Save Your Home From Dryer Fires!

Every year, more than 2900 home fires are started by clothes dryers. The leading cause of these fires are from a build of up lint from lack of maintenance. The removable lint filter unfortunately doesn’t catch all of the cloth and fabric particles, so maintenance requires a little more than just emptying the filter after each load. Whether you live in your own home or plan to purchase in the near future, it’s important to have safeguards in place for the utilities that you use that could put your home at risk. You want to make sure that the lint that gets trapped in crevices and in the hose on it’s way outside are thoroughly cleaned.

Save Your Home From Dryer Fires

Here are a few warning signs to look for that may indicate your dryer is getting clogged up by lint:

Clothes are taking a lot longer to dry, and sometimes not even drying all the way.
Clothes may be hotter by the end of the cycle.
The outside of the dryer starts to get really hot.
The outside exhaust vent flapper isn’t opening much.
The laundry room begins to feel really humid.
There is a burnt smell in the laundry room.

If this seems to be the case, then you’ll want to evaluate your dryer. The tools you need to clean it are as follows:

A vacuum with a long hose attachment.
Dryer vent brush kit.
Screwdriver
UL listed metal foil duct tape

Here are 4 steps to cleaning your dryer:

1. Remove the lint trap filter and make sure it’s completely cleaned off. You want to make sure you’re cleaning the filter after every load to help prevent lint build up.

2. Vacuum the space that houses the lint trap filter. The filter doesn’t capture all of the particles, and this is the second place the lint will begin to accumulate.

3. Disconnect the dryer duct and clean out the duct with a long hose from a vacuum. You can also use a duct brush to help you complete a more thorough job.

4. Make sure the duct is connected properly. You don’t want it cinched in any part of the duct, to prevent crevices where the lint can get stuck.

No one knows the value your home has as much as this real estate pro, keep it protected by taking some simple cautionary steps to keeping everything in running order. And if you’re in need of a brand new laundry room altogether, don’t forget to give me a call.

The post Save Your Home From Dryer Fires! appeared first on Confessions Of An Almost Crunchy BusinessMom.

Reasons You Should Sell Your Starter Home

When buyers are ready to purchase their first place, most are in the market for something relatively small and economical — in other words, a starter home. These diminutive dwellings are a smart first move for newbies because, ideally, they offer a chance to build equity without over-burdening the budget or requiring more maintenance than […]

The post Reasons You Should Sell Your Starter Home appeared first on Alexandra Larsen.

Why Fall Might Be The Best Time To Buy A Home

A lot of people think the best time to buy a house is during the Spring market. And, it is… …in the sense that more houses are listed for sale in the Spring. But, there’s also a heck of a lot more buyers trying to buy those listings. The thing is, some of the houses listed back […]

The post Why Fall Might Be The Best Time To Buy A Home appeared first on Alexandra Larsen.

10 Home Chores To Do Annually

Sing me some graces, there is such a thing as over-cleaning! Here are ten chores around the home that you really only need to do annually, minus special circumstances. Let’s dive in!

10 Home Chores To Do Annually

1. Curtains & Drapes

Unfortunately, we don’t mean the dusting part. You’ll want to dust at least once a month, but when it actually comes time to getting them cleaned, you only really need to do that once a year. You can take them in to get dry cleaned or follow the instructions on their tags if you choose to wash them at home.

2. House Gutters

Gutter guards can be a great investment, especially if you live around trees that shed all year long. These can keep your gutter cleanings minimal, generally about once per year. You’ll want to do this in the autumn when all of the leaves from the trees have already fallen.

3. Fireplace & Chimney

After the winter, you’ll want to give your fireplace a thorough cleaning. You can use a shop vacuum to clean up the embers. Make sure to wash down the fireplace tools as well. Go an extra step further and schedule an appointment with a chimney sweeper.

4. Carpets

We wish we meant vacuuming, but that’s pretty much a weekly or biweekly task for most households. In this case, we mean a deep clean. The best time to get this taken care of is right after summer.

5. Outdoor Furniture

The best time to clean outdoor furniture is when you bring them out of storage for Spring. Of course, if messes up happen while you’re using them, you want to clean the spots right away, so you avoid an accumulation of stains in a short period.

6. Mattress

Mattresses have improved through the years but they still need a little bit of attention. At least once a year, give your mattress a thorough cleaning and change the position of it.

7. Kitchen Cabinets & Pantry

Early November is a great time to clean out kitchen cabinets, drawers, and the food pantry to get them ready for the holidays. Do a section of cabinets at a time and empty them out completely. Wipe down the shelves and reline with shelf paper if needed.

8. Linen Closet

Just once a year, empty out your linen closet and give it a thorough cleaning. Take time to vacuum away dust and spiderwebs and reline any shelves.

9. Garage, Basement, & Attic

No one is expecting you to have a perfect garage, basement, or attic. However, a good cleaning at least once a year can help you keep an eye on things, such as moisture or insect problems. It can also feel good to get rid of junk that tends to accumulate in these hidden spaces.

If you’re in the market to sell your home, you can always give me a call, and I’ll refer over some preferred vendors that can help you knock out your cleaning tasks.

The post 10 Home Chores To Do Annually appeared first on Confessions Of An Almost Crunchy BusinessMom.

6 Ways To Winterproof Your Home This Fall

brown snow covered house

If you want your home to make it through the winter months unscathed, you’ll need to take the proper measures to protect it. In other words, you need to winterproof your home.

But if you wait until you’re hearing Christmas carols on the radio to take the necessary steps to protect your home, you’ll be too late. Here are 6 ways to winterproof your home this fall so your home is ready for the cold temperatures, snow, and whatever else the season wants to throw at it:

1. Store patio furniture

Winter isn’t the time for barbecues and dining alfresco, so it’s important that you protect your grill and patio furniture in the winter months — that way, they’ll be ready to roll when the weather starts to warm.

Take your patio furniture and grill and put them into storage. This is especially important if you have aluminum patio furniture, which can rust once the snow hits. If you don’t have a place to store your grill and furniture (or if your furniture is made of a more durable material), you should at the very least cover it up to protect it from the elements.

2. Empty and store hoses

You’ll also want to store your garden hoses before the temperature drops. If you leave your hoses as is, the water in them can freeze, which can cause holes and leaks.

Drain each of your garden hoses and store them inside until the spring.

3. Protect your home from chilly winter air

One of the trademarks of winter is cold air, and if that cold air finds a way into your house, you’re likely to find yourself shivering no matter how high you turn up the heat.

It’s important to seal off your house to keep cold air from getting in. Look for any gaps in the walls or foundation and seal them with foam or caulk (you can also use caulk to seal any gaps around windows). If your home is notorious for being cold in the winter, you’ll also want to check the insulation. Your attic and basement should be insulated, and if the insulation is old or improperly installed, it can cause dropping temperatures in the colder months.

Redoing or adding insulation isn’t cheap, so if you’re unsure of whether your insulation needs an upgrade, consult an insulation professional and get an estimate.

4. Get the right thermostat

One of the most important ways to protect your home in the winter is keeping it at the proper temperature. But “proper temperature” is relative; obviously, you’ll want your house warmer while you’re home, but it’s fine to turn down the heat while you’re out. But if you turn OFF the heat, you run the risk of the temperature dropping too low.

A programmable thermostat will allow you to control the temperature in your home at all times. You can program your thermostat to automatically lower the temperature when you leave, and raise the temperature before you get home so you get to return to a nice, toasty environment. Many of the new thermostats even connect to your smartphone, allowing you to control the temperature in your home straight from your mobile device.

5. Switch to winter fabrics

When the winter chill kicks in, you’re going to want lots of warm, cozy fabrics to keep you warm. Replace your summer linens with more substantial fabrics, like velvet, fleece, or faux fur, to match the season. Put a throw or blanket in one of these fabrics in each room so you always have something on hand to wrap yourself up with when the temperature drops.

6. Replace your furnace filter

Old, dirty filters will make your furnace less efficient, driving up your energy bills and making your home more difficult to heat. Replace your furnace filter this fall to ensure that your furnace is in tip-top shape when winter hits.

Colder temperatures are on their way, so it’s important to protect your home while you still have time. And with these winterproofing tips, getting your home ready should be a cinch.

The post 6 Ways To Winterproof Your Home This Fall appeared first on Confessions Of An Almost Crunchy BusinessMom.

I Live For Home.

I wish I had something profound to say about how I got into real estate… a sign… some divine intervention leading me to a path I had no Idea would become the best life choice I ever made, but I don’t!  I literally fell into real estate by chance.  The company I had been employed by shut down and I found myself out of work with bills to pay and my former boss felt bad for me so he called in a favor.  My friend’s mother needed a bookkeeper for a part time gig and hired me.  She was a successful real estate agent and I quickly earned my place as her full time assistant.  I learned the business from the ground up and was running the office of a 100+ transaction a year team on the back end.  Life was good; bills were paid; I had stability; I had home.

…But…  something was missing.  My drive, my dedication, my focus was on making someone else the hero in so many families stories… I wanted that.  I wanted my own business and to be the boss; but I also wanted that feeling of pure joy when I handed over the keys to my clients at the settlement table and capture the smile on their faces.  I knew NOTHING about sales…or business for that matter.  I had been a nanny, and a student, and a receptionist my entire life… so little knowledge and experience in sales that it was almost laughable when I said I wanted to get my license and become a full time commissioned salesperson!  But I knew I had to try.

Now, I can sit here and tell you that I have all the skills needed to make an amazing agent and that I put in time, energy and effort into being very knowledgeable about the local market and about the industry as a whole, and I do, but more importantly I have a strong desire and passion to help people into home ownership.

Ill tell you a little story, Ill try to make it quick.  My mom never went to college, heck, she tells me she barely passed high school.  We lived in NJ and we were POOR.  We moved to Virginia when I was 6 due to my parents splitting up and we lived in the basement of my aunt’s home while my mom worked three jobs to get us on our feet.  She worked so hard to provide us a life.  It took several years to get her to a point where she had earned enough business cred to get a “big girl” job and I will never forget the day that all of her hard work paid off and we walked through the doors of our very first home.  No basements, no sharing bathrooms or bedrooms with my little brother; we walked through the door of a 3000 square foot home with a backyard and a fence and a garage and my mom just stood there… and cried.  HOME.  Its more that just a building with a mortgage payment attached to it.  HOME.  Its more than 4 walls and paint and appliances.  HOME.  Its everything.  Its family, future, security, independence, lifestyle, design, live, love, grow.  Its HOME and I wanted to relive that feeling over and over and over again.  Ill never forget it.   I got into this business to help others have that feeling.  Its the best!

As a real estate professional, I pride myself on bringing more to the table than just my knowledge of the local market, and the number of homes I have helped people buy and sell over the last several years.  I put you first.  I make you my number one priority.  I take the time to get to know you, your goals, motivations, likes, dislikes and everything else that makes you…well you!  Buying a house is a BIG DEAL!  You need a professional who understands that and all the other factors that go into this exciting experience.  Phone apps and websites with homes for sale cannot provide you the same level of service that a real live person can.  We need to get back to the face to face interaction with real people and that is how I do business.  I would love the opportunity to sit down over a cup of coffee and get to know you… earn your trust and earn your business… and hopefully earn your friendship when it is all over and I get the amazing privilege of handing you the keys to your NextHome.

 

The post I Live For Home. appeared first on Confessions Of An Almost Crunchy BusinessMom.