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Painting Your Own Home: Tips to Make the Process Painless

Young family painting the wall

Painting Your Own Home: Tips to Make the Process Painless

While it’s might seem easier to hire professionals to paint the house, but with a little research you can find the job is not as intimidating as it seems. With a few free days set aside and some preparation, painting one room (or multiple) is easily doable for anyone. Here are a few things to consider before you start.

Apply a Primer Coat

Preparation entails most of the painting process. It’s easy to become frustrated during the preparation stage, because prepping to paint can take longer than the actual painting component of the project.

Interior walls aren’t always perfect, and painting the walls is a perfect opportunity to fix those imperfections. If you’re using a putty or a filler to patch holes, the paint will react differently to those substances than it will the wall itself. The solution here is to prime your walls, so the new paint color has a uniform surface to adhere to. It’s one simple step that doesn’t seem like much, but could end up saving you a whole lot of work at the end of the process.

Factor in taping time

Taping up the room is tedious work, but will be worth it when you don’t have to waste time being ultra-careful or nervous when getting close to edges. Instead of trying to take the tape off while the paint is still dry, wait at least 24 hours for the paint to dry, and use a knife to slice the tape off at the edge. If the paint is still even a little wet or gummy, don’t continue. Make sure the knife is sharp enough and pull the tape away at a 45-degree angle, making sure not to rip the paint.

Set up with clean-up in mind

To protect floors, a drop cloth is a necessity. In some cases, cotton or canvas drop clothes can work better than plastic. Plastic drop cloths can be slippery and don’t easily stay in place, especially when ladders are involved. Any splatters or drips of paint that fall onto a plastic drop cloth won’t dry or absorb right away and can be easily tracked throughout the rest of your house. A canvas or cotton drop cloth will be more stable and will protect the floors better. Tape the edges of the drop cloth to the tops of the trim to protect both the floor and the trims from any splattering or dripping paint.

Work top down

Not only does it prevent drips from ruining anything you’ve already painted, but it keeps the walls and baseboards free of any dust or debris from sticking to wet trim. Paint the ceiling first, move to the walls and possible crown moldings. Only then should you move to any trims around windows or doors and finish with the baseboards. Not only will this keep a system in place to ensure there’s no questioning what’s been painted and what hasn’t, but it’ll keep things clean.

Check thickness of previous paint layers

Cracks on an exterior paint job don’t reflect the owner’s best intentions and should be fixed before the damage is too much to fix. Too thick of a layer of paint means that the paint might just be too heavy to stay, and will start to crack and to peel off. It loses its grip and can’t attach to the other layers of paint. In older homes, it’s likely that some of those layers of paint have lead in them, in which case you’ll need to look into how to remove it safely. The EPA has guidelines here. This could be the one step that requires you to outsource, if the layer of paint is extremely thick, because removing it completely (and correctly) will ensure the next coat of paint will attach correctly. Hiring a home washing company can help you identify these cracks in exterior paint as well. If anything, have the exterior of your home professionally power washed, so the paint will have a clean surface to adhere to.

Using these tips, ideally the house-painting process will be doable for anyone. Prepare yourself to set aside time for set-up, knowing that it will help when you’re done painting and ready to clean up. Instead of hiring painting professionals, save some money for decorating and tackle the job yourself.

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Bio: Matt Lawler is an Internet marketing specialist from Tempe, Arizona where he attended Arizona State University. Whenever he can step away from the computer, Matt enjoys playing sports, traveling and exploring the great outdoors. Follow him on Twitter.

Laura Key, REALTOR® Cal BRE 01908085 310-866-8422 Laura.A.Key@gmail.com www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.com

Tips on How To Prepare Your Home for Holiday Guests

snowflake-1152.jpg__800x600_q85_crop By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon *Published: November 14, 2011

Is your home ready for holiday visits from friends and family? Here’s how to prepare for the invasion.

I'm lucky and have a guest suite always ready for holiday guests. But even with a dedicated space, preparing my home for the annual onslaught of friends and family takes time and forethought.

Some preparations for holiday guests take only a few minutes; some take a lot longer. My advice: Start preparing your home for the holidays now.

Prioritize

The day before guests arrive is no time to pull apart junk drawers and clean out linen closets. Declutter guest rooms and public areas — foyer, kitchen, living room, den, and dining room. Remove anything unnecessary from countertops, coffee tables, and ottomans; if it’s out of sight, keep it out of mind, for now.

If you run short of time, bag up the clutter and store it in car trunks, basements, and out-of-the-way closets. Sort and arrange after your guests depart.

Safety

Light the way: Even though you can navigate your home blindfolded, your guests can’t. Make sure outside lights are working so they don’t trip on the way to your door. Put motion-activated night lights in hallways, bathrooms, and bedrooms to ensure safe passage after the sun sets.

Child proofing: Ask parents to bring hardware that keeps their small ones safe, such as baby gates and cabinet locks. Transfer toxic cleaners and medicines from base to wall cabinets. Hide matches and lighters.

Fire prevention: If you didn’t freshen smoke detector batteries when you switched the clocks to Daylight Savings Time, change them now. After your guests arrive, run a quick fire drill: Make sure they can locate exits and fire extinguishers, and that they know how to open windows and doors.

Entryway upgrades

Your home’s foyer is the first place guests see, so make a good first impression.

  • Upgrade exterior entry doors or give old doors a new coat of paint. Polish and tighten door hardware, and oil hinges to prevent squeaks.
  • Remove scratches from hardwood floors, stairs, and wood railings. Place a small rug or welcome mat at the entrance to protect floors from mud and snow. 
  • Clear out shoes, umbrellas, and other clutter.
  • Add extra hooks to walls so guests can hang coats and hats.
  • Add a storage bench where guests can remove boots and shoes.

Kitchen prep

Your kitchen is command central during the holidays, so make sure it’s ready for guests and extra helpers.

  • To increase storage, install a pot rack to clear cooking items off countertops and ranges.
  • Move your coffee station into a family room so guests don’t crowd the kitchen when you’re trying to fix meals.
  • If you like to visit while you’re cooking, place extra stools and chairs around the perimeter of your kitchen so guests can set a spell.

Sleeping arrangements

If you’ve got a guest room, replace the ceiling fixture with a ceiling fan and light combo, which helps guests customize their room temperature without fiddling with the thermostat for the entire house. 

To carve sleeping space out of public areas, buy a folding screen or rolling bookcase, which will provide privacy for sleepers. Fold or roll it away in the morning.

Bathroom storage

Bring toilet paper, towels, and toiletries out of hiding, and place them on open shelves so guests can find them easily.

If you don’t have enough wall space for shelves, place these items in open baskets around the bathroom.

Also, outfit each tub with a bath mat (to avoid falls) and each toilet with a plunger (to avoid embarrassment).

What tips do you have for getting ready for guests this holiday season?

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Home Design Inspiration For Your Bathroom

A few candles, a dimming light, a glass of bubbly, some music and some bubbles....YEAP!

Bathroom-Home-Design-12

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Source: http://homedesignboard.com/bathroom/home-design-inspiration-for-your-bathroom-12/

Laura Key - the Ultimate Answer to All Real Estate Needs (Press Release)

Laura Key - the Ultimate Answer to All Real Estate Needs

In the world of cut throat competition and greed where every penny is considered precious, Laura Key uses her heart while doing business. The real estate specialist has decided to donate $100 in her client’s name after the closing of every deal.

Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/13/2013 -- Everybody has heard of real estate agents who brag about finding homes for celebrities, later using that as a tool to promote themselves and increase business. But, Laura Key is a REALTOR® with a difference, she is not only one of the most competent realtors that one can find around the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills area, but one of the very few realtors who has an inclination towards social service. 

She has decided to donate $100 to one of the five non profitable organizations in the area, every time she closes an escrow- that too in the client’s name! Inspired by the popular quote- “Charity begins at home, but should not end there.” By Thomas Fuller, she makes sure that she is fulfilling her social responsibilities and returning a percentage of what she takes from it. 

Making a business deal with Laura Key is one of the most convenient things to do. Unlike her competition, she is a professional who will provide her personal touch to understand every requirement that her client has. Her mobile application enables the users to find homes without having to compromise much on their busy lifestyles. They can find new homes or homes for sale from wherever at any given point in time. Her objective is to make sure that her clients have found their dream home where they can make memories at an affordable price. Her prices are genuine and the services that she provides are worth much more.

About Laura Key A prominent name in business for over seven years, Laura Key is a prominent name in the real estate business. She is a compassionate, enthusiastic and dedicated woman who will happily go the extra mile to make sure that her clients are satisfied with the outcomes of the deal that they strike with her. She understands that a home has a lot of sentimental value to the inhabitants and look at it as a place for solace, peace and comfort.

Media Contact:  Name: Laura A. Key e-mail id: Laura.A.Key@gmail.com  Ph. No.: (310) 866-8422 Website: http://www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.com

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Condominiums – Should You Consider Purchasing One

Condominiums tend fall into the love them or hate them position for buyers

Condo

Condominiums are all about communal living, which can be good or bad depending upon your personal views. This type of communal living doesn’t refer to the failed experiments of the sixties wherein hippies packed into a structure and shared everything. Instead, the modern condominium community is all about sharing common spaces as well as rules, rules and more rules.

Condominiums come in all shapes and forms. Condos can be found in a single high rise building in a downtown area or in an apartment complex type of layout in a planned community. The structure isn’t the determining point. Instead, the issue is how the properties are owned.

Unlike a stand alone home, the property lines on a condominium are the walls of the structure. Essentially, you own everything inside the condominium as your individual property. Everything outside the condominium is owned jointly with the people who own the other units. These areas are known as common areas and are subject to group rule.

Every condominium has a homeowners association in one form or another. The association has rules set out by the original developer regarding landscaping and so on. Members of the community are then elected to the board of the association, whereupon the immediately become a focal point of aggravation from individual owners and often wonder why they took the thankless job.

The problem with the association and condos in general is the issue of uniformity. If you desire to change the exterior of your condominium in some way, you must comply with the rules of the association. This means you cannot paint your property a different color, do landscaping and so on. For some people, this isn’t a problem, but others are frustrated they can’t express themselves.

When deciding whether a condominium is a good option for your next purchase, you need to carefully weigh the restrictions of a particular association. If you consider yourself an individual and want to show it, a condominium is probably a very poor choice for you.

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Laura Key, BRE 01908085
310.866.8422
Laura.A.Key@gmail.com
www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.com

 

Bank Faces Lawsuit Over Excessive Fees

Are you facing or someone you know facing foreclosure? There are sources out there to help you! Call me for a list of free resources!  Laura Key 310.866.8422

money lock

JPMorgan Chase faces a lawsuit that alleges the bank imposed overly high or unnecessary fees on delinquent borrowers. The banking giant tried to get the case dismissed, arguing to the courts that the claims were unjust, but a federal judge ruled the lawsuit should proceed. 

Borrowers are accusing the bank of “imposing excessive or unnecessary fees to inflate profit, including on services performed by third party vendors, cheating thousands of already-strained borrowers out of millions of dollars,” Reuters reports. 

Among the fees in question range from $95 to $125 for “broker’s price opinions.” The plaintiffs, who reside in Tennessee, California, and Oregon, claim that the BPOs cost $30 to produce and that according to Fannie Mae guidelines they should not cost more than $80.  

Similar lawsuits over mortgage fees charged to delinquent borrowers are pending against Wells Fargo and Citigroup. 

Source: “JPMorgan must face lawsuit challenging mortgage fees,” Reuters (June 14, 2013)

Where Asking Prices Are Rising the Most

California is rising fast, yet it's not at the highest it's ever been. Interested in buying or selling!  Let me assist you in reaching your real estate goals! Laura Key 310.866.8422

House in Hand

Median list prices in May edged up 2.10 percent month-over-month, as housing inventories also were on the rise, creating a greater balance between supply and demand, according to realtor.com’s latest Real Estate Health Report. 

The nationwide median list price was $199,000 for May, and up 4.79 percent year-over-year. 

"We are seeing large regional markets across the country leading the way to national recovery. These regions are acting as a microcosm for what's slowly happening in the larger real estate market," says Steve Berkowitz, chief executive officer of Move. "Overall, we're seeing seller confidence beginning to respond to consumer demand. Nationally, there are more homes going on the market for a shorter amount of time.  And this is happening in our hot markets on a much larger scale."

California housing markets are seeing some of the highest median price gains. The following 10 markets have seen the highest year-over-year list price gains: 

1. Sacramento, Calif.: up 42.45%

  • Median list price: $284,900

2. Oakland, Calif.: up 38.27%

  • Median list price: $495,000

3. Detroit, Mich.: up 31.73%

  • Median list price: $125,000

4. San Jose, Calif.: up 30.58%

  • Median list price: $679,000

5. Los Angeles-Long Beach, Calif.: up 27.80%

  • Median list price: $428,000

6. Fresno, Calif.: up 27.48%

  • Median list price: $219,900

7. Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz.: up 27.03%

  • Median list price: $235,000

8. Stockton-Lodi, Calif.: up 25.63%

  • Median list price: $199,750

9. Reno, Nev.: up 24.23%

  • Median list price: $235,900

10. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif.: up 24%

  • Median list price: $775,000

Source: realtor.com®

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Laura Key

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Laura Key on CBS News

Rare Opportunity to Buy by the Beach!

What a wonderful opportunity to live your dream of living by the beach! Redondo Beach to be exact! Call me for a scheduled showing! Laura Key 310.866.8422

630 The Village Unit 110 Redondo Beach, CA

$385,000

1 Bed 1 Bath 621 SqFt - HUD

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Redondo Beach

Call me today! Laura Key 310.866.8422!

Experienced HUD Selling Agent!

 

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Great Burbank HUD Home! 2 Bed 2 Bath

HUD Homes are a wonderful way to purchase your first home! Most are FHA approved and don't need much work at all.  Make sure you use a HUD experienced agent as myself! I have helped many families obtain their Home Dreams with HUD!  Call me today for more info! Laura Key 310.866.8422

2359 N. Reese Place

Burbank CA 91504

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Does HUD Offer Financing On Their Homes?

Buying a HUD Home is not as difficult as you may think! I have helped many people purchase their 1st Home from HUD! Call me today for more details about the process! Laura.A.Key@gmail.com or Visit my website to sign up for FREE HUD Listings! http://www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.com

HUD Home

HUD does not provide direct financing to buyers of HUD Homes. Buyers must obtain financing through either their own cash reserves or a mortgage lender. If you have the necessary available cash or can qualify for a loan (subject to certain restrictions) you may buy a HUD Home. While HUD does not provide direct financing for the purchase of a HUD Home, it may be possible for you to qualify for an FHA-insured mortgage to finance the purchase.

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