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Posted by Joyce Torelli on 5/16/2018

Once you've lived in your home for a while it's easy to become relaxed†on security. Maybe it's because you live in a safe neighborhood, or maybe you just have a habit of not locking doors. Regardless of the reason, practicing good security can pay off in a huge way protecting yourself, your family, and your belongings from harm. In this article, we're going to cover some home security basics that you might be forgetting and help you build a habit of taking care of them. Read on to learn some tips for†security at home.

Safety hazards

Some of the most common safety hazards to your home are completely preventable. Hazards like fire and carbon monoxide are both easily averted†by safe practices when it comes to cooking, electronics, and using open flames of any kind. Follow these tips to protect yourself from fire:
  • Install fire and CO detectors throughout your home. Set a reminder in your calendar to check the batteries yearly or however long is recommended on the detector.
  • Make sure your family knows basic cooking an electronics safety such as how to properly use ovens, microwaves, and power outlets.
  • Teach your family the proper use of fire extinguishers and have a fire safety week at your home where you cover the aforementioned topics, as well as how to evacuate the house in case of a fire.

Burglary

According to the FBI, break-ins are the number one most common threat to a home. There is a break-in every 15 seconds in America. Follow these tips to prevent break-ins at your home:
  • Don't leave spare keys outside your home or on your porch. Similarly, don't leave spare keys on or in your vehicle.
  • Make sure your doors and windows lock properly. Burglars will often move past a home if they cannot easily enter through the front or back doors. Installing a deadbolt will add to the integrity of your doors.
  • Don't keep valuable items like laptops, televisions, or expensive sound systems in plain sight from the road.
  • Change the locks when you move into a new home and keep track of the number of key copies that are made.
  • Keep a fireproof, waterproof, heavy safe in your home with important or dangerous items stored inside. This includes jewelry, important documents, and firearms†& ammunition.
  • Get to know your neighbors and agree to keep an eye on one another's homes, especially when one of you is away. Install motion sensor lights and find out if your neighbor uses them. Similarly, have them pick up your mail when you're away so it doesn't seem obvious that your house is empty.

The Role of the internet and technology

Technology can be a useful tool in making your home safer or it can be an easy way to advertise that you are vulnerable to a break-in. Follow these tips when it comes to technology-related security:
  • Don't post pictures of valuable items on social media
  • Don't advertise to your social media "friends" when you are going away. This could be an invitation to break in.
  • Installing a security system or even some dummy cameras and alarms can be a great deterrent.
  • Use encrypted cloud storage to keep your data safe. That includes copies of birth certificates, social security cards, family photos, wills, and more.
 





Posted by Joyce Torelli on 5/9/2018

After you accept a buyer's offer to purchase your house, it may be only a few weeks until you finalize your home sale. However, problems may arise that slow down the home selling process. And if these problems linger, they may stop your home sale altogether.

As a home seller, it is important to do everything possible to ensure the home selling journey is quick and seamless. If you know what to expect after you accept a buyer's offer to purchase your residence, you can prepare accordingly.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you wrap up a home sale.

1. Negotiate with a Homebuyer As Necessary

Typically, a homebuyer will request a house inspection after his or her offer to purchase your residence is accepted. This appraisal will enable a buyer to identify any underlying problems with your home. It also may lead a buyer to request a price reduction or property repairs in order to finalize a home sale.

Although you may have allocated significant time and resources to upgrade your residence before you listed it, a home inspector still might identify assorted house issues. In this scenario, you should be ready to negotiate with a homebuyer to find a solution that satisfies the needs of all parties involved in a home transaction.

2. Remain Patient

Ultimately, the period between when you accept an offer to purchase your house and closing day may seem endless. At this time, try to remain patient and focus on the big picture, and you may be better equipped than ever before to limit problems that could slow down your house sale.

It generally is a good idea to be open to communication with a homebuyer as well. If you keep the lines of communication open with a buyer, both parties can work together to ensure a home sale goes according to plan.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

For those who are stressed out about the home selling journey, there is no need to worry. In fact, if you work with a real estate agent, you can receive expert guidance at each stage of the home selling journey.

A real estate agent is committed to helping you achieve the best-possible results. He or she will collaborate with you throughout the home selling journey and help you identify and address any potential home selling hurdles.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent provides after you accept a buyer's offer to purchase your home, either. At this point, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about a home inspection request and the final results of an inspection. Plus, as closing day approaches, a real estate agent will help you get ready for the big day.

Take the guesswork out of selling your house Ė use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble wrapping up a home sale.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Joyce Torelli on 5/2/2018

Not everyone has a green thumb, but everyone can learn to be a good gardener. You should understand some basics about gardening in order to expand your skill set. With a little knowledge, youíll have the art of gardening down in no time!


Know Your Soil


Take a good look at your soil. How good your garden is has a lot to do with the soil. For soil to be healthy it needs plenty of water, air, and nutrients. You can test your soil with a kit that will give you some good analysis of how your soil is doing. 


To improve your soil, you can do a few things including adding organic materials like compost, old leaves, or peat moss. These can help to improve the health of any kind of soil.


Know The Types Of Soil


  • Clay
  • Sand
  • Silt
  • Succulent mix
  • Premium mix
  • All purpose mix


Prep The Garden


Prepping the garden is one of the most important things that youíll do. You shouldnít work with soil when itís wet, only when itís damp or dry. 


Always plan your garden first before you plant. Know the size and the number of plants that you need. Match the plants based on the growing conditions that they will need. Itís especially important to consider the amount of sun and shade thatís needed for each plant.


When you start shopping for plants, make sure that you pick plants that have buds and arenít already flowering. You should also check the roots of the plants that your buying for smoothness and moistness. This will help your garden to be more lush and full. Always buy plants that will thrive in the climate you live in. You can find guides online or talk to experts at your local nursery.


Know Your Plant Types


If you know the types of plants that exist, youíll know what types of plants are best suited for your garden. 


Annuals

These plants live for one growing season. They are either flowering or foliage only. 


Perennials


These bring shape, colors, textures, and wonderful scents to your garden year after year.


Bulbs


These can be planted in the colder months in order to bloom in the spring. 


Climbers and Vines


These types of plants grow vertically and either have foliage or flowers. They can be either annual or perennial.


Shrubs


Flowering or evergreen type shrubs make great accents or hedges to be used for privacy.


The most important thing to remember about gardening is that every plant needs to be properly watered and nourished in order to grow. Continue to fertilize and care for the soil throughout the life of your plants to help them thrive. Itís easy to turn your thumb green once you have the right knowledge!




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Joyce Torelli on 4/25/2018

If youíre in the process of moving, you donít necessarily need to hire a moving company. Hiring movers is only one option of many when it comes to getting your stuff from place to place. If you want to save some money on your move, you should check out alternatives to hiring movers.  


Containers


If you donít want to drive your own moving truck, but still could use some assistance on your move, you should take a look at container moving. You fill up the container with all of your stuff, and the company will get the container from place to place for you. This is especially helpful if you are doing a long-distance move.


Self-Service


You can always rent your own truck, pack your own stuff, and head out the door on your own. Youíll pay for gas and mileage, but have control of your own timeframe. Moving companies often have many different resources available to help you in the process including boxes and packing supplies. National companies provide convenient truck returns over most parts of the country where youíll be, so itís easy to get the truck back. 


Ship Your Stuff


If you happen to be moving a long distance, sometimes, itís more cost effective to let the big stuff go. Ship items like clothes, books, DVDs, and other personal belongings that canít easily be replaced. Sell big items like beds and sofas. 


You can use many different kinds of shipping services, or even use air cargo to get your things from one place to another. While youíll need to purchase some furniture when you get to your final destination, this could be a good option, especially if youíre looking to start over, or if you donít own a whole lot of furniture and large items.


Use Your Car


Your car is always an option to help you move no matter where you are moving to. Whether youíre moving across the country or just across town, youíll probably need to pack your car. Itís also a lot of fun to have your car for a road trip on long distances. This way, youíll have a lot of stuff with you, but you can still travel and see many things that you wouldnít have seen otherwise.


Tips For Packing The Car


You want to be able to get the maximum packing space out of your car for the move, no matter how far youíre going. First, you should plan how youíll pack ahead of time. You donít want to save the task of packing the car for moving day. Also, you need to make sure that there will be room for every living thing that needs to go into the car like children and pets. Those are important and you definitely donít want them all squished in between some boxes during a long move!




Tags: moving tips   packing  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Joyce Torelli on 4/18/2018

???Robert Frost's poem, Mending Wall, poses an interesting question about whether "good fences make good neighbors."

On one hand, there are several advantages to having your property surrounded by a fence, especially if you or your neighbors have dogs or small children running around.

If you happen to have a vegetable garden or fruit trees in your backyard, a well-constructed fence can also help keep out ravenous deer, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, foxes, and other wildlife.

There's no doubt that fences can serve a variety of useful purposes, ranging from privacy and safety to wildlife control and home security. While it can be beneficial to mark off your property boundaries and keep your backyard private, a question to consider is whether a large fence -- especially a new one -- sends the wrong message to your neighbors.  Striking the perfect balance between privacy and friendly neighbor relations can be tricky at times, but there are compelling reasons to stay on good terms.

  1. Security reasons: If you take the time to chat with your neighbors every now and then, they'll have more of a tendency to keep an eye on your property when you're on vacation or just away for the day -- especially if you ask them.  People tend to be more helpful, observant, and protective of others with whom they share a bond or have a sense of community. In contrast to that, if they don't even know your name and haven't exchanged more than a few words with you in years, they'll be less inclined to pay attention to who's on your property and whether they belong there or not.
  2. Sharing resources: Keeping the lines of communication open with your neighbors is beneficial on many levels. When you have a friendly, ongoing relationship, you won't feel reluctant to ask them for help when your car battery's dead and you're running late for work. Trusted neighbors can also provide you with valuable information, such the names of dependable home improvement contractors or how to arrange a free pickup of household clutter that you want to donate to the Salvation Army.
  3. Quality of life: When you're regularly greeted by friendly neighbors, your neighborhood will feel like more of a welcoming and upbeat place to live. It may be necessary for you to set the example or make the first move, but once a friendly atmosphere has been created in a neighborhood, it's relatively easy to keep it going.

So while you may not want your neighbors to get in the habit of stopping by your home to chew the fat, every day, it can be worth your while to greet them by name, offer help whenever possible, and be the kind of good neighbor you'd like them to be. Setting a positive example may be all that's needed to establish a cooperative relationship and possibly even a life-long friendship. And, if all else fails, keep in mind the words of Benjamin Franklin: "Love thy neighbor, but don't pull down your hedge!"