Articles Tagged "Imperial MO"

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Home Improvement | 11 Posts
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July
5

5 Tips for Selecting a Pet Sitting Service

Pet Sitting St. LouisAs we return to the workplace and travel becomes more frequent, many of us will be faced with the dilemma of pet care. If you are considering one of our St. Louis homes for sale, you are probably looking at a new community. You might not know your neighbors well enough to ask them to look after your dog. A kennel may work once in a while, and pet daycare could be an option. But our real estate agents suggest you consider another solution: a pet sitter who can come to your home. But where do you begin? These simple tips can get you started:

  1. Use Reputable Resources
    Some of the trade associations that can help you initiate your search are The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), Pet Sitters International, and Fetch! Pet Care. Each offers a locator listing professionals in your area. Once you have located sitters you want to interview, check their references and reviews. When reviewing comments, make sure there is a "verified stay" indicator to ensure they were written by actual customers.

  2. Select Bonded and Insured Sitters
    These designations don't just mean that you are protected in case of loss. They mean that the sitter has invested in a layer of trust between them and their customers, assuring quality and the integrity of the person entering your home when you are not present. Consider also a criminal background check and proof of sufficient training to perform services well. 

  3. Arrange for Introductions
    It's important that you feel confident in the person that will be providing care. You'll want to watch the sitter interact with your pet. Dogs and cats are automatically drawn to some people and are equally repelled by others. You'll want to make sure that your pets are comfortable with the sitter and do not exhibit fear or nervousness around them. Make sure you allow time for them to meet and greet each other appropriately so that the sitter has the opportunity to comfort the pet. If your pet is not frequently socialized, this could take a little time for them to develop a rapport. 

  4. Thoroughly Discuss Expectations
    Let the sitter know what services you expect and with what frequency. If you expect the pet to be walked, brushed, taken to dog parks or other activities or services, be sure to let the sitter know and obtain a formal agreement. It's important that they can commit the time and energy to meet your expectations. Include start and end times for each session. If there are activities you don't want them to do, be clear in your instructions. Make sure the sitter is aware of any dietary restrictions such as treats versus no treats or specific brands that should be avoided. 

  5. Plan for Emergencies
    Prominently display contact information for you, emergency veterinary services, pet insurance information, and a secondary contact. Maintain a medical history for the pet in case the sitter must seek vet care in your absence. Make sure that you are able to reach the sitter via phone or email every day you are away. Agree upon a backup plan for any emergency that could arise, including a substitute sitter in case the regular sitter is unable to fulfill the agreement. 

        If a new neighborhood is in your future, contact us. Our real estate professionals will be happy to help you find the perfect home for you and your family, including the furry members.  

        May
        17

        Top Issues a Home Inspection Might Detect

        Home Inspection Tips

        When purchasing a home, ordering a home inspection is an essential item to add to your to-do list. Our real estate agents know that a home inspection is vital for revealing major and minor issues with a home. While a home inspection will cost you, detecting issues now can help you save money in the long run and give you peace of mind about the property you are buying. Here are some home issues detected by a home inspection. 

        1. Problems with the Grading
          If the grading of the home's lot isn't scaled correctly, this can cause water to flow towards your home. Your foundation and crawlspace may have excessive levels of moisture; this can cause the frame of your home to rot or lead to the formation of mold. The placement of the windows and doors can also shift, eventually causing the home to appear uneven. 
        1. Issues with the Roof
          A home's roof is a common source of issues during a home inspection. Since the roof covers such a large surface area, it's easy for a shingle or two to be damaged during a storm. This can allow water to seep in and damage the home's underlayment or ceiling. Or, the roof itself may be nearing the end of its lifespan. Your home inspector will also examine the components around the roof, like the gutters. It's common for gutters to be clogged and require cleaning. Or, a downspout might not be long enough to properly re-direct water away from your home. 
        1. Trouble with the Windows
          Many home inspections reveal problems in and around the windows. If the windows are older, the problem may be that they aren't very energy efficient. Or, the windows can have cracks around them that need to be sealed. Problems with the windows can raise the home's heating and cooling costs and impact the air quality. St. Louis homes for sale with new, energy-efficient windows will have lower energy bills than those with older components. 
        1. Complications with the Plumbing
          During the inspection, your inspector will run the faucets and examine the pipes for signs of a leak. They'll also see that the drains are draining correctly. A home's plumbing system is fairly comprehensive, making plumbing issues extremely prevalent. 
        1. Defects in the Home's Exterior
          A home's exterior is another common source of issues detected in a home inspection. Wood homes must be closely examined for signs of rot and mildew. Vinyl siding homes may have sections that are damaged and require replacement. Stucco must be correctly installed, or it will present an opportunity for moisture to enter the home. 
        1. Unauthorized Additions
          Many cities require a permit for home additions and certain renovations. These projects must also be completed according to the local building code, or the home will potentially have illegal modifications. Fixing illegal improvements is expensive and time-consuming. An inspector will look for signs of shoddy work and discrepancies among the home's construction. 

        Are you ready to start shopping for your next home? Contact us today to get started!

        January
        4

        Home Improvement Projects to Work on This Winter

        Home Improvement Projects

        While the cold winter months are ideal for cozying up on the couch, sometimes it feels good to be productive. A little home maintenance will also ensure your home looks its best if you list it among the St. Louis market and surrounding area. Whether your home is in St. Louis County, Franklin County, or even further north in St. Charles County, our agents encourage you to work on these home improvement projects this winter. 

        1. Declutter and Organize
          Winter is a perfect time to declutter and organize your belongings. You likely have some new holiday gifts that you need to make room for, and there's no better way to start the New Year than with an organized space.

          You can either tackle one room at a time, or you may declutter categories of stuff. For example, you might declutter all the clothing in your home or all your paperwork and mementos. Get rid of anything you no longer use, that you have too much, or that you haven't used in more than a year (aside from seasonal items).

          Once you know what you're left with, you can organize your belongings with containers, shelves, rods, and hooks. Our real estate agents know that a well-organized home also looks larger and more appealing to potential buyers. 
        1. Replace Old Hardware
          Old hardware, like your door hinges, cabinet knobs, doorknobs, and door levels, can quickly make your space look dated. Give your home an instant facelift by replacing these items. You can replace most old hardware with a screwdriver, drill, screws, and wood putty. 
        1. Service Your Ceiling Fans
          Did you know that you need to change the direction of your ceiling fans during the winter months? When the weather is cold, you want your ceiling fans to operate in a clockwise direction, so it pushes warm air down. You can adjust your ceiling fan's direction by using the direction switch on your fan's motor housing.

          While you're changing your fans' directions, give them a thorough dusting. Dust the fan blades with a microfiber cloth or duster that will prevent the dust from scattering. Wipe down the fan pulls with a damp cloth. 
        1. Repair Any Wall Blemishes and Touch Up Your Paint
          If you've got some areas with scrapes or holes, winter is a fantastic time to patch these blemishes and touch up the paint. You'll be spending a lot of time indoors, and you want your home to look as inviting as possible.

          You can fix most small wall defects with a layer or two of spackling compound. Once it dries, sand the area smooth and add a fresh coat of paint.
        1. Change the Batteries in Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
          Keep your family safe by changing the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Once the units have fresh batteries, test them to make sure they're working properly. If necessary, install additional detectors in your home.

          You should have a smoke detector in each bedroom, in the hall outside every sleeping area, and on each level of your home. There should be a carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home and in your garage. 

        Ready to explore new properties for your family? Contact us today!

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