How Do You Decide Which House to Buy?
Home fires are one of the most common causes of injury, death and property loss each year. Often these fires occur due to homeowners not being aware of certain fire hazards in their homes. These are some safety tips for preventing home fires from occurring. Cooking Safety Always remain in the kitchen when frying, grilling and broiling foods. Do not go outside the home when baking, roasting or boiling foods. Be sure to use correct temperatures on your stove and set timers to the correct times as directed. Keep any flammable items, such as pot holders, dish towels and plastic containers stored away from the stove. Heating Safety If you heat with a fireplace, be sure to keep the area clean and free of dust and debris. Use a fireplace screen at all times and never leave your fire burning when you are not at home. Be sure to turn off kerosene heaters, space heaters and other portable heaters off when you leave home. All portable heaters should be equipped with a safety shut off that turns them off if they get knocked over. Whether you heat with electric, gas, wood or kerosene always keep all flammable items several feet away from your heat source. This includes curtains, furniture, clothing, newspapers and anything that can catch fire quickly. Teach children to stay a safe distance away from heating systems, and do not allow pets to play near them. Smoking Safety If possible, always smoke outside. Be sure you have a bucket filled with sand to put cigarettes out safely. When smoking indoors, do not smoke in bed, or when you are sleepy or under the influence of medications that make you drowsy. Check under sofa and chair cushions to ensure no burning cigarette butts have been dropped. Electrical Appliances On occasion, check all the wires and plugs to electrical appliances and other electrical components throughout your home to ensure they are not frayed or broken. This includes small and large kitchen appliances, computers, lamps, televisions and all items that are plugged into electrical outlets. Fire Alarms Fire alarms should be installed on every level of your home. These need to be placed in bedrooms, kitchens and near your homes main heating source. Test the fire alarms frequently and if they do not work, replace the batteries right away. Consider having a company like 4 Seasons Fire Prevention Services Ltd install your fire alarms so you’re sure they are properly placed. Fire Escape Plans Plan a fire escape plan with your family so they will know how to get out of the home should a fire occur. Draw out a map of the escape plan and tape a copy of it on various walls throughout your home where you and your family will see it on a regular basis. Be sure to go over the escape plan with young children often. It is also important to keep matches and lighters stored away in a safe place where children cannot reach them. Do not leave candles unattended and do not burn them near curtains, tablecloths, paper or other flammable...read more
As the weather turns cool, mice will see your home as a comfortable alternative to staying outside. Once inside, they’ll begin the quest for food and nesting materials, leaving a mess in your house. Here is how to spot the signs of these rodent pests and how to get rid of them. Strength in Numbers Your mouse population will grow quickly, with a single female producing up to six pups every three weeks. She can give birth to nearly three dozen mice each year. If you can spot the mice soon after they arrive, you may be able to trap them yourself and get rid of the population. But even after just a few days, the mice will become established and it will be time to call a pest control service. Signs of Mice Activity If you suspect mice in your house, don’t limit your search to the floor level. Mice are good climbers and jumpers. They can fit their bodies through very small openings. This means your kitchen cupboards, book shelves and other high places are at risk of harboring mice. They do prefer dark and quiet locations, which makes a shoe box on the upper shelf of a closet an ideal place for a nest of mice. Look for the following signs of a mouse presence: Dark droppings about the size of a grain of rice. Wood, paper and cardboard with chew marks. Cloth, paper and other fibrous items that have been shredded for nesting material. Dirty footprints across the floor. DIY Trapping Tips If you decide to try trapping the mice, follow these tips to be most effective: Set multiple traps along any path you think the mice favor. Wash your hands or use gloves to set traps so you don’t pass on your scent. Remove any trapped mice immediately as others will avoid that area as long as the body is present. Wear gloves when removing a dead mouse so the body doesn’t transmit a parasite or disease to you. Reset traps in the same area because the mice will learn to avoid that path to a food source. Continue setting out traps until you don’t see mice for several days. When You Can’t Keep Up With the Mice If you continue to set out traps and catch mice for several days, they are likely outnumbering you. It’s time to get help from a pest control service like Academy Pest Control Ltd. They will track down the nests and remove the breeding individuals. The service will spray your home’s foundation and any favorite mouse paths to prevent the movement of mice into and through your house. The technician will also give you advice on how to store potential food items to cut off the source for the...read more
If you aren’t sure if you want the responsibility of owning a home but you want to invest in property and you are tired of renting an apartment, a townhouse may be great for you. There are many reasons people love townhouses as an alternative to owning their own single family home. The townhouse is going to give you the privacy that you want, free of having people above you and below, but still be part of a community. Here are a few things that may imply you’re ready to buy a townhouse. You Don’t Have Time for Maintenance If you don’t have time to mow the lawn or to shovel snow out of the driveway you’ll want consider a townhome residence that has a small HOA fee. That fee will cover all of the maintenance so you don’t have to worry about buying all of the equipment needed to keep the grounds, or having the time to do it all. You Want More than an Apartment If you want more space than a basic apartment and you are looking for something that has more privacy, a townhouse is best for you. The town home will have its own entrance so you don’t have to share a common hallway or gathering area with other people, and you will have different floors throughout the space. This means you can have your bedroom upstairs, or separate living areas from the lounging spaces. You Want Amenities You can get townhouses that have their own concierge service, so you can have groceries dropped off or your dry cleaning shipped out. There are also town home communities near shopping centers and in shopping areas with restaurants and gyms, so you can walk from your town home to a variety of entertainment, shopping and dining options. If you aren’t sure if townhouses living will be for you, consider renting a unit until you know if you want to buy or not. You can take a one year lease to see if the lifestyle is going to fit your needs. Purchasing a piece of real estate is an investment, and purchasing a town home in a growing area may be ideal. If you aren’t ready to commit to a large house and you are sick of bouncing around between apartments, townhouse living is a great possibility for you to enjoy. Consider contacting a local realtor, such as Stephen McDonald CIR Realty, if you need a little help shopping for just the right...read more
Searching for an apartment can be an intimidating task, and this is especially true for those that are looking to rent their first place. One of the factors that can make this process more difficult than necessary is believing a couple of frequently held assumptions concerning apartment rentals. After you have the following two ideas refuted, you should be better prepared to find the perfect apartment for your needs and budget. Myth: You Will Always Have To Sign A Year Lease There is a frequently held notion that you will have to sign a lease for at least a year when renting an apartment. While this is a common lease term, it is not a good fit for individuals that may not need to reside in the same place for that long, such as students and travel nurses. Fortunately, there are many apartment providers that offer short-term lease options that can be set for almost any number of months that you might need. However, you should be aware that short-term leases are often more expensive than longer-term ones. While the higher monthly rent may be somewhat off-putting at first, it is important to remember to pay more attention to the total value of the lease. In which case, a short-term lease will almost always be the better option for those that will not need the apartment for the full year. Myth: Water And Trash Will Always Be Included Another frequently held misconception is that water and trash service will always be included in the price of rent. While there are many providers that include these services in the price of rent, it is not universal. There are many apartments that will require you to pay for these services, and this is often included as an additional charge on the monthly rent. Due to this fact, you should always determine the apartment’s policy regarding these services to make sure you understand what the full price of renting the unit will be. Renting your first apartment does not have to be a difficult or stressful experience. By being as informed about this process as possible, you can be a much smarter consumer when choosing a place to live. In particular, making sure that you understand that flexible leasing options exist and that you may have to pay for water and trash service will help you to choose the perfect apartment for what you...read more
When you own a number of properties, it becomes almost impossible to manage the properties all on your own. From background checks on tenants, to collecting rent and answering emergency calls, keeping track of everything that goes on at the places you own can quickly become a full time job. When you need help record keeping, showing tenants property and maintaining the grounds, it’s time to invest in a property management company. Keeping Your Apartments Full A big part of keeping your profits up is making sure that your apartments are full. This requires good record keeping, as knowing exactly when tenants are moving out can get complicated. The better your records are, the easier it will be to know when vacancies are coming up. A property management company can handle tenants moving in and out, securing new tenants when old ones are ready to move on. Collecting Rent from All Tenants When you have a large number of apartments, collecting rent and keeping track of payments gets tedious. When your tenants don’t pay their rent on time, collecting rent can become even more time consuming. When you don’t have the time or the desire to record and collect rental payments, hiring a property management company to do this work for you is essential. Answering Maintenance Calls Another aspect of property ownership is making sure that the property is well-maintained. This includes answering emergency calls from tenants who are in a crisis, and responding to these calls if there is no one available to take care of the problem. When you don’t want to handle calls all hours of the day, a management company can take this responsibility for you. Scheduling routine maintenance is another time consuming job when you own property, and keeping track of when routine maintenance occurs takes organization. While it’s possible to do this work by yourself, it can be part of the package when you hire a property management company to take care of your properties for you. The more time you dedicate to managing your own properties, the less time you will have to spend on your own career. There is a lot of record keeping when it comes to owning property. From tenant applications, to establishing a solid list of maintenance providers, good record keeping is the key to success when owning properties. If you lack organizational skills, it is in your best interest to work with a qualified property management company (like Rest Easy Property...read more
Storing your items doesn’t have to be a worrisome thing. Many people successfully store their precious items without any problems, because they know how to properly care for those items before and during storage. If you want to protect your belongings, there are a couple of mistakes that you should avoid. Here are some things to know. 1. Never Store Your Furniture and Precious Items Directly On The Floor Most storage units are made of concrete. This is great because it protects the items, and is safer from thieves. However, it is not ideal for your furniture and things like musical instruments, such as pianos. When you place the items belongings directly on the floor, it leaves them susceptible to the temperature changes in the concrete. Your leather will crack, your wood will expand and shrink and your musical instruments will go out of tune and the wood on them can become damaged. This is why you should always prop up the furniture and other items on blocks or even on another storage item. This will ensure that they are protected while being stored. 2. Not Polishing the Surfaces Before You Store Them Polish does more than just make the surface look nice; it also acts as a protective layer between the item and the elements. When you polish wood it helps to protect it from moisture, dirt, and temperature. The wood can easily shrink and expand as the humidity changes, as well as crack and break. If you polish the wood right before you put it in storage, it will be better protected and even if the temperature and humidity does change, it is less likely to be damaged. The same goes for any leather. Leather polish will keep the leather from cracking. Many people notice that their leather furniture is ruined after they store it, this is because they didn’t polish it and they put it in a unit that didn’t control for the climate. 3. Not Covering Their Belongings Even after you polish you should still cover the items. This doesn’t mean that you should take plastic wrap and tightly wrap it, instead you should loosely drape sheets and fabric over them. You want to protect the items from dust and dirt, but you still need there to be enough space so that oxygen can pass through. If oxygen can’t get through the furniture will become ruined. Thus, invest in some fabric and sheets and drape everything. By avoiding these mistakes you can protect your precious belongings while you store them in Richmond...read more