Are You Sure That Your Home is Really Child Safe?

Are You Sure That Your Home is Really Child SafeObviously we all take steps to insure that our children (or grand children) are safe in our homes. It’s time well spent. Did you know that every year more than 2 million children are injured or killed in household accidents? The saddest part is that most of these accidents are completely avoidable. Now is the perfect time to make sure that your home is as safe as possible for the little ones in our lives.

Keep it Secure

If you don’t already have safety locks and latches for cabinets and drawers you need to get them. Many things in our homes pose a threat to our children and we can’t watch them every second of every minute. Be sure that all dangerous household items are out of reach including cleaning supplies, chemicals, utensils, tools, medicines, matches and lighters, etc.,  the list goes on forever. Here’s one that everybody forgets, everybody. Food. Yes, I said food. Remember, if your child is eating and you are not aware of it there is a chance that they will choke. It’s best to keep even food items in a secure place for just this very reason.

Go Back to Basics

OK. We all know that we should use safety gates to prevent our children from tumbling down stairs, entering a room that they don’t belong or even going outside, but do we use them all of the time? What about doorknob covers and locks that prevent the child from being able to open doors that are off limits? I have seen these items in a lot of homes but often they are not being used or only used on some of the doors. Double check and be sure that your child can not access any areas that they don’t belong. Remember, bathrooms can be a hazard to a small child too.

Protect Them from the #1 Killer

You probably already have outlet covers to protect children from unused electrical outlets but be sure that every outlet is protected. It’s possible that some are missing and you don’t even realize it. It only takes 1 mistake and this is one of the most dangerous threats in your home to a small child.

Remember, Children Love to Climb

Windows, Balconies and Decks need child proofing as well. Today there are many types of window guards and safety netting available to help prevent your child from opening windows or taking a nasty fall on decks and elevated patios. While these devices are highly effective they are not a 100% guarantee. As always, nothing protects your child better than vigilance.

Lower the Heat

Every year thousands of children are burned and scolded by hot water in the home. You already know this and I’m sure that you don’t allow them near the stove when you are cooking but what about the hot water in the shower and sinks in your home? It’s a good idea to lower the settings on your hot water heater to ensure that the water temperature does not exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is plenty hot enough for a shower or hot bath and will greatly reduce the chances of your child receiving a serious burn.

Watch Those Sharp Edges

If you look at the height of your little one and the height of your furniture you’ll get my point (no pun intended). Coffee tables, end tables, the corner of that big entertainment center, they all pose a serious hazard to our newly walking toddlers. You can buy corner and edge “bumpers” that will soften the blow and eliminate the sharp edges. This is a MUST for any home with small children. Don’t forget that loose rugs on hardwood floors or linoleum can also cause an ugly fall.

A Note for ALL Family Members

Finally, don’t forget to protect everyone in your home from the dangers of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.

This list is not all inclusive and I can think of many things that we as parents need to be aware of in our homes. I hope that at least these precautions serve as a reminder to all that we need to be better aware of the potential hazards in our homes and to take the proper precautions before an accident occurs.

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Don’t be a Victim in Your Own Home

Don’t be a Victim in Your Own HomeOur homes are supposed to be a safe haven for us and our family. In reality they are but still thousands of people are injured in their homes every year and most of the time it is preventable.  Here are some common causes of accidents that you can easily avoid with very little effort.

A Very Familiar Reminder

You’ve heard this a thousand times, everyone has but still it continues to happen way too often.  Cleaning products, ALL chemicals MUST be kept out of the reach of children. I suggest locking the cabinet that they are stored in as well. Children are very resourceful and may be capable of reaching places that you don’t expect. An added word of caution: NEVER mix cleaners together. This can cause fires, toxic fumes, burns and even explosions.

What Goes Up Must Come Down

Stairs are definitely one of the biggest hazards in your home. We all know by now to make sure that nothing is left on the steps that could cause us to trip but there are other threats as well. If your steps have carpet be sure that it is tacked down securely. Stairs without carpet should have some type of non-slip pad. Today a sealer is also available for hardwood steps that is less slippery than standard sealer. Finally please be sure that all the stairs in your home are well lit; darkness and steps are not a good match.

Everybody Overlooks This One

Tall furniture can be very dangerous. An 8 foot tall bookshelf can weigh much more than you do and if it topples over it can even be deadly. Today’s entertainment centers can be quite large and often contain decorative glass as well. It is well worth your time to secure these items to the wall if possible. Most times this can be done simply with a long screw or two that can go directly into a wall stud. If you have masonry walls be sure to use the proper masonry screws / anchors. This advice goes double if you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, tornadoes or severe winds.

Slips are Quite Common

It happens all the time. It helps to think of your floors as an extension of the stairs. Again it’s best not to leave loose items lying around and immediately wipe up any spills that might occur. You might get distracted and forget that it’s there or someone else may enter unexpectedly and there it is.

Loose carpet, sliding area rugs, linoleum that is cracked or broken and sticking up are all an accident waiting to happen. One of the most common causes of household injuries is that wet bathroom floor. Bath mats or rubber backed rugs will make your privacy room a thousand times safer.

The One That Everybody Forgets

Did you know that clothes dryers cause fires in thousands of homes every year? Last year they were responsible for millions of dollars of damage and even lost lives. It is very important that dryers be installed properly and maintained on a regular basis. Proper venting to the outside of the home is vital and gas dryers should ALWAYS be installed by a professional.

Dirty lint filters and clogged exhaust hoses are the catalyst that starts dryer related fires and this is why you must clean the lint filter before every use. It’s an easy habit to get into and is an easy way to prevent an all too common tragedy. Be sure to check the exhaust hose from time to time to be sure that it is not blocked as well. Also, NEVER use the dryer on clothing or materials that have been soiled by flammable materials such as gas or oil. When they heat up they will combust.

The One That Everybody Hates

Alright, I admit it. I’m guilty of this one too. I don’t always take the time to register new products that I buy for my home. Well….. that’s a mistake. From time to time manufacturers need to recall a product for safety related reasons and the only way that they have to notify you is when you have registered with them. This really does happen from time to time and you need to be informed if a new appliance or gadget has a defect that may be dangerous. Take the time to fill out that silly little card or register online, it’s worth the effort. 

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Are You Certain That Your Child’s Playground Equipment is Safe

Are You Certain That Your Child’s Playground Equipment is SafeIt’s every parent’s dream to get our children everything that we didn’t have when we were growing up. We want our kids to be happy and to have fun. Sometimes in our excitement we might not do all of our homework. It’s understandable really. There have been times that I think I was just as excited as the children were when I had gotten them a special surprise!

I have always loved those outdoor playgrounds that you can buy at the home improvement centers or those great little open air shops on the side of the road. I still do. Here are a few things to consider when the time comes to surprise your little ones. If you already have some of this equipment for the kiddies you might want to check it out as well if you haven’t done so already.

Kids Fall

Naturally your little one is going to take a spill every once in a while, It’s all part of being a kid. One thing that many parents fail to consider when buying playground equipment is what type of surface it will be sitting on. Sure, I’ve seen them set up on grass many times but I’ve also seen kiddy playgrounds set up on asphalt or concrete.

It’s OK if this is the only place that you have to place the equipment but why not provide a soft landing spot for the children as well? Wood chips are an excellent material to put over a hard surface to provide at least some cushion, foam is even better. If cost is a factor than the wood chips are much better than nothing. Just be sure that the toddlers don’t put them in their mouths.

Check for Stability

Playground equipment requires periodic maintenance just the same as anything else. Bolts become loose, nails rust or may be sticking out and wood can rot. Take the time to inspect the equipment that your children are playing on to be sure that it is in good condition. If they like to visit a local school or park playground check it out as well. If repairs are needed be sure to inform the proper person(s) to have it fixed.

Kids Love to Climb

Use common sense when allowing the kids to play. Don’t allow them to climb higher than you are comfortable with, or better yet, higher than you want them to fall. As always, be certain that the equipment that they are climbing on is sturdy and will not break or move in any way. The overwhelming majority of playground injuries are a direct result of falling. This is one situation where close supervision is always required.


Swings are the one thing on a playground that can hurt someone that is not using it. It happened to me when I was a child. I received a good swift kick to the back of my head because I walked too close to the swings. Make sure that your children give a wide birth to the swings and if they are the one using it be sure to check the chains, rope or cord that is attached. Obviously a lose fitting or frayed cord or rope is completely unacceptable. Also take the time to check the fittings, bolts, screws, everything. If you’re not 100% sure than don’t allow your child to use the swing. There’s plenty else to enjoy.

The #1 Most Forgotten Concern

Is the play area fenced in? It should be. Children tend to wander when they play and it is always better if they are within a contained area. Cars, stray animals and strangers belong on the other side of the fence. Have you ever had to slam on the brakes in your car near a play area because a child was chasing a ball? I have and I can tell you it’s a heart-stopping experience.

Naturally there is nothing than can replace competent adult supervision but following these steps should go a long way to ensure that your child can safely enjoy that new swing set, sliding board or “Jungle Jim”!

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How to Tell a “Good” Real Estate Agent from a “Bad” One!

How to Tell a “Good” Real Estate Agent from a “Bad” One!Finding the perfect home or selling your own is not the easiest thing that you will ever do. Although some people attempt to go it alone most realize that enlisting the services of a qualified realtor will make everything much easier. The question is what exactly is a good real estate agent and how do you find the right one for your needs?

There are a thousand answers to what makes an agent better than the rest. I believe that the first thing to look for in an agent is whether they listen to what you say, I mean really listen. It’s very important that your realtor fully understands what your needs and wants are and just as importantly, what they are not. That means that it’s also up to you to explain what is and is not acceptable to you. The more information that you provide to your real estate agent the better he/she will be able to help you achieve your goals. A well qualified realtor will know where to “fill in the blanks” and what (if any) additional questions to ask to be able to provide you with excellent service but it all begins with their ability to listen.

The next attribute that all good agents have is knowledge, and lots of it. The best of the best are completely familiar with the area that they work in and know it like the back of their hand. There is no substitute for experience. Your agent understands which areas are highly sought after and which are not. This is very important because real estate is and always will be about location. How can anyone help you find what it is you are looking for if they don’t know the area?

The 3rd thing that a true real estate professional must possess is responsiveness. Simply stated a good agent will answer their phone and return emails quickly whenever possible. It’s understood that not every call or email can be answered immediately but an agent that is successful is an agent that is reachable. The more successful the agent, the more successful you will be when they are representing you and timely communications is vital in today’s real estate market.

A good agent does not waste your time. This means that a good agent is not showing you homes that are above your budget and if you are selling a home they don’t waste the time of interested buyers either. Showing the right home to the right people is the only way to get it sold, there are no shortcuts. An experienced agent is able to guide home seekers to exactly what it is that they are interested in. That means the right price in the right area, period. It all goes back to what I stated in the first paragraph, a good agent is a great listener.

That’s it in a nutshell. Top agents are good listeners, knowledgeable, responsive and efficient. It’s an unbeatable combination and whether you are searching for that dream home or selling your own a good agent will make the entire process as painless as possible.

So how do you find the perfect agent for you? It’s not as hard as you think. Ask friends and family who they recommend and if they haven’t had any recent dealings in the real estate market than all you need to do is place a phone call and start “interviewing”. Don’t be in a hurry. Ask questions and insist on an in-person meeting. Finding the right agent to assist you can make all of the difference so be patient. When you find a good listener you’re off to a great start!

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8 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Richmond, VA!

8 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Richmond, VA!A party for friends and family

Richmond isrty friens  a great place to live. It’s big enough to please any city dweller but still small enough to maintain much of the rustic charm that it’s known for. Richmond is a very modern city but still manages to preserve its rich heritage and numerous historical treasures. Though most people are aware of Richmond’s importance in the founding of our great country there is a lot about this fine city that many people are not aware of. Here are some interesting facts about Richmond that you need to know!

The city of Richmond is not part of any county. Many people assume that Richmond City is located within Richmond County but actually it is not. It is in fact a completely separate entity and is located between Chesterfield and Henrico counties.

The City of Richmond was one of the first cities in the entire country to enjoy an electric streetcar system as a means of public transportation.  It is also the very first place that the electric trolley was tested.

Richmond’s current population is estimated to be approximately 212,000+.

Whether you enjoy music, talk radio or sports it’s nice to know that local residents enjoy 8 Am and 9 FM radio stations.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is located in Richmond. Interestingly this appellate court not only has jurisdiction over the entire state of Virginia but also rules over the majority of North Carolina, South Carolina, and the neighboring state of Maryland. Now that’s one that I didn’t even know!

During the civil war Richmond was considered to be the capital of the Confederate States of America. Everyone remembers the famous quote “Give me liberty or give me death”. Well, that famous phrase was part of a speech delivered by Patrick Henry in 1775 right in the heart of good ole’ Richmond!

Past U.S. presidents James Monroe (our 5th president from March 4, 1817 – March 4, 1825) and John Tyler (our 10th president from April 4, 1841 – March 4, 1845) are both buried in Richmond.

Although the city of Richmond is considered a subtropical climate it does enjoy 4 distinct seasons throughout the year. In fact, this past February 13th the city experienced a snowfall of over 12 inches. That’s one way to get a day off of work!

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Staging is THE Secret to Selling Your Home Quickly

Staging is THE Secret to Selling Your Home QuicklyIf you’re selling your home you obviously want to get a good price and just as importantly you want to sell it quickly. Your first step is to price it right. Over pricing will make it very difficult to sell and even if you find an eager buyer it can take time to get top dollar. Once you have determined the asking price here are 10 tips on how to stage your home to make it as attractive and desirable to home buyers as possible.

Make a “Drive By” a Good Thing!

What’s the first thing that all potential buyers do before they pay you a visit? You got it; they drive past your home first to decide if it’s worth their time to come inside. If they like what they see it could be a deal! Bottom line is this, the better the outside of your home looks the better your chances are of selling it quick.

Clean Sells
This may sound like a no brainer but you’d be surprised at the condition of some of the homes that I’ve listed in the past. Take the time to clean your home as if the boss is coming for dinner and you want a raise! Believe me, it’s worth the effort.

Little Things Mean a Lot
Take a good look around. Not all needed repairs seem that obvious to you but potential buyers see it all. Remember to fix the little things and not just the big ones. That little frayed spot at the edge of the carpet, that small stain on the couch, the missing hinge on the front door. It all counts and eagle eyed visitors are comparing your home with every other home that they’ve seen.

Color Counts

Think Swiss. Neutral colors are always your best bet when it comes to color. The goal is to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible. Although you may love little Johnny’s Ninja Turtle blue bedroom, others may not. Stick with basic whites and beige colors for the most part and your home will appeal to a large percentage of home seekers.

 Jazz it Up

Nothing is more unattractive than a blank wall! Consider adding a few pictures or artwork to those big blank spots and your home will take on a whole new look. Area rugs are also a good way to add a bit of color.

Clutter Should be a Felony!

A messy home with too much in it takes away from the spacious look that all home buyers want. Get rid of those collectibles above the fireplace and box up that thimble collection from France! Remember, neatness counts.

Out with the Old, In with the New

No one, and I mean NO ONE wants a new home with old paint. If needed, now is the time to throw on a few fresh coats. This is one of the least expensive improvements that you can do to make a major difference in the appearance of your home.

 Too Much, Too Little, Too Late

Unnecessary furniture makes a home look “crowded” and small. Too little furniture makes a home look empty and “lifeless”. Usually, furniture that is not lined up against the walls in a room creates a more spacious and inviting atmosphere. Take a little time to experiment and you’re sure to find the perfect place for that armoire before your first showing. Every little bit helps.

 Don’t Let Visitors Get “Floored” by Yours!

Shabby carpet and worn floors are not the least bit impressive. Refinish scratched wood floors and either replace or remove old and shabby carpets. If you’re not impressed with the way it looks imagine how they will feel.

Modernize a Little and Get a Lot in Return

Replace old or outdated door handles, light switches, lighting fixtures and even electrical outlets. To many people old means “soon to be broken” and that’s not a good selling point.

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Congrat’s on the new home! But now it’s time to move……………

Congrat’s on the new home! But now it’s time to move……………You’ve settled on your new home and it’s moving time! Here are some important things to remember that will make your move as easy as possible.

Plan Ahead

Whether you’re going to move yourself or plan to hire a professional there is certainly going to be some expenses involved. Your first step is to get at least 3 quotes from different moving companies (or truck rental companies) so that you are sure to have enough money in reserve for the big day. If you have decided to do it yourself this is one time that you’re going to need plenty of help! One thing to remember, moving over the weekend and planning to work on Monday is going to be tough. If at all possible try to take at least one day’s leave from work so that you have a day to rest, moving is exhausting!

Do Your Homework

If you have children than you will need to enroll them in their new school. You’d be surprised how many people tend to overlook this when planning a move. Make sure that you receive any required school records or other forms before moving day. There’s no sense in making a return trip to the old school once you are settled into your new home. You also don’t want a lapse in your children’s school attendance just because of poor planning on your part.

Protect Your Belongings

If you have made the decision to use a professional mover than you need to make certain that you have an accurate record of everything that’s going on the truck. High end items should be itemized before you place your items into the custody of the mover and be certain that the company has adequate insurance to cover your losses in the event of damage or “misplaced” items. I suggest taking photos as further proof that the items were in fact part of the move.

 Turn it Off – Turn it On!

The last thing you need is to move into your new home without power and water! Make sure that you have the new utilities scheduled to be turned on as soon as possible. Of course you’ll want to discontinue service to your old residence as well. No sense in paying 2 utility bills, right?

 Prepare Items for a Safe Move

There are many items that must be prepared properly before they can be transported. Lawn movers and other fuel powered machinery should not contain gasoline, oil or other liquids during transport and certain valuables such as jewelry, cash,  required medications and delicate electronics might be better off in your possession. You also need to be aware of any dangerous or restricted items during transport such as pesticides, household chemicals, ammunition and firearms. This is especially important if you are moving across state lines.

 Is Your Car Road Ready?

If you need to drive your personal vehicle(s) to your new residence make sure that you won’t encounter any mechanical problems along the way. A thorough check by a certified mechanic might save you a lot of time and trouble.

Change Your Address!

Don’t forget to change your address. You can do it online through the U.S. Postal Service in just a few minutes so that you won’t miss any important mail. Also, don’t forget to tell your friends and family, doctors, schools, your favorite magazines and so on. The list goes on forever if you really think about it so plan this well in advance!

Research Your New Neighborhood

Making a move is a lot easier if you do a little research before actually arriving. Know where all of the essentials are such as grocery stores, gas stations, hospitals and other important services. This will make the first few days in your new home a lot easier to deal with as you become familiar with your new surroundings.

Get to Your Money

If you are happy with your current banking institution than you will need to find out if there is a local and convenient branch near your new home. If there isn’t and you will need to find a new bank than this is a perfect time to use online banking if it’s available at your current provider (which it most probably is). This is a great way to stay up to date with your finances while you’re on the move.

Save those Receipts!

Regardless of the time of year that you are moving tax time will come again and you might be in for some nice tax deductions as a result of buying and moving to your new home! Aside from the usual tax advantages of buying a new home the moving expenses may be deductible as well so put those receipts in a safe place!

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The Coolest Garage Storage System Ever!

Ceiling Storage systemI’ve seen a lot of different storage systems designed for garages but this is one of the best I’ve ever seen! It is inexpensive to make and if you’re just a little handy with tools you can do this in a weekend. The one area of our garages that we never use is the ceiling, right? What better place to store all of those things that clutter up our home and garage?

What makes this system unique is the fact that all of your stored items are completely out of the way until you need them and I love the way the storage totes slide in and out for easy access. Here’s the way to do this right.

The materials required are nothing more than wood screws, lag screws, wood, a few labels (for the totes) and of course the totes themselves. The minimal tools required are a measuring tape, wood saw, screwdriver, hand drill and paint brush. Depending upon how much weight you intend to put into each tote will determine what type of storage box you can use but regardless of your choice the plastic box will need to have a “lip” or edge on each side in order to work properly with this system.

I suggest using a better than average quality tote to ensure that they are strong enough for the job. You don’t want a 30 pound box landing on someone’s head. You can find exactly what you need on the internet from such suppliers as or and others if your local home improvement store doesn’t stock this type of container. The rims on these particular totes will easily handle 35+ pounds without a problem. Lids are also available for the special containers to keep everything dust and insect free. I recommend not exceeding 200 pounds combined weight for the totes.

If you reference the first picture in this blog you can see that you are simply creating a wooden “I” beam that is attached to the ceiling allowing you to simply slide the storage bins into place when not in use.

As you can see in the following picture all you need to do is to measure the outside width required so that you know exactly where to screw the wooden “I beams”  into the ceiling using the lag bolts. Make sure you use enough of them to support the weight; I suggest a minimum of 4 for each beam that you install.

You can use any type of wood that you wish to build this nifty little system but as a guide this is what was used to build the system discussed here:

(4) ¾” x 5” x 48” plywood (for the top of the “I”)

(4) ¾” x 3” x 48” plywood (for the bottom of the “I”)

(4) 1 1/2” x 3 1/2” x 48” plywood (for the center of the “I”)

As an added precaution, if you intend to install this above your garage door just be sure that you have enough clearance that the door doesn’t strike the totes when it is opened. It’s also a very good idea to install a “stop” for the totes. That’s something on the I beams that will keep the totes from being pushed off of the rear and onto to the floor.

That’s it! You now have a great way to store various items in a place that won’t cost you one square inch of living space!

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Home Air Quality is Worse than You Think

Home Air Quality is Worse than You ThinkWe do all of the right things. We double check to make sure the doors are locked at night. We wash all of our meats and veggies before we cook them. We drink filtered water and buy toothpaste with fluoride. I find it strange that no one ever thinks about the air that we breathe when we are home. We breathe much more than we eat or brush our teeth but we do nothing to improve the air in our own homes.

Did you know that there are often more contaminants inside of our homes than there are outside? It’s true. Our homes are sealed and contain less “fresh” air than outside. The use of air conditioning and heating systems compound this problem making our safe haven a less healthy environment than the great outdoors. Here are some ways to improve the air that we breathe at home.

Information is Power

Understand what causes the air in your home to be unhealthy. There are many contributors including pets, moisture, cleaning products, appliances and even the very material that our home is constructed of. The consequences of these pollutants can include asthma, allergies, even cancer.  Warning signs may include unusual odors, poor ventilation, mold and mildew and poor air flow. Also pay close attention to damaged pipes, heating or ac systems or excess moisture. Standing water is always a problem.

If you are currently remodeling or making improvements to your home, make note if you or your loved ones have not been feeling well or have flu like symptoms. The contaminants contained in the dust that is created during these activities may contain particles that we should not be breathing. It’s best to “seal off” the work area in our home from the rest of the house and to wear respiratory protection when working in these areas. Here are some important steps that you can take to ensure that the air in your home is healthy.

Keep Your Home Clean

Keeping your home free of dust and dirt is key to maintaining good air quality. Use a HEPA filter in your vacuum cleaner as well as your HVAC system(s) and clean the filters at least once every 4 months. If the filters are not dirty this is a sign that something is wrong with the equipment and it is time to have it checked by a professional.

Reduce Moisture

Humidity is your enemy. Mold and dust mites thrive in moisture. The healthiest moisture levels in your home are between 35% and 55%. Use the ventilation fans in your kitchen and bathroom, especially after taking a shower. Empty the tray in the bottom of your refrigerator often and be sure that any AC units are draining properly. All water pipes in your home should be insulated properly and all doors and windows should have the proper weather seal as well. Finally, have any roofing or plumbing leaks fixed immediately to prevent the build-up of bacteria.

Use Only Natural Air Fresheners

Did you know that many air fresheners on the market today contain toxins? Some candles do as well. It’s best to use natural ingredients to rid your home of unwanted odors. Lemon juice and water make an excellent air freshener in a spray bottle and sprinkling baking soda on carpets before vacuuming is also very effective. My favorite is to add cinnamon or allspice to simmering water on the stove. You might also consider installing an air purifier in your home. It’s best to speak to a professional to determine which system is best for your home before making a decision.

Increase Ventilation

Nothing improves indoor air quality better than good ole’ fresh air! Open doors and windows on nice days and let Mother Nature do the work. Be sure that all the necessary appliances have the necessary ventilation to the outside (such as your gas dryer). If you have a chimney this is especially important. These fumes are not only unhealthy; they can actually cause a fire.

Protect against Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

As you already know, Carbon Monoxide is deadly and has no odor or color. Low levels however are still detrimental to your health and are a serious concern. Any item in your home that uses fuel to operate produces this lethal gas. Be sure that all such equipment is properly vented and use certified professionals to inspect and repair these appliances on a regular basis. NEVER use any equipment in your home that is powered by gasoline or kerosene and install carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home.

If you follow these simple instructions you will dramatically improve the quality of the very air that you breathe in your home and you may even feel better and have increased energy!

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Is there really a “best” time to buy or sell a house?

Is there really a “best” time to buy or sell a houseThis is a question that I have been asked many times over the years and to be honest I’m not sure there really is one true answer. There are so many factors to consider when dealing with real estate that I don’t even think it’s possible to list them all let alone explain them. I also want to point out that statistics are a great guideline but can never reflect the entire story.

Look at it this way; what are the odds of being hit by lightening? The answer is 1 in 3,000 or 1/30th of 1%. The reason that we don’t worry about being hit by lightening is because we know that the odds are so low. That is of course unless your name happens to be Roy Cleveland Sullivan. He was hit by lightening 7 times in his life and survived them all. Ask him what he thinks of statistics. The point I’m trying to make here is that it’s OK to use the following information as points of interest but don’t take it too much to heart. At the very least I found it interesting for buyers and sellers alike.

January is said to be the best month to make an offer on a house

There is some logic to this fact but a lot of debate. Some feel that there are less house hunters because it is cold or that sellers may be willing to accept a lower bid because there are fewer offers as compared to the spring time. Others blame fewer offers due to the arrival of Xmas time credit card bills and other holiday related expenses such as travel and entertaining. My thoughts on the subject? While statistically true I say that regardless of the month if you find the house of your dreams you had better make an offer quick or risk losing the chance.

Spring time is for sellers

As the cold weather months wane away it is true that there are more buyers looking at homes than in the winter. The reasons for this are attributed to many factors including tax refund checks and better weather to enjoy house hunting. The facts are that in most areas of the country home sales do peak in the spring but that doesn’t mean that a seller should wait to see birds before listing their home! Many, many homes are sold throughout the year and there is another thought to be considered here. Listing your home during the “off season” means less competition and that’s a good thing for a seller. I say it’s best to list your home when the time is right for you and not based on the temperature.

Make an offer on your dream home on the 1st Tuesday of the month?

I love this one and if you want me to explain it, well, I can’t! The best explanation I’ve heard for this statistic is that the homeowner that’s trying to sell their home just made another mortgage payment and is more motivated than ever to accept an offer. Hmmmmmm………. Or maybe he didn’t hear anything from the couple that attended his open house the weekend before? OK, you got me but the prevailing theory is that the 1st Tuesday of the month is a home buyer’s best friend.

Listing your home on a Thursday will get better results

The reasoning behind this plan is that your home will only be on the market 2 days before it is available for weekend showings. I can live with that because interested parties will have 2 weekend opportunities to see your home in the first 9 days and the truth is that newer listings tend to receive more offers at full price. Buyers know that they may be able to make a lower offer if your home’s been on the market for a long time but are hesitant to risk losing their opportunity to a higher offer when the listing is fresh.

If you have any interesting real estate stats that you’d like to share with me please let me know. I’d like to hear them as well and who knows, maybe I can share them with my clients.

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