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Mid-Tenn Homes

--Februay 6, 2019-February 19, 2019

3A

A

patch of dead grass on

an otherwise lush lawn

can be a frustrating eyesore

for homeowners. Whether

lawn care is your passion

or just something you do to

maintain the value of your

home, dead grass can be

exasperating.

But as unsightly as

dead grass can be, ad-

dressing it and restoring

the dead patches can be

somewhat simple. Before

you can restore grass, how-

ever, you must rst identify

the source of the problem.

Grass often dies because

of urine damage, which is

typically characterized by

a dead spot surrounded

by otherwise green grass.

Grub infestation might be

at fault when dead grass ap-

pears, and such an infesta-

tion often produces patches

of light brown grass that are

scattered throughout the

lawn. It's also possible that

dead grass is a result of hu-

man error. If your lawn was

overfertilized, then patches

of gray-green grass may ap-

pear. Fungal disease is an-

other common culprit be-

hind dead grass, and such

disease can manifest itself

in different ways. Once you

have identied why the

grass is dead, which may

require the help of a profes-

sional, then you can begin

to treat your lawn.

Urine damage

Urine damage is often

limited to a particular area

of the grass where your

family pet routinely re-

lieves itself. Once a particu-

lar patch of grass has worn

down, the pet may move on

to another spot. But if you

quickly notice a dead spot

due to urine damage, you

can train the animal to uri-

nate elsewhere, limiting the

damage it causes. When re-

pairing the grass, dig a hole

that's roughly four inches

deep and ll it with fresh

soil until it's level with

the soil surrounding the

dead patch. Then you can

sprinkle seed on top of the

freshly laid soil and water

the spot.Grass should grow

in and stay green so long as

you prevent further urine

damage.

Insect damage

Addressing dead spots

caused by insect damage

can be a little more com-

plicated, and some home-

owners may prefer to hire

a professional. If you want

to handle the problem on

your own, apply pesticide

to the affected areas so the

insects behind the prob-

lem are killed. Once the

insects are no more, cut the

grass, raking the affected

area to remove the dead

grass and any additional

debris. Scatter grass seed

over the affected areas and

then apply an appropriate

fertilizer and water imme-

diately. Professionals may

know just the right fertil-

izer for your lawn, so even

if you want to go it alone,

visit a local lawn care cen-

ter to ask for advice about

addressing your particular

problem.

Fertilizer damage

Fertilizer damage can

also prove difcult to ad-

dress, as applying fresh

seeds too soon can kill any

freshly growing seedlings.

So grass that has been

damaged by overfertiliza-

tion must rst be allowed

to fully die. Once that has

happened, the grass can

be cut and any remaining

debris or dead grass can be

removed. Seed can then be

scattered, and you can even

add some additional soil

before laying down an ap-

propriate amount of fertil-

izer and watering the lawn

immediately. If you don't

trust yourself to use fertil-

izer correctly, then hire a

professional to do the job

for you. This will cost a

little more, but you likely

won't wake up to more

dead patches of grass down

the road.

Dead grass can be un-

sightly and turn an other-

wise lush lawn into a patchy

eyesore. But addressing

dead grass can be easy and

can quickly restore a lawn

to its green grandeur.

How to repair dead grass

M

any questions arise

during the home-

buying process. Buyers

looking at homes that re-

quire a good deal of TLC

may wonder who is re-

sponsible for the home's

repairs, particularly if such

repairs are needed to se-

cure a certicate of occu-

pancy. Depending on the

situation, there is no clear-

cut answer.

There is no perfect

home, and things that are

acceptable to the current

owner may not be accept-

able to the buyer who is

looking to become the next

owner. The home-buying

process is typically a care-

ful cooperation between

buyer and seller to nd a

middle ground. The buyer

may have to make some

concessions, as will the

seller. Ultimately, it is this

cooperation that often de-

termines if the sale goes

through or is terminated.

Before any negotiations

can begin regarding repairs,

it is adviseable for a buyer

to have an independent in-

spector come out and look

over the home and proper-

ty. Mostÿrealÿestateÿagents

will suggest this be done as

a rst priority -- even before

a contract is entered on the

home. An inspection will

unveil any potential prob-

lems in a home and indicate

things that the buyer may

not be aware of, including

items that do not meet with

code or could be unsafe. An

inspector also may point out

problems that could cause

a mortgage lender to give

pause. This may mean the

lender will deem problems

unsafe and refuse to fund

the mortgage until repairs

are made.

A copy of this inspec-

tion report should be sent

to the home seller to re-

view with his or her attor-

ney andÿrealÿestateÿagent.

The buyer working with his

ownÿrealÿestateÿattorney

and agent can petition for

certain repairs to be made.

Many sellers will make such

repairs to ensure the pur-

chase goes through, or they

will accept a lower purchase

price to compensate for the

needed repairs, which the

buyer will then make. Buy-

ers might want to hire a

goodÿrealÿestateÿattorney

to write clauses into the

contract to protect their

interests. This allows the

buyer to forfeit the sale and

walk away from the contract

should an issue arise.

The rules often change

when buying a home that

is a short sale or in fore-

closure. A home that is in

distress is typically in this

situation because the cur-

rent owners cannot afford

to pay their mortgage, and

thusly, are not able to af-

ford repairs. According to

Think Glink, a money-man-

agement Web site, buyers

may try to negotiate repairs

with the seller, but they

shouldn't assume that sell-

ers (or lenders in the event

of a bank-owned home) are

responsible for the repairs.

Generally speaking, most

short sales and foreclosures

are sold "as is" and may

even specify that repairs

and requirements for the

certificate of occupancy

are the buyer's responsi-

bility. A buyer also can ask

to have the home price re-

duced to cover the repairs.

But foreclosures are often

already deeply discounted.

Buyers should know

that, for a home that is not

in foreclosure, there are

some repairs that should

ultimately be the responsi-

bility of the seller. If these

repairs are not made, a

buyer should think strong-

ly about walking away

from the deal, accord-

ing to Why6Percent.com,

aÿrealÿestateÿmarketing

site. Such repairs include:

* lender-required re-

pairs that could impact

home safety

* leaky pipes

* water penetration is-

sues, including a bad roof

* unsafe decking or

handrails

* wet basements or

crawl spaces

* insecure foundations

or obvious structural dam-

age

* poorly functioning

sewer lines or septic sys-

tem

It is always adviseable

for buyers to speak with

a reliable realÿestate at-

torney and a trusted real

estate agent to guide them

through the process of buy-

ing a home. These people

can help buyers navigate

the important decisions

that can affect the home

they'll be living in for the

next several years.

Who is responsible for repairs during a home sale?

A

private tennis court

may prove unappealing

to prospective home buy-

ers.

Upon buying a home,

new homeowners under-

standably want to start

making adjustments so the

home is a more accurate

reection of who they are.

Many of these adjustments

are minor, but even minor

changes here and there can

give a home a whole new

feel.

While there are many

ways a person can turn a

home into their own unique

oasis, some home improve-

ment projects may not be

worth the effort, especially

when homeowners decide

to sell. Some projects may

prove a little too personal,

making them less attractive

to prospective buyers down

the road. Though it's within

every homeowner's right to

make adjustments to their

homes (as long as those ad-

justments are in adherence

to local laws), the following

projects might come back

to haunt homeowners down

the road.

Sports Complex

Sports fans often dream

of erecting a backyard bas-

ketball court or adding a

tennis court to their prop-

erty. But such projects are

among the more expensive

additions a homeowner can

make to his or her property,

costing more than popular

projects like kitchen re-

models or room additions.

What's more, real estate

professionals note that

homeowners can expect to

recoup little, if any, of the

cost of adding a basket-

ball or tennis court to their

properties at resale, while

more popular projects tend

to recoup a substantial

amount of a homeowner's

initial investment.

Luxury Shower

Installing

a

luxury

shower, such as a multi-

headed steam shower, can

add a splash of resort-style

luxury to your home, but

it likely won't add much

to your sale price. Though

costs for such additions

can vary signicantly de-

pending on how grand you

choose to go, real estate

professionals warn that a

luxury shower is unlikely

to recoup much of its initial

cost at resale. If you simply

must give your bathroom

a more luxurious look but

still want to be a respon-

sible homeowner, look for a

low-cost addition. That can

take some of the sting out of

not recouping much of your

investment at resale.

Fully Furnished Home

Ofce

More and more men

and women are work-

ing from home, and some

homeowners might feel

that transforming a room

in their home into a fully

functional home ofce is a

great investment. But some

buyers might be turned off

by a room that can no lon-

ger function as an extra

bedroom. The cost of con-

verting a home ofce into a

more traditional bedroom

may compel prospective

buyers to keep looking or

make a lower offer on your

home. While a home ofce

might be a good idea, avoid

making an exclusive home

ofce room during your

renovation.

Home Theater

Few homeowners would

scoff at installing a home

theater in their homes, but

the impression of home

theaters as a luxury only the

super wealthy can afford

might turn prospective buy-

ers away from your home.

Potential buyers may be

impressed by a fully func-

tioning home theater com-

plete with surround sound,

lighting, a big screen, and

all the other xings synony-

mous with home theaters,

but when they go home to

discuss their options, they

may feel the home theater

is a luxury they can live

without and opt for a more

affordable home without a

theater instead.

A dream home means

different things to differ-

ent people, so homeowners

should keep in mind the

reactions of potential buy-

ers before adding too many

personal accents and addi-

tions to their homes if they

plan to sell down the line.

Home improvement projects you might want to skip