News

A Quick Clean for Your Home

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One of the toughest tasks around the house is keeping it clean. So when you are busy with work, the kids, and short on time, this task is almost impossible.Here are some tips on how to have your home appear to be clean all the times:-While you are walking around the house think about how you can declutter. As you pass through rooms pick up toys, mail, bags and shoes. Before you leave the living room on your way to the kitchen, look to see what items can be picked up along the way.-Utilize decorative baskets to organize books, catalogs, mail and magazines.-Reduce odor in the kitchen by simmering nutmeg, cloves, or cinnamon with orange peels in a saucepan on the stove.-Use candlelight, a home always looks better and cleaner by candlelight.-Create an instant centerpiece with a bowl full of fruit.-Use baskets or containers in the bathroom to store cosmetics and lotions.-Refresh the guest hand towels frequently. Humidity in the bathroom makes towels look droopy.-Place your pajamas under the pillow. This way, they’re off the floor and ready for bedtime.-Pile clean, unfolded laundry in baskets on top of the washing machine to be sorted later.-If you have dirty clothes, but no time to wash them, store them inside the machine.

Real EstateHome DesignSelling Your Home

Add a Personal Touch to Your Home

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Accessories are the things in your home that give it character. There’s plenty of things in your home that give visitors an idea of who you are. When we want a house to feel like a home we add the small touches. There’s ways that you can make every room of your home visually exciting without breaking the bank. Whether you’re selling your home, or it’s just time for a change, these tips will keep your home feeling like a place anyone would want it to be-cozy. While home staging is an important part of real estate, there’s a human factor involved in the marketing of homes that is completely authentic with each family that resides in a home. From keeping things organized to using personal memories, there’s ways to make your home attractive to both visitors and potential buyers.Keep everything organizedLess clutter equals less fuss. When everything has a place your house just works better for everyone. Even pictures laid out on the coffee table should be placed in a strategic manner. Items like souvenirs, pictures, or vases shouldn’t be placed in your home without a rhyme or reason. Be sure that you have the tools needed to keep organized. When the time comes that company is coming or you’re selling your home, you’ll be glad that you’ve kept organized.Use colorThe power of color can make any room visually exciting. Even one item that may seem out of place in a room can help bring character into your home. Funky looking mirrors, outrageous artwork, or a brightly colored wall can bring a focal point to a room that lacked one previously. Color can be a powerful tool to make a statement. Don’t be afraid to be adventurous with color.Remember that memories are pricelessYour life should be reflected in your home. You can creatively use pieces of memorabilia to display in your home and tell a story. Not only will this remind you of your favorite moments, but it will allow you to give visitors insight into your life and share your experiences.Use your judgmentDecorating with accessories doesn’t have to be complicated. If items can simply be lined up and look great then keep them the way! The science behind making a house a home is all about what makes you feel comfortable. What looks great to one person may not look as attractive to someone else. But there’s something to be said for being true to the way you like to live. The key here is to use your best judgment when decorating the inside of your home.

News

Jazzing up Your Bedroom

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Is your bedroom in need of a slight makeover?  Surprisingly enough, many people don’t spend too much time thinking about how their bedroom looks.  How many times have you been on a tour of a friend’s new home, and the tour stops short of their sleeping area?  If you don’t want to fall into the trap of feeling like your bedroom isn’t a “show off” room, then take a few steps to jazz it up a bit.By paying a little attention to a few areas in your bedroom, you can leave that door open with no shame.New Bedding – Depending on your sleeping preferences, your bed may well be the biggest piece of furniture in your home.  Coincidentally, your bedding may also be one of the largest decorations in your home.  Do you like your bedding?  Does it match your home and personality well?  If it leaves you wanting, then consider outfitting your bed with a new bedding set.  With this one improvement, the entire mood of your bedroom can change.  If you can manage to find curtains or drapes that complement your bedding, it will tie your bedroom together in a big way.Floors – Bedrooms may have the least amount of floorspace visible, but that doesn’t mean that they should be neglected.  Consider buying a decorative rug for your room.  Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, consider installing a new carpet or flooring.  The sky is the limit here, and any change made is likely to be an improvement.Laundry – Piles of unfolded or dirty laundry can be an eyesore. Even a visible laundry hamper is enough to be a distraction.  Consider outfitting your closet door with a hanging laundry basket, or instituting a “no dirty laundry in the bedroom” rule for yourself.Lighting – If you rely solely on overhead lighting in your bedroom, then consider buying a lamp or two.  Lamps will serve to highlight your furniture, as well as create a more relaxing environment.

NewsHome Security

Four Tactics to Improve Home Security

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Did you every hear the old expression, “Trust in God, but lock your door”? Not only has that adage been passed on from one generation to the next, but it’s a lyric in an old Kenny Rogers song, and you’ll occasionally see it on bumper stickers. Although keeping your home safe from intruders is a serious topic, that old saying reminds us, in a humorous way, that we shouldn’t take home security for granted.In addition to high tech approaches to home protection, there are also easy and inexpensive steps you can take to discourage burglars. Although many of these safety measures seem like common sense, you’d be surprised at how many homeowners forget to lock doors, leave lights on, and take other simple precautions when they’re away. Here’s a handful of smart steps you can take to substantially reduce the risk of having your home broken into.

  1. Make a habit of locking your doors and windows. While this piece of advice may sound like a “no-brainer,” many reports of home break-ins mention an unlocked window or door as the point of entry for burglars. The first thing you can do to tighten up security and feel safer in your own home is to increase your awareness of potential threats, and emphasize to your family the importance of taking precautions. The ideal scenario involves reinforcing positive habits, without instilling a sense of fear. After all, your home should be a peaceful place where your family always feels safe and comfortable.
  2. Shine a light on the problem. You would think that everyone would leave lights on when they’re not home at night, but — for one reason or another — many don’t. Keeping your home well lit, both inside and out, is a good strategy for thwarting crime. To save money on energy bills and to avoid the appearance of always having your lights on, you can purchase inexpensive lighting timers. Leaving a radio or TV on when you’re not home, or connecting it to a timer, is another way to create the illusion that someone is home.
  3. Barking dogs are a known burglar deterrent, as are “Beware of Dog” signs. The actual dogs are obviously more effective than the warning signs, but many people bring their pets to a boarding facility when they’re away on vacation. One solution is to arrange for a house sitter or an on-site pet care service to stop by. If you have a trusted neighbor or family member who can feed and walk your dog while you’re away (maybe, water your plants, too!), then your canine security guard can remain on duty in your absence. Many communities also have licensed and bonded pet care services that can stop by and take care of your dogs, every day, eliminating the need for your pets to be away from home.
  4. Landscaping features can be a risk factor. Be aware that high bushes and hedges can make it easier for burglars to hide while breaking into windows. Keep shrubs and branches trimmed back as much as possible to eliminate this chink in your security plan. If you’re still concerned about the effect of bushes on home security, then make sure your window locks are sturdy and fully functional. Inexpensive battery-operated window and door alarms are also an option.

One method that can virtually eliminate the problem of forgetting to lock your doors and turning on lights is to have a high-tech security system installed. This technology enables you to activate locks, lights, and even thermostats from any location with your cell phone, laptop, or other mobile device. While these automated systems and monitored alarms incur a monthly service fee, the peace of mind and added control you get over your home environment is often more than worth the expense.

Condo Living

A Few Advantages to Condo Living

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Condos have been gaining in popularity for a number of years for people across many segments of the population. From couples who are just starting out together to retirees, and everyone in between, condos are a smart choice that offer many advantages. In order to determine if they are the right choice for you, read on below.Ownership of Your HomeUnlike renting a home, or apartment, a condo is a true investment in your future. You will have the deed to your own home so you know that all the money you pay into it will result in you actually having something to show for it.You Can Sell, or Rent, LaterIn spite of your condo being attached to others in the complex, it is still yours to sell if you want to. This means that you still have the freedom to move wherever and whenever you want. Conversely, you can rent out your condo if you need to move and it suits your needs better. Really, since the condo is yours, the choice is yours as well.Your Responsibilities End at Your Front DoorOne of the most attractive things about owning a condo is the fact that your responsibilities end literally at your front door. While you are responsible for repairs to your appliances, and the like, that you have in your home, your condo association is responsible for the lawn maintenance, snow removal and other routine outdoor tasks. This allows you to fully concentrate on your own home.Of course, this is not a free service, though. Your monthly condo association fees pay for this service. The condo association decides which service provider to use by a vote of the board. Being on the board gives you the opportunity to make a real difference in how your community is run.Close Knit CommunityHaving a condo in a planned community that caters to a specific portion of the population such as retirees or young families allows you to have neighbors that are in the same life stage as yourself. This gives you plenty of opportunities to make lifelong friendships as well as building a support network. This type of support is something that many people often miss due to their life circumstances, so it is a particularly positive aspect of condo ownership.A condo can offer you an array of benefits that could be suited to your circumstances. As always, take the time to research your options thoroughly before making a decision.