Watch The Sun Set TWICE in one day!


In Dubai, there stands the Burj Khalifa (Khalifa Tower) at 2,722 feet tall. You can watch the sunset from the base of the building and then ride an elevator to the top of the building and watch the sunset again. How cool is that? And, this isn't unique to this building. You can experience this from any tall structure, as long as you can make it from the base to the top in time.

Home Checklist Before You Sell

Add These To-Dos to Your Presale Checklist
Before booking your market evaluation appointment to discuss listing strategy, here are a few things you can do to prepare for a speedy sale.

Handle Repairs - Take care of easily fixed repairs that may be potential red flags for buyers. Common quick fixes include repairing drywall, repainting walls (in neutral colors) and oiling hinges.

Declutter - Take this opportunity to get rid of those seldom used items that are cluttering up your home. Remember, it costs to move them so now is the time to let them go!

Start Packing - Store out-of-season clothing, sports gear and small appliances you know you won't need before the move. Too much stuff crammed into cupboards and closets will make your home seem small.

Downsize Furniture - Consider removing extra or large pieces of furniture that make your home look smaller. You may want to stage specific rooms to highlight potential uses for the space.

Depersonalize - Tuck away family photos, collectibles and any other personal items. It's important to make your home a "blank canvas" for potential buyers to imagine themselves in. It is also wise to not have personal items out that could target your family in any way while prospective buyers visit your home.

Check Curb Appeal - Plant colorful annuals along sidewalks and in containers, and remove any debris or clutter from around your home. Many buyers will preview a home from the outside before deciding whether or not to schedule a showing.

I have a very detailed pre-listing checklist that I would be happy to share with yo., Contact me today.

Simple Plumbing Tips

Plumbing Maintenance 101

The trouble with having a home plumbing problem is that it usually happens at the most inopportune time. Although, when is there ever really a good time to for a plumbing mishap to occur? The good news is, there are ways you can prevent the unexpected messiness simply by taking a few proactive steps.

For your sink:
  • Avoid pouring grease, cooking oils, or fats down your drain. These liquids can solidify in your drain and lead to clogging problems.
  • Run your water for at least 15 seconds after turning your kitchen disposal off. This will help clear your drain of any food remnants.
For your shower and bathtub:
  • Have a strainer for each drain to catch hair and pieces of soap.
  • Clean your strainers regularly to avoid build ups.
For your toilet:
  • Test for leaks. Simply place a few drops of food coloring in the upper tank of your toilet. After a few minutes, check to see if any of the color is present in the bowl. If so, you should have your Handyman Connection professional inspect the toilet for leaks that could be caused from a worn ball or flapper.
  • Do not treat your toilet as a flush-able wastebasket. Items like facial tissue, cotton balls and diapers do not disintegrate and should never be flushed down a toilet.

Remodeling Your Bathroom?

Know your budget.
With any home remodeling project you take on, the best starting point is always the budget. From choosing a new tile to installing a new sink, the cost of renovation can rise up faster than you think. Establishing a fixed price point will help you set boundaries to your design and understand what options are available to satisfy the look you are working to achieve. Are you going to do all or some of the work yourself or are you going to higher a professional? I have a list of professionals that I would highly recommend, so feel free to contact me for referrals.

Determine your necessities.
If you are on a tight budget, take a minute to observe all aspects of your current bathroom. Decide which items are a “must change” and which ones can be compromised. There may be some items that can be refinished rather than replaced. Doing a simple resurface to your bathtub or sink may add the perfect sleek look you're going for and cost just a fraction of the price of a replacement.

Pay attention to the details. 
Some of the most effective updates in a bathroom can be found in the smallest details. Changes to the hardware, such as faucet handles or drawer knobs, can make a huge impact on the overall look of your design. Adjusting the brightness in your lighting can also give an entire new character to your space. Dim lighting can give your bathroom a feel of relaxation. Whereas, bright lighting can make a small bathroom seem larger. Although remodeling can seem overwhelming and fast-paced, it’s important to keep in mind that the details do matter.

I love This Old House and find this article has a lot of great pointers.

Converting a Home to a Rental

A simple decision to rent your current home instead of selling it when moving to a new home could have far reaching consequences.

If you have a considerable gain in a principal residence and you rent it for more than three years, it can lose the principal residence status and the profit must be recognized.

Section 121 provides the exclusion of capital gain on a principal residence if you own and use it as such for two out of the last five years.  This would allow a temporary rental for up to three years before the exclusion is lost.
Let’s assume there is a $100,000 gain in your principal residence.  If it qualifies for the exclusion, no tax would be owed. If the property had been converted to a rental so that it didn’t qualify any longer, the gain would be taxed at the current 20% long-term capital gains rate and it may incur a 3.8% surcharge for higher tax brackets.  At least $20,000 in taxes could be avoided by selling it with the principal residence exclusion.

Depreciation, a tax benefit of income property, is determined by the improvement value at the time of purchase or at the conversion to a rental whichever is less.  If the seller sold the home and took the exclusion and then, bought an identical home for the same price, he would be able to have 60% more cost recovery and avoid long term capital gains tax.


It is always recommended that homeowners considering such a conversion get advice from their tax professional as to how this will specifically affect their individual situation. And of course, I would be happy to discuss your options with you.