Thursday, August 14, 2014

August Home Tips by Fidelity National Home Warranty

August 2014
Thinking of Selling Your Home?
Consider these tips to catch the attention of prospective buyers.

Lighten it up: A bright home appears to be more welcoming than one that's dark and sullen. Do everything you can to add some light to your space such as taking down drapes or changing their fabric. Other tips include using light colored lampshades, cleaning windows, and replacing fluorescent bulbs.

Satisfy their sense of smell: 
No one wants to buy a home that smells like a gym bag. To make your home smell nice and fresh for prospective buyers, add a few scented items to every room: potpourri, flowers, air fresheners. You can even go the extra mile to do your dirty laundry (yes, the smell of it can filter into any room), or bake a pie or a loaf of bread before buyers pop by.

Declutter: Every prospective buyer will look at a home and picture their items in it, from art to larger pieces of furniture like couches and televisions. They won't be able to do that if your space is full of knick-knacks and clutter. It is important to clear your shelves and walls of as many little objects as you can before you start showing your space (just don't go overboard; you still want your space to look lived in).

Pricing is incredibly important: Talk to a real estate agent to get a good idea of what your home may be worth.

Create curb appeal: First impressions count. Make sure your home stands out by clearing your front yard of weeds or dead leaves. Spruce up the window trim or repaint it with a brighter color. Fix loose patio stones or seal cracks in your driveway.

Be ready to show your space: 
Prospective buyers can contact their real estate agents to see any space at a moment's notice, so when trying to sell your home, it's best to be prepared for last minute pop-ins. Keep your space neat and tidy and dust bunny free; wash the dishes; make sure your laundry is done or in the laundry bin; and, put pets in a separate area so buyers aren't alarmed when they walk through the door.

From the article: Secrets to impressing home buyers
Reduce Clutter in 60 Minutes or Less!
You can complete this entire list of clutter-reducing projects in an hour or less.

• Toss 10. Grab a trash bag. Find ten items in your home that you no longer need or want and put them in the bag. Toss the bag in the trash or put it in your donation box, and never look back.

• Clear a surface. Find at least one cluttered surface, like a coffee table or dresser top, and completely clear it of all clutter-swiftly dumping any trash.

• Toss old magazines. Go through your home and gather any old magazines or newspapers you've already flipped through. Recycle or donate them today.

• Weed out five. The thought of weeding out your entire filing system may seem daunting, but anyone can weed out just five file folders.

• Pick through a junk drawer. Whatever you can't identify or is clearly junk (meaning you'll never use it) gets tossed.

• Toss anything expired. Go through your fridge and medicine cabinet, gathering anything perishable that has expired. A good day to do this is on garbage day, so you can hand off what you've collected to the trash collector.

• Dump junk mail. Quickly go through your pile of mail and dump anything that is clearly junk mail.

• Put things away. While carrying a large shopping bag with handles, go through your home putting at least eight things that are not in their correct place in the bag.
Celebrate August with a Batch of Homemade Cupcakes! Enjoy!
Bake Your Best Cupcakes with These Tips
Consistency: A consistent size is necessary to even baking (otherwise you will be stuck with a pan of cupcakes in which some are under-baked and others are over-baked). Rather than eye-balling your batter, try using an ice cream scooper instead.

Finger Press: Right out of the oven, the cupcakes should be able to take a bit of pressure from your fingers and still be able to bounce up. Cupcake tops may still be a little sticky right out of the oven, but they will continue to cook in the minutes after.

Frosting Fix: To gauge whether frosting is sufficiently mixed, taste it for texture: it should be creamy rather than grainy. If it's grainy, keep mixing.

From the article: Top 10 Tips For Better Cupcakes by Katie Quinn
Helpful Links
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Homeowner Tips
August Home Warranty Tip:
Keep the plumbing running by repairing minor drips and leaks as they occur and avoid flushing anything but toilet paper down the toilet.
Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

8 oz. soft cream cheese

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

3 cup flour

2-1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup dry cocoa mix

2 cup water

1 cup oil

2 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoon vinegar

40 cupcake liners


Blend the cream cheese, egg, 1/2 cup sugar and a pinch of salt. Add mini chocolate chips. Set aside.

Mix together flour, 2 cups sugar, baking soda and cocoa. Add water, oil, vanilla and vinegar. Pour this mixture into liners. In the center of each drop 1 tablespoon chocolate chip cream cheese mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
Friendship is Sharing a Sweet Cupcake.—Marie Williams Johnstone

This information has been provided as a public service by Fidelity National Home Warranty and does not imply that these items are covered by its home warranty contracts. For details about FNHW coverage, please see your contract specifically or visit our website information contained within this newsletter has been obtained from third parties and is believed to be reliable. FNHW assumes no legal responsibility for the accuracy of this information nor endorses the recommendations of any third party.
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