Thursday, May 14, 2009

Name Your Price Home Repairs

Service Live is kind of like a cross between Elance and PriceLine for house services; you name the price you're willing to pay for a given job and pre-fund your account, then you get a list of pre-screened contractors who are willing to work for that price, you choose one, and when the work is done, you release the funds. is the only online services marketplace where you can name your price for home repairs and improvements. We help you to take care of your home or office on your terms.

Founded in 2007 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corporation, ServiceLive has spent the last year recruiting and conducting background checks on the best service providers in the country across a wide variety of home services - from handymen and home electronics pros to plumbers and computer experts.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

10 Potential Monster Problems

Before buying an investment property make sure you check into these 10 potential disasters waiting to bite you:
  1. Oil Tank - especially underground; if oil leaks into the water supply you've got problems; any leaking needs to be cleaned up via DEP/EPA guidelines, it is quite expensive
  2. Septic System - another pricey replacement if it is close to end of life; always have it checked by a professional before purchase
  3. Termites - don't skimp here, a cheap inspection and warranty beats paying for damage by these critters, remember they don't have to be active for there to be unidentified damages
  4. Lead Paint - if the house was built prior to 1979 you need to check this, remediation can be pricey, a lawsuit will be worse
  5. Water Damage - if the sump pump ever failed or the house is in a flood zone you may see water damage on the lower levels; this could invite mold, weakened beams and walls, and other hidden problems
  6. Sinkholes - more prevalent in some parts of the country; broken sewer lines, old mine shafts, shifting soil and underground water are some sources of this dangerous problem
  7. Streams/Rivers - nearby flowing water can cause problems during unprecedented rain or other weather-related issues
  8. Location - main roads, highway ramps, auto body or gas stations nearby, industrial areas near by, and other undesirable or hazardous locations can really eat away at potential value
  9. Unidentified containers - make sure all unidentified containers are removed prior to closing; it could be oil, paint, or a hazardous chemical which may be difficult or expensive to haul away later
  10. Roof - sagging beams, rotted underlayment, and other problems which could cause widespread damage during wet or windy weather

Friday, May 08, 2009

Check out crime in your neighborhood will mash-up reported crime statistics and overlay them on Google Maps. currently it appears limited to CA, FL, and a few other states but as they bring on reporting agencies it should expand. I imagine it will always work better in a city since they keep better statistics and reports.

One of the great features that the website offers is a service that allows users to be alerted of crime in their area. If you live in one of the cities serviced by the website, you can choose to get emails when new crimes are reported in your vicinity.

This is a great way to learn about a new neighborhood before investing, or keep tabs on a neighborhood you own property in to see if it is going uphill or downhill.