shock treatments” to the air are actually filled with enormous amounts of ozone which yes, may be an effective treatment, but the reality of it is health officials have disagreed. Ever heard of smog? It’s definition from Google reads, “fog or haze combined with smoke and other atmospheric pollutants.” Ozone is actually the chief component of smog which can trigger asthma attacks, cause coughing fits and even scar lung tissue among other health problems.
3 COMMON INDOOR AIR POLLUTANTS
Paint. The strong chemically balanced solution paint is, it can release a dangerous amount of organic compounds over long periods of time. If these are inhaled extendedly, it can lead to serious health problems. Keep in mind to battle these problems, always use ventilation & open as many windows as you can. Have fans blowing etc… You can also select low-VOC or no-VOC paint to begin with. This includes small paints just used for canvas painting and other substances with strong smelling chemicals.
Carpets. Think about the manufacturing of carpets. Sometimes when you open a fresh new carpet it has that funky manufacturing smell.. that’s because they use certain chemicals to manufacture carpets that are dangerous - like formaldehyde. This chemical can irritate respiratory systems dramatically. Keep that in mind next time you get yourself a new carpet! Maybe air it out outside for an hour or so OR vacuum it really well.
Cleaning Products. Antibiotic pesticide and chlorine are two VERY potent and often toxic ingredients and guess what…. Many off-the-shelf household cleaning solutions are filled with them.
Now that you know about many toxins here is some advice on how to reduce them.
Toxins are sneaky. They can be hiding anywhere and all throughout your home. One of the first important places to look is the kitchen. Think about your food containers, water and even foods you are eating. Obviously, water is crucial to live, but not everyone realizes how harmful tap water can be. Sometimes, runoff water can run through waste encountering many toxins in the ground which will eventually make it’s way through the systems of humans, animals and even plants causing harm. This is where investing in a high quality water filter will be worth it. Get one that doesn’t just reduce the harmful toxins, but eliminates them.
Water bottles can also pose another threat when it comes to concerns of toxins. Bottles of water (depending on the brand) can contain harmful amounts of the toxin bisphenol A (BPA), which is an endocrine disrupter, AKA it blocks natural hormones from behaving properly. There are many side effects of being exposed to BPA, such as the mimicry of female hormonal estrogen which upsets normal processes of development for growing babies and young children & the functions necessary for maintaining an adult body. The best way to avoid this is to simply drink out of glass or stainless steel water bottles.
Pesticides. Many foods are sprayed by pesticides. If the produce and grains aren’t cleaned afterwards, we just may be putting these pesticides into our own mouths. In theory, pesticides are great because they protect the ground grown foods we eat from fungi and pests, but in practice this can also be harmful to our bodies. A way you can avoid this is by buying organic foods as much as possible. Yes I know, organic can be expensive! So in this case with organic produce being unattainable – go for vigorous washing before eating normal store bought food.
Perfumes. Colognes. Air fresheners. These all smell AMAZING – but are unfortunately full of harmful toxins. To reduce these, try essential oils instead! Essential oils give plants' distinctive smells, protect them and also aid in plant pollination. They have many other significant uses such as food preparation, health-care practices & even beauty treatments!
Regarding air fresheners, they also have essential oil diffusers. These are awesome because there are so many different types and looks for you to choose from and they are easy to use PLUS smell fabulous. Make sure to buy one that has an auto shut-off feature!
A very important way to reduce toxins in your home is through the use of plants. There are several types of plants that have air purifying properties. Some of them include peace lilies, which will flower during the summer; spider plants, which are very hardy and easy to grow; and snake plants, which are hard to kill, making them great for me to buy… ha! Some of the harmful toxins these plants remove are benzene, ammonia & formaldehyde.
For our final point, always remember one of the best ways to purify your air is to consistently change your air filters when needed! This will not only help the life of your HVAC system, but will help you and your family breathe clean air. If you have small (thin) air filters, those typically need to be changed every 3-4 weeks. The thicker & larger filters can be changed every 2-3 months.
Hopefully these toxin-removing helpful hints are able to aid you in de-polluting your home.
Sometimes, all you need is fresh air. Make your home a place that can give that to you.
What an amazing community we live in. Not only does Greensboro have DELICIOUS food and a captivating downtown historic culture, but it also is crawling with volunteers wanting to help and better our community. There are so many charities & nonprofits all around us. It’s important to know about them and what role they could be playing or need to be playing for your family, neighbors & even friends. Check out these 8 awesome nonprofits in our lovely town!
1) Family Service of the Piedmont
“Family Service of the Piedmont is a private, not-for-profit agency focused on building safe and healthy families in the Piedmont Triad. We serve more than 18,000 clients each year, addressing issues of domestic violence, child abuse, mental health and financial stability.”
They serve more than 18,000 local adults and children each and every year, while helping manage and address the issues of child abuse, mental health, domestic violence & financial stability.
LOOK AT THEIR IMPACT FROM THIS YEAR!
--- photo taken from the impact reports
Find out more here: https://www.fspcares.org
2) Greensboro Urban Ministry
“Greensboro Urban Ministry’s mission is to express the love of God to our neighbors in need by offering food, shelter and solutions. Our vision is stable lives for our neighbors.
We have served the Greensboro community since 1967.
Poverty is an equal-opportunity destroyer. Lack of food, funds and affordable housing create true disasters in the lives of our guests. Our goal is to be there first with them to help them dig out of the rubble and return to stability as quickly as possible.”
There are so many ways to get involved with this organization! Volunteers come in all ages and abilities… all sharing the belief “in one’s power to make a difference.” Together, anything Is possible. There are 2 primary tracks for people called to serve those living in poverty: Program Volunteering & Event Volunteering. Click on the link below to learn more:
3) United Way of Greater Greensboro
United Way of Greater Greensboro is leading a local movement to END poverty.
“That’s why we’ve created a community-wide network of partners that provides a path to financial stability at any stage of life. Our new holistic approach to ending poverty is working and we have the outcomes to prove it. Adults are becoming financially stable now and children have the proper foundations to be successful in the future.”
United Way, along with it’s community partner agencies were successfully able to deliver 137,109 service interactions to Greensboro residents from 2017-2018. Here are some of the outcomes! :
91% of parents increased time spent with their children to support learning at home.
89% of youth achieved acceptance to college/post-secondary programs.
99% of people connected to a primary health care provider and received needed services.
91% of children achieved on-time grade and middle school promotion.
94% of people landing a job remained employed for 12 months.
82% of people seeking assistance were provided needed shelter or housing.
4) Wheels 4 Hope
“Wheels4Hope is a non-profit, faith-based car donation program that turns donated cars into local blessings.”
Located in the Triad areas of NC, they have a strong mission to be able to provide reliable, affordable transportation to the less fortunate or economically struggling families/individuals referred to them by their partner agencies. They are an IRS approved charitable organization in which they exist only through the contributions of numerous generous donors, congregations, volunteers & partner businesses who understand and agree that reliable transportation is critical for self sufficiency in today’s society….also being a huge key to the pursuit of education, stable employment & the care of children.
Check out this heart-warming story from their website!
“Latisha and her 10 year old son, Bryce, received their 2000 Nissan Maxima last Thursday! After a year of using the bus, Latisha and Bryce took their last ride to the Wheels4Hope office to sign all the paperwork and purchase their car!
Latisha was referred from the Raleigh Rescue Mission, where she has been staying for the last year. She works two jobs and had been without a vehicle for 10 years! Latisha plans to use her car to pursue employment and housing options now that she is no longer limited to the bus route! Way to go, Latisha! Congratulations on all your hard work!”
Find more inspirational stories at
5) Backpack Beginnings
"BackPack Beginnings’ mission is to deliver child-centric services to feed, comfort and clothe children in need. By ensuring food and basic necessities are given directly to children in need, we make a positive and lasting impact on their health and well-being."
Look at all of these amazing impacts that were made this year!
6) Out of The Garden Project"Out of the Garden Project's mission is to nourish families with food to grow, learn and thrive. Our vision is to connect people through partnerships that feed families, create community and build healthier outcomes."
“Out of the Garden Project is a story of miracles — the story of amazing things that would not happen but actually do — because people like you come together to move mountains of hunger. This is a story of hope. With your help, we have many more chapters to write, and the families we help get a chance to live better lives. Thank you for all you do in service of our kids and our community.”
I actually had the pleasure of volunteering with Out of The Garden and it was so much fun giving back to our community! This organization is incredible. The looks on peoples’ faces as they drove up to the food truck and saw how much food we were giving them (completely for free) was a treasurable moment each and every time. Check out some of these photos I took:
7) Habitat for Humanity
“Habitat Greensboro has an open-door policy: All who believe that everyone needs a decent, affordable place to live are welcome to help with the work, regardless of race, religion, age, gender, political views or any of the other distinctions that too often divide people. Habitat Greensboro welcomes volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds and also serves people in need of decent housing regardless of race or religion. As a matter of policy, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliated organizations do not proselytize. This means that Habitat will not offer assistance on the expressed or implied condition that people must either adhere to or convert to a particular faith, or listen and respond to messaging designed to induce conversion to a particular faith.”
Celebrating their 32nd year, Habitat Greensboro has successfully placed more than 490 families into affordable homes in our Triad community. Internationally, they have placed 450 families in homes they have BUILT restoring hope and the communities in whole. Habitat GSO makes incredible differences in so many peoples’ lives, ultimately creating an exciting & strong impact on the rest of the community.
8) Faith Action International House
"Faith Action serves and advocates alongside of over 3,000 new immigrants and refugees and their families from over 60 diverse nations each year at our downtown Greensboro house location.
Serving and advocating alongside 3,000 immigrants and refugees from over 60 diverse nations
Providing over 70 trainings and presentations to 2,500 people in school, city departments, nonprofits, and faith communities across North Carolina and beyond
Connecting thousands more across lines of culture, faith, and nationality through our Stranger to Neighbor and Faith action ID Programs"
Their bilingual (Spanish, English, and French), and culturally competent staff provide one on one help with:
· Basic needs (food and diapers, healthcare, and housing issues)
· FaithAction ID cards
· Education opportunities and employment readiness
· Safe space and accompaniment for domestic/sexual violence survivors
· Emergency assistance to families facing detention and deportation
· Referrals for furniture, clothing, legal services, etc…
https://habitatgreensboro.org/about-us-2/There are SO MANY more nonprofits around the Triad! These are just a few of the many generous organizations.
1) All Real Estate Agents are the Same
“So many options…. who should I choose to help sell my home? Hmm, I’ll just pick this one because all Real Estate Agents would probably do the same thing with my house anyways.”
- FALSE! Every Real Estate agent is not the same! Believing in this myth can lead to huge mistakes when selecting an agent to represent you and your interests. Every single Real Estate agent comes from a different background, with different capabilities & different experiences. For example, an agent that specializes in sales and has been working for 2 years with mostly townhomes will NOT have the same skills as an agent who has been in the market for 15+ years specializing as a buyers agent with luxury homes. Remember, there is a very significant difference between agents working with buyers verses sellers!
2) Real Estate Agents Will Say and Do Anything to Make a Sale
Not many people know all of the rules and policies that go into being a real estate agent. They are highly held to a certain code of ethics. Many (if not most) Real Estate companies, like Palmetto Equity Group, heavily rely on referrals from pleased past customers. Doing great business, being trustworthy and proving your skills creates many great referrals and positive messages with word of mouth. Not saying that there aren’t agents that may lie, but most don’t because they are smart and know the consequences. Remember, it is very important when buying or selling, to use an agent you can trust and be comfortable with to make the best decisions for your future.
3) Real Estate Agents Can Only Show Their Own Company’s Listings
Ever heard of the MLS?? It stands for Multiple Listing Service.
MLS ensures to not only even the playing field for all Real Estate companies around the town (big and small), but also allows for the public to get information on any property listed with the brokers discretion. So, to put it lightly, a Real Estate agent working for Palmetto Equity Group can show their own properties AND also properties that are currently listed by other companies.
4) A Home Doesn’t Need to be Prepared Before Going on the Market
This myth can cost you thousands of dollars as a seller. Most of the time, a house is not perfectly ready to put on the market without an agents advice. This advice includes curb appeal updates, interior updates and additions, staging to make the home be more appealing, vendor contacts for house updates/maintenance/painting etc... the list goes on! There are several details that go into selling a property quick, that most of the general public don’t think about. Most buyers now-a days are looking for a home to buy that is MOVE IN READY. Also, the first 3-4 weeks a home is listed are the most important. If you don’t touch your home, leaving it outdated and covered with small imperfections, it will leave a negative idea in the buyers’ mind when they view your home. This will happen more than once, next thing you know your listing has been on the market for 4 months and you have wasted hundreds if not thousands on marketing. Not to mention the longer a property is on the market, the more questions buyers will ask out of their own skepticism. Do yourself and your selling experience a favor and have your home prepared properly, priced correctly and marketed strategically. If this is done, it is more than likely (not guaranteed, however) that your home will be under contract in less than 2 months.
5) Selling a Home “For Sale by Owner” Saves a lot of Money
It is very common for first time sellers to immediately have the idea of selling their property themselves to ‘cut costs’. They will believe it is as ‘easy’ and ‘simple’ as putting a sign in the front yard and inputting the address on MLS. It’s really not that simple…Often when FSBO’s (For Sale By Owner’s) try to take this on all on their own, they don’t realize how time consuming it is and what work goes into the sale of a property. The FSBO could mistakenly over-price their listing, mishandle a negotiation with a potential buyer, or even falsely grant a transaction to take place with a buyer that ends up being denied months later. In this circumstance, it’s better to be sure of hiring a professional than being unsure and taking it on yourself.
6) Getting Pre-approved is Done After Finding Your Dream Home
Many home buyers make the mistake of waiting to find their perfect dream home before getting pre-approved. Having your finances approved for a mortgage is a major step of the home-buying process that you should worry about sooner rather than later. To be more prepared and prevent disappointment down the road, before you find your dream home, get pre-approved by your mortgage lender so you have more confidence going into your home search. Keep in mind, another huge reason being pre-approved is important is so you can have a leg up over other buyer competition to win over your dream home in the case there are multiple offers.
7) You Get a Better Deal When Buying a Home Through the Listing Agent
Another common Real Estate myth is regarding the home-buying process when purchasing from the listing agent. Many potential buyers believe they can receive a ‘better deal’ on the home using the listing agent because they think the listing agent will cut their commission percentage based on receiving ‘both sides’ of the transaction. Nope. Even when this happens, the listing agent still represents the seller. Just remember, if this is the case for you, the listing agent will have both parties to keep in mind. You need to have a good idea with how hard the listing agent is willing to negotiate price with seller (their other client) and vice versa.
8) All Real Estate Agents Make Bank
Obviously successful Real Estate Agents are able to make a strong income. What many people don’t know however, is the amount of time, effort & money that top producing real estate agents need to put forth in order to be super successful. There are many expensive classes, tests and hours of continuing education involved. There are also many Real Estate agents that literally start from the bottom, with not many contacts or involvement having to step up, make cold calls and really work extra hard on their networking skills to get their name in the field.
9) When Selling a Home, Price it to Leave Room for Negotiations
When selling your home, correctly pricing it is one of the top 3 important keys. There are many different real estate pricing mistakes that sellers commonly make. For example, purposefully pricing a home higher to ‘leave room’ for negotiation. NO NO NO! Doing this can create massive frustration and could ultimately lead to your home sitting on the market for ages. For sellers, it is critical to understand who today’s buyers are and what their interests are all about – buyers are savvier and more prepared nowadays because of info they can get off the internet. They also won’t waste their time looking at a home that is overpriced by thousands of dollars.
Hope debunking these real estate myths makes you more prepared to hire a professional when the time comes! Palmetto is always here for you.
Greensboro, NC is filled with exciting adventure and beautifully architectured parks. The following are some of the most unique and family oriented destinations our community has to offer! Good luck choosing which one to visit first… they are all outstandingly gorgeous!
HOURS: 7AM – 11PMADDRESS: 208 N. Davie St. Greensboro, NC 27401
Features & Amenities
Center City Park
HOURS: 7AM – 11PMADDRESS: 200 N. Elm St. Greensboro, NC 27401
HOURS: 8AM – 8PM ADDRESS: 1500 Barber Park Dr Greensboro, NC 27401
Features & Amenities:
Tanger Family Bicentennial Garden
HOURS: 8AM – 7PMADDRESS: 1105 Hobbs Rd. Greensboro, NC 27410
A relaxing retreat, this 7.5-acre garden is known for its massive bronze sculpture and annual plantings. As a historic site, the garden was created in 1976 to honor and recognize the 200th anniversary of the U.S.!
Make sure to check these out:
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park
HOURS: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PMADDRESS: 2332 New Garden Rd, Greensboro, NC 27410
This beautiful 220 ACRE PARK commemorates the Battle of Guilford Court House, fought on March 15, 1781, which ultimately paved way to American victory in the Revolutionary War.
Things to do at the park:
HOURS: 8AM – 5PMADDRESS: 3615 Deutzia St, Greensboro, NC 27407
Features and Amenities:
HOURS: 8AM – 8PM (subject to change depending on the month)ADDRESS: 401 Ashland Dr, Greensboro, NC 27403
Featuring 14 plant collections, 17 stunning acres & a special display of gardens, this site is a must see. The extensive variety of plants offers rich educational opportunities for children and adults, landscape designers, and homeowners.
HOURS: 8AM – 8PMADDRESS: 5834 Bur-Mill Club Rd Greensboro, NC 27410
The Bog Garden
HOURS: 8AM – 8PMADDRESS: 1101 Hobbs Road Greensboro, NC 27410
This heavenly garden is open year-round & admission is free!
Every season brings along its own difficulties and obstacles pertaining to keeping your house in good shape… especially summer. In NC the humidity is INSANE. I mean seriously, sometimes I feel like the outside is the equivalent of taking a shower. This heat, humidity & sun can lead to some drastic damage to your home and yard. Check out these few useful tips to keep your home in shape during the hottest time of the year.
1) Reverse Your Ceiling Fan(s)
In the winter & fall, your ceiling fan is supposed to turn clockwise –
in order to pull the cool air up to mix with the warm air above (because heat rises). When this happens, then the fan pushes that new warm air out of the sides of the blades keeping the temperature stable. In the summer, remember to reverse the direction of your fan (there should be a button on the side of the motor above the blades) - When you do this, the fan blades should then turn counter-clockwise, pushing the cool air back down creating a nice breeze.
2) Clean/Replace The AC Filter
This is a very crucial tip, not only to help keep your home cool, but keep your air clean. Every house with an Air Conditioner has a filter that should be replaced every month at the LEAST – especially if it is running at an all-time high. This is a super simple chore! All you have to do is purchase the new filter (around $6), then replace the old one with the new clean one. If you are lucky enough to have the nice filters that last longer, you may only need to replace it around every 3 months. Remember - replacing these filters in a timely manner not only keeps your house more clean but provides you with better quality air!
3) Examine The Washing Machine
I know what you’re thinking… yes, even your washing machine needs maintenance every now and then. When you have a break between loads of laundry or when your washer is not in use, do yourself a huge favor to your clothes and nose by inspecting the seal between the drum and door opening. In this area, it is super common for soil buildup and stains to spread without being seen. This gunk can start to smell really stinky and can even create dirty marks on your clothes from the dirt deposits. If you see any buildup of this sort, you can easily clean it with a gallon of warm water mixed with ¾ cup of chlorine bleach. Wipe the area with the solution after mixing & let it sit for about 5 minutes. After this, wipe dry with a paper towel or cloth, & let it air dry (leaving the washer door open for awhile). I can already smell the freshness!
4) Insect Prevention 101
Insects are COLD blooded. This means they can’t regulate their body temperatures on their own – that is why you don’t see many bugs out during the fall & winter. Some of the most common pests that thrive during the summer months are flies, mosquitos, bees, wasps & hornets.
There are actually many ways to prevent each of these pests, but I won’t go into too much detail – ill stick with the basics!
First things first, do the small things (to your actual home) to prevent the bugs from getting inside. These include:
Starting out with these 3 steps will help more than you know. When you inspect your house with the mind of an insect, you will be surprised at how many ways they are actually able to get inside!
Next, take these measures to bring prevention to the next level:Obvioulsy you can buy bug reppellents at a store that are targeted for specific pests, but here are some natural solutions which can be useful inside & outside the home. Pungent-smelling plants can ward off insects, like mint & rosemary. Also, lemongrass and geraniums contain Citronella Oil, which bugs despise! Use it to your advantage!
Have you ever heard of integrated pest management?! This concept refers to fighting insects with their natural enemies. Birds, spiders, bats & geckos are all natural enemies of insects. So keep this in mind next time you are trying to ‘shoo’ that songbird away from your flowers.
Last tip - insects thrive in dark, warm, damp areas - especially mosquitos. When you are trying to keep the bugs away, be sure to keep the moisture down as much as you can inside your home. This means keeping the counters wiped down, making sure leaks are fixed & clogged gutters are cleared. Also, make sure spare food particles are scarce by taking out the trash more frequently, cleaning dirty dishes right away & sweeping leftover crumbs off the floors to prevent bugs from finding food sources inside.
It is typically best to water in the early evening. This is the time when the plants & grass most likely are not in direct sunlight, and also allows enough time for the plants to soak up the water before nightfall. Also, less water is able to evaporate than during mid-day when it’s the hottest it will be outside. Plants can sufficiently be supplied with plenty of water before the next day’s heat. If you would rather water early in the morning, that is perfectly fine too - just make sure it is before sunrise or around that time because as soon as the sun goes up the water will start to evaporate in these hot summer days!http://theconversation.com/the-best-time-to-water-your-plants-during-a-heatwave-99244
6) Avoid Too Much Humidity
Humidity isn’t just outside, its inside too. Make it minimal by remembering to keep surfaces dry. For example, make sure to dry your sink & counter after washing dishes, brushing your teeth & showering. When left to ‘dry out’ sometimes this doesn’t happen and water droplets can turn to mold or residue which leaves nasty buildup between tiles and shower corners. If you already do this, but the buildup is still happening, there may be a problem with your AC unit. Typically AC units in homes have features to eliminate humidiy, but it could be possible these features are not working properly or even broken. If this is the case, call Palmetto and we can refer you for the best maintenance you can get!
Hoping these tips help keep your home dry and bug free during the summer. Many hot days are still to come!
Without proper management, even the best properties can turn rotten
quick& because of this, it can’t be neglected. Obviously, you can attempt to be your own property manager, but this could easily come at a cost to you not only from your pockets but take a toll on your energy as well (& sometimes even your sanity). If you are debating which road to take; doing it yourself VS having a property management company… well here is how Palmetto Equity Group just may in fact be the better choice.There’s infrastructure already in placeAt our property management company, well, we do property management. We KNOW what we are doing and have the structure [already] in place for every aspect you can think of. From tenant payment, to rules and restrictions, and even every single question and detail that needs to be asked to potential clients and future tenants. These take years to get structured. So, to find a company that already has this key ingredient in what you need is a huge load off your shoulders. Ability to save timeMany people think property management is easy. In some cases, it can be, but most of the time it takes some tough decision making and negotiation. There are several mistakes that people make when trying to be 'DIY' on their home and end up spending more money and time because they weren’t able to foresee these bumps in the road. You may think you are saving money by doing it yourself – but in the long run you probably aren’t.It’s pretty much like having a mentor. Especially when you hire a trusted company that will work their butt off to help save you money and not over spend on things that aren’t absolutely necessary. The experience with anything and everything –“Oh my walls are molding”, “There’s a pork chop bone stuck in the toilet”, “My kids kicked their soccer ball through the wall and busted a pipe”, “Our ceiling fan in the master is spinning slower than the one in the den”, “So, the roof worker fell through my ceiling this morning”, …we have been through it all… One thing our company really aids with is having a reliable maintenance department that can trouble shoot people through the phone. Knowing preventatives, what doesn’t work vs. what works to save service calls, time & money is a big key in successful growth. Palmetto has trusted vendor relationships with people that not only we RELY on, but that they know will get the job done satisfactory. AND we don't add any fees on top of what the vendors charge for their business or on top of our application fees. Our number one priorities are you as clients. We pass the savings to you - and that’s how it should be! Marketing channels & networking skillsHaving smart and experienced Real Estate agents are really what can set apart a fabulous property management company. Good thing we have multiple of them! Knowing the market trends, not only for the Real Estate Market, but for the online Media Markets, is crucial. Typically, people that want to do their own management really don’t understand how much time and effort it takes to get a property rented out and maintenance properly to pass inspections. Not only will you have to fix everything yourself, but you would have to figure out lockboxes for your properties, market them, schedule tenant tours, figure out applications, and deal with regulated showings (and this is all before it even gets rented out). Then when there is an actual tenant living in the property, there WILL at some point be maintenance issues. Palmetto Equity acts as a buffer between the landlord and tenant so that things can get fixed and issues get resolved without the landlord breaking a sweat. THEN, when the tenant ultimately moves out at some point, we take the reins to schedule another tenant to move in as soon as possible after that previous tenant leaves. In summary, having us as your property management company can really make your life easier if you are deciding to rent out your home or property. Should the need arise – I think you now know what to do.
& because of this, it can’t be neglected.
Obviously, you can attempt to be your own property manager, but this could easily come at a cost to you not only from your pockets but take a toll on your energy as well (& sometimes even your sanity).
If you are debating which road to take; doing it yourself VS having a property management company… well here is how Palmetto Equity Group just may in fact be the better choice.
At our property management company, well, we do property management. We KNOW what we are doing and have the structure [already] in place for every aspect you can think of. From tenant payment, to rules and restrictions, and even every single question and detail that needs to be asked to potential clients and future tenants. These take years to get structured. So, to find a company that already has this key ingredient in what you need is a huge load off your shoulders.
Many people think property management is easy. In some cases, it can be, but most of the time it takes some tough decision making and negotiation. There are several mistakes that people make when trying to be 'DIY' on their home and end up spending more money and time because they weren’t able to foresee these bumps in the road. You may think you are saving money by doing it yourself – but in the long run you probably aren’t.
It’s pretty much like having a mentor. Especially when you hire a trusted company that will work their butt off to help save you money and not over spend on things that aren’t absolutely necessary.
“Oh my walls are molding”, “There’s a pork chop bone stuck in the toilet”, “My kids kicked their soccer ball through the wall and busted a pipe”, “Our ceiling fan in the master is spinning slower than the one in the den”, “So, the roof worker fell through my ceiling this morning”, …we have been through it all… One thing our company really aids with is having a reliable maintenance department that can trouble shoot people through the phone. Knowing preventatives, what doesn’t work vs. what works to save service calls, time & money is a big key in successful growth. Palmetto has trusted vendor relationships with people that not only we RELY on, but that they know will get the job done satisfactory. AND we don't add any fees on top of what the vendors charge for their business or on top of our application fees. Our number one priorities are you as clients. We pass the savings to you - and that’s how it should be!
Having smart and experienced Real Estate agents are really what can set apart a fabulous property management company. Good thing we have multiple of them! Knowing the market trends, not only for the Real Estate Market, but for the online Media Markets, is crucial. Typically, people that want to do their own management really don’t understand how much time and effort it takes to get a property rented out and maintenance properly to pass inspections. Not only will you have to fix everything yourself, but you would have to figure out lockboxes for your properties, market them, schedule tenant tours, figure out applications, and deal with regulated showings (and this is all before it even gets rented out). Then when there is an actual tenant living in the property, there WILL at some point be maintenance issues. Palmetto Equity acts as a buffer between the landlord and tenant so that things can get fixed and issues get resolved without the landlord breaking a sweat. THEN, when the tenant ultimately moves out at some point, we take the reins to schedule another tenant to move in as soon as possible after that previous tenant leaves.
In summary, having us as your property management company can really make your life easier if you are deciding to rent out your home or property. Should the need arise – I think you now know what to do.
First things first,
In pretty much every circumstance, smart homebuyers will always have a property professionally inspected before purchasing... EVEN in a seller’s market.
Buyers nowadays are really quite savvy, according to Robin Kencel, associate broker with the Robin Kencel Group of Compass Real Estate in Connecticut. This is why it’s critical for sellers to get their own home inspection before putting their house on the market – so they know where it may fall short of buyer’s expectations. “The more we can head off anything that can be a negotiation point, the better”, claims Kencel.
When sellers have their own inspections to prepare, this gives them the forefront of any house problems that would be an issue in the future sale. It also gives an opportunity to make any inexpensive repairs to avoid unpleasant surprises during buyers inspections. I can be the first to tell you that when you own a home, you soon become blind by small insignificant issues that guests would notice right when they come in. Like small cracks in the caulking on walls or gradual stains that have popped up on the wood panels of your home.
For first-time homebuyers, inspections can be life-savers. As a crucial part of the buying process, it allows people to see flaws and potentially back out of a sale if needed. Your real estate broker is most likely able to make recommendations for trusted home inspectors, but if not, look for an experienced professional that has a good score with Better Business Bureau, has great reviews & positive references. Also, make sure to ask for a copy of their inspection form to see what items are covered in their inspection.
Inspectors do provide extraordinary service that is very important, however, they do not have the ability to upgrade a house. They just make sure everything in the house is working properly.
With that in mind – here is a preparation checklist to do before an inspection that will ultimately help you get your home ready to put on the market...
Make sure switches are covered and lights are working –
In a typical home inspection, it includes a visual review of the electrical system. Apparently it is a pretty common problem to have non-working lights during a home inspection. The inspector will make sure all the wiring underneath the covers meets industry & state standards and will ultimately decide if you need a licensed electrician to come for further review. Another small but important thing – if you have any cracked or missing covers for your electrical outlets, it only cost 49 cents to buy a new one at the hardware store and takes less than 3 minutes to replace. This will save you from another mark on the inspection report!
Routine maintenance tasks are YOURS –
It’s the simple things you need to focus on first. Make sure carbon monoxide detectors are in working order with fresh batteries (along with smoke alarms). Also, replace filters on furnaces & air conditioning units.
When buyers come to look at the home, if they see these ‘small’ maintenance tasks ignored, they will only be brought to the assumption or question of what else has been ignored in keeping up the house. Also keep in mind that inspectors will be checking built-in appliances to make sure they are in working order and take note of any obvious maintenance defects in their report.
Clean out the mechanical room –
According to J.B. Sassano, president of home improvement firm Mr. Handyman, a Neighborly Company, it’s important to clean out your mechanical room as well as check for any problems or leaks with your HVAC system. “Inspectors are going to look for the big-dollar items”, Sassano says. It’s easier for inspectors to get a clear look at the system if you keep up with it and keep it clean.
Make sure fireplaces & appliances can be tested -
Like I said before, it’s the little things. The inspector won’t be able to test your washer and dryer if there are clothes all over the place. They will also want to see if a gas fireplace is in working order alright so in that case make sure the pilot is lit. Inspectors will not go and light a pilot.
If for some reason, an inspector isn’t able to test an appliance or fireplace, it is a possibility they may note for the seller to demonstrate it to the buyers. AKA one more thing on your to-do list before closing, so its best to make sure and get it prepared so you don’t have to worry about ‘working order’ when there is a possible buyer in the home.
Walk around the exterior -
Important things to look out for on exteriors are peeling paint, hanging gutters or even loose siding. According to Deborah Savoie, a realtor with Long and Foster Real Estate, Inc. in Maryland, buyers “need to look at their house like they are going to buy it again.” Which is soo true. THEN, correct the problems before they become that potential problem for the actual buyer! Inspectors and buyers will both be wary of crumbling foundation or standing pools of water… wouldn’t you?
Check windows and doors –
This can be a sticky topic for homes older than 30 or 40 years old… literally and metaphorically. The vinyl windows can actually become sticky and difficult to open, especially if they haven’t been opened in quite some time. An easy fix for that is simply getting some inexpensive silicone spray from a home improvement store to help all windows be able to open and close.
It is also recommended to check all interior and exterior doors in that they open and close easily too. Lubricate if needed, and clear out tracks of sliding doors. If by some chance you have wood-framed windows, make sure they don’t have any rotten or soft spots. Inspectors will also be keeping an eye out for gaps in the window framing – to fix this you should be able to just caulk it up to close the gaps.
Old water stains need to go – CHECK OUT THIS BEFORE AND AFTER ^
A stain in your home, no matter on a wall, ceiling or floor, leads to questions and uncertainty. With any stain, an inspector will use a moisture meter to determine if it is recent. Depending on the outcome, he or she will then make note and recommend a professional to handle the cause of the stain. If it is simply just an old stain, it is still crucial to cover it up with paint because who wants a leery stain hindering the sale of their home?
Look for mold! –
Mold has become very scary and will certainly ward off potential buyers. Fortunately, most mold can be killed off with a fungicide found at home improvement stores. Also try adding a dehumidifier to a room to dry it out and take moisture out of the air. This will also help prevent future mold from growing. (Make sure to check attics, basements, garages & bathrooms).
Declutter, declutter, declutter! –
Okay, an inspector doesn’t keep note on how your home is staged, but keeping it clean really helps the process. Even if you are nervous that cleaning and decluttering will uncover undesireable elements, Savoie claims there are often simple and inexpensive ways to address the questionable area. For example, she says “you don’t have to re-stain your floor. You just have to clean it (with the cleaning product) Old English.” Use your connections with your real estate agent (AKA Palmetto Equity Group) to determine the best ways to not break the bank & address unsightly features.
If your home has issues.. be upfront -
If by some chance, you have a difficult review to deal with and can’t easily be fixed, go ahead and notify a prospective buyer. The last thing you want is for the buyer to be suspicious of you hiding flaws or being dishonest about the quality of your home. It’s not always possible to fix all problems before an inspection or even after, so it definitely is always an option to offer a credit at closing so the buyers can make whatever updates they need themselves.
When buyers receive the inspection report, they most likely will connect with their broker. Ultimately, they will decide on overlooking certain defects (if there are any), and going ahead with the purchase, OR taking a step back to the negotiating table because they weren’t impressed.
So, impress them!Source: https://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/articles/a-checklist-for-home-inspections
Splitting chores, figuring out parking spaces, claiming closets & letting your significant other down easy on their bad taste in décor.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2017, more than 7.3 million homes were inhabited by unmarried partners. Combined with the astounding 61 million married households in the U.S. in 2018, well, there are plenty of people living together with their significant other. The process of combining 2 worlds into 1 is much harder than you think, whether you are a boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancé or spouse. The minimum requires ENDLESS patience and planning and of course an open mind.
Here are 7 tips to help make moving in together a success.
1 – Talk TOGETHER about location and cost. There are tons of options for living arrangements - live in the current house or apartment, move into the others place or find a new place to call ‘home’. There are plenty of aspects that come into play here. Make sure you and your partner are on the same or similar pages regarding proximity to work locations & even distance from frequent or popular spots.
Often times, people find it best for both sides to move into a completely new home or apartment in order for both partners to start with a clean slate. This way the decorating can be done by both partners & also new memories are able to be made + shared together. It’s important to feel equal ownership to the place you inhabit so that there is a strong identity between your lives together and your home together.
2 - ESTABLISH FORMAL RESIDENCYOkay obviously not everyone can afford to buy a home early on in a relationship, so renting a home is a fabulous option too. In whichever case you choose, it is important to establish residency for future endeavors. Check out this link for requirements in establishing residency:https://www.wikihow.com/Establish-ResidencyIf you’re renting a home, make sure both names are on the lease agreement (which is usually a priority from the rental company anyway). A good way to stay on track with utilities or rent Is to have a set date for each month that money is deposited or collected to put towards those payments.
3 - WHAT YOU HAVE VS. WHAT YOU NEED
Make sure to discuss what you need vs. what you already have. When combining two households into one, you’ll soon realize there wasn’t as much space as you thought. With 2 of many things, don’t feel the need to hang on to things that aren’t a necessity. And with things you don’t have but need (like a small dining table for example) try using Facebook Marketplace or some other second-hand app to buy what you need until you save up for something new. You would be surprised of the great deals you can find on already used items!
4 - STORE OR GIVE AWAY DUPLICATES & UNEEDED ITEMS
There are bound to be items you and your partner won’t want anymore…like that old shower curtain that doesn’t match the new bathroom or that floor mat that now has hair all over it and smells like wet dog. SO either donate it to Goodwill or you can always sell your things if they are in decent condition. Here is a list of Apps that you can sell your items on:
POSHMARK – clothes, shoes & accessories
FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE - anything
LET GO – anything
MERCARI – clothes, shoes & accessories
5 MILES – (local) anything
CAROUSELL – anything
OFFERUP – anything
VINTED – clothes
DEPOP – clothing, accessories & similar items
NEXTDOOR – this app is mainly for keeping up with your community, but you can also sell pretty much anything on it
If you have items you simply don’t have space for but absolutely don’t want to give them away, rent a storage unit! They really aren’t as expensive as you think. Just do your research and compare quotes to find the best space.
5 - COMPROMISE ON DÉCOR
“Sorry honey, but that couch from the Frat days has got to go.”
Often times, couples can get a little heated with their preferred ‘design aesthetic’. Keep communication open and also have an open mind for your new space together. Maybe one partner takes more control of the living spaces and the other is able to put their taste into the bedroom or the game room. There is always a solution to every problem. Even when that problem is that your partner has not-that-great taste. With compromise you both will be able to design your home together and ultimately be satisfied with the decisions.
6 - DIVIDE CLEANING & MAINTENENACE
It’s all fun and games until you actually have to vacuum, mop and take out the trash. It’s not exactly the first thing couples think about, but once you finally move in together, choirs become super relevant super fast. To keep smooth sailing, try having a conversation beforehand regarding which choirs you don’t mind vs. which one’s your partner prefers. For example, I actually sort of kind of like cleaning the bathrooms (or shall I say don’t mind it that much) and my partner feels the same about vacuuming & mopping… which works perfect.
One thing that is very important is to make sure the division of labor is split evenly. It is critical to have clear conversations in dialogue of which jobs each partner is doing and how much of a toll it takes from your free time. For example, one partner may work from home and the other may work a 60-hour week and have to commute. It’s healthy at this point to rebalance tasks so both people are pulling the similar weight and also have the ability to relax at home after work as well.
7 - REMEMBER ITS OKAY TO HIRE PROFESSIONAL HELP
I know this isn’t the most popular or inexpensive option, but it can really help if there is a constant struggle in the living arrangements. If you and your partner feel you could genuinely benefit from a 3rd party’s unbiased opinion in order to help make living together a success, go for it!
Even a financial advisor could really help counsel you and your partner to make smart decisions. According to Joyce Marter, licensed psychotherapist with Refresh Mental Health in the Chicago area, “The two main reasons people come into couple’s counseling are issues about finances and issues about communication.” This is so true.
Efficient communication is imperative for success in any and all relationships. This includes financial talk. Sometimes it isn’t the funnest conversation, especially if one side is struggling more than the other… but just communicate and make goals with each other so you can be successful as one in your financial situation and ultimately your relationship living together.
Everyone (almost), gets the idea in their head at some point that they can take on a home improvement project by themselves. I know I have… and I also know that I can be a bit over-confident sometimes. In some cases, fixing something yourself can honestly be a great way to cut costs on a project. BUT, often times, this over-confidence can just lead to putting yourself in a dangerous situation or even setting you back further than when starting. No matter how many YouTube videos you watch on ‘DIY how to’ do this or that, there are some home projects that are just a “DIY Don’t.”
DON’T SKIP THE PERMIT PART
Did you know that there are permit regulations when conducting electrical, heating, air work or plumbing? Depending on the location, there are requirements needing to be met about standards of quality, according to Michael Flanagan- heating, ventilation, and air conditioning manager for Michael & Son Services in Richmond, VA. Typically to get the permits there is a fee, but it is worth the small price rather than risking getting caught doing it without a permit or even doing the work wrong (which is something I would do). ______________________________________________________________
EXPOSED WIRES = NOT GOOD
Obviously, exposed wires are not a good thing. At all. At my home we recently had an issue with our dryer – it stopped working unexpectedly. We had no idea how old it was or why it wasn’t working so we scheduled a professional to come look at it just in case. You would be amazed at what was found underneath the machine! Apparently, the people that lived there before tried to solve a dryer issue themselves (most likely) & had an issue with the duct connection so LEFT it unconnected to the base of the dryer underneath. Not only that, but once inside the bottom of the machine, there were tons of exposed wires, lint & dirt all over. It was filthy, and we were shocked at how nasty it was. The man taking it apart literally stopped during this process, looked up and said, “You are SO lucky this hasn’t caught on fire… I don’t know HOW it hasn’t caught fire…” Wow… that’s settling. Do yourself and the next person a favor and get your improvement projects done right! It’s worth it. Especially ones involving wires.
_______________________________________________________________ ELECTRICAL FIXES ARE HARDER THAN YOU THINK
When I have seen people come put light fixtures up in our home, I remember thinking… ‘that looks kinda easy I bet I could of done it.’ HA. There are so many dangers to working with circuits. The main worry being blowing a fuse. Dave Geradine, the owner of Expert Home Repairs in Hollywood, FL, says electrical work is most sensitive because of all the variations a connection can have. The flaws may not be apparent until it’s too late. He says, “If you don’t make your connections properly, you can have…an electrical fire caused by an arcing of the two wires that aren’t tightly connected.”_____________________________________________________________________
DON’T CLOSE THE VENTS
Okay am I the only one that has closed vents in my house to make the air go to a different room? Oops. Apparently this is a huge No-No. Closing vents to force more air to a different part of the house actually slowly but surely destroys the efficiency and shortens the life of the equipment dramatically. _______________________________________________________________
NEW FLOORING ON-TOP OF THE OLD ONE
I love a brand spankin’ new floor. It’s a fabulous way to freshen up a room and make it feel new again. However, you should always always remove the old material, such as linoleum or tile, before starting on the new flooring. If you choose not to, you will most likely run into problems like an uneven surface, or problems under the original flooring that will be even more difficult to get to. Then you will have to go through the process and replace it yet again. “You always want to go down to the bare wood or concrete surface when you do new flooring,” says Geradine… and if you don’t, “What’s underneath your new flooring fails, & then your tile comes up.” __________________________________________________
PLACING OUTLETS NEAR A SINK OR TUB
You don’t have to be a genius to know that water and electricity don’t mix. When you are remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, it is crucial to use the ground-fault circuit interrupter near any area with water. A GFCI is that funky outlet with the buttons on it that you have to press in order to make your blow-dryer turn back on when it’s not working. If your appliance is plugged into the GFCI outlet and falls into water, the outlet will trip the electricity, so it cuts off. This is such a great invention. I’m all for preventing electrocution so I highly recommend these outlets. ________________________________________________________________
USING TAPES AND ‘ALL PURPOSE’ GLUES
Unfortunately, duct tape isn’t as effective as most people think it is, and neither are the fancy glues and tapes that supposedly will make your boat still float when its cracked in half (yeah right). Flanagan claims that when it comes to gluing or taping something together, there’s typically a specific adhesive needed that will be most effective and least likely to cause problems in the future. For example, he says air and heating professionals use foil tape. _________________________________________________________________
NAILS ON DECK
Did you know that when you are building a deck, you are supposed to use sturdier & bigger bolts depending on how many people the deck will be holding? Home inspectors frequently see decks attached to homes with nails, when the builder SHOULD have secured the wood with specific bolts. Frank Lesh, the executive director of the American Society of Home Inspectors, claims “every year a deck collapses because a guy just used a whole bunch of nails to attach it to the house."______________________________________________
PAINTING WALLS PREVIOUSLY PAINTED OR WALL PAPERED
If you take on this project at home, you surely want to take all the right steps. It is a popular idea that simply painting several coats of paint over a wall can have it looking brand new, but it is super important to get the surface clean and smooth before starting these steps. This is especially for getting rid of old wallpaper or chipped paint. If wallpaper is left on the wall before a paint job, the wallpaper will moisten and start to bubble. Then you will have to deal with this whole other issue of popping bubbles on your wall and I don’t think anyone wants to do that. Instead of having to re-trace your steps, just take the extra time to do it right and get the surface smooth and clean first.
REPLACING OLD PIPES WITHOUT HAVING THEM CHECKED FIRST
Okay this one was a shocker for me. TLC is greatly needed for many older homes out there, but it is super critical to be on your toes about the dangers lurking beneath the surface. Especially with piping. There is a chance that old plumbing materials could contain asbestos. Obviously, that’s not good. You don’t want asbestos to get into the air because it could contain hazardous material. And no, a dust mask won’t help. The fibers are microscopic and can SERIOUSLY injure you long term. With this job, you should seek an experienced professional to make sure particles aren’t left in the air when the job is finished.
In summary, if you are *at all* unsure about a project, don’t hesitate to just call a professional for advice, if not to do the job for you. “With the trades- plumbing, heating, air and electrical – there may be five ways to do it right, but there’s a thousand ways to do it wrong. And people tend to find those thousand ways before they find the five ways. So if you’re not quite confident and competent in what you’re doing, you should just call a professional.” Flanagan says.