Lynn D'Avolio
J. Barrett & Company | 801-597-2857 | lynn1@soldbylynn.com


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 1/18/2022

Hiring professional help can make your move much easier. Unfortunately, it can also make it more difficult. With so much stress and risk involved in the moving process, it’s crucial to hire the best and most trustworthy movers. Here are some tips for what to search for when finding the perfect moving company.

Determine What Type of Service You Need

There are different moving services depending on your needs. Some moving companies offer multiple tiers or varieties of service, while some companies specialize in a particular type of move. Decide whether you need just the labor to load and unload or if you need them to drive to your destination as well. Consider the distance between your old and new homes and the environment—for example, whether it’s a suburban neighborhood with wide streets or a cramped city neighborhood with limited parking.

Ask for Recommendations

If you know anybody who has recently moved or who has lived in multiple homes in the same area for many years, ask them who they hired and if they had a pleasant experience. If you don’t get any good suggestions, you may at least get some warnings for who to avoid. Try asking coworkers, classmates, friends and neighbors as part of your research.

Evaluate Credentials

When checking out a potential moving company option, look for some specific credentials. Movers in the United States should have an official Department of Transportation license. They should also have insurance information readily available to their customers. You can also check for facts like years in service, special accreditations or awards. All this information will help you build a complete idea of the company in question—and help you find potential red flags.

Read Reviews

Even if you have a trusted friend’s endorsement, you should still look for some public reviews on the company you’re thinking about hiring. Every customer situation is different and even if a particular mover is well-reviewed, there might be specific details to beware. For example, if a moving company has complaints about scheduling problems or lateness, you will know to be extra careful about your deadlines.

Request an In-Person Estimate

Unfortunately, the quote a mover gives you over the phone or internet might differ from a quote they give you in person. In most cases, the latter is more expensive. It isn’t always their fault, either. It’s difficult to describe the size and volume of your entire home’s worth of furniture and belongings unless you measure every single thing. To get the most accurate idea of how much the move will cost, ask for an in-person estimate.

Finding the right moving company matters. You’re trusting people with your belongings during an important and stressful life event, so make sure you take the time to research and make the best decision.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 1/11/2022

If you want to add a pond or water feature to your yard, it might surprise you at how simple the process is. With some basic tools and only a few materials, you can make a tranquil custom water feature to add dimension and style to your outdoor space. Here we’ll go through the steps to make your own DIY garden pond.

Materials

Shovel
Rubber pond liner
Spray paint for marking
Sand
Rocks/stones for the base and edges
Plants
Small fountain (optional)

Process

  1. First, you will need to prepare the area for your pond. This means removing any rocks, plants or debris and enough room to build.

  2. Measure out the space for your pond and mark the boundaries with spray paint. This will be your digging guide.

  3. Dig out the shape for your pond at least 2 feet deep. The shape doesn’t have to be perfect—the more irregular the more natural it will appear.

  4. After digging the hole, pour in a layer of sand. Cover the soil completely to a depth of about 2 inches. Around the sides, build up a thicker layer of sand and taper it down towards the middle of the pond.

  5. Lay down the pond liner so that it molds to the shape of the pond hole. Tamp it down into the edges but be careful to completely cover the entire area with some extra overlap. Secure the edges with rocks or stones.

  6. Add the fountain pump at the deepest part of the pond. Use additional rocks around the base to make sure it stays upright.

  7. Cover the bottom of the pond with your pond stones. You can use a mixture of sizes but save the larger ones for the edges. Try to mimic the look of boulders and be creative with your placement.

  8. Next, add your choice of plants around the edges. You can try to create a natural look with local plants or make something completely of your own design. Try mixing plants of different sizes and textures for visual appeal.

  9. Fill the pond with water and test the fountain to make sure the water flows. You can also adjust placement if it’s too low or sitting too high in the water. Once you have the perfect flowing water sound, you’re all set.

Hardscaping and adding water features can be complex processes. Luckily, this project you can accomplish in a weekend at any skill level. As long as you follow the fountain instructions carefully you’ll have an excellent water feature to add depth and tranquility to your yard.




Tags: diy   hardscaping   garden decor  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 1/4/2022

Image by sandid from Pixabay

Our homes are special from the first time we enter. That's why we spend our precious time and money caring for our dwellings when bad weather threatens damage.

Spring Windstorms

For homeowners, windstorms are often unassuming. We all know to watch for snow or rain, but high winds can cause significant home damage.

While we can't control the wind, there are some proactive measures we can take. Refasten any loosely hanging shingles or gutters. Check the yard for unsecured items that could become projectiles in high winds. Finally, remove branches or whole trees that are within falling distance of the house.

Winter Snowstorms

During the winter, one of the biggest problems for homes involves the weight of snow. As mentioned above, make sure to trim any branches hanging over the house. The last thing you need is a heavy branch falling on your roof.

Before it gets too cold, you should also change filters and perform necessary maintenance on your home heating devices.

Spring/Summer Floods

Over the past decade, floods have happened more frequently due to climate change. If you live in a minor floodplain, now is the time for a plan of action.

You may want to consider building trenches and water runoff channels into your yard. Many homeowners also build decorative concrete walls or other barriers around their homes. Lastly, consider investing in a sump pump to remove internal flooding.

Hurricanes

Hurricanes are the most destructive of storms; however, preparation mirrors earlier examples. Preparing for hurricanes means preparing for the worst possible winds and floods. Make sure to reinforce any home appendages, barricade doors and windows, and build water barriers.





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 12/28/2021

Preparing to buy a home is a long and stressful process for many. You’ve spent months, or even years, saving for a down payment, planning your future, and building your credit to ensure you get the best possible interest rate on your loan.

Then you find out, when getting preapproved for a mortgage, that your credit score dropped by a few points. So, what gives?

There’s a lot to understand about how credit scores affect mortgages and vice versa. In today’s post, I’m going to attempt to cover everything you need to know about how applying for a mortgage can affect your credit score so you’ll be prepared when it comes time to buy a home.

Prequalification, preapproval, and credit checks

There are a lot of misconceptions about what it means to be preapproved or prequalified for a loan. Some of it is due to the jargon that is used in real estate transactions, and some of it is just a marketing technique on the part of lenders.

So, what does it mean to be prequalified and preapproved?

The short version is that getting prequalified is a quick and easy process to determine whether you’re eligible to lend to and how much you’re likely to receive. It involves a quick review of your finances, and often includes either a self-reported or soft credit inquiry.

A “soft inquiry” is the type of credit check that employers typically use for a background check. It doesn’t affect your credit score, as you are not applying to open a new line of credit. In fact, many lenders’ process for prequalification is a simple online form that doesn’t even require a credit check. We’ll talk more about the difference between soft inquiries and hard inquiries later.

The simplicity of prequalification makes it a simple and easy way to get started. But, it isn’t always accurate in how well it predicts the type of mortgage and loan amount you can receive. That’s where preapproval comes in.

When you get preapproved for a loan you fill out an official application (you often have to pay for these). This will request documentation for your finances and assets, and will ask your approval to run a detailed credit report.


These credit reports are considered “hard inquiries” and are a vital step in getting approved or preapproved for a mortgage. However, they also, at least temporarily, lower your credit score.

Why hard inquiries lower your credit score

When any creditor, be it a bank or credit card company, is determining whether to lend to you, they want to know that you are a safe investment. To determine this, they want to know how frequently you pay your bills on time, how much you owe to other creditors, and how financially stable you are right now.

When you make multiple inquiries in a short period of time, it’s a red flag to lenders that you might be in trouble financially. Thus, hard inquiries will lower your credit score for 1 to 2 months.

Applying to multiple lenders: the silver lining

When borrowers apply for a mortgage, they often shop around and apply to multiple lenders. While it may seem that all of these hard inquiries will add up and drastically lower their credit score, this isn’t the case.

Credit bureaus take into account the source of the inquiries. If they realize that you are applying for mortgages, they will typically recognize this as rate shopping and group these applications together on your credit report, counting them only as a single inquiry. This means your score shouldn’t drop multiple times for multiple mortgage preapprovals that were made within a small time frame.

Now that you know more about how mortgage applications affect your credit score, you can confidently shop around for the best mortgage for you and your family.




Tags: credit score   Mortgage  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 12/21/2021

Photo by Free-Photos via Pixabay

The number of architectural styles in any given neighborhood can be overwhelming to home buyers, especially if they don't feel immediately called to one type. To help narrow it down, the property you choose should reflect everything from your budget to your lifestyle. The more you account for how you interact with the home, the happier you and your family will be. We'll look at the key questions that can help you decide. 

How Will the Future Look?

This question has everything to do with the details of your future goals. Maybe you already know you'll need enough space in the home for a new baby, but have you considered how the property will affect an infant or toddler?

Parents may want to opt for a home without stairs to limit the number of accidents. The same advice goes for those who may find themselves hosting elderly relatives on a regular basis. If you're planning to be an empty nester soon, it may be time to downsize to a cottage so there's less to clean and maintain. 

How Practical Is It?

There's no understanding a property until you've really lived in it, but there are ways to forecast the obstacles that can pop up along the way. A modern home may be beautiful in its own way, but the stark angles may feel cold to someone who would prefer a more welcoming traditional home. 

If curb appeal is high on your list of priorities, then you may want to opt for a craftsman home. These homes come in all shapes and sizes, so it may be easier to find something in your budget than you think.

If you're planning on hosting parties or events, you need to define how much patio and yard space you'll need for everyone. While any property may feature outdoor amenities, you'll likely have the most luck with a traditional or a ranch. 

Selecting a property type is more than just considering how many bathrooms you need and whether you want a formal dining room. You have to consider how the infrastructure and design will either help or hurt your daily routine. A cottage with a cozy breakfast nook will be useless to someone who would prefer to eat in the living room. The more you picture yourself in each of the rooms, the easier it should be to decide on a type. 




Categories: Uncategorized