How to Find Out What is Your Home is Really Worth

home-valuesHome prices in your neighborhood have changed over the last few months. Is your home worth more than you think? Whether you are thinking of selling or refinancing, make sure you have trusted information about your current home price.

Find out what your home could sell for in today’s market! Check your home’s real value for free at www.petersenpartners.com and INSTANTLY receive a report that shows you the recently sold homes near you and how your home compares.

Get trusted advice about local market conditions from experts in the industry. Get in touch with your neighborhood experts at info@petersenpartners.com or 770-379-8040. Find out more about the #1 Team in Georgia for Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices at www.PetersenPartners.com.

Fall Maintenance Checklist

As the weather changes and before the days seem to get shorter, there’s a few simple maintenance routines and easy chores you can do to keep your home in tip-top shape this winter and heed off potentially costly repairs. We found this great list from HouseLogic. Click here for more detailed information.

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Prep Your Yard for Fall

From our friends at This Old House, here are some helpful tips to prepare your lawn for fall and the changing weather.

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BOLSTER A THIN LAWN
Rent a core aerator from the home center (about $90 per day) to remove plugs of soil from the lawn; run it over damaged sections to improve drainage and get oxygen and nutrients down to the roots. Rake a thin layer of compost into holes. Then sow seed a little heavier than usual and gently mix into the compost with the back of a rake. Water as directed on the seed bag.

Watch Roger Cook aerate a lawn

 

DIVIDE AND MULTIPLY PERENNIALS
Uprooting plants and pulling them apart may sound cruel, but it actually rejuvenates them. Water well a day or two before digging all the way around a perennial, 6 inches from its base. After prying out the root ball, tease roots apart, leaving groupings of three to five shoots. Share extra bounty with friends.

Learn how to divide overgrown perennials

 

SAVE SEEDS
Be sure to stay ahead of the birds. Snip off seed heads and let them dry for about a month on paper-lined sheet pans. Separate out the dried seeds and slide them into marked envelopes or jars. Now you’ve got a head start come spring.

Read more on collecting and saving seeds

Understanding Your Credit Score and Its Effect on Purchasing a Home

What’s Your Credit Score?

If a home purchase is in your future, one thing you absolutely have to think about is your credit score. No matter what your timing looks like, it’s a good idea to think about it sooner rather than later, because having a good credit score can be the difference between obtaining the mortgage you need to buy your dream home—or settling for less because you didn’t qualify for the money you need. Here are some great tips on understanding your credit score from RISMedia.

Unfortunately, many prospective buyers don’t think about their credit score until they’re already in buying mode. And more often than not, at this point, it may be too late to do anything to fix your credit score. Therefore, it’s important to remember that if you have a bad credit score, it’s not something that can be fixed overnight or by simply making a phone call.

If you’re not sure where you even stand on the credit score spectrum, the first thing you’ll want to do is obtain a copy of your credit report. Your report will list all the details that were used to calculate your score, including past payment information concerning loans, credit cards and other bills.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, nearly five percent of consumers have a major error on their credit reports, and approximately 25 percent of all reports have some sort of error that can negatively affect a score.

Once you receive your credit report, look it over and make sure there are no errors or discrepancies. For instance, if there’s an entry for an outstanding bill on a credit card or a late payment on a car loan that’s incorrect, you’ll want to take action quickly, as these items will lower your credit score. Be sure to dispute any errors you find with the Credit Bureau.

If there are no mistakes within your report, and your score isn’t where you want it to be, there are a number of things that can be done to gradually increase your number. To start, make a list of the money you owe and start paying off any debts you may have incurred over the years. Eliminating debt is the best way to see your score rise. Also, be sure to pay everything on time path forward. Late payments are seen as a huge negative when it comes to your credit report and overall score.

You’ll also want to refrain from opening any new accounts or taking out other loans, as this will simply add to the problem. Be sure to stay away from closing accounts that you have a strong history with as well. By closing accounts, you run the risk of eliminating a good payment record.

And last but not least, beware that debts that get sent to a collection agency typically stay on your report for years. While most people think paying these items off will cause them to vanish from their credit report, it’s simply not true.

If you feel that all hope is lost, there are agencies out there that you can pay to help you improve your report and remove negative items. Before you go this route, think about the expense you’ll be incurring, and whether it’s worth it in the long run.

Checking your credit score is something you should think about doing annually regardless of whether you’re planning to move or not. By keeping up to date with your report, your credit score will be solid when you’re ready to buy your next home.

To learn more about understanding your credit score, contact the Petersen Partners team today at info@petersenpartners.com or 770-379-8040. We’re the #1 team with the experience and professionalism you can trust.

Rugs as Staging Accessories

Styled, Staged and Sold asked a home stager what their favorite accessory was and the answer makes perfect sense:

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Stager: Patti Stern, PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating, Cheshire, Conn.

Why I love it: “One of my favorite accessories is rugs — in all shapes and sizes. Rugs are great for staging because they can dress up any space. We sometimes even layer rugs over existing carpeting to play down flaws and update an all sea of beige carpeting. Rugs can anchor furniture and often better showcase hardwood floors.”

Make it work tips:

1. When staging a room, look for a modern neutral rug that goes with the décor, such as organic rugs like sisal for under a kitchen table or even with a colored border.

‪2. If there is hardwood don’t go too big with the rug. Try a 5×7 under a kitchen or small dining table when there is hardwood to add color.

3. Don’t use too many patterns. Think about the rug when the room will be photographed. You don’t want it to overwhelm the photo. When in doubt, use a neutral beige rug that will make the photo and the room pop.

Curb Appeal Ideas from Around the US

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When you’re selling your home, curb appeal is everything. It’s literally what gets a buyer out of the car and knocking on the door to come in. Even if you’re not selling your home, curb appeal is important for the same reason. It makes your home inviting to guests and even to you after a long day. HGTV Magazine  took a spin through neighborhoods all across the country and found eye-catching houses worth a closer look. Check out the comprehensive photo gallery full of design ideas from color palettes to accessories. Most of these ideas could easily be done in a weekend! Check it out here: www.hgtv.com

8 Easy Ways to Eliminate Pet Odors from Your Home

freshhomeIf you’re one of those families that has multiple pets, you know it can be hard to keep your home clean and smelling fresh. Here are some tips on how to keep your home from smelling like a pet store!


Bathe and groom your pets regularly.
This will keep excess dirt, oils, dander, and any odors that may be on your pets’ coats from being carried throughout your house. Brushing and grooming can be done more often, since it is just as important. Whenever possible, brush your pets outside to prevent loose hair from finding its way onto and into furniture and carpeting.


Get rid of the hair on your furnishings.
Use a vacuum cleaner with a pet attachment or a lint roller to do away with loose hair at least once a week. If the lint roller or vacuum attachment isn’t working, try using a rubber glove (assuming that a little dampness is all right for your furniture, of course). Put in on your hand, moisten it a bit, and gently glide it over the surface.


Vacuum the floors.
You should try to vacuum your floors once or twice a week, depending on the number of pets you have in your home. This will help lessen the amount of hair and cat litter on the floor that leaves behind those lingering pet smells. You can also use a squeegee to pull up the stray hairs in your carpet that your vacuum can’t get to.


Check your air filters.
Pet hair can build up and clog your air filters. Be sure to change your air-conditioning or furnace filters at least every three to six months.


Be sure to always use disinfectants.
Many odors are caused by bacteria. Try using high-quality sanitizing cleaners that kill more than 99 percent of germs for those lingering odors and surface bacteria. Be sure to use products that are safe for curious tongues and noses!


Eliminate those urine odors right away.
If your pet has an accident inside, clean the area right away using an enzymatic cleaner. These are designed especially for eliminating pet odors and destroying any pheromones and molecules left behind.


Don’t forget to wash their bedding.
If your pet has a bed with a removable cover, be sure to wash that, as well as other pet bedding, at least twice a month. Keep up with the litter box. You should scoop the cat litter at least once a day. Keep the litter fresh with baking soda, as this can be used to absorb the smell. Try using a plug-in air freshener in the room where you keep the litter box.

– See more at: http://americanlifestylemag.com/8-easy-ways-to-eliminate-pet-odors-from-your-home/#sthash.kofSsVEN.dpuf

Local Independence Day Celebrations

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Celebrating in Cobb County this weekend? Here are some spots to see fireworks and celebrate this 4th of July:

Acworth

July 4th Concert and Fireworks – July 4 – Cauble Park – Noon

Austell

Coca-Cola July 4th Fest – July 2 through July 4 – Six Flags  – 9:30 p.m.

Kennesaw

Salute To America – July 3 – Downtown Kennesaw – 6 p.m.

Mableton

Independence Concert & Celebration – July 2 – Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre – 7 p.m.

Marietta

Fourth in the Park – July 4 – Historic Marietta Square – 10 a.m.

Powder Springs

Independence Day Celebration – July 4 – Power Springs Town Square – 4 p.m.

Cobb County Farmers Markets

unnamedFrom Cobb Travel & Tourism, here’s a helpful list of farmers markets in the area.

Explore and enjoy the farm-to-table initiative at one of many Cobb County popular Farmers Markets. Stock up on fresh produce at these Cobb locations:
Acworth: Historic Downtown Acworth Farmers Market
Kennesaw: Farmers Market and Dinner at the Depot
Marietta: Marietta Square Farmers Market

The Cobb County Farm Bureau and Cobb County Parks are partnering to bring a new Farmer’s Market to Cobb. Starting May 24 and running 3-7 p.m. every Tuesday through October at Lost Mountain Park. Shop and eat locally-grown items from vendors providing eggs, meat, breads/baked goods, jams/jellies/preserved items and produce. SWEET! Click here for more details.