Home Maintenance Tips
Replanting even a portion of your landscape with local, drought tolerant plants and grasses can save on your water bill.
Recent news reports have indicated that the entire state of California is experiencing a severe drought, with this year so far being the driest on record. Here in the Santa
Clarita Valley we’re seeing its effects as the County of Los Angeles announced that Castaic Lake will not be open to swimmers this summer.
Anyone who has lived in California for any length of time would know that we’ve had our experiences with drought before, and this isn’t necessarily our “first rodeo” when it comes to water conservation. However, as our city grows in population, utilities and resources are becoming more taxed, even in non-drought years. So it might make sense to plan for long term water conservation in an effort to maximize our most precious resource.
As a homeowner, conserving water shouldn’t mean that you must sacrifice the aesthetic appearance and “curb appeal” of your home’s exterior. So how do you make a long term commitment to conservation, while not having a brown lawn at the same time?
Consider drought tolerant local plants and grasses for your landscape.
We know what you might be thinking. You look out over the hills surrounding the Santa Clarita Valley and you think that we’re referring to the native grasses that turn brown in the summertime. However, did you know that some grasses are more water tolerant than others?
Fescue is one of the more popular grasses used for most lawns here in the Santa Clarita Valley. It’s fairly easy go grow, and it’s evergreen with no winter dormancy. Many people overwater this grass without realizing its hardiness. You actually only need about an inch of water per week for Fescue grass, as the roots grow deep.
That being said, you may consider using at least a portion of your lawn to add more drought tolerant plants that require little water and maintenance. Many of these plants will do just fine with soakers rather than sprinkler heads. Here is a link to some of the more popular native (and drought tolerant) plants for your Santa Clarita home.
More information and education on native plants and grasses.
The Conservatory Garden and Learning Center, located off Bouquet Canyon at Central Park, displays over 350 drought tolerant native plants and grasses. They also provide water-wise gardening instruction and hands on displays.
Even in these drought like conditions, you don’t have to sacrifice the quality and value of your home’s “curb appeal” while conserving water!
Whether you’re selling a home, or buying a home, we all need to know where to dispose of electronic waste in Santa Clarita.
The real estate world seems to revolve around “stuff.” While we’re in the business of selling real “stuff” (IE: Real property), personal “stuff” seems to be the issue for many buyers and sellers. For buyers, in many cases they’re looking for a place with more room for their “stuff”, but meanwhile, they’ve collected “stuff” that they can no longer use.
For home sellers, there’s “stuff” left over they no longer use, need or want. Maybe they’re moving across the country and don’t know what to do with the extra “stuff.” Some of the “stuff” has outlasted its useful life, and needs to be discarded or recycled.
For electronic “stuff”, IE: electronic waste, or e-waste, you can’t simply throw it in the trash. California regulations require special handling of e-waste disposal. With the passage of the Electronic Waste Recycling Act of 2003, the state has established and implemented guidelines and procedures for e-waste removal. Aside from being made from materials that will not break down through natural means, many electronic items contain chemicals and substances that are harmful to the environment if disposed improperly. As the technology industry has grown over the decades, so has the need to implement proper disposal procedures in an effort to reduce their effects on the landscape and environment. Continue reading
Redecorating and renovating your home may improve its value, but some investments are wiser than others.
You may have just purchased a home that needs some upgrades, or perhaps you’ve been in your home for quite a while and it’s time for some…modernization. Either way, you’re looking to make your home look and feel more appealing to you, your family, and perhaps guests who come to visit. Now it’s time to add, or upgrade, your own personal touch to your property. But how do you simultaneously add your own personality while adding value to your home?
Subject to personal tastes
In discussing adding your own “personal touches” when redecorating or renovating your home, you should still consider overall value and saleability. This doesn’t mean you can’t decorate in your favorite colors, or add those special built-ins that you’ve always wanted, and you may think that you’re NEVER selling your home. Even if that’s the case, remember that overall value of your property is still important even in refinance situations where an appraisal is required. While appraisers don’t necessarily count decor in their assessments, they do count functionality. This means that the upgrades you’ve made to your home must also make sense to anyone else who may eventually purchase the property. IE: Don’t put a toilet in the middle of your garage (You may laugh, but it has been done!). Continue reading
It doesn’t rain that often in Southern California, but when it does, nothing prevents rain and water-related damage to your home better than just a little bit of proactive inspections.
Before the next rain storm, make sure you check your rain gutters to make sure they are clear. When it is raining, try to make the opportunity to do a quick outside inspection to insure water from rain gutters is flowing smoothly to the gutter’s exit spout, and not overflowing from the gutters themselves. Water overflowing from the gutters usually means there is debris blocking the flow somewhere which can eventually cause water damage along your roof line or eaves of the house. Waterlogged eaves can eventually lead to dry rot, which can open the way for wood-destroying pests.
While you’re checking around the outside of the home, make sure there are no puddles forming where they shouldn’t be. Puddles forming along hillsides, portions of your back yard, or even your hardscape are possible indications of drainage or foundation issues.
You also want to make sure you see no moisture or water stains on the ceilings inside the home. It is also best to check your attic for water leaks as well. Many water-related issues inside homes begin in the attic. Remember that unchecked moisture problems can lead to physical damage of your home as well as contribute to mold and mildew that can possibly become health hazards if not treated early.
Montemayor & Associates is a professional real estate team with Keller Williams VIP Properties in Santa Clarita CA. Our team has had great success working with home buyers and home sellers from across the valley. We are here to answer your questions. Go to http://bringingyouhomescv.com or call us direct at 661-290-3802.
No matter where you live (Yes, even here in sunny Southern California), it is important to make sure you have prepared your home for the winter months.
Now, each region may have different individual methods for preparation. Areas where snow or below-freezing temperatures are common in the winter months may require more preparation than areas located in the desert or warmer weather climates. The following is a short list of items to consider in preparing your home for winter no matter where you live:
- Check your roof, especially near skylights, chimneys, climate-control devices (Heating/AC), or solar panels (where applicable) to insure there are no gaps or areas where leaks can occur. You can close those gaps with roof sealant found at your local hardware store. If you see gaps that are large or show serious wear, contact a roofer for an inspection.
- Check your attic for air leaks. Typically, attics are 10 degrees warmer than the air outside, so feel along the crevices and along corners for cooler air.
- Check and clear all rain gutters of debris and dirt.
- Replace your heating/AC filters regularly. Opinions vary, but a good rule of thumb is to replace your filters at least every 3 months.
What is a home warranty?
A home warranty works just like any other warranty you might add when purchasing a consumer product such as an electronic device, television, or appliance. Home warranties are fee-based (usually annually), and cover repairs of certain items within your home should something go wrong. Some items that are covered include:
Plumbing System, plumbing stoppages, toilets, sump pump (permanently installed), bathroom whirlpool motor pump, recirculating hot water pump, water heater, heating and ductwork, electrical system, telephone system, central vacuum system, garage door opener, ceiling fans, attic and exhaust fans, smoke detectors, doorbells, dishwasher, range, oven, cook tops, built-in microwave, instant hot water dispenser and trash compactor.
You do however want to refer to your individual home warranty contract to verify exactly what your warranty covers, as the list above demonstrates a typical warranty. NOT ALL HOME WARRANTIES ARE THE SAME! If you have questions about home warranties, click here to contact us.
Anyone who buys a home using our real estate services will receive a free home warranty. So what happens if and/or when you have to file a claim?
Many new homeowners mistakenly contact a contractor or repairman directly when something goes wrong in their home, and then try to collect a refund from the home warranty company after the fact. This is not the way home warranties work. Home warranty companies have a network of contractors and repair companies that they contract with to make repairs as quickly as possible once a claim is filed. This way the homeowner has no up front out-of-pocket repair costs. The only cost the homeowner may be responsible for is a deductible upon completion of the repair. (Check your home warranty for details).
You can also begin your home search by clicking here. Remember, if you purchase a home using our real estate services, your home warranty is INCLUDED!