Three Helpful Tips for Renting Out Your Home

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 9.23.2010 4 comments

(NewsUSA) - Home ownership has always been a part of the American dream, but that may be changing. Uncertainty in the housing market has led many would-be buyers to believe that renting's the better option.

According to a May 2010 online survey commissioned by the National Apartment Association, 76 percent of consumers think that renting is preferable to owning a home in today's market.
Likewise, some homeowners believe it's better to rent out their home than to sell it for less than its worth, if they can sell it all. Those considering renting out their property shouldn't make a hasty decision. Neglecting to weigh the costs and potential risks could put first-time landlords in a poor situation.

House for rent
Moco, Inc., a company that provides screening services to property owners, managers and employers throughout the United States, offers the following tips:
* Look at the numbers. Renting might not be the best option. If you're going to lose money each month, it might make more sense to sell, even if you won't get your asking price. Consider all potential costs, including property taxes, income taxes on your tenants' rent, maintenance, and the normal wear and tear your property will experience. Remember that you won't be able to pocket all of the rent money; you will have to put a portion of it back into the property.
* Find quality tenants. Nightmare tenants can be, well, a nightmare.

Prepare for a careful screening process. Many private landlords can't access the quality screening products available to larger businesses without going through a lengthy certification process. However, you can avoid time and expense by asking your applicants to visit The report includes a consumer credit report, SSN verification, comprehensive criminal search, eviction search, national sex offender registry search and an OFAC (federal terrorism database) search -- everything you need to determine whether a potential tenant meets your standards.

* Use an all-encompassing lease. Whether you use a template or hire an attorney to write your lease, make sure that the lease clearly states your expectations. The lease should state who is responsible for what, when you expect rent to be paid and what penalties you will impose if it is late.

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Adhesives Offer Advantages to DIYers

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 9.16.2010 0 comments

(NewsUSA) - What's the most basic tool every DIYer has on hand? Why, the hammer, which has been with us since pre-history. But as the human race have evolved, so has its tools; for many projects, a caulking gun and adhesive are easier and more effective than a hammer and nail.

When you use mechanical fasteners, such as nails or screws, you concentrate the load on individual points. For example, if you hang up a picture, a single nail has to support the frame's entire weight. If you used an adhesive to glue the picture to the wall, the weight would be distributed across the entire surface.

While gluing frames to walls isn't practical, this general principle applies to all sorts of projects. For example, if you're repairing deck steps, using adhesives in addition to mechanical fasteners can result in a stronger, more durable repair.

Deck steps become loose as hot and cold weather cause wood to expand and contract, creating strain on mechanical fasteners. By applying straight beads of adhesive before putting the step back in place and replacing the fasteners, you'll distribute strain more evenly. The steps won't loosen when the wood changes shape, because the adhesive secures the boards.
Adhesives also offer more flexibility than mechanical fasteners. "Once something is screwed, nailed or stapled in place, it is very difficult to re-adjust its position," says Mike Goldstein, senior brand manager with Liquid Nails Brand Adhesives ( "With an adhesive, there is some amount of open time, approximately 10 minutes, allowing you to reposition the substrate immediately following installation."

Liquid Nails Brand formulates products for specific projects. For example, its Interior Projects Adhesive will adhere drywall, molding, paneling, foamback tub surrounds, and ceramic tile repair, while its Heavy Duty Adhesive is recommended for countertops, cabinets, brick veneer and plywood.

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(NewsUSA) - In the late 18th and 19th centuries, steam powered factories, boats and locomotives. Now, steam power can be harnessed at home -- to thoroughly clean every room.
Americans aren't used to the idea of steam cleaning, but Europeans have been steam cleaning their homes for years. Steam-cleaners work by releasing hot steam vapor into the pores of surfaces, where it breaks up dirt and stains. While a vacuum cleaner removes surface dirt, a steam cleaner removes deeply embedded dirt without using harsh or potentially harmful chemicals.

Steam cleaner
Steam cleaners clean most surfaces more effectively than a spray bottle and towel. They also disinfect areas better than commercial wipes or sprays. Steam cleaners produce very hot water vapor -- one portable cleaner, Reliable's EnviroMate Pronto, releases steam at 245 degrees Fahrenheit -- which kills bacteria, mold spores and other microorganisms. Steam cleaners are also effective against dust mites, making them an ideal appliance for those with indoor allergies.

Homeowners worried about the environmental or health effects of chemical stain removers and disinfectants will find peace-of-mind with steam cleaning. Steam cleaners use nothing but water to clean, deodorize and disinfect. Most steam cleaners use less than a gallon of water per hour. Low-moisture vapor leaves surfaces nearly dry -- a carpet takes around 15 minutes to dry after steam cleaning -- so homeowners don't need to worry about damp areas encouraging mold growth.
Steam cleaners are especially effective in killing dust mites and bed bugs, removing pet stains and odors, cleaning grout, removing wallpaper and detailing cars. They can remove grease from kitchen counters, disinfect stuffed animals, clean grill racks and golf clubs, deodorize litter boxes and shine jewelry with equal effectiveness.

Powerful steam cleaners, like Reliable's EnviroMate Tandem Steam/Vacuum Cleaner, can take on the toughest messes through steam cleaning, extracting steam residue and vacuuming. The cleaner comes with a 24-piece accessory kit, which allows the machine to steam and vacuum a variety of surfaces, including carpets and furniture.
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