10 Things to do for Daylight Savings Day

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Today, or more so tomorrow at 2am, is daylight savings time. Below are a list of 10 things to do on Daylight Savings Day:

  1. Reverse ceiling fans to “winter mode” which is essentially counterclockwise. This helps during winter months to pull the heat up to the ceiling and down along the wall. This will help keep your home warm during the winter. (For those who live in Florida, you may want to wait a few weeks or a month, it’s almost cooler out).
  2. Flip your mattress.
  3. Check the batteries in your fire/carbon monoxide alarm.
  4. Back up your devices. If you do not have an external hard rive to hold all of your storage needs, now would be a good time to purchase one and back up all the technology in your home.
  5. Seal any cracks along the windows and doors. Re-caulk around the tub, toilet, and sink if needed.
  6. Schedule a furnace inspection.
  7. Drain your water heater as suggested by energy.gov. Flowchart Explaining types of water heaters and maintenance
  8. If you have a chimney, call a certified chimney inspector to complete an inspection: Chimney Safety Institute of America
  9. Clean out the medicine cabinet and toss expired medicines and replace with new ones.
  10. Set you clocks back before you go to bed!

Here’s to a productive weekend and also a Happy Halloween!

10 Tips for Staying Safe This Halloween

8004066789_2feaa517ba_bHalloween is this Saturday and many will be trick or treating, passing out candy, and attending costume parties. Below are 10 tips for staying safe this Halloween:

  1. Children 12 and under should be accompanied by an adult. If the kiddos are old enough to trick or treat this year, make sure to have a plan. Discuss the route they can take (make sure they are with a group), pack flashlights and have a time to be back home.
  2. Make sure to eat a nutritious dinner and bring some water so no one gets dehydrated.
  3. If you have visiting trick or treaters, make sure the path is well-lit and remove any debris or possible tripping hazards from the yard.
  4. Bring a flashlight and place reflective tape on costumes.
  5. When driving through neighborhoods, drive extra slow and be extremely watchful of pedestrians.
  6. If a sword or cane is a part of the costume, make sure it is very soft and flexible so no one gets hurt.
  7. If the costume has a mask, make sure it fits well or just wear a fitted hat so vision is not blocked.
  8. If make-up is being used, test a small area first for any potential allergic reactions. Make sure to wash all make up off at night so no possible irritants occur the next morning.
  9. Remind the children to only go into friends’ homes, never anyone you do not know. If someone says to come in for candy, say no and go to the next home that is less weird. Also, go to homes that have the porch light on and are well-lit.
  10. Make sure to check ALL candy before letting children partake. And do not accept any home-made treats, only fully wrapped and packaged, store-bought candy.

Remember to be safe and have a fun and Happy Halloween!

10 Ways to Add Instant Value to Your Home

Whether you plan to sell your home soon or in the future, it’s important to know the best ways to invest and add value to your home. Here are 10 ways to add instant value to your home:

  1. Spruce up the yard. Often, landscaping is not the first thought on what can add value to your home, but a nicely landscaped and clean front and back yard can really attract buyers and encourage neighbors.
  2. The front door. This is the first thing potential buyers will notice. It’s important to choose a beautiful front door that is great quality, such as A1 doors, and also one that coordinates with the style of your home.
  3. Maintenance and repairs. Often, we want to just spend money on the lovely things we can see. But if you need to update your plumbing, air conditioner, windows, etc. those things will add great value! Not only to the quality of your home, but also to potential buyers who will see that the home is well maintained.
  4. Paint. Paint can do wonders. Your walls will instantly look brighter and cleaner! If getting ready to sell, it’s best to choose neutral colors so potential buyers can see themselves living there.
  5. Updating the kitchen and bathroom. If you cannot afford a major renovation, simple updates will help. Replace old knobs, re-caulk, clean up the grout, fix any floors, replace faucets, and paint cabinets. These simple updates can again brighten and refresh the look of your home.
  6. Adding insulation in the attic if you already have not done so. This will also help save you money in the long run.
  7. Replacing the old garage door.
  8. If you have an overly large attic and the funds, renovating it into an extra bedroom or living space will also add value. It is instant square footage!
  9. Replacing floors. If you have old floors or wall-to-wall carpet, consider replacing with hard wood, engineered wood, or laminate.
  10. If you still have popcorn ceilings, consider getting those removed.

 

Any of these improvements will add value to your home. Whether you are preparing to sell or stay, you can also enjoy these new improvements!

10 Items You can Say Goodbye to Now

We all hold onto things thinking that we may use it one day or maybe someone will need it on that off-chance and we will be the ones to have that very item! Well, it’s time to get rid of those things that we just haven’t used. You can sell, donate, or just toss. A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t thought of it or needed to use it in over a year, it might be time to say goodbye. Below are 10 Items to start on today:

  1. Old Magazines
  2. Expired make-up
  3. Expired seasoning (if past due, the seasoning has lost its flavor!)
  4. Take-out menus you never look at
  5. Duplicate power cords
  6. Extra set of bed linens (2 per bed is helpful to have)
  7. Unused plastic containers (especially ones without lids) Most can be recycled!
  8. Clothing you have not worn in over a year. Keep the clothes you enjoy and really like to wear!
  9. Knick knacks that do not make you smile every time you see them
  10. Old/outdated party supplies/decor that you never care to use anymore.

You may find that while organizing and decluttering, you will find more things that you do not need or use anymore. Cleansing can help lessen stress and help you to truly enjoy every bit of your home!

 

10 Quick Tips

For the month of October, we will be doing a brief series of 10 quick tips!

Today, we will focus on 10 Quick Tips to add instant curb appeal for little cost:

  1. Paint your front door. Trendy colors have been ones that pop- a light blue, pastel yellow, and red.
  2. Pressure wash everything. It’s amazing what wiping away years of dirt and grime can help your home look brand new.
  3. Upgrade your house numbers.
  4. Upgrade your porch light.
  5. Add some hanging planters, vertical planters, or a small variety of potted plants on the porch and around the front of your home.
  6. Cover an exposed foundation with ready-made panels such as a faux stone or brick.
  7. Hide your A.C. unit and trash cans with fencing, plants or a DIY wall.
  8. Replace your old doormat with a fresh one.
  9. Add faux shutters to your front windows to add some layer and texture to your home.
  10. Place some faux stone or brick edging along your garden and sidewalk path.

Any of these tips will help to refresh your home and cost very little!

October Events

 

It has officially been six days of fall! It may still feel like summer in Florida, but the official first day of fall was last Wednesday, September 23rd. Even if it is still a bit warm out, we are thinking about apple cider, pumpkin spice everything, pumpkin patches, and fall festivals.Hewlett-Packard

Below are links to a few well-known events in the Tampa Bay Area and surrounding counties:


Hunsader Farms-
Event Dates: 10/10, 11, 17, 18, 24th, and the 25th.

Every year, Hunsader Farms hosts a large event for all ages. Pumpkin patch, craft fair, food, mazes, hay ride, and various information booths. There is something for everyone and will you keep you busy the whole day! You leave feeling like it is truly fall time! For more information, visit their website: Hunsader Farms

Boyd Hill Autumn Fest-Event Date: 10/17

Also every year but much more simple. If you want the Fall festival feel but something much smaller and with some more specific kid-friendly events, this is the festival to attend!

Boyd Hill Monthly Event Calendar

Zoo Boo at Lowry Park Zoo- Event Dates: varies throughout October

This year debuts the all new ZooBoo kids which allows the whole family to enjoy the holiday in a non-frightful and fun way.

ZooBoo Kids

Oktoberfest in Tampa-Event Date: 10/9, 10, and the 11th

3-day event full of family-friendly fun!

Oktober Fest at Curtis Hixon Park

For other events happening throughout Florida, visit the following link:

Tampa Bay Times October Fun Events

Painting the Exterior of Your Home

color-791622_1280Painting the outside of a home can feel daunting-from choosing the right color scheme to deciding whether to do it yourself or hire a professional. Below are some considerations and tips as you make your final decision:

Deciding on a Color Scheme

  1. Take a walk and observe the colors of your neighbors’ homes. You want your home to make sense with the rest of the neighborhood. You may also find some inspiration on what color to paint your home.
  2. If you have a much older home, the time period that the home was built can help with the color palette decision. Depending on where you live, you may need to discuss with the historical society in your neighborhood. They may have suggestions on which colors will complement the “Victorian” or “Queen Anne” style of your home.
  3. There are multiple tools out there that can help you visualize the color scheme. You can take a picture of your home, upload it to the site, and pick the potential colors to get an idea of what you may want. Many name-brand paint companies will provide this tool.
  4. Once you decide, paint a few large swatches on the side of your home. Give it a couple of days to see how it looks. Sun, weather, shade, and even the landscaping of your home can effect the color.

To Hire a Professional or DIY?

Once you have decided on a paint color, it’s time to decide whether you want to tackle it yourself or hire a professional. If tackling it yourself, there are plenty of great resources to help you plan and accomplish your goal. Below are a few resources to help:

Tips from a Pro

How to Paint The Exterior of Your Home

Ten Things To Know When Painting The Exterior of Your Home

Whether you are painting your home to freshen its look or to add curb appeal to sell, it’s important to research, test out paint, and take the time before committing to such an impactful project.

 

Decluttering the Home

It’s September and many are thinking and dreaming of fall. In Florida, we are especially hopeful of slightly cooler weather. It’s almost time to pack away summer and bring out the fall. As you do, consider decluttering and organizing your home.

Try not to tackle decluttering your home in one day. It will be overwhelming, exhausting, and you may not want to finish. Pick one room of your home per weekend to focus on. This will help to truly organize. Speaking of organization, don’t purchase storage containers until after you have decluttered and can take a full inventory of what kind of storage will work for you.

Below are a few ideas to help get you started:

  • In the Kitchen, look for expired spices. Even if the container is full, toss it if it’s expired. It will have lost its flavor anyway. If you have a blender that’s been taking up cabinet space for two years and never been used, time to give it away. Donate or toss anything that you do not use and is taking up unnecessary space.
  • For the bathroom, toss any expired medicine, old nail polish, and old make-up. The bathroom will instantly feel bigger.
  • In your closet, get rid of clothes you have not worn in years. You will thank yourself when you can better see and reach the clothes you do enjoy wearing.

When thinking of the space in your home, it’s important that it is a place that functions for you and allows you to truly enjoy it. As the weather begins to cool in the next month or so, you will be thankful when you can sit on your couch, cozy up with a warm drink, and enjoy a decluttered and organized home.

Labor Day Weekend!

Labor Day was first established in the late 1800’s and commemorates the contributions that American workers have put into continuing the strength and well-being of the country. Labor Day also kicks off the football season, school season, and fall. Retailers will often have great sales to celebrate the labor day weekend.

Click on the link below to see what events are happening in Tampa Bay:

Tampa Bay Times Labor Day Weekend Events

Happy Celebrations!Fireworks_-_Adelaide_Skyshow_2010

Researching Before The Big House Searching

Ah, the first day of September. For most places, the weather will be getting cooler. For Florida, that simply means a few more weeks of barbecues and pool time. However, the pumpkin spice lattes will be available soon, school has begun, and the Fall decor is ready to be purchased at the store. Regardless of the temperature, it’s almost Fall time and maybe you are beginning to think about your move in the spring or early summer. Now is a good time to do some research before you begin the big search.

Purchasing a home is a difficult decision and it’s important to take your time, but also remember that no home will be perfect. When looking at older homes, remember that there will be quirks such as hidden closets, not much storage space and extra repairs such as plumbing and windows. Newer homes won’t necessarily be perfect either, the design may be beautiful, but no one has been living in it yet. Be prepared for both small issues such as the sink faucet needing to be replaced to potential big ones  (again, plumbing issues). There is hope that with a newer home, there will be no issues, but it is best to be prepared.

If you feel certain about a home, ask your realtor to show it to you again. Open every door, look under rugs, sit down and take in the room. Sometimes when we first see a home we love, we quickly dream of spending holidays in the family room, hosting dinners in the dining room, or reading by the window. We forget to notice all the quirks and possible fixes in the home. Drive by the home at different times of the day to get a good feel of the neighborhood.

Once you do make an offer, make sure to get an inspector with great credentials and be present on the day of the inspection. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, even ones that seem silly. This is your future home and you want to make sure you know what to expect and that you can comfortably make it into your home.

House hunting can be fun but also overwhelming. No house is perfect, but there is definitely a house out there that can be your home.