4 Good Reasons to Consider Selling Your Home

Why do people decide to move? 

Unless it’s a requirement, such as a job relocation, the research tells us that you, like many homeowners, may decide to sell at some point for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Your home is no longer a good fit. You may have outgrown your current home and need something bigger, maybe with an additional bedroom. Or, the opposite may be true. You may want to downsize into something smaller – and cash in some of the home equity you’ve built up.
  • You’ve got your eye on a different neighborhood. Have you ever driven through an area and thought, “I’d love to live here”? You may think that it’s out-of-reach for you at this time. Is it? You never know until you work the numbers. You might, in fact, qualify for a home in that neighborhood today!
  • You want to be closer to something. Many homeowners would love to live closer to work, family, favorite hobbies, the country, etc. Moving to a home that’s near to one of those “somethings” can have a positive impact on your lifestyle.
  • It’s time for a change. Sometimes a homeowner just wants a change: new surroundings, a fresh start. Who says you need a “practical” reason to sell? If you’re looking to get into a new home just because you feel like it, that’s your choice. In fact, that may be the best reason of all to sell. You may simply want to move.

Do any of these reasons resonate for you? If so, now is the time to start preparing. Even if you don’t anticipate moving for several months, this is the best time to get the process started.

Shawna O’Brien
F.C. Tucker Geist Fishers
shawna.obrien@talktotucker.com
317-506-0039

Clean or Replace Air Filters and Fan Screens

It’s a good idea to clean or replace your home’s air filters and screens at least once a year to help keep your indoor environment safe from mold, dust mites and other allergens.

But don’t stop at your heating, ventilation and cooling/air-conditioning systems. Think of all the other filters and screens that need cleaning, such as those in humidifiers, range hoods, bathroom fans, and windows. Unfortunately, homeowners often neglect to clean or replace their range hood filters. This can lead to a thick buildup of greasy residue that could easily compromise the important function of removing cooking gases, odors and humidity from the stovetop area. The result can be unhealthy air trapped in your kitchen, not to mention an accumulation of a thin film on your walls, ceilings and countertops.

Likewise, bathroom fans and window screens can trap layers of dust over time that will hinder the free flow of air to and from the rooms you want to be well ventilated.

Shawna O’Brien
shawna.obrien@talktotucker.com
F.C. Tucker Geist Fishers
The Tumbarello Group

Visiting Your Local Farmers’ Market in 2020 During the Pandemic

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Visiting Your Local Farmers’ Market in 2020 During the Pandemic: A Guide

Restrictions on social activity and shopping put in place over concerns about the viral outbreak are easing in many areas, and numerous local farmers’ markets are set to open just in time for their busy season.

Farmers’ markets are inherently a social experience. They put local growers into direct contact with customers who want to know exactly where their food is produced. They are also cost-effective ways for farmers to get their products directly in the hands of consumers — without going through a retailer in the middle. That puts more profits directly in the pockets of the farmers.

The direct-to-consumer marketing also allows customers to purchase foodstuffs at a reduced cost, which could be increasingly important as consumers try to fill the gaps in what’s available at their local grocer’s or combat rising food prices. The value of farmers’ markets in that regard was made clear in Indiana, at least, when the state declared them to be essential services despite the “ Stay at Home” orders.

None of that, however, means that you can throw caution to the wind and go about business as usual. Outbreaks of the COVID-19 virus may be slowing, but they’re not over. If you’re among the many who can’t wait to browse your local farmers’ market, here’s what you need to keep in mind.

Explore No-Contact Ordering

Maybe you really want to take advantage of the offerings at your local farmers’ market, but you’re just not ready to break social distancing yet to do it. Or, maybe you have a health condition that leaves you immunocompromised or otherwise in a high-risk category and your doctor has ordered you to stay away.

What can you do? Well, farmers’ markets around the country have been getting creative in order to meet the needs of both vendors and customers while still operating responsibly. Quite a few are offering contactless pick-ups.

For example, the Bloomington Online Farmers’ Market right here in Indiana has been encouraging patrons to place their orders online and prepay. Then, they can literally drive right up to the market at the appointed time and collect their meat, eggs, fruit, vegetables, baked goods and more without ever stepping out of their vehicles. It’s a great way to allow everyone access to the items they want without endangering their health.

Shop While Practicing Social Distancing

Another route that many farmers’ markets are taking is reopening — albeit in a restricted fashion that keeps the need for social distancing in mind. If the farmers’ markets in Fishers or Broad Ripple can be held as an example, here’s what you can expect if you decide to go:

• Patrons will be required to enter and exit the markets from a fixed location, rather than milling around the way that they’re probably accustomed to doing in the past.

• The selection of items for sale may be somewhat different than what you’re used to seeing. Expect items to be limited to essential items, like prepared food, hand-made masks, soaps and produce.

• Look for “ social distancing markers” that will help guide you and keep you a respectful distance from vendors and other customers, to reduce the chance of contagion.

• There will be nowhere to consume food while on the premises and there will be no portable restrooms available for use, so it’s important to plan accordingly.

• Don’t expect to touch your food or produce before you buy. While this might disappoint some dedicated “ melon thumpers” this year, most markets will be asking customers to refrain from touching the items for sale.

• Don’t expect to get change back for your purchases. While many vendors will still accept cash, they won’t be able to make change. Take your debit card, SNAP card or a variety of small bills with you when you go.

• Leave the reusable bags at home. If you do take a reusable bag, you’ll likely be asked to put your purchases inside the bag yourself.

It’s also smart to understand that a lot of farmers’ markets are still adjusting and adapting to their new realities — and everything is still in flux. The Original Farmers’ Market at City Market, for example, will only offer prepackaged food items and has eliminated home-based vendors. Rules may shift and change quite a bit as the various markets learn what works (and what doesn’t) for their new setups.

Use Personal Safety Measures

Finally, you need to also take a few steps to help reduce the chances that you’ll either spread the virus or contract it. A farmers’ market is no more dangerous than shopping at a grocery store if you remember these rules:

• Wear a mask. While cloth face masks don’t offer 100% protection from the virus, the CDC recommends them in public to help prevent people from unknowingly transmitting the virus to others when they’re asymptomatic. Indeed, you’re likely to be required to wear one in order to attend just about any farmers’ market you can find — so go prepared.

• Take hand sanitizer or cleaning wipes with you. If you have Clorox wipes or hand sanitizer, put some in your car so that you can wipe your hands, car door handle, steering wheel and debit card down after you are done shopping.

• Don’t take anybody unnecessary with you on the trip. Most farmers’ markets won’t be allowing dogs inside this year, so leave your pet at home. It’s also smarter to limit the number of people from your household who make the trip, just like you do at retail stores.

• Remember not to touch your face until you can wash your hands. Wash all of your produce when you get home and discard your bags (or wash the reusable ones).

The need for social distancing won’t last forever. While it does, we can all make things operate a little smoother — and keep each other a little safer — by remembering the truly cooperative spirit that farmers’ markets embody. We’re all in this together.

Shawna O’Brien
shawna.obrien@talktotucker.com
F.C. Tucker Geist Fishers
The Tumbarello Group

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How to Quickly Improve Indoor Air Quality

There are many reasons why the air quality in your home may not be at its best. A faulty furnace or an aged carpet are just two potential culprits. Until you get those issues addressed, how can you make your indoor air healthier – today?

Here are some ideas:

Check the furnace filter. This is one of the most overlooked maintenance items in the home. Any furnace repair person can tell you stories about filters they’ve seen caked in dust. Make sure those aren’t yours. Air passes through those filters before circulating throughout your home. Replacing a filter takes less than five minutes.

Clean the drains. Drains are a surprisingly common source of odor in the home. Most people only clean them when they’re clogged, but they should be flushed thoroughly with a good-quality cleaner at least once a season.

Turn on the bathroom fan. Not only do bathroom fans remove odor, they also reduce moisture build-up. About 50% of air pollutants originate from some type of moisture. Mold is the worst of these pollutants. Professionals recommend you keep your bathroom fan on for at least 30 minutes after a shower.

Clean your doormat. Even if your doormat doesn’t smell, it can be a source of air pollutants. When people wipe their shoes, they transfer outside ground pollutants from their shoes to your mat.

Of course, you can always open a window. That’s the most popular and easiest way to freshen the air, and it works.

Shawna O’Brien
shawna.obrien@talktotucker.com
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
shawna.obrien@talktotucker.com
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
shawna.obrien@talktotucker.com
F.C. Tucker Geist Fishers
The Tumbarello Group

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