20 Easy Ways to Ensure a Healthy Home This Winter

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Healthy Home 20 Easy Ways to Ensure a Healthy Home This Winter

You can have a well maintained home while looking after your health. As a matter of fact, the two often go hand in hand. Here are some easy ways to ensure a healthy home this winter when your family starts spending a lot more time indoors.

Healthy Living Room 20 Easy Ways to Ensure a Healthy Home This Winter

  1. Open a Window. Indoor air can contain up to five times the pollutants of outdoor air. Obviously, scratch this idea if you’re consciously trying to protect against pollen.
  2. Dust and Vacuum. Dust is a leading source of chemicals in the home, including lead, pesticides, and more. Dust regularly and vacuum twice a week. Make sure to change the vacuum bag so that you’re not just spewing the same dust back into the air each time you clean.
  3. Wash Miscellaneous Fabrics. Drapes, shower curtains, and furniture covers often go overlooked. Wash these things seasonally to prevent allergen and mold buildup. While you’re at it, you’ll want to Febreeze fabrics that can’t be washed such as pillows, rugs, etc.
  4. Pot a Plant. First of all, this will make your indoor space look lovely. Second, most household plants help to neutralize chemicals found in paint, furniture, etc.
  5. Lysol Wipe Those Electronics. You’ve probably heard that your cell phone carries more germs than a toilet seat. Well the same can actually be said for a lot of handheld electronics. So around the house, make a point to disinfect phone chargers, tablets, remote controls, light switches, etc.
  6. Buy an Air Purifier. This might cost a small chunk of change ($40 and up, depending on the quality), but will make a drastic difference for dust and allergens.

Healthy Kitchen Bathroom 20 Easy Ways to Ensure a Healthy Home This Winter

  1. Filter Water. If your family gets their water out of the fridge or sink, make sure the filters are still good. Otherwise, just make a point to stay diligent in swapping out that Britta filter. This will eliminate a lot of the contaminants that seem small, but can still compromise your immune system.
  2. Use That Stovetop Fan. Simple cooking, even for a healthy meal, can still release pollutants into the air. Get them out of the house immediately by using your kitchen vent fans.
  3. Re-caulk Window Frames and Along Counters. A lot of pests sneak into the house in wintertime to avoid the cold. And a lot of those pests come bearing disease. Putting caulk along any holes or crevices in kitchens and bathrooms will work wonders to prevent this.
  4. Run Fan Longer than You Would Expect. Run the bathroom fan for at least twenty minutes after every shower.
  5. Sanitize Faucets. Sink and shower faucets build mildew fast. This is a problem because it’s where you get water to consume and to clean yourself. See how it becomes a vicious cycle if you don’t clean properly?
  6. Use Disinfecting Lotions. Most people keep moisturizing lotions by their kitchen or bathroom sinks. It’s easy to find lotions that also serve as sanitizer.

Healthy Bedroom 20 Easy Ways to Ensure a Healthy Home This Winter

  1. Vacuum Your Bed. You read that right; about once a week vacuum your mattress. Also let the mattress air out each morning before you make your bed.
  2. Sanitize Doorknobs. Just like with the handheld electronics earlier, doorknobs collect germs fast without much thought.
  3. Move Office Equipment. Items like printers have chemicals that can upset your lungs. They’re harmless in limited timeframes, but probably not a good idea to sleep beside. Furthermore, glowing screens like your smart phone and computer and damage your sleep cycle, consequently damaging your immune system.

Healthy Miscellaneous 20 Easy Ways to Ensure a Healthy Home This Winter

  1. Put Mats on Both Sides of Doorways. Up to 80 percent of the dirt that gets tracked inside—along with countless allergens, bacteria, and lawn chemicals—can be caught with a double length of washable matting before it makes itself at home.
  2. Use a Dehumidifier. This investment will make the most sense in spaces like the laundry room or basement, but can be extremely helpful even in spaces like the bathroom or kitchen.
  3. Clean Pets Every Time They Come Inside. Keep wet wipes by the door to clean paws, even if it’s not wet outside. Use a fine tooth comb to brush pets for fleas (or any other new friends) each time they come inside. Few pets will complain about the extra attention.
  4. Keep Pet Foods in Container. Using a large Tupperware as opposed to the paper bag pet food comes in will help keep vermin at bay.
  5. Install Vent Fans in Unused Spaces. Crawlspaces, attics, and even closets should have a vent fan to keep temperature and moisture down. These largely overlooked spaces are where mold and mildew most commonly grow, triggering allergies and asthma.

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New Home vs Pre-Owned [Infographic]

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When it comes to buying a home, you probably question if you should buy a new home vs a pre-owned. This infographic weighs the pros and cons of both.

 

prosandcons 3 1 New Home vs Pre Owned [Infographic]

Pros and Cons

New Home

Pros:

1. Everything is brand new!

2. Lower Utility Costs.

3. You’re able to customize your home.

4. Great Incentive! Builders can include major appliances, upgrades or cash bonuses!

Cons:

1. Higher purchase price.

2. Landscaping will cost you extra.

3. The risk of being in a non-established neighborhood.

4. You’ll be investing more time in planning/designing.

5. Further away from metropolitan areas.

 

Pre-Owned

Pros:

1. It’s move-in ready.

2. Most likely it’s centrally located.

3. Purchase price is lower.

4.You can do your research on the neighborhood.

5. The seller may leave some furniture and amenities.

Cons:

1. It’s not going to be in perfect condition.

2. May look outdated.

3. Utilities will cost more.

4. Out of pocket expenses.

5. Hidden/unknown repairs that re not immediately noticed.

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10 Tips for an Easy Move

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Moving- no one ever looks forward to it. It’s stressful, time -consuming and just messy. Moving is an exciting time though; it’s a start to something new, but we just forget that part of it. Although we might not be able to change how you feel about moving, here are 10 tips for an easy move.

 

1. First Things First:

Forward all of your mail to your new address. Be sure to also fill out a “change of address” form online for all of your credit cards.

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Mail

 

2 .The Prep Work:

Get all of the supplies needed. Grab a lot of boxes and we mean A LOT!  Purchasing boxes can become pricey, a good tip is to call a local retailer and ask them if you can take the boxes from their shipment. Make sure your duct tape and marker are also on deck!

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Boxes

 

3. In the Clear:

Place all necessities in a clear plastic bin, that way you don’t have to dig for them. For example, your toothbrush, toothpaste, medication etc.

 

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Clear Bin

 

4. Wrap it Up:

Buy some bubble wrap or stretch wrap to prevent fragile items from shattering and/or breaking. You can also wrap anything that is breakable such as dishes or glass in clothing.

 

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Fragile Items

 

5. Start From the Bottom:

Place all heavier items at the bottom of the box. Don’t leave too much space- you don’t want your items moving around.

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Heavy Items

 

6. You Name It:

Labels, labels, labels! This will make everything so much easier when you unpack. Write on the side of the boxes so that you’re able to see what’s inside each box. Writing what room they belong in will also keep you organized.

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Label

 

7. Just Roll With It:

Group your boxes together with a roll of stretch wrap. It will keep your items from getting scuffed and/or scratched.

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Stretch Wrap

 

8. Keep Back:

Heavy boxes and furniture should always be packed towards the back of the moving truck so they are secured.

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Moving Truck

 

9. Calling All Friends:

You’re going to need help and a lot of it! Contact your friends and have them come in shifts—have a group come in the morning and some come in the afternoon, etc.

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Help From Friends

 

10. Keep In Mind:

Consider hiring a moving company, it’s worth it! Yes, you will have to pay for the service, but most moving companies come with insurance so if something does break, you will be compensated!

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Movers

 

There you have it! A simple guide to make your move a little less hectic.

Do you have any other moving tips? If so, please comment below.

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6 Reasons to Sell Your Home This Fall

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It’s no secret that summer is high time for real estate. It’s easier to get time off work and makes the transition easier on the children.

But now the leaves are changing (except you, southwest) and it’s cooling off. Pumpkin Spice Lattes are just in time for sweater weather (when it’s safe to pack on the pounds). Most importantly, now may actually be a better time to put that “For Sale” sign in the yard. We’ll take a look at six reasons why autumn is surprisingly the best time to make your move!

reasons to sell your home in the fall 6 Reasons to Sell Your Home This Fall

1.     Less Competition to Sell

The common thinking is to get your house listed while the market is buzzing. This logic certainly has its merits, but the reverse can also be beneficial. If you list your home in September or October, you have less competition for buyer attention. This means you’re less likely compromise on your listing price.

2.     Buyers Are Serious

Because the market is so saturated in the summer, it’s easy for fluff buyers to sneak into your Open Houses and waste your (or your Realtor’s) time. These people like the idea of moving, but have no real intent to make it happen soon. In the fall, those kinds of buyers disappear. The people scoping your digs in September/October are serious about the prospect of moving in!

3.     Existing Market is More Flexible

Fall is the perfect time to enter the real estate market because while you’re coming in, confident that selling in the “off season” will work for you, everyone still left on the market from summer is desperate for a sale. Since selling a house usually means you’re looking for another, you’ll find the existing market is much more flexible in negotiations. If you find a bargain on your new autumn home, you’ll be more empowered to make strategic decisions in the selling process of your former house.

4.     Prime Time for Curb Appeal

Changing leaves add natural curb appeal to make your house look cozy and comfortable in time for winter. Curb appeal is hugely important in selling price. In a few months, you won’t have this factor on your side due to snow and barren trees.

5.     More Attention from Realtor

Regardless of the time of year you sell your home, the true key to success will be the marketing strategy by your real estate agent. By listing with an agent during his slow season, he is able to give you more attention. He can pour his entire budget into your goals. Your home will host more Open Houses and Broker Previews than it would any other time of the year!

6.     No One Wants to Move When It’s Hot

Okay, so this one is kind of silly – but it’s true! Summertime moves have their merits, but that means carrying all those boxes in and out of trucks during the hottest time of the year. It’s much more appealing to get everything into your new home with a cool breeze at your backs and then enjoying a hot cocoa to celebrate the new digs!

With these reasons to sell your home this fall, now is the time for you to list your house if you want to maximize your profit and minimize the time you sit on the market. Get settled into your new home in time for the holidays!

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American Home Styles and Architecture

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When you’re on the market for a new home, you’ll always see descriptions like ‘Victorian,’ ‘contemporary,’ etc. But what do these words actually mean? Take this quiz to see if you’re familiar with American home styles and architecture!

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House 1

This type of home appeared first in the medieval period. Today in America, it is characterized by central fireplaces, steep roofs, and a design to stay cool.

House 2

Towers and diverse design mark this style of architecture. Another staple is the intricate window frames.

House 3

Often seen along the coast, this design is notable for its lack of extravagance with minimal overhang and dormer windows.

House 4

This architecture is associated with adobe construction. Most often seen in New Mexico and surrounding areas.

House 5

Credited as the start of the open floor plan.This popular architecture has a long, low profile. Usually has an attached garage and minimal decorations.

House 6

Usually includes open floor plans, tall windows, and unconventional design.

 

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