Berkshire Broadcast

A well-equipped home tool kit is not just for weekend warriors and do-it-yourself types. Hanging a picture, tightening a cabinet door, or assembling a Swedish-built cabinet are all moments when one might reach for a tool kit. If your toolbox consists of duct tape and a hammer, a quick, inexpensive trip to the local hardware store can save you lots of time and headache later when you need your tool kit.

Essential Components of the Home Tool Kit

• Hammer – The hammer is the most used tool in any home. Choose one that feels comfortable in your hand and is light enough that you can use easily.

• Screwdrivers – While fancy ratcheting screwdrivers are comfortable, the plain old inexpensive ones work just fine. Make sure you have at least one flat

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Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) have become very popular over the past few years. Often called “Granny Flats,” these units have often been used to provide for multi-generational housing needs, but they can also become a great source of secondary income. ADUs can also make great home offices, guest suites, game rooms, and home theaters.

With new zoning laws paving the way for more ADU options, here are 5 things you should know before moving forward.

1. Types of ADUs – There are many different types of ADUs. From detached units to garage conversions, what form the ADU should take will depend on your property and your needs.

2. Zoning Laws Vary – Almost all jurisdictions require permits, but zoning laws also outline the rules for your location

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It’s no secret that most of the country is currently experiencing a strong seller’s market. Yet even in this competitive environment, almost 25% of all escrows fall through before closing. Home inspections, appraisal surprises, and loan approvals are just a few of the issues which can arise, causing the buyer to pull out of the deal. An essential component of any listing strategy should be a good backup offer, meaning that another buyer is willing to step in and close if escrow falls through.

As you consider a backup offer, here are 4 things you need to know:

1. A Backup Offer Is Legally Binding – A backup offer is a fully executed offer, just like the original, so make sure the terms are acceptable. Typically, the buyer will include a

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The increase of pricing in the housing market and lack of inventory has left some potential homebuyers renting instead of purchasing.

As a result, these renters may not just be viewing rentals as just a temporary steppingstone to homeownership and expect their rentals to have nicer amenities than in previous decades. If you’re a landlord, there are 8 amenities your rental should consider including:

1. Dishwasher – Rentals without dishwashers may experience more turnover than those that include one.

2. Washer and Dryer – With all the great space-saver appliances on the market, there is no excuse not to find room for a washer/dryer unit.

3. Alarm System – Security systems cost a few hundred dollars and can add value to your rental.

4.

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Real estate markets across the country are experiencing a strong seller’s market right now. For potential sellers, this may be a golden opportunity to get top value for their property. While it may be tempting to aim for the sky when setting the listing price, that may not be your best option.

Here are 3 pricing strategies to consider before deciding on your asking price.

1. Listing at Market Value Buyer’s love “realistic sellers.” After considering the market data for your area, choosing to list at the current market value can attract the right buyer and encourage a solid offer or two. Typically, this results in a full-price offer with straightforward terms.

2. Listing High It is always tempting to list ahead of the market, especially in a

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Typical real estate offers include a wide variety of standard contingencies. These can include home inspections, appraisal, and loan approval. In a fast-moving, seller’s market, one of the ways to make an offer more appealing is to remove contingencies.

Real estate contingencies are intended to protect the buyer from unforeseen issues. Once these contingencies are removed, the buyer typically has no recourse from these issues. The most important contingencies include:

• Home Inspections – including mold, well/septic, structural, geological

• Lending Approvals – including appraisal, title, loan rate and terms, final loan approval

• Property Condition – this relates to the final walk-through, ensuring the property has been maintained during

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Concrete was once a not so attractive alternative to a more expensive landscaping hardscape. Modern techniques have brought this versatile material back in vogue. While still an affordable alternative, concrete can add excitement to your front yard while still maintaining the low-maintenance advantage it’s always had.

Fresh Concrete Ideas for Your Front Yard

Concrete Walkways – Because concrete is poured wet, it can take any shape you like. Adding color, stain, or texture can add interest to any front walkway.

Stamped Concrete – Stamped concrete can take any form. Consider a geometric pattern or create a focal point like a compass or sun. Embed colorful tiles to add further interest.

Retaining Walls and Flower Beds – Build dimension

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It may seem like there are a million steps to the closing process when buying or selling a home. A title search is just one of the many stages and title problems may account for almost 10% of closing delays. As a seller, doing a preliminary title search can help avoid costly delays at the end. So, what is a title search and what does it disclose?

In the simplest form, a title search identifies who owns the property. This may obvious, but surprisingly, sometimes the party selling the home may not actually have the legal right to do so, at least on paper. For example, in the case of a married couple, the property might be in only one spouse’s name. Another example would be a property held in trust or probate; it could take some paperwork to correct

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Wildfire season is here for many around the country. Once confined to the Western US, sadly wildfires can affect homeowners all over the country. Hot temperatures and drought conditions have combined to create fire danger in areas once thought safe. If your property is in a fire zone, now is the time to apply fire mitigation tips to prepare and protect your home.

The goal of fire mitigation is to alter the way a fire burns through the property. Slowing the spread of a wildfire on your property gives firefighters the best chance to save your home from major damage.

• Create Defensible Space – The first and most important step to take is creating defensible space around your home. Eliminate anything that can burn quickly or fuel a fire. Dry brush,

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Interior design has a fresh look! After years of subtle trend changes, this year style gets a complete makeover. Spaces are being lightened, softened, and eclectic merging of styles encouraged. If you’re ready for a change, the good news is almost anything goes. Find the trend that suits you and experiment with new textures, colors, and styles.

10 Design Trends to Try This Year

1. Home Office – Not surprisingly, homeowners are carving out specified office and workspace.

2. Separated Rooms – The open floorplans are not exactly gone, but new designs are separating spaces into separate areas.

3. Houseplants and Indoor Gardens – Herb gardens and houseplants offer a soothing, natural environment.

4. Rattan – Natural materials are having a

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