Monthly Archives: July 2014

Don’t throw away a perfectly good dishwasher.

Occasionally, we get a job to pick up a dishwasher. The customer tells us, “This dishwasher is only 3 years old. It seems to work; I can hear the motor, but the darn thing just doesn’t clean the dishes any more, especially the top rack.”

So they bought a new dishwasher for about $600, and then they pay us to get rid of the old one.

It’s likely that they didn’t need a new dishwasher. Dishwashers typically last 9 to 10 years. If the relatively young dishwasher isn’t doing its job, most likely you have gunk clogging a part of the machine called the food chopper. If that part is clogged, you lose water pressure, which is the main force that cleans the dishes.

dishwasher_chopper

You can clean out this gunk in a about the time it takes to drive to the store to buy a new dishwasher. You need a couple of tools like a star-bit screw driver and some needle-nose pliers.

Here is a YouTube link that shows you how to make this simple repair. This guy is more thorough than I am. I find that you can clean out the food chopper area and call it a day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75DB9cyPYO0

If your machine really is too old to repair or clean, call Junk King and we’ll recycle it for you.

What to do with that second Refrigerator

That second refrigerator isn’t free.  The electric company estimates that the old extra refrigerator costs more than $150 each year in energy costs. If you really can use it, okay. If not, get rid of the old beast and save your $150 per year.

Do you really need me at $150 per year?

Do you really need me at $150 per year?

If you are buying a house and it has an extra refrigerator in the garage, you might want it removed by the seller. Remember, that old refrigerator isn’t free.

If you are buying a new refrigerator and the store offers free haul away, seriously consider having them take the old one, even if it still works.  Too many people fill up the garage with old appliances they really don’t need.

If you want to get rid of a refrigerator, you have options.  A lot of people call their local trash company to take away old refrigerators, and that may be the worst option. The trash company typically charges about $75, which seems like a good price. However, the trash company can only take curbside refrigerators. Therefore, you must haul that beast to the curb and they average 250 pounds.  Moreover, the trash company requires that you certify that the Freon has been removed. You can get an appliance technician to come to your house and remove the Freon, but that service call costs about $180.

Or, you can call Junk King. We remove standard refrigerators for $118, including all the labor, truck, recycling fee, and dumping fees. (If you want to put it curbside, we’ll match the trash company’s price and we’ll take care of the Freon.)  Start saving money and energy today.

Appraisers — more useful than you knew!

Information is power. Appraisers provide valuable information.  The right appraiser can save you serious money, time, and headaches.  We interviewed a top appraiser in the Washington DC Area, John Osipchak, to learn more.  Here is some of what I learned.

First, if you bought your house with less than 20% down, you most likely have private mortgage insurance (PMI).  If you have PMI, you need to call an appraiser like John—today.  You might be paying for insurance you don’t need, and the insurance company isn’t going to volunteer that information. 

How much can you save?  Using Kiplinger’s Best-rated Mortgage calculator, we see that a $500,000 house bought with $20,000 down and financed for 25-plus years, with a credit score of 760 or better, pays an average $528 in PMI per month!  John can tell you if your loan to equity ratio qualifies you for a lower insurance or no insurance at all.

Eight other common reasons for using an appraiser include:

  1. setting a profitable listing price which can reduce time on the market
  2. expert witness testimony and asset division
  3. valuations for relocation coordinators
  4. estate planning and retroactive date of death appraisals
  5. assessing current or past market value
  6. investor analysis and consultations
  7. homeowner consultations prior to home improvements
  8. challenging your Tax assessment

John is licensed, certified, and second-generation appraiser applying the decades of experience and the latest technologies and best practices to provide the most accurate, thorough, and timely appraisals.  (John’s stories of learning appraising from is mother is worth a separate article.)

osipchak

He works in DC, Virginia, and Maryland.  And he provides the personal attention and he offers advice on how to improve your property.  For example, he might suggest you call Junk King to get rid of clutter that detracts from the home’s value. You can find more information about John’s company Appraise Metro DC on his website.

Again, what really got my attention was the possibility of eliminating expensive private mortgage insurance—that’s a no-brainer.