Advice Tag

The polar vortex crossing the country today is certainly bringing its fair share of chilly weather. Thankfully, Jacksonville won't be experiencing any subzero temperatures any time soon, although there is plenty of cold weather ahead in the coming weeks. If you haven't already prepped your home for chilly weather that can wreck havoc on your major systems, not to mention your energy bill, take some time out this week to do so. Here's an easy checklist of five projects to help prevent rising energy bills this winter.

Replace any weather stripping.

Inexpensive and easy to do, replacing the stripping around your doors and windows can help save you around $350 in energy costs. If there are any gaps between the siding, it would be a good idea to re-caulk them too. Silicone caulk is best for outdoor fixes because it's not affected by the weather.

Seal any indoor air leaks.

One easy test: Light a candle and hold it next to common places where air leaks form. If the candle flickers, there's a leak. Some places to check:
  • door frames
  • window frames
  • outside vents to your dryer
  • baseboards
Fixing a leak is very low cost (about $5 for your typical tube of caulk at your neighborhood hardware store) and can save you hundreds of dollars through the chilly winter months.

Tis the season to sell? Homeowners thinking about selling are often hesitant to consider listing their home during the holidays. My question: why? Sure, it's easy to think that a schedule chock full of parties, school plays and other engagements may cause conflicts, but you're really missing out on a key group of serious buyers - the holiday shoppers. Buyers that choose to shop for a new home during the holiday season are usually facing a relocation from taking a new job or promotion, switching areas for better schools, or are facing a need to upsize or downsize their living space. Still not convinced? Here are my top six tips for making a sale part of your holiday celebrations.

This cold front may be bringing some chilly weather to the Jacksonville area, but it still can't cool down our current housing market. New construction projects are popping up from Springfield to the Beaches, inventory is rising as more sellers decide to try their hand at the market and interest rates continue to lower. Another timing advantage? Less competition. Many potential buyers will get distracted by the pressures of the holidays, leaving any new homes entering the market up for grabs to anyone still looking for a new home in the area.

So is it still a good idea to buy a home in Jacksonville during November or December?

When I was in college, my thoughts were often more focused on happy hours and exams than credit scores and mortgage rates. Buying or renting a home after graduation still seemed centuries away. Then, graduation hits. Suddenly that first apartment or house doesn't seem so far away, and you wish that you had started searching for a possible home a little sooner. Your days may currently be filled with classes and coffee runs, but it's never too soon to start positioning yourself for homeownership. Here are five things you can start doing now that will help you immensely in a few months: