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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Remove Stains From Walls Before You Paint

Remove Stains From Walls Before You Paint
Article From HouseLogic.com By: Pat Curry
Photo: Flickr CC License: Phil Gradwell
Remove stains from walls before you slap on another coat: It's the first commandment of painting. Here's how to wash seven common stains off your walls.
Painting instructions often warn: Remove stains from walls before painting. But they never say how. Any cleaning rookie can wipe off dust and cobwebs. But it takes a cleaning pro to scour grease stains, watermarks, and kids' crayon and ink wall art.
Dirt and grime
Dirt and grime are part of everyday life. The oil from your hands gets onto walls, cabinets, doors, and door frames. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser ($3 for 4 pads) easily cuts through these stains. Wet the sponge and rub gently to avoid taking bits of paint off with the stain.

Or try this: Mix 1 cup ammonia, 1/2 cup white distilled or apple cider vinegar, and 1/4 cup baking soda with one gallon of warm water. Wipe the solution over walls with a sponge or cloth, and rinse with clear water. The solution won't dull the painted finish or leave streaks.
Grease
Grease is an occupational hazard of cooking; it covers cabinets and walls and attracts dirt and dust. Any good dish soap can remove grease stains on walls. For small stains, mix 1/4 teaspoon of soap in a cup of warm water, and wipe. Rinse with clean water, and blot until dry. Clean stubborn grease stains with solution of 1/3 cup of white household vinegar with 2/3 cup of water.
Crayons
Wall erasers work like a charm on crayon marks. If they don't do the trick:
Rub marks with toothpaste (not gel).

Erase marks with an art gum or a pencil eraser; use a circular motion.

Swipe marks with baby wipes.

Sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge and scrub marks.

Permanent marker
Permanent markers are tough to remove from walls. Soak a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and dab the stain. Or spray marks with hairspray, then wipe drips.
Ink
Ballpoint ink, which is oil-based, often succumbs to foaming shaving cream, dry-cleaning solvent such as Carbona, or nail polish remover. Make sure you open windows when using cleaning solvents and polish remover.
Mildew
Mildew is a fungus that eats soap scum and body oil. To remove from walls, spray with vinegar water: 1 tablespoon white vinegar to 1 quart water. Also, try an enzyme laundry detergent; follow the pre-treating directions on the label. Blot it on the stain, and then rinse thoroughly with water.
Water stains
After you've solved the problem that caused the water stains, rinse with a solution of 1 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water to prevent mold and mildew from growing. Thoroughly dry with a hairdryer or fans. If bleaching doesn't remove water stains, you'll have to repaint. Prime the walls with a stain-killing primer, such as Kilz Paint.

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

© 2015 Dan Benton
Dan Benton - Realtor with Real Estate Brokers of Alaska
1577 C Street, Suite 101A., Anchorage, AK 99501
Phone: (907) 727-5279

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Saturday, January 2, 2016

Should You Move or Remodel?

Should You Move or Remodel?
Article From BuyAndSell.HouseLogic.com By: Dona DeZube

When your house no longer suits you, you can move or remodel. Find out which big change is the right investment of your housing dollars.
Photo: Flickr CC License: Piddleville
Deciding whether you should move or remodel? The most important things you need to consider are the four things you can't change: your home's value compared to the rest of the neighborhood, how much you love your neighborhood, the size of your lot, and the cost to move your stuff to a new house.
Just about everything else-remodeling costs, the hassle of living in a construction zone, or the ability to live happily without one more bathroom--is a personal preference. After all, your home isn't just your largest investment; it's also the place where your family lives.

1. Will remodeling make your home better than everyone else's?

To make the right move-or-remodel decision, you have to know:
Your home's value. Easy. Just ask a REALTOR® to estimate it and tell you how it compares with the value of the other homes in your immediate neighborhood. Ask her what she thinks your house will be worth after the improvements, too.

Your neighbors' home value. Hit some open houses. Seeing the inside of area homes will inspire you; help you make good choices about finishes, room sizes, and how much to spend; and, admit it, entertain you.

Your remodeling costs. Once you've got your renovation vision, get a quote from a home improvement contractor or, if you're remodeling it yourself, tally the costs of the items on your supplies shopping list.

Then add the remodeling costs to the value of your home. If the number you get is more than 10% above the average value of homes in your neighborhood, you're over-improving and probably won't be able to sell for what you put into the remodel.

Here's why: No one wants to buy the most expensive home on the block (your home) if they can spend the same money to get a similar home on a block of higher-priced homes. Would you pay $200,000 to live on a block where all the other homes are valued at $100,000? We hope not.

Make home improvements that are typical for the neighborhood. Don't put granite countertops in a trailer, and don't put laminate countertops in a Trump Tower condo. Your tour of open houses gives you a chance to verify that your planned remodel isn't an over- or under-improvement for the neighborhood.

2. Do you love where you live?

Want to keep your kids in the same school district, but can't find or afford a bigger, better house? Love the neighbors? Have an easy commute to work? Stay put. If you've soured on the traffic, the neighborhood's crime rate, or the nosy neighbors, move on.

3. Do you have room to expand?

If your remodeling plans include increasing the overall size of your home, the size of your lot may be the deciding factor in whether to move or remodel. If you live in a 1,500 sq. ft. ranch on a 3,000 sq. ft. lot, you might be able to add a second story to turn it into a 3,000 sq. ft. two-story, but you're not likely to add 1,500 sq. ft. at ground level. And if you have a septic tank and well, the location of those will limit how and where you add onto your home (or cost you a bundle to move).

4. Can you afford to move?

Consider these moving costs: sale costs for your existing home, shipping your household goods, buying window treatments and possibly furniture for the new house, costs to fix up your existing home before sale, higher utility costs (if your next house is bigger), insurance cost differences, and property taxes.

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Dona DeZube, HouseLogic's news editor, moved across the same street twice when she remodeled two houses in Columbia, Maryland, before she moved to a house in Clarksville, Maryland. She remodeled that house and then moved back to the same street in Columbia. She despises moving, but her husband loves remodeling.

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

© 2015 Dan Benton
Dan Benton - Realtor with Real Estate Brokers of Alaska
1577 C Street, Suite 101A., Anchorage, AK 99501
Phone: (907) 727-5279

Join Great Alaskan Homes on:
Blogspot - Pinterest - Twitter - Facebook - Google+