Signs that your Water Pump has Gone Bad

Water Pump going bad
Water Pump going bad

To assure that the quality of your used car stays on par you must have a functioning water pump.  The engine of your car requires coolant to function at its best and when your car’s water pump loses functionality, the vehicle has a far greater chance of overheating or falling victim to subzero temperatures. While the water pump is constructed with long term durability in mind, it is also far from indestructible. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the signs that your water pump has gone bad and what labor is needed to replace it.

Leaking Beneath Timing Belt Cover

The water pump comes equipped with a gasket that is designed to prevent the coolant from being able to leak out. However, these gaskets can become worn down over the course of time and begin to experience failure, due to heat exposure. If a coolant leak is starting to take place and it is coming from beneath the timing belt cover, this is a sure sign that your water pump has begun to go bad.

Loud and/or Loose Pulley

Locate the water pump’s pulley and see if it can be pulled back and forth. If the pulley feels loose or there is any play, this is a sign that pulley’s bearing have begun to wear out and will soon fail. Once the bearing has failed, this causes the water pump to stop turning and the engine soon becomes overheated. Another common symptom of a loose pulley is excessive noise coming from the engine while driving. It is best to check your pulley while the engine is turned off and have it regularly inspected by a professional.

Temperature Gauge Instability

In most instances, the vehicle’s temperature gauge should remain consistent. When the temperature gauge no longer remains in the middle ground between cold and hot and starts to fluctuate drastically, this could mean that the water pump has begun to malfunction and will need to be replaced.

What Labor Will I Need To Replace The Water Pump?

Start by having the cooling system on the vehicle inspected for leaks by a professional. If there are service intervals that have been specified by the manufacturer, be sure to adhere to them. Coolant should also be replaced on an every 50,000 mile basis. These simple actions will help the water pump last longer.

When these tactics fail to keep the water pump functioning, you must rely on a professional to service the issue. The vehicle’s cooling system may need repair and you may require a full replacement of the cooling system and/or water pump.

If you are experiencing any of the aforementioned signs of water pump damage, it is important to bring your vehicle to a professional mechanic immediately, so that they can replace or repair this vital part of your vehicle before it is too late.

From ongoing maintenance tips to negotiating your dream car UsedCarsTampa.com will provide assistance to help you get the most out of your auto investment.

What Home Design Trends Do Buyers Hate?

Home designs buyers hate
Home designs buyers hate

Do you plan on putting your home on the market in the next few months or years? If your answer is yes, then one of the biggest mistakes you can make is updating your home with all of the latest design trends. Although this may seem like a good idea, it’s actually a turnoff for buyers who realize they will have to invest in updating the home to a more classic style. To keep buyers interested, make sure you choose a timeless design and avoid these trends:

Loud colors.

Every season, interior design experts will announce the next trendy color, but this shouldn’t influence you to run out and buy a few gallons of paint. Trendy colors should only be used as accents—think throw pillows, blankets or decorative vases—and should not go up on the wall. If you want to sell your home in the near future, stick to the basics: taupe, gray and beige. If you want to add a little bit of color, you can venture into light blues and greens, but make sure you stick with softer colors that can be used as neutrals.

Converted rooms.

The majority of homebuyers want as many bedrooms as possible in their next home, so if you decide to convert one of your spare bedrooms into a different type of room, you may have trouble selling your home. Not every buyer will fall in love with the bedroom you converted into a game room, and trust us, not all buyers love your high end home yoga studio, either. So, before you decide to convert a room, make sure you can easily convert it back to what it once was so you can sell your home in the future.

Carpet flooring.

Carpet has been seen as sort of the default flooring choice for family homes, but the truth is, buyers aren’t crazy about this flooring material. Carpet shows every footprint and smudge of dirt, so having it in a home with children or pets is asking for trouble. Today’s buyers are looking for wood, laminate tile or other durable flooring options that don’t show wear and tear as easily as carpet. If you’re working on renovations in your home, make sure you switch out carpet to something a bit more luxurious.

Colorful appliances.

A lot of quirky homeowners like to add a splash of color in their kitchen with a bright, cherry red or olive green appliance. You may see this style in home design magazines, but it’s not practical in real life. Homebuyers want stainless steel appliances since these are timeless and known to be very durable, too. If you want to add color to a dull kitchen, consider updating the backsplash instead of changing the appliances since this could very well scare buyers away.

Ready to attract buyers to your listing so you can quickly sell your home? Contact our team of real estate experts at Coast 2 Coast Realty who have years of experience listing and selling homes in the Tampa area.

What Should You Pay For A Used Car?

what-you-should-pay-for-a-used-carWhen determining the value of a used car, several factors need to be taken into consideration. An online service that can greatly assist you in making this determination is Kelley Blue Book (www.KBB.com).

Once a used car buyer arrives at kbb.com you will be asked of for the year, make, model and mileage on the vehicle you are thinking about purchasing or selling. After entering your zip code (the geographic location that the used car is purchased from plays a large part in determining its value) chose your cars category (ex. sedan, coupe, minivan, truck, etc.) and trim. You will then be asked to fill in all other detailed information regarding the features contained on the car you are selling or the one you wish to buy.

The next question it will ask is whether you are planning to trade it into a dealer, or sell it to a private party. This is a very important question because prices can really vary between a transaction between two private parties and one that involves a used car dealership.

Finally, determining the condition that your used car is in greatly affects its final value. How well has the vehicle been taken care of? Are there rust spots, dents, or missing pieces hurting the appearance? Or are there mechanical function such as the power windows or locks that no longer work? More importantly does the transmission shift smoothly or are there any fluid leaks. Every aspect of the car needs to be taken into consideration. Once this is done one of five categories need to be chosen for a condition rating.

Only 3% of used car are deemed to be in “Excellent” condition. “Excellent” is very close to a new car level as all service records need to be available and the vehicle cannot have any history of paint touch ups or body work. From there KBB moves down to “Really Good” condition (23% of used cars), “Good” condition (54% of used cars), “Fair” condition (18% of used cars), and finally “Poor” condition (2% of used cars) which Kelley Blue Book will not give a value on.

Once the condition is selected Kelley Blue Book gives you their estimated value. This by no means should be an end number, but a very good starting point for negotiations with whomever you are doing business.

In addition to Kelley Blue Book you should do further research on not only the specific history of a certain vehicle using Carfax.com and/or Autocheck.com, but on the overall history of a specific make and model using services such as carcomplaints.com or consumer reports. These services will let you know about certain problems that a make/model has been known for.

There are many online services that will give you tools to help you gain an advantage in your used car negotiations. Do your due diligence so you can make the most informed decision.

Don’t Listen to This Horrible Home Selling Advice

home-selling-adviceWhen you start telling your friends and family members about making your New Tampa Home for Sale, you may be flooded with advice from so-called experts. But, what advice should you listen to and what should you ignore? Here’s some of the home selling advice that you may hear when you announce you’re ready to sell:

 

“You can only sell certain times of the year.”

Although it’s true some seasons are more popular for buyers, it doesn’t mean you should wait a year to sell your home. The truth is, people will buy when the need arises. If they find out they have to relocate or have another baby on the way, they will instantly start to look instead of waiting for spring or summer. So, don’t be scared to put your house on the market in one of the so-called “unpopular” buying seasons. With the right real estate agent, you can sell your home at any time.

 

“Just use your cell phone to take listing photos.”

Listing a home is not the same as taking a selfie and posting it to Instagram, so leave your cell phone out of your listing photos. These pictures are incredibly important when it comes to drawing in buyers and making a sale, so you should put effort into them by having a professional take the photos. Without strong photos, you won’t even be able to get buyers in the door, so your house will never have a chance on the market.

 

“You don’t need an agent because the market is so hot.”

You will need an agent whether the market is frozen or on fire. Although it may be easier for an agent to sell your home when the market is performing well, agents still are responsible for negotiating the right price and handling the legal aspects of the deal. These tasks exist whether the market is hot or not, so you should never second guess getting an agent to help you sell your home.

 

“Hire this agent that I worked with.”

Don’t ever blindly trust your friend’s or family member’s advice without doing a little research on your own. Hiring the right agent is important if you want to sell your home fast and for the right price, so take your time finding one. If someone has a suggestion of who you should work with, that’s great, but make sure you don’t sign with that agent until you get a chance to talk to him or her yourself. Ask how familiar the agent is with the neighborhood, how much time he or she has to take on your listing, and what marketing strategies will be used to sell your home. Let the answers to these questions guide your decision instead of relying solely on your friend’s recommendation.

 

For more advice on real estate, talk to the pros. Contact our team of real estate experts at Coast 2 Coast Realty who have years of experience working with both buyers and sellers in the Tampa area.

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Used Car vs a New Car

buying-a-used-carWhen it comes to purchasing a car, the toughest decision is figuring out whether it is more cost effective to buy a used car outright or seek financing for a new car. It can be difficult to come up with one answer that will cover all contingencies, so those who are in the process of buying a vehicle must consider the financial cost of their choice, as well as any intangibles.

There are different methods for purchasing a new or used car: buying new, buying use or leasing. When these three methods are compared to one another, buying a new vehicle has the largest out of pocket cost over the average life of a car (six years).

However, there are additional costs that should be baked in first. Those who buy new vehicles or decide to lease are able to avoid costly repairs and maintenance, and those who choose a used car are often forced to spend the difference on any number of additional vehicle needs. All used cars are not created equally and while some are lightly used and able to stand up over the long haul, others will cause you to spend more than you saved.

While there is a certain joy that is closely associated with the ownership of a new car, there are also tangible advantages to be gained from this approach. Purchasing a new car means having added flexibility should you decide to sell, as a newer car will always fetch a far greater asking price than an older one.

Newer cars also have the latest features and technology, as opposed to older cars that are many times outdated. The level of prestige and enjoyment that comes with driving a new car is more of a creature comfort, but this is a factor that tends to drive our decision making.

Used cars may come at a cheaper price and with less upfront hassle, but a new car can be driven without regard for mileage. Choosing a used car in order to save money often means having to be more cognizant of driving the vehicle for particularly lengthy distances and periods of time.

Conversely, used car owners are freed from the tyranny of a monthly payment. They are able to set aside the money that is saved each month and put it towards necessary maintenance and repairs. Having a fund such as this on hand reduces the amount of financial strain that is placed on the owner of a used car.

There are a number of factors that must be considered when making a decision of this magnitude. Be sure to make your own calculations and take every intangible into account before coming to the decision that works best for you and your personal needs.

Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Home at an Auction

buying-a-home-at-an-auctionHas a friend or family member bragged about an incredible deal on a home they snagged at an auction? This may have left you puzzled, not to mention jealous that you missed out on such a great opportunity. If you’ve never bought or sold a home through an auction, it’s important that you take the time to learn about the process before getting involved. Here’s everything you need to know about buying a home at an auction:

Auctions are only for the brave.

The main reason why so many buyers steer clear of auctions is you are not permitted to look through the home prior to making a bid. When you make an offer on a home not listed through an auction, you have the opportunity to tour the entire home and even call in an inspector to take a closer look. With an auction, you don’t get the chance to do this until after you have placed your bid. This means you could potentially be bidding on a home with serious structural damage, leaks, mold growth, or even a home that has been destroyed by the previous owner.

Don’t expect everything on your wish list.

If you have high expectations for what your future home should look like, it’s probably best that you avoid buying it at an auction. Auctions are designed for buyers who are not adverse to renovations and who are more concerned about getting a great deal rather than the home they’ve always envisioned. There is not a huge selection of homes on the auction block, so don’t expect to find one that has every feature on your checklist.

Have a cut off price.

When you go to a live auction, you can accidentally get caught up in the excitement of placing bids and outbidding the competition. At the end of the auction, you could find yourself way over budget and stuck with a home you weren’t even crazy about in the first place. Before you go to an auction, Google the address and research how much homes in the neighborhood are worth. Then, talk to a real estate agent about the specific property that is being auctioned off and with this information, come up with a cut off price. If the bidding goes above this price during the auction, stick to your plan and walk away from the deal.

Remember the repairs.

When you figure out how much you want to spend on an auction home, make sure you are leaving extra room in your budget for repairs that may be needed. Remember, you won’t know the condition of the house until after you have placed a bid, so there’s no way of knowing what the repairs will cost you ahead of time. Stay cautious and plan for a lot of repairs so you don’t find yourself way over budget.

For more advice on real estate, talk to the pros. Contact our team of real estate experts at Coast 2 Coast Realty who have years of experience listing and selling homes in the Tampa area.

How to Sell Your Home Fast

sell-your-home-fastAre you hoping to list your home and sell it fairly quickly? Although you may think the only way to draw buyers in and make a fast deal is lowering the price, but that is definitely not the case. If you want to sell your home fast without compromising on the price, follow these tips:

Work with the best real estate agent.

Sellers who are in a hurry to sell absolutely need to work with a real estate agent, and it shouldn’t be the first agent they flip to in the phonebook or come across on the Internet. Even if you’re in a hurry, spend a little bit of time talking to different agents and determining who is the best fit for what you need. Ask each agent you speak to about their history with buying or selling homes in your neighborhood. How many have they sold in the area? How long did it take them to sell each of these homes? What marketing tactics did they use to get the listing out to the public quickly? Go over each of these questions with agents you speak to in order to find the perfect match.

Don’t go crazy with renovations.

When you’re trying to sell quickly, you don’t have much time to commit to upgrading your entire home, so you should focus on making smaller changes that will make a big impact. Buy fresh towels and display them in the bathroom to give the appearance of an updated bathroom. Switch out the hardware in the kitchen and bathroom to add extra shine and make it look like you’ve done a lot of work throughout the home. These are very inexpensive changes that will have a big impact on how buyers view your home.

Wait for the right time.

It’s a known fact that real estate markets heat up as the temperatures do in the spring and summer, and then cool down again during the fall and winter. If you don’t want to wait until these seasons come, talk to your agent about whether the area you live in is any different. It’s possible that the market could experience a few periods of time during the off season where buyers begin to hit the market again.

Get rid of personal belongings.

Buyers want to visualize themselves living in a home, they don’t want to feel like they’re standing awkwardly in someone else’s living space (even though that’s exactly what they are doing). So, before you start to show the home to buyers, get rid of anything personal. Take down the photos of your family that line the wall alongside the staircase and replace it with a framed piece of artwork you’ve had stored in the closet for years. Before buyers come, put away the dog bed and all the dog’s toys in case the buyer is not an animal person. These small changes can help the buyer see your house as a blank canvas that they can make their own.

Want more real estate advice? Get the honest answers that you deserve. Contact our team of real estate experts at Coast 2 Coast Realty who have years of experience listing and selling homes in the Tampa area.