Steve's Blog

March 24th, 2015 11:56 AM

Now that spring is officially here, have you started your "Spring Cleaning"?  Here are 40 tips for spring cleaning.  30 inside tips and 10 outside tips.  These are just suggestions.  You may do more or less than the tips provided below.  Happy Spring Cleaning!!

40 Tip Spring Cleaning Checklist:


  • Wash/wipe down all ceilings, walls, doors, door knobs, cabinets and trim
  • Clean and disinfect all light switches, outlets and electronic remote controls
  • Wash all windows (inside and outside)
  • Caulk around all windows and doors (if necessary)
  • Check and repair screens
  • Wash/wipe down window treatments
  • Wash/wipe down mirrors, pictures and wall hangings
  • Wipe down and clean all electronic devices
  • Wash ceiling fans and light fixtures (including lamp shades and bulbs)
  • Wipe down, vacuum and polish furniture and/or condition leather furniture
  • Vacuum and professionally clean or steam clean carpeting
  • Deep clean flooring (hardwood, tile, vinyl, linoleum)
  • Remove area rugs and shake out, vacuum and clean
  • Clean and disinfect garbage cans
  • Wash and clean appliances (refrigerator, stove, microwave, dishwasher, disposal, fan/hood, washer and dryer)
  • Check and clean refrigerator's condenser coil
  • Clean and organize refrigerator and freezer
  • Clean and organize kitchen cabinets, drawers and pantries
  • Check your herbs and spices (discard outdated products)
  • Check and change air/furnace filter
  • Clean air vents
  • Check batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detector (change if necessary)
  • Wash and clean shower curtains and liners
  • Wash and clean tub and shower surrounds
  • Check caulk around tub and shower surrounds (re caulk if necessary)
  • Check and reseal tile and grout (if necessary)
  • Clean and organize medicine cabinets (discard outdated products)
  • Clean and organize closets (switch out seasonal clothing and store winter clothing)
  • Rotate and/or flip mattresses
  • Service furnace and central air units


  • Power wash house, garage and patios and/or decks
  • Touch up exterior paint (if necessary- average exterior paint job last about 10 years)
  • Spray bug spray (Ortho Home Defense or similar) around house foundation, doors and windows
  • Clean and repair gutters and downspouts
  • Re stain decks and fences (if necessary and applicable)
  • Clean and wash outdoor light fixtures and check light bulbs
  • Wash and disinfect garbage and recyclable cans
  • Clean and wash outdoor furniture
  • Clean and wash grills and smokers
  • Schedule a chimney sweep

Steve Hemrich

Certified Residential Appraiser

Posted by Steven Hemrich on March 24th, 2015 11:56 AMLeave a Comment

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  1. Know your market.

    Be careful not to over improve or under improve your home for your market.  If you live in a standard area, marble flooring may be considered an over improvement.  On the flip side in a more upscale area marble flooring may be more acceptable or expected.


  2. Cost doesn’t always equal value.

    A big misconception I hear often is I paid $150,000 for my house and did $50,000 in improvements so my home value is probably $200,000.  This is not always necessarily true.  Some improvements may add equal or greater value, some may add some value and some could add little or no value.  Be familiar with costs of improvements and potential values they could add. 


  3. Make sure you know if a “Permit” is required for improvement.

    Typically installing new flooring or painting interior walls are not going to require a permit.  However, updating electrical and plumbing or installing a new roof will require a permit.  Each city should have a list of new construction or improvements of existing structures that require a permit.  You can check online with your cities website.  Typically it will be under building department.  If not available online you can stop by your local city hall and request a copy of required permits. 


  4. Craftsmanship of improvement.

    Make sure the craftsmanship is up to your markets expected standards.  You’ve decided on a home improvement, taken all the necessary steps before hand to do that improvement and paid for that improvement.  The last thing you want is for that improvement to be done in poor craftsmanship.  This could contribute to little or no value being added to your home.  Or even a worse case, loss of value added to your home due to that improvement having to be redone. 


  5. Finish improvement.

    Be sure to see that improvement through to the end.  You have just gutted and remodeled your bathroom (with proper permits).  However, there is unfinished baseboard trim around some walls or missing outlet covers around electrical outlets.  This can make a beautiful remodel job look shoddy and incomplete.


  6. Stay neutral.

    When doing an improvement the best advice is to stay neutral.  Don’t necessarily pick colors that you like or bold colors.  Especially if you are planning on selling your home in the near future.  Everyone’s taste is different.  Some may love this color or that color or that flooring or this flooring.  Stay neutral in your selections to try and appeal to a wider potential market. 


    Steve Hemrich

    Certified Residential Appraiser


Posted by Steven Hemrich on March 7th, 2015 2:41 PMLeave a Comment

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Appraising a property during the winter season in Northeast Ohio can be very challenging.  Temperatures and weather conditions can make for a long and cold day.  An appraiser will typically start on the outside of the property.  They will take various pictures of the home, street and other structures on site.  The appraiser will also measure the house and, in some cases, other structures on site (porches, patios, decks, outbuildings or garages).  This is where an owner can really make the inspection process easier for the appraiser.  Shovel sidewalks, driveways, porches, patios and/or decks.  This will make getting around the property easier and it will also allow the appraiser to be able to view and note sizes and materials used for such features.  Clear access doors to any garages, outbuildings, sheds or other structures so appraiser may open and enter these areas.  This includes crawl space foundations if access is only from exterior.  Owners can also let the appraiser know if there are any potential hazardous areas around the house.  It could be a pond, lake, in ground pool or window wells.  This reminds of me a time when I was in the process of measuring a home.  I hooked my tape measure on the rear corner wall and started to walk along the home when all of a sudden I dropped about 2 feet.  There was a frog pond which I could not see because of the snow coverage.  I had to call my wife and have her bring me another pair of pants, socks and boots.  That was a fun day.  Finally, inside the home have an area with a rug or towel on the ground to take boots or shoes off.  More than likely they will be wet and we don’t want to get those beautiful floors wet. 

Steve Hemrich

Certified Residential Appraiser

Posted by Steven Hemrich on February 16th, 2015 9:21 AMLeave a Comment

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