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Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team


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Final Walk Through Checklist

by Diane Cardano & Team

The final walk through is the last chance to see the condition of a house before taking possession. This inspection of the home is conducted by you and/or your real estate agent that takes place shortly before the closing to verify that nothing has been altered since you agreed to buy the property. The walk through will take place after the initial inspection from your home inspector.

Below are some things you should look for in a pre-closing inspection, it is also a good idea to bring along a checklist so that there is nothing overlooked.  

• Make sure the condition of the property has not substantially changed since you agreed to buy it
• Ensure that all required repairs have been satisfactorily completed or are in the process of being done
• Have the items that the seller agreed to leave been removed?
• All items that the seller agreed to remove are gone?
•  Did the seller leave "junk"  or debris behind in the basement, attic, yard or garage?
• Are the instruction books and warranties for any appliances or fixtures available?

In addition to looking at condition, repairs, and items remaining or removed, pay particular attention to key areas such as:

Major systems and appliances – Confirm that these components are in good working order
Attic and basements/crawl spaces – Look for discarded items and potential problem areas
Walls and floors – Check for any damage that may have occurred when the sellers moved or that may not have been obvious when you originally looked at the home
Exterior – Check the condition of windows, doors, sprinklers, gutters, and landscaping

These are just a few of the things to look for.  Even though you have done your home inspection...things can become damaged from the time of inspection to the time of closing.  The main purpose of the final walk-through is to protect yourself  and to ensure that the seller has lived up to his or her agreements in the sales contract. If you find during your final home inspection that the seller has not lived up to their part of the agreement, then a solution needs to be agreed upon before any money changes hands.

Get Ready For Spring!

by Diane Cardano & Team

Spring is just around the corner, the first official day of spring is March 21st  and now is the time to get outside and start spring-cleaning your yard and landscape. It won’t be long and the dreary days of winter will be replaced by the vibrant colors and smells of spring. Here are a few tips to get you started on your outdoor “to do” list.

Lawn Care

Start by raking any leaves and removing all the thatch (dried dead grass and weeds) with a rake. If the thatch is left in the yard it can prevent water and nutrients from reaching the roots of your lawn. If you will be planting grass seeds, this will help them to root in the soil better.

It is important to prepare your mower before mowing the yard for the first time of the season. Change the oil, spark plug, put fresh gasoline in the tank and make sure the blade is sharpened. 

If you are concerned about using chemicals on your yard, lawns can be fertilized organically by using compost and mulching mowers.  It is also easy to  go green when looking for solutions for lawn and soil problems. There are many organic non chemical based products available from fertilizers to weed control.

Check Your Irrigation System

Before you start watering this spring, take the time to check your irrigation system to make sure it is working properly. Inspect all the components to ensure  they are working properly and that your system is ready to work for the season.


Depending on your area you may be able to plant some types of perennials, start now to get your plan together. Research gardening books, magazines as well as online for ideas and information on certain plants and the amount of care required. Depending on your area you should also be able to plant roses, berries, fruit trees and most deciduous plants now!


Now is the perfect time to prune ornamental trees and shrubs, the best time to do so is before growth starts. This is also a great time to prune roses, by doing so you will see a much fuller and robust plant when they begin to bloom.
Proper pruning enhances the beauty of almost any landscape tree and shrub, while improper pruning can ruin or greatly reduce its landscape potential, so be sure to research the correct methods!

The smell of spring is in the air and soon the temperatures will gradually warm and you can finally start to spend more time outside. Spring lawn care is important, as early season care has a big impact on lawns. A little extra care and prevention now can make for a beautiful landscape to be enjoyed all summer long. Take advantage of the cooler temperatures to get your yard and garden ready now!

Working With A Real Estate Attorney

by Diane Cardano & Team

Whether you are buying or selling a home, you may experience real estate issues that may be simple or very complex. It is a good idea to consider using  a real estate attorney to represent you during this process. With the help of an experienced real estate lawyer, complex matters can often be simplified and be resolved in an efficient manner.

What services do real estate attorneys offer?

Real estate attorneys offer many services that can protect you from costly mistakes, errors in the documents, errors in the figures and other problems that could lead to litigation or other expensive legal action. While each attorney offers different services, below are some of the standard services offered by real estate attorneys.

• Buy / sell agreements
• Purchase and sales
• Financing
• Refinancing
• Contract review
• Closings
• Property and land development
• Exchanges of property

Among other things, real estate attorneys can help resolve title or lien issues and author more favorable contingencies -- or "outs" -- in a sales contract in the event that unpleasant surprises arise. While it is not required that you have a real estate attorney, they can benefit you greatly by helping  prevent you from making costly mistakes that can effect you for years.

Finding an attorney in your area

A good place to start in locating a real estate attorney is to ask for referrals from your local bar association,your real estate agent or your mortgage broker.  Word of mouth has great value as well, ask friends, colleagues and family whom they've had a good experience working with. The internet is a valuable tool you can use to locate an attorney in your area.   

What are the costs involved?

The actual cost for an attorney varies by state and by amount of work required. Fee structures  vary (some lawyers charge by the hour, others by flat fee, some by both depending on the task.) but the typical range is $350-$1500.  While it is important to do your research and shop around for the attorney that best fits your budget, don’t let the price factor determine your decision. You may find the worst attorney that is the most expensive or you may find an excellent attorney that offer decent services at a fair price.

It is important to remember that a real estate lawyer is dedicated to looking out for your interests at each stage. They can make the buying and selling process easier and save  you time and money. Hiring a good real estate attorney is like buying an insurance policy, while you probably won't need one, but if you do, you'll sure be glad you took the precaution.

Earnest Money Deposits

by Diane Cardano & Team




During the home buying process you may be asked to provide an Earnest Money deposit. But what is an earnest money deposit exactly? When buyers execute a purchase contract, the contract specifies how much money the buyer is initially putting up to secure the contract. It's a basically a good faith deposit, to show "good faith" and that you are serious in purchasing the house. Earnest money deposits however should not to be confused with a down payment

How much do you need to deposit?

Because there is no set amount, it varies from market to market and across the country. Deposits typically can range anywhere from 1 to 3 percent of the sales price but, there is no set requirement. Generally speaking, you want your deposit to be large enough that your offer is taken seriously, but you do not want it to be so large that you put significant funds at risk.   While the chance that you will have a problem is slim, the smaller the amount you have tied up and at risk in a deposit, the better.

Who holds the earnest money?

Typically the earnest money deposit should be made to a reputable third party such as a well known real estate brokerage, legal firm, escrow company or title company.  As a buyer, be aware that if you allow earnest money to be held and deposited by a seller or by a builder or developer for use in construction, you risk that they will not be able to return it to you in the event the transaction does not close for whatever reason. Most buyers prefer to have real estate agents or attorneys hold the earnest money deposit as  they are licensed by the state and required to deposit the money in a trust or escrow account, this reduces the risk that the monies will be improperly used. To avoid the loss of your deposit, follow these tips.

• Never give an earnest money deposit to the seller.
• Verify that the third party will deposit the funds into a separately maintained trust account.
• Obtain a receipt.

Is your earnest money deposit refundable?

Whether or not earnest money deposit is refundable depends on the real estate contract itself. It is very important that you indicate that your offer stipulates the terms for a refund of your deposit if the deal falls through.  Make sure it covers all of the “deal breaker” conditions you can think of that would be associated with a return of your earnest money.  In matters like this it is advisable that you consult a real estate attorney who can help ensure that your offer is written in a manner that protects your rights to the deposit.  Do your research to get the facts about state law and even local customs on refunds of deposits before your earnest money leaves your hands.

If you are serious about purchasing a home, you need to indicate to the seller you are serious. They’ll be taking what is probably their single largest asset off the market if they accept your offer. A reasonable earnest money deposit helps reassure the seller you are serious about buying their home.

Do You Have Hard Water?

by Diane Cardano & Team




Hard water is probably the most common water problem found in the home, according to the U.S. Geologic Survey in the U.S. about 85 percent of the homes have hard water. Most homes have hard water problems without necessarily knowing about it. The best way you can tell if you have hard water is when it is difficult to get soap to form a lather. or you have to use alot of soap into the water to clean your dishes or if your dishwasher is just not getting the dishes clean.

 Hard Water Facts

While hard water is not considered to be unhealthy for people to drink,  people who have it are more prone to rashes and skin problems because it changes the skin's pH and soap remains on the skin, clogging pores. In addition, it can be very unhealthy for household plumbing, cleaning processes, and water-using appliances. The minerals present in hard water can accumulate in the form of a hard scale which can build up and eventually clog pipes and damage water-using appliances.

Hard Water Solutions

If you suspect you have hard water, call a professional   to test your water and recommend soft water solutions.   The most common solution is to use a water softeners  or water treatment systems. While many systems use salt, there are several softeners available that have a salt free system.  However if you are concerned about the presence of sodium ions in their water, use of sodium ions does not make the water noticeably salty or cause a significant increase in a person's sodium intake. In fact, the FDA defines water that would result from softening 75 gpg hard water (a typical hard water case) as a "low sodium" beverage.
Whatever type of system is used, the applications can be quite affordable and highly worthwhile for those in hard water areas. A typical household water softener costs around $1,000 to $1,500 with a monthly operating expense of around $2 to $8 if sodium is used, and $3 to $15 if potassium is used. Look for the WQA Gold Seal to find products that have been successfully tested to industry performance standards

Advantages Of Soft Water

• You will use less soap by using soft water, both in the shower and in the kitchen.
• You'll have less unsightly spots on dishes, and glassware and your silverware.
• Your heating bill will also be lowered because heating hard water in the water heater, causes hardness scale which plugs plumbing pipes and vessels and builds up on the inside of water heaters.
• Your plumbing will last longer. Hard water can cause a build up of scale from mineral deposits. Over time, pipes can clog, water flow can diminish, and water pressure can be reduced. This doesn't happen with soft water. Soft water is low in mineral content and therefore doesn't leave deposits in the pipes.
• Your skin and hair will look and feel better after bathing or showering. Scum from hard water clogs skin pores and coats hair.
• Clothes are softer, cleaner, brighter, and last longer.
• Your food and beverages will taste better using soft water and ice cubes will sparkle more. 

Hard water waste can cost hundreds of dollars each year as it impact laundry operations, water heater, efficiency, household cleaning, and the life expectancy of water-using appliances and plumbing. The costs of hard water do add up.  Click here to read more about hard water and how it affects you.

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Contact Information

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Diane Cardano & Associates
CARDANO Realtors
1021 Old York Road, Suite 401
Abington PA 19001
Office: 215-576-8666
Fax: 215-576-8677