Susan Revis - William Raveis R.E. & Home Services



 Photo by kalcommodore via Pixabay

Beautiful railings, including the railing that surrounds your deck, plays a major role in your home's curb appeal. Even when it's not visible from the street, a strong, sturdy deck and the railing that surrounds it can still raise your home's resale value. That's extra living space, after all. Even if it is outdoors. But even more important, your deck and its railing need to be structurally sound for safety purposes. You don't want to take a fall off your backyard deck, and you certainly don't want your family, friends or guests to have a mishap. For these reasons, it's vital to keep railings in top condition. Here's how:

Choose the Right Material for Deck Railings

Today's homeowners have multiple options for creating a railing around a wooden deck. More popular ones include:

  • Pressure-Treated Wood -- A popular choice for deck railing, wood is the most high-maintenance railing material on the market. Even pressure-treated lumber will need to be re-stained or re-sealed intermittently. This type of railing may also warp or twist over time, but for an upscale appearance, it's difficult to beat. 
  • Vinyl --Vinyl is lightweight and requires little-to-no maintenance other than an occasional cleaning with the garden hose. Vinyl won't rust or rot, but the color may fade over time. 
  • Aluminum -- Aluminum is a lightweight, durable material that can withstand corrosion, rust and rot. It can be painted any color and is typically cheaper to install than heavier options such as pressure-treated lumber. 
  • Composite -- Composite deck railing is made from PVC and recycled wood. It combines the best of both worlds because it's impervious to warp, rot and rust. It doesn't need staining or sealing, it's available in many colors and can easily be painted. 

Once you've decided on a material, professional installation is best. Unless you're confident in your construction abilities, weight-bearing structures, such as deck railings, should be built to code. You'll likely need a permit, as well. Adding a well-built, professionally installed railing to your deck will impress future homebuyers. It will also delight your friends and family when the weather turns friendly. 

Maintaining Deck Railing

The best advice for maintaining your deck railing over time is simply to inspect it regularly. Take a good, long look every spring, and if you see issues -- nails that are popping up, boards that are weakening -- have them repaired right away. Clean your deck and railings annually, regardless of their composition, and make sure to stain and seal wooden railings at least every other year. 

The condition of the trim around your home, including railings, affects your home's value. Take the time to keep them in top condition to maintain their value and their safety. 

 


Image by Andrey_Popov from Shutterstock

Burglary is one of the more common types of crimes in the US today. Every day, many homeowners wake up or get back from work to discover their homes robbed. Given the financial, psychological, and physical damage that can happen, protecting your home is always ideal. You don’t have to be a victim. Put a security system in place to protect your home.

A range of home security systems are available. Deciding on which one could be a daunting task. To save you time and stress, here are some tips on how to select a security monitoring system for your residence.

Survey your home.

The first thing you need to do is to survey your home and assess its security needs. Start by counting the doors, windows, and other entry points. Check the distance of the doors and windows from where you intend to install the controls. Knowing this is essential as it will help you know the coverage of the wireless system or the length of the wires needed.

Know where to place the controls.

Place the controls somewhere only you will have quick access to. Many people prefer the control pads close to the main door. But that's not a promising idea because others can easily find it. According to security experts, it is best to place the control pads in an area that guests will not have easy access. A good example is your bedroom. 

Consider the people who live with you.

If you intend to go with motion detectors, consider movement in your home during the night. If you have kids or older parents that move around at night or you have pets that pace the house at odd hours, it is highly likely that they might trigger the alarm and cause a disturbance. Triggering the alarm system that alerts the police department may cause them to respond to a false alarm from your home.

Research the Security company.

Reputation is key. Although there are security systems that you can install yourself, working with a licensed and trustworthy security company is an optimal consideration. They will recommend the perfect system for your home and even give you useful tips to protect better protect your home. 

Be sure to ask the following questions;

How long have they been operating?

What services do they offer?

Do they carry out background checks on their employees?

Do they lease or sell their security systems?

Do they offer a warranty?

Finding the perfect home security system is vital because it assures you that your home is well protected. To get more information about the types of home security systems available, and how installing one can help you gain peace of mind, ask your agent for a recommendation for a reputable security service.


A smart home device may prove to be a time (and money) saver. However, not all smart house devices are ideal for all homeowners. If you select a smart home gadget that fails to accommodate your day-to-day needs, you risk wasting time and resources on a device that delivers little to no return on investment.

Ultimately, it helps to conduct an in-depth search for the right smart home devices based on your individual needs. With a comprehensive search, you can find one or more terrific smart house gadgets that suit you perfectly.

For those who are on the lookout for reliable and budget-friendly smart home devices, there are lots of things you can do to perform an extensive search for gadgets that will serve you well. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you find the right smart house gadgets for your residence.

1. Assess Your House

Think about why you want a smart home device, as well as how you might use this gadget in your house. Then, you can determine how exactly a smart house device can help you streamline various day-to-day tasks.

For instance, if you strive to reduce your electricity bills, you may want to invest in smart light bulbs. This investment could deliver long-lasting cost savings, as smart light bulbs will allow you to simultaneously brighten up your residence and lower your electricity consumption.

On the other hand, if you want a new doorbell, now may be an ideal time to invest in a smart doorbell. With a smart doorbell at your disposal, you can use the video camera that allows you to see visitors as soon as they approach your home.

2. Start Small and Scale Accordingly

Although you may be tempted to buy multiple smart home devices at once, it often is a good idea to purchase one smart house gadget at a time. That way, you can avoid the risk of getting overwhelmed by myriad smart home devices at once.

Generally, it helps to perform research, find out if a smart home device is right for you and make your smart house gadget purchase. If your investment works out well, you then should consider additional smart home devices.

Of course, if you find a particular smart home device fails to match your expectations, there is no need to stress. Smart home technology is constantly evolving, and as such, new and improved smart house devices soon may be available to fulfill your needs.

3. Review Your Budget

Set a budget for your smart home device spending. Next, try to stick to this budget as closely as possible to ensure you don't spend beyond your means to purchase smart house gadgets.

Shop around for a smart home device, too. This will allow you to pick up a quality smart house gadget at a price that corresponds to your budget.

Clearly, there is a lot to consider relative to smart home devices. If you use the aforementioned tips, you may be better equipped than ever before to determine if a particular smart house gadget is right for you.


If you want to sell your house and achieve the optimal results, it helps to plan ahead as much as possible. Lucky for you, we're here to help you get ready for the home selling journey.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you plan ahead for selling your residence.

1. Conduct a Home Inspection and Appraisal

What you originally paid for your house is unlikely to match your home's current value. Fortunately, you can perform a home inspection and appraisal to ensure that you can price your house appropriately.

During a home inspection, a property expert will examine your house both inside and out. This property expert will identify any underlying problems with your house, allowing you to address such issues before you list your residence.

Meanwhile, a home appraisal ensures that you can receive a property valuation based on the age and condition of your residence, as well as pertinent housing market data. This appraisal enables you to better understand how to price your house, enabling you to establish a competitive initial asking price.

2. Enhance Your House's Interior and Exterior

A dazzling home interior and exterior can make a world of difference for any home seller, at any time. If you dedicate time and resources to perform home upgrades, you may be able to boost the likelihood of a fast, profitable home sale.

To enhance your house's interior, you may want to remove as much clutter as possible from your home. That way, you can make it easy for homebuyers to envision what life may be like if they buy your house.

Furthermore, you should trim the front lawn, clear outdoor walkways and do everything you can to improve your house's exterior. Because with a stunning home exterior, your home's curb appeal will increase, making it more likely than ever before that potential buyers will fall in love with your residence as soon as they see it.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you're uncertain about how to plan ahead for the home selling journey, there is no need to worry. In fact, you can hire a real estate agent, and this housing market professional is happy to help you get ready to sell your house.

A real estate agent is a housing market expert who will learn about you and your home selling goals. Then, this housing market professional can help you develop an effective plan to sell your house and maximize its value.

In addition, a real estate agent will serve as an expert guide throughout the home selling journey. He or she will help you craft an engaging and informative home listing, promote your house to the right groups of buyers and review any offers on your residence.

When it comes to selling a house, it may be a good ideal to plan ahead. If you use the aforementioned tips, you can create a home selling strategy that ensures you can quickly and effortlessly navigate the home selling journey.


Shopping for a home is a long, arduous process. When you finally find one that you love, think you can afford, and spend the time to formulate an offer, it can be crushing when your offer is rejected.

However, getting rejected is simply part of the process. If you’ve ever applied to college, you might be familiar with this process. You send out applications that you poured your heart and soul into. Sometimes to get accepted, other times you don’t.

Making an offer on a home comes with one big advantage over those college applications, however--the opportunity to negotiate. As long as the house is still on the market after your offer is rejected, you’re still in the game.

In this article, we’re going to talk you through what to do when your offer is rejected so you can reformulate your plan and make the best decision as to moving forward.

1. Don’t sweat it

One of the most common fallacies we fall into as humans is to think the outcome is worse than it really is. First, remember that there are most likely other houses out there that are as good if not better than the one you are bidding on, even if they’re not for sale at this moment.

Next, consider the rejection as simply part of the negotiation process. Most people are turned off by rejection. However, you can learn a lot when a seller says no. In many cases, you can take what you learned and return to the drawing board to come up with a better offer.

Don’t spend too much time scrutinizing the seller’s decision. Ninety-nine percent of the time their decision isn’t personal. You simply haven’t met the pricing or contractual requirements that they and their agent have decided on.

2. Reconsider your offer

Now it’s time to start thinking about a second offer. If the seller didn’t respond with a counteroffer it can mean one of two things. First, they might be considering other buyers who have gotten closer to their requirements. Alternatively, your offer may have been too low or have had too many contingencies for them to consider.

Regardless, a flat-out rejection usually means changes need to be made before following up.

3. Making a new offer

This is your chance to take what you learned and apply it to your new offer. Make sure you meet the following prerequisites before sending out your next offer:

  • Double check your financing. Understand your spending limits, both on paper and in terms of what you’re comfortable spending.

  • Check comparable houses. If houses in the neighborhood are selling for more than they were when the house was previously listed, the seller might be compensating for that change.

  • Make sure you’re pre-approved. Your offer will be taken more seriously if you have the bank’s approval.

  • Remove unnecessary contingencies. It’s a seller’s market. Having a complicated contract will make sellers less likely to consider your offer.

4. Move on with confidence

Sometimes you just can’t make it up to the seller’s price point. Other times the seller just can’t come to terms with a reasonable price for their home. Regardless, don’t waste too much time negotiating and renegotiating. Take what you learned from this experience and use it toward the next house negotiation--it will be here sooner than you think!




Loading