Fire Places: To Have or Not to Have

As you search for your new home to rent or to buy, there are many things to consider. You will want to make a list of the possible options or print one of the ready made ones that can found online and prioritize what matters to you.

One of those items to think about is the fireplace. I live in a tropical climate, yet I still wanted a fireplace. For me, it was more of an ambiance feature than a means of keeping me warm. As you think about whether to get a home that has one, look at the relevant points listed in this article.


Points to Consider

  • Use

If you are leaning towards getting a fireplace, how often do you think you would use it? I use mine in January and February, as that is only time the weather makes it possible. If I used it any other time, I would be sweltering. I justified the fireplace because it was high on my list of things I wanted. If it was at the end, and I only used it 4-5 times a year, then having one would not have mattered to me.


  • Expense

There are expenses with the fireplace. It should be inspected yearly, the shoot must close properly, and it may need repairs. The upside is that a maintenance man can do most of these repairs, except structural. Structural issues are pricier, and may require a specialized chimney repairperson or a mason. The costs are not something you have to worry about on a weekly or monthly basis.

You will also need to order wood, or buy gas for the fireplace. I had a difficult time finding wood in the tropics. Once I found a reliable person, I made sure to keep his information for future services. Because it was a rare thing to need in my area, I paid a lot more for the wood. Gas can be easily obtained and is not expensive.

My chimneysweeper was also more expensive because not many people need the service where I live. In colder regions, you can expect to pay a moderate price for a quick service call of less than $100.00.


  • Gas or Wood

Do you prefer a gas or a wood stove? I am old fashioned and wanted wood. I was looking for a fireplace like my grandmother had. It is messier and it can get smoky with certain woods. I love the smell, whereas I am not fond of the gas smell. It is advertised as odorless, but I can still smell it. I want to hear the snap and crackle of wood, as the glow creates a perfect place for me to read and sip hot chocolate by in the cool evenings.


  • Maintenance

As mentioned, there will be expenses. You need to look at your budget, and make a list of the possible costs. They were minimal for me, and the reward of having a fireplace was important to me. Expenses could be repairs, cleaning, wood or gas, and masonry fees.


  • Location

This is something that is often thought of as a given. However this does not have to be located in the living area. A fire in the kitchen can often look stunning, if it is practical. To find if this is an option I would search for something kitchen installation options near me.



The Enduring Real Estate Business

Regardless of how modern technology is taking over many jobs, it is envisioned that real estate agents will still be required well into the future. In fact, it has been estimated that between 2010 and 2020, the number of real estate agents will have increased by as many as 11%. A 1% increase each year is good considering that most professions, outside of IT, are reducing their numbers.

Of course people will always need homes and as the population grows, more homes are needed which more homes are being built, bought and sold. Although modern technology may be making an estate agent’s job easier in many ways, so far there are no robots that can accompany potential buyers around properties, nor is there any software that can mediate negotiations between a buyer and seller regarding a final price or a property.

House evaluation is one of the tasks that a real estate agent often has to do or at least ensure that an evaluation is correctly carried out. The real estate agent is the person that will ensure that all relevant paperwork for a sale is correctly filled in, signed and sent to whichever departments require it to ensure that the sale is legitimate.

This is where a local estate agent is best as they are familiar with any by-laws there may be in a certain area and ensure that they too are adhered to.

In fact it is now expected that an agent understand the complete local landscape, uncluding professionals in the area. If a client asked for roof repair recommendations near me. The agent would be expected to provide an answer.

An estate agent must also know the area in which a property is for sale as, whilst showing buyers the property, they may be asked numerous questions such as where is the nearest school, shopping precinct or swimming pool.

Another question also often asked by potential buyers is the location of public transport stops in regard to the property’s location. Keeping expenses down is also a big concern for buyers and as there is probably no bigger expense for a family, other than perhaps the mortgage or car payments, heating bills in the winter, the energy efficiency of a house is something that the estate agent will have also learned.

How energy efficient a house is, is a very big selling point and often a house which has good energy efficiency may not only sell faster but may also sell for more than a less efficient one.

A real estate agent does not of course only deal with residential properties, they also deal with commercial properties and so as businesses are always opening or moving, that aspect of an agent’s work is also required in the long term.

Lastly, as long as there are real estate investors buying properties to rent, a real estate agent will always be required to act as a property manager for those investors. It is doubtful that in the near future they will have technology that can collect rent from tenants or oversee maintenance to buildings and so as all aspects of an estate agent’s work is still very much needed, they will certainly be around for many years to come yet.