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DIY Steps to Finding Air Leaks in Your House

by Sandi Pressley

Is your home in Albuquerque ready for the colder months ahead? If your home gets cold in the winter, it could be because heat is escaping through air leaks. Air leaks can be hard to find both inside and outside your home.

How can you find these hidden air leaks?

Use Air Leak Detectors

Sure, you may be able to feel air leaks with your hand, but there are better ways to 'see' the air leaks. A smoke pencil is a tool you can use to find air leaks by sending a thin stream of smoke or fog toward the window. Then you can see where the air is going.

Then you can check the outside of your home for leaks by checking the foundation for cracks and gaps. Also check electrical outlets and water faucets.

Do Your Own Energy Audit

Sure, you can hire a pro to do an energy audit. But if you want to do it yourself, Energy.gov has a great home audit checklist. This will give you an idea of where your home is and should be on the energy efficiency scale.

If you prefer that a professional audit your home, look at the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) for policies and initiatives that can help save you money when it comes to making your home more energy efficient.

Add Weatherstripping and Spray Insulation

You can also plug and caulk around electrical outlets, windows, and doors using caulk and weatherstripping. Outside, use spray foam insulation to fill holes. Replace window glazing to keep the seal tight. 

Fixing air leaks will make your home more energy efficient. You'll feel warmer in winter, cooler in summer, and, perhaps best of all, you'll save on monthly utility bills.

Looking to sell your home in Albuquerque? Get a FREE home valuation of your home today. Make sure to join us twice a week on our blog for more real estate advice and local Albuquerque news and events. Follow us on Facebook for the latest Albuquerque real estate updates.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

7904 Charger Trail NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109  $350,000

4 Bedrooms / 3 Bathrooms (2 full, 1 half) / 2828 Square Feet

NEW ROOF! (2018) NEWER CARPET & PAINT! (2017) Single story 4BDR/3BA/2G with TWO LIVING AREAS, formal dining, oversized eat-in kitchen plus sunroom! .25 ACRE LOT! REFRIGERATED AIR! Skylights! Wet bar and wood burning fireplace in the oversized family room! Large secondary bedrooms, walk-in closets! Master bath has updated wood tile flooring, double sink vanity and sep vanity! Spacious eat-in kitchen features lots of cabinets, newer oven and dishwasher (2017 & 2018). Beautifully landscaped yard with mature trees, grass and shrubs! Conveniently located in Academy Estates neighborhood, close to shopping, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Alb Academy, parks, schools & restaurants! Sandia High School district.

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Dangers of Not Backing Up Your Income Tax Documents

by Sandi Pressley

Millions of Americans will remember to do their taxes just in time to sprint to the April 15 finish, fists stuffed with W2s and receipts. But if you're a homeowner, wrangling income tax paperwork, or other home records is a marathon, not a sprint. Even more than repainting your house's facade or mowing your lawn, keeping important docs organized year round is a crucial part of home maintenance — it can save you $ and protect you from the Tax Man.

Here's what could happen if you don't keep accurate records and back them up.

You'll Pay More Taxes Than You Should

Homeowners get access to various deductions and credits based on payments for owning, financing, and maintaining a home. If you don't maintain your records, you may miss out on some of these major tax benefits:

1. Real Estate Tax and Mortgage Interest Deductions. "A homeowner's biggest tax break generally comes from his or their monthly mortgage payments since, for most folks, the bulk of that check goes toward interest, and all that interest is fully deductible on Schedule A," says Kay Bell, tax analyst at Bankrate.com. Property taxes are also deductible.

What You Need: Your annual statement from your mortgage company, which usually includes property taxes. If you pay your real estate taxes directly, the bill from your local unit of government.

2. Home Improvement Deductions: Improvements made for purpose of accommodating disabled residents can be included in medical expense deductions. Energy costs for certain medical-related improvements may also be partially deductible. 

What You Need: Receipts and a letter from a doctor.

3. Tax Credits for Energy-Efficient Upgrades: Installing new energy-efficient systems (that meet Energy Star guidelines) like insulation, a roof, windows, water heater, or furnace can earn you a credit to offset your tax liability. 

What You Need: Receipts and certification from product manufacturers.

4. Home Office Deductions: If you can deduct the costs of a home office , you will need to prove you paid those expenses. For example, if your home office takes up 10% of your home's square footage, you can deduct 10% of your home insurance and utility costs. But you need proof you paid those bills. 

What You Need: Bank statements, bill receipts, insurance receipts, your mortgage documents, and any other documents of related expenses. If you're self-employed, you'll be taking this deduction on Schedule C.

You May Have Trouble Selling Your Home

It's not just the IRS that requires paperwork. Ryan Fitzgerald, a REALTOR® in Raleigh, N.C., and owner of Raleigh Realty, recently ran into proof of ownership issues when a seller hadn't backed up his paperwork, nearly causing a delay in the sale of his property.

"The original deed was filed with the wrong county in North Carolina. The original bank was sold to another bank, and there were several refinances in between that caused confusion as well. The original paperwork could not be located by the purchasing bank, and since the original bank was no longer in business, the seller was freaking out about the sale not being able to go through," recalls Fitzgerald.

"The buyer's attorney needed to prove that my seller did indeed own the property outright, and could not do so without the original deed," he says. "This all could have been avoided if there were duplicate documents backed up."

What You Need: Your home's deed, or deed of trust if you have a mortgage that needs to be paid off.

Selling your home in Albuquerque? Get a FREE home valuation of your home today. Looking for the perfect home in Albuquerque? Our powerful home search feature will help you find the home of your dreams. And make sure to join us twice a week on our blog for more great reasons to buy a home in Albuquerque and the surrounding area. Follow us on Facebook for the latest Albuquerque real estate updates.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

326 Atrisco Drive SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105  $189,000

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

Home Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid

by Sandi Pressley

The way your home exterior looks makes a huge difference when you sell it. First impressions can make or break a sale.

Here are some home maintenance mistakes to avoid to keep your home looking fresh.

Stop Using the Pressure Washer at Full Force

When you pressure wash your home, the goal is to remove the dirt, not the paint. You can do this without setting the pressure washer to full force. If you don't, you could end up making your home look worse by damaging the paint or wood, along with forcing the water under the siding where it can cause rot.

Instead, turn the spray as low as it can go to still get the job done. Then angle the washer down, and clean with gentle, side-to-side motions.

Stop Putting Mulch Against the House

Lining your home with mulch may look great, but it can increase the risk of bugs and mold. Instead, you can keep that great look by placing a layer of brick or stone between your house and the mulch.

Stop Storing Produce on the Counter

There's nothing more appetizing than bowls full of garden-fresh goods on the counter. But it comes at a price: bugs.

While fruit flies are annoying, ants and roaches are full-on worrisome once they're in your home. And they are TOUGH to get rid of. Refrigerate all the produce you can — and if you must keep it out to ripen, pop it in the fridge as soon as it peaks.

Selling your home in Albuquerque? Get a FREE home valuation of your home today. Looking for the perfect home in Albuquerque? Our powerful home search feature will help you find the home of your dreams. And make sure to join us twice a week on our blog for more great reasons to buy a home in Albuquerque and the surrounding area. Follow us on Facebook for the latest Albuquerque real estate updates.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

326 Atrisco Drive SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105  $189,000

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

Extending The Lifespan Of Your Roof

by Sandi Pressley

The lifespan of a roof is affected by the workmanship and materials, along with weather conditions. But there are steps you can take to keep your rood in good condition longer. The roof is a major part of your home, and keeping it in good shape will save money in more ways than just the roof itself.

Avoiding Common Maintenance Issues

Small problems left unchecked can threaten the lifespan of a roof.

Here are some of the most common issues:

  • Sagging or overloaded gutters. Leaves and debris build up over time and can cause them to sag. Clean them to avoid water damage to the deck board and the boards under the gutter line.
  • Unattended roof debris. Branches and debris can especially build up during storms. Clean these regularly to prevent rot and other damage.
  • Unknown rot or weak spots. Every few years, get up on the roof or hire a professional to check the roof's condition up close and fix any issues.

Good Ventilation

Your attic can also affect the life of a roof. Poor ventilation can lead to many problems.

During the summer, a poorly ventilated attic can reach up to 160 degrees. This hot air can get through your insulation and heat up the rest of the home. This also affects the shingles, effectively frying them and leading to decay.

Insulating the Attic

Good insulation in your attic is also important to prolonging your roof's life. Insulating your attic properly will reduce the heat transfer and reflect the radiant heat away from your roof and adding to it's lifespan.

Mold and Moss

If you find mold on your roof, you can easily clean it with a diluted bleach solution. But if you don't, it won't affect the life of your roof. On the other hand, moss can trap moisture and lead to rot, so make sure you remove moss as soon as possible.

Preparing For Damage

No matter what you do, any roof will be damaged over time. Damage can really add up during storms. If you keep on top of the smaller issues as they happen, it can lead to better protection during inclement weather.

You also don't need a ladder to inspect your roof, just a pair of binoculars. If you notice anything amiss like missing, curling, or buckling shingles, arrange for a professional once-over.

Maintaining your roof is easy with a proactive approach. With proper attention, you can enjoy your roof for years to come.

Looking for the perfect home for sale in Albuquerque? Our powerful home search feature will help you find the home of your dreams. Join us twice a week on our blog for more great reasons to buy a home in Albuquerque and the surrounding area. And follow us on Facebook for the latest Albuquerque real estate updates.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

11701 Coyote Run Road NE, Albuquerque, NM  $748,000

4 Bedrooms / 4 Bathrooms (2 full, 2 half) / 3271 Square Feet

Fabulous Home nestled in an idyllic, peaceful, gated community. Positioned to take advantage of exceptional mountain and city views! Open, light filled spaces capture you the minute you walk in this home!! This well thought out Lee Michael Multi-generational home can accommodate everyone!! The details and quality are evident! This home you must see!!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Signs Your Albuquerque Home Needs a New Driveway

by Sandi Pressley

When it comes to selling a home, curb appeal is everything. So if your driveway is showing its age, it can deal a fairly big blow to that appeal. Driveways can technically be functional for decades, but eventually need to be replaced. Your driveway is a major feature of your home that you should look at when selling a home and deciding what needs to be repaired or replaced.

Cracks

Cracks always form in a driveway over the years. A number of factors can make them worse, such as leaking gas, oil, or other chemicals.

Small cracks can be repaired as they appear. Yet larger cracks that are long or wide may show signs of more serious damage. If you have a tree near the driveway, the roots may be growing underneath and compromising the pavement. In this case you may even need to remove the tree to prevent further damage.

If you decide to make your own repairs, bear in mind that the repairs will be darker than the surrounding driveway, which also will take away from the curb appeal.

Potholes

Potholes are the next level of driveway damage to deal with. Potholes can do more damage than cracks, taking a toll on your cars.

Potholes can form when the ground beneath the drive expands and contracts. Over time, the driveway material starts to weaken and give way, forming a pothole.

Potholes can be repaired, but it won't solve the problem long term of the ground underneath contracting and expanding and making the pothole appear again.

Replacing your driveway is really the best solution in this case, especially for an older driveway. Newer materials are made to withstand these issues better than the driveway materials that were used decades ago.

Rough Appearance

The weather will always take its toll on the appearance of a driveway. Both the rain and the sun can cause damage, oxidize the surface, causing the color to fade.

To fix this, you could try applying concrete or asphalt sealant, which can help to restore the original look. But if the durability of the driveway has been affected, it’s best to go with a total replacement.

Lack of Resealing

If you have an asphalt or concrete driveway, it should be resealed every two or three years to prevent if from breaking and cracking. If this hasn't been done, you may need to replace your driveway if too many cracks have formed.

Past its Prime

Most driveways are past their prime after about 15-20 years. After that much time, your driveway may be suffering from all of these problems mentioned. At this point, repairs are also less likely to be effective.

Find the home of your dreams in Albuquerque with our powerful home search feature. Join us twice a week on our blog for more great reasons to buy a home in Albuquerque and the surrounding area. And follow us on Facebook for the latest Albuquerque real estate updates.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

11701 Coyote Run Road NE, Albuquerque, NM  $748,000

4 Bedrooms / 4 Bathrooms (2 full, 2 half) / 3271 Square Feet

Fabulous Home nestled in an idyllic, peaceful, gated community. Positioned to take advantage of exceptional mountain and city views! Open, light filled spaces capture you the minute you walk in this home!! This well thought out Lee Michael Multi-generational home can accommodate everyone!! The details and quality are evident! This home you must see!!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

DIY Appliance Maintenance Tips

by Sandi Pressley

You know how it goes. The washing machine quits washing, leaking all over the floor. A stove element stops working just before a big meal. The fridge dies and spoils the food.

These issues can be avoided or delayed with just a few easy DIY maintenance steps. And the good part is, you can do them yourself. Here's a few things to watch out for in taking care of your appliances and potentially save money.

1. Check Your Oven's Door Seal

Your oven can lose over 20% of it's heat if the door isn't sealing properly, creating a longer to cook time. Open the door and check the rubber or fiberglass gasket that goes around the edge of the door. If you feel any melted, torn, or broken areas, or if you close the door and find any leaks, replace the seal.

2. Check Range Filters

Metal filters can be washed in a dishwasher or by hand. Replace charcoal filters (don't wash them).

3. Clean Stove top Drip Bowls

Clean the drip bowls underneath your burner elements by pre-soaking them for around 5 minutes in cleaning solution. Wash by hand and place them back on the stove top. Try to clean them after spills so they don't get burned in next time the burner is used.

4. Clean Refrigerator Coils

Refrigerator coils can get clogged with dirt, dust and pet hair. This will restrict airflow and make it harder to keep it cool. Gently clean the coils once or twice a year with a vacuum. They can either be found behind the kick plate or in the rear.

5. Change Refrigerator Water Filter 

Old, over used water filters can expose you to harmful water. Make sure you change them every 3 - 6 months, depending on how much water, and brand, you use.

6. Repairing Rusty Dish Rack Tines 

Check your dishwasher racks for rusty tines. If you do find rust, it can easily be repaired with a sealant and replacement tips to cover the tines. This will keep your dishes and silverware from being ruined.

7. Maintain Your Garbage Disposal

Check your garbage disposal for any stuck items. Make sure the power is off and do not use your hands! Pour a combination of ice cubes and salt, or vinegar down the drain, then run cold water for 10 seconds and then turn on the disposal with the water still running. Never run the disposal without water. You can remove odors with citrus peels, or with odor removal packets sold in most stores.

8. Clean Dryer Exhaust

Always empty the lint catcher  between loads. Check for lint in the dryer exhaust by loosening the clamp and pulling the exhaust hose from the back of the dryer. Pull out lint with your hands or gently with a hanger. Vacuum before you re-attach the hose.

9. Check Washing Machine Hoses

You can prevent your washing machine from flooding by checking hoses for leaks. Check for cracks, leaks, or weak spots. As a rule of thumb, replace hoses every 5 years.

10. Clean AC Filters

Cleaning your AC filter every 2 - 4 weeks will increase your AC's life, as well as maintain efficiency. Vacuum reusable filters, and replace disposable ones.

If you follow these tips, you'll be able to avoid costly appliance repairs or replacements.

Looking for the perfect home in Albuquerque? You can find it today with our powerful home search tool. Visit our blog twice a week for more real estate advice and local Albuquqerue events and real estate news. Follow us on Facebook for all the latest Albuquerque real estate listings!

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

8320 Calle Petirrojo NW, Albuquerque, NM 87120  $750,000

4 Bedrooms / 4 Bathrooms (2 full, 2 half) / 4844 Square Feet

Beautifully maintained and lovingly upgraded single level custom home close to the Bosque on 1 acre lot. Kitchen is well appointed with island,granite counters,dbl oven, Wolf gas cook top & sub zero fridge. Wide open floorplan, light, bright and cheery, perfect for entertaining. Stunning maple flooring, breakfast nook and formal dining room. Large master suite w/ sittingarea & luxurious bath w/jetted tub & sep. shower. Immaculate grounds w/covered patios, lush grass, 2 storage sheds & fountain to enjoy outdoor living. Newer appliances,hot water heater, water softener and so much more.

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

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.

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