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Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
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Selling to a dealer
Many people find selling to a dealer the easiest option; however the convenience will cost you. You’ll get less money for your car in order to avoid all the hassles involved in actually finding it a new owner.
Beyond the fact that the process asks practically nothing of you, one of the main advantages in offloading on a dealer is selling when you want to (i.e. immediately) rather than having to operate at the mercy of the market.
Rotary lawnmowers work quite simply by rapidly spinning a blade to cut grass. They’re heavier, but provide more power. They’re generally a better choice for large lawns, as well as long, overgrown and unruly grass.
They’re the most common type and there’s a greater variety of rotary models to choose from. Most have wheels, but there are also hover lawnmowers available which float on air to make mowing lawns with slopes and uneven areas easier.
Cylinder lawnmowers use a barrel of rotating blades with a fixed blade at the base. The barrel turns as you move forward, trapping blades of grass and cutting them against the fixed blade.
They offer a finer, more precise cut, and are a good choice for neat, frequently mowed lawns, rather than long grass. Traditional models have no motor, which makes them much quieter and cheaper to run. But faster, motorised models are also available.
Electric lawnmowers are lighter than petrol mowers and cheaper to run. They’re not as powerful, making them suitable for small to medium lawns.
Many models plug into your mains, so you’ll probably need an extension cord to run the wire across your garden. Some have an inbuilt battery, so no need for cables, but make sure they can carry enough charge to last the whole job.
Petrol lawnmowers provide you with more power and endurance. They’re designed for tackling large lawns as well as grass that’s thick or overgrown.
They are heavier, so while they’ll cut more at once, they require more effort to manoeuvre. There are self-propelling models available that can reduce the effort required.
And if your lawn’s really huge, then you can always opt for a ride on model.
Petrol mowers are heavier so you may be more likely to push the mower rather than carry the mower to and from the lawn. Look for a mower with easy height adjustment so you can lift the deck clear of the ground while transporting. Also, look for large robust wheels that make pushing easier and can manage steps.
Side discharge mowers
Side discharge lawnmowers deposit grass clippings straight out of the sides and back on to your lawn.
This is fine if you’re making a short cut, but if your grass is longer, it will leave grass deposits across your lawn, which may need clearing away.
Most lawnmowers come with a grass clippings bag, which catches clippings while you mow.
You can easily empty and dispose of the waste, or turn it into compost. But the size of the bag is important, so you can avoid having to empty it frequently.
A lawn rake uses spring tines to scratch into the surface of the lawn, lift grass prior to cutting, as well as remove thatch and moss. Regular lawn raking improves surface drainage, allowing water to reach the grass roots. It aerates the soil allowing more sunlight and air around the grass blades. Lawn rakes can also be used to collect leaves and light debris from the lawn.
Practical things to consider
After you’ve thought about how you’re going to enjoy your garden, it’s time to start thinking about some of the practical matters you’ll need to consider before making your choice.
Make sure you get a full idea of how much room you have. Measure your available space and ensure there’s not just enough room for furniture, but also for people to move around it.
Where is your furniture going to go once the weather turns cold? It’s important to consider where and how you’re going to store your furniture. If you’re going to store it in a shed or garage, check if it can be folded or stacked.
Choose carefully if you’re planning to keep it outside, as not all furniture is suitable for this. Although buying a furniture cover will certainly be beneficial.
Rattan designs have always been incredibly popular. Modern rattan-effect furniture is made from woven strands of coated plastic, which provide the same traditional look but without the risk of damage, damp or snagging your clothes.
It’s weather resistant, lightweight and easy to clean. It requires little maintenance, and is suitable for keeping outdoors in winter.
Hammocks & swing seats
If a lounger doesn’t offer enough relaxation for you, then choose a hammock to really laze away those summer days.
To add a sweet, sentimental touch, choose a swing seat. It’s another great choice for relaxing with a loved one, and the kids will love it too.
Parasols offer shade on hot days and add a beautiful feature to your garden furniture. They also keep the sun off food and drinks, helping them to stay cool.
Many garden tables provide space for a parasol, but there are also free-standing models available.
Choose from a variety of parasol base materials such as concrete, wood or granite to secure and hold your parasol safely in all weather conditions.
A furniture cover is a great idea even if you’re planning to store furniture indoors during the winter. They help to keep it protected from the weather and keep it clean. And during the summer a cover can help reduce the risk of sun damage.
A selection of beautiful cushions are available to fit garden furniture of all styles and sizes for that extra touch of comfort.
To add a larger shaded area, a retractable awning is a good option. It attaches to the side of your home and is easy to pull out any time the weather’s bright. For a less permanent choice, choose an easy-to-assemble temporary gazebo to create shelter for your next party.
Kookaburra offers a wide variety of different shade sails in colors, styles, and sizes to fit any yard. These products come in sizes small enough for simple patio shading or large enough to stretch across your whole yard with ease. Sails from Kookaburra are made of polymer weave fabric that’s resistant to weathering as well as rotting and molding. Customer service is easy to get in touch with and willing to help answer questions and take care of problems as needed.
Most of Kookaburra’s sails are waterproof, but some are designed to be airier and may not repel water as well. These are usually smaller sails that are meant to be hung up for a season at a time, and not left outdoors for too long. No matter what you order from this store, however, you can expect a quality assurance and plenty of help if you should run into any unwanted situations with your product.
If you’re looking for something more waterproof, Cool Area can set you up with a shade sail that works for your needs. Waterproof sails are available in polyester and can even be put in the washing machine to make cleanup easier than ever before. Although they aren’t as breathable as the other shades from Cool Area, they can provide a lot of shade too.
Choose Windscreen4less if you’re looking for very affordable shade sails that come in a few standard colors and a variety of different sizes. These shade sails are made from polyethylene, which makes them look and feel a little bit more like plastic than some of the other shade sails on the market today. Although these sails do come with eyelets and cords, you’ll need to pick up some extra hardware pieces to make them work. These sails may be a little harder to hang than options from other sellers on this list.
If you’re looking for some of the highest rated and best reviewed shade sails on the market today, check out what Coolaroo has to offer. The Coolaroo company has been supplying shade sails ever since these great backyard items started to become popular, and they definitely know what they’re doing. Their sails are made from durable RipLock fabric that is designed to resist straining, tearing, and weathering, and most sails come with hardware for hanging included. They are available in triangles, right angles, rectangles, and squares, and come in several different colors to help match the style you’re looking for. Best of all, Coolaroo’s customer service is top notch!
If you need any additional pieces to make your Coolaroo products work well, you can pick them up from the online store or get in touch with customer service about replacements. Many Coolaroo sails come with warranties, and they can be easily replaced if something should go wrong. These sails look beautiful when combined with each other to shade your whole backyard.
For unique sizes of shade sails that come in different types of fabric, check out BlueDot Trading. This vendor’s sails may not come in quite as many colors as some of the others on this list, but they are available in either mesh or waterproof options to help you make the most out of your backyard space. Choose a mesh shade if you’re looking for breezy comfort and don’t mind taking it down frequently for rain. Go with a waterproof fabric sail if you plan to leave it up longer. Although shade sails from BlueDot don’t come with hardware included, you can purchase the items you need as an add-on to your sail and get everything all at once from the same company.
Take note that the mesh shade sails may not be as durable as you might be looking for. They aren’t meant for extended use, and will need to be taken care of more frequently than their more durable counterparts. They also aren’t available in larger sizes, since they’re intended to be removed more often. Pay attention to the products you’re considering so you don’t get the wrong type of fabric.
What is an Antique
When we talk about the value of an antique, we can mean several things. I greatly value the things passed down to me from loved ones and would never part with most of them as the sentimental value is too great.
Maybe I never met my great grandmother, but I look at her beautiful Flow Blue china and can touch something that she touched. The family came to the United States during the Irish Potato Famine in the mid 19th century. My great great grandfather was a laborer. So, I know that this lovely dishware meant a lot to the family. It meant that they had arrived into the middle class, that the family was established enough to spend money on a few fine things.
I remember seeing the Flow Blue at Auntie’s house, how it was rarely used, but treasured, set in a bow front cabinet to be looked upon – not touched. This is the most valuable antique of all. It’s priceless!
Value and Conditon of Antiques and Collectibles
I have a beautiful porcelain figurine of a young girl holding up the skirt of a pleated dress. Fifteen years ago, I found some information about the figure that was made in the late 1800’s or early 1900s by the Gebruder Heubach Company of Thuringia, Germany (Gebruder being German for brothers). The figure can be identified by the look of it,and the mark on the bottom, as with most valuable china and porcelain pieces. The mark is a divided circle with a sunburst on top and two over-lapped letters below.
Unfortunately, someone very close to me (who shall remain nameless, but you know who you are) knocked the figurine’s head off some 40 years ago. The head was neatly glued back on but the damage was done. No way I would ever get anywhere near the suggested price because it is damaged.
Which brings me to
The Condition of Antiques and Collectibles – Take Care of Your Old Things
Take proper care of your antiques and collectibles. Keep them out of harm’s way.
Do not attempt to refinish a piece of old or antique furniture. Part of the value of an old piece is determined by it’s patina, the changes that occur in the aging process. If you remove old paint or finish, you may destroy both the charm and value of the piece.
Do Not Assume
Just because something looks old, or someone else thinks that it is old does not mean that the item is actually old.
This lovely lamp may appear to be old or antique to some people, but was purchases at TJ Maxx in the 1980s. Not old.
Often older pieces, or antiques are copied and sold just because they are so darn pretty. These reproductions can be fun to buy and use but they do not have the value of a genuine antique. Reproductions of old dishes are better to use than the real thing. Today’s regulations prevent the addition of toxic elements in the production of dishware. That was not true in the past.
Identify Your Antique
Before you learn the value of a piece, you must first identify the item. If you want to identify an old item yourself be prepared to do some research. If you love antiques, this process can be a lot of fun as there is a lot to learn. Your local library will have a section of antique and collectible guides for everything from old furniture to hardware. These can be a valuable resource. Of course these kinds of books are available to purchase at a bookstore or online.
Online sites like Kovels and Replacements are an excellent resource for the identification of dishware.
Look for maker’s marks on the item. Dishware, for example, should have an image on the bottom called a back stamp. You can then look up that stamp. There are many types of, say, dishware that appear similar. My Blue Fjord plates may look a lot like the highly collectible Royal Copenhagen but a quick check of the back stamp (shown below) tells me the truth.
Many products have marks that change slightly over the years which can help you learn when the item was produced. Some furniture will show identifying marks as well. An authentic Stickley Morris type chair should have a decal on the bottom.
Selling Your Antique or Collectible Item
When selling your antiques through a dealer, it behooves you to establish a relationship with a trustworthy and reputable person. Talk to people you know who can recommend an antiques or collectibles dealer that they have done business with in the past.
Create a buzz for the antique that you wish to sell by hawking on other sites including social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Draw interest in your product by advertising, or writing articles about antiques, featuring the types of antiques or collectibles that you wish to sell.
Selling Your Antique or Collectible on Craigslist I know plenty of people who have arranged successful deal s on Craiglist both buying and selling. But there are horror stories too. If you must,arrange to meet the buyer in a public place for your own safety. Only accept cash. Of course, you can’t sell a Victorian armoire and meet the buyer in the parking lot at Denny’s. Well, maybe you can, but it may be a bit cumbersome and kind of ridiculous.
Selling Your Antique or Collectible at a Consignment Shop Most consignment shops will arrange to pick up and item at your home. They generally charge 1/of the selling price. Pay attention to the contract and their sales practices. Some consignment shops lower the price drastically if the item does not sell in a specified amount of time. You want to be sure that you are comfortable with the lowered price.
Selling Antiques at Auction can be a good resource if you have a large collection of smaller items or one real good item. Auction can be good for you if you want to move a piece quickly, but you might not always be happy with the price.
In the case of a very valuable antique, significant art, or a historically significant antique, you may want to establish provenance. If you want to sell the piece as an important artifact, you will have to do so. Provenance means that a paper trial has followed the item throughout the years. Receipts, letters, and other documents that have been handed down along with that item will serve that purpose.
Face it, anyone can say that George Washington ate off a particular plate. Someone’s say-so is not proof. Some sites claim that a photograph can show provenance. A photograph may help but to say that just because you own the same chair shown in one of Mathew Brady’s Abraham Lincoln portraits does not mean that your chair is the exact one shown in the picture.
Quilted Hammocks >
Quilted hammocks are perhaps the most comfortable hammocks available. They are considered quilted because of the polyfill that is stitched between two layers of fabric. Quilted hammocks feature spreader bars, making them easy to get in and out of, and are usually reversible so you could potentially get two styles of hammocks in one.
Rope Hammocks >
Rope hammocks are considered an American classic. With their spreader bars at each end and durable, charming design they add charm and comfort to any space. These hammocks are woven with durable polyester or cotton rope, these are made to last and provide comfort to many.
Polyester is more weather resistant than cotton and thus will withstand Mother Nature’s elements better than cotton would. With today’s technology hammock manufacturers are finding ways to make polyester much softer than they used to be. Also, the colors of polyester fabric hammocks are not likely to fade as much as cotton fabric hammocks. However, please note that while these hammocks are more weather resistant, we still recommend taking these hammocks indoors as well to help ensure the longevity of your hammock’s life.
Hammock Bed Sizes
Single hammocks are suitable for one average sized adult and the bed size width ranges from 3to 50 inches. The length of single hammock beds typically range from 7inches to 7inches.
Double hammocks are large enough to comfortably hold two average sized adults. The width of the bed ranges from 5inches to 60 inches. The length of double hammock beds are usually 7to 7inches long.
We offer a large variety of stands to suit your hammock needs. Our universal stands work best with Brazilian hammocks while our 12-foot stands and 15-foot stands work for American style hammocks and 15-foot stands work best with the Mayan style choices. If you are unsure of what size stand to use check the specs tab of the hammock on our website, the size stand the hammock is most compatible with should be posted there.
While we do not sell posts on our site, hammock posts can be designed with two x 4s and by securing the post bases with cement. Be sure to use the length of your hammock plus 1to 2inches to allow for stretching and comfort when you measure for the distance between the two posts.
Hammock hanging springs are a reliable and durable method to hang your hammock whether it is installed on a wall, post or tree trunk. The springs will flex with the movement of the hammock and is a great way to hang a hammock indoors or out.
Tree Straps or Ropes >
If you choose to hang your hammock between trees then tree straps or ropes are your best option. Tree straps and ropes are designed to wrap around nearly any tree. They are also great options if the hammock will only be in that location temporarily. Like for posts, the distance between the two trees should be 1to 2inches more than the hammock’s length.
With so many brands of hammocks out there it’s hard to know where to turn. Luckily those of us at Serenity Health & Home Decor has done the research for you and only offers hammocks from our own brand, Sunnydaze Decor.
Go visit your local lumberyard
There are lots of other things to learn about, such as air dried wood vs. kiln dried, highly figured wood and salvaged wood. But the bits of knowledge in this lumber buying guide will put you well on your way. Now go to your local lumberyard and check it out. Be a kid in a candy store.
Softwood lumber is cheaper because conifer trees grow faster than hardwoods. Consequently, softwood lumber is primarily used in construction, like in framing a house or building a deck. If you’re going to do a home DIY project, you’re likely going to use softwood lumber. You can find it aplenty at your local big box home improvement store.
Hardwood trees take a much longer time to grow to maturity, so the lumber they’re turned into is much more expensive than the softwood variety. Consequently, hardwood lumber is typically used in fine woodworking, furniture construction, cabinetry, and flooring. If you want to get into woodworking, you’ll primarily be using hardwoods. Big box hardware stores don’t stock much of it though, so you’ll often have to visit a specialty woodworking store or a lumberyard to purchase it.
With the basic distinction between softwood and hardwood lumber out of the way, let’s get into the nitty gritty of each type.
Softwood Lumber Classifications and Grades
Because every tree is different, individual pieces of lumber will show a wide range of quality in strength. To ensure that the right kind of lumber is used for the right job, the U.S. Department of Commerce established the American Softwood Lumber Standard.
Lumber intended for ordinary construction and building purposes. Yard lumber is usually graded visually, meaning that an inspector looks at the lumber’s appearance to give it a grade. Yard lumber is broken down into two further categories: common and select.
Common Yard Lumber. Common lumber is suitable for construction and utility purposes, and is graded using a number classification:
No. Common. Highest quality of common lumber. No. Common lumber will have a few small, tight knots.
No. Common. Has larger knots than found in No. Common. No. is often used for paneling and shelving and is suitable for general woodworking projects.
No. Common. Has more and bigger knots than No. The wood is typically damaged and blemished. Well-suited for fences, boxes, and crates.
Select Yard Lumber.
Select yard lumber looks much nicer than common lumber because it has no or very few knots. Because of the fine appearance of select yard lumber, it is intended for natural and painted finishes.
Select yard lumber is graded using a letter classification:
C Select. Almost completely clear of any defects and is widely used in interior trims and cabinets.
D Select. Has a fine appearance, but contains a few dime-sized knots.
Shop and Factory Lumber
This is lumber that’s selected for “remanufacturing purposes and intended for non-structural applications.” Doors, ladders, pencils, molding, and boxes are typically made from shop and factory lumber. The grading will vary depending on how it’s going to be used. So shop lumber that’s used for doors will have a different grading system than shop lumber used to make pencils. While each use has a different grading nomenclature, the grading is typically based on how much high-quality wood you can get from that piece of lumber for an intended use.
There aren’t any standard widths for hardwood lumber like there are with structural softwood lumber, but there are standard thicknesses. Hardwood is cut into quarter-inch increments. Below is a chart of the standard thickness of hardwood lumber:
Hardwood Lumber Classification and Grading
Hardwood lumber classification and grading is much simpler than softwood lumber. For hardwoods, appearance is the primary factor in grading. The National Hardwood Lumber Association governs the standard grading system of hardwoods in the United States.
There are four possible hardwood lumber grades. Grade is determined by the amount of clear surface area a particular board has on its poorest looking side (with hardwoods one side will look better than the other). A higher grade board is long and wide with a large percentage of its area defect-free. The clear lumber can be removed from the board with a few large cuts.
Example of a piece of FAS hardwood lumber
FAS (First and Second). This is the highest quality grade. An FAS board must be at least inches wide, to 1feet long, and is 83.3% clear on its poorest looking side.
Different hardwoods have different criteria you look for when giving the above grades. You’ll want to check the National Hardwood Association’s website for details.
Common Lumber Defects
Both softwood and hardwood lumber will have defects because of the way the tree it came from grew or from how it was machined during the milling process. While lumber defects can be worked with and incorporated into fine woodworking projects, defects in structural lumber should be kept to a minimum. Be on the lookout for the following common defects:
There are a few plywood grading systems out there, but most of them follow an A-D classification with A being the best. Plywood is also classified as Exterior, Exposure 1, Exposure 2, and Interior. The type of plywood you choose will depend on economics, how much exposure to the elements the wood will get, and whether looks are important to you.
Exterior. Fully waterproof bond (glue) between the layers and designed for applications subject to permanent exposure to weather and moisture.
Exposure Fully waterproof bond but not for permanent exposure to weather or moisture.
Exposure Interior type with intermediate bond. Intended for protected construction applications where slight moisture exposure can be expected.
Interior. Interior applications only.
If you don’t have a lot of money and you don’t care if your plywood is baby smooth on the surface, go for a lower grade. It’s just as strong as the nicer looking grades.
A. Smooth, paintable surface. Repairs to the veneer like replacing knots with patches can be made, but no more than 1Used for projects like cabinets.
D. Larger knots and knotholes permitted.
You’ll often see plywood with two grades as in “A-C.” This means that the face side is an A grade and the back side is a C grade.
In addition to the above two classifications, plywood is also rated as Sheathing, Stud I-Floor, and siding. This just specifies what a particular end use a piece of plywood was designed for. Most of the plywood you buy from the hardware store for projects around the house like a workbench will be classified as sheathing.
As with softwood lumber, plywood will have a stamp with all this information somewhere on the board. It looks like this:
Well, there you go. Pretty much everything you’ll ever want to know about lumber. Bookmark it so you can come back to it next time you need to go to the lumberyard to buy some wood. I hope you found this useful!
Modes of Action
Different herbicides have different modes of action that can be more effective on particular types of weeds and should be considered when figuring out the best weed killer for lawn problems. Purdue University has a much more in-depth guide to the best weed killer for lawns, but here are some basic modes of action and common herbicides associated with them:
Auxin Growth Regulators: Auxin is a plant hormone that controls growth. After treating a plant with a herbicide from this category, the plant will begin to deform and have significantly different growth patterns than it did prior to treatment. Eventually, the growth will kill the plant by restricting nutrient flow, restricting photosynthesis surfaces available to capture sunlight and similar modes, making it effective against biennial and perennial weed problems. Common herbicides used in this category include Phenoxyaliphatic Acid in 2,4-D, Benzoic Acid in dicamba and Picolinic Acid in picloram, clopyralid, triclopyr and fluroxypyr.
Aromatic Amino Acid Inhibitors: Amino acids are used in maintaining the plant’s photosynthesis production, so using this class of herbicide on the foliage will quickly causes leaf damage, including yellowing and death, starving the weed. Glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Roundup, and sulfosate are the two herbicides in this broad-spectrum herbicide. Because of its range, this is one of the best weed killer for lawn issues that most homeowners face, as they deal well with a wide range of plant types.
Branched Chain Amino Acid Inhibitors: Much like the previous category, this herbicide class stops growth at shoots and roots. It causes yellowing and discoloration of the plant treated, but take a few weeks for the effects to become apparent. They include Imidazolinones such as imazquin and Sulfonylureas such as chlorsulfuron.
Photosynthetic Inhibitors: These herbicides include a number of chemicals that destroy a plants’ photosynthesis capabilities, essentially starving it. Some of them are restricted to trained applicators. This class includes Triazines such as atrazine, Uracils such as terbacil, Phenylureas such as linuron, and a few other individual compounds that fall into the class because of their mode of action.
Cell Membrane Destroyers: With a very fast mode of action, these herbicides, when combined with sunlight, cause the cell membrane to be destroyed, killing the plant. Bipyridyliums such as paraquat specifically target stem material and Bentazon is a single chemical in its own family within this class that is effective against annual broadleaves, yellow nutsedge and shoot removal for perennial weeds. oot Cell Division Inhibitors: As a preemergent herbicide, this class prevents weeds through application before your intended grass starts growing for the season: late spring for warm weather grasses and early spring and late summer for cool season grasses. They include Dinitroanilines such as prodiamine which is known commercially as Barricade and inhibits root growth.
Though there are some options for an organic weed killer for lawns, staying on top of getting weeds out of your yard before they seed is the best route to prevent major outbreaks. For biennial plants such as thistles, Queen Anne’s lace and other plants with a deep taproot, watering the area before pulling weeds will make them much easier to remove. Pouring boiling water on the plant, burning it back with a propane torch or keeping it trimmed back to the stem will cause enough damage and starve it badly enough to kill it, though it may take several treatments.
There are two specific organic weed killers that can work well, but you need to use them with caution. Salt can be used to kill weeds, but it may affect plants you want to keep, so it’s best kept to keeping walkways, driveways or patios weed-free. Examples of what happens when there’s too much salt in the soil are the fall of the Babylonian and Aztec empires, who used salt-heavy fertilizer water and eventually ruined their soils, causing starvation.
The acetic acid in vinegar is another great organic weed killer. Pour straight vinegar into a spray bottle and wet the leaves of the weed you’re trying to get rid of. Adding a few drops of Dawn dish soap or other hardy grease-cutting dishsoap will help the vinegar get into closer contact with the leaves by breaking down the waxy leaf surface. Some tough weeds, such as thistles, will require repeated sprayings every couple weeks as they send new leaves out. Because it dissipates within a couple days, and even faster in the presence of water, don’t spray before a storm or your efforts will wash away.
So what is the best grass and weed killer? As you can see, the question is not so simply answered, as the best weed killer for lawns will change based on your circumstances. Take into consideration the type of weeds you are having problems with, your environment and the time you can commit to keeping weeds under control. This makes determining the best lawn weed killer for your situation much easier to figure out.
Tax Implications of Selling an Inherited Home
One of the first things you’ll need to evaluate when considering selling an inherited home is how the sale will impact you financially. In other words, you may be subject to taxes on any proceeds from the sale or from the inheritance of the property itself. While laws may differ from state to state, the following resources will help you understand the tax implications of selling an inherited property.
You do get to take advantage of the stepped-up tax basis. Inherited properties aren’t eligible for the home sale tax exclusion, but you do get to take advantage of a stepped-up tax basis. Ordinarily, proceeds are calculated using the purchase price plus any improvements made to the property during ownership. In the case of an inherited property, the tax basis is the fair market value of the property at the time of the previous owner’s death. This prevents adult children from owing substantial taxes on properties that have appreciated dramatically over the past several decades.
Know where and how to report sale proceeds. The IRS requires those who sell an inherited property to report proceeds as taxable income. The specific amount that will be taxable is based upon the fair market value and other improvements used to calculate the basis. This publication from the IRS describes where to find instructions and which forms to use.
Even if you don’t have to pay taxes on the sale, it is still a reportable event. According to this article, it’s a good idea to report the sale of an inherited home even if no taxes will be owed.
There’s a difference between inheritance tax and estate tax, and even some differences among individual states. Tax law is by no means simple, so it’s best to seek the advice of an accountant or attorney to figure out the many nuances related to the financial obligations that come with inheriting real estate.
What to Do to Prepare for the Sale
After understanding the financial implications and determining that selling the property is the right course of action, you’ll need to prepare the home for sale. That means clearing out personal belongings, de-cluttering when necessary, and de-personalizing the rooms. The following tips and resources provide helpful information for preparing an inherited home for a sale.
Clean out personal belongings. This is one of the most emotionally challenging aspects of inheriting a home. Going through your parents’ or loved ones’ most personal belongings often brings back memories of the past. This article offers tips for clearing out your late parents’ home, including helpful tips such as hiring an appraiser to value belongings such as jewelry and antiques.
Hold a yard sale or estate sale. After divvying up cherished possessions to heirs, you may opt to hold a yard sale or estate sale for the rest of the belongings. As this article explains, homes show better on the market when clean and empty or staged. And, as this article points out, some generations are much less likely to have a desire to keep certain memorabilia or sentimental objects around.
Wait for the estate to go through probate. The estate must go through probate before you may sell the property. Most states have a summary probate process, but this is available only to small estates ranging in value from a few thousand to a few hundred thousand dollars. Most estates that include real estate and other assets will exceed this threshold.
Determine who holds the legal responsibility to handle the transaction. If the property owner left a Will, the executor is the person who has the responsibility and ability to distribute the assets of the estate, including real estate. If the property is in a Trust, the trustee holds this same power. In situations where siblings have inherited property together from their parents, one person often has the ultimate authority and responsibility to handle the real estate transaction.
Choose the right real estate agent. While it’s often tempting to choose a real estate agent based on who you know, enlisting the services of friends or family members to coordinate the sale of an inherited home is probably not the best idea. This article offers helpful suggestions for choosing the right real estate agent for your needs.
What to Expect During the Sale Process
The process of selling a home can take weeks to months, depending on the condition of the property, market value and market conditions, and other factors such as the season and even the skills of your real estate agent. From the offer to closing, these resources outline what to expect while you’re selling an inherited home.
Selling a home is a multi-step process beginning with market research and ending with a closing. This article from NOLO outlines the process of selling a home step-by-step. NOLO also offers a list of useful resources that are helpful for researching the market and comparing listing prices in your local area.
The property inspection is one of the most important steps in a real estate transaction. A certified home inspector will inspect and investigate every inch of the property to look for problems such as rotting structures, broken pipes, cracked foundation walls, and other problems that could spell financial trouble for the buyers in the near future.
When multiple family members are involved, legal nuances and personality conflicts may arise. This resource provides answers to a variety of questions related to handling the sale of an inherited property, transferring ownership of properties between relatives, tax implications, and many other questions people who have inherited property may encounter.
Your real estate agent may hold a broker’s open house or a general open house. After listing a property, some real estate agents like to hold open houses to generate initial interest in the home. This article describes several things that typically happen after listing a property for sale, including open houses and the typical six-week “wall” sellers hit if there hasn’t been interest in the home after six weeks on the market.
Just because you’ve listed a home on the market doesn’t mean your expenses and obligations have ceased. If the property has a mortgage, those payments must still be made on time. Utility bills, such as water and sewer, electric, trash removal, cable, and any other connected utilities must also be paid. You may also encounter additional expenses and even demands on your time for lawn maintenance and other household maintenance tasks.
Hidden Gotchas When Selling an Inherited Home
Any real estate transaction can have its share of ups and downs, and the process of getting from offer to close is often rife with obstacles, as well. Selling an inherited home is certainly no exception; in fact, you may be more likely to encounter some surprises simply because the circumstances are different or you’re not as familiar with the property as you think you might be. The following tips and resources offer advice for coping with these hidden gotchas without having a total breakdown.
Make An Offer… No Way!
Another thing I’ve learned firsthand: People don’t like to “make an offer”. They want to know what your starting bid is first, so they can offer something lower.
At my last yard sale, I had a bunch of collectibles (Michael Jordan stuff, Nolan Ryan stuff, old-timey memorabilia from Kool-Aid, Campbell’s Soup, etc.) and, despite the “Make an offer” signs prominently hung in front of these items, people repeatedly asked me, “How much do you want for this?”
My reply of, “Make me an offer” was never accepted. They would all balk and cringe and mumble something to the effect of: “I don’t want to make an offer… I want to know how much you want for it.”
Only one woman forced me on the issue. She talked me into starting the bidding process. And I guess she liked the priced, cuz she jumped on it, without any hesitation.
That was my fear… Since I’m not into collectibles, I wanted someone who was to start the bidding process. Because if I started, not knowing the item’s true value, I’d likely start it too low and get “taken.”
But that’s just not how yardsaling goes… They expect you to know what you’re selling.
So I’ve learned my lesson. Collectibles should not be sold at garage sales — unless you know exactly what you’ve got and precisely what it’s worth.
And, quite honestly, your chances of having “a Michael Jordan collector” or “a Nolan Ryan collector” or even a true stamp or coin collector who’s willing to pay some serious money for a worthy collection swing by your yard sale are pretty slim anyway! Yard sale people are looking for bargains, not pricey collectibles.
Why even bother with the amateurs who are more curious than anything, and their chances of actually buying one of your collectibles is quite slim?
I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money — so I write about “outside the box” ideas that most wouldn’t think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed over years before switching gears to pursue activities that I’m truly passionate about. I’ve worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo — to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (3fun & helpful websites).
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Yard Figures wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Yard Figures
- №1 — 6 Foot Tall Halloween Inflatable Stacked Figures Totem Pole Ghost, Bat, Pumpkin and Cat Garden Yard Decoration
- №2 — Sleeping Garden Animal Statue Outdoor Yard Figurine (Cat)
- №3 — `American Pride` Bald Eagle Statue Nature Figure by Private Label