Bill Hoey - RE/MAX Renaissance Inc.



Posted by Bill Hoey on 8/14/2019

There are apps for tracking your data usage. There are apps for monitoring your credit. Are there apps that can monitor energy usage? Yes, there are! Moreover, the great thing about these apps is that they are free! Here are the best apps you can use to monitor your energy usage:

Simply Energy

For users of Simply Energy with working smart meters, this is unarguably one of the most straightforward ways to keep track of your energy costs and usage. The application helps monitors the amount of energy you use in your home and when you use it. This is a great way to know when your household consumes more energy so you can take quick steps to minimize it. You can also use the application to pay your utility bills at the snap of a finger, so you don't have to worry about missing out Pay on Time discount.

Energy Rating Calculator

Next, on the list is the Energy Rating Calculator. This application was developed by the Department of the Environment and Energy to help homeowners make wise choices as they shop for electrical appliances. With this application, you can input the model you are thinking of buying, and the app will swiftly make a comparison of its running costs. By doing so, you will be able to consider the long-term costs before purchasing the appliance.

Light bulb saver

It is a well-known fact that the right lights can make any home more energy efficient. However, picking the perfect bulb can be a headache. Watts or Lumens? CFL or LED? Moreover, your old halogens, what do you with them? Just like the name, Light bulb saver is here to save you. Developed by the Department of the Environment and Energy, this application makes your research easy by helping you choose the perfect lighting for your home. That's not all this application will also show you the amount of energy you might save by making a change.

Green outlet

Green Outlet was developed to allow users to know which appliances in their home use the most energy. To get it started, the application only needs some personal data before it will calculate an average monthly cost. One exciting feature in this application is that it comes with a notification sound to alert users if they are exceeding their carbon usage.

Energy Consumption Analyzer

This is another smartphone application that can help you track your energy consumption by including meters for several kinds of energy. This application will help you calculate your average rate of energy use: hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly. It runs on both Apple iOS and Google Android platforms and is extremely useful in tracking energy usage.





Posted by Bill Hoey on 8/7/2019

Curb appeal is paramount for a home seller. Because if you allocate time and resources to enhance your house's curb appeal, you may be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a successful home selling experience.

There are many reasons for a home seller to improve his or her house's curb appeal, and these are:

1. You can differentiate your house from the competition.

The real estate market is fierce, and as a home seller, it is important to look for any competitive advantage. Fortunately, upgrading your house's curb appeal may help you differentiate your residence from the competition.

Remember, a home with a beautiful front lawn, flawless siding and other dazzling exterior features is more likely than other houses to make a positive first impression on buyers. If you improve your house's curb appeal, you can make your residence an attractive choice to homebuyers. And as a result, homebuyers may be drawn to your residence as soon as it becomes available.

2. You can boost the likelihood of maximizing your home sale earnings.

Optimizing the value of your home sometimes can be difficult, particularly for a seller who is unsure about how to list a residence and promote it to potential buyers. If you enhance your house's curb appeal, however, you may be able to maximize your home sale earnings.

A home with great curb appeal is likely to stand out to potential buyers, and as such, lead to many home showings. Meanwhile, if buyers like what they see, there could be lots of competition to acquire this residence. And if a seller receives multiple offers to purchase his or her home, this individual could reap the benefits of a profitable home selling experience.

3. You can speed up the house selling process.

The home selling process may be long and challenging, especially if a seller enters the real estate market without a strategy in place. Thankfully, a seller who improves his or her house's curb appeal can speed up the home selling cycle.

A house that makes a memorable first impression on buyers may prove to be a popular choice, regardless of the current real estate market's conditions. If a seller enhances a home's curb appeal, this individual can make it simple for buyers to fall in love with his or her house right away.

If you need assistance as you get ready to list your home, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional can offer tips to help you improve your residence's curb appeal. Plus, as you proceed along the home selling cycle, a real estate agent will help you determine the best course of action.

Prioritize your home's curb appeal – you'll be glad you did. If you dedicate time and resources to improve your house's curb appeal today, you could bolster your home's appearance and make your residence a top choice in a competitive real estate market.





Posted by Bill Hoey on 7/31/2019

That kitchen sink faucet needed replacing for a while, but between the cost of the new faucet and the cost of paying the hourly rate of the plumber and his helper, it is still the same old faucet. It works—sort-of—at least water comes out. Then, while watching one of those shows (that is either remodeling a house to live in or to flip and make some money), you see them change out the kitchen faucet, and you say to yourself, "I can do that.” 

So, the adventure begins.

On the surface, changing out a faucet does not seem like such a challenging project. However, if you are not doing plumbing on a regular basis, it can get more complicated. The first step is that you have to buy the faucet you want that will look good. That seems simple enough, but there are holes already drilled in the sink or the countertop, so you must get a faucet that will fit those. There are two ways to size the holes: either remove the old fixture or get under the sink to measure the distance between the holes. (This is particularly important if this is an older home.) 

Now to do the work.

Removing the faucet requires crawling under the sink. 

  • First, remove all of that stuff stored under there.
  • Turn off the hot and cold water. If there are no valves under the sink, you need to find the master valve for the house. (If this is the situation, you might decide to install valves while you’re at it, but remember, you are not a plumber, so that might be biting off more than you can chew.)
  • Now you find that the drain pipes are in your way of trying to get under the sink to reach the backside. So, you decide to remove them to get around under there. Seems logical right? Unfortunately, you find that someone else that is not a plumber replaced those drain lines and did not put them back correctly so now you are going to have to replace those.
  • Back to the faucet you finally get the water lines removed and the nuts holding the faucet to the sink. (They're corroded—apparently, there had been a leak at some point). 

Following the instructions that came with the faucet, you get it attached to the sink, and it looks GREAT! Unfortunately, you go to connect the waterlines, and the ends do not match the faucet. So, you remove the waterlines from the inlet valve and head to the DIY store to find new lines that will fit. You also remember to take all of that drain pipe with you because you are going to need to replace it and make it fit correctly.

Wrap it up!

Now you have the new parts you can get the water attached and the drain pipes reconnected. The drain pipes look a lot different, but they work, and they do not leak. Congratulations to you! 

You have finally replaced that old faucet. It looks good, but bummer it took you all Saturday morning and then some. Maybe you should have paid that plumber for an hour. You could have done something more fun. Plumbing is one of those DIY things that when you do not do it all of the time, you NEVER have the correct pieces and you end up making several trips to the store. You are not alone.

The choice is yours: spend money or spend time. DIY can be satisfying or frustrating, so remember to start a project with your eyes open to what could be involved. Good luck! 

For a referral to a qualified plumber, check with your real estate professional.





Posted by Bill Hoey on 7/24/2019

Before you launch a home search, it helps to prepare for the property buying journey as much as possible. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to get ready to find your dream house.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prep for a home search.

1. Establish Homebuying Criteria

If you know you want to buy a home, it generally is a good idea to define your ideal residence as well. That way, you can streamline your house search.

Consider where you want to reside. For example, if you work in the city, you may want to focus on houses in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you plan to return to school, you may want to search for a home near top colleges and universities.

Think about what features you want in your ideal home, too. If you have always wanted to own a home that boasts a luxurious outdoor swimming pool, for instance, you can map out your home search accordingly. Or, if you want to purchase a residence that features a state-of-the-art kitchen, you can search for a home that offers this amenity.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

A mortgage typically is a must-have, regardless of where and when you search for a home. And if you enter the housing market with a mortgage at your disposal, you will know precisely how much you can spend on a residence.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can be simple. If you meet with banks and credit unions in your area, you can review your options and select a mortgage that complements your finances.

If you have concerns about home financing, don't hesitate to ask questions. Banks and credit unions employ courteous, diligent mortgage specialists who can respond to your home financing queries. As such, you can work with these specialists to gain the home financing insights you need to make the best-possible mortgage decision.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

As you get set to conduct a home search, there is no need to work alone. If you hire a real estate agent, you can collaborate with a homebuying expert who can take the guesswork out of finding and purchasing a house.

A real estate agent is happy to provide guidance throughout the homebuying journey. He or she can offer tips and recommendations to ensure you can find a terrific home at a price that matches your budget. Plus, a real estate agent will simplify the process of setting up home showings. Perhaps best of all, if you are uncertain about whether to submit an offer to purchase a home, a real estate agent is ready to provide insights to help you analyze all of your options.

Dedicate time and resources to prepare for the homebuying journey. By doing so, you can enter the housing market with the insights you need to succeed.





Posted by Bill Hoey on 7/17/2019

Staging a home requires a seller to think about how to differentiate his or her residence from others that are currently available. Fortunately, a home staging checklist can make it easy for a seller to ensure his or her house stands out from the competition.

A home staging checklist allows a seller to take a step-to-step approach to enhance his or her house's appeal, which may lead to a fast, profitable home sale.

In addition, this checklist is simple to create and may include the following items:

1. Removing Clutter

Although you likely have collected a variety of antiques, artwork and other attractive items over the years, you may want to remove some of these belongings from your house. That way, you can help homebuyers envision what their lives may be like if they decide to purchase your residence.

Remember, the goal of a home seller is to stir up substantial interest in a house. If you eliminate clutter from your home, you can enable homebuyers to see exactly what your residence has to offer and help them make an informed purchase decision.

To remove clutter from your home, you may want to host a yard sale or sell excess items online. You can always donate excess items to local charities or give them to family members or friends too. Or, if you want to keep all of your belongings, you can put various items in a storage unit until your residence sells.

2. Cleaning a Home from Top to Bottom

An immaculate residence is sure to garner substantial interest from homebuyers. Thus, if you clean your home from top to bottom, you can increase the likelihood that your residence will make a positive first impression on potential buyers.

Go room by room and clean as much as possible. If you require extra assistance, you can hire a professional home cleaning company as well.

3. Collaborating with a Real Estate Agent

If you need expert guidance as you sell your residence, you should hire a local real estate agent.

A real estate agent is a difference-maker throughout the home selling journey. This housing market professional can help you stage your home, along with provide real estate market insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

When it comes to home staging, it often pays to collaborate with a real estate agent. In fact, a real estate agent will learn about your house and offer personalized home staging recommendations.

Furthermore, a real estate agent understands the ins and outs of selling a house and can help you make tough decisions throughout the home selling journey. He or she can work with you to determine an initial asking price for your residence, whether to accept an offer a home and much more. Also, if you ever have home selling concerns or questions, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them at any time.

Take the guesswork out of staging your residence – include the aforementioned items in your home staging checklist, and you can quickly and effortlessly get your house show-ready.