Does Your Home Center Pass the 2 Minute Test?

The recent J.D. Power study of 2,972 customers of five home improvement retailers – Ace Hardware, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Menards, and True Value – reveals they expect to receive assistance from a store employee within two minutes from entering the store. That’s the key take-away from the 2018 Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Survey. That’s surprising from someone who has wandered aimlessly down long aisles for much longer than two minutes without seeing anyone remotely interested in helping me.

Here’s how the retailers ranked: 1. Menard, 2. Ace Hardware, 3. Lowe’s, 4. Home Depot and 5. True Value.

Menards ranks highest in customer satisfaction among home improvement retailers and performs particularly well in the merchandise; price; and sales and promotion factors. Ace Hardware ranks second, performing highest in staff and service. Lowe’s ranks third, performing highest in merchandise and store facility.

In major metropolitan areas where these big boxes are located near one other, customers have a choice of where to shop. Undoubtedly they choose the retailer where they will be helped right away. However, in remote areas like where I live, there’s only one DIY retailer. I’ll be curious on my next run and will check my watch to see if they pass the “2-minute” test. I can only hope.

Visit www.diyornot.com and compare the DIY and Contractor costs for hundreds of projects.

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Do It in November Home Checklist

Gene and Katie Hamilton

Gene and Katie Hamilton

With trick-or-treating behind us and Thanksgiving approaching it’s time to take a look at this list and see what needs to be done before there’s a change in the weather. Most of these eight items deal with preparing for cold weather by plugging up leaks and making sure you have supplies you’ll need on hand.

The experts tell us time is well spent now preparing for foul weather that can damage our homes especially if the winter is a long and sustained one. You know the drill, do it now and be glad when the first squall or snow storm hits your neighborhood.

  • Replace filters in heating system and humidifier
  • Clean carpeting, upholstered furniture and draperies
  • Plug air leaks in siding or foundation with spray foam insulation
  • Install heat tape or pipe insulation around pipes near northern exposure
  • Insulate crawlspace walls
  • Inspect exterior lights and outlets
  • Mark driveway with stakes for snow
  • Tune up snow shovel and snowblower

And if you’re budgeting for a home improvement project in the future visit us at www.diyornot.com to find cost information and compare how much it costs to do it yourself vs. hire a contractor.

Posted in November home checklist, November home maintenance checklist | Leave a comment

Halloween Puzzle for Kids and Parents

Click the link to work the puzzle designed for kids of all ages

http://www.diyornot.com/Puzzle.aspx?Rcd=40

 

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Best Time to Buy or Sell a House

Diy092a

When is the best time of year to buy a home? RealtyTrac took a big data approach to this question, analyzing 32 million single family home and condo sales over the past 15 years. The real estate information company and online marketplace for foreclosed and defaulted U. S. properties, compared average sale prices to average estimated market value at the time of sale to determine whether buyers paid a premium or bought at a discount.

Based on the closing date of the sale, they broke down the data by month, weekday and day of the year to identify when buyers historically have realized the biggest discounts. Below are high-level details.
The best month to close on a purchase of a home is October. Out of 2.7 million single family home and condo sales over the last 15 years that closed in October, buyers realized an average discount of 2.6 percent below full estimated market value at the time of sale.

Following October as best months to buy were February, July, December and January – all fall or winter months except for July, which was a surprise given that conventional wisdom would suggest that is a good time to sell but not necessarily to buy at a bargain price.

The worst month of the year to close on the purchase of a home is April, when buyers over the last 15 years have purchased at an average premium of 1.2 percent above estimated market value at the time of sale.

The best day of the year to close on a purchase was Oct. 8 when buyers realized the biggest average discount – 10.8 percent below estimated market value at time of sale – among any of the remaining 356 days in the year. Following Oct 8 was Nov. 26 (10.1 percent discount), Dec. 31 (9.7 percent discount), Oct. 22 (9.6 percent discount), and Oct. 15 (9.1 percent discount).

And the worst day of the year to close on a purchase of a home was Jan. 19, when buyers paid an average 9.6 percent premium above estimated market value at time of sale, followed by Feb. 16 (9.5 percent premium), Apr. 20 (9.5 percent premium), Apr. 6 (8.4 percent premium), and Apr. 27 (8.2 percent premium).

Related Articles from DIYORNOT.COM:

Timeline for Buying a House

Life Expectancy of Major Home Appliances

Planning a Yard Sale

Moving – a Major Life Event

 

 

Posted in Buying a House, Real Estate, selling a house | Leave a comment

Home Fire Safety Advice from the Pros

Gene and Katie Hamilton
http://www.diyornot.com


Here’s advice from the insurance experts at Erie Insurance to protect your home and family and stay safe.

  1. CLEAN YOUR DRYER DUCTS

A survey from Erie Insurance conducted online by Harris Poll, shows one in five Americans (21 percent) admit they never clean their clothes dryer ducts, unless they have a problem. Laundry is part of life’s weekly grind. But did you know that dryers cause roughly 15,500 home structure fires, 29 deaths, 400 injuries and $192 million in direct property loss each year? The most common cause of dryer fires is failure to do a thorough cleaning. Because a lint trap is not a foolproof method for catching all the fuzzy stuff from clothes, lint can build up and catch fire in the heating element or exhaust duct.

  1. FIX UP YOUR FURNACE

In cold weather it’s important to get your furnace checked, not just to make sure you have heat when ppfrigid temps set in, but to make sure it’s in tip-top shape. From 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 56,000 structure fires per year in homes that involved heating equipment. These fires resulted in annual losses of 470 civilian deaths, 1,490 civilian injuries, and $1.0 billion in direct property damage. Thirty-six percent of homeowners have their furnaces inspected and serviced at least once a year.

  1. SWEEP YOUR CHIMNEY

Nearly half (46 percent) of people who own a home with a fireplace never have their chimney cleaned (swept), unless they have a problem. Unclean chimneys are a leading cause of structure fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association, which recommends an annual chimney inspection. The NFPA research shows the leading factor contributing to home heating fires (30 percent) was failure to clean, principally from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys. In the 2009-2013 period chimneys resulted in $25 million in direct property damage each year. Improper cleaning can also lead to other serious issues including potential for carbon monoxide, fumes and possibly soot to enter the living spaces of your home.

  1. GRILL WITH CAUTION

Grill fires can start in a number of ways. To prevent a fire, clean the grill after each use. You should always keep it a safe distance from your building (at least 10 feet away) and away from trees. Place the grill on a solid surface that can’t burn, such as concrete or asphalt. And never walk away from the grill while cooking, as a spark or small flame can easily spread. Use long-handled spatulas, wear flame-resistant mitts and never wear loose-fitting clothes near an open flame.

  1. LIVE CHRISTMAS TREE ADVICE

Make sure your tree is properly hydrated and water it every day. One out of every three Christmas tree fires in a home is caused by electrical problems. Make sure to inspect the lights for damage, tossing out any that have loose connections, broken sockets or cracked wires. Don’t forget to check smoke detectors, too, so you can be alerted in the event of an emergency. Keep your Christmas tree at least three feet away from any heat sources, including fireplaces, furnaces or space heaters. Instead of using real candles this season, opt for battery-operated, flameless candles. And keep it hydrated every day by watering.

Visit www.diyornot.com for more articles and to compare the cost of hundreds of home repair and improvement jobs whether you do it yourself or hire a contractor.

Posted in Home Safety | Leave a comment

Best Time to Buy or Sell a House

When is the best time of year to buy a home? RealtyTrac took a big data approach to this question, analyzing 32 million single family home and condo sales over the past 15 years. The real estate information company and online marketplace for foreclosed and defaulted U. S. properties, compared average sale prices to average estimated market value at the time of sale to determine whether buyers paid a premium or bought at a discount.

Based on the closing date of the sale, they broke down the data by month, weekday and day of the year to identify when buyers historically have realized the biggest discounts. Below are high-level details.
The best month to close on a purchase of a home is October. Out of 2.7 million single family home and condo sales over the last 15 years that closed in October, buyers realized an average discount of 2.6 percent below full estimated market value at the time of sale.

Following October as best months to buy were February, July, December and January – all fall or winter months except for July, which was a surprise given that conventional wisdom would suggest that is a good time to sell but not necessarily to buy at a bargain price.

The worst month of the year to close on the purchase of a home is April, when buyers over the last 15 years have purchased at an average premium of 1.2 percent above estimated market value at the time of sale.

The best day of the year to close on a purchase was Oct. 8 when buyers realized the biggest average discount – 10.8 percent below estimated market value at time of sale – among any of the remaining 356 days in the year. Following Oct 8 was Nov. 26 (10.1 percent discount), Dec. 31 (9.7 percent discount), Oct. 22 (9.6 percent discount), and Oct. 15 (9.1 percent discount).

And the worst day of the year to close on a purchase of a home was Jan. 19, when buyers paid an average 9.6 percent premium above estimated market value at time of sale, followed by Feb. 16 (9.5 percent premium), Apr. 20 (9.5 percent premium), Apr. 6 (8.4 percent premium), and Apr. 27 (8.2 percent premium).

www.realtytrac.com

Gene and Katie Hamilton
www.diyornot.com

Posted in Buying a House, selling a house | Leave a comment

2 Minute Test at Your Favorite Home Center

The recent J.D. Power study of 2,972 customers of five home improvement retailers – Ace Hardware, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Menards, and True Value – reveals they expect to receive assistance from a store employee within two minutes from entering the … Continue reading

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