Marita Tasse - CRS, ABR, SRES, GRI, LMC - RE/MAX Prof Associates |


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Insulation keeps you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer by reducing either heat coming in or escaping from your home. You might think that adequately insulating a home would be part of the home-building process. But since many new homebuyers don't consider insulation when buying, many home builders only meet bare minimum standards. Fortunately, you can add insulation yourself. 

Where Do You Need More Insulation?

Ceilings and attics are a great place to start. But you also need insulation inside your outer walls. Insulating an un-air conditioned crawlspace or basement can also reduce that air from impacting your home environment. And insulation around pipes reduces the risk of cracking in cold weather.

You'll likely only need insulation on interior walls if your goal is to reduce the sound that travels through the home. If you need insulation inside your walls, interior or exterior, it's best to contact a professional.

How to Install Installation on Your Pipes

You don't have to cover all of the pipe to make a difference. But the more you cover, the less the risk.

The best way to insulate pipes is with foam insulators. These are made to fit most pipes and easy to install. For this project, you just need foam insulators and a utility knife to cut them and duct tape for the corners and oddly-shaped pipes.

Step one: Locate at-risk pipes. Size them up and cut foam pieces to match your measurements.

Step two: Find the opening in the insulator and slide it around the pipe, using several insulators end-to-end to cover the whole pipe. *Pro tip* If the insulators don't fit snuggly or are oddly shaped, unfold insulators and use duct tape to hold them together.

How to Install Insulation in the Attic or Basement

To keep it simple, we'll share how to install roll insulation. Blow insulation is a more involved project so you may want to hire a professional.

You'll need:

  • Work gloves
  • A mouth/nose mask
  • A roll of insulation
  • Staple gun
  • Staples
  • A 2X4 board
  • Utility knife
  • Duct tape (optional)
  • *Pro tip* Don't unroll your insulation until you get it into the area where you'll staple it. It will expand--a lot.

    Step one: Put on your mask and work gloves. Touching insulation directly or breathing it into your lungs or throat will be an itchy experience you'll want to avoid.

    Step two: Cut the insulation into manageable sections. *Pro Tip* Lay the 2X4 on top of the rolled out insulation to press it down for a smoother cut.

    Step three: Using your staple gun, affix the insulation to the rafters, walls and other surfaces on the outside of the building. If your basement has stone walls with no beams, you won't be able to staple insulation there. Use duct tape instead to cover the area.

    For more tips and tricks to improve your space with simple DIY projects, follow our blog.


    Two terms that you may have heard when talking about real estate is fair market value and assessed value. These two terms are not the same or even interchangeable terms. 


    The assessed value of a home can often be higher than the price the house is being sold. These properties can often be seen as a “bargain” in the real estate community. The problem is that this is often a red flag. The property may be overassessed by the town which means the taxes are higher than necessary. 


    Homes can also be listed at a higher price than the assessed value. Contrary to popular belief, a low evaluated cost doesn’t mean that the value of the home is less than the asking price. The asking sale price for a property is based on many factors, none of which are what the town deems the property is worth. 


    Fair Market Value


    Fair market value is what a buyer is willing to pay with no outside influence. As a homeowner, the best way to determine the fair market value of your home is to look at what’s real estate agents call a “Comparative Market Analysis” or CMA. The agent will look at similar properties in the area that have recently sold- generally within the last six months. This analysis will often include things that the assessor doesn’t take into account when pricing a home.


    The Appraisal


    When you buy a home, and the appraisal is done for the lender when the buyer is obtaining a mortgage, the purpose is specific. The lender is protecting themselves and the buyer. The lender wants to be sure that the property they are lending money on has a value greater than or equal to the purchase price of the home. Appraisals are also done in this manner when homeowners are refinancing the house. 


    Challenging Assessed Values


    Often, homeowners will buy a property and then later challenge the assessed value of a home for tax purposes especially if the owner feels that the assessed value is worlds apart from the fair market value of the home. If you believe that the assessed value is out of sync with the fair market value of the house and out of line based on the values of another home in the town, you need to file what’s called a tax abatement. Your city or town hall has all of the necessary information for submitting these forms. From there, each city and town has their own timelines for how long the tax assessor has to address this.                  


    This Condo in Sturbridge, MA recently sold for $245,000. This Townhouse style home was sold by Marita Tasse - RE/MAX Prof Associates.


    5 Village Green, Sturbridge, MA 01566

    Condo

    $245,000
    Price
    $245,000
    Sale Price

    5
    Rooms
    2
    Beds
    2/1
    Full/Half Baths
    HUGE PRICE REDUCTION!! OWNERS SAY SELL AND SELL NOW!! Welcome to Sturbridge Hills! This END UNIT offers 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and over 1,800 square feet of living area; including the finished lower level. New heating and air conditioning system just installed and a $5,000 painting credit to make this home your own! The gleaming hardwood floors and the cathedral ceiling in the living room make a majestic impression as soon as you enter. The free flowing floor plan is ideal for entertaining with the open living and dining room. Spacious master bedroom with a large walk in closet and freshly painted bathroom. The nicely sized second bedroom, additional full bathroom, and laundry, with lightly used washer/dryer, complete the second floor. Additional space in the finished lower level with built in bar! Enjoy the attached one car garage and fireplace as the temperature drops and the snow is inevitably on its way!




    Image by B. Forenius from Shutterstock

    There are some overlooked places in your home that need proper lighting. A good example is a closet. Whether a closet is small or large, proper lighting is essential for safety and good illumination. When building a new space or upgrading an existing one, these tips will help you choose the ideal lighting. 

    Safety first

    Closet lighting fixtures should be installed at least 12 inches away from where your clothes will be stored. Light and heat from bulbs can be harmful to your clothes especially if exposed for extended periods. Avoid heat issues by choosing LED or compact fluorescent (CFL) over incandescent lights. Using LEDs or CFLs in your closet provides the right amount of light, gives off less heat and saves energy. 

    Halogen lights generate a significant amount of heat. They are not suitable for enclosed spaces like closets so avoid halogen fixtures in this application. 

    Color temperature

    Consider the color temperature of the lightbulbs you select. A color temperature within the range of 3000k-3500k provides bright, white light that is perfect for a closet. Selecting the right color temperature allows you to see the color of your clothes more accurately: no more guessing if your pants are black or dark blue.

    Illuminate dark areas

    Many closets include shelves and cabinets. Natural light or wall-mounted fixtures may not reach the far corners of these spaces. Consider installing under cabinet lighting to brighten the darker corners. Under-cabinet lighting comes in assorted sizes that can be customized for your closet. LED tape lights offer endless possibilities because of their thin profile and flexibility.

    Choosing the perfect light for your closet can make big impact on your space. Keep these tips in mind as you plan your updates. If you do not have existing fixtures, consult with an experienced electrician to help with installation and placement.


    This Single-Family in Sturbridge, MA recently sold for $306,500. This Cape style home was sold by Marita Tasse - RE/MAX Prof Associates.


    7 Cooper Rd, Sturbridge, MA 01518

    Single-Family

    $319,900
    Price
    $306,500
    Sale Price

    7
    Rooms
    3
    Beds
    2
    Baths
    SPACIOUS ONE OWNER 3 BR, 2 BATH FULL DORMER CAPE ON 1 + PRIVATE ACRE. MANY ATTRACTIVE FEATURES! LIVING RM W/ HARDWOODS, BIG COUNTRY EAT-IN KITCHEN, SUNNY BRADY RM FOR ENJOYING NATURE IN YOUR BACKYARD, 1ST FLOOR MASTER BR & FULL BATH FOR ONE LEVEL LIVING IF YOU CHOOSE, PLUS 2 VERY BIG BRS UP WITH HUGE WALK-IN CLOSETS, FULL BATH & A NICE SPACE FOR OFFICE READY INTERNET. ALSO, LONG WINDOWS THRUOUT FOR BEST LIGHT, 2X6 CONSTRUCTION, CENTRAL VAC, ADT SECURITY SYSTEM, STORAGE BARN W/ ELEC, GUTTER HELMET W/ HEATER, NEST THERMOSTATS, EXTRA CABLE WIRING, GENERATOR READY ELEC PANEL - AND MORE!

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