John Lorson's Blog
If your budget allows for it, hiring a good housekeeper is well worth the money. If you're like most professional couples, you probably already feel "maxed out" after you've put in 40 to 60 hours at your jobs . When you add parenting responsibilities into the mix, there's not too much time and energy left for cleaning the house! While certain basic house cleaning tasks are unavoidable on a daily basis, it's a relief to know that a paid house cleaner will be coming in to do a thorough job soon.
Finding a reliable housekeeper with whom you feel comfortable can be a bit of a challenge, but if you can get referrals from family, friends, and others you know, then your search should put you on the right track.
The Selection Process
Since the main reason you're hiring a cleaning person is to make your life easier, the last thing you want to deal with is dependability problems or substandard work. That's why it's important to get referrals from people you know and trust. It often pays to interview more than one prospective cleaning person because you want to find someone who is the best match for your budget and needs. When you have two or three prospects to choose from, you'll be in a better position to choose the one with the best attitude, top references, and the most agreeable personality.
Unless a cleaning person was referred to you by someone you know well, it's a good idea to request references and contact a couple of them before making any final decisions. Calling at least two of their current customers (or past bosses) should give you some helpful insights into their work habits, punctuality, and willingness to follow directions.
Although most customers will probably try to be complimentary, if you ask the right questions and look for "red flags" in their answers, you'll be surprised at what you can learn. While it may be too blunt to ask if their cleaning person is honest, a lot can be inferred from their responses to other questions. For example, if a housekeeper has been working for the same customer for several years and cleans their house while the costumer is at their office or other place of employment, then there's a good chance the cleaner does excellent (or at least satisfactory) work and can be trusted. One direct question that generally needs to be asked when talking with references is "Would you personally recommend this person?" Asking how their housekeeper responds to special requests, suggestions, or constructive criticism may also provide revealing answers.
When getting a quote from a cleaning person or house cleaning service, it's useful to get an itemized list of what chores or services would be covered in the price. There are two advantages to this. First of all, you'll be able to compare "apples to apples". Secondly, you'll be able to gauge your expectations to what was initially promised and agreed to. While there may be other issues to consider, like possible background checks and insurance coverages they carry, once you've found a house cleaner you like and trust, you've cleared the biggest hurdle in your search!
When you’re ready to buy a home, there’s an anxious excitement that’s within you, making you feel like a small child on Christmas night. One question that is probably burned in your mind throughout the home search process is, “How long is this going to take?”
If you’re a first-time home buyer, you’ll likely be using some programs through the Federal Housing Administration, also known as the FHA. With any kind of home loan, there’s many variables that can affect how long the process will take. This can be due to many factors including the seller’s circumstances and the nature of your loan.
When you’re securing a home loan backed by the FHA, you may wonder how long it’s going to take for the entire process to finish from beginning to end.
Variables That Affect The Loan Process
This is one of the variables that can fluctuate the most in the home loan process. Once you have found the home that you love, the lending process can take a few weeks beyond the point where you sign a contract. This part could entail many different steps that may become hurdles for you as a borrower. Your loan officer can also have an impact on the length of the process. Some loan people are just faster than others!
Keep in mind that you can’t close on an FHA loan until you get through the underwriting process. In the underwriting process for an FHA loan, it will be assured that you meet all of the criteria necessary for securing the loan, such as the standards that have been established by the HUD (Department Of Housing and Urban Development).
Closing On An FHA Loan
While it’s difficult to say the exact amount of time that it will take for a loan to process, there’s some things you can do ahead of time to prepare. If you apply for an FHA loan before you have even found a home, you’ll expedite the process a bit. If you have been pre-approved prior to making an offer on a home, you’ll likely be in a better position than if you haven’t yet met with a lender. This will also make the underwriting process move a bit faster for you, provided there aren’t any major red flags on your paperwork.
FHA appraisals do differ a bit from appraisals for a home with a more conventional loan. With an FHA appraisal, the appraiser must look for things in two main areas including any health and safety issues and determine the market value of the property as well. This process will most likely only take a few days. Part of the appraisal process may include the appraiser looking at similar properties in the area in order to get a bit of a comparison on the value of the property.
Can You Speed It Up?
If you have everything in order before you even decide that you’re ready to go on the house hunt, you’ll discover that the process of securing an FHA loan will be a bit smoother. Talk to a lender before you start the process so you can familiarize yourself with the requirements. Once you can present the lender with the right documents, they’ll be able to do their job with little intervention on your part.
Ready to transform an ordinary kitchen into a stellar one? With a kitchen cleaning checklist, any home seller can revamp a kitchen's look and feel.
Ultimately, there are several things to include in a kitchen cleaning checklist, such as:
If you cook regularly, your kitchen countertops may become messy. Plus, if you store a wide range of items on your kitchen countertops, these items may collect dust over time.
Fortunately, it usually doesn't take long for a home seller to clean kitchen countertops and improve their overall appearance.
It may prove to be worthwhile to clean the kitchen countertops daily. Wiping down the countertops regularly ensures that dust and debris can be eliminated before they cause long-lasting damage.
Furthermore, don't forget to eliminate as much clutter as possible from your kitchen countertops. This will enable you to show off the true beauty of your kitchen countertops, thereby increasing the likelihood that potential homebuyers will be impressed by your home's kitchen.
If food particles fall onto the floor while you're cooking – and you fail to clean them up in a timely fashion – serious problems may arise in your kitchen. However, a diligent home seller will know how to keep the kitchen floors looking great at all times.
Cleaning the kitchen floors typically is a weekly task that may require just a few minutes to complete.
If you have tile floors in your kitchen, warm water can be used to wipe down the floors as needed. Also, sweeping or vacuuming tile floors will enable you to get rid of loose soil and grit.
Comparatively, if you have hardwood floors in your kitchen, boiling water may prove to be essential. Wash your kitchen's hardwood floors thoroughly, and you can enhance their appearance in no time at all.
Believe it or not, the kitchen sink can make a world of difference in the eyes of potential homebuyers. If you dedicate the necessary time and resources to clean the kitchen sink, you should have no trouble impressing homebuyers any time they check out your house's kitchen.
Using a general-purpose cleaner is all it takes to clean a kitchen sink. After you apply the cleaner, wipe the sink dry, and you're good to go.
Daily kitchen sink cleaning is paramount. If you spend even a few minutes each day cleaning the kitchen sink, you can maintain the sink's appearance both now and in the future.
If you need additional help with kitchen cleaning, don't hesitate to reach out to a home cleaning company for assistance. This business hires professionals who understand the ins and outs of cleaning a kitchen – as well as other areas of a home – and will help you revamp a house's appearance.
Lastly, feel free to contact a real estate agent for support throughout the home selling process. With an expert real estate agent at your side, you can boost your chances of getting the best price for your residence.