Kathy Foran - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West



Posted by Kathy Foran on 12/13/2015

You have made the decision to put your home up for sale. Before you stick the sign in the yard there are a few things you will want to do. Buyers can be picky and the competition can be stiff. So now is the time to do all the little repairs you've always meant to do but never had the time for. Here are just a few of the basic repairs you will want to conquer before the first prospective buyer walks through the door: 1.Tackle the Entrance This is the first thing people see when they come to your home. Paint the front door and trim surrounding the door. Repair sagging screen doors and replace any missing or corroded hinge screws and tighten the rest. 2. Spruce up the Perimeter Walk the perimeter of your home, clear away dead plants, clip blossoms, and clear away leaves and other yard waste. 3. Recheck the roof Any problem that has the word roof in it scares a buyer away immediately. Replace missing shingles and fix hanging gutters.  Remove any moss growing on the roof as this shows signs of neglect. 4. Clear and caulk gutters. Clear all the debris out of the gutters and recaulk the gutter end caps. 5. Patch nail holes and repaint. Patch up nail holes in the walls of your home. Use a lightweight putty to fill the holes and paint the repaired spots. 6. Clean the Grout Deep clean tile grout with bleach.  Regrout tiles where needed and recaulk cracks between sinks, tubs, toilets, counters and floors. This will give your tile a whole new look. 7. Stop Dripping Faucets Fix leaky faucets before the buyer notices them.  You may need to call in a plumber to do this task. Before you do that you can shut off the water supply and check for moisture on the wall around the valves and on the floor of the sink cabinet. Many hardware stores carry faucet rebuild kits that contain the 6 to 12 parts most likely to fail, including the metal ball, O rings, springs and gaskets.    





Posted by Kathy Foran on 10/25/2015

They get grimy, dirty, smelly and can be some of the dirtiest things in your home. What are they? Your kitchen appliances! But with some everyday household items and a little bit of elbow grease, your kitchen appliances can look and smell like new for many years to come.   To clean your dishwasher: Regularly clean the seams and liner of your dishwasher this will help reduce bacteria buildup and improve its effectiveness. Scour the inside of your dishwasher with a pad dipped in baking soda to remove residue and stains from the interior surface and crevices of your dishwasher. Run a regular cycle of wash with lemonade. The ascorbic acid will help remove any remaining buildup, and leave your dishwasher smelling clean and fresh. To clean your oven/range: Loosen baked-on food inside your oven using a plastic spatula. Use the juice from two squeezed lemons to clean your oven. Place the juice into an oven safe dish, throw in the lemon remains and bake 30 minutes at 250 degrees. Now you have a clean and fresh smelling oven. To clean your refrigerator: Clean your refrigerator monthly. Remove all of the food from your refrigerator and discarding items that are aged or expired. Create a paste from ½ cup of baking soda with 1 tbsp of vinegar. Apply the paste to a soft scouring pad, and scrub. Wipe away any residue with a damp sponge, Vacuum the undercarriage of your fridge. Wipe down the outside with warm water and vinegar. Keep baking soda at the back of fridge to help keep it smelling fresh. There is no need for fancy cleaning products the things you have around the house will do just fine.  Do you have any other tips for keeping your kitchen spic and span?





Posted by Kathy Foran on 9/27/2015

Did you know that indoor air pollution is actually worse than outdoor air pollution? Indoor pollution can in fact be 2 to 10 times worse depending on the materials in your home. Many of the materials in your home omit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's). According to the EPA, VOC's are in the air that you breathe and can have long term health effects, including liver, kidney and central nervous system damage and cancer. Here is a list of some of the indoor air pollutants that you may want to reduce or remove in order to have a healthier home. Cleaning Supplies The things that clean your home may be making you sick. In fact, bleach is one of the biggest offenders. In order to have a truly clean home, remove all of these chemicals and start replacing them with natural ones. Check the labels of everything. Many sheets that are made for your dryer have formaldehyde in them. Some of the most dangerous cleaning products are corrosive drain cleaners, oven cleaners, and acidic toilet bowl cleaners. Corrosive chemicals can cause severe burns on eyes, skin and, if ingested, on the throat and esophagus. Air Fresheners Air fresheners may smell sweet but their effect can be anything but. Some air fresheners can send chemicals into the air that contain VOCs. The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology looked at plug-in fresheners and found more than 20 VOCs' and more than one-third were considered toxic or hazardous. VOCs can increase the risk of asthma in kids. At high enough levels, they can also irritate the eyes and lungs, trigger dizziness and headaches, and even lead to memory loss. Furniture Believe it or not the place where you sit or sleep could be harming your health. Furniture is such a big part of our life, we eat on it, sleep and sit on it. Furniture also can emit VOCs. Furniture is often made with flame retardants, finishes, adhesives and foam cushions that give off harmful chemicals. Paint You often hear about the dangers of lead paint. You should also be worried about the brand new fresh paint you just put on the walls. Paint, paint strippers, varnish removers and floor stains all emit VOC's into the air. These chemicals don't go away once the paint has dried or once it stops smelling. The harmful chemicals can last for as long as two years. New Flooring That new carpet smell is not good for you. As pretty as it may look new carpet, wood floors or even linoleum flooring give off VOCs. Purchase flooring produced from renewable materials such as linseed oil, rosins, wood flour and jute. Look for wood flooring that is FSC Certified (it came from a Forest Stewardship Council Certified Forest which helps protect old growth forests from being clear cut). For more information read about Sources of Indoor Air Pollution on the EPA site.





Posted by Kathy Foran on 9/13/2015

It is fall and that means it's time to clean the gutters on your home. Removing the leaves that have fallen will keep your gutters flowing freely. This will help prevent ice dams or buildup of ice in your gutters and will help prevent expensive repairs. Here are some tips on proper gutter maintenance.

  • Dress properly. Wear a shirt with long sleeves and gloves.
  • Use an extendable ladder with standoff stabilizers. This will keep the ladder from damaging the gutter.
  • Use a small plastic scoop to remove debris. You can buy a gutter scoop from the hardware store.
  • Dump the debris on to a plastic tarp. This will save your lawn from being ruined.
  • Flush the gutters and downspouts with a garden hose. Look for leaks as the water runs through the gutters
If you would like to keep your gutters clear in between cleanings install gutter covers. They come in the form of mesh screens, clip-on grates, or porous foam. Gutters with gutter covers will still require regular maintenance.





Posted by Kathy Foran on 9/6/2015

It gets dirty easily and can be a pain to clean. It is your microwave and you may think closing the door is the best solution. There is a quick and easy way to get your microwave like new and you probably have everything you need in your cabinets. The recipe is natural, low cost and very effective so go ahead and open the door to your microwave and clean away. Here is the recipe to a clean and shiny microwave: Ingredients Vinegar Water Essential Oil (if desired) 1. Combine the vinegar and water in a microwave safe bowl.  If you would like a pleasant smelling microwave you can add a few drops of essential oil. 2. Place the bowl in the microwave. Heat the water and vinegar mixture until it is boiling. 3. Let the bowl stand in the microwave for a few minutes. The steam will soften any dried splatters of food. 4. Remove the bowl and wipe down the walls of the microwave with a damp sponge or a soft absorbent cloth.