Saturday, August 31, 2013

Stripping the Finish Off Hardwood Floors

Awhile back, we posted a great little video about re-finishing hardwood floors.  However, that video started after the old finish was taken off.  Here, we put the horse back before the cart and show how to do that part.

As frequently happens, this post is inspired by what I personally needed to learn.  One of my rental houses had ugly old carpet, but hardwood underneath.  I have decided to take the carpet up and refinish the floors. Prospective tenants seem to like the idea.  I'll let you know how it turns out.,,20238933,00.html

Thought for the Day

Failure is a blessing when it pushes us out of a cushioned seat of self-satisfaction and forces us to do something useful.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Thought for the Day

Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Metro Detroit Real Estate Continues Climb

Housing prices continued to increase in the metro Detroit area, with June prices 16% higher than a year ago.

The good news that is the local housing market continues.  Downriver is certainly participating in this trend.  Although I do not keep comprehensive statistics, I know that I am not seeing the fire sale values that I saw when I was looking at properties a year ago.  Higher values mean fewer foreclosures, better chances at people in trouble getting refinanced, and provides a measure of comfort for all homeowners.

This same article in the Freep discussed signs the trend to higher prices might be slowing, but that will only become more apparent over time.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Wall Sconces 101

Thanks to, we have the basic Frequently Asked Questions about those lights in the middle of the wall:

Why might you consider a wall sconce? Wall sconces are a great way to add lighting without taking up precious floor space, making them ideal for narrow spaces, such as hallways. They can provide ambient or task lighting, and can work as the main light source or simply as a complement to existing lamps. With lots of styles to choose from, a wall sconce can also add an extra punch of decoration. 

What types of styles are available? Options are endless when it comes to wall sconces, making it easy to match the style and look you desire. Determine what’s right for you by first evaluating the size of the room you’re working in. Then figure out if it will act as a primary or complementary source of lighting to the existing room d├ęcor. An oversized cast iron fixture will provide ample, ambient lighting while lending a rustic look to your space. For a modernized look, place slender wall torchieres with clean, straight lines on either side of your fireplace. 

Where in the home should you place your wall sconce? Any room in the home can benefit from a wall sconce, but determine exactly what you want from your lighting to decide where one will work best for you. Sconces are great for flanking paintings, bathroom mirrors, and headboards, as well as adding light to a reading nook without a table. They’re also helpful in small entryways, hallways or staircases where floor space is minimal. 

Where on the wall should you place the wall sconce? This depends on the size of the room, but in general, they should be mounted 60-66” above the ground. Spread them anywhere from 6 to 10 feet apart: closer to 6 feet if you want more fixtures and thus more light, or closer to 10 feet if you prefer less light. If you’re lining a staircase with sconces, avoid seeing the bulb from above the fixture by adding a closed diffuser onto the sconce or by using a downlight. 

What should you consider in terms of installation? Take into account whether your wall has been pre-wired to accept a wall sconce. If it hasn’t, you may need to hire a professional to help you install it. If you don’t want to deal with the extra expense and effort, seek out a sconce that simply require a cord and plug application. 

Thought for the Day

If you have a better way of doing anything, your idea may be worth a fortune.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Thought for the Day

The world pins no medals on you because of what you know, but it may crown you with glory and riches for what you do.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Thought for the Day

If you must meddle in human relationships, try to be a peacemaker. You will find that you don’t have much competition.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Thought for the Day

There is always a shortage of people who get the job done on time without excuses or grumbling.

Indian Village Home is Amazing

Detroit's Indian Village might be one of my favorite neighborhoods for hundreds of miles.  The character of the homes there are amazing.  The only drawback has always been the areas around it.  This Tudor here has always been one of my favorites, and it kills me that it is for sale and I am not buying it.

5 bedrooms, 5 baths, ballroom on the third floor, and a solarium along the length of the place in back.  Great woodwork, of course.  Under $300k.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Tenant Backs Out, I'm Annoyed

Alright, a personal note.  I know I haven't been posting lately.  I've been extremely busy getting a rental house ready because I promised the prospective tenants they could move in tomorrow.  Today they told me they don't want it after all.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Thought for the Day

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thought for the Day

There are only two options regarding commitment; you're either in or you're out. There's no such thing as life in-between.

Metro Detroit Home Prices Rise Faster Than National Trend

Metro Detroit home prices rose 19% in May, much higher than the 12.2% national average, compared to a year ago.  This is great news for the area, obviously, as our local housing rebound continues.

This continues to be a great area to buy a home.  Prices are still low compared to the rest of the country, and they are going up faster, too.