My Blog

Should You Have A Real Estate Agent When Buying A Home?

If you’re looking to purchase a new home, then you may have considered partnering with a licensed real estate agent. You’re not among the few, considering 88 percent of homebuyers enlist the assistance of an Apopka Realtor. Most builders and buyers find it the best decision to deal with a real estate agent to make the process easier. In fact, it’s typically expected that a buyer have an agent before the purchase of any home.

Purchasing A New Home

Buyers who are looking to make a purchase on newly constructed homes may feel like enlisting a Realtor is unnecessary. New home project sales people are a great resource to help anyone understand the project. However, your Realtor will be able to help you find the best deal whether it is a resale or newly constructed. The builder’s sales person represents the builder’s best interests not the buyer’s! Anyone new to the real estate realm can easily be overwhelmed with options and pricing. Your Realtor will be able to represent you and negotiate with any builder to develop your dream home at a reasonable price.

Let an experienced professional advise you where to look for your new home. They are able to help you find the house you envisioned, while keeping you in price range!

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The Michelle Chase Real Estate Team services Apopka, FL and the surrounding area.
Stone Maintenance/Tips

Cleaning Limestone Surfaces

Limestone surfaces are a popular choice for renovations and improvements providing the luxurious expensive look of marble but an a more affordable old-world price. Most limestone is usually white or off-white in color with unique and naturally occurring patterns throughout the stone. 

Beautiful as they are, they come with a downside that they require more care than other stone types, such as granite. This is because compositionally, limestone is more porous and sensitive to acids attack. The porosity makes it more prone than other stains and discoloration. (We once were asked to seal a brand new set of limestone stairs after removing a coffee stain… it took 6 seal applications to finally seal the stone… and each day the property manager dropped a new cup of coffee as a test.) Once sealed it usually just takes another annual application to maintain, but the first application is a doosey. Once sealed spills are easily cleaned up without staining. 

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My Blog

The Nanny Check

Your children are the most precious and important people in your life. You treasure them more than life itself. So, when it’s time to hire a nanny or babysitter, how do you decide who will protect your child as much as you do? Access Investigative Services has the answers.  Vetting your child’s nanny is one of our specialties.

We’ve all heard horror stories about children found wandering the streets unattended because the babysitter fell asleep.  Or, kids were harmed or neglected by a nanny.   A background check of your nanny is not overreacting. It’s being safe.

Parents hiring investigative professionals is on the rise It’s one of the most important things a parent can do for their kids.

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Home Improvement Tips

Before You Call The Plumber: Fixing Leaks In Your Home

With water being our most used resource around the home, there are many different water systems we rely on each and every day. Through wear and general use over long periods, our plumbing systems can begin to leak. It is advisable to call a plumbing professional when you suspect that your leak is a more serious issue that is beyond your own expertise. However, if you find leaks in your home, and they are relatively simple in nature, then here we offer some DIY leak solutions for you to try out before you consult a professional.


How to Find Leaks:


  • Noticing your water usage and any fluctuations in your bill that does not correspond to usage is a sure sign that more water is being wasted from leakage than from regular use.


  •  You can check your meter during a period where you haven’t used any water, and if the numbers have changed, this shows signs of leaks.


  • Examine pipefittings and faucets for any wetness outside of the pipe or tap.


  • Check walls and ceiling areas for mold, wet patches or water stains.


Toilets generally leak due to worn out valve seals. These are rubber parts that can get mineral build up or just decay overtime. Replacing them can be a DIY process, and there is a ton of information and tutorials online to guide you. Dripping faucets are also a quick fix when you know that the problem is just contained in the tap itself. This can be as basic as tightening the tap with some tools. Otherwise, there are a variety of tutorials online to help you. Likewise, showerheads generally just need a tightening up in the pipe stem and showered connection. Sometimes pipe tape can be used to secure it.


If you feel like the leak is more internal, or out of your area of expertise, then consult a professional plumbing service or handyman to help you out to not only save you money on your water bill, but save the world a precious resource.

Home Improvement Tips

Home Yard Care: What To Know

Maintaining your yard and home exterior is more than just aesthetics of green grass and a freshly cut lawn. There are many elements which come into play when you are seeking to create an entire exterior space that is tidy and clean, and at the same time, free of pests and potentially other harmful critters. You can take a look at your own space, and assess for yourself whether you need to take extra action at home, or consult a professional service that can assist in yard care in customized landscaping, weed killing and pest elimination for your yard. Here we have listed the main areas to consider when examining your entire yard in the maintenance process.


Garden Care

For those that have an abundance of growth in their yard, with flowers, trees and shrubs, there are many different actions you can take to keep your garden looking healthy and growing plentifully. Adequate fertilizer and watering is of course a vital part of gardening, though there is more to think about here. A professional service can offer tree trimming, shrub and bush landscaping, and weed removal. Pests can also be a problem here, finding their homes in these areas. Proper removal from pest experts may be needed if you find that some unwanted critters are affecting your green growth, or are a risk to your family’s health.


Other Pests

Termites are tiny critters which reap big havoc. Termites will eat wood in any part of the home. Especially in the exterior portions, such as porches, rails, fences and sheds. Structural damage can be caused here and this can be very dangerous if they are left untreated. It is advised to seek out a professional to inspect for termites a few times a year. Other small creatures like bugs can also be harmful for your yard spaces. If you have a pet house outdoors, benches, or outdoor lounges, then bedbugs can be an unsuspected problem. Again, professional pest services are helpful here.

Home Construction/Renovation Tips

Cleanouts In A Drainage System

When getting to know your plumbing systems in your home or business, it is important to understand the importance of cleanout systems, how they work, and the regulations for their placement and use for safe, secure and effective functioning of your drainage system.


Cleanouts in drainage systems are pipe fittings that allow an entrance for drainage system cleaning, blockage clearing or inspections. Every drainage system requires a cleanout fitting, often at various points, to allow for clearing blockages, such as those which are prone to happen regularly in kitchen and bathroom plumbing and laundry areas.


It is important to ensure that your drainage system, whether it be small scale or for a larger, more complex shared system, has cleanout fittings throughout. This will allow for future cleaning and ease in the flow of the drainage system, requiring, in the long run, less maintenance if the system runs smoothly.


There are rules and requirements for each type of system, such as pipe length, how large, and how many fitting needed, and where they should be located in the drainage system and the greater building. For example, one rule is that all cleanouts must be situated very close to the wall, where the drain leaves the building. In the past, it was required to be inside, though now it is more important that there is proximity to the building, so outside is permitted. The most important caveat is that it must be accessible, not sealed inside or underneath walls or concrete. Also, when cleanouts are not in use (maintenance work), they must be closed and sealed.


Cleanout fitting parts that are capable of being removed must also be made of a non-corrosive and must be able to create a seal that is gas tight. When maintenance for the drainage system is underway, accessed by the cleanup fitting, maintenance should also include checking that the cleanouts themselves are updated and secure. This is for both safety, and effectiveness in functioning.


For more help on drainage systems, contact a plumbing expert.


Cleaning Up After the Holidays: Where To Start

So the guests have gone home, the reunions have concluded, and the kids are going back to school. If you find yourself left with a mountain of work to do to put your house back in order, perhaps you’re putting out an SOS to the cleaning gods to assist in taking the first step. With so much to do to create a house of order and replenishment, it can be overwhelming to start, often leading to that all too familiar ‘cleaning paralysis’ and procrastination, finding other ‘pressing’ things to do, rather than tackle the monster. If you know the feeling, however, of a refreshed, clean space, you know that it is worth the effort. So here are a few tips to help steer you on the right direction to begin the journey in the most effective way. Unburden yourself with the overwhelm of post-holiday cleaning, and find a more easeful flow of re-organization.


Step 1: Do the easy stuff first.

Sounds simple, right? That’s because it is! When scouring your spaces to clean, start with the most accessible and easy thing to do, which is re-order and re-place everything that you KNOW has a designated home. Place things back in their cupboards, drawers etc. This is a great first step to then see what you are dealing with beyond the obvious.


Step 2: Organize what needs to be washed.

Take the dirty sheets, laundry, dishes etc to all of their spaces, which they will be washed in. Linen and clothes to the laundry, kitchen ware to the sink. In this step, you prime yourself for when you get to that part; already having what you need in the places you need them.


Step 3: Take it room by room.

Oftentimes we can start cleaning one room, and then move to an entirely different space and pick up the cleaning from there. This is a more dysfunctional way, which can often lead you to forgetting where you’re up to in the process. This is why step 1 & 2 clears each space before any deeper cleaning starts. Create a system to take in to each room – perhaps floors first (mopping/sweeping/vacuuming) and then wipe/dust/windows etc.


Or if you had an office party that you simply don’t want to clean up after, call the cleaning professionals. Check out N&A Commercial Cleaning.

Home Construction/Renovation Tips

The Best Roof To Have During A Hurricane

If you live in a state that’s constantly at “Hurricane Watch” status, then maybe you’ve become accustomed to it. Perhaps, you’ve even become too accustomed to hurricanes that you’ve let your guard down. Well, that shouldn’t be the case at all. Hurricanes can cause serious damage to your home and wallet. That’s why you should be prepared at all times.


One nightmare repair post-hurricane would have to be concerning your roof. Your roof protects your home, family, and belongings. It’s expensive and vital for your wellbeing. However, serious repairs and replacements can possibly be avoided if your home roofing consists of certain hurricane withstanding materials.


What Materials Should My Roof Have?

The high winds, traveling debris, and falling trees are all a cause for roof damage and obvious frustration. But, you will decrease your chances of these outcomes if your roofing consists of shingles, concrete tiles, or metal. The strength, durability, and overall product is perfect for fighting off foreign objects and keeping you and your family safe.


Though shingles and concrete tiles both do a great job of staying resistant to hurricane forces, metal roofs are considered the most resistant to extreme weather. In addition, metal roofing is the most durable and longest lasting option that you could choose for your home.


If you are considering installing or repairing your home (or commercial) roofs, then be sure to hire a licensed and insured contractor. The team at Engelmeier Roofing have understood the significance of protecting your home from hurricanes and other natural disasters for many years. Being located in Central Florida, Engelmeier has serviced numerous homes for decades that need hurricane repair or total replacement. If you want a local and reliable team, turn to Engelmeier Roofing.


Visit their website here:

Home Construction/Renovation Tips

Green and Cool – advantages of alternative roofing options.

There are a myriad of options when selecting a roof type for personal home and business properties, with alternative, modern technology offering great advantages for specific climates and functions. Green and cool roofs are fast becoming a popular option for modern day roofing. Cool roof systems reflect heat and sunlight back to the atmosphere, they use light – colored paints, roof tiles, and other coatings. Green roofs absorb the sunlight before it enters the structure, with vegetative plant life reducing reflective heat. Both options work to stabilize the air temperature above the roof so that it does not add to a green-house heating effect for the entire building.


The aesthetics of these roof systems are a major pull for those considering utilizing these options, with green and garden roof systems being a space to enjoy. They are also energy efficient, reducing energy bills by decreasing the need for air conditioning, and aiding to environmental sustainability by preventing power outages by reducing local air temperature. Apparently when used on a power plant, some emissions such as sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide can actually be reduced through these roof systems. The demand on storm drainage is also reduced with having a green roof system in an area, with the water run off lessening with the green roofs holding 50-60 percent of storm water.


These roofs, however, do boast some cons which need to be considered when making the decision. Do your research thoroughly to ensure that the climate and environment is the right fit, as well as maintenance and budgeting considerations. Some roofs will need irrigation systems and especially vegetation rich roofs may need regular maintenance.


If a green roof is not what your are looking for, contact a licensed roofing contractor that can help you choose the roof that is right for you.

Home Improvement Tips

The Most Popular Remodeling Trends

There are many reasons why homeowners choose to undertake a remodeling process. Whether it be to create value in order to sell, or for a style revamp for their own live in pleasure, there’s no going past the most tried and tested trends for modern day remodeling. All building processes must take into consideration the vital balance between design and function. This is always on the minds of those in the building industry, and for those new to the world of construction and creation, they soon find out just how important it is to ensure functionality is not compromised on the well chosen aesthetic. Both need to be considered as just as important as the other. Here are 3 of the most popular remodeling trends that ensure this balance between beauty and function.


#1: Exterior painting.

A simple, yet always effective tool for remodeling. Not only does painting heightened curb appeal and value, a fresh coat of exterior pain always protects the home’s structure in preserving the integrity of the walls.


#2: Go green.

Not only is energy efficiency a very big pull for those switching to solar water heating, but it also provides cash saving benefits in the long run. It’s better for the environment and your pocket. There are a multitude of options for solar panels with sleek and modern designs.


#3: Don’t go past the kitchen.

If any room in the house deserve extra attention in remodeling, the kitchen is the one to put your energy towards. As a social center of the home, this is also one of the main points that home buyers take into consideration when assessing the value of a prospective new home. The layout and flow, as well as bench space, lighting, appliances and flooring are all up for review when remodeling this space.


#4. Improve Your Roof.

Fixing or even replacing your roof for a sleek and new look will dramatically alter the look of your home and create great value. Choosing a tile roof to replace your shingles could be just the improvement your house needs to look modern and elegant. Consider hiring a roofing contractor to help you renew your home.