Home Shopping and the Four-Legged Stool

What kind of stool is most likely to keep you from toppling over when you sit on it? Of course, two-legged stools won’t even stand on their own. Three-legged stools are okay, but still unstable. Four-legged stools are rock solid.

What does this have to do with shopping for a new home?

Well, if you want to find the right home quickly and for the best price, you need to have four things in place – the four legs of the stool. They will help ensure the experience goes smoothly.

The first leg is your wish list. You need to have a clear picture of the type of home you want. How many bedrooms? A large deck? Don’t forget about the neighborhood. Do you need to be close to major highways for ease of commuting?

The second leg is a pre-approved mortgage. Getting the financing handled upfront takes the guesswork out of what you can afford. And, sellers are more likely to take any offers you make more seriously.

The third leg is realistic expectations. Of homes that sell, 99% sell at or near their current market values. That doesn’t mean you can’t find a good deal. It does mean you’re unlikely to find a “steal”. Fortunately, there are likely several wonderful properties available within your price range.

The final leg of the stool is a great real estate professional. Choosing the right real estate professional is crucial to making your home shopping experience less stressful and more productive.

So, when you’re hunting for a new home, make sure you start with a stable “four-legged stool”. It will dramatically increase your chances of finding a home that fits your needs and budget.

Need help with that? Call today.

Shawna O’Brien
F.C. Tucker Geist Fishers
The Tumbarello Group

Moisture on Windows

You’re standing by your window admiring the view. Then you notice it. Moisture has built up around the edges of the glass. Should you worry?

It all depends on the reason for the build up.

Assuming you have traditional double-pane glass in your windows, there are a few things to look for if you notice moisture.

Often, moisture at the bottom of your windows is simply caused by too much humidity in your indoor air. If that’s the case, simply adjust your humidifier.

If the moisture is on the outside of the window, typically there’s also no problem with the window itself. It may have rained recently, or the outside humidity may have spiked causing the accumulation. Generally, there’s no reason for concern.

However, if the moisture is in between the two panes of glass, the seal has broken and surrounding air – along with its water content – has made its way in. This disrupts the thermal barrier of the window, reducing its energy efficiency. In fact, the glass might feel noticeably colder than your other windows on chilly days. In that case, you’ll need to replace the pane.

Similarly, if the moisture is coming in through only one spot – the bottom right corner for example – then you might have a leak. If you have a wood frame or sill, you may also notice a growing water stain. It’s important to get leaks fixed quickly. There may be water damage occurring within the frame that you cannot see.

Shawna O’Brien
F.C. Tucker Geist Fishers
The Tumbarello Group

Spring Cleaning and Home Maintenance Tips

Looking for something to do around the house these days?

Here’s a few places to start:

Clear out the Clutter

There’s a lot going on during the winter months and throughout the holiday season, so household clutter tends to accumulate. Excess clutter can raise the level of cortisol, the “stress hormone,” in your body and tax your physical and mental health. The visual noise from excess clutter can even make it harder to think about what you need to do and make decisions.

The first step toward spring cleaning should be eliminating excess clutter. Start a donation pile and grab a waste bin and ask yourself as you pick up each item, “Do I really want this enough to put it away?” It may feel a little ruthless throwing out those old Christmas cards, for example, but unless you honestly think that you’ll look at them again they aren’t worth keeping.


Make an Indoor Cleaning Schedule

Starting from the inside and working out is a great way to get a grip on your cleaning and maintenance, but everything is easier to handle when you break it down into small steps and take them one at a time. A spring cleaning and maintenance schedule can help you focus your energy and time, and keep you from overlooking something important.

To make your spring cleaning schedule, grab a pen and a notebook. For now, concentrate just on the inside of your home:

  • Walk through and inspect your home. What areas have been most neglected over the winter? What areas get skipped during routine cleaning? Is there any particular task, like cleaning out the cupboards, that you’ve been putting off? Make sure they all go on the list.
  • Break down the tasks by room. Just writing “clean the bathroom” is too vague and can either leave you overwhelmed or liable to forget something important. Instead, be specific. List separate tasks like “re-caulk the tub,” or “clean the grout in the shower” so that you can better see what has to be done.
  • Set reasonable goals. You know how much you can accomplish in a given day without feeling burnt-out, so plan accordingly. Consider assigning yourself the small tasks (things that should take less than an hour) on the weeknights after work. Save the bigger jobs for the weekend.
  • Enlist help from your family. If your spouse and kids can pitch in, let them. You can coordinate the work and assign the jobs so that nobody is left wondering what they should do to help — and you don’t get frustrated from doing everything on your own.


Inspect the Exterior of Your Home

Winter isn’t just hard on people — it’s hard on buildings. Over the last few months, your home has endured everything from sudden cold snaps and thaws to piles of ice and snow. It’s time to look around to see what may need repairs — even if you can’t get to them right away.

As soon as the weather (and your time) permits, take a walk around your property and be ready to make notes. Take a good look at the following:

  • Roofing: You probably don’t have to climb up there to see if you have any lifted shingles or bare spots. Visible cracking, shifted and missing shingles are a sign that your roof is going to need a little tender care as soon as possible.
  • Chimneys: Look for cracked and missing mortar along the joints between your bricks that signal a need for repairs. You may also find that your chimney cap is missing or damaged thanks to winter winds.
  • Siding: Your siding may be a little worse for the wear, especially if you live in a high-traffic area where there’s been a lot of road ash or salt laid down. Look for loose pieces that need to be reattached and make note of whether or not you’ll need to pressure wash the house once summer is here.
  • Gutters: No matter how carefully you cleaned them before winter, the odds are high that your gutters are full of leaves and sludge again. If they are, you want to move those to the top of your list of necessary outdoor jobs as soon as it’s warm enough.

You probably can’t handle these repairs immediately, but you should be aware of them early so that you can plan for the work and any extra expense as soon as possible.

Handle the Seasonal Preparations

There are a few household jobs that are just necessary every spring if you want to have an easy summer. They include:

  • Replacing your furnace and HVAC filters: Those old filters from the start of winter have probably seen better days, and new filters will keep your home cleaner (and much more allergen-free).
  • Checking the dehumidifier: If you have a basement dehumidifier, it’s time to check the hoses, filters and other working parts to make sure it’s still operating properly — especially with spring rains coming up.
  • Getting the garden tools ready: Dust off the mower and make sure it’s charged or has plenty of gas, and make sure that your trimmers and other garden tools are clean and ready.

All of this work can go quickly if you keep at it. We suggest keeping your list pinned up to the fridge where you can check it daily — and check off the tasks as you do them for a greater sense of accomplishment and a happier, healthier spring.


Shawna O’Brien
F.C. Tucker Geist Fishers
The Tumbarello Group

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NEW Geist, IN Listing! 11833 Old Stone – Basketball Court in the Basement!

Tucker Features Sheet - MILLER


Desire a custom-built home in a quiet neighborhood AND the convenience to walk/bike to restaurants, shopping, & school?

Beautiful & spacious 4bd, 4ba Geist home w/interior & exterior renovations welcomes you via the impressive front entry. The .70 Acre lot w/ covered front patio & large back deck accommodates outdoor play, entertaining, & relaxing front or back.

Features: Functional open floor plan; Abundant windows & natural light; Hardwoods; Updated kitchen w/island & wet bar; Separate laundry space; Private Office; Main floor ½ Bath; Master suite; Upstairs Jack & Jill; Generous storage space.

LL offers family room, bar, full bath, exercise room & a basketball room easily modified for yoga, meditation, dance, play space or theater room.

Shawna O’Brien
F.C. Tucker Geist
The Tumbarello Group

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Has this ever happened to you? You’re looking for a contractor or other professional for a home project or repair. You search on Google and find hundreds of names. You spend hours considering them. Yet, you never feel confident that the people you find will be qualified, experienced and reputable.

That’s not an unusual scenario. In the end, most people email a friend or neighbor, and ask, “Do you know a good contractor?”

Often that approach works best!

A number of my clients come my way by referral too. I deeply appreciate all who recommend me to their friends, peers and neighbors. THANK YOU!

I’d like to return the favor:  If you’re looking for someone – a contractor, a repair person, a landscape company, etc. – please give me a call. I may be able to recommend someone to you.

Shawna O’Brien
F.C. Tucker Geist Fishers
The Tumbarello Group

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Should You Worry About Market Fluctuations?

You turn on the television and watch a news story about housing prices going down. Then you read an article about the housing market on the upswing again.

It’s a little like being on a roller-coaster ride!

Unfortunately, the ride isn’t much fun if you’re thinking of buying or selling a home. In fact, it can be very confusing and frustrating. You just don’t know if “now” is the right time to make a move.

In reality, the housing market has been fluctuating for decades. Yet, people sell their homes every day for good prices, and just as many people get into their next dream home affordably.

When you hear news of market fluctuations, there are two important things to consider.

First, a lot of media information about the housing market is national, or at least regional. If the housing market is trending up or down nationally, remember that it doesn’t necessarily mean that your LOCAL market is doing the same. In fact, it’s entirely possible for housing prices to be rising in your neighborhood, while they are falling nationally, and vice versa.

Second, if you’re selling your current property while buying another home, then the net effect of market fluctuations may cancel out. Say, for example, that the local market is on the upswing. You’ll probably be able to sell your current home for a good price. However, the home you purchase will likely also be priced to reflect the upswing. The same holds true when the market is down.

All that being said, there are some circumstances in which you need to consider market fluctuations when deciding whether or not to make a move. Call today for more information.

Shawna O’Brien
F.C. Tucker Geist Fishers
The Tumbarello Group

NEW Geist, IN Listing! 10822 Weatherly – Sprawling Ranch w/ Walk Out & Boat Dock

Tucker Features Sheet - LaValley

Custom built sprawling ranch Geist home on private cul de sac w/ boat dock steps from back patio. Bright & airy main level is open from room to room & includes Modern kitchen w/walk in pantry, huge windows, tons of storage, & large gathering spaces.

Master suite retreat w/ Heated programmable Carrera marble bath floor, luxurious shower & custom walk in closet. The home offers THREE gas fireplaces, solid wood doors, high ceilings, Superior Craftsmanship & abundant closet storage.

Walk out lower level w/ high ceilings & kitchen is almost as large as the main level. Distinctive Exterior is newly painted & beautifully illuminated at night. New driveway, patio & walk.

Outdoor living includes private shade garden, screened porch, & Trex decking.


Shawna O’Brien
F.C. Tucker Geist
The Tumbarello Group

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