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Preparing Your Home for Hot Weather

As warm weather rolls across most of the country, it's time to start thinking about how to protect and care for your home when the mercury soars. What can you do to ensure the summer sun doesn't cause damage to your home?

 

Heat stays out, cool stays in.

That's the general idea, right? Check the weather stripping around doors and windows to make sure you don't have a leak where your air conditioning can escape. This is a good time to assess the state of your insulation as well. Many power companies also offer home energy-efficiency assessments - often at no cost - to help you pinpoint places where the heat is creeping in, and often they'll supply solutions too.

 

Perform an A/C checkup.

Don't wait until you really need the air conditioning to make sure it's working properly! If something goes wrong at the height of summer, it could be weeks before repairs can be made. Replace your HVAC unit's filters, and consider having your air ducts and vents cleaned out and the seals checked.

 

Turn it around.

Your ceiling fan, that is: Many types have a way to reverse the direction they spin. In summer, the blades should rotate counterclockwise in order to maximize the fan's beneficial effect on your home's temperature.

 

Scout the perimeter.

Most people spend more time outdoors when temperatures rise. Check the boundaries of your property for damage to fences, security lights, and gate locks. Clear away any long grass that may have grown up next to fences as they can harbor fleas and ticks. Reset timers on sprinklers and outdoor lights in consideration of the longer hours of daylight.

 

Paint: It's not just for looks.

Although we generally think of a new coat of paint as a cosmetic indulgence, it actually helps to protect the home from the effects of strong heat and sun. While you're at it, check the deck to see if it needs a fresh coat of sealant as well. Washing the windows will ensure you can enjoy the summer sunshine. And speaking of windows, check screens and shutters for damage too.

 

Prepare to party.

If you love to entertain outdoors, or you want to live off barbecue for the next few months, your summer fun equipment will need a good once-over. Hose down patio furniture and check cushions to see if they would benefit from a good wash and a chance to dry in the fresh air or if they'll need to be replaced. Clean off the bbq and fill the propane tank (or stock up on briquettes).

 

Scale the heights.

Before it gets too hot, an inspection of the roof and attic is a great idea. Check outside for missing shingles or other signs of damage. Trim back tree branches that could be used by local critters as stepping stones to get onto and then under your roof. Check out the gutters while you're up there too. Then head inside to examine the attic for leaks, holes, and signs of animal trespass.

 

We may think of summer as a time for vacations, but we never really get a vacation from taking care of our homes. I hope these tips help you have an enjoyable summer!

Charleston Real Estate Continues to Climb

May was yet another fantastic month for the Charleston real estate market. A total of 1,457 homes sold in the Charleston Trident area last month at a median price of $235,000. 

6,209 homes have sold year to date—19% more than 2014. The median price rose by 2%, making the 2015 YTD median price $220,000. Inventory is also up to 5,855. All in all, the Lowcountry is still seeing steady, sustainable growth. 

Breakdown by County:

 Berkeley County

homes sold: 337

median price: $202,726

 

Charleston County

homes sold: 815

median price: $287,100

 

Dorchester County:

homes sold: 246

median price: $194,950

Curb Appeal: It's About More Than Mowing the Lawn

Curb appeal is of the utmost importance when you want to sell your home. The exterior of your home is the first thing prospective buyers see. You want to make sure they get a good first impression when they pull into the driveway to tour your home. What you might not realize, though, is that creating curb appeal consists of much more than mowing the grass, planting some flowers, and trimming the hedges. Here are a few more things you’ll need to consider when it comes to making a positive first impact on buyers.

 

 

  1. This should go without saying, but as we mentioned above, mowing/edging the yard, trimming hedges and trees, and planting flowers will all do wonders to refresh the look of your front yard. Just don’t stop there…

  2. If your entry door looks tired, spotty, or scratched, consider replacing it. If buying a new door isn’t in the budget, make sure to repair any major damage and give it a fresh coat of paint.

  3. Speaking of doors, makes sure the garage door looks good, too. It might be the very first thing buyer’s get a close look at.

  4. Make sure to wash the windows. These get overlooked a lot, especially if they’re all covered by blinds or curtains. If a good washing doesn’t help, think about buying new windows. They can actually be a great selling point.

  5. Replace any ripped or missing window screens.

  6. Clear the gutters. This is another detail that can be overlooked, because it isn’t always immediately visible. But leaves, twigs, and even birds’ nests can gather there and create clogs.

  7. Pressure wash the exterior of your home. Touch up any siding that might need new paint. Replace any chipped, cracked, or missing mortar around bricks.

  8. While you’ve got the pressure washer out, give the driveway and porch a good spray, too. You won’t believe how different they’ll look!

  9. Leave on exterior lights for nighttime showings. Not only will it provide illumination and safety for real estate agents and home shoppers, but it will also make the house look inviting and warm.

What kind of experiences have you had with curb appeal as a buyer or a seller? Tell us in the comments section below!

Friday Five // May 29, 2015

Looking for something to do this weekend? From a block party to a blueberry festival, there are plenty of opportunities for fun. 

 

Check out this week’s Spoleto happenings. With music, theater, and other performances going on all over the city, there’s sure to be something for everyone.

 

Visit Mixson Market on Saturday for the Blueberry Bonanza. This free event takes place from 10am until 3pm and features live music, Palmetto Brewery’s specially crafted blueberry saison, and freshly made blueberry ice cream from Aya Cookhouse’s Kelly Chu.

 

 

Celebrate the 15th year of fun Friday evenings at Party at the Point Friday night. This week’s music is provided by Seven Handle Circus and The Kenny George Band. Gates open at 5:30 with music starting at 6:30pm. Bring the whole family! Admission: $7

 

 

Cheer on the Charleston Battery, your hometown USL soccer team. Saturday is Military Appreciation Night, with free tickets for fans presenting valid DOD I.D. Tickets start at $10.

 

On Friday night, head down to King Street for the SoCal (south of Calhoun) May Block Party, sponsored by Big Boss Brewing Company. Participating restaurants include Boone's, Kickin' Chicken, King Street Grille, Mellow Mushroom, and Upper Deck Tavern. $1 from each Big Boss Brewing Company beer sold will go to the Charleston Miracle League. Expect raffles, swag giveaways, and live music at this free event.

 

April 2015 Real Estate Market Report

The rate of growth in the Charleston real estate market has been phenomenal in 2015. The numbers speak for themselves. So far this year, 4,727 homes have sold at a median price of $217,489. That's a 22% growth in sales volume for the year, and 2% growth in median price.

At this point in 2014, 3,887 homes had sold at a median price of $213,990. Consult our infographic below for April 2015 market statistics.

 

April Stats Infographic

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