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Saturday, April 01, 2017
Real Estate the Smart Way / April 1, 2017

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Dear Reader: Real Estate the Smart Way will keep you informed about the things that can impact your family’s quality-of-life by providing the best of news and perspectives on key issues that affect home buying, selling, up-keep and lifestyle. Get smarter, subscribe here.

  April 1, 2017
Newsletter No. 129
 
 
  How to Prepare Yourself for Becoming a Landlord
  If you own some property that you are not actively living in, you might be thinking about renting the property out and becoming a landlord. Renting usable property is a great way to make some extra money, but if not done carefully, it can turn into a disaster. Here is a list of some of the most important things to learn before taking the plunge.

Study Local Laws
Since shelter is a basic human need, a large body of legal rules and regulations apply to the process. Rental laws vary a great deal from state to state, so you'll need to find a good resource for researching these laws, unless you are already a lawyer yourself. While looking around online is a good start, you'll probably also need to consult a legal professional, or at least some books on the subject. Your local library is an excellent resource to find any of the information without spending an arm and a leg.
 
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  How to Decide If Your Dream Home Is a Good Deal
  How to Decide If Your Dream Home Is a Good Deal
It's an amazing neighborhood, the price is right—but is the house your dream home?

That's the ultimate question, and there's no one correct answer or even a single way to determine that.

Ultimately, a mix of listening to your emotions and turning to the facts will help you paint a clear picture of what life would be like in this new house. Below are a few tips for determining if the home you really like is the one that you'll love forever.

Listen to Yourself—Literally
The way you react when you see and walk through the home is an important indicator of how you feel about the home. Pat Trainor, a REALTOR® in Blue Ridge, Ga., told Forbes that he knows a house is a good fit when people start talking about furniture as they're touring the house.

"I believe that most buyers form an impression in the first few seconds after they walk into a house. Is this a happy house? Or does it depress me? Notice how you respond—and trust your reactions," explains Trainor.

If you're looking at a number of houses, jot down what you felt as you walked through immediately after you leave. These notes will be helpful as you look back and compare emotions with features, needs met, etc.
 
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  How to Handle Pest Problems at Home
  The battle between humans and pests has raged on for thousands of years, including cave dwellers who may have used camphor leaves as mosquito repellent 77,000 years ago, according to researchers at South Africa's University of the Witwatersrand.

The struggle isn't too different today, as homeowners still try home remedies with varying levels of success. Ron Harrison, Ph.D., Orkin entomologist, shares these tips for effective home treatments.

Fire Ants
Fire ants have painful stingers, so it's no wonder people try to discourage them with cornmeal, grits, boric acid, garlic cloves or cayenne pepper.

Unfortunately, Harrison said these remedies rarely work because they seldom eliminate the colony. A pest control professional targets the whole colony, specifically the queens. Things you can do at home include:

- Take away attractive food and water sources. Clean up outdoor spills, open food containers, and pet food and water bowls.
- Make fire ants uncomfortable because they seldom return to the same spot - mowing over a colony can help.
 
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