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Archive for the 'HOME MAINTENANCE & REPAIRS' Category

Home Repairs – Fix it Yourself: Washer

washing machine 

Some home repairs are fairly easy (and fairly inexpensive)  fixes…  if you’re  handy.   Other repairs require a technician.  The most common washing machine ailments revolve (literally!) around the spin and balance.

Balance is an easy  “do-it-yourself-fix”.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Rants and Raves Again – Shoddy Work Ethic in Miami: THAT’S WHY WE DO HOME INSPECTIONS!

Shoddy workmanship!   Think you won’t  get caught?  To replace the AC ducts on a 4 bedroom house, you ask the homeowner for $6,000.00. You then replace only the readily accessible portion … leaving the rusted, deteriorated ducts in the entire east wing of the home just as they are?  Perhaps you are hoping  that no one would notice?   With the crawl space being small, and the work being time-consuming, perhaps you wanted to cut corners?


Our  little black book  (of referred/preferred suppliers and business providers)  now comes in TWO versions … and you are in the new version for home-buyers and home-sellers… of who NOT to use! home_20080529_contractor_banner

That’s what Realtors do …  We provide our buyers and sellers with  resources …competent and reliable workers/providers, etc… and now, those to avoid.

Guess what? Our  BLACK LIST of shoddy, unethical, incompetent and deceitful providers, that you are now at the top of … will hopefully diminish your pool of unsuspecting homeowners, who shouldn’t trust you!  Here’s  to  you  … going  out of business  … soon!

Our home-buyers  knew that the AC ducts were being replaced.  The sellers (YOUR CLIENTS!) believed in and relied on you.  As I drove by, I could see all the old ducts out on the driveway.  I had no reason to doubt your word  … doubt your contractual agreement (for which you pulled a permit from the Village of Pinecrest!)

Did you know that the sellers had a previous deal fall apart?  Did you know they’d already bought another home, and were under contract to sell their  home again, to a new set of buyers?  Mine.  Did you know the  sellers  were  repairing the deficiencies outlined in the inspection report from the previous offer…  and were anxious to sell and move?    What about the outrageous sum they paid  you  -$6,000 –  to have their AC duct system replaced..

The home inspection my buyers did a couple of weeks back revealed that  1/2 the AC ducts  ( those readily visible)  had been replaced.  Good job!   What about the other 1/2 you were supposed to replace?  Apparently your licensed AC company was hoping the Village of Pinecrest wouldn’t do a thorough  final inspection?   Apparently your AC company didn’t know that my buyers would order independent inspections of the house as a whole? The Village of  Pinecrest would have caught your fraud, on final inspections, I’m sure. But they didn’t have to.  

Allied Inspections  (Allied Building Inspection Services – Joe Penza)  checked out the house two weeks ago on a  Monday … Pinecrest wasn’t set to do their final inspections until Tuesday… Allied was quick to point  out your ‘work’.   Scandalous!

You, a licensed contractor,  take $6,000 from and unsuspecting homeowner, promising to replace the duct work… and  and do half ?  You may not have known that the home buyers would hire an independent inspection company … but you did pull a permit for the AC work, so you must  have known the Village of Pinecrest would order a final !  What happened to your work ethic?   That’s thievery … twice over… robbing both the homeowner and the new buyer.    

You are now officially at the top of my list …  shoddy workers… poor work ethic.  Have I ever used your services?  No … nor will I.  You have earned your spot …  very close to the top of my list …  my little black book of providers NOT to use.

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Village of Pinecrest Homebuyers: Obligatory Municipal Water Hook-Up


WATER HOOK UPS in PINECREST, FLORIDA … who pays… who benefits…  What are the costs and what is the grace period? 

I just confirmed with the Village of Pinecrest as to the OBLIGATORY MUNICIPAL WATER HOOK-UP GUIDELINES: Read the rest of this entry »

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Home Repair You Can Do Yourself: Stove/Cooktop Trouble-Shooting

tomatos spread 


GAS OVEN:  If the igniter on the bottom of the oven glows red but doesn’t ignite for several minutes,  you may need a new igniter, and a service technician will need to handle that.  

Do it yourself jobs include unclogging the burners or :

1) If the gas burners are clogged, you can clean them out with a safety pin (or other metal point… but not a toothpick since it could break off and cause a problem!).  

2) If the spark plug igniters are clogged with food or grease, a toothbrush and soap will do the trick. Read the rest of this entry »

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Home Repairs: Dishwasher Trouble Shooting

 couple posing on floor


If the dishes are not coming clean, there could be a clog somewhere, a broken spray arm, or a problem with water filling the dishwasher.   Or it may simply be packed a bit too full (That’s a quick and easy fix).   “Dishwasher ailment research” began in earnest when my dishwasher started having ” issues”:  The soap dispenser didn’t empty adequately and the plates weren’t coming clean… Read on for typical dishwasher ‘ailments’ and easy ‘solutions’: Read the rest of this entry »

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Home Repair: Do-It-Yourself Trouble-Shooting / Dryer


If your clothes dryer takes inordinately long to dry,  here are a couple of  quick “fixes”.  And if it makes odd noises, here are a couple of solutions …  Read the rest of this entry »

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Miami Real Estate – EVERY BUYER N-E-E-D-S a POOL?


Can’t imagine buying a house in Miami  – without a pool?   Some neighborhoods seem to ‘demand’ one.  Buyers looking in Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay expect their homes to have a pool.  Not true of  Coral Gables  or Coconut Grove though… where homes are a breeze to buy or sell…. with or without a swimming pool.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Home Renovations Are Tax Deductible… Home Repairs Are NOT !

under construction 
Thinking about renovating?  If so, it’s important for you to know that your home improvements are tax deductible,  while (interestingly enough) your home repairs are not.  
With that in mind, you might want to consider expanding a project, turning it into a ‘renovation’, rather than a simple ‘repair’…  Read the rest of this entry »

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What Color Should You Paint Your Miami Home?

Choosing the right color for the exterior of your home can be a daunting task. With the help of HGTV’s Shari Miller, these tips should be very helpful in the painting process.

paint samplesFirst and foremost, do your research a couple months before you actually start to paint. You can walk around your neighborhood and see what color schemes your neighbors have for their homes. If you find a color you really like, knock on the door and complement the owner. Maybe they will give you the color. It’s nice to blend and be part of the neighborhood, but you can add some accent colors to tastefully stand apart from the rest of the homes around you.

Next, flip through home magazines with lots of color photos. Pick up an assortment of exterior paint colors that offer color combination suggestions. Once you have these materials, spread them all out, cut out colors from the magazines and combine the paint color cards to create a scheme you like.

paintingAbout a month before you begin painting, evaluate your home. Figure out what the surfaces are made of. Brick, tile, shingles and stone are materials that won’t change in color, so make sure your paint colors work well with them.

Talk a walk out to the street and imagine the siding color you’ve chosen and how it works with the roof, the shingles or even how it looks in between your neighbor’s homes. Take the color closer to the house and hold it up against the surface. Once you narrow down the siding colors to no more than three, go to the hardware store and buy quarts of those colors.

Right around two weeks before painting, get some samples up on the home. Put good size patches of paint along the front of the house, next to the brick (or any material that you may have), in shaded areas as well as areas of full sun. You want to get a good idea as to what the color will look like on the whole house. If you have trim colors picked out, now is the time to add those as well.

The best way to pick the trim color is to make sure it’s in the same color family as the main color on the house, maybe a couple shades lighter. You can have fun with te front door and create an accent piece that generates great curb appeal. Pay attention to how the colors look in the morning, midday, evening and night. Once you decide which color you like best, head to the paint shop.

paint cansAbout a week before you begin painting, have a footprint with dimensions and picture of your home so the shop can tell you how much paint you’ll need. Now, the fun begins!

Painting the outside of your home gives you an advantage when you are selling. Along with a well maintained yard, a fresh paint job creates nice curb appeal-something important for buyers. Many buyers will drive by homes and will disregard the homes with no curb appeal…even if the inside is gorgeous. It needs to invite the buyers inside.   If I can help you sell your house or find a home to move into, contact me .  I would love to help.

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Preventative Home Maintenance



Early detection of a potential home maintenance problem can potentially save you thousands of dollars.  I highly recommend that every prospective buyer get a professional inspection done before purchasing a home.  Here are a handful of suggestions for maintaining your property (gained from traipsing behind a local inspector) .  Buyers  can use  this list to ‘eyeball’ a property before putting an offer in on it…. and ….  Sellers can use it to Read the rest of this entry »

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