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Keep Your Outdoor Items Organized

by Sandi Pressley

Where do you store your outdoor tools when you're not using them? Many people just toss them in the garage and call it a day. But as we all know, that can turn into a mess where it's not so easy to find what you need.

Here's some ways that you can reduce the clutter in your garage. It will help simplify your life, as well as help you sell your home in Albuquerque.

Tuck Storage Under Your Deck

The space under higher decks are great for storing items if you do it right. All you need to do is enclose the area with doors if it's not already enclosed. It's an ideal way to keep clutter and tools out of site.

The thing to keep in mind is that this will protect your stuff from the sun, but not moisture. Make sure your items can handle a little moisture.

For a lower deck, you can use storage drawers instead.

If you have a lower deck, you can still use the space underneath if there's room to place storage drawers under it. You can store items such as pool equipment, yard games, and coolers, making it easy to grab what you need for summer fun.

Build a Fence With Built-Ins

A fence with built-ins is just like having an indoor wall with built-ins. And when you do this with a fence, you get more privacy, security, and storage - a 3-in one deal.

Add a Purpose-Built Shed

Think about what you need the most with outdoor storage, then build a shed to fir your purpose. A pre-fab shed may not be the best solution, and it could become another place where clutter builds up.

Looking for the home of your dreams in Albuquerque? Use our powerful home search tool to find the perfect home in Albuquerque and the surrounding area. Visit our blog twice a week for more local articles about living in Albuquerque and real estate advice. Make sure to follow us on Facebook for all the latest Albuquerque real estate listings.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

113 Buffalo Ridge Court, Placitas, NM 87043  $539,000

3 Bedrooms / 2 Bathrooms (1 full, 1 half) / 2700 Square Feet

Exceptional Custom Home nestled on approximately 2.5 hilltop acres with Sweeping 360 degree VIEWS! The courtyard entry welcomes the most discerning buyer into the light, bright great room with awe-inspiring wall of windows, & cozy fireplace-ideal for gatherings and/or relaxation. The Chef's delight kitchen boasts maple cabinets, kitchen island, built-ins, & eat at bar. Adjacent dining room walks out onto the tranquil outdoor covered portal. The upper level is dedicated to the Master retreat w/relaxing sitting area, builtins, spa like ensuite, & private balcony to take in the stunning views!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Cleaning Your Albuquerque Attic: What You Can’t See Can Hurt You

by Sandi Pressley

Do you really need to clean your attic in your home in Albuquerque? After all, you're unfinished attic is just being used for storage, so a little dirt won't hurt, right?

Not so much. That dirt and dander builds up over the years and can circulate into the rest of your home, possibly making you sick. Dirt and allergens find a way through ceiling hatches, doors, recessed lights, and heating and cooling systems.

If you plan to sell your home in Albuquerque, a clean attic can help close the deal. Ans if you clean your attic, you'll also be able to reorganize and find new ways to use that space.

Attic Cleaning Basics

  • Dust walls, window frames, and rafters with an electrostatically charged cloth (think Swiffer) or duster, which grab twice as much dust as cotton cloths. Don’t forget to dust exposed roof trusses, attic fan blades, light bulbs, fixtures, hatches, and door frames.

  • Vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter vacuum cleaner, which channels all vacuumed air through a filter designed to remove even microscopic particles. A less expensive choice: Install a top-quality, high-efficiency filter bag in your vacuum.

  • Line shop vacuums with a plastic bag, which traps irritants and makes debris disposal easy.

  • Wear a National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) mask, which filters a high percentage of airborne particles.

  • If you suffer from asthma and allergies, hire a professional to remove the debris. There's no reason to risk your life. A clean attic is even more important for your health, but the cleaning process can be even more risky if you deal with asthma and allergies. A professional can remove that risk and make your attic a safer place for you.

Keeping Irritants Out of Your Attic

Preventing mold growth and sealing out insects and vermin helps reduce irritants in your attic.

Mold: Moisture can leak into your attic from a number of sources, such as roof leaks and old caulking. After a big storm, inspect your roof for missing shingles and fix any missing or broken ones immediately.

Don’t bother buying a home mold test kit, which may register mold spores that are constantly in the air anyway. If you suspect mold, or can see a mold-covered area that’s larger than about 10 sq. ft., call a certified indoor air quality professional to evaluate your situation.

Dust: Many of those tiny dust mites you see floating around are really dust mite particles, roach parts, and vermin dander made of dried saliva, urine, and feces.

These dust proteins can trigger allergic reactions, so search for tiny cracks and openings in your roof, walls, and windows where vermin and insects can enter. Seal attic air leaks with caulk and polyurethane foam, and repair any holes in attic ventilation screens that are under the eaves and in gable ends.

Get a FREE home evaluation for your home in Albuquerque! Visit our blog twice a week for more local articles about living in Albuquerque and real estate advice. Follow us on Facebook for up to date real estate news for Albuquerque and surrounding areas.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

326 Atrisco Drive SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105  $199,000

2 Bedrooms / 2 Bathrooms (1 full, 0 half) / 1570 Square Feet

Check out this incredible opportunity! Precious 2 BR Adobe with separate Casita! Lovingly restored, the main house boasts wood floors, newer water heater, newer metal roof and refrigerated air. With beautiful landscaping surrounding, the separate casita has a kitchen, full bath & combo sleeping/living area. This oversized lot - greater than a 1/2 acre - also boasts irrigiation from the Atrisco Ditch and great open space!! Both the main house & casita have a solid Air BnB rental history. Don't miss this one!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Did You Know Dirty Light Bulbs Waste Energy?

by Sandi Pressley

Do you know all the places where you waste energy? We may think we know where all the energy wasting hot spots are, but have you thought about dirty light bulbs?

Dirty light bulbs and fixtures not only waste energy, but if you're selling your home in Albuquerque, they can detract from the cleanliness of your home when it's being shown.

True, cleaning light fixtures isn't everyone's favorite job. You need a stepladder and a steady hand. But it's a necessary task that should be done at least every few months.

Dirty bulbs shed 30% less light than clean ones, says the U.S. Department of Energy. Add a dusty, dead-bug riddled cover, and you’ve got an automatic dimmer, whether you want one or not.

Light Bulbs

Light bulbs have much longer lifespans than they used to, thanks to LED and CFL technology. So obviously they'll get dirtier and need cleaning from time to time.

Wipe bulbs with a dry cloth, not wet. Water can get into crevices and damage electronics. Also, don’t spray cleaning solutions directly onto the light bulb, which could damage the bulb. Turn off the electricity to the fixture before messing with the bulbs.

Ceiling Fixtures

Bugs and ceiling fixtures go together like PB&J and is just as messy (and far less tasty). Remove fixtures and soak in a sink with soapy water. Dry and shine with a microfiber cloth.

Don't put glass fixtures in the dishwasher. The glass is not designed to be dishwasher safe and can damage both the fixture and the dishwasher.

Recessed Lights

Dust with a long-handle duster, such as a Swiffer, that traps dust and cobwebs. For a more thorough cleaning, wipe the insides of canisters and the bulbs with a microfiber cloth or a slightly damp rag.

Before cleaning, make sure the electricity is off and the bulb is cool.

Ceiling Fans

Dust the lights on ceiling fans when you clean the fan blades. When a bulb goes out and you have to climb a ladder anyway, clean globes and bulbs with a microfiber cloth. If the globes are really dirty, take them down and clean with soapy water or a cleaning solution.

When removing or returning globes or bulbs, be sure not to steady yourself by grabbing fan blades, which will turn if touched.

Tricks of the Trade

1. Dryer sheets are low-cost alternatives to microfiber clothes. They’re great for dusting bulbs.

2. Wear goggles when dusting or spritzing overhead fixtures to prevent dust or cleaning solution from hurting your eyes.

3. If you’re having trouble removing the bulb in a recessed light, cut a 12-inch strip of duct tape, and fold it over the bulb so that the ends act like handles that are easier to grip than the glass.

Search for your dream home in Albuquerque with our easy to use home search. Check back on our blog every week for more real estate advice and local articles about living in Albuquerque. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for up to date real estate news for Albuquerque and surrounding areas.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

10215 Alexandria Road NE, Albuquerque, NM 87122  $299,000

3 Bedrooms / 2 Bathrooms (1 full, 1 half) / 1639 Square Feet

Gorgeous backyard! Impeccably maintained ONE LEVEL 3BDR/2BA home with so many updates! Updated Andersen windows & patio door (2008), aluminum patio cover & extended outdoor patio (2015), furnace (2016), sidewalk to backyard (2015), water heater (2011) and so much more! REFRIG AIR! Light, bright & open floor plan with skylights, TWO living areas, kitchen is open to the family room with access to the covered patio, features an island, roll-out drawers, pantry, dec backsplash & sunny bkfst nook! Master suite has walk-in closet & linen closet. Incredible outdoor living area with a large covered patio, beautifully landscaped yard with grass, shrubs, trees & mountain views!! Close to schools, parks shopping, Trader Joe's, foothill trails!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Landscaping is an important part of your Albuquerque property’s value. Great landscaping can actually raise your home value by up to 11%, sometimes even more.  And the good thing about landscaping is that even though it has such a big impact on your home’s value, it’s one of the easiest home improvements you can make. Here’s a few tips to help you make your landscaping a valuable asset for your home.

Match the Style of Your Home

If you want to get the most return on your investment, your landscaping should fit the style of your home. You wouldn’t, for example, put in a Japanese garden if you have a Victorian style home. For this style of home, a cottage style or country landscape would work best, as it fits in with the formality of the home.  On the other hand, modern style homes benefit from landscaping that has greenery and natural looking beds that blend in with the contours of your property. For these homes, formal landscaping would definitely be out of place.

Have a Plan

Have a design laid out and a plan in mind. You should try to have a balance between too many high maintenance plants and just plain grass with no landscaping. A good foundation planting with a few points of interest is the best way to go. Your plants should have diversity, but not too much. Don’t go bonkers at the garden center and get every type of plant.  You should aim for a uniform look that has just enough variety to make your landscaping interesting.

Trees

Some people may feel that trees are too high maintenance.  But they can actually add significant value to a home. According to one study, homes on streets lined with trees had a 10 – 15 percent higher sale price compared to similar neighborhoods with fewer trees. Trees have many advantages beyond removing carbon dioxide and pollution from the air.  They also keep your home cooler and relieve stress.

Edging

A well maintained lawn can look even better when it’s edged. An edged lawn gives the appearance of being easy to maintain since there’s fewer weeks. It’s also a great first impression for buyers, as it shows that you take meticulous care of your lawn and property.

Focusing on your landscaping will be one of the best ways to improve your home’s value, as long as you have a plan and keep it from getting too complex.

Search for your dream home in Albuquerque with our easy to use home search. Check back on our blog every week for more real estate advice and local articles about living in Albuquerque. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for up to date real estate news for Albuquerque and surrounding areas.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

6708 Baker Avenue NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109  $205,000

2 Bedrooms / 2 Bathrooms (1 full, 1 half) / 1529 Square Feet

Excellent location! 2BDR/2BA/plus office townhome in Los Trechos! Many updates! REFRIGERATED AIR! Updated furnace, water heater and ROOF! Updated stucco (2013) Two large bedrooms plus a beautiful built-in office addition with cabinets & desk. Light & bright atrium for plants! Bath features a therapy tub! Kitchen has bkfst nook and all appliances stay! Private patio can be accessed from the master bedroom and living room. Convenient location close to shopping, restaurants, parks and transportation!!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

When you buy or sell a home in Albuquerque, the home inspection is a critical part of the process. A home inspection benefits all parties involved in the transaction, as it reveals what the condition of the home is and what needs work.

How can you get the most from your home inspection?  Here’s the steps of the process and how you can maximize the results.

Why Have Your Home Inspected?

If you’re selling a home in Albuquerque, the home inspection gives you the opportunity to make needed repairs, and as such, list your home for a higher value. Your home will also sell faster with fewer issues. Most people in Albuquerque want to buy a turn-key home rather than a fixer-upper.

Make sure you do your research when you hire a home inspector. The internet is a powerful way to look at reviews and work history. If you find a home inspector with a good track record, but they cost more, it’s worth it.

During the Home Inspection

Make sure you’re there during the inspection. This way, the inspector can show you the issues in person and explain options for repair. You can also ask questions and take photos. This will also help you learn about what to look for when you buy a home in Albuquerque.

Recheck and Take Notes

After your home is inspected, go back over the issues for a closer look. Whether you’re buying or selling a home, this will help with negotiations. Then you can increase or lower the asking price depending on the repairs needed.

Discuss and Negotiate Repairs

For home sellers, you can either do the repairs before the home is listed and ask for a higher price, or you can skip the repairs and lower the price. It all depends on how much time you have to put into it.

If you’re the buyer, you can ask for an asking price deduction that is equal to the estimated cost of repairs if you’re buying the home as-is. Another option is to suggest that the current owner get repairs done and then you buy it after a re-inspection following the repairs. This would be best for very expensive repairs such as for changing the entire roof or re-plumbing the entire home.

A good home inspection can make the difference between a smooth transaction and a disaster.  Make sure you find the right inspector and be involved in the process.

Search for your dream home in Albuquerque with our easy to use home search. Check back on our blog every week for more real estate advice and local articles about living in Albuquerque. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for up to date real estate news for Albuquerque and surrounding areas.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

1619 Camino De La Sierra NE, Albuquerque, NM 87112  $550,000

3 Bedrooms / 4 Bathrooms (3 full, 1 half) / 3415 Square Feet

Wonderful one owner custom home by Carlson Builders. Located in S foothills on approx acre of beautifully landscaped property with amazing view. This home has Hurd windows, custom cabinetry through out, GE Monogram/Jenn Air appliances, butcher block island, custom pantry, 3 cars plus carport, cedar closet, gun room, hidden closet. Even a detached workshop/studio. A 25'x39' great room for all occasions . Plantation shutters, two master suites. This home was built to stay, with post stressed concrete slab and a Garden room, and so much more. Minutes to hiking, biking, freeway and shopping.

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Planning to Deal With Unexpected Home Repairs

by Sandi Pressley

Owning a home in Albuquerque can bring some anxiety when it comes to dealing with unexpected repairs. According to a recent report, most homeowners say that home repairs and maintenance top the list of worries when it comes to owning a home.

According to Holden Lewis, NerdWallet’s home analyst, “When you buy a home, you take a leap into the unknown. So it’s no wonder that homeowners say they’re anxious in our survey. Don’t spend your last dime on the down payment. Instead, set aside a few thousand dollars to take care of unexpected maintenance and repairs. Having an emergency stash will help you sleep better.”

You certainly can't plan for every contingency, but there are a few ways to reduce the stress of unexpected home repairs. Here's a few tips that can help.

Regular Maintenance

One sure way to reduce the chances of major repairs in the future is regular maintenance.  If you fix small problems right away, like a leaky pipe, it can prevent having to make more major repairs that could cost thousands of dollars. An annual maintenance budget that is around 2% of your home's value is an ideal goal. This budget could cover small repairs and regular servicing of HVAC and cleaning gutters and your chimney.  Basically, anything you can do to prevent accidents and problems is money well spent.

Save For Emergencies

Your parents probably taught you to save for a rainy day, and when it comes to owning a home, there can be some very raining days. Saving for unexpected damage from weather or other emergency repairs can keep you from going into further debt.  If you don't have an emergency fund, then you can try to build one by setting attainable goals. In the end, your goal should be to have several months worth of living expenses set aside.

Plan For the Worst

After buying a home, you may later realize you have larger problems to deal with, such as bad roofing or a sinking foundation. These could end up costing more than you have saved.  Before this happens, you may want to look into financing options for big ticket repairs.  This way you wan't be scrambling to finance anything beyond your savings.

Lewis says, “If savings and insurance don’t cover these high costs, your best bet might be to finance the repairs with a home equity line of credit, or HELOC. A HELOC acts like a credit card and is backed by your home’s equity. We’ve found that many homeowners get HELOCs just so they’ll have a readily available source of money in case of emergency.”

Unexpected home repairs don't need to keep you up at night. Make sure to plan now to save yourself heartache in the future.

Search for your dream home in Albuquerque with our easy to use home search. Check back on our blog every week for more real estate advice and local articles about living in Albuquerque. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for up to date real estate news for Albuquerque and surrounding areas.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

6448 Kola Court NW, Albuquerque, NM 87120  $399,000

4 Bedrooms / 3 Bathrooms (2 full, 1 half) / 2587 Square Feet

Exceptional custom home! Cul-de-sac location and huge lot! 4BDR/3BA/3CG with master bdr split plan. Private owner's suite on its own wing features tray ceiling, garden tub, sep shower, double sink vanity, walk-in closet & linen closet. REFRIG AIR! Great room & dining room share a cozy two-way fireplace and are open to the custom kitchen with great entertaining space! Kitchen features beautiful cabinets with crown molding, recessed lighting, granite countertops, backsplash, bkst bar, tile flooring, walk-in pantry! Oversized backyard with backyard access, extended covered patio, trees, shrubs and walled for privacy. Perfect for summer BBQs and enjoying the best of NM weather!!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

What to Consider When Building a Deck in Albuquerque

by Sandi Pressley

Are you thinking about adding a deck to your home in Albuquerque?  It’s certainly a tempting idea, as it’s the ideal way to enjoy summer with family BBQs and enjoying the beauty of the Southwest scenery. The big question though is how much you want to spend and what type of deck is right for your home. On average, a wood deck can cost around $10,000, while a composite deck can set you back almost $18,000, according to Remodeling magazine’s “2018 Cost vs. Value Report.” The report was based on a national review of costs based on a 16x20 deck with pressure-treated joists, a built-in bench and planter.

When it comes down to it, the cost for your deck will vary based on size, style, and the contractor.  But you can get an idea of costs in advance so that you can keep the total price under control.

How much does it cost to build a deck?

There are quite a few factors that affect how much a deck will cost. The biggest factor will end up being professional installation. Getting a bead on this cost alone will help you avoid unpleasant surprises. According to Andrew Wormer, editor of Professional Deck Builder magazine: “For every dollar spent on materials and supplies, expect to spend another dollar to have it installed.” Some contractors will quote per square foot, and this usually covers both labor and materials.

Planning Your Deck Installation

Set Limits: Keep in mind that this is a permanent addition just like any room. You’ll need to follow local building and zoning codes for Albuquerque which may affect the size of the project. Also think about upkeep. It may cost more up front to use synthetic materials, but they don’t need as much maintenance, which will cost less in the long run.

Budget: Just like when buying a home, it helps to have a list of “wants” and “must haves.” And of course the most important question is how much you’re willing to spend on the entire project. Think about the size of your home as well. The deck should be proportional to the size of your home.  A small deck on a large home might look a bit silly. And if your home is smaller, an elaborate deck might not make sense either. Insurance costs may be a consideration, so check with your homeowner’s insurance to make sure.

Find the Right Contractor:  Finding the right contractor will take some research, but it will definitely be worth it. To get a fair price, try to get quotes from at least 3 contractors.  If you can find reviews of these contractors, that will help as well. Ask potential contractors for photos of past projects.  You should also check with your local building department to make sure they are licensed, bonded, and insured.

Reducing Costs

You can reduce costs in a number of ways. Staying away from fancy design features, along with reducing the overall size can help reduce costs. Selecting the right wood is also important. Untreated decks cost less to install, but more to maintain. The reverse is true for composite decks. Also, if you build during the fall or winter, it could save you more, as contractors have fewer jobs and may be inclined to reduce their costs.

Building a deck is a great way to increase the value of your home, both in how you enjoy living in it now and in the future when you decide to sell it.

Search for your dream home in Albuquerque with our easy to use home search. Check back on our blog every week for more real estate advice and local articles about living in Albuquerque. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for up to date real estate news for Albuquerque and surrounding areas.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

6708 Baker Avenue NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109  $205,000

2 Bedrooms / 2 Bathrooms (1 full, 1 half) / 1529 Square Feet

Excellent location! 2BDR/2BA/plus office townhome in Los Trechos! Many updates! REFRIGERATED AIR! Updated furnace, water heater and ROOF! Updated stucco (2013) Two large bedrooms plus a beautiful built-in office addition with cabinets & desk. Light & bright atrium for plants! Bath features a therapy tub! Kitchen has bkfst nook and all appliances stay! Private patio can be accessed from the master bedroom and living room. Convenient location close to shopping, restaurants, parks and transportation!!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Fire Pit or Money Pit? Ways to Avoid Overspending

by Sandi Pressley

Indoor evenings on the couch are so last season. Relaxing around a fire and under the Albuquerque night sky is about to be the place for a perfect night. But a built-in fire pit can cost as much as $4,500 installed. That’s a pricey upgrade.

If you build a fire pit in Albuquerque, there is an Outdoor Burn Program that you should check first.

With these money-saving tips, you can build a fire pit for your Albuquerque home for less than a grand, and still have a fabulous one:

Choose Wood Instead of Gas

Gas fire pits are more expensive because you’ll have to hire a plumber to run the gas line and an electrician to power the pit.

A wood fire pit has none of that cost, which will run at least several hundred dollars. Besides, who doesn’t love the smokey ambiance of a wood fire?

If You Want Gas, Put It Close to Your House

OK, not everyone loves an ashy, smoky fire pit. If you do want the simplicity of gas, you can get it most cheaply by keeping that gas line as short as possible.

The farther from your house that plumber has to run the gas line, the longer he’ll be there. And the longer he’s there, the more it will cost. And remember the electrician you’re going to pay to run wires to power the automatic starter? Same thing.

Skip the Built-In Seating

Those stone benches in a semicircle around a flaming fire pit look like money. That’s because they’re made of it.

Built-in benches that will seat six people with a comfortable amount of personal space can cost as much — or more — as the fire pit itself.

Six resin Adirondack chairs can cost as little as $120. Plus, chairs are easier on your butt as well as your wallet.

Don't Do Custom Anything

You can have a fire pit designed just for you. But unless you’re a trust-funder or just like spending money like one, stick with a contractor’s standard build. Most offer prefab, modular units that cost at least half as much as a custom build.

Go With a Paver Patio

Flagstone gives you the natural beauty of real stone, but it costs $15 to $20 per square foot. Unless you’re making a one-person pit, that will add up. A paver patio looks manufactured, but it costs $6 to $10 per square foot.

Choose a Decomposed Granite Patio (It's the Cheapest!) It looks like sand. It isn’t fancy. But it’s cheap. A pro can lay this stuff for as little as $2 a square foot.

Very important: Heavy rainfall can wash away a decomposed granite patio. If you live in Albuquerque, decomposed granite is a great option.

Search for your dream home in Albuquerque with our easy to use home search. Check back on our blog every week for more real estate advice and local articles about living in Albuquerque. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for up to date real estate news for Albuquerque and surrounding areas.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

1120 Edith Boulevard SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102   $202,000

 

3 Bedrooms / 2 Bathrooms (1 full, 1 partial) / 1413 Square Feet

Welcome this one story Hip cottage, bungalow style, built 1908 in the urban South Broadway Neighborhood. Home features 2 covered porches, historic front faces west and east facing back. Over sized lot for the area, and entire property is fenced. Original wood floors. Home offers 3 bedrooms, and 2 baths. 3rd bedroom currently being used as an office. Newer updates include, ROOF, windows, evaporative cooler. This home is not to be missed!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Spring Cleaning Must-Dos for Home Chefs

by Sandi Pressley

Spring is coming up soon, and so are the spring cleaning projects. One of the tough spots can be the kitchen, especially if you cook regularly.

Even if you don't clean the whole house, it can feel like you did after tackling the tough spots in the kitchen. That can definitely be the case if you love to cook and bake.

Here are four things all home chefs should focus on for a cleaner, more organized kitchen:

Cleaning the Cracks and Crevices of Appliances

The devil is in the details they say, and that is certainly true for appliances. The nooks and crannies of your appliances can be tough to keep free of grime, even if you do wipe them down regularly.

These spots include knobs, grills, exhaust filter on the range, door crevices and rubber linings on the dishwasher and fridge, and the individual parts of small appliances.

You can usually put range grills and filters in the dishwasher. But if you can't, then good old elbow grease and a cleaning brush, baking soda, and soap do the trick. If you have a really grimy range hood filter, you might try boiling it in water with 1/2 cup baking soda. Your appliance knobs could also do well with a soapy soaking, then scrubbing with a brush and baking soda.

Organizing by Zones

You're no doubt used to the way your kitchen is organized. Maybe it's been the same way since you moved in. But have you thought about reorganizing your kitchen according to tasks? Think about what you do in your kitchen every day, from brewing coffee to food prep to washing dishes.

Once you do this, then unload, wipe down, and reload your cabinets, placing items that are used for a similar purpose together (French press and coffee mugs; knives and cutting boards, etc.) in the area where they will be needed.

Eliminating Outdated Staples

Now it's time to check expiration dates. You may be surprised how long that bottle of soy sauce has been in the fridge. Check all the staples in the fridge and cupboard to see if any are expired.

This also applies to dried spices. Spices lose their effectiveness after about a year. Having a fresh supply of spices will make your recipes zing, and will make more room in the cupboard.

To avoid waste in the future and save money now, buy small amounts where bulk spices are sold.

Washing Grocery Totes

Speaking of rancid, when was the last time you cleaned your reusable grocery bags? Studies have found bacteria easily transports from bag-to-food-to-refrigerator, increasing the chances of food poisoning and cross-contamination.

Throw them in the washer or wash by hand with hot soapy water.

Check back on our blog every week for more real estate advice and local articles about living in Albuquerque. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for up to date real estate news for Albuquerque and surrounding areas.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

1005 Quincy Street SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108  $210,000

3 Bedrooms / 1 Bathrooms (1 full) / 1105 Square Feet

UNM South 3BDRs/1BA/1CG HUGE BACKYARD!!! WOW! Beautifully REMODELED KITCHEN with Quartz countertops, new cabinetry, SS appliances, recessed lighting! NEW ROOF! (2018) Updated windows! Hardwood floors!! Huge backyard features a pergola covered patio, grass, trees & mature landscaping & walled for privacy & plenty of room to entertain family & friends!! Excellent location UNM South, close to parks, schools, shopping, UNM & Nob Hill!!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Basement Insulation Can Lower Your Energy Costs

by Sandi Pressley

When most people think about insulating their home, the basement is a place that can be overlooked. You might think that since hot air rises, that the upper levels are the most important ones to insulate. That's true. Yet the basement can lose as much as 30% of your energy. If you stop that loss, you can save hundreds of dollars per year on heating and cooling costs.

Where to add basement insulation

There are two places to add basement insulation. You can treat the basement as an indoor space and add the insulation to the walls. Or you can treat it as an outdoor space and add it to the ceiling. If you chose the latter, you also need to close off all vents in the basement, particularly vents on your furnace unit and on exposed HVAC ducts.

Adding insulation to basement ceilings

Insulating your basement ceiling is a straightforward job. Use fiberglass batt insulation designed to fit between framing members. Figure a cost of $.50 to $2 per square foot to have a professional install 6 to 12 inches of fiberglass insulation.

Adding insulation to basement walls

Though floor insulation is more common, wall insulation has advantages over ceiling insulation:

  • Efficiency—ceiling insulation often is compressed by many wires, pipes, and ducts that inhabit the floor joists, reducing effectiveness.
  • Gained living space—insulating basement walls usually makes basements more habitable and usable on a daily basis.

Adding insulation to your basement walls requires one of two basic methods:

Build and insulate a stud wall

If you plan on using your basement to live in, building and insulating a stud wall is a great idea, as you can then run electrical and plumbing. You can then cover the wall with drywall and create a nice wall.

To insulate a stud wall, fill the stud cavities with regular fiberglass batt insulation. To prevent damage to the wall from trapped moisture, most building codes require installing a vapor barrier on the warmest (inside) side of the wall.

Install rigid foam sheathing directly against the basement wall

To prevent air infiltration and moisture problems, the seams between the rigid foam sheathing should be sealed with moisture-proof tape.

Codes often dictate that exposed foam sheathing be covered with an acceptable fire barrier, typically a layer of half-inch-thick drywall. Apply furring strips to the sheathing, then install a layer of drywall. Or, build a stud wall against the foam sheathing, fill the stud wall with unfaced fiberglass insulation, and cover with drywall. Both methods yield finished walls for your basement.

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