Electrical Concerns in Tulsa

When shopping for a new home, we look for certain things: a certain number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the right size yard, carpet or hardwood floors. However, there are other things to look for in your new home which are not as visible, but just as important. One of those things is your electrical wiring.

In the 60’s and 70’s Zinsco® made electrical panels which were placed in many homes. This was a time when the electrical needs of homes was expanding and many manufacturers were working to meet the new demand. At some point, Zinsco® wanted to meet that need as well, so they decided to use a thinner breaker. They also switched to aluminum rather than copper. This allowed more breakers to be placed in their panels, and made them cheaper, but ultimately, they were unsafe. The aluminum and smaller breaker size worked together to create sparking and a fire hazard.

Inspectors see a Zinsco® panel as a red flag. This could potentially scare away potential buyers. Having it switched is a good idea. You can hire a professional to look over your electrical and see if you have a Zinsco® panel and if any changes need to be made.

As a homeowner you should be aware of your electrical panel. If you see sparking or have an electrical issue, you should turn off the electricity to the panel. Knowing where the panel is and how to turn off the electricity to certain rooms and the whole house can save lives and your home.

If your panel is in a closet, have it moved. Most experts advise keeping 3 feet in front of the panel clear and having one in a closet is a fire waiting to happen. If the panel begins to spark, it is close to very flammable items and out of sight, so a fire might not be detected until it is too late.

Once you know your panel is safe, and in a good location, have it checked to make sure all wiring is placed correctly and in a way it will not overload any of the breakers. This keeps your panel working properly and for a longer time. It also ensures you’re covered by your insurance if something happens with your electrical panel or wiring.

Electricity can be daunting. There are some great professionals in the area who can help you figure out what needs worked on. Be safe with all your electrical needs. Schedule a call, or an appointment, for your real estate questions today at askinforbaskin.com

Inspection Tips For Selling and Buying in Tulsa

Whether you are buying or selling a home, a general inspection is always a good idea. For the buyer, often property disclosures are missing, and having an inspector look over the home gives peace of mind. For the seller, it shows you where your home might need some changes before you list it, and you know what will come up in future inspections.

A general inspection gives you a sense of the overall condition of your home and looks at the structural issues in your home. A good inspector tells you any issues in your wiring, the structure, and many other areas. However, they usually do not go much farther than the basics. Other kinds of inspections can be worth it for peace of mind. For example, roof inspections are wise since after 5-10 years, your insurance may not cover the full cost of replacing it. You may also want to look into inspections particular to your neighborhood, such as radon and mold.

Your inspection is an investment in your home. Even if a home is new, it will need upgrades and repairs. Inspectors can give you a heads-up as to which items you should be concerned about first. Find a good realtor who represents you as you buy, or sell, your home. They help you know how to interpret the inspection and can recommend good contractors for those things you need aid with. Schedule a call, or an appointment, for your real estate questions today at askinforbaskin.com

Tulsa Program to Help Kids Succeed

It’s often said that children are our future leaders. Just like learning math, or English, leadership can be taught and honed. Junior Achievement of Oklahoma (JAOK) is a local program designed to teach kids the skills they need to succeed. It is estimated the JAOK educates 5600 students every year statewide and partners with 4000 business partners.

The JAOK works to teach kids about economic achievements in life. They offer a series of classes designed to help them grow into economic leaders. Each class is designed to help young people in three key areas: work readiness, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship. Kids learn critical thinking skills as well as how to succeed in the job market, either as an employee or a business owner. They also learn how to understand finances, which is beneficial in all areas of life.

Just like many programs, JAOK works through donations and volunteers. They’re always on the look-out for professionals willing to give of their time and expertise. The kids benefit from the advice and experiences of those sharing. The teachers benefit by building relationships with the kids, while doing something fun. If you feel drawn to volunteer, check into their website for more information. There are also ways to sign up a child for the program and more on what’s available. You can also email Erica Irvine at eirvine@jaok.org for more information.

This program is one of many reasons our community is so great. Schedule a call, or an appointment, for your real estate questions today at askinforbaskin.com.

Tax Changes Which Affect Tulsa Real Estate

Every year there are changes to tax laws. This year, there have been some changes which affect the real estate market. Here are a few and how they affect you.

The first change is about home purchasing. In the past, you could purchase a house for up to a million dollars and write it off on your taxes. The new maximum has been changed to $750,000. So, this may change the price of the home you are looking for.

The second big change involves home equity lines of credit. Normally you can apply for a line of equity to buy a car, pay off credit debt, or many other things. However, they are mostly used for home improvement. In the past, you could take the amount of interest you paid on that equity line and use it as a tax deduction. Now, only home equity lines which are used for home improvement are tax deductible.

The last change is to the maximum amount for a conventional loan. Previously, it was $417,000. This has been raised to $451,000. You can now purchase more home and have a better interest rate.

Also, if you have an investment property you are looking to sell, remember you have 90 to 120 days to purchase a new property. After that amount of time, you have to pay your capital gains tax from that sale. A wise investment move is to take your profit from that sale, place it into a 1031 exchange, and then find a new property over the 90 to 120-day period.

These are not bad changes. The best thing you can do is to meet with a CPA. Whether you have an investment property you are looking to sell or looking to get a credit line to fix up your home, the CPA can help you come up with a game plan that works best for you. They may even suggest refinancing to help get the best deductions. Schedule a call, or an appointment, for your real estate questions today at askinforbaskin.com

Tulsa Homeowner Tips: Testing and Replacing a Doorbell

To hear more advice from Murray Electric on choosing and replacing a doorbell, click here

Are you considering replacing your doorbell? Whether you’re looking to update an outdated doorbell or replace a broken one, Steve from Murray Electric has helpful tips to guide you.

There are two basic types of doorbells:

Wired Doorbell

A wired doorbell is hard-wired into your home’s electrical system. A switch is located inside the button beside the door. The switch is connected to a terminal which is attached to a transformer. These units have wires connecting to the chiming unit. Typically, the transformer is in a separate location, such as the attic or basement. The benefit of having an electric doorbell is its reliability, as it doesn’t depend on a battery.

Wireless Doorbell

A wireless doorbell connects the transmitter switch to the chime with radio waves. As a result, no wires are needed. Unlike the wired doorbell, this unit contains only a switch and transmitter unit inside the button. The receiver is placed inside the home. When the doorbell is pushed, the transmitter sends a signal to the receiver; however, the receiver must be within range of the transmitter. Also, these units are typically battery-operated, and require a bit more maintenance. Some will emit a beeping sound when the battery is low, and several can be plugged into an outlet.

Additional features to consider when choosing a new doorbell are the type of chime, material, color, style, lights, size, and if you want a smart doorbell. Doorbell buttons are available in a variety of styles to match your décor. Smart doorbells function by connecting to your home’s internet. Many have small cameras that allow access via your smartphone, and have recording capabilities.

When your wired doorbell stops working, the cause may be the chime, transformer, button, or the wiring. There’s a way to test it yourself to help identify the issue.

Test the button:

Remove the doorbell button from the wall to expose and loosen the wires. Touch the ends of the two wires together. If you hear a chime, then you know it is the button which is broken. If there’s no chime, then the problem may be with the chime, transformer, or wiring.

Test the chime:

You will need an o-meter to test the wires. Start by taking the wires at the doorbell button, twist them together, and then go to where your chime is. There should be a set of wires which, when you put the leads of your o-meter on, will show a closed or short. If you have a short condition, the wires are good.

If you decide you would rather not do it yourself, call Steve at Murray Electric. He’ll let you know if you need a service call, or if it’s something simple you can do yourself. Also, when you call Murray Electric, you will always reach a licensed electrician to assist you!

Contact Steve at Murray Electric in Tulsa, at 918-835-9605 or www.murrayelectric.com.

For more real estate questions, contact The Baskin Real Estate Specialists of eXp Realty at 918-732-9732 or darrylbaskin.com