Dear Jill, I watch HGTV a lot and I’ve noticed that shows filmed in Canada often have the home owners discovering that they have “knob and tube” electrical wiring and they have to have it removed. I’m a little concerned because my house here in Oakwood has knob and tube wiring. Do I need to have it removed? Thanks, Tom
Dear Tom, My home also has knob and tube wiring, as do many other homes in Oakwood built before the 1940’s. The good news is that it is legal here and does not need to be removed. However, if you have any question about the safety of your older wiring, it may be good idea to get the opinion of a licensed electrician to ease your mind.
Dear Jill, I am going to be putting my house up for sale soon. I usually love decorating my house for Christmas and was wondering whether it’s o.k. to still put out my decorations even though I will be showing my house? Thanks, Anita
Dear Anita, Yes, it is all right to decorate your house for the holiday season, but you should be careful not to get too carried away since even the most exquisite decorations can make a room look cluttered if there are too many of them. You may also want to be careful not to buy the largest Christmas tree on the lot, especially if it’s going to take up half of your living room. Remember, you always want your rooms to look as spacious as possible; therefore, it is probably best to decorate sparingly this year.
Dear Jill, I recently found a house that I really love but, unfortunately, the house has popcorn ceilings (which I hate). Is there anything that can be done about them and, if so, would it be really expensive?—Marie
Dear Marie, You are certainly not alone in your dislike for popcorn ceilings—the once popular ceilings now scream “1980’s.” The good news is that they can be fixed. There are products that can be sprayed onto the ceiling that will soften the popcorn enough so that it can be scraped off. This is something that you’ll want to do before you move in since it can get messy. Additionally, I have rehabbed a few houses with popcorn ceilings and have found that sometimes the popcorn was applied to the ceiling in order to cover up cracked or uneven plaster. If this is the case, the best solution would be to leave the popcorn in place and just cover it with quarter inch drywall sheets (it has to be quarter inch; otherwise, the drywall will be too heavy for the ceiling to support.)
Dear Jill, I’m thinking of getting into the house flipping business and recently attended a how-to seminar on flipping held by a TV personality. I’m thinking of signing up for the next level which includes specialized instruction but it seems pretty pricey to me. Are there any secret tricks to house flipping that they can teach me, or should I save my money? Joan
Dear Joan, I can’t speak for this particular seminar but I do know that you should proceed with extreme caution before handing over your hard earned money. Please search online and read what others who signed up for the “next level” now have to say about their experience. Unfortunately, more likely than not, you’ll find they wish they had taken the money they spent on the seminar and used it to buy a great property.
Dear Jill, We’re going to be moving in a couple of weeks; do you have any good tips that will make the move easier? Thanks, Rachel
Dear Rachel, Great question. When I moved last spring, I gave every member of my family a suitcase and told them to pack everything they would need for the next week in the suitcase; for example, toothbrushes, soap, schoolbooks/homework, pajamas and clothing for a week. That way, you’ll have a full week to move in and arrange everything without having to worry about rummaging through boxes to find the everyday necessities.