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Owning Your Home: Fall Edition

by Lisa Buchanan "Assistant on the Town"

Home ownership can be a wonderful thing. The pride of owning your home can be almost magical, walking into the door right after you sign the papers carries a unique high. But owning a home always carries responsibilities.  Some of those are every day chores, and some are seasonal related. Going into the fall season (and approaching winter), there are certain things that are good ideas to implement to prepare for the colder season ahead.

  1. Gutter Goals.
    Cleaning out your gutters, and inspecting them for any cracks or maintenance needed is crucial before it gets too cold to do so. In the fall, with the autumnal leaves drifting down every day, this can become an everyday chore till the trees finish shedding their leaves. Crowded, full, obstructed gutters can leave to improper water disposal and if left alone, water damage to your house.
  2. Roof Problems.
    Now is the time to inspect your roof for damaged areas or places that need repaired before rain and snow put additional pressure on it. Deal with it now, rather than having to deal with it in the freezing weather
  3. Driveways & Sidewalks (property inspection)
    Now is the time too, to identify any problem areas and clean the sidewalk and driveway. Keeping them free of debris so in wet condition they don’t become slippery and dangerous!
  4. Drain It.
    If you’re the type of person whose outdoor landscaping puts everyone else’s to shame (looking at your neighbors), then you need to make sure the tools you do so with are protected. Many people have outdoor faucets and irrigation systems that need to be flushed out for their protection. Busted water lines are never fun!
  5. Clean & Fresh.
    Time to clean out the vents and replace the filters! It’s a good practice to replace your filter every 30-60 days but it’s easy to get behind. Take this time of “fall prepping” to catch up on the cycle and get everything cleaned out and ready for the new season.
  6. Tighten the Hatches!
    With gaps in caulk and weather stripping accounting for 10% of heating bills, checking the nooks and cranny’s can add up to major savings.  It’s also the most cost effective way to keep your energy costs down.
  7. Check the Heating Source
    Gas, Furnace, wood burning, all the sources what will keep you warm this winter also need regular maintenance to be kept safe and functional. Have a professional check out your furnace and your gas logs. Inspect your chimney and clean it out if you have a wood burning stove or fireplace.
  8. Keep Everybody Safe
    Carbon Monoxide & Smoke detectors are vital in keeping your family safe.  Fire is always a worry, and carbon dioxide can be fatal is left undetected. Replace the batteries in the ones you already have and make sure you have one on every floor of your house. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher rated for all fire types.  And put a fire escape plan into place for each member of the family.
  9. Clean up Time

Once you’ve gone over the specifics of fall cleanup, go back and do a general clean up. Store everything that needs to be stored or sorted go ahead and take care of it. Prep the flower beds for next year and haul off trash and leaves that need to be hauled off. A little bit of extra effort now makes an easier time of it in the spring.

 

 

 

Home ownership takes a little more effort, but has greater reward. Doing seasonal check list help keep up your beautiful home without getting overwhelmed. If you need any numbers or advice for professionals to call, don’t hesitate to give The Dex Hubbard Team a call!

Home Owners Association (HOA's)

by Dex Hubbard

When people hear the words “Home Owners Association” in my office, oftentimes a note of terror is introduced into the room. Many HOA’s are restrictive to the point (in my opinion) of ridiculousness. Some restrictions I’ve heard of are extreme, down to the type of plants allowed to be planted. Luckily, in my back yard, most of the HOA’s are more protective than restrictive. It’s common to see restrictions against junk cars, or junk appliance’s in the yard. Or to see a prohibition against dumping waste in your yard.


Still, there is the inevitable flinch when it’s mentioned, especially with the fees associated with the group.  And if you’re new to an HOA or had a bad experience with one, there are a few things that are need to know about our area of the mountains.

There are two types of HOA fees in our area. We do run into “subdivisions” that have voluntary road or water fees. As always, there are two edges to a sword. On one hand, you don’t have an obligatory fee that is paid every month (or annually). But that also means, that when the road needs repaired, a couple loads of gravel, or paved you might be paying the lions share just to get it done.

With your standard HOA, the fees are not voluntary. They are required to be paid to help with maintenance issues like roads and sometimes even water if you have a shared well or a community system. When buying a house with in a subdivision with an HOA, make sure to find out if the HOA is strong, and manages the money well.

*Hint: a good way to tell a well-managed HOA from a bad one is to drive through it. Too many pot holes could be a sign that there isn’t enough money in the account to repair the roads*

“Whoa Dex! You’re telling me I have to share a well with someone?”

A shared well is very common in our area. Up to 14 houses are allowed to be on a single well according to the state of NC (if the well can support that many houses). I’ve drilled 28 wells in my time developing property. I experienced the dream (80 gallons a minute) and the nightmare (1 pint a minute). A shared well does mean that someone else is using the same well, but it also means someone else is sharing in the expense of maintenance and repairs.

The same can be said of the road repairs & maintenance. Yes, someone else is using the road. But they are also paying to help with upkeep.

Taking care of your road can be expensive, especially if you are the only one doing so.


You may be perfectly fine with being responsible for everything yourself. Or you may be more interested in sharing the responsibility with neighbors.  Whichever way you choose, make sure you are well informed and know exactly what you’re taking on.

If you have any questions about HOA’s, or real estate, or about Murphy, NC and the surrounding areas, contact me and my team!

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Dex Hubbard
RE/MAX Mountain Properties
1151 W US Hwy 64
Murphy NC 28906
828-837-3002
828-361-4710
Fax: 828-837-8372