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Posted by Lea Nabipour on 7/16/2018

In times of rising temperatures and growing concerns of climate change, many of us are looking for small ways we can make a difference in our everyday lives. What better place to start than your own home?

It can be overwhelming to plan drastic eco-friendly changes to your home. That’s why we’ve broken these tips down room-by-room so that you can make changes in just one area and then build from there. Starting small will help you see your environmentally-minded project through to the finish.

Read on for tips for each room of your home to make your life more eco-friendly.

Bedroom

We’ll start with a small and easy one: the bedroom. Odds are your bedroom isn’t hogging too much power or creating a lot of waste. However, there are a few small changes you can make that will help you save some money while helping out the environment.

If your bedroom tends to get chilly at night, try using insulating curtains to help keep the cool air from slipping in through the windows. Similarly, on hot days close the curtains at peak sunlight hours to keep the bedroom cool. This small change could save you from having to turn up the heat or air conditioner when you enter your room each night.

The next time you clean out your closet, bring your items to a local thrift store or charity drop-off. You can even ask for a receipt which will make your donation tax-deductible. This way your clothes can extend their lives and stay out of a landfill a bit longer, and you’ll be helping out someone who could use the clothing.

Kitchen

Kitchen appliances offer a lot of opportunity for energy and water waste. When shopping for appliances, seek out appliances that meet Energy Star standards.

When it comes to water, forego the plastic bottles and buy a glass or metal refillable water bottle. Tap filters can greatly improve the taste, and you might find after a few days that you don’t even notice the water tasting differently.

Consider composting kitchen scraps in a composting bin. You can later use this for fertilizing plants in your yard and garden. And, finally, be sure you’re recycling all of your empty food and beverage containers.

Living Room

Is your living room your entertainment center? If so, many of your devices, like cable boxes and streaming media devices, might continue running on “standby mode” wasting electricity. To prevent this, simply plug all of your devices into a power strip and turn it off at night.

Bathroom

Start by using refillable hand soap containers rather than buying a new one each time you run out. This will save you a lot of money in the long run and save you trips to the store as well.

If your hot water takes a long time to heat up and you find yourself running the tap often, consider installing a recirculating water pump in your bathroom.

House-wide improvements

To save on electricity throughout the house, make sure you’re using compact fluorescent bulbs and only keeping the lights on when you’re in the room.

When cleaning, try using non-toxic cleaners or making your own from solutions of water, vinegar, and citrus essentials. 





Posted by Lea Nabipour on 7/9/2018

An open house is a big deal, particularly for a homebuyer who is intent on finding his or her dream residence as quickly as possible. If you plan ahead for an open house, you can make the most of this event.

Ultimately, there are many reasons for a homebuyer to craft a list of questions prior to an open house, and these reasons include:

1. You can optimize your time and resources.

Let's face it – few homebuyers have time and resources to spare. And if you attend an open house, it is important to do everything possible to maximize its value.

With a list of questions in hand, you can attend an open house and learn everything you want to know about a residence. Then, when you have answers to your questions, you can decide whether to submit an offer on a residence or continue your search for your dream house.

2. You can obtain in-depth home insights.

In many instances, homebuyers will attend an open house and leave with many questions about a residence. Yet homebuyers who create a list of questions prior to an open house can quickly gain the insights they need to identify their ideal home.

For homebuyers who want to obtain in-depth home insights, preparing a list of questions prior to an open house is a must. Homebuyers who ask questions about a house's interior, exterior, condition and age can learn about many different aspects of a residence. As a result, these buyers can use all of the information at their disposal to determine whether a house matches their expectations.

3. You can make the best-possible decision regarding a home.

Buying a house is rarely a simple decision. Fortunately, attending an open house with a list of questions can help a buyer make an informed decision about any residence, at any time.

When pursuing homes, there is no reason to leave anything to chance. By preparing questions before an open house, a homebuyer can take a data-driven approach to evaluate a house. And after a comprehensive assessment, a buyer can move forward with a home offer or reenter the housing market.

As you get ready to attend an open house, it may be beneficial to hire a real estate agent too. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you may be able to achieve your homebuying goals faster than ever before.

A real estate agent understands the housing market and its intricacies. As such, a real estate agent can keep you up to date about open house events and help you plan accordingly.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will do everything possible to take the guesswork out of buying a house. If you ever have questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them.

Prepare a list of questions before you attend an open house – you'll be glad you did. By doing so, you should have no trouble discovering your ideal residence.





Posted by Lea Nabipour on 7/2/2018

Selling a home may prove to be a long, arduous process. However, if you act as a reasonable home seller, you can identify home selling challenges and overcome such problems without delay.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that you can use to become a reasonable home seller.

1. Learn About the Housing Market

Real estate is complex, particularly for home sellers. Fortunately, many housing market resources are available to help you become a real estate expert.

For example, any home seller can perform an online search to evaluate the housing market in any city or town. Then, a home seller can use this real estate data to analyze the prices of houses that are similar to his or her own and price a residence appropriately.

Home sellers also should look at the prices of recently sold houses in nearby areas. That way, a home seller can find out whether he or she is preparing to enter a seller's or buyer's market and plan accordingly.

2. Try Not to Get Too Emotional

Let's face it – any home selling journey likely includes plenty of ups and downs. But a home seller who understands the best- and worst-case home selling scenarios may be better equipped than others to stay calm, cool and collected, even in the most challenging situations.

Although a home seller may expect his or her home to sell quickly, it is important to set realistic expectations before you list a residence. This will enable you to avoid potential pitfalls that otherwise can prevent you from achieving your home selling goals.

For example, a home seller who receives a home appraisal will have a good idea about the true value of his or her house. And if the home seller receives a home offer that falls well below the appraisal amount, he or she won't feel disappointed. Instead, this home seller should have no trouble politely declining or countering the proposal.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

If you're unsure about how to price your home or promote your house to the right groups of homebuyers, it often pays to get expert help. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals can help you make informed home selling decisions.

A real estate agent possesses comprehensive housing market expertise and is happy to share his or her home selling insights with you. This means if you ever have questions about what to include in a home listing, your real estate agent can help you out. Or, if you are uncertain about whether to upgrade your house's interior or exterior, your real estate agent is available to provide honest, unbiased home improvement recommendations.

Becoming a reasonable home seller can make a world of difference in any housing market, at any time. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can quickly and effortlessly navigate the home selling journey.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lea Nabipour on 6/25/2018

A home showing represents a learning opportunity for a homebuyer. If you know how to plan ahead for a home showing, you can optimize the value of this opportunity.

Ultimately, preparing for a home showing can be simple – here are three tips to help you get ready for any home showing, at any time.

1. Evaluate a Home Listing Closely

A home listing enables you to learn about a house's age and condition. It also may include pictures that highlight a home's rooms and features. Thus, if you assess a home listing closely, you'll be better equipped than ever before to determine whether a house may be right for you.

As you examine a home listing, it generally is a good idea to think about additional questions that you may have about a house. If you craft a list of questions prior to a home showing, you'll be ready to get the answers that you need to make an informed decision about a residence.

2. Make a Home Showing Checklist

A home showing allows you to examine a residence both inside and out. As such, it may be beneficial to create a home showing checklist that ensures you remember to analyze all aspects of a house.

Be sure to include assessments of an attic, basement and other house areas in your checklist. In addition, it may be helpful to consider checking out a home's proximity to parks, schools and other landmarks. Because the more information that you obtain during a home showing, the more likely it becomes that you can make the best-possible choice regarding a residence.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

If you plan to attend a home showing, hiring a real estate agent is essential. A real estate agent can help you prep for a home showing and ensure you can review all aspects of a residence in no time at all.

Prior to a home showing, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your homebuying goals. Next, this housing market professional will offer expert recommendations to guarantee that you are fully prepared to attend a home showing.

Let's not forget about the comprehensive support that a real estate agent can provide throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent will keep you up to date about new houses that become available in your area and help you set up home showings. And if you want to submit an offer on a residence, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive homebuying proposal.

For those who want to explore the housing market, attending home showings is crucial. If you're able to make the most of a home showing, you can boost your chances of enjoying a seamless homebuying experience.

Thanks to the aforementioned tips, any homebuyer can get ready for a home showing. Take advantage of these tips, and you can approach a home showing with the confidence that you need to succeed.




Tags: buying a home   showing  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lea Nabipour on 6/18/2018

Home automation or smart-home technology is just one piece of the bigger picture that is known as the “Internet of Things.” What this term basically means is that as technologies evolve they are becoming more ingrained into everyday objects.

 What was once designated just for personal computers and cell phones is now the domain of any number of everyday objects--from our cars to our refrigerators. This means we can control things remotely, monitor our houses and our belongings, and even see if our babies are sleeping soundly from work via the latest baby monitors.

 One of the most recent implementations of these technologies is in our home security systems. Home automation and security are natural companions, give us an ever-increasing number of ways to guarantee our safety within our homes.

 In today’s article, we’re going to talk about the objects in our home that can be connected to the internet and how you can improve security at home.  

Security or security risk?

Critics of the internet of things often bring up one chief concern--data security. The more objects we connect to the internet the more ways we open our data up to being compromised. To make matters worse, many electronics manufacturers aren’t concerned with the security of the devices they make, giving them no safeguards or encryption against being hacked.

In fact, these objects have already been commandeered by hackers, but not in the way you might think.

A common way to attack a website or service is to simply flood it with more traffic than it can handle. Since WiFi enabled refrigerators, webcams, and baby monitors tend to provide little protection, hackers have found ways to install malware on them that allow them to send all of these devices to a given site in an orchestrated incident known as a DDoS attack (Distributed Denial of Service). All the while your refrigerator seems to be working normally, but behind the scenes it’s part of a “zombie” army of devices.

What items can connect to the internet?

The number of objects that come equipped with WiFi capability grows every day. Some are extremely useful. They can let you know when you’re out of paper towels or laundry detergent, they can tell you if you forgot to lock the doors or turn out the lights, or you can ask them to play your favorite playlist.

However, just because an item can connect to your WiFi doesn’t mean you should let it by default. You’ll need to consider the pros and cons.

Which items can I trust?

Unfortunately for consumers, there is no “safe to use” list when it comes to the gadgets you might have around your home. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t do your research on the items yourself to look for basic security measures.

First, check to see if the items are password-protected or use some form of authentication. You can often find this information on the manufacturer’s website or in the user guide.

Next, think about who makes the product. Reputable companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon all have a lot invested in the security of their customers. As a result, Google Home, and Apple’s HomePod are likely to have stronger security measures in place.

Finally, you’ll have to take a look at your own security habits. Changing passwords frequently, creating complicated passwords, and being careful with your information online are all ways you can help prevent your data or identity from being compromised.




Categories: Uncategorized