Spring is my favorite time of year. The grass is green, flowers and trees are blooming, and Mother Nature is coming out of hibernation. It is fantastic—until you do that first real walk around the house. Those rose-colored glasses quickly get put back into their case, and reality sets in. You begin to notice the wear and tear the harsh winter weather has had on your home.
Home Repair Resource Center
Here at Home Repair Resource Center, we frequently hear tales of woe about contracted repairs. One of the most common problems occurs at the end of a project, when--even though most of the work has been completed and paid for--there are a few small details that the contractor has promised to fix “in the next few days.” Weeks later, they are still unfinished, and the contractor has not responded to your calls. Mild irritation turns to total dissatisfaction with the contractor, destroying all your pleasure in the work that has been done.
One way that Home Repair Resource Center serves the Heights community is through its annual Community Home Remodeling Fair. This year’s fair–HRRC's 16th–will be held on Saturday, April 9 at Cleveland Heights City Hall. Doors will open at 9:30 a.m., with presentations from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Foreclosure is a very serious and stressful situation. The entire country has been affected by this ugly virus. As a foreclosure prevention specialist, I have seen and heard a lot. My job is to fight foreclosure by educating my client, being a communication line between my client and the bank or mortgage company, and to guide my client through the transition process, if needed.
Eighteen single women homeowners will have the opportunity this spring to build their knowledge of basic carpentry, electrical, and plumbing repairs. “Home How-To” is an intensive, six-month program designed to give women personalized instruction and hands-on practice with tools and repair techniques. The 2011 course will be the 14th offered by Home Repair Resource Center, a community nonprofit organization.
There is nothing like coming home to a warm house after a long day out in the cold. To ensure that your heating system is ready for the cold weather ahead, it’s best to fire it up early, to make sure that it is working properly. If not, there will be time to repaire or replace it before the snow starts to fly.
You can save money if you want to. By doing small things and changing some of your habits, you can start to put your pennies into a nest egg that will soon build into real dollars. You’ll find it easier to make these changes if you have a purpose for your savings, such as to create an emergency fund, add to your retirement account, go on a family vacation or pay for holiday fun.
During Sustainability Week (October 2–10), residents will have several opportunities to gain information about how to live a more sustainable lifestyle, thanks to Home Repair Resource Center.
From 6 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 4., HRRC will host an open house at its office/teaching center, 2520 Noble Road. Residents are invited to drop in to view HRRC’s facilities and learn about programs to help keep them in their homes: keeping their homes in good repair, keeping their finances in shape, and knowing their options if they face mortgage delinquency.
Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC), a HUD-certified counseling agency, welcomes two new additions to its staff: Denise Black and Doris Honsa. They are experienced housing professionals who focus exclusively on providing free foreclosure prevention services to Northeast Ohio homeowners.
Larry Coleman returned with his wife Lisa Lock, to his home town of Cleveland Heights in 2006 after 27 years away, purchasing a house on Scarborough Road just west of Lee Road. Built in 1917, the house had undergone a major remodeling in the 1930’s, with the addition of glass block walls, rounded corners, and other art deco features. Since then, however, the house had been let go, and was now a “serious fixer-upper” with more than 80 point-of-sale violations.
Give your budget a check-up, and reap unexpected savings. Every opportunity to save money on goods and services will improve your financial fitness. Here are several places to start.
Participate in food co-op programs. Some of these programs not only offer discounts on quality food, but provide menus as well. Great Food for All is a faith-based, nondenominational company that provides top-quality food to any interested person, on a monthly basis, through local churches and other nonprofits. There are no membership fees, paperwork, hassles or purchase limits. You can buy a box of good quality food that will feed a family of four for a week for $30. For more information, go to www.greatfoodforall.com.
As we enter home repair season, my phone rings more frequently. The city is alive with a buzz of repair hysteria (as I lovingly refer to it). Violation lists from the city inspectors are on their way to anxious homeowners, and the melting snow has revealed exterior repairs in need of attention. Here are a few tips I can share with residents who may be experiencing some of these springtime rituals:
Don’t put off till tomorrow what can be done today. Home repairs that aren’t fixed sooner rather than later will only lead to more extreme issues down the line. Keep an eye on things. If something doesn’t seem right, get it checked out in a timely manner.
In a letter to the Home Repair Resource Center, one client writes:When I made my decision to buy a home I got encouragement from my lender and my Realtor to get the home of my dreams, at the top of my affordability range
Perhaps you’re wondering, where to get advice on remodeling a kitchen or making an older home more energy efficient.
Try the Home Remodeling Fair on March 20 sponsored by the Home Repair Resource Center. The event will be held at the Lee Road Library. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m., presentations begin at 10 and end at 2:15.
In Ohio, property taxes are collected twice per year and are billed at the end of the year in which they are assessed. Thus, taxes billed in December 2009 (and due in January 2010) were the taxes assessed for the first half of 2009. Second-half bills arrive in June and are due in July. Exact due dates are noted on the bill. Residents can pay once per year or in monthly installments, and payments can be withdrawn automatically from a bank account.
A payment is considered late at midnight on the due date. Property owners paying within the next five days are assessed a 5 percent penalty. After that, a 10 percent penalty applies.
It is getting cold outside and many people may find that when they turn their furnace or boiler on for the first time, it isn’t working properly. Home Repair Resource Center offers several programs for people who are in need of assistance. If you find yourself in need of a new heating system or repair, make HRRC your first stop.
The HRRC library is full of helpful resources. There are handouts that explain the different types of heating systems as well as the different efficiency
In the current economic climate, many homeowners are choosing to fix up their homes, rather than considering a move. Home Repair Resource Center, a nonprofit organization right here in Cleveland Heights, offers a variety of loan and grant programs to help make home repairs more affordable and less of a worry, as these two recent examples demonstrate:
Last winter was very tough on roofs and gutters, with the heavy snow and ice buildup. This spring, a young woman with two small children met with one of our counselors to obtain a loan to fix her roof. She was very worried about taking on an additional loan payment because she was already on a tight budget. She was pleased to find that she could qualify for several grant programs that reduced her loan payment by half. Furthermore, she was able to fix her roof and still have an affordable monthly payment.
It all begins when a phony “foreclosure” or “mortgage” specialist contacts the homeowner through phone, direct mail or even a visit to your home. They look good, smell good and promise they can rescue your home from foreclosure in exchange for a fee that can range from as little as $400 to $1,200.
As winter turns to spring, free workshops the Home Repair Resource Center will move from interior to exterior repairs. Classes teach participants what goes into a good quality job, whether you do it yourself or contract the work.
Most classes are held at the resource center’s Teaching Center, 2520 Noble Road (two blocks north of Monticello, at the corner of Oxford), on Mondays from 7-9 p.m. Attendance is limited to Cleveland Heights residents. Reservations are requested; call 216-381-9560 to save a spot. For class descriptions, see the resource center’s Web site at www.hrrc-ch.org and select Schedule of Workshops from the list on the left side of the Web page.
In this current economic climate, it is more important than ever to spend your home repair dollars wisely. One way to save money can be to do the work yourself. Home Repair Resource Center offers free classes that give you an opportunity to practice using the tools and techniques you’ll need for the job.
Our fall classes will all be held at HRRC’s Teaching Center, 2520 Noble Road (two blocks north of Monticello, at the corner of Oxford). Reservations are requested; call 216-381-9560 to save your spot for these workshops: