Archive for June, 2009

Jun 25 2009

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Moving to a New Home? Top Ten Most Forgotten Items

Filed under Closing and Moving

For many people, as soon as they know they are going to move, they begin making a list of all the things they need to do. Contact new schools for the kids, open new bank accounts, change the address with the postal service, pack, etc. The list could go on and on. But often, even the most organized and prepared families might forget to do something important before the move or leave something behind. According to moving research, the list below calls out the most forgotten items when moving. Be sure to add these things to your “to do” list as you prepare to move.

 

Old Keys: If you’ve lived in your home quite a while, chances are there are plenty of spare keys around. Take time to collect all of them from friends, family members, your neighbor and that secret hiding place in the backyard. Leave them for the new residents to use until they have a chance to change the locks.

 

Records: Take some time to obtain copies of your family’s medical records. Don’t leave any one out – your family physician, pediatrician, dentist and so on. If you’ve already selected doctors in you new neighborhood, ask the office assistants to transfer or send the records to the new medical offices. This way they can’t get mixed up in all the other paper work during the move. You might also consider having your prescriptions transferred in advance to a pharmacy near your new home. Be sure to remember your pets and veterinary records too.

 

Also, be sure to get copies of your child’s school records. You will need them when you register your child at his or her new school. You might even ask the school to forward the records to the new one.

 

New Address: Keep your new address and phone number handy. You’ll be giving it out to everyone from the doctor’s office and school to the post office and credit card companies not to mention friends and family members. Don’t forget to notify other companies that send mail regularly, such as your favorite magazine, and take time to change your address with the postal service.

 

Find Your Buried Treasure: Collect any valuables you may have hidden around your home. Carry valuable items, such as a coin collection or jewelry, with you when you travel or put them in a safe deposit box until later instead of packing them in the moving van. 

 

Retrieve, Return and Pass On: Spend some time gathering up all the things that are yours that may not be at your house like the hedge trimmer your neighbor barrowed, the shirts you left at the cleaners, the watch that is being repaired and anything else that is being stored or repaired elsewhere. Also, return anything that is not yours. Return movie rentals. Drop off library books. Return tools you’ve barrowed from friends. Finally, if you have any responsibilities in the neighborhood, like helping at soccer practice or serving on a committee for your child’s school or the neighborhood recycling team, pass them on to others.

 

Phone Numbers: Pack the phone books at your current residence. Chances are you’ll need to tie up loose ends for something or another and won’t have the phone numbers you need. Save yourself some time and hassle by taking the phone books with you.

 

Plants and Pets: Most moving companies cannot or will not transport plants or animals. Make arrangements in advance for their safe transfer to your new home. If you will be traveling quite a distance, take time to locate hotels along your route that welcome pets.

 

Clean Up: Keep cleaning supplies out so you can clean your house after everything is out. Use the half empty bottles of cleaner and other partially used supplies so you can simply throw them away before you leave. Or if you prefer, make arrangements with a cleaning service to handle the dirty work for you.

 

Family Funds: If possible, open a checking account in your new town a few weeks before you move. This way you will have cash on hand and immediate access to your funds especially if unexpected expenses arise. Be aware that some businesses will not accept “out of town” checks. Also, be sure to have sufficient cash with you and your credit cards. You never know what you might have to purchase during your move.

 

Garage Opener: Before you back out of the driveway for the last time, remove your garage door opener. You won’t need it anymore, and it will come in handy for the new residents.

 

With a little planning and extra effort, these commonly forgotten items won’t cause you a bit of trouble when moving day arrives.

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Jun 19 2009

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Adding Value to Your Home

Filed under Miscellaneous

ShedThere are many ways to add extra value to your new home. You will not have all the options to make the home improvements one might tackle when remodeling an older home such as adding new windows, redesigning the kitchen to be more user friendly and energy efficient or adding modern features, but there are plenty of ways to add value to a relatively new home.

 

Begin by considering your family’s needs and lifestyle and decide what type of addition will deliver the most benefit in terms of purpose, functionality and usable space. A few popular additions that will add value to your home are listed below. Each offers a specific purpose and increased functionality when it comes to everyday living.

 

Finished Basement – If your home is built on a basement foundation, consider finishing this space. You’ll have plenty of room for a family, recreation or hobby room, extra bedrooms for growing children (like your teenagers) or guests, an additional bathroom or two, a home office or whatever other special space your family may need. Furthermore, you can finish a portion of the space for the rooms your family needs and continue to use the remaining space for storage or finish the entire basement providing maximum livability.

 

Finished Bonus Room – Perhaps you have a bonus room on the second floor or above the garage that you did not finish when your home was built because you did not need it or did not have the funds to finish it at that time. Now, there may be a need for an office, exercise area, eDeckxtra bedroom or guest suite. You might even consider finishing the bonus room to serve multiple purposes satisfying more than one need.

 

Deck – Do you have a backyard with a view? Do you love spending time outdoors? Consider adding a deck to the rear of your home. This space extends the living areas creating an outdoor living space great for relaxing, reading, visiting with neighbors, grilling your favorite meats, dining outdoors and holding summertime barbecues with family and friends. Finishing your deck with a gourmet grill, built-in bench seating or making it a screened-in porch provides further functionality and comfort. Adding a deck to your home increases property value and provides a great space for quiet time and entertaining.

 

Garden Shed – If you love being outdoors and take pride in your yard and flower or vegetable garden, you may have a need for a garden shed. Adding a garden shed to your backyard provides the ideal place for storing lawn and garden tools and supplies and keeps them handy, but out of sight.

 

Detached Garage – There are many reasons to add a detached garage to your backyard. Maybe you have a growing family fleet 0028G-0028and need a place for your teenage drivers to store their cars. Perhaps you are a water sports enthusiast and need shelter for your boat, canoe, jet ski or fishing equipment. Crafters, woodworkers and owners of small home-based businesses might find that a detached garage makes the perfect workshop. Adding a garage to your new home offers flexibility for a variety of needs and purposes. Furthermore, detached garages come in a wide ranch of styles making it easy to find one to match your home. Also, they are available in a multitude of sizes and many offer special features ensuring you’ll find the right garage design to accommodate your needs, budget and lifestyle.

 

Whether your family needs extra living space in the basement, an outdoor place to enjoy Mother Nature or room to store an extra car or two, there are many ways to add value to your home and improve functionality in a practical way.

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Jun 12 2009

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Making your New Home a Safe Place to Live

Filed under Home Safety

Everyone wants their new home to be a safe place to live. This is a list of things you can do yourself to ensure you’ve done your part in making your home safe.

 

·         Clear clutter from high traffic areas and stairs

·         Secure rugs on the floors with carpet tape or non-skid padding.

·         Use no-slip mats and grab bars in tubs and showers.

·         Use caution in the kitchen to avoid burns and cuts. When cooking on the stove, turn pot handles inward. Store knives, scissors and other sharp or pointed items out of reach of children.

·         Mount at least one fire extinguisher on each floor of your home in key areas such as the kitchen or near the garage.

·         Maintain smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home including the basement.

·         Keep a phone and operable flashlight close to your bed for late night emergencies.

·         Maintain adequate lighting especially in areas that do not have windows or are naturally dark such as a staircase.

·         Prominently display your house number using a reflective material and be sure it is easily visible from the street for emergency vehicles.

·         Install sensor and motion lights outdoors to discourage intruders and light your way at night.

·         Post a list of emergency contact numbers in an easy to find place, such as on the refrigerator, and be sure the whole family knows where to find them.

·         Keep a first aid kit stocked and handy for initial care with injuries occur.

·         Maintain a disaster kit with bottled water, flashlight, blankets, non-perishable food and other items for an emergency.

·         Keep a list handy of all family members and any medications they take on a regular basis as well as anything that causes allergic reactions for each person.

 

Starting with these simple steps will help make your home a much safer place for your family. For more information please read, Home Safety Indoors and Out.

 

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Jun 03 2009

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5 Reasons Why We Like the Look of Log Homes and Cabins

025L-0038Whether you are thinking about building a permanent residence or a cozy wooded getaway, your mind might easily drift to a log home or cabin. So why do we like them so much? Before you build your new home or your weekend retreat, consider the following reasons why people like log homes. Who knows, you might just decide to build one yourself.

 

Natural Beauty: Having a natural look, log homes and cabins offer a sense or calmness and peace, counterbalancing our busy lifestyles.

Blend with Nature: A log exterior complemented with stone accents helps the home blend with its natural surroundings while removing us from the hustle and bustle of suburban living. There is something about a rustic look that makes us feel like we are a million miles from civilization. Furthermore, designs with large decks and covered porches encourage us to take in panoramic views and submerge ourselves in the sights and sounds of nature.

Simplicity: Cabins and log homes are designed with simple style and few details. Usually, the exterior is not complicated lending to low maintenance and simple yet stylish street appeal. These homes look good, yet require little effort and upkeep on our part.

Open Spaces: A log home designed with exposed beams, vaulted ceilings, large windows and an open floor plan inside delivers an easy and relaxed lifestyle. With few walls and sweeping views we feel a sense of spaciousness instead of that confined feeling we often have in a traditional home.

Comfort: Nothing says comfort like a big stone chimney outside and a toasty hearth inside. It is easy to imagine ourselves relaxing in front of the fireplace with our kids and other loved ones sharing snacks and a movie on a wintry night.

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