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Category Blogs I Follow

The Truth About Auditing

We all have that fear of hearing we’re getting audited by the IRS. However, less than one percent of Americans get audited. State agencies also have the right to look at your returns.

People most likely to be audited are those with no income and those making more than $1 million. If you still use the old paper methods instead of using an online service or having a professional prepare your taxes, you up your chances of an audit.

Click here to read the full infographic report in my monthly Item of Value.

Contact me if there is anything I can do to help you buy or sell your home.

Oh, by the way, I’m never too busy for any of your referrals.

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Keep your home organized

Thanks to Cindy Bernstein of Aim4Order for this episode of Tips from the Pros about clutter and your mindset.

When I think about organizing my home, I like to take a step back and look at it from an outsider’s point of view. Think about a real estate agent coming over to tell you how you need to reduce the clutter in order to show your home. You be the real estate agent and look around your own home.

Make a list of things that you see that need work. Write it down so you have that list and don’t forget anything.

Do shelves seem like they have too much on them? 

Too many photos, nicknacks, books or other items can make your home look cluttered just because there is so much there. Think about what you can part with and what gives you joy...

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The Basics of Slate Roofing

Thanks to Clean Sweep for this episode of Tips from the Pros about slate roofs.

As a realtor, you probably see almost every type and quality of roofing imaginable, from roofs that seem to have more bare spots than shingles to traditional composite shingles. However, many realtors lack experience with slate roofing. This high-quality roofing material can last for up to 150 years if it’s properly installed, and it adds major value to homes.

Slate Roofing

Slate roofing can match almost any exterior aesthetic thanks to the wide range of textures and colors that the material comes in. It’s also completely recyclable once it has worn out. Slate roofing requires expert maintenance and specialized installation to give homeowners the best experience possible.

When Selling a Hom...

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Organizing your goals

Image: Balloon Coach

Thanks to Cindy Bernstein of Aim4Order for this episode of Tips from the Pros about organizing your goals.

As the year is coming to an end, thoughts turn to 2019 and what you can accomplish in the new year. Setting goals can be a challenge, but there are some ways to make it easier.

The first step is deciding what goals you want to achieve in the coming year before you figure out how to achieve them.

People who write down their goals are much more likely to make them happen. There are several ways to do that.

Make a list of the goals you want to achieve in the year, month-by-month or even week by week. You can break down the big goals into components that you need to accomplish in order to reach that goal...

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How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality this Winter

Thanks to Clean Sweep for this episode of Tips from the Pros about air quality.

Homes are designed to be energy-efficient over the cold winter months and block out heat in the summer. When frigid winds start outside, homeowners seal cracks in insulation and block out any drafts. However, those measures to keep heat in also seal in allergens and pollutants inside of the home. Indoor air quality can dramatically decline over the course of a single winter month.

What Pollutants and Allergens Impact Indoor Air Quality?

  • Mold and mildew
  • Pet dander and hair
  • Dust mites
  • Pollen
  • Germs, viruses and airborne bacteria
  • Tobacco smoke
  • VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that can be found in the bonding agents used for carpet, upholstery and paneling
  • Asbestos
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Lead
  • Household ...
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Everything You Need to Know About Self-Storage

Thanks to our friends at StorageUnits.org for this informative guest blog.

Storage space – you can never have enough. Clutter piles up, closets overflow and garages fill up quickly with your belongings. If you’re low on space, you don’t have to remodel your interior and add more closets. The simple solution is self-storage. With a self-storage unit, you can keep your stuff in a dedicated place away from home and have it nearby when you need it.

What is Self-Storage?

Self-storage comes in handy for anyone who needs to make space in their home or business. Storage facilities provide a convenient service for keeping and protecting your belongings in individual units...

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December Mortgage Rates

Thanks to Mark Hines of Fidelity Bank for this episode of Tips from the Pros about mortgages.

The Fed

As it now stands, the Fed has penciled in three 25 basis-point hikes in 2019.  However, the chances of those projected rate hikes actually seeing the light of day are declining rapidly.  While the Fed is expected to bump their short-term benchmark rates 25 basis points higher next week Wednesday — the futures markets are showing investors are now assigning 50-50 odds to the likelihood the Fed will raise rates even once in 2019. 

Believe it or not, the end of the tightening moves by the Fed is not particularly good news for the prospects of steady to lower mortgage interest rates...

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The Five Elements

In this issue of Tips from the Pros, here is a blog from Chuck Graham an acupuncturist.

The study of the 5 elements is the study of relationships in nature. It is, along with yin and yang, the basic philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine. The ancient Chinese observed these relationships in nature, and applied them to their understanding of the human body.

The five elements, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood, are not simply the foundation of this beautiful system of medicine: they are the foundation and spirit of all nature around us. The five elements are alive both around us and in us: they are a way to describe the movement of all life and all energy. They embody all the qualities that we encounter in Nature...

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How to Prepare Your Home for the Winter

In Tips from the Pros, here are some thoughts about weatherproofing your home for the cold weather from Chimney Sweep Maryland

Fall is here, and winter is right around the corner, which means that you should take some time to complete all of your regular fall maintenance tasks. Thankfully, Clean Sweep Maryland is here to help!

Check Your Slate Roofing

Fall is a great time to check your slate roofing for any issues since it’s months before the weight of snow will be pressing down upon it. Broken or missing shingles can lead to major problems and structural damage over the course of the winter. Your slate roof should also be checked for gaps in the flashing around your skylights, chimney and roof vents...

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Does cold weather affect your well?

In this issue of Tips from the Pros, WelGuard shares valuable information about the cold weather and your well.

Does cold weather affect your well?

Or, If the well is outside during the winter, why doesn’t the water freeze?

Cold conditions generally shorten the lives and usage of mechanical and electrical equipment used outside.  This generally includes all of the dozens of man made parts that make up a well.  But the answer to the question of cold affecting well performance is no – there is very little affect.

Cold has no apparent negative affect on the equipment and well, in part because the well is sealed/enclosed on the outside. Your well cap and casing serve as a bit of “insulation”, and this stops the cold air and rain from getting into the well, even when it is freezing cold outside.

The lateral p...

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