William Raveis Real Estate and Home Services



Posted by Deborah Schilling on 2/15/2018

Many home buyers seek out fixer-uppers or older homes as a way to save money. And, while this method can be a great way to save, it does come with a few caveats.

Upgrades and repairs can vary greatly in price. Some might be simple, whereas others can take weeks or months, require permits, and uproot your plans. For these reasons, it’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into with home repairs.

In this article, we’re going to cover the most expensive home repairs and upgrades. That way when you find a home listing that you’re interested in, you can rule out these costly repairs early if you aren’t willing to spend the extra money on them after buying the house.

1. Sewer and septic

Finding out you need to replace a sewer line or a septic system can be a nightmare. Sewer lines are most often damaged by tree root growth, leaving older homes the most vulnerable. On average, homeowners spend around $2,500 to repair a main sewer line.

If you move into a new home that previously only had one inhabitant, you may find that the septic system can’t keep up with the increased workload. Repairs for a septic system average around $1,500. And to replace the septic system and install a new one? You can expect to spend around $5,000 or much more, depending on your needs and location.

2. Foundation repair

Older homes are also subject to foundation damage over the years, which can cause many problems, including safety concerns and water damage.

Houses that have poor drainage and high soil moisture are particularly vulnerable to foundation damage. And, like sewer and septic issues, tree roots can also pose a problem.

For minor cracks, foundation repairs can cost as little as $500. However, more severe damage can cost up to $10,000. On average, Americans spend around $4,000 when they repair a damaged foundation.

3. Roof replacement

Roof replacements are inevitable, but there are ways to ensure you won’t have to install a new one anytime soon. For example, slate and metal roofs can last over 50 years. And concrete? A hundred years or more.

The most common type of roofs, however, are made from asphalt shingles, which last around 20 years. In terms of price, asphalt tends to be the cheapest as well, costing as low as $2,000 to replace. Metal and slate roofs are significantly more expensive, starting at $5,000 and $17,000 respectively.

4. Heat pump installation

Installing a heat pump can be quite costly, with the national average being around $5,300. However, if you live in a moderate climate, a heat pump can replace both your furnace and your air conditioning unit.

Furthermore, if you plan on staying in the home for several years, a heat pump tends to be much more energy efficient than older alternatives.

5. Kitchen remodel

Of all the household remodeling projects--basement, bathrooms, etc.--a kitchen remodel tends to be the priciest. Americans spend about $21,000 on a kitchen remodel. The most expensive part? Cabinetry and hardware at $6,000.




Tags: Home Repair   expensive  
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Posted by Deborah Schilling on 2/8/2018

Choosing outdoor furniture for your home can be a challenging task. You might not even know where to start. What type of furniture do you need? What colors should you choose? The process doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you take it step by step, and look at your own needs, the process will be easier for you. 


Pick Your Colors


The outdoors have a bit more flexibility than the indoors of your home. There are no wall colors to worry about, only the natural landscape and the shade of your deck. You can choose from a spectrum of colors to suit the feel you want to create in your outdoor space. Color will provide everything from a fun party atmosphere to a classy, refined outdoor space. Don’t be afraid to mix and match as well.


The Outdoors Are Your Indoors


If you have the style of your home down to a science, don’t be afraid to carry that look over to the outside of your home. You can use the same types of fabric textures and colors. Keep in mind that you’ll want a more durable fabric since your furniture may be exposed to the elements. 


Use the same design principles outdoors that you would with your indoor furniture. If you have an outdoor fireplace, for example, you can use that as a focal point to gather your furniture around. Don’t be afraid to have a setup similar to that of your living room including a coffee table, sofa-like chair, and other cozy seating.       


Keep It Visually Stimulating


Just like the inside of your home, the outside of your home is also a reflection of your personality. You can embrace the feeling of fun, bright colors, and contrasting shades. Use what makes you happy and the rest of the design will fall into place! 


Remember one of the simplest design principles when designing your outdoor space- use throw pillows! Throw pillows can add so much to a space. Find colors that bring out the best in your outdoor furniture and desired color patterns. When it comes to the outdoors, know that the bolder you go, the better your space will be! 


Forget The Rules


Your outdoor space is a place where you can just “forget the rules.” Go with what feels right for you. The outdoor space is less “stuffy” than the indoors. Not that the inside of your home isn’t comfortable, but the outdoors is a place where an “anything goes” attitude can really work for you.




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Posted by Deborah Schilling on 2/1/2018

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For home sellers, transforming an ordinary kitchen into one that garners homebuyers' attention is no small feat. However, there are many quick, easy ways to clean your kitchen and ensure it will dazzle homebuyers any time they visit.

Here are three kitchen cleaning tips that every home seller needs to know.

1. Eliminate Wall Splatters.

Wall splatters can be major eyesores in any kitchen. Fortunately, home sellers who spend a few minutes identifying and addressing wall splatters can beautify their kitchens with ease.

If you notice waterborne kitchen wall splatters like ketchup, mustard or wine stains, you can use a wet cloth or paper towel to wipe away these problems immediately. Or, if you find grease stains on your kitchen walls, be sure to utilize a mix of dishwasher soap and water to minimize such issues.

Try to eliminate kitchen wall splatters as soon as you notice them. Wall splatters may become more difficult to minimize over time, and the sooner you identify them, the sooner you can eliminate them altogether.

2. Clean Out the Refrigerator.

Homebuyers will examine every nook and cranny of your house, so don't be surprised if they take a look inside your refrigerator. However, if your refrigerator is messy, overloaded with leftovers or has not been cleaned out in several years, it could negatively affect a homebuyer's impression of your residence.

Even devoting a few minutes to cleaning out your refrigerator daily can make a world of difference for home sellers. Wiping down the refrigerator shelves, cleaning the refrigerator drawers and getting rid of outdated products can give your refrigerator a clean, streamlined appearance.

Don't forget to place an open box of baking soda inside your refrigerator every few months too. This box will help absorb and eliminate odors consistently.

3. Check Out Your Dishwasher and Sink.

If you run your dishwasher daily, you'll want to clean it out and ensure there are no dishes, pots, pans or cooking utensils inside of it when homebuyers visit your residence. Instead, you should try to keep your dishwasher looking pristine, as this will help you show homebuyers exactly what your kitchen has to offer.

Plus, you should keep your sink as clean as possible. Be sure to clean the sink itself after you wash dishes in it. Also, try to avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink, as this may cause odors to form that could move throughout your home.

Maintaining a clean, beautiful kitchen can be tricky, but there is always extra help available if you need it.

For example, your real estate agent may be able to offer kitchen cleaning recommendations and ensure you can find a professional cleaning company to help you beautify your kitchen. That way, you can reap the benefits of an immaculate kitchen, one that homebuyers are sure to appreciate and may enable you to speed up the home selling process.

Conduct an in-depth review of your kitchen today, and you can move closer to transforming a bland kitchen into a fabulous one.




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Posted by Deborah Schilling on 1/25/2018

Buying a new television can be a daunting task. With technologies changing so rapidly, it can seem like you need to take a new crash course in the latest tech trends every time you buy a new product.

 However, a TV is an investment that you’ll get a lot of use out of if you and your family spend a lot of time in the living room. And, since most new televisions come equipped with apps like Netflix and Hulu, it’s worth taking time to learn which one is suitable for your family and that fits within your budget.

 In this article, we’ll give a brief breakdown of the latest trends to help you choose the right TV for your living room.

Screen size

At one time, the size of your television was the best indicator of price. But these days you’ll find TVs that are the same size but vastly different prices. That’s because TVs now contain a number of features related to audio and video quality, and smart TV capabilities like apps and games.

However, screen size still does matter when it comes to video quality, fitting the layout of your living room and your personal preferences. If you aren’t sure what size you’ll need, try visiting an electronics store and standing as far back from the tv as your couch or sofa. You can also try this at a friend’s house who has a similar setup to you.

Remember that having a huge TV isn’t always the best option if you’re in a small room. For most living room setups, the ideal size is somewhere between 55 and 65 inches.

Video quality

Many of us have a collection of DVDs somewhere in our house that we save for a rainy weekend. It might surprise you to know that the quality of a DVD is lower than most streaming videos on the internet these days.

Video quality is based on a few factors and one of them is resolution. Screen resolution has improved exponentially in the recent years. What resolutions are available?

  • 4K or Ultra HD - The current gold standard of screen resolutions is 4K, which contains a whopping 8 million pixels.

  • 1080p or HD - Still one of the most common resolutions, 1080p can be found in many recent models and can look at sharp as 4K televisions.

  • 720p - Only the smallest and most inexpensive televisions are still using 720p resolution sizes. However, if you only use your television for watching cable channels, it should be noted that many major networks broadcast in 720p.

To effectively “future-proof” your TV, 4K is your best option. It is slowly becoming the standard for video and will last the longest without looking antiquated.

There are other aspects of picture quality than resolution. The way the TV is lit os one consideration. Most TVs on the market today are LED-based. In LED TVs, a backlight produces the light for each pixel. One exception is OLED TVs in which each pixel is producing its own light.

The jury is still out on which is better, but OLED seems to have a leg up on LED.

Other features

The other things you’ll want to consider are a curved screen, Smart TV capabilities, BlueTooth, and the number of HDMI ports. These are all dependent on your preferences, but it should be noted that as TVs evolve, you might not have access to some newer apps.




Tags: television   TV   buying a tv  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Deborah Schilling on 1/18/2018

Pizza is, objectively, the greatest food ever invented. It's portable, filling, easy to make in large portions, and (arguably) has some nutritional value as well. The patron saint of children's parties and companion to college students everywhere, pizza is beloved at all times of day. You can eat it hot, cold or--in the case of microwave pizza--as molten lava applied directly to the tongue. Perhaps the greatest part about pizza is the variety and ingenuity that have been applied to it over the years. There are twelve main styles of pizza in the United States, according to the pizza Wiki, and there's a lot of overlap within those styles. Today, we're going to teach you how to make three main types of pizza: New York, Chicago, and Neapolitan. Between these three, there's enough variety to ensure you'll never get sick of eating pizza pies (as if that were even remotely possible).

New York Style

People don't sit down in New York. They're either too busy or too afraid of the benches and seats on the subway. It's much safer to just stay standing. But even those who don't sit still have to eat from time to time. New York style pizza is designed for just a person. They come in huge slices that are thin enough to be folded in half and eaten like a sandwich; one hand holding your slice, the other hailing a cab or waving obscenities at the tourists. Now for making the pizza: Stretch the dough thin and circular, with the outside of the circle just a bit thicker to form your crust. Go light on the sauce. Ideally, just crush some tomatoes and season. For the cheese, go with a medium moisture mozzarella and sprinkle on some oregano and parmesan. Bake at 500ºF for around 9 minutes until your crust is golden brown and crispy.

Chicago Style Deep Dish

Where other pizza makers hide the sauce inside the pizza, Chicagoans put it right on top showing off the quality of the deep red tomatoes. This isn't a pizza to eat on the run. In fact, proper etiquette says you eat this one sitting down with a fork and knife. Here's how it's made: First you need to butter your crust. Sounds weird, but that's what makes it so flaky and delicious. Once both sides are buttered, load it into the deep dish. Then put a liberal layer of your cheese down, then pile the sauce on top of that. This one needs a bit of time in the oven to cook. 25 minutes at 425ºF and it should start to look done.

Neapolitan Style

The closest we have to the original flatbreads that came out of Naples is the neapolitan pizza. You can make it Marinara style (no cheese) or Margherita style (light cheese). To make these babies, you're going to want a nice thin crust (Remember, these were originally just baked, crisp flatbreads). Instead of sauce, this one will have olive oil and tomato chunks or no tomatoes at all. The highlight here are all the herbs and spices you can add; basil, oregano and garlic all tossed in extra virgin olive oil are what give it it's signature flavor.  




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Deborah Schilling
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