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Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2018

What Not to Leave in Your Garage During Extreme Weather

Any kind of extreme weather could bring potential damage to your garage. Fortunately, a lot of the risks they present are preventable mdash; although a recent Esurance survey found that only 25 percent of homeowners proactively prepare for damaging weather events. Donrsquo;t get caught unprepared. Whether itrsquo;s triple-digit heat, below freezing cold, hurricane seasons or drought-induced wildfires, itrsquo;s best to prep your garage ahead of time to minimize your safety risks.

From fire hazards to burst pipes, herersquo;s how to prepare your garage for extreme weather.

Extreme Heat and Wildfires

Propane tanks
Propane tanks should never be stored indoors in the first place, but they are a particularly big risk in extreme temperatures as they begin >

Do this instead: Store propane tanks outdoors, about 10 feet away from the house and out of the sun. Make sure theyrsquo;re painted in a color that reflects light. If theyrsquo;ve been left in the sun and you worry that theyrsquo;ve gotten too hot, hose them down.

Oil-stained rags
It might seem obvious, but oil-stained rags have been known to cause house fires mdash; even if theyrsquo;ve been through the wash. When the temperature in your garage rises to extremes, they can spontaneously combust. If a wildfire breaks out, they pose a substantial risk for fueling the flames and even causing small explosions.

Do this instead: Dispose of heavily used oil-soaked rags and replace them. Wash gently used rags a few times before storing them in a covered metal can.

Aerosol cans
Eighty percent of aerosol cans mdash; even ones filled with hairspray and the like mdash; contain 3 to 5 ounces of butane or propane. When temperatures reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit, they can explode, sending bits of metal shrapnel through the air, or they can become propelled like rockets, capable of causing serious injury or damage.

Do this instead: Store aerosol cans in the garage only if the temperature is between 55 and 80 degrees.

Snow/Ice Storms and Extreme Cold

Aluminum cans
Carbonated beverages are temperamental, and they can be dangerous at freezing temps. Beverages like soda and beer freeze at around 15-20 degrees. Once frozen, the carbon dioxide separates from the water and pressurizes, becoming especially dangerous if handled or opened, potentially bursting and sending the top of the can flying.

Do this instead: Keep your canned, carbonated beverages in a refrigerator or cabinet in the house, where they wonrsquo;t freeze.

Glass bottles
Similar to aluminum cans, water-filled glass bottles can shatter in the cold, regardless of whether or not the liquid is carbonated. Thatrsquo;s because water expands as it begins to freeze. It can wreak similar havoc on your pipes.

Do this instead: Store your glass beverage containers in the house along with the aluminum cans.

Exposed pipes
As water gets colder and colder, it begins to expand, putting extra pressure on pipes. Regardless of the strength and material of the pipes, they will eventually burst under the pressure.

Do this instead: Let water drip from your faucets. Moving water helps prevent freezing. You can also insulate your exposed pipes to prevent them from freezing. Conventional foam insulation is easy to slip over existing pipes with a bit of tape. You can also go with the self-sealing variety, but you may want to leave the spray foam insulation to the pros.

Hurricanes and Windstorms

Generators
Anticipating the power going out? Make sure yoursquo;re not running your generator inside mdash; even in your garage. Generators produce large amounts of carbon monoxide, which can be deadly in contained, unventilated spaces.

Do this instead: Set your generator up outside mdash; at least 10 feet from your house mdash; to ensure proper ventilation.

Open doors and windows
It might go without saying, but open windows or doors in your garage invite tons of messy debris during a hurricane mdash; not to mention the potential damage to your car and other belongings.

Do this instead: Double-check that your garage door is closed and any and all windows are shut and locked before the storm makes its way in. Consider installing storm windows or shutters to the exterior of the garage to add extra protection against high winds and heavy rains.

Important Documents and Sentimental Items
With an increased risk for flooding and water damage, make sure you remove any important files or boxes with sentimental items before the storm hits.

Do this instead: Move any at-risk items safely indoors and store them in an interior room for the duration of the storm.

Are you prepared for extreme weather? Protect your family and your home by inspecting your garage to prevent unsafely storing potentially dangerous items in a weather emergency.


Eric Brandt has more than 25 years experience in the insurance industry. Eric currently serves as Chief Customer Advocate for Esurance, where he leads the customer experience, including claims fulfillment. Prior to joining Esurance, Eric led customer-centered transformations in the areas of claims, risk management and >
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Has Your Marketing Content Become Stale?

Does your marketing receive regular complete overhauls? Or, do time
pressures only allow for the periodic makeover of one or two content
sections? On the other hand, you may simply rearrange existing content
with little more than headline changes. Or, do your marketing efforts
fall somewhere in between? Regardless of the approach you take, why are
you confident your marketing content and strategies resonate with your
select target market?

Answer this on-point ldquo;YES or NOrdquo; Quick Quiz to clarify where you
stand regarding content creation:

1. Is there really anything new to say about buying and selling real estate?nbsp;YES/NO

2. Is there anything that buyers and sellers havenrsquo;t heard already?nbsp;YES/NO

3. Is there truly something different about the way you, as a real
estate professional, work with real estate prospects, buyers, and sellers?nbsp;YES/NO

Real estate professionals who want to create magnetic, engaging real
estate content for their target market must answer each of these three
key questions above with a resounding ldquo;YES.rdquo;

Professionals who answer one or all of the questions above with ldquo;NOrdquo;
will not only produce stale content, but they may also find other
aspects of their practice and their productivity lacking

1. If real estate professionals cannot continually see ldquo;newrdquo;
perspectives in buying and selling real estate, how can they stay fresh
and eager enough on a daily basis to attract prospects and retain clients?

2. Professionals who donrsquo;t believe there is a lot that buyers and
sellers will benefit from hearing about real estate, may not radiate
enthusiasm and, as a result, may not be as productive or resourceful as
necessary to build a sustainable practice and achieve long-term
financial goals for themselves and their clients.

3. A professional, who does not clearly see how to uniquely serve the
niche of buyers and/or sellers this professional wants to zero in on,
cannot expect target prospects and clients to see any difference between
this professional and the rest of the real estate ldquo;pack.rdquo;

Fresh, target->
deep, accurate knowledge on many levels, but always from the targetrsquo;s
point of view.

Are you in the right frame of mind to create great content for the
buyers and sellers you aim to serve? Professionals who decide to hire
custom content developers or to buy stock content, must also know
exactly what targets need and why.

bull; How do you measure the effectiveness of your marketing
content? Buyers and sellers expect their selected real estate
professionals to continually prove and improve their value. Marketing
content, in any format or on any social media platform, must meet the
same target value demands. How do you measure ROI Return on
Investment on your marketing efforts, for you and your clients?

bull; How regularly do you update your Brand Profile? Fresh,
engaging language, concepts, and offers are essential to keep your brand
uppermost in the minds of target buyers and sellers. Donrsquo;t follow
your competition into trends-lead your targets.

bull; Have you recently updated the selected target buyer and
seller profiles or personas you concentrate your business efforts
on? Do your target profiles and content on each social media
platform synch up, but remain distinct and in keeping with each specific
platform? Is your content an engaging, thought-provoking mirror of
target issues?

bull; What process and systems do you use to efficiently recycle
and refresh content across selected social and traditional media? Do
you have a documented marketing strategy that transforms blog posts into
email newsletters, then into YouTube videos and interactive webinars, or
whatever media your targets prefer? What criteria do you use to
decide when to employ your own content creation skills and when to hire
proven expertise?

As well as consistently improving content development, professionals
benefit from becoming progressively more sophisticated, more refined,
more elegant in their communication techniques, approaches, and
outcomes.

Herersquo;s an example of clever email content that lets target clients
convince themselves of the value of the content developer, while quickly
and simply revealing what targets are doing right and what more they can
do for themselves. A lot is packed into one 7-page, graphic-rich
publication. Does it inspire you to tackle something similar to reveal
your value while giving your targets opportunities to measure their
ability to be excellent buyers or sellers working in their own best
interest?

New-York-based content developer, Contently, recently
produced ldquo;The Contently Content Maturity Modelrdquo; as email
marketing content.
Disclaimer: Although I have met some Contently staff, I do not have a
working >mine.

bull; The Model reveals how, as Strategy, Technology, and
Process improve, this leads to ldquo;significant improvements in efficiency,
data use, and collection, and alignment across teams.rdquo;
bull; The checklist of ldquo;major attributes that represent your maturity
at each [of four] phasesrdquo; reveals what you donrsquo;t do and should when it
comes to content development, and what Contently does for their
clients.
bull; The strong sales pitch is in plain sight. Does it seem balanced
by valuable content to you? If not, you may not be the selected target.

Resource:
For more, visit PJ Wadersquo;s ldquo;Whatrsquo;s Your Point?rdquo; blog.


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5 Tips for Economically Renovating Your Home

In 2017, homeowners spent an average of 15,000 on house renovations. However, you need to take each step carefully if yoursquo;re on a tight budget. Letrsquo;s walk you through some simple tips to remodel your home economically:

1. Begin by cleaning up

As soon as the idea of home renovation pops in your mind, you need to hold your horses. This is because any design pointers that come to your brain at this point will be hazy. Thanks to the clutter, you cannot develop a crystal clear idea of what you want.

If you canrsquo;t do that, you canrsquo;t budget realistically. It details the very purpose of renovating your home reasonably. Therefore, start by cleaning your place thoroughly. Declutter and clear out what you donrsquo;t need.

Chances are that cleaning your space and rearranging the furniture can help you redesign your entire house. If your house is in good shape, only cleaning and moving things around can work to give your house a new look. If not, then this DIY project will help you visualize the home remodel that you want.

2. Set a realistic home renovation budget

Business Insider revealed that 61 of us donrsquo;t have a budget, but that wonrsquo;t work if you aim to renovate your house on a shoestring budget. You need a budget, and while you are at it, you need a realistic budget.

This means that if you put yourself in utopia and estimate fairytale costs, you wonrsquo;t be able to get anywhere with your home renovation plans. Hence, you need a fair estimate of what renovations you want in your house.

For instance, if you plan to spruce up your existing backyard, then you need to research the rough estimate of getting done all that yoursquo;ve in your mind. On average, Landscaping Network reports that a budget of 25,000 is typically dedicated to backyard renovation. A good contractor such as Terra Nova Landscaping can help you figure out the costs as per the revamps you want.

3. Decide what you want in advance

Budgeting means there is no room for a change of heart at the last minute. You also donrsquo;t get to be picky, saying that a certain color doesnrsquo;t look the way you anticipated it to, because such double-mindedness quickly adds to the costs.

The simple way to nip this unwelcome evil in the bud is to plan beforehand. Browse through the internet or flip through interior design magazines to get an idea of what yoursquo;re looking for. Turn Pinterest upside down if you have to while rooting around renovation ideas and trends, but do it before you seal the deal with your contractor.

Once you have a blueprint of what you want in your mind, yoursquo;ll be better able to map out your budget. Plus, you can save your money from going down the drain by saving yourself from buying things on impulse.

4. Get a black and white paint palette

You know that you need your home remodeled when the color leaches from your walls. Since yoursquo;re on a mission to give your house a new look on a tight budget, consider a black and white color palette.

Getting different colored palettes can add to the total cost. To counter that, go for the >

Alternatively, choose a neutral color scheme for your rooms. It is a perfect pick because it offers you a lot of flexibility when it comes to decorating. This makes the neutral color scheme a budget-friendly choice because it allows you to add nearly any deacute;cor or accent color.

5. Think smaller home remodeling changes

Another smart tip to refurbish your house on a tight budget is to make small changes. While itrsquo;s nice to think of the big picture, it is useless to daydream about a new look for your house if you donrsquo;t have the cash to make the dream come true.

In such a case, making small changes can significantly change your housersquo;s look. One way to do this is to renovate your house in sections. For instance, get your kitchen renovated this year and then save up and revamp your bedroom sometime later.

Or, you can make minor changes that make a big impact. For instance, change the hardware on the kitchen cabinets for a refreshed look instead of getting the cabinets replaced altogether. Similarly, change the rugs or curtains in your house for a different look.

Wrap up

Budgeting can be tough but not impossible. You can always stay within the limitations of your wallet by planning, making small changes, spending thoughtfully instead of impulsively, and doing some work yourself.


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How to Create Stairs That Get Stares

Paint Them

ldquo;Can you paint stairs?" The short answer: Yes Painted stairs are a budget-friendly way to replace the nasty carpet on your staircase,rdquo; said Knock It Off Kim. ldquo;Painting stairs with a faux stair runner will completely transform your staircase for just penniesrdquo;

These painted stairs give you the look of a runner but with vivid hues you can bring to life with a stop at Home Depot. ldquo;We cant think of a better way to return after a long, hard day at work than being greeted by these bright blue and yellow stairs from Pufik,rdquo; said The Spruce. ldquo;We love the faux carpet runner look created by the deep blue block coloring. Plus, the deep color is a great way to hide marks and dirt without a lot of elbow grease.rdquo;

If you donrsquo;t think painting the surfaces on which you step is the best option for you, you donrsquo;t have to ditch the paint brush. Painting just the risers, and not the treads, can bring in interest. We love this numbered look from The Vintage Round Top. There are several other options for using stencils to create a modern patterned look on the risers.

Adding Storage

The area under your stairs is just wasted space. Why not turn it into useful storage? These pull-out drawers offer a place to hang coats and place shoes. But theyrsquo;re just the start of what you can accomplish by reclaiming the space under the stairs. How about these bookshelves under the stairs that bring function and flair.

This lake house is gorgeous from top to bottom, but scroll down to photo 12 to see the charming reading nook that was created out of dead space. A dog house under the stairs is the ultimate space for your pooch. Or, turn it into a place for the kids to play.

Modernizing and Opening Up

Removing traditional stiar posts and adding glass panels can make a huge impact on your space, making it feel more contemporary. It can also make a small, closed-in space feel larger. ldquo;When space is at a premium, a single newel and cleverly angled diminishing glass allows the balustrade to finish against the ceiling allowing the full width of the stairway to be maintained to add sparkle and light into a small space,rdquo; said Abbott-Wade.

Get Crafty

This Stella McCartney store is full of beautiful ideas using wooden blocks, but theyrsquo;re especially chic on the staircase.

Go Temporary

You can get a stylish look without the permanence by going the peel-and-stick route. Lay on these Scandia decals and yoursquo;ll have a whole new look in minutes.


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6 Creative Things to do With Your Pumpkins This Year That Dont Involve Pie

Paint Them

You can find as many painted pumpkin tutorials as you can pumpkins in the patch. We love this ombre spiderweb pumpkin craft because of how easy it is to pull off. You can have a unique look in a matter of minutes Chalk paint in a variety of colors can help you create a homey lookmdash;especially useful if yoursquo;re not keen on orange.

Stripe Them

Talk about easy and high impact The copper tape on these white pumpkins transforms them into something designer-looking, and this craft only requires a few minutes of work. You can also choose silver tape or opt for something non-metallic if you want to bring in more color or match your interiors.

Amp up Your Carving

This isnrsquo;t your typical carving. All you need to do is cut out spaces for the eyes and make a squiggly mouth. The addition of heavenly-veined plastic eyeballs makes these undead pumpkins extra creepy.

Address the Situation

7 in stickers from Amazon and a can of spray paint can turn your pumpkin into something personal that will look great on your porch or front steps.

Make Them Fancy

Whatrsquo;s better than sequins to fancy up those pumpkins? ldquo;These might be the easiest, sparkly pumpkins yoursquo;ve ever made,rdquo; said Sugar and Cloth. ldquo;Apply the craft glue to the pumpkin in a circular motion, then pat a few sequins in place once the glue is tacky, being sure to cover the whole circle. Let them dry, and yoursquo;re all set.rdquo;

Revive Your Buffet Table

Throwing a Halloween party? Yoursquo;ll obviously want pumpkins as part of your buffet table, and you canrsquo;t go wrong with a little vomiting pumpkin. Especially when you add guacamole.

If your party is for a mixed crowd or adults-only, yoursquo;ll love this handy tutorial to turn your pumpkin into a keg. ldquo;Making a pumpkin keg is easy as pumpkin pie. All you need is a sharp knife, a tap, beer, and about 15 minutes of your time,rdquo; said No Spoon Necessary. ldquo;Utilizing a pumpkin as a keg and filling it with beer adds a touch of pumpkin flavor to your favorite brew. Plus, itrsquo;s a great conversation piece and it is festively funrdquo;


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Decorating Tricks for Hiding Kids Messes While Selling Your Home

Hide in Plain Sight

With overflowing toy boxes and tea-party set-ups overtaking the living room, it may be unrealistic to banish all kid stuff to other rooms. Instead, make use of your furniturersquo;s built-in compartments and drawers. Have a storage ottoman next to the sofa? Fill it with everything from action figures and dolls to coloring books, art supplies, stuffed animals and more. Divide the credenza in the family room so that your little ones can store toys behind its closed doors. Accent the open shelves with ceramic vases, family photos, decorative carafes and other appealing decor items.

If your built-in storage is already in use, opt for two or three woven baskets with lids instead. Place them wherever you want, whether itrsquo;s next to the loveseat or on the bottom shelf of a console table. Buyers will be too busy appreciating your homersquo;s cleanliness and open floor space to think about whatrsquo;s inside.

Hide Within Reach

Families in smaller living spaces might consider another strategymdash;underbed and attic storage. While the underside of your childrsquo;s bed may be already home to all sorts of tchotchkes, encourage kids to neaten it up with rolling plastic or rattan storage bins. Discreetly stow away everything from dress-up clothes to seasonal clothing in multiple containers. Slide them out of sight, then help your little one make the bed with an oversized quilt that conceals whatrsquo;s hidden below. The best part? These containers can still be used after moving into the new bedroom or playroom.

For toys that are too big to fit in this space, such as kidsrsquo; teepees and play tents, consider collapsing them and stowing behind a dresser. If the dresser has legs that makes it easy to spot whatrsquo;s behind it, opt for a chest instead.

Rotate Toys in Longer-Term Storage

Consider storing bins of toys longer-term and swapping them out every few weeks. In addition to the attic and basement, the back corner of a deep closet is a great place to stack storage tubs filled with everything from building blocks and board games to miniature cars and pull toys. Strategically hide them behind long coats so a quick peek inside the closet doesnrsquo;t give anything away. Better yet, switch out the storage tubs for suitcases. Rotate the toys in storage every few weeks--kids will have renewed interest when they come out of hiding.

Minimize and Add Some >

Rather than attempting to conceal every toy, consider downsizing. Prior to the first showing, help your little one sort through toys, determining what still gets played with and what doesnrsquo;t. Sort into ldquo;keep,rdquo; ldquo;donate,rdquo; and ldquo;throw away.rdquo; This streamlines the cleanup process and makes it easier to stow away what remains. Bonus? Yoursquo;ll have less to move when the time comes. For every item your children give up, consider rewarding them with small change or a trip to a favorite restaurant or ice cream shop.

For kidsrsquo; areas like bedrooms and playrooms, embrace the playful nature and just add a little >

Strategically rearrange home decor to hide kidsrsquo; messes while your house is being shown, and potential buyers will see a clean space that theyrsquo;ll want to make their own.

nbsp;

Heather Cordonnier is a writer for Crate and Bar>
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The New District of Columbia TOPA Law

In July, the D.C. Council revised the law - exempting most single-family homes, including those with basement rentals also known as "accessory dwelling units." The council opted to exempt single-family homes based largely on a study showing that only 5 percent of renters ended up buying their homes under the previous law.

If youre a renter disappointed that you wont be able to buy the single-family house youre in, you might be interested to know that there are two exceptions - if the tenant is more than 62 or disabled and if they signed a lease before March 31 and moved in by April 15 they are entitled to a modified TOPA.

The law is a little complex, so lets take this example:

John owns a D.C. condo and Gale is his tenant. John has just listed the property for sale with a real estate company for 650,000. Gale does not qualify for the modified TOPA. Prior to July 3, John had to send a single-family TOPA form to his tenant. Now, he only has to send Gale a notice that he
intends to sell. A copy of the form referred to as "Form 1 must also be sent to the D.C. Office of Tenant Advocate as well as to the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development DHCD. Since TOPA is not applicable in our example, John is free to sign a contract with anyone and ultimately go to closing. Of course, Gale still has all of the other rights available to tenants here in the District, and still has the right to buy if she submits an offer which is accepted.

But now lets change the facts: Gale is either over 62 or disabled and meets the calendar requirements spelled out above. She receives Form 1. By law, she must advise John within 20 days after receiving the form that she may be eligible for the new TOPA. Gale officially advises John by sending him Form 2 which explains her status. That form is called "Letter to Landlord."

Proving that Gale is over 62 is not difficult. All she needs is a passport, a drivers license or some other document reflecting her age. But proving disability is more difficult. Accordingly, Gale sends another form Form 4 called "Response Letter to DHCD" if claiming elderly or disabled status. To protect the privacy of the tenant, that form only goes to the District, which will determine if Gale qualifies.

If the city certifies her as eligible, John must then send her a form that either tells her he has or does not have a third party sales contract. Once Gale receives either form, she has 20 days to advise John of her interest in buying. She then has 25 days to negotiate a sale contract with John. If that is accomplished, Gale has an additional 45 days to go to settlement. That can be extended to 75 days if a lender indicates it needs a little more time.

The interesting question: Can Gale assign her TOPA rights to a third party? One of the main reasons TOPA was recently amende is that many tenants were assigning TOPA rights for lots of money, much to the disadvantage of the landlord. And often landlords were literally held hostage by tenants demanding money in order to >

Yes, Gale can assign her TOPA rights, but she cannot receive any financial payment for the assignment. The assignee can only give Gale is a 12-month extension of her lease after it expires and at the same rental rate.

Tenants living in houses with only two to four units or in buildings with five or more apartments remain under the old TOPA law.

The new law will clearly make it easier for single-family homeowners as well as owners of condos and co-ops to sell without having to go through a time-consuming process, and will discourage the efforts by tenants to stall the process in order to get more money. Since its inception many years ago, there have been numerous lawsuits in which plaintiffs often tenants were seeking guidance
on the impact of TOPA on a specific set of facts.

Only time will tell if the modified TOPA is judgment proof.

The new forms can be found here.nbsp;


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Construction and Permanent Loans Explained

A construction loan is one where funds are issued to build a new home. Some construction loans provide financing to build on someonersquo;s lot they already own while some construction loans provide funds for both the lot and the construction. Construction includes funds for both soft and hard costs. Soft costs are those for things such as permits, zoning and legal compliance while hard costs are for materials and labor, for example.

When someone builds a new home, theyrsquo;ll work with an architect to design the home. Sometimes they can also pick from a builderrsquo;s list of plans and choose a set of blueprints previously completed. The next step is to get a bid from a contractor who will break down the cost to build the home and how long it will take to complete the project. Next, the plans are delivered to the bank who will review the project and if it complies with the bankrsquo;s construction guidelines, the loan is approved.

But the construction loan isnrsquo;t issued in one lump sum. Instead, funds are issued in stages of completion as the home is being built. The first issuance of funds might be to clear and prepare the lot. Once the bank is alerted the lot has been prepared, an inspector will arrive at the property and confirm its completion. Then, the next stage is funded and so on until the home is finally finished. The bank will order out one last inspection to confirm the property is ready for occupancy. Now, the bank wants its money back.

Construction loans are short term in nature, only long enough to finish the project. This is where a permanent loan comes into play. While the home is being built, the buyers also obtain approval from a mortgage company that will issue a traditional mortgage, paying off the construction loan completely. There are a few programs out there that combine both the construction and permanent financing with just one loan, referred to as a ldquo;one time closerdquo; loan or something similar.

Yoursquo;ll want to talk to your mortgage loan officer about permanent financing and the construction process in general and get your various financing options. But with many, getting a construction loan first and then replacing it with a permanent loan is the less expensive path.


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HGTV Designer Leanne Ford Simplifies Finding the Perfect White Paint with PPG

ldquo;We all should feel empowered to create a space for ourselves that we love coming home to at the end of the day,rdquo; said Ford. ldquo;Color is such an impactful way to do this, so Irsquo;m thrilled to work with PPG, a leader in paint and color that is headquartered in my hometown of Pittsburgh, to bring the power of paint to life for homeowners. Itrsquo;s really about giving everyone the confidence to use paint and color fearlessly in their homes to create spaces that theyrsquo;re proud of. For me, this all starts with picking the perfect white paint.rdquo;

For Ford, the ldquo;perfect white paintrdquo; palette will be represented in three PPG tones: Pure White, a true white hue, Natural White with a warmer tone, and White On White as a cooler alternative.

Swatches of PPG Pure White, PPG Natural White, PPG White On White

How should homeowners choose the perfect white for their home? Ford simplifies the process by providing some design tips for each hue.

When using Pure White, Ford recommends pairing it with exposed brick, marble, or greenery to give spaces a more modern look, and also suggests Pure White in rooms that seek to enhance natural light.

Natural White is best matched for those homeowners seeking to create a ldquo;cozy retreat,rdquo; as this hue is the warmest of the bunch and is more likely to provide a sense of >

Finally, Ford suggests pairing PPGrsquo;s White On White with wood tones and mixed metals, and recommends using this hue in smaller rooms to make them feel more spacious.

The colors are available in the PPG Timelessreg; and PPG Diamondtrade; paint lines at The Home Depot locations across the U.S.

To read the full press >

Photos courtesy of PPG.


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Study Says Buying a Home is Cheaper Than Renting

"The report demonstrates that the money Canadians are spending on monthly rent, if used instead to finance a home, would be a very beneficial investment over time," says Will Dunning, author of the report. "The costs of owning and renting continue to rise across Canada. However, rents continue to rise over time whereas the largest cost of homeownership - the mortgage payment - typically maintains a fixed amount over a set period of time. The result is that the cost of renting will increase more rapidly than the cost of homeownership."

"Buying a home also has more long-term upside than renting," says Dunning. "Everyone wants to save for their future, but rising costs, including rent, are making that more difficult. The lower life-time costs of homeownership mean that owners have more ability to save for retirement than do renters. The financial benefits of homeownership go beyond equity accumulations."

The report comes as Canadas homeownership rate is dropping for the first time in 45 years. A report by Point2Homesnbsp;found that 11 of 13 provinces saw the share of homeownership drop in the 2016 Census, according to Statistics Canada.

Homeowners still outnumber renters by more than two-to-one. The homeownership rate hit a high of 69 per cent in 2011 but dropped to 67.8 per cent in 2016. The number of renters rose from 31 per cent in 2011 to 32.2 per cent in 2016.

Dunning acknowledges in the report that its not easy for first-time buyers to come up with a down payment, due to rising house prices and government housing policies such as the mortgage stress test. It requires borrowers to qualify for a mortgage at two percentage points higher than the posted mortgage rate.

The study determined that across the dataset of 266 locations and different dwelling types, the total cost of homeownership is an average of 3,052 per month, compared to 2,511 for renting the same property.

"However, the cost of ownership includes a substantial amount of principal repayment 990 in the first month. Since this results in a reduction in the amount of mortgage owing, it is a form of saving," says Dunning. "There is, therefore, a net cost of homeownership that excludes the repayment of the principal. This net cost of 2,062 per month is lower than the cost of renting by 449 per month. On this basis it is, on average across the dataset, currently cheaper to own than rent."

He says that since the homeowner is tying up a lot of capital with the down payment and closing costs, they should consider the rate of return on that investment.

"In this data set there is a negative rate of return -5.2 per cent per year when the total cost of homeownership is calculated," he says. But when calculating rate of return, "the repayment of principal must be taken into account since it is a legitimate component of the return on investment. On this basis, the rate of return at the beginning is an annualized rate of 4.3 per cent."

While some people might consider this "inadequate," Dunning says that since buying a house is a low-risk investment, a high return on investment shouldnt be expected. His calculations did not include any capital appreciation on the home, since there is no guarantee that house values will go up. "In most situations, homeownership is justified financially without any need to expect price appreciation," he says.

Another advantage is that homeownership in Canada has a tax-free rate of return, which other investments do not.

In Dunnings scenarios, if the mortgage interest rate does not change, in 10 years the cost of ownership will be lower than the cost of renting in 263 out of the 266 cases. If the rate rises a full percentage point after five years, owning will still be cheaper than renting in 92 per cent of the cases, and if the rate is up by two per cent after five years, 82 per cent of the homeowners in the scenarios still come out on top.

"Looking even farther ahead, by the time the mortgage is fully repaid in 25 years or less, the cost of owning will be vastly lower than the cost of renting in every one of the 266 cases," says Dunning.

He also looked at data from Statistics Canada to compare the wealth of homeowners versus renters and found that homeowners igrave;are distinctly better off financially compared to tenants who are similar in age and level of income. The difference is not just in terms of their home equity. Owners have more non-housing wealth than tenants. This may reflect that because owners have lower lifetime housing costs than tenants, they have more opportunity to accrue other savings.icirc;

Dunning adds: "In this light, is it any wonder that Canadians remain highly interested in homeownership? Contrary to what might be asserted by some housing bears, home buying is not the result of a cult, a mania or a delusion. It is the result of a reality that, even at much higher house prices, and even with the risk that interest rates may increase substantially, in most situations Canadians, over long periods of time, are still much better off as homeowners than as tenants."


Full Story >


quot;Cite and Finequot; Policy is at Work in California

The departmentrsquo;s ldquo;cite and finerdquo; authority is found in California Business and Professions Code sect;10080.9 and Commissionerrsquo;s Regulations 2907.

A 2014 DRE Bulletin explains the workings of ldquo;cite and finerdquo; this way: ldquo;A citation or other formal action will be considered when a violation is found after an investigation, audit, or examination of a licenseersquo;s records by CalBRE [now, DRE] in response to a complaint, through random selection of a licensee for an office visit, or from completion of a routine audit. Depending upon the nature such as the level of seriousness and potential for harm and type of the violation, the appropriate action will be determined.rdquo;

The Department says that ldquo;a citation is likely the appropriate actionrdquo; in cases of ldquo;>

Suppose a citation has been received. ldquo;The citation will identify the violations you committed, provide information on how to pay the fine, describe any corrective action needed if necessary, and explain the process for contesting the citation, if you choose to.rdquo;

Offenders will appreciate the policy that ldquo;information regarding specific citations issued ndash; and any fines paid ndash; will not be posted on the DRE website, nor will such information be attached to onersquo;s individual public licensee website record.rdquo; Still, the information is public and can be obtained through a Public Records Act request.

There is a review process if an accused wants to contest the citation. The first level of review is a Citation Review Conference which is an informal review of the citation conducted by the DRE. If the citation and fines are upheld, the next level would be a formal administrative hearing before an administrative law judge. That can take both time and money. Clearly, it will often seem prudent simply to pay the fine.

Not much has been heard of ldquo;cite and finerdquo; until lately. Ms. Goralik pointed out that in the months from July 2017 until March 2018 most recent figures available, there have been 768 citations issued and 311,550 in fines collected. The money collected, by the way, goes to the Real Estate Recovery Fund ndash; for consumers ndash; not to the Departmentrsquo;s operational budget.

The emphasis of this activity has been on compliance issues with respect to the recently-issued advertising regulations. Real estate ads occur in a perfect venue for the application of ldquo;cite and finerdquo;. A department investigator could stay home in his or her pajamas and compile lists along with evidence of non-compliant ads in the Sunday newspaper. Not to mention all the non-compliant websites and postings of listings.

Some prominent companies and agents have already felt the sting of the increased ldquo;cite and finerdquo; activity. Others can expect to. Itrsquo;s a good time to get compliant.


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Chimney Liners: Does Your Home Have One - Do You Even Need One?

Chimney liners are a protective barrier usually made of metal or ceramic. Liners insulate heat moving through the chimney, protecting flammable areas of your homes structure. They also protect flue masonry from cracks or crumbling mortar due to repeated heating and cooling.

Why worry about your chimney liner?

Cracks or damage can lessen the effectiveness of the liner, which make burning anything in your fireplace or wood stove risky. Plus, if your liner is damaged, you may have a hard time passing a home inspection and selling your house until its repaired or replaced.

In the "olden days," chimneys were completely unlined or only lined with clay tiles, which could crack or break >

Do you burn wood in your fireplace regularly? You should definitely have your chimney liner inspected as part of an overall maintenance plan performed at least once a year. Cleaning is a good idea as well: The products of burning wood, called creosote, can build up in your unlined or improperly lined chimney, and may eventually cause a fire. Cleaning and inspection from a chimney professional, sometimes called a chimney sweep,nbsp;averages 298 in the US, according to HomeAdvisors surveys of homeowners.

How do you know if your liner needs to be repaired or replaced?

Because its hard to see into your chimney, you may be uncomfortable determining whether your chimney professional is accurately assessing your needs. There are two options for confirming a diagnosis of damaged chimney liner:

1. See for yourself. From inside the house, open the flue and look up as far as you can. Next, check the chimney from the roof by removing the cap and doing a visual inspection. Any signs of cracks or rough edges can signify an issue and confirm your chimney professionals assessment.

2. Hire a chimney professional with a camera. Most modern chimney companies run a scope with camera down the length of the chimney as part of their inspection. Upon request, theyll likely be willing to record the video and share it with you, detailing the issues they see.

What if you dont have a chimney liner at all?

If your home is older and youve determined that your home only has the stone or brick of the outer chimney, you need to decide whether a liner is necessary. First, check your citys fire code. This may mandate that you install a liner if youre making any changes to or installing a wood-burning stove or fireplace. If you burn wood in your fireplace or in a wood-burning stove, its recommended that you have a stainless-steel liner to prevent overheating your chimney and risking a fire. In some locations, your citys fire code may mandate that you install such a liner if youre making any changes to or installing a wood-burning stove or fireplace.

However, if youre not using your fireplace and your chimney acts solely as a vent for your furnace or water heater, you may not need to have a liner installed. Cracked masonry should be addressed from an energy-savings perspective -- a lot of air could be escaping from your home, depending on where the damage to the chimney is located -- but its not likely to be a fire hazard.

Homeowners with gas or electric inserts most likely do not need a new liner because those types of fuel dont produce enough heat to damage a masonry chimney.

Do you have questions about your chimney and whether it needs a new liner? A chimney professional can answer your questions and schedule an inspection for your home.


nbsp;

Sources:

  • HomeAdvisor: Chimney Maintenance Keeps Your Family Safe
  • Chimney Safety Institute of America: About Chimney Liners
  • Why Do I Need A Stainless Chimney Liner?

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How to Stay Safeand Safeguard Your Homein a Flood

Many flood safety tips concentrate on what you can do to prevent one, but the most immediate concern for those who are in the path of rising waters is what to do to remain safe, protect others, and maybe even safeguard their cherished things at that very moment.

The most important tip

The single most important thing to do leading up to any storm in which flooding is a concern is to listen to officials. Heed warnings to evacuate; as we have seen in countless other storms and during the coverage of Hurricane Florence, those who stay behind put themselves, and those who then have to attempt rescues, in danger, and use up resources that are needed elsewhere.

Stock up on food and essential items

Let images of empty bread shelves in the days before a serious storm hits be a warning: The grocery store is going to be ravaged. Be the one to do the ravaging before everyone else gets there so yoursquo;re stocked up should roads be impassible and stores be inaccessible for a period of time.

ldquo;Once therersquo;s a hurricane warning, donrsquo;t wait until the last minute to buy groceries,rdquo; said National Flood Experts. ldquo;Stock up on non-perishables, water, and basic first aid items. Failing to do this will probably ensure that by the time you get to the store, yoursquo;ll be met with empty shelves. While yoursquo;re at it, also buy an external battery pack for your cell phone.rdquo;

Make your home as safe as possible

Hidden dangers in your house could prove disastrous during a flood. ldquo;If a flood is imminent, take the following steps as soon as itrsquo;s safe: Shut off electrical, furnace, gas and water, and disconnect appliances if safe,rdquo; said The Co-Operators. ldquo;Move valuables from the basement to upper floors. Raise large appliances up on wood or cement blocks. If items canrsquo;t be raised, consider anchoring them and protecting them with a floodwall or shield.rdquo;

Get to higher ground

If you happen to be out on the road when flooding occurs, ldquo;get to higher ground,rdquo; said Weather.gov. ldquo;Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, drainage ditches, canyons, washes etc.rdquo;

If yoursquo;re at home, go to a second or third story. In some cases, you may need to go even higher to escape the rising tide. During 2017rsquo;s historic flooding in Houston, officials made it a point to discourage anyone from entering the attic, and climbing onto the roof instead.

ldquo;Officials are advising people to get on the roof of their home to escape extreme flooding inside,rdquo; said WeatherNation. ldquo;Those trying to escape the floodwater in their homes are instructed not to stay in the attic, because you could become trapped.rdquo;

Take your emergency supplies

You donrsquo;t want to get stuck on the roof of your home with no emergency supplies and no way to communicate that yoursquo;re in danger. As you move to higher ground, bring your emergency stash with you, if you can do so safely. And remember: Donrsquo;t risk your life going back for things that can be replaced. According to Esurance, a flood kit should include: ldquo;three days worth of water one gallon of water per person, per day, three days worth of non-perishable food, a hand-crank radio, which also operates as a flashlight and cell phone charger these are manually powered and can be purchased at most electronic stores, a flashlight and extra batteries, and a first-aid kit.rdquo; You can see the rest of the list here.

Tread lightly

Once the waters recede, the danger isnrsquo;t over. In fact, the condition your home is in could be hazardous to your health. ldquo;The initial damage caused by a flood is not the only risk. Standing flood waters can also spread infectious diseases, bring chemical hazards, and cause injuries,rdquo; said the Centers for Disease Control CDC. ldquo;After you return home, if you find that your home was flooded, practice safe cleaning. Remove and throw out drywall and insulation that was contaminated with flood water or sewage. Throw out items that cannot be washed and cleaned with a bleach solution: mattresses, pillows, carpeting, carpet padding, and stuffed toys. Homeowners may want to temporarily store items outside of the home until insurance claims can be filed. Walls, hard-surfaced floors, and many other household surfaces should be cleaned with soap and water and disinfected with a solution of one cup of bleach to five gallons of water.rdquo;


Full Story >


Seize the Savings: What to Buy in September and October

Yoursquo;ve already done the back-to-school thing, Labor Day is over, and yoursquo;ve got a bit of time before those Black Friday sales kick in. Whatrsquo;s a mega-shopper to do? Donrsquo;t worry. There are plenty of deals to be had right now, if you know what to look for. Wersquo;re breaking down the best things to buy in the second half of September and during all of October.

Outdoor kitchen faves

You might be surprised that you can still find great deals on outdoor living essentials even though Labor Sales have ended and Columbus Day sales have yet to begin. Check out Lowersquo;s and Home Depot for sales on grills and smokers.

Plants and trees

Depending on your climate, fall planting may not be out of the question. Thatrsquo;s good news, since, in September, ldquo;Nurseries are eager to clear out their remaining inventory and fall is an ideal time to plant trees, perennials, and shrubs,rdquo; said Bradrsquo;s Deals. ldquo;And because the retailers are dealing with perishable items, they may be willing to negotiate the price.

Appliances

New appliance models are often >

Gardening tools

Itrsquo;s also a good time to stock up on items for your garden, even if you wonrsquo;t be needing them until next year. ldquo;As the seasons change and the temperatures plunge, all things garden-friendly start to drop in price, from lawn mowers and leaf blowers to hoses,rdquo; said Money Talk News.

Outdoor furniture

In most areas that have some semblance of a winter season, there are great deals to be had on outdoor furniture at this time of year. ldquo;Unless you live someplace like Florida, where it stays warm and sunny all year-round, you probably wonrsquo;t be spending much time on the patio or in the garden for the next few months,rdquo; said SmartAsset. ldquo;October is a great time to scoop up outdoor furniture and accessories.rdquo;

Bicycles

Clear some space in that garage, because your holiday shopping is officially about to start Bicycles tend to go on sale in September because ldquo;retailers wanting the bikes out of their stores to make room for winter sports gear,rdquo; said Bradrsquo;s Deals. ldquo;its an ideal time to grab new bikes for yourself. Itrsquo;s also a great way to get a jump start on some holiday shopping.rdquo;


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5 Mistakes Home Sellers Make

nbsp;

Wrong Price

The first misstep is to price the home wrong. Either too high or too low. Getting the price ldquo;just rightrdquo; means getting the most out of your home while at the same time not pricing it out of the market to the point where very few, if any, potential buyers reach out. If you have some time to sell, you could list your home on the higher side compared to recent sales in your area. If you need to sell quickly, the lower end can help. You should contact a couple of real estate agents and ask for a Comparative Market Analysis.

Flying Solo

Some home owners think they can save a few thousand dollars by selling a home without a real estate agent when in fact it can cost someone thousands of dollars by not using a real estate agent. You simply canrsquo;t provide the reach that a licensed real estate professional can. When a home is placed into the local Multiple Listing Service, the home is then available for potential home buyers all across the country and not just your neighborhood. A deeper buyer pool means more offers.

Show Ready

One thing yoursquo;ll need to keep on top of is the selling condition of your home. This means both inside your home and out. Howrsquo;s the curb appeal? When someone first pulls up to your home are they automatically drawn in? Or maybe the lawn needs some work and the shrubbery is a little ragged. Keep the lawn trimmed and free of clutter. Power wash the sidewalk, driveway and front porch. Inside, you also need to de-cluttter. Open up each room by placing bulky furniture into a storage unit. Take down family photos and portraits. When buyers walk into your home they want to be able to visualize it being theirs, and having an instant reminder that itrsquo;s not by having family photos all around detracts from that.
Inspection Home buyers are advised to have a potential property inspected to discover anything that needs to be fixed, updated or repaired. But you too should hire an inspector to perform a complete run-down from basement to attic looking for anything that needs your attention. The buyers will order an inspection so you want to know what theyrsquo;ll discover before they do with their own.

Getting Anxious

Donrsquo;t get too anxious and donrsquo;t jump at the very first offer. Your sales price will probably be much higher than what you originally paid for it, but take a deep breath when that first offer comes in. Give your agent plenty of time to list your home and hold open houses to gain a wider audience and have some patience. If you accept an offer very early on in the process, you might be costing yourself thousands of dollars and no more offers.


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5 Ways Moving Improves Your Happiness

This Is Your Brain on Moving

Whether yoursquo;re moving out of necessity or out of desire, the act of >

1. Nicer Neighborhoods

If yoursquo;re not happy with your quality of life in your current neighborhood, apartment building, or town, a move can help you find greener pastures. A sense of community can be a big indicator for personal happiness; when you feel connected to your surroundings, your sense of fulfillment will be higher.

Our environments also impact our happiness in significant and surprising ways. Quality of life is directly linked to our surroundings, and major cities across the world have begun using happiness as a metric for understanding the economy. Moving to a nicer neighborhood with more trees, a vibrant downtown, or a peaceful local park can truly improve your happiness if your current location is lacking these basic amenities.

2. Social Support

A social support system is an essential part of feeling safe, comfortable, and happy. Our friends and family are often an essential resource when it comes to personal fulfillment. The American Psychological Association APA finds that social support systems are a strong indicator of reduced stress and increased happiness.

Moving closer to friends and family can put your social support system within easy reach so you cope with lifersquo;s stresses in a more productive way. If yoursquo;re moving to a new area without a social support system, there are lots of ways to branch out and find new friends. Once you get settled, your social network will start brightening your life.

3. Economic >

Our finances are often the main driver of a move. Whether yoursquo;re seeking a new job or an area with a lower cost of living, a move has numerous ways of reducing financial stress. Money can be a big driver of unhappiness mdash; in fact, itrsquo;s the top cause of stress in the United States, according to the APA. Moving to >

If yoursquo;re planning to move for financial reasons, applying to jobs in several cities and picking the best offer is a good strategy. Cities vary by cost of living since utility prices and general costs like food or transportation vary across the nation. Finding a city with a good ratio between cost of living and average salary can leave you with much more financial freedom; cities like Dallas, Houston, and Philadelphia have high hiring rates and some of the lowest living costs.

4. Better Climate

It can be hard to live in a place where the weather stresses you out. Weather->

Moving to an area with more tolerable weather for your personal preferences can have a big effect on your overall happiness. Nicer weather and more sunlight can coincide with increased levels of happiness, and nice weather enables activities like outdoor exercise, which can definitely lighten your mood.

5. Safer Cities

In the famous psychologist Abraham Maslowrsquo;s hierarchy of needs, a feeling of safety is second only to basic physiological needs like breathing, eating, and sleeping. Feeling safe is a complex emotion, combining aspects of physical, psychological, vocational, and economic security. Feeling insecure can put a hard cap on how happy yoursquo;re able to feel.

Moving to a city with a lower crime rate or a neighborhood with a little more privacy can give you the space you need to breathe, >

Find Your Space

The process of moving can be stress-inducing, but the long-term benefits can make it worth the trouble. Moving for any of these reasons can help you make the positive changes in your life to feel more content and gratified.


Full Story >


Renovating With Your Kids: Projects You Can Do Together

Renovating your home? Why not make it a family affair, getting the kids involved in projects that can make them feel included and proud of their work.

Not every job is gong to be right for your kids.

But there are several tasks they can do with supervision, and a few they might be able to handle on their own, depending on their age and maturity level.

The first step is to properly explain the tasks at hand and identify any risks.

"Parents really need to talk to their kids who are old enough to understand and lay down ground rules for the renovation," says Eric Phillips, vice president and general manager at DreamMaker Bath and Kitchen of the Triangle in Apex, NC on Bob Vila.

"And once the rules are there, parents really have to have the discipline to enforce those rules with their kids."

Feeling good about their ability to help? Go renovate something together


Kukun

Cleaning and chucking

Before any renovation can start, youll probably have some cleaning out to do. The traditional three-pile method of "keep, sell, donate" can work well for kids. Telling them they can keep whatever they make on the sale of their old things usually inspires a job well done.

Painting the walls

Your kids have probably been painting since before they could speak. With their fingers, anyway. They probably havent lost the love of covering surfaces in pretty colors, so set them up with a paintbrush and let them go Youll want to give them a basic tutorial that illustrates how to best get paint on the desired surface without dribbles. And dont forget to prepare the area with heavy-duty dropcloths, tape up baseboards, and move furniture and furnishings out of the way so they dont accidentally get splattered.


teal amp; lime

Sanding

Use caution with electric sanders, or any power tool for that matter, when your kids are involved. But sandpaper or sanding sticks and a surface that needs to be stripped down could be a good way to bring some kids in on a renovation. Youll need to make sure they have a dust mask, eye protection, and a well-ventilated area. Sandpaper in tender hands might cause abrasions, so make sure there are gloves as well.

Creating new art

You probably already have a stack of your kids art showcased or stashed in your home. But directing them to create something new specifically for a showcase wall or tabletop is a great way to involve them in your renovation without worrying about them getting hurt. Choosing colors and materials together at an art store and show them ahead of time where their art is going to be displayed can get them excited about this new projectmdash;and maybe make them feel better about the fact that they dont get to handle the nail gun.

Backsplash

Doing your own kitchen backsplash is a >

Pulling up carpet

Kids who love to dismantle stuff read: all kids will love being able to help roll up carpet for removal. The box knife needed to slice it up is probably not the best tool to put in a kids hands, but taking up the tack strip? A handy child can use a pry bar and rubber mallet to handle this task. Just take proper precautions with gloves, eye protectors and the like. Those nails can be nasty.


Chasa

Laying wood floors

Kids can be helpful gluing and placing wood planks and might even enjoy the process. Can you leave your five-year-old alone to handle the job? Probably not. But working side-by-side with your children laying out the wood pieces will make you all feel good every time you take a step.

Wallpaper removal

The tedious peeling away of old wallpaper might be the perfect task for your kids. Even if they dont finish the job, any wallpaper you dont have to peel off yourself is a bonus. Trust us.

Other demolition

An invitation to break stuff? Oh yeah Just remember to take all safety precautions goggles, closed-toe shoes, and gloves if needed and make sure the demo is appropriate for the age group i.e. you might not want to leave your five-year-old alone with a power saw..

Gardening

If your renovation includes an outdoor element, youre in luck Kids love to get dirty. Depending on the age and inclination of your children, a bag of soil and a shovel might be considered a good time


Full Story >


7 Home Items That Will Absolutely Make Your Life Easier

A crumb and dog hair vacuum

We were at the hairdresser when we first spotted the EyeVac Home Touchless Sensor Activated Vacuum. She swept up a big ball of hair into this wondrous little stationary machine in the corner and it gobbled it all up. Clearly this had to be purchased for a home with three shedding dogs. Magic happens when you sweep with the included broom crumbs and hair and anything else collecting on your floor into the slot at the bottom. You can keep your malfunctioning Rumba. Wersquo;ll take our EyeVac.

The Airmega 400S

While this is not a budget item itrsquo;s currently on sale for 548, down from 849, on Amazon, you canrsquo;t put a price on good air quality, right? Whether someone in your household has bad allergies or you just want to make sure yoursquo;re breathing cleaner air, this air purifier is a great option. Technological advancements make it easy to use; the built-in air quality sensor can be controlled by Airmegarsquo;s app or by Amazonrsquo;s Alexa.

A hidden trash can

If you have dogs, and if those dogs like to get in the garbage, and if yoursquo;re sick of doing things like picking up half-eaten trash strewn about your home, yoursquo;re going to love this trash can. Not only does it hide away the trash so your pets canrsquo;t get to it, but it does so while looking good. Therersquo;s a nifty DIY tutorial here, but if you want one ready-made, be sure to look for a tilt-out version. Theyrsquo;re easier to empty.

Tile

Why are you not using Tile yet? If yoursquo;re the type that misplaces your keys or other important items, itrsquo;s a must-have. ldquo;Tile is one of the most popular lost item trackers on the market,rdquo; said Tech Crunch. ldquo;The company, to date, has now sold over 10 million of its Bluetooth-connected dongles that work with an app on your phone to help you find misplaced items, like your keys, purse, wallet, tablets, laptops, luggage and more. And because of the way its app works, Tile can leverage its community of millions of app users to help you find your device, even when yoursquo;re out of range. That is, if another Tile user is near your missing device, an alert with the location attached is sent to your phone.rdquo;

A gel anti-fatigue kitchen mat

If you have to spend time making dinner and/or doing the dishes, at least make sure your feet and legs are comfortable and feeling good duringmdash;and after. Therersquo;s nothing worse than sore legs from housework instead of a good workout The rub on comfy kitchen mats has always been that you can get cute or you can get effectivemdash;but not both. That is changing, as these GelPro mats actually have some stylish options.

Dash Deluxe Rapid Egg Cooker

We first saw this on vacation, where it was perched next to the buffet table, cooking up soft-boiled eggs for breakfast. Yoursquo;ll want one, too, since it can ldquo;perfectly cook 12 eggs in less time than it takes to boil water,rdquo; said Dash, making ldquo;omelettes, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, and poached eggs.rdquo; Plus, it can ldquo;steam vegetables, seafood, dumplings, warm tortillas, and more.rdquo;

The Snap SmartCam for home security

ldquo;This is one of the most perfect gadgets you could want for home security,rdquo; said Money Inc. ldquo;Though it looks like a USB charger, it isnrsquo;t. It is a full HD 1080p resolution security camera that will watch your home while you are away at work, shopping, or any other necessary daily task. No batteries are required. But the advantages just keep on coming. The Snap SmartCam will continuously record the activities inside your home, and when it reaches the end of its maximum recording capacity it continues by overwriting the earliest videos on the device. You can download the recorded videos is you want to retain them for your records. Oh, the USB appearance not only conceals the security camera, but it actually functions as a charger.rdquo;


Full Story >




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Today's Real Estate News and Advice Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2018

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5 Tips for Economically Renovating Your Home

In 2017, homeowners spent an average of 15,000 on house renovations. However, you need to ta...
> Full Story

Copyright © 2018 Realty Times®. All Rights Reserved