August 29 2020

7 Ways to Heat Proof Your Home in the Warmer Months

by Erin

new construction home

Although the Fall season is approaching, the summer heat is still lingering. The warm weather has been anything but bearable for many while staying inside these last few months. Of course, you can always blast your air conditioning all hours of the day, but there are more efficient ways to help cool your home off without making your electric bill skyrocket in the process. Here are a few ways to heatproof your home during the warmer months.

 

Focus on your windows

 

You can install energy-efficient windows to help make a difference in the temperature in your home. You can also install Low-E film to reduce the amount of solar heat gain or try out some blackout curtains to keep the sunlight to a minimum. Closing your blinds between peak hours is also beneficial. Keeping your blinds closed when the sun is out the most helps to reduce the amount of heat that enters your home.

 

Set your ceiling fans to rotate counterclockwise

 

Rotating your ceiling fans counterclockwise will allow the blades of your ceiling fan to push the cooler air downward. It also makes the air feel cooler when your air conditioning is on and allows you to turn your thermostat up a notch.

 

Let the air in at night

 

Take advantage of the cool evenings during the summer and give your a/c a break once the sun goes down. The cooler air will circulate throughout your home without having to use your air conditioning all hours of the night. 

 

Start grilling dinner outdoors

 

Using your stove during the warmer months can cause your home to heat up quite a bit. Consider pulling our your trusty grill to prepare family meals outdoors. Give your evening meals a change of scenery and spend some time with the family on the deck as you watch the sunset all while saving energy. 

 

Use a programmable thermostat

 

A programmable thermostat can help you to save on your energy costs and lessen the amount of heat you feel in your home. You can program your thermostat to specific temperatures and times so that your home is just right when you come home at the end of the day.

 

Add foliage to around your home

 

It may be a good idea to add a few shade trees and bushes around your home to not only add curb appeal but also to assist in keep the smoldering heat from entering through your windows and roof.

 

Make sure your home is insulated

 

A well-insulated home can reduce the amount of heat that comes through surfaces like your roof, attic, and walls. This is beneficial during both the warmer months and cooler months to keep the home warm.

 

By applying a few of these tips before and during the warmer months, you’ll be able to enjoy the summer with a lot less hassle. 

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August 1 2020

Hampton Products International Launches New Smart LED Lightbulbs Now Selling at Best Buy

by Erin

Peace By Hampton New Home Smart LED Lighting

As if in-home technology couldn’t get any better, Hampton Products International has recently launched its latest product line Peace by Hampton with a line of smart LED lighting power control products that are sold exclusively at Bestbuy.com. If your new does not already include smart technology, adding the Wi-Fi-connected LED lighting and single outlet smart plugs is a great option to help ease your way into an easier and more functional lifestyle from the palm of your hand. Each user of the Peace by Hamilton brand will have the ability to connect their smart devices controlled by both an app and voice assistants without having to buy a hub or any networking hardware. The Peace By Hampton home security app is compatible with iOS, Android, Alexa, Google, and Siri's voice commands making it available to all users no matter the device they own. 

 

Peace by Hamilton’s new LED smart bulbs come in the form of indoor bulbs, floodlights, and smart bulb multi-packs that can customize lighting throughout your home by creating scenes, adjusting light levels, and colors with a few taps on the Peace By Hampton home security app. 

 

In addition to the Peace By Hampton smart LED bulbs, Hampton Products International also offers Peace By Hampton single outlet smart wall plugs which allow customers to add their non-connected devices into their smart home atmosphere. Users of this product will find that its features are versatile with scheduling on and off timing, remote abilities, and even a countdown timer feature. You can find these smart wall plugs on bestbuy.com for only $18.99 for a pack of two and $9.50 each with a full two-year warranty.

 

Established in Foothill Ranch, California, Hampton Products International has sold more than 1.5 billion padlocks, security lights, and door hardware since 1974 under brand names such as Brink’s, Hampton, Mountain Security, and Universal Hardware. This company is a trusted leader in security and dedicated to offering its customers products that are not only easy to install but also easy to use. Check out www.buyhampton.com to view the array of products that help keep your home safe and give you peace of mind both in and outside your home. 

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July 27 2020

Eight Must-Have Cleaning Essentials You Need When Moving Into a New Home

by Erin

broom and dustpan

Moving into a brand new home can you give you a fresh start in life. Whether you’ve purchased a new construction or an older build, giving your new living space a good clean sweep is always a great idea. Deep cleaning will not only give you peace of mind, but it also allows you to clear out any dust and debris that may be left behind before moving in. 

 

Purchasing those must-have items for your new home has most likely created an extensive list, but don’t forget to include cleaning supplies that you will need on a daily basis to ensure your space is neat and tidy. To help you along, we’ve compiled a short list of eight must-have cleaning essentials you need when moving into a new home. 

 

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

 

Eco-Friendly All-Purpose Cleaner

 

This item is one of the most important things you’ll need to get started with your cleaning spree before the big move. Without an all-purpose cleaner, you would be moving dirt and bacteria from one end of the home to the next. Although there are plenty of cleaners on the store shelves that claim to do the job, choosing an eco-friendly cleaner is beneficial to your health and wellbeing as well as the earth. There are many brands available that produce cleaners specifically for bathtubs, tile, granite, marble, and stainless steel.  

 

Micro Fiber Cloths

 

These clothes may not seem like much, but microfiber cloths have several uses and benefits. You can use these in every inch of your new home from the kitchen to the bathrooms, and even to dry the car off after a weekend wash. Here’s a fun tip, sprinkle a little water on your mirrors and windows and wipe with a microfiber cloth to get a sparkling reflection without using harsh chemicals to clean your glass surfaces.

 

Heavy Duty Vacuum Cleaner

 

Selecting the perfect vacuum cleaner for everyday use and a good deep clean is a must. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for so investing in a good vacuum cleaner that can live up to your standards is key. Be sure to find one with removable attachments that make it easier to clean those hard to reach places like stairways and small corners and can grab those tricky pet hairs on couch cushions. It’s also a great idea to make sure your vacuum cleaner is versatile. Rather than having two different machines for the carpet and the hardwood, you can have one for all floor types. One with a detachable canister makes disposing of dirt and debris a breeze and saves you money on having to replace vacuum cleaner bags.

 

Broom and Dustpan

 

One of the most essential items you’ll need is the trustworthy duo of a broom and dustpan. Give those floors a good sweep prior to mopping to make sure you catch any trash or small particles like dust or wood chips before mopping them.

 

Mop and Bucket

 

Whether you plan on having a house full of children or a couple of cats and dogs or maybe all three, having a mop handy is essential for your move. Pick up a lightweight mop with interchangeable heads that you can grab at a moment’s notice from a simple sippy cup spill to a few muddy paw prints. Some mops allow you to detach the head and throw it the wash to easily disinfect as well.

 

Scrubbing Sponges

 

Grab a value pack of scrubbing sponges for use throughout your new home. You can use them to wipe down the inside of your refrigerator before placing groceries in it. You can also use them to wash dishes, wipe down countertops, sinks, and bathtubs.  

 

Extendable Duster

 

Both new and pre-loved homes can collect dust over time as they sit waiting on their next family to settle in. Purchasing a duster is a necessity when cleaning blinds, ceiling fans, baseboards, and crown molding. Make sure your duster is extendable so that you can get to all of those hard to reach places. 

 

Storage

 

Now that you’ve gathered up all of your cleaning supplies and went to town on deep cleaning your new home, how and where are you going to organize your essentials? You can pick up a few caddy’s at your local dollar store to keep all of your sponges, cleaning cloths, and all-purpose cleaners organized. You can also roll up your towels to save more space. An over the door shoe organizer is also great to repurpose and use for things like towels, sponges, and hanging spray bottles if you’re tight on space. You can also designate a small closet space to keep your vacuum cleaner, mop, and bucket, and broom and dustpan tucked away neatly rather than becoming an eyesore. 

 

In addition to these eight essentials, here are a few other items you may find handy:

 

Trash bags

Trash Can

Paper towels

Toilet paper

Dish Soap

Scrubbing Brush

Carpet Cleaner

Furniture Polish

Oven Cleaner

Baking Soda

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

 

You can add these must-have cleaning essentials to your list right alongside the appliances and décor items.  Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to having a squeaky clean home to create long-lasting memories in for years to come.

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June 23 2020

Simpson Strong Tie Launches Their Build a Stronger Deck Series on YouTube

by racheal

Build a Better Deck Series Simpson Strong Tie

The world leader in structural product solutions, Simpson Strong-Tie, has recently launched a video series directed toward both homeowners and contractors on how to build a strong deck. This educational series is featured on YouTube and covers how to easily build a stronger, safer deck that will endure life’s everyday conditions.

 

Simpson Strong-Tie is best known for creating structural solutions and technology that assist people in constructing safer and stronger homes and buildings. They provide several useful products in the residential and commercial construction industry such as structural connectors, fasteners, fastening systems, lateral-force-resisting systems, anchors, software solutions, and product solutions for repairing, protecting, and strengthening concrete. In the last two decades, Simpson Strong-Tie has expanded with products for infrastructure, commercial, and industrial construction.

 

With more people at home during this time and more time on their hands to work on projects around the house, the Build a Stronger Deck video series is the perfect solution for those looking to complete their “honey-do-list.” This series goes over the appropriate options and standard solutions for safe post bases. The second episode in this exciting series covers deck ledger installation and is followed by a string of engaging content that reviews good to know tips such as how to install beams, joists, guard posts, stair stringers, and deck boards.  The last episode in Simpson Strong-Tie’s YouTube video series will discuss the selection process of choosing the best anchors and fasteners to attach hangers, joists, and angles to deck ledgers and railings. 

 

Simpson Strong-Tie is airing brand new episodes of the Build a Stronger Deck series on their YouTube channel throughout the summer. With the tips and tools you receive from tuning in to these detailed videos, you’ll have your new deck up just in time to fire up the grill this summer and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You can also take a look at deck center on their website for more in-depth information and content such as ideas and inspiration, the planning and building process, and safety and maintenance to ensure that not only your deck looks aesthetically pleasing, but that you have taken all of the necessary precautions to ensure that it is safe and sturdy.

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June 1 2020

Design Your New Floor Without Leaving Your Home with AHF Products

by Erin

Visualizer on mobile device

AHF Products is the leading manufacturer of high-quality, hardwood flooring. They have recently launched a floor Visualizer that assists its customers with bringing their flooring visions to life. Customers can now use this digital tool to view the latest flooring styles before purchasing their new home.

 

Consumers can take the guesswork out of designing their next new home from the palm of their hand. The Visualizer tool is an online platform that is easy to use on any device such as a tablet, laptop computer, or mobile phone. Options for color, style, and several different room options are available as well as the option to upload images of the actual space for better visualization of the final product. 

 

The Visualizer tool works with a simple four-step process:

 

Choose a room: In this stage of the process, consumers will upload a photo of the space in their home they are looking to design or select one of the options available on the website.

 

Select Flooring: Consumers will take a look at the vast selection of flooring options available and choose the one that fits best with their design preferences. 

 

Visualize it: At this point, consumers can now view their newly designed space online with the option to zoom in and out or rotate the floor for a better view of the possible end result. 

 

Save, Share, or Find a Store: Once all of the previous steps are completed, all there is left to do is to save the image, share with others to get their opinions, or find a retailer nearby to make the vision come to life. 

 

The Visualizer tool by AHF Products is the perfect tool to help consumers speed along their design process with as little stress as possible. This tool even informs them of where they can purchase the options that they selected. The goal here is to first help the customer and to also increase sales and profitability all around for AHF Products and other retailers.   

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May 14 2020

May Realtor of the month: Mindy Jones Nevarez

by Erin

Mindy Jones Nevarez Realtor of the Month

Our May realtor of the month is Mindy Jones Nevarez, owner and team leader of the Amy Jones Group. Mindy Jones Nevarez provides the monthly real estate market updates for Queen Creek, AZ

 

Mindy is an Arizona native and the daughter of the founder of the Amy Jones Group. She initially started with a career in nonprofit management at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and sales operations and training design at NetApp. In 2013, Mindy obtained her real estate license and joined her parents’ team to further her career in real estate.

 

Although running the family business can take up much of Mindy’s time, she also enjoys live music, finding new local shops, and discovering local hidden treasures, spending time with her family, and exploring their Southeast Valley neighborhood. Many of those on her team have become some of her best friends which makes it that much easier to spend most of her days committed to her business.

 

The Amy Jones Group consists of a team of a dozen women that pride themselves in being hard workers, advocates, creative problem solvers, visionaries, and friends. This team of Realtors advocates for their clients and support their every need in both the buying and selling process.

 

If you are in search of a new home near Phoenix the Amy Jones Group is the perfect start to your journey! Contact Mindy and her team for all of your real estate needs. 

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May 8 2020

5 Best Houseplants That Don’t Require a Green Thumb

by Erin

Houseplants for indoor decor that don't require a green thumb

The addition of live greenery in your space is the perfect way to wake up your home’s interior. Like many, you may be afraid to take the leap of becoming a plant parent. Not everyone has a green thumb, but many plants do not require much attention at all and will make a big impact on a room’s overall look. If you have ever felt that you have a black thumb when it comes to caring for plant life, now is the best time to try your hand at it again. Being home while social distancing allows for more time to learn about and tend to the plants that you love. So here are a few suggestions of the best houseplants that don’t require a green thumb. 

 

Pothos

 

The pothos also known as the devil’s ivy can help purify the air in your home. It only requires medium to low lighting and can stand drying out now and again. Its leaves are shaped like hearts and come in a wide range of shades such as gold, cream, silver, or white.

 

Spider Plant

 

The spider plant is another house plan that doesn’t require much to keep alive. This plant can survive in low to medium natural or artificial lighting. Its roots are thick and store moisture so you won’t have to worry about watering too often. 

 

Snake Plant

 

The snake plant is a popular favorite for plant moms and plant dads. Also known as the mother-in-law’s tongue, the snake plant is probably one of the easiest plants to take care of and the easiest to grow. You can sit this plant in indirect sunlight and only water once the soil is completely dried out. Sounds simple right?!

 

 

ZZ Plant

 

This plant holds up pretty well on its own. It only requires you to water it once a week and can be kept in either low lighting or direct sunlight. It will grow much faster when exposed to more light but this plant thrives wherever you decide to place it. Its leaves are thick and rubbery and its roots are thick as well so it's tough enough for even a black thumb. 

 

Purchasing plants from a distance

 

We know that plant buying can be a little difficult during this time as this type of shopping would not be considered essential. There are a few online companies like Bloomscape and The Sill that make purchasing plants easy while practicing social distancing. You can sign up for a subscription to receive a plant each month or buy as you feel inspired to do so.th

 

Find solitude in caring for green life during this time of isolation all while sprucing up the overall look of your home. You may not be able to maintain a full garden, but taking care of a few house plants will have you on your way.

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April 9 2020

April Realtor of the month: Pam Bozkurt

by Erin

April realtor of the month Pam Bozkurt

Our April realtor of the month is Pam Bozkurt, owner and broker of Gosselin Realty. Pam Bozkurt provides the monthly real estate market updates for Apopka and Ocoee, FL. Gosselin Realty is located in Winter Garden, Florida and specializes in communities of Ocoee, Winter Garden, Windermere, Apopka, Gotha, and Oakland, as well as some areas of West Orange County Florida.

 

If you are in search of a new home in Orlando, now is a great time to buy! Gosselin Realty has over nineteen years of experience in the real estate market and will help you whether you are looking to buy, sell, or even lease residential or commercial property. Reach out to Pam and her team at Gosselin Realty for all of your real estate needs. 

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March 20 2020

To Buy or Not to Buy? Is Buying a Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic a Good Idea?

by racheal

For sale sign in front of a new home

The Coronavirus also known as COVID-19 has many people up in arms across the globe and for good reason with over 13,000 known cases reported in the U. S. alone.  This virus has hit the economy in a major way with an interruption and even a complete halt of supply chain productions. Along with the travel industry and foodservice industry, this is bringing up concerns for the future of the real estate market during these trying times. Not even real estate is immune from the impact of the Coronavirus.

 

The Pandemic has affected everyone

 

Due to the urge of having to self-quarantine and the push for school closures across the U. S. for several weeks, many American workers have been forced to stay at home with their children, and many have been left jobless as a result of this. For those companies that do not offer the option or ability for their employees to work from home, many are left wondering how they will be able to pay their bills and feed their families in the coming months. Many small business owners have also seen a vast decline in sales with people remaining isolated.

 

Emotions are leading most decisions to buy real estate right now

 

With stats changing daily and many living in a world of uncertainty, it can be easy to question what to do with some of the biggest financial transactions such as buying or even selling a home. Although many people will have less money and less access to funds during this time, the real estate market has not yet been deeply affected as some may think. There is a slight decrease in both buyers and sellers due to the current state of the world right now based mainly on emotion. 

 

Some seem more optimistic and eager to buy while rates in the housing market are so low. Those willing to enter the housing market with high hopes have the benefit of low rates and are jumping on the opportunity pretty quickly. The housing stock will be more attractive to many than what it is to rent being that some are currently considering buying a new home to take in more family members during the time because of the effects of the pandemic.

 

There may be opportunities for price discounts for those buyers that choose to stay in the market during this time while others are pulling out allowing their emotions to get the best of them which is truly understandable.

 

What does the future of the real estate market look like?

 

There is a possibility that history can have its way of repeating itself. We can look at recent historical events such as the Swine Flu, SARS epidemic, and MERS and other aggressive Flu strains to get an idea of how the COVID-19 will affect the housing market in the coming months. History has shown that the housing market typically can remain stable during disruptions like these with only a slight fall in sales. Although this may be true, the economic impact of the pandemic COVID-19 is greater than the impact of SARS and others like it. It may take a little longer to see a significant rise in sales again when things finally begin to blow over.

 

As far as a long term outlook on the effects of the Coronavirus to the housing market, home prices may remain flat or creep up slower than they have since 2012. In short term, realtors are already seeing a decline of 10% in home sales due to loss of employment with citizens having to self-quarantine and make use of social distancing to reduce the risk of spreading this virus.

 

If you are on the fence about what your next steps should be during this very uncertain time, just know that you are not alone. The decision of whether or not to buy or sell during this time is simply situational. Take the time to weigh out the pros and cons and evaluate your current and possible financial situation to make the decision that is best for you and your family. The coronavirus will have a positive impact on the U. S. Real Estate market if the interest rates remain low and if you are willing to take the risk, right now is a good time to get your feet wet and experience more inventory, low-interest rates, and better pricing.

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March 17 2020

Achieve a Beachside Lifestyle at Parkside Estates by Shea Homes

by Erin

Shea Homes Parkside Estates in Orange County

Can you envision yourself living a beachside lifestyle in the ultimate home of your dreams? Come take a look at the stunning new single-family homes at Parkside Estates by homebuilder Shea Homes where that dream can soon become reality. Located in gorgeous Huntington Beach, CA, this community offers an astounding location just 1.5 miles from sandy beaches such as Bolsa Chica State Beach and Huntington Beach. You can also find the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve nearby as well as plenty of beachside entertainment, restaurants, shopping to enjoy. At Parkside Estates, there is an abundance of open space and coastal wetlands as well as a wildlife habitat preservation area. The community is also surrounded by walking trails, a tot lot with swings, and active and passive parks. Enroll your children in nearby schools within the Ocean View School District or the Huntington Beach School District at schools like Hope View Elementary School, Harbour View Elementary School, and Huntington Beach High School.

 

The new Orange County homes at Parkside Estates span between 3,500 to 4,000 square feet of living space and offers 4 to 6 bedrooms and 4.5 to 6.5 bathrooms. The several floor plans offered here come equipped with Coastal California Rooms, spacious gourmet kitchens, lofts, and media rooms. 

 

The Residence 1 floor plan is a two-story living space that includes a walk-in pantry, den, a loft, 3-car Tandem Garage, a Coastal California Room with a fireplace. This plan offers 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, and spans up to 3,496 square feet of living space.

 

The Residence 2 floor plan features a bonus room with a kitchenette, a den with your choice of either a powder room or full bath option, the option of a second laundry room, and a downstairs master bedroom. This floor plan offers 5 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms, and a 3-car split garage with 3,751 square feet of living space perfect for entertainment.

 

The Residence 3-floor plan is a two-story floor plan that includes 5-6 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms, and a 3-car garage with 3,682 square feet of space for the entire family to enjoy. Features include an optional covered deck at the master bedroom, a catering room, and a bonus room.

 

Homebuilder Shea Homes offers single-family homes, condos and townhomes, resort communities, quick move-in homes, 55+ communities, and master-planned communities. They create new home designs that are functional, livable, and provide usable space, as well as in-home technology. They are committed to providing customer experiences and value each of their homeowners as if they are a member of their extended family. Contact the sales office of Shea Homes to “live the difference” at Parkside Estates in order to make your beachside lifestyle a reality.

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