The Papineau Team's Blog
Porch lighting is an essential part of a home's curb appeal. It offers much more than help navigating in the dark or a pretty accent for your front door. A brightly lit porch can enhance security and also save you money on your energy bill.
Where will you place it?
The location of your porch light helps you choose the right fixture. When updating an existing light, your choices may be limited if you don’t want to relocate your electricity or create additional patching or painting tasks. If your project is bigger or you are starting from scratch, your options are unlimited. In addition to the traditional placement on either side of the door, porch lights can be hung from above or be installed on posts.
What is the style of your home?
The architecture of your home also dictates the kind of fixture you should choose. If your home does not have any defining characteristics, your style is all you need. Porchlights can be found in several styles and designs with modern, casual and traditional options widely available. Consider a traditional style for a colonial home or a rustic fixture for a log cabin.
What is the size of your entry door?
The size of your porch light should balance with the size of your door. For example, if you have a standard-size door of six-feet eight-inches, it is recommended that your porch light be between 5 and 9 inches wide. A porch light that is 10 to 12 inches wide will balance with an eight-foot door. Choose the same or similar widths when installing multiple fixtures.
What are the features?
Motion sensitive porch lights feature a built-in sensor that turns on the light when a person or pet moves into the range of the sensor. A daylight sensitive light has a timer that automatically turns on the lights at dusk. Most decorative porch lights feature built-in dusk to dawn photoelectric eyes, which means you won't need to think about turning on the porch light.
If you want a bright porch light, check the wattage recommendations for the fixture you’re considering. Do not exceed the fixture's wattage as this could cause damage. Replace your incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs or outdoor-rated compact fluorescent bulbs.
Installing the right porch light can add charm to your home and significantly boost your curb appeal. If you need guidance or installation assistance, ask your realtor for recommended lighting professionals or contractors to help with your project.
Floods can be devastating. Not only do they damage many of your personal belongings, but they can also lead to devastating problems with your home. The good news is, you can make the process easier by following a few steps in the immediate aftermath of a home flood.
Contact Your Insurance Company
The first step is to notify the insurance company that you have experienced a flood. The sooner you call, the better. Flood damage may or may not be covered under your policy, but if it is, there is likely a process that you will have to follow to make sure that your claim is processed in a timely fashion. Your insurance company may require an assessor to come out. Even though they are likely to take pictures during the assessment, you should take your own immediately to document exactly how everything looked when the damage occurred.
Find a Safe Place to Stay
If there is a significant amount of water in your home, it may not be safe to stay there until the restoration process is complete. If this is the case, find a safe place to stay until the cleaning process is finished. If the damage is minimal, make sure you protect yourself when in the space by wearing a surgical mask, boots and other protective clothing. Water damage can lead to mold and mildew, which can lead to respiratory problems.
Contact a Cleanup Specialist
The final step is to call a cleanup specialist. Water damage can require special care to ensure that your home is properly restored. Your cleanup specialist will make an assessment of the damage, salvage what property they can, remove the water and disinfect the area so that you and your family will not suffer from mold-related issues. They will also inform you about possible repairs that need to be made as a result of the flood.
Don't let flood damage ruin your home, follow the steps above to get on top of the damage so that you can achieve the best results.
Understanding how much your home is worth is important for a number of reasons. For one, when you go to sell your home, you’ll have an idea of how much equity that you’re working with. You may need to either refinance your home, take out a loan, or line of credit. Knowing the current market value of your home can give you a good idea of your finances and what to expect. Many people believe that their home is worth more than it actually is. In reality, your home is only worth what people will actually pay for the property in a certain time frame.
Some websites offer basic ideas of how much your home is worth. You can also use the Internet to search for comparable properties and see what has been sold, how much it has been sold for, and how much other homes that are similar to yours in the neighborhood are worth. You’ll need to be sure that the comparing properties include the same types of features as your own home in order to get a good estimate.
Consult A Realtor
Experienced realtors in your area are great resources for helping you to determine your property’s value. Many agencies offer free market value analyses, which can help you to see where your home would fall in the current real estate market. Realtors don’t get paid unless your home sells. They can use their many resources to work with you on the sale of your home and help you to price it appropriately.
Hire An Appraiser
If you want to dig a bit deeper in the pricing of your home, you’ll need to shell out a bit of cash. You could hire a certified appraiser who will dig deep into your property to determine the value. Once you find a buyer, another appraisal will happen on the property. The buyer pays for this. If you really want a good idea of how much your home is worth, hiring an appraiser beforehand is key. Keep in mind that appraisers may come up with slightly different estimates for the same home.
Know The Key Things That Affect Home Value
There are a few big factors that influence just how much your property is worth. While you may love your big kitchen, it goes a lot further than that. Factors that contribute to how much your property is worth include:
- The amount of land that you have
- The neighborhood your home is in
- The schools your home is near
- How many square feet your property is
- The condition of your home
- Any updates that have been made to the home
- The types of appliances you have
- Has the home ever been foreclosed on?
- Is your home energy efficient?
Based on all of this information, you’ll be able to get a good idea of what your home is worth. Beware of things that can cause a major financial setback on your home’s value like an urgent need for roof replacement, dated windows, or an unknown crack in the foundation. Getting an idea of what your home is worth is a great way to keep on top of your own assets whether you’re prepared to sell or just curious about numbers.
Often used interchangeably, the terms “property insurance” and “homeowners’ insurance” sometimes confuse new homebuyers. Homeowners’ insurance is a specialized form of property insurance. By “property” the insurance industry means anything that you own.
Under that category come homeowners’ insurance and even renters’ insurance. These products cover single-family houses, condominiums and a renter’s contents in the case of damage from fire, storms, water leaks and theft. Some coverage includes temporary accommodation if you can’t stay in your home.
Homeowners’ insurance typically includes a liability component in case someone suffers property damage or accidental injury due to happenings on your property or the condition of your home.
On a side note, homeowners’ insurance (HOI) should not be confused with Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). Although you pay the premiums for PMI when you utilize a zero or low down-payment mortgage option, the coverage does not protect you or your home. It’s there to protect the lender if you default on your loan. Your investment in the home and any equity you’ve built up, however, is not covered by PMI. Additionally, mortgage lenders usually require that you carry HOI up to a certain percentage of the property’s value. Coverage for your contents is up to you.
Here’s How It Breaks Down:
- Property insurance provides protection against risks to your home and property, like catastrophic and everyday weather damage, fire and theft. “Riders” are specialized forms of insurance or add-on endorsements to cover damage from floods and earthquakes, for example, or damage to or theft of high-value personal items such as antiques, jewelry, firearms, artwork, collectibles, specialized electronics and musical instruments. Some coverage even protects you from yourself. That is, if you’re accident-prone, it will replace your laptop if you trip and send your computer flying across the room.
- Premiums are the amount that you pay each month, quarter or annually for the coverage. What you pay in premiums above the basic coverage required by your lender is largely within your control, depending on what you cover. You can also reduce some premium costs by installing a security system and avoiding frivolous claims. You can also increase or reduce your premiums by agreeing to a lower or higher deductible.
- Your deductible is the amount you pay for damage before your insurance coverage kicks in. It’s a wise move to have a savings account with the amount of the deductible tucked away so that in the event of a claim, you can get right on the repairs as soon as the insurance pays your claim.
For advice and recommendations on homeowners’ insurance coverages, ask your real estate agent.