Instead of Dear Abbey…we will have Ask Gena. Just email me your questions as you have been and I will post the answers on Sacramento Real Estate Voice. Your names will not be shared, so don’t worry.
Remember, you may have the same Real Estate question that another Home Buyer or Seller has, just ask. All questions will be treated with respect and dignity.
Any identifying information will not be viewed but changed to keep your anonymity.
Now, let’s get started with our real estate question of the week…
I have my house for sale and have been told that there are odors. I have done everything I can think of. I bought the fresheners at the grocery store and I’ve tried plug-ins. What more can I do? Do you have any suggestions?
Homeowner Selling House
You didn’t mention what you think the odor is from. Do you have pets? If so, you may be dealing with pet urine. Check out misterfix for a possible remedy. It has been my experience that if you are dealing with pet urine, you more than likely need to simply re-carpet and of course change that pad.
Smells also come from water leaks which give off a mildewy smell. The first step is to find the source of your leak and have it fixed and then replace the material in the area that was soaked. Check out the mold, mildew and musty odors site for further information.
If you go barefoot on your carpet you may be smelling your own foot smell. At Green Living there is a simple solution with Baking Soda for your carpet odors.
Most of the time, we don’t smell the odors in our own homes. But, others do smell them when they enter our houses. Remember, that this will have a lasting effect on the home buyer touring your house. Plug-ins, candles and oils are not the answer. You really need to find the source of your odor and deal with it.
Many home owners live in closed up houses. Windows are kept shut and doors locked -One of my favorite clean smells is dryer sheets. I love the smell and it’s a clean smell. I put them in my inside garbage cans, drawers and have been known to put them in hidden places while having an Open House. Usually, everyone loves the smell of clean.
Stay away from the grocery store wild smelling items. Not everyone loves, apples, cinnamon etc.
Hope that helps you. Good luck selling your house and smelling “good.”
I am buying a condo and wonder what type of insurance I should be getting? Is the insurance the same as for a house? Who do you recommend that I call? What about just having renter’s insurance?
New Condo Buyer
Dear Home Buyer,
Congratulations on purchasing a condo. In order for your loan to fund, you MUST have insurance. That’s where the similarity between a house and a condo end as far as insurance.
The condo association should have insurance for the outside of the condo. This can be verified by taking a look at the documents sent to you from the Homeowner’s Association. The outside of the condo, meaning the walls and studs as well as the roof (on some) is the coverage that the Homeowner’s Association is responsible for. It is important to make sure that you request proof from the Association each year that the insurance has been paid.
If all you had was just what the Homeowner’s Association insurance covered it would mean that if a fire were to occur, the Homeowner’s Association’s insurance would rebuild the outside walls up to and including the studs inside but that is it. The interior walls, sinks, tubs, showers, electrical, plumbing fixtures, cabinets, carpet and of course anything that is personally yours such as furniture, clothing etc would not be covered.
It is important to have enough insurance to rebuild the interior and include your personal items. Renters insurance is fine but remember, it doesn’t cover all the rest of the inside of the condo. You need more.
Ever since the Loma Prieta earthquake in1989 and then the Oakland hills firestorm in 1991, we all learned that you should ALWAYS make sure and ask your insurance representative if you have replacement cost and code upgrades within your insurance policy. This means, if the condo needs to be rebuilt, and building codes have changed (which more than likely they will have), the added cost associated with those changes would be covered. You need replacement cost insurance.
I am a Realtor and not an Insurance carrier but typically, the insurance company who currently supplies your auto insurance will give you a better rate since you already have your vehicle with them. I personally would call and get 3 bids and with those bids include your current car so that you can get the full benefit of discounts.
Hope that helps and congrats on being in escrow with your new condo!
If you have a burning question that you would like answered, just email “Ask Gena.”