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Judy Kivela
Broker
    Years of Experience: 28

    CRS: Certified Residential Specialist
    GRI: Graduate REALTORĀ® Institute
    CDPE Certified Distress Property Expert, SRS
    WHS: Workforce Housing Specialist

Direct: (406) 491-5777

Office: 406-491-5777



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Homestead Real Estate
3341 Harrison Avenue
Butte, Montana
406-491-5777


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Home Improvement

5 Tips for Removing Offensive Odors from Your Butte Home for Sale

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Nothing will turn off a potential buyer quicker than an offensive odor in your Butte home for sale. It may make them think you don’t take care of your home. At the very least, the odor will interfere with their ability to picture themselves in your home. Take the time to remove odors from your home.

Here are 5 tips to make your home smell fresh and clean:

  1. Clean your carpets. Your carpets are fibers that absorb odor. Have your carpets cleaned by a professional to remove odors stuck in the carpet and pad. Another option is to rent a carpet cleaner and clean them yourself.
  2. Paint. Sometimes odors like smoke can be trapped in your walls. A fresh coat of paint will not only brighten your room, it can seal the walls and mask the offending odors. Just choose a neutral shade and paint at least two coats.
  3. Open your windows. Open the windows to let in fresh air. This will also help eliminate odors from your home.
  4. Replace your attic insulation. Cooking odors can rise to the ceiling and get trapped in your attic insulation. The only way to remove that odor is to remove the insulation and replace it. If at all possible, do this before you put up your [Butte] home for sale.
  5. Light candles and bring in air fresheners. If all else fails or as an extra precaution, place candles or air fresheners in each room. Choose light scents that won’t overpower the room. You just want enough fragrance to lightly mask odors.

Get your home in its best shape possible to convince a buyer to purchase your home. Let me help you prepare your Butte home for sale. Call me today at 406-491-1223 or email me at judy@montana.com

Links:

Remove odors from your home

http://www.doityourself.com/stry/removinghomeodors

Clean your carpets

http://www.doityourself.com/stry/floorcarpetcleaning

Replace your attic insulation

http://www.ehow.com/how_4797877_replace-attic-insulation.html

How Do I Update My Butte Home to Make It Greener?

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

There are many different ways to update your Butte home to make it more eco-friendly.

  • In your Butte home, install ceiling fans and thermal windows. Ceiling fans are low energy, cost effective ways of cooling your home without using the air conditioning. Thermal windows offer insulation from outside heat and cold.
  • Use foam caulking around any cable lines or cords leading to an exterior wall. This will provide insulation against temperature changes.
  • In the winter (or in climates that are cool year round), use the natural sunlight during the day. Opening the drapes and allowing the sun to come in decreases the amount of energy needed to light and heat your home. Closing the drapes at night adds another layer of insulation against temperature changes.
  • Installing motion sensors on your light fixtures may help to decrease energy usage as well. The lights will shut off automatically when not in use.
  • Use a power strip that has an on/off switch. These power strips can be used for video games, stereos, DVD players, and other items that are not in use on a constant basis. Turning off the switch when they are not in use saves energy.

If you’d like to buy an eco-friendly home, I can help. Call me at 406-491-5777or email me at judy@montana.com for more information.

Links:

Thermal windows: http://www.thermalwindows.com/

Foam caulking: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_sealing.hm_improvement_sealing

Motion sensors: http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/household-safety/security/question238.htm

Get Your Fireplace Ready In Your Butte Home

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Winter is almost here and few things are as comforting as the smell of wood burning in the fireplace of you Butte home. Before you light the first fire of the year, there are a few things you need to do. Here is the short list for fireplace safety:

Clean Out the Chimney

Everyone wants to get out of the cold weather, including birds and squirrels. Have a chimney cap installed at the top of the chimney to keep out small animals looking for shelter. The cap will also keep debris from clogging the chimney.

Have a professional clean out any creosote residue. Creosote is the build up of carbon from burning wood. It is flammable and needs to be removed every year.

Creosote is hazardous to your health. It can cause respiratory problems, so don’t try to clean it out on your own. Some home improvement stores sell a creosote removal log that you burn in your fireplace, it may clean your fireplace incompletely, so it’s best to go with a professional chimney cleaning company.

Prepare the Surrounding Area

Before you light the fireplace in your Butte home, make sure that the area around it is clear of clutter. You’ll want to make sure there is at least two to three feet of cleared space around the fireplace.

Invest in a fireplace screen so that nothing is accidentally knocked into the fireplace. It will also help to prevent burning embers from flying out.

Each time you get ready use the fireplace, clean out the ashes from the previous fire.

Light the Fire

First, open the fireplace damper so the proper airflow can occur. Then, start with paper or kindling placed on top of the fireplace grate. Use seasoned firewood cut to the right length for your fireplace. A couple of logs will be enough; you don’t want to add too many or the fire will suffocate.

Following these fireplace safety instructions can help you enjoy this winter season without worry. So, feel free to light that fireplace and soon the aroma of burning wood will fill your Butte home.

LINKS:

Chimney Cap: http://www.fireplacemall.com/Chimney_Caps/chimney_caps.html

Creosote residue: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1150360/the_dangers_of_creosote_build_up_in.html?cat=5

Damper: http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/energy-efficiency/how-to-conserve-energy-at-home5.htm

Butte Home Care – 3 Fall Maintenance Projects

Monday, November 9th, 2009

The last vestiges of summer have faded away, the leaves are turning into a brilliant array of color and the temperatures are dropping. All this glorious change means the holidays are coming, but it also means it’s time, once again, to look over your Butte home.

With temperatures dropping and leaves falling, there are plenty of things to add to your “to do” list. Just in case your list is empty, here are a few “to do’s” to get you started on your fall Butte home care:

  • Sealing Your Driveway – If you have a blacktop driveway, you probably already know it isn’t going to be smooth forever. The asphalt cracks, the color fades and the asphalt sags to create potholes. As winter rolls around and snow begins to fall, you’ll probably be putting down salt, which will further break down your driveway. Sealing it now, either by hiring a company to do it or sealing it yourself, can help keep your driveway smooth and beautiful.
  • Winterizing Your Sprinklers – Sprinkler systems do wonders in keeping your lawn green. However, leaving water in the system over the winter can cause a big, expensive mess, especially if the pipes aren’t buried below frost level. If you don’t feel comfortable winterizing the sprinkler system yourself, you can hire a professional for under $500.
  • Cleaning Gutters and Roofs – Everybody knows that fall brings leaves that fill your gutters and cover your roof. If you haven’t been on the roof of your house lately, now’s the time to do it. You want to make sure all the debris is gone before the snow hits, so the strength of your roof isn’t tested further. For that matter, now is a great time to install gutter guards; you’ll never have to clean your gutters again!

Preparing your Butte home for the winter can be a tedious process, but the money you’ll save with proper maintenance will put a smile on your face.

If you’re looking for a home to call your own, I can help. Call me at 406-491-1234 or email me for more information.

Links:

Sealing it yourself

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=howTo&p=LawnGarden/SealDvWay.html#term

Winterizing the sprinkler system

http://www.housekeepingchannel.com/a_603-Tips_for_Winterizing_Your_Sprinkler_System

Gutter guards

http://www.askthebuilder.com/Gutter_Guard_Test_Results.shtml

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  • Avg. Days on Market: 147

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