Secrets of a truly deep clean

rubber gloves
Via Flickr: Leah Lockhart Rogers
Deep clean your house and you'll brighten rooms and help maintain your home's value.

Deep cleaning your house is that top-to-bottom, take-no-dust-bunny-prisoners, mother-in-law-quality cleaning that truly maintains the value of your home. Here are frequently overlooked areas that a little spit and polish wouldn't hurt.

De-bug the light fixtures
See that bug burial ground within your overhead fixtures? Turn off the lights and carefully remove fixture covers, dump out flies and wash with hot soapy water. While you're up there, dust bulbs. Dry everything thoroughly before replacing the cover.

Vacuum heat vents and registers
Dirt and dust build up in heat vents and along register blades. Vents also are great receptacles for coins and missing buttons. Unscrew vent covers from walls or pluck them from floors, remove foreign objects, and vacuum inside the vent. Clean grates with a damp cloth and screw back tightly.

Polish hardware
To deep clean brass door hinges, handles, and cabinet knobs, thoroughly wipe with a damp microfiber cloth, then polish with Wright's or Weiman brass cleaner ($4). Dish soap shines up glass or stainless steel knobs. Use a Q-tip to detail the ornamental filigree on knobs and handles.

Replace grungy switch plates
Any amateur can wipe a few fingerprints off cover plates that hide light switches, electric outlets, phone jacks, and cable outlets. But only deep cleaners happily remove plates to vacuum and swipe the gunk behind. (OK, we're a little OCD when it comes to dirt!) Make sure cover plates are straight when you replace them. And pitch plates that are beyond the help of even deep cleaning. New ones cost less than $2 each.

Neaten weather stripping
Peeling, drooping weather stripping on doors and windows makes rooms look old. If the strip still has some life, nail or glue it back. If it's hopeless, cut out and replace sections, or just pull the whole thing off and start new. A 10-ft. roll of foam weather stripping costs $8; 16-ft. vinyl costs about $15.

Replace stove drip pans
Some drip pans are beyond the scrub brush. Replacing them costs about $3 each and instantly freshens your stove.
Jane Hoback is a veteran business writer who has written for the Rocky Mountain News, Natural Foods Merchandiser magazine, and ColoradoBIZ Magazine.
Reprinted from HouseLogic with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
Copyright 2011.All rights reserved.

NEW LISTING: Two story in northwest Visalia

5522  W Wren Ave,  Visalia, listed at $293,000.
A gorgeous two-story home with all the custom features!

This northwest Visalia home is 3,147 square feet with 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.

Walk into the formal living area PLUS a great room open to the kitchen nook and fabulous kitchen.

The formal dining room overlooks a Tuscan-style patio, enhancing that perfect, relaxing meal.

In the rear yard and you will find a built-in kithcen/BBQ island, large side yards and a cool pool ready for some fun!

For more information and pictures, click here.

Call Darlene Loose for your appointment today! (559) 625-9364.

New price on beautiful Visalia estate

3030  W Iris Ave,  Visalia, listed at $449,000.
This in-town estate has a great new price: $449,000.

This Royal Oaks home has it all. Enjoy a sparkling pool and spa with a waterfall. It also has a fitness center that includes a steam shower and sauna (335 square feet).

Inside this 3,108-square-foot home are floor-to-ceiling windows at the front and rear of the house, creating lots of natural light in the open living area and offering great views of a lush park-like yard.

There are tile floors in the entry, hall, living room, kitchen, laundry and owner's suite. There is a fourth bedroom/office with full bath, offering lots of privacy.

The remodeled kitchen has raised-panel cabinets, a center island with vegetable sink, roll-out shelving, pantry, and a SubZero refrigerator.

There are skylights in the vaulted wood ceiling, extending into the dining room with oak floors and another skylight - all electronically controlled.

The spacious guest bedroom wing has full bath and a 11'X16' family/computer room.

The owner's suite has a wall of windows overlooking the patio and yard with vaulted a ceiling. The three-sided fireplace splits the elegant, remodeled bath area with top-set sinks, jetted tub with leaded glass backdrop, a huge shower and a walk-in closet.

This unique property is a must see. For more information and pictures, click here.

Call Darlene Loose for an appointment today! (559) 625-9364

Cost-effective ways to boost curb appeal

(ARA) - Anyone who's ever bought, sold or even just looked at a house can tell you first impressions matter. A house can be filled to the rafters with luxury touches, but if it lacks curb appeal, few potential buyers will ever step in the door to see what's inside.

With real estate sales still sluggish across the country, curb appeal is taking on a new meaning for many homeowners. While an attractive home exterior can still boost potential resale value, homeowners are also looking at curb appeal as a way to enhance the enjoyment of their homes.

Giving the exterior of their home a facelift not only makes the house stand out on the street, it also allows homeowners to "move up" without the expense of remodeling or moving.

Fortunately, many curb appeal-enhancing projects can be cost-effective too, yielding significant improvements for a modest investment.

"Projects can be inexpensive and simple while adding tremendous value and curb appeal," says Mark Clement, how-to expert and host of "MyFixItUpLife."

If you're looking for low-cost, high-impact ways to create or improve curb appeal, consider these ideas:

* Make small improvements that have a big impact. Simple touches like repainting the front door, window trim and shutters, planting flowers, and switching outdated light fixtures can create a whole new look. Plus, these simple improvements have the advantage of being scalable. Instead of re-siding the entire house, you can freshen the facade by tackling smaller portions, such as a porch or garage. Later, if you want to continue the improvement, you can re-side other areas of the facade.

* Choose materials that are durable and stylish. Skimping on materials may seem like a great way to save money, but you could end up spending more in the long run if you have to redo a job that was first done with lower quality materials. Purchase the best quality materials you can afford - not only will they look better than cheaper goods, they'll last longer and provide more enjoyment and value.

When it's time to move, have a plan

After I help my clients sell a home, I know they are ready to move out to the next house. Selling a home is a huge relief, until the thought of packing up everything you own and moving it across town, or elsewhere, starts to really settle in.

But you can manage the workload and stress of moving if you break it down into manageable pieces. Start with a comprehensive check list of things that need to be accomplished. Here are some of the basics:
  • Sorting through stored items that could be given to charity
  • Finding a moving company
  • Notifying utilities, schools, creditors, etc. of your change of address
  • Get packing supplies
Make an inventory of household items, including things stored in the garage. Put together a packing list so you know what's in each box, and clearly label them according to their location in the new house.