The Story of the Fourth of July

4th of July2015The Declaration of Independence

We celebrate American Independence Day on the Fourth of July every year. We think of July 4, 1776, as a day that represents the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation.

  • But July 4, 1776 wasn’t the day that the Continental Congress decided to declare independence (they did that on July 2, 1776).
  • It wasn’t the day we started the American Revolution either (that had happened back in April 1775).
  • And it wasn’t the day Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence (that was in June 1776). Or the date on which the Declaration was delivered to Great Britain (that didn’t happen until November 1776). Or the date it was signed (that was August 2, 1776).

So what did happen on July 4, 1776?

The Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. They’d been working on it for a couple of days after the draft was submitted on July 2nd and finally agreed on all of the edits and changes.

July 4, 1776, became the date that was included on the Declaration of Independence, and the fancy handwritten copy that was signed in August (the copy now displayed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.) It’s also the date that was printed on the Dunlap Broadsides, the original printed copies of the Declaration that were circulated throughout the new nation. So when people thought of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776 was the date they remembered.

4th of JulyIn contrast, we celebrate Constitution Day on September 17th of each year, the anniversary of the date the Constitution was signed, not the anniversary of the date it was approved. If we’d followed this same approach for the Declaration of Independence we’d being celebrating Independence Day on August 2nd of each year, the day the Declaration of Independence was signed!

Now that you have that “Little bit of History,” under your belt, go out and celebrate this day with ice cream, flags waving and parades down Main Street. Light up those BBQ grills and invite the neighbors over. Perhaps you can play a little Independence Day Trivia! And when the day is over and fireworks lights the sky, be thankful for all you have living in this wonderful nation where you are allowed free speech and the ability to express your opinions….because there are a lot of places in the world you can’t do that.

Happy 4th of July to all.

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Would you like to make a comment on this article? It’s a great place for you to “let YOUR thoughts be known on the various articles written. Be My Guest………I‘d love to hear from you! Others would too! To comment just scroll down and leave a reply.

IMPORTANT: If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Desert Area, try searching properties on the same Desert Area MLS Realtor’s use, or give me a call….or visit my website at Palm Springs Homes and Estates. I will be happy to give you or your referral my red carpet service.” After the sale, I will send you a $50 Gift Certificate towards dinner in a fabulous Palm Springs Area Restaurant so you can celebrate!

Nancy Hankin, Palm Springs Real Estate Agent
Brought to You By Your Favorite Realtor,

Nancy Hankin

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What Is That Stuff?

By Nancy Hankin
www.PalmSpringsHomesandEstates.com

Palm Springs Hard Water

The other day I noticed the water coming from the bathroom faucet was not coming out in a nice steady stream. It was spraying here, there and everywhere. I had my bathroom remodeled about seven years ago and never really thought about removing the nozzle (that’s the name I gave it because it was better than calling it a (Thing-a-Ma Jig).  I bet you never knew if you searched on Google on the Internet, that you will find plenty of shops that sell Thing a Ma Jigs! I was amazed too!

Now getting back to the Thing a Ma Jig nozzle like piece that water comes out of. I decided to take a peek and carefully remove it from the faucet so I could see what was causing the water to splay out from the nozzle. Well….it did not come off so easily. I twisted and turned it with all my might, and after a half hour of exhausting work, it finally came off.

Oh boy…what a mess! There was hard white stuff all over this piece. I Googled again and learned that this was a calcium deposit that builds up over time when it is not regularly cleaned. I guess I had not cleaned it for seven years. I went to the store, got Lime-Away and proceeded to take all the thing a ma jigs off all the faucets in the house and let them soak overnight.

The instructions said to wear rubber gloves to I would not get the Lime-Away on my hands. I put on thick rubber gloves and removed each piece and started scrubbing with all my might using an old toothbrush. Some came off, and other areas needed a little extra help. I took a rag and placed a flathead screwdriver in the rag and used this to remove the areas that were harder to clean. I learned later that I could have used vinegar aPalm Springs Home Upkeepnd water to do the same thing.

I now had clean nozzle-like things that I could easily screw back onto the faucet? Mission accomplished! I also made a note to do this once every year so I could maintain a good steady stream for each faucet throughout the year. In the meantime, I also learned on Google the importance of running a shower and flushing a toilet every few weeks, even if you don’t normally use them because they might be in a guest room that gets seldom used. Calcium can build up anywhere and everywhere there is water, so it is important to keep that water flowing nice and steady throughout the year.

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Would you like to make a comment on this article? It’s a great place for you to “let YOUR thoughts be known on the various articles written. Be My Guest………I‘d love to hear from you! Others would too! To comment just scroll down and leave a reply.

IMPORTANT: If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Desert Area, try searching properties on the same Desert Area MLS Realtor’s use, or give me a call….or visit my website at Palm Springs Homes and Estates. I will be happy to give you or your referral my red carpet service.” After the sale, I will send you a $50 Gift Certificate towards dinner in a fabulous Palm Springs Area Restaurant so you can celebrate!

Nancy Hankin, Palm Springs Real Estate Agent
Brought to You By Your Favorite Realtor,

Nancy Hankin

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GRILLING TRICKS

By Nancy Hankin
www.PalmSpringsHomesandEstates.com

Cooking on Grilling, BBQ, Outdoor Cookingthe grill isn’t just for summer anymore. With the popularity of gas grills, lots of us use the grill year round. I started grilling year-round in 1975 when I lived in Mequon, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee. Each winter when the snow started falling I reminded the kids that we had to shovel a path to the grill. I never used the broiler in the stove because I just loved grilled food!

Whether you’re using a gas or charcoal grill, food preparation is easier and more fun if the grill is clean and properly maintained.  I just had the grill I purchased about six years ago professionally cleaned. Now it sparkles. Well…that may be a wee bit of an exaggeration, but it sure looks nice both inside and out.

Do you experience food sticking on the rack? Before you light the barbecue, spray the rack liberally with a non-stick cooking spray. Food won’t stick and cleanup will be a lot easier. If the grill surface is caked with baked-on food, wrap the rack in heavy-duty aluminum foil, dull side facing out. Heat the grill to high, and place the wrapped rack over the flame (or coals) for 12-15 minutes. When the rack is cool, remove the foil. All the burned on grease and food will fall away, leaving the grill rack spotless and ready to grill again. It works like magic!

Immediately after you’ve removed the cooked food from the grill, you can make a ball of aluminum foil and scrub the warm rack…..or you can use a heavy duty brush made especially for cleaning grill racks as soon as you remove the food from the grill. When working on a hot grill, take care not to burn your fingers.

If you use permanent briquettes in your grill, you can clean them by flipping them over, and letting the grill burn for about 15 minutes with the cover closed.

Before you set a pan on the grill to warm barbecue sauce or other food, rub the bottom of the pan with a bar of soap. The soot will be easier to clean off later.

Putting the grill rack in the tub is another popular way to clean it, but then you’re faced with cleaning the tub, too. This alternative to the bathtub is very effective: Moisten paper towels with undiluted household ammonia, and then lay them on both sides of the grill rack. Put the rack in a large garbage bag, seal it, and leave it overnight. The next day, open the bag carefully and away from your face (because it stinks). Wipe the grill rack with the paper towels in the bag and then wash with soapy water and rinse.Grlling, Grill, Outdoor cooking, outdoor kitchens

Don’t forget to clean the outside of the grill. Use paper towels and a waterless hand cleaner. Work the cleaner into the metal, paying particular attention to the areas where grease or food has dripped. Do not rinse. Instead, buff the surface to a shine with paper towels.

If your grill has a window, clean the interior surface of the glass with oven cleaner. Spray the cleaner on, wait a few minutes, and wipe clean.

Now that you have all the secrets of how you can keep your grill clean and the envy of all your neighbors, go out and buy some great food to grill for your next meal. And for those stuck in winter weather, make sure to shovel that path to the grill so you can enjoy grilled BBQ dinners with tasty grilled vegetables all winter long. Or come on down to beautiful Palm Springs, California and I will help you find a great winter home at a great price so you, too, can Enjoy Summer All Winter Long,” while you enjoy grilling all year like I do!

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Would you like to make a comment on this article? It’s a great place for you to “let YOUR thoughts be known on the various articles written. Be My Guest………I‘d love to hear from you! Others would too! To comment just scroll down and leave a reply.

IMPORTANT: If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Desert Area, try searching properties on the same Desert Area MLS Realtor’s use, or give me a call….or visit my website at Palm Springs Homes and Estates. I will be happy to give you or your referral my red carpet service.” After the sale, I will send you a $50 Gift Certificate towards dinner in a fabulous Palm Springs Area Restaurant so you can celebrate!

Nancy Hankin, Palm Springs Real Estate Agent
Brought to You By Your Favorite Realtor,

Nancy Hankin

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Getting Antsy Are You?

By Nancy Hankin
www.PalmSpringsHomesandEstates.com

correctly price homeThere are many reasons why a property does not sell quickly. No matter whether they are large or small, they are cause for concern. Many of these reasons are out of your control. But if your house has been on the market longer than you expected, here are some items to consider.

Take a look at what you can control, starting with the price. An honest discussion with your Realtor is in order. Is your home priced correctly for the current market? Do you need to make some adjustments? A price too high will scare away potential buyers.

I sell homes in the Palm Springs Desert Area. I had a discussion yesterday about pricing homes to SELL. Unfortunately, this person told me she knew of someone who had a home for sale, and it took them about 18 months and many price reductions later, to get their home SOLD. The seller came up with a price that would include what they bought the home for over twenty years ago, the improvements they made to meet their needs, and then they “tacked on” what they figured inflation would be. Shame on their Realtor for listing such a grossly over-priced home and not explaining to the seller WHY this price was over-priced! This is definitely NOT how to sell your home. SELLERS do NOT determine price. REALTOR’S do NOT determine price. The MARKETPLACE determines price by looking at past sales (COMPS) in the neighborhood, then adding and deducting various items that either add or detract from the price. Here are a few things that can add value, or detract from value.

  • Upgraded Kitchens and Bathrooms
  • Upgraded Flooring
  • Newer HVAC Systems
  • Solar Panels
  • Newer Appliances
  • Views
  • Landscaping

So the next time you are thinking about Listing your home for sale, run as fast as you can if the Realtor asks YOU “what would you like to price your home for”….or does not show you HOW the home should be priced, and backed up with information to substantiate this price. LISTEN to your Realtor. I’ll take a “wild stab in the dark” and guess they have sold far more homes than you have!

The next item to tackle is presentation, starting with curb appeal. If the lawn is tidy and nicely landscaped, the trim neatly painted and the front door says ‘Welcome,’ you’ll be more likely to attract a buyer.

Good presentation and packaging should follow inside. When a potential buyer opens the front door, what do they see, smell and feel? Keeping your home spotless will keep you ready for those spur of the moment showings. Keep a spray cleaner and cloth handy for quick touch ups. Hang up clothes, straighten the towels on the rack and make sure the dishes are in the dishwasher. It’s a good idea to take the trash out each morning to prevent unpleasant smells that might build up. It’s the little things that count when you’re trying to make a good imp06 09 15 smiley dollar signs jpgression.

  • Now let’s discuss CLUTTER!

Cluttered homes are a big turn-off to buyers because they cannot imagine how their things would fit in your space due to all that clutter. NOW is a good time to “Start Packing” to help eliminate all that clutter. Only keep a few items on tables, counter-tops, and dressers. Remove most personal photos and many of your “treasures” in your display cases or curio cabinets.

Make a potential buyer’s tour pleasant with good lighting in every room – even in utility spaces. Arrange furniture so they can easily move from one room to the other. Fluff the sofa cushions and add a nice throw for a feeling of comfort. You may even want to add a some fresh flowers in the entryway.

Sometimes just removing some furniture or adding a piece of furniture can make a big difference when you are staging your home to look its best. I have a person I work with who is great at working with most of your furnishings, sometimes just moving pieces from one room to another makes a huge difference in how a home looks on the market. When my sellers hire her, their homes sell quickly…or lickety split as we used to say!. Sometimes painting a room will create a wonderful new and fresh feel to the room. If you have carpet that is loose, have it stretched and properly tacked down. You’ll be amazed at how doing a few inexpensive things to your home will add thousands of dollars to the offers you’ll receive.

Obviously, there are some things out of your control, such as interest rates, the stock market or how many other homes are for sale at the same time. Market conditions change. Sometimes they run “hot,” other-times “cold.” Build on your home’s positive aspects and keep the communication going with your agent. You loved your house enough to make the purchase and so will someone else, but in most cases NOT PRICING YOUR HOME CORRECTLY is the reason it is not selling!

 

Get more Real Estate information by following me onGoogle Plus

Would you like to make a comment on this article? It’s a great place for you to “let YOUR thoughts be known on the various articles written. Be My Guest………I‘d love to hear from you! Others would too! To comment just scroll down and leave a reply.

IMPORTANT: If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Desert Area, try searching properties on the same Desert Area MLS Realtor’s use, or give me a call….or visit my website at Palm Springs Homes and Estates. I will be happy to give you or your referral my red carpet service.” After the sale, I will send you a $50 Gift Certificate towards dinner in a fabulous Palm Springs Area Restaurant so you can celebrate!

Nancy Hankin, Palm Springs Real Estate Agent
Brought to You By Your Favorite Realtor,

Nancy Hankin

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Where Are All Those Buyers Hiding?

Selling houseWhen it’s time to sell your home, one of the biggest questions might be “where do buyers come from?” According to recent surveys, about 90% have been hunting for properties on the Internet long before they start searching for an agent.

  • 80% Find an agent on the Internet
  • 10% ‘From For Sale’ signs
  • 7% Referred by a relocation service, friend or out-of-area Realtor
  • 2% advertising in magazines and newspapers
  • 1% Open houses

The bottom line is that most home purchases are made with the assistance of a real estate professional and the tools they provide. And we find that especially true in the Palm Springs Desert Area, where so many buyers are from out-of-the-area.

The marketing of your home is serious business and there can be many pitfalls, some of them expensive. Your real estate professional is trained in the skills necessary to take the whole process from start to finish. You will gain valuable assistance in everything from pricing to creatingReal estate agent the look buyers want right on through making the right financial transactions.

What many are not aware of is that many sales fall apart because their Realtor is not experienced in “holding the sale together” when problems arrive. A good Realtor is a “problem solver” and they are good at “thinking outside the box!” They are excellent negotiators and they are skilled at exposing the property to a vast audience. In the Palm Springs Desert Area I work in, exposure to the International market is also important because we are a resort and vacation area many seek during the cold winter days while we bask in the warmth of sun more than 350 days a year. Re/Max has offices in most countries all over the world with over 100,000 agents. Their marketing reaches a large global market often looking for golf, good weather and lots of great shopping.

Any way you look at it, your real estate professional is the best source for a qualified buyer. I have over 23 years of experience in selling and marketing homes, and I also have education above and beyond what is required of an agent. Give me a call, or check me out here. I’m here to help you anyway I can.

 

Get more Real Estate information by following me onGoogle Plus

Would you like to make a comment on this article? It’s a great place for you to “let YOUR thoughts be known on the various articles written. Be My Guest………I‘d love to hear from you! Others would too! To comment just scroll down and leave a reply.

IMPORTANT: If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Desert Area, try searching properties on the same Desert Area MLS Realtor’s use, or give me a call….or visit my website at Palm Springs Homes and Estates. I will be happy to give you or your referral my red carpet service.” After the sale, I will send you a $50 Gift Certificate towards dinner in a fabulous Palm Springs Area Restaurant so you can celebrate!

Nancy Hankin, Palm Springs Real Estate Agent
Brought to You By Your Favorite Realtor,

Nancy Hankin

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HERE COME THE GLITCHES

By Nancy Hankin
www.PalmSpringsHomesandEstates.com

Selling Home, Murphy's Law, Selling home expectationsThat’s just “Good Old Murphy’s Law!” There’s potential for lots of things to go awry. So be prepared for the typical glitches and problems that will rear its ugly face!.

Many sellers are dismayed to learn what buyers and real estate professionals think the home is worth. Home values rise and fall in response to changing markets. A number of subjective factors, like the floor plan or curb appeal, can affect the value of a home. Your agent can provide you with information about similar homes in your area that have sold recently, and work with you to price your house accordingly……so don’t get mad at the messenger. We are here to help you get the most dollar in today’s market.

Remember most other people won’t appreciate your home as you do. The longer you’ve lived in your house, the more it’s been shaped to reflect your lifestyle, your tastes, and your needs. The longer you’ve lived there, the more you love it. Buyers will view your home with an eye to how it can best suit their lifestyles, tastes, and needs, which may involve anything from cosmetic changes to major remodeling. Since these changes will cost the buyer time and money, the buyer will value your property less than you do.  

When you put your home on the market, buyers are going to want to view it. During this time, you will keep your home looking its best, and be ready to leave at any time during the day, evenings, and weekends. Unexpected showings aren’t uncommon, and despite the fact that you want to accommodate buyers, your nerves may get a little frayed.

Since you want to get the best possible price for your home, and the buyer wants to get the best bargain around, you may begin to view the buyer as a bit of an adversary. The buyer may present a long list of concerns, complaints, and requests for repairs, some reasonable, and some not. Be aware that this is all part of the normal process and don’t let if affect you personally. Your agent will deal with the buyers’ agent, so you won’t need to Love home, real selling pricedeal with the buyers face-to-face. It’s important to remain flexible, and to compromise in order to finalize a purchase offer and ultimately close the deal.

In order to avoid surprises after you have an offer, have your property inspected before it goes on the market, and make necessary repairs and adjustments. The buyer will no doubt have another inspection performed, but the buyer’s offer will reflect the favorable inspection that you provide.

Selling a home is a complex process involving lots of steps and individual service providers, so a problem here or there is not uncommon. Schedule all the steps early, be patient, and communicate regularly with your real estate professional. Your agent can track the transaction, make sure that things are moving along as they should, and intervene when things get bogged down for any reason.

When you’re selling your house, things can go wrong, and probably will. Be comforted by the fact that glitches are commonplace, and most can be remedied or negotiated. Plan well, be patient, and take lots of deep breaths! Or give me a call and I’ll hold your hand when you just need a friend to tell you…….”this too shall pass!”

Get more Real Estate information by following me onGoogle Plus

Would you like to make a comment on this article? It’s a great place for you to “let YOUR thoughts be known on the various articles written. Be My Guest………I‘d love to hear from you! Others would too! To comment just scroll down and leave a reply.

IMPORTANT: If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Desert Area, try searching properties on the same Desert Area MLS Realtor’s use, or give me a call….or visit my website at Palm Springs Homes and Estates. I will be happy to give you or your referral my red carpet service.” After the sale, I will send you a $50 Gift Certificate towards dinner in a fabulous Palm Springs Area Restaurant so you can celebrate!

Nancy Hankin, Palm Springs Real Estate Agent
Brought to You By Your Favorite Realtor,

Nancy Hankin

 

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Does an Empty House Sell?

By Nancy Hankin
www.PalmSpringsHomesandEstates.com

Preparing Home for sale, empty home, stagingYou need to move before selling your home, or your tenants have moved and you’ve decided to sell. Many times a home which is vacant, needs to go on the market, and all the furniture has been removed. What can we do to make it more presentable?

As you know, your house devoid of furniture is probably not the ideal way to showcase its best features when it is on the market. On the other hand, your home will probably look more spacious. What can you do to say ‘Welcome!’ when a prospective buyer opens up the door?

Actually, there are a few things that can be done at a reasonable cost. After you’ve removed your furnishings, touch up any chipped paint or marks on the walls. Or, take this opportunity to give the walls a coat of a neutral color. Without furniture, the paint job will be easy. The walls will look fresh and clean and allow the potential buyer to feel they can move right in without any additional work. If there is carpet, have it cleaned. Walking patterns and furniture usually leave behind some discoloration. A good professional cleaning should take care of this and leave everything looking brighter.

Sometimes painting the front door with a splash of color, or putting a planter near the door will give it a homier feel. And remember to wash those windows inside and out! Make sure they sparkle! A well maintained yard will be the first thing a buyer sees, so make sure it’s been well taken care of.

It will cost you a small amount of money, but keep the temperature regulated so the house feels comfortable. You don’t want someone walking into a freezing cold or stifling hot house. In fact, all the utilities should be working – water, electricity, gas, etc. Buyers will want to check these things out. If you know about a showing ahead of time, turn on the lights. If you have rooms without overhead lighting, leave a few lamps behind. A table with an attractive lamp is a nice touch. A bright interior can go a long way.

A larger plant, possibly a fern or palm, in the front hall or living room adds warmth. Place a bowl of potpourri in one or two places. Hang some handsome towels in the bathroom and leave the shower curtain. A scented candle gives the appearance of a much loved home and will add a nice fragrance, even if it isn’t lit. Pretty soaps will help, also. Shine and polish the fixtures and mirrors to add a bit of sparkle.

The kitchen should be scrubbed clean, especially the cooktop and oven. If the refrigerator is to remain, clean it thoroughly and add some baking soda to the interior to take care of any remaining food odors. Again, the addition of some attractive kitchen towels and apreparing home for sale, staging, first impressions, palm springs real estate small plant on the counter will make the area seem cozier. Place a throw rug in the kitchen for some added color and texture. A bowl of fake fruit placed on the counter will help to add color and atmosphere.

Clean garages as well. Don’t leave behind any junk. They should be cleared out and clean – clean – clean – no dust and no dirt! You want the buyer to know that this property has been well cared for. Place a welcome mat at the front and back doors and get ready to sell.

All it takes is a little effort, without a lot of cost to make an empty home look warm and inviting. If you need to add some furnishings, try the Goodwill or any second hand store. Just adding a small seating area with an area rug, chair, small table and floor lamp can make a big difference when buyer opens the front door. Let your home say “welcome.”

Want more ideas, just give me a call and we can discuss these as we sign the Listing Contract so you can be on your way to a new chapter in your life!

Get more Real Estate information by following me onGoogle Plus

Would you like to make a comment on this article? It’s a great place for you to “let YOUR thoughts be known on the various articles written. Be My Guest………I‘d love to hear from you! Others would too! To comment just scroll down and leave a reply.

IMPORTANT: If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Desert Area, try searching properties on the same Desert Area MLS Realtor’s use, or give me a call….or visit my website at Palm Springs Homes and Estates. I will be happy to give you or your referral my red carpet service.” After the sale, I will send you a $50 Gift Certificate towards dinner in a fabulous Palm Springs Area Restaurant so you can celebrate!

Nancy Hankin, Palm Springs Real Estate Agent
Brought to You By Your Favorite Realtor,

Nancy Hankin

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Does a Burglar Find You Easy Prey?

By Nancy Hankin
www.PalmSpringsHomesandEstates.com

ItHome Safety, security still amazes me when I hear of a home with their security alarm OFF…….broken into. Keeping your home safe and secure should always be a home owner’s top priority. You and your loved ones deserve that feeling of confidence, knowing that you can retreat to a place of safety, leaving the cares of the world behind. A quick check of your home will definitely have you sleeping better.

I hear many stories where homeowners were in their living rooms while burglars were rifling thru their bedrooms because they left their bedroom sliding doors unlocked. I hear about homeowners who never set their burglar alarms at night while they slept, while burglars quietly ransacked their house…and in some cases, harmed or killed the homeowners.

Keyed entryways and deadbolt locks are essential. Just be sure to remind yourself to use them.

  • Leaving your home unlocked is a sure invitation to a burglar that you are open for business.

This is also true for your garage or storage shed. Garage door openers are an added safety feature for any home. If you have a garage door that leads into the house, ALWAYS make sure it is kept LOCKED. Recent reports indicate most break-ins occur in residential areas and the burglar takes approximately 60 seconds to gain entry. Don’t make his job easier. Do an outside inspection of your home. If you can find a place to gain entry without a key, so can a burglar. It’s even a good idea to lock doors when you are at home. And never leave a key outside under the mat or a rock. Instead, leave an extra key with a trusted neighbor.

If you have a patio or sliding glass door, you’ll want to install a security bar. There are various types, so investigate which kind provides you with optimum protection. And, what about your windows? Do your windows have adequate locks? If not, you can install key locks or ‘pin’ your windows by drilling a small hole at a 45 degree angle between the inner and outer frames and insert a nail that can be removed.

There are many choices in home security systems. You will definitely want to ask around and do your homework before making a purchase. Options can include surveillance equipment such as video cameras, monitors, and alarms. Alarm systems can usually be installed easily and can be programmed to notify the security company or the homeowner. Many use apps on their smartphones to check to make sure the house is locked. If you have multiple people entering your home, give each one their own security code so you can monitor who entered and who exited.

Outdoor lighting is essential and motion sensors can often be a deterrent. Some homeowners use the ‘barking dog’ method as a warning to potential thieves. You’ll also want to pay attention to landscaping. Overgrown plants that hide windows or doors are not a good idea. Trim them back.

Important documents or other valuables are best protected in a safety deposit box or fireproof safe. Last, but very important – always make sure everyone is schooled on safety. Teach children to never open the door to strangers. Practice escape routes often, in case of fire. Have a plan on how to handle pets. And make sure fire extinguishers and smoke alarms are up to date and in perfect working order.

  • If you leave your car keys with a valet parker, NEVER leave a house key on the same key ring.Home Alarms, Security
  • Many models can provide you with a valet key.
  • Lock your glove compartment and secure your remotes in there.
  • To take extra precaution, do not leave any evidence of your home address in the car unless it is locked in your glove compartment
  • Never program your home address into your GPS. Select an address of the nearest pharmacy, grocery store or other place of business as your home address on your GPS, so you don’t lead the thief right to your front door!

Another misconception is that living in a gated community, or having a guard at the gate is safety enough. Wrong! Burglars can jump walls. Sometimes a vendor will hang around the community “after hours” and have a buddy on the outside. The burglar “cases the neighborhood,” then breaks into the property and tosses the “goodies” over the wall to his buddy. Burglaries are on the rise and, unless you are diligent about protecting your home and loved ones, you could become their next victim.

Get more Real Estate information by following me onGoogle Plus

Would you like to make a comment on this article? It’s a great place for you to “let YOUR thoughts be known on the various articles written. Be My Guest………I‘d love to hear from you! Others would too! To comment just scroll down and leave a reply.

IMPORTANT: If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Desert Area, try searching properties on the same Desert Area MLS Realtor’s use, or give me a call….or visit my website at Palm Springs Homes and Estates. I will be happy to give you or your referral my red carpet service.” After the sale, I will send you a $50 Gift Certificate towards dinner in a fabulous Palm Springs Area Restaurant so you can celebrate!

Nancy Hankin, Palm Springs Real Estate Agent
Brought to You By Your Favorite Realtor,

Nancy Hankin

0

This Villain Can Destroy You…..Damaging Moisture!

By Nancy Hankin

www.PalmSpringsHomesandEstates.com

 

Termite damageTermites and Mold are usually the first thing homeowners think of when it comes to damage. But an equal villain on the home front is moisture.

Other than insects, moisture is the number one enemy of your home. Left unchecked, it can cause cracks in the foundation, peeling paint, rotted wood, mold, and in general, will create an unhealthy place in which to live, costing you thousands of dollars to rectify. It can also cost you the sale!

Prevention is the best method for dealing with the problem. If you’re experiencing a little dampness in a utility space or garage, possibly a dehumidifier will solve the problem. If you are noticing more visible signs of moisture, quick action is needed.

There are lots of ways for moisture to enter your house. The most common, of course, is a leaky roof. If you are suspicious that this is the problem, enlist a qualified roofer to inspect. Your roof has a life span but can suffer from weather and wind damage. A quick repair could save you a lot in the long run. You’ll also want to check for gutters and downspouts that may have been incorrectly installed, have deteriorated or maybe simply need cleaning out. Clogged gutters that allow water to run down the side of the building and into the area around your house will cause Flood, Mold, Leaky roofmildew and mold.

Improper Grading is a big culprit. If your grading is sloped towards the house, rain and melting snow will often find their way into the walls. Mold will soon follow!

Other possible culprits are leaking and cracked pipes, climate control systems that are working improperly or cracks in the foundation possibly caused by settling. You quite often have to put on your detective hat to find the source. That stain on the wall could have come from a leak on the other side of the building.

It’s never a good idea to repair the damaged plaster or place a water proof coating over a masonry wall without first finding the cause of the problem. The dampness is still there and will eventually seep through, causing further damage. You must get to the root of the problem before making the cosmetic repairs.

Proper ventilation will help also, especially in attics or in instances where one area is climate controlled and another is not. You may get a condensation buildup which will need to be addressed.

Most moisture problems can be solved through proper maintenance, ventilation and remedial treatments. If you’re having trouble though, there are experts who can help you solve the mystery. And most importantly, ACT QUICKLY. This is NOT the time to procrastinate! And when it comes time to find an expert in many incidences I have a great list of vendors’ on my website. Just go to www.PalmSpringsHomesAndEstates.com, then pull down the menu ABOUT ME, and you will see the Vendors Listed there.  

Get more Real Estate information by following me onGoogle Plus

Would you like to make a comment on this article? It’s a great place for you to “let YOUR thoughts be known on the various articles written. Be My Guest………I‘d love to hear from you! Others would too! To comment just scroll down and leave a reply.

IMPORTANT: If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Desert Area, try searching properties on the same Desert Area MLS Realtor’s use, or give me a call….or visit my website at Palm Springs Homes and Estates. I will be happy to give you or your referral my red carpet service.” After the sale, I will send you a $50 Gift Certificate towards dinner in a fabulous Palm Springs Area Restaurant so you can celebrate!

Nancy Hankin, Palm Springs Real Estate Agent
Brought to You By Your Favorite Realtor,

Nancy Hankin

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QUICK FIXES EQUAL QUICK APPEAL

By Nancy Hankin
www.PalmSpringsHomesandEstates.com

Palm Springs Curb AppealThe most important factor in getting buyers to like a house is how well it “shows.” Houses that show well, sell well. Houses that don’t, may not sell as quickly, may not sell at all, or may not sell at the price you want. Why leave $$$ on the table when a few quick fixes can help boost your home’s sales appeal.

Curb Appeal: Remember, you never have a second chance to make a good first impression. Several elements affecting your home’s curb appeal are the neighborhood, location of your house on the block and the overall condition of the driveway, front yard and landscaping. You can’t change the first two elements, but there are lots of ways to improve your home’s first impression. Fix the driveway with fresh blacktop; manicure the front lawn; trim the shrubs; touch up or completely repaint the front of your house; and replace or paint the front door. These quick steps are inexpensive, especially if you do the work yourself. Once it is done, you will have enormously increased the curb appeal of your home. Remember…..emotion SELLS homes! Common sense will often fly right out the window when it comes to buying a home because the buyers will have fallen in love with your home!

Uncluttering Works Wonders: I live in the Palm Springs Desert Area of California. I was waiting at the doctor’s office yesterday and they had a real estate program on the TV. The featured agents on the show were working with both buyers and sellers. They went on a listing appointment to a family home and there was clutter everywhere. They explained to the widowed father and two children the importance of removing much of the items in the house. The family didn’t like to hear that. Neither did the woman sitting next to me. She thought it was terrible the agents were being so nasty. I turned to her and told her I was also a Realtor. Then I explained the reasoning behind it. I told her the home would be very difficult to sell with all that clutter and it would be difficult for a buyer to imagine their own things in the house. I also told her the home would sell for far less with so much clutter. With a little work and small financial investment, they could get far more for the home if they were willing to follow their agents advice. I tell my clients, “What you may consider “cozy”, potential buyers may view as clutter,” so start packing. After all, you’ll soon be moving so you might as well get a head start on it now.

Carpeting: Clean or replace your carpets if they are dirty and worn. The first thing buyers look at once inside your home are the carpets. Clean carpets make a positive impression. New carpets make an even better one. Even inexpensive brand-new carpets look great. If you have tile, make sure there isn’t any cracked grouting, and a good cleaning will make a world of difference when sparkling clean. Spot Clean Walls: Most spots or smudges can be wiped off with detergent and a sponge. If your walls are heavily marked or scratches cannot easily be wiped off, consider re-painting the walls and remember to keep your colors neutral and light.

Check to see that Appliances Work: Broken appliances should be fixed or replaced. Sometimes it is cheaper to replace than to fix. Assess the cost of a new stove before deciding to pay the repair on one burner. Or decide if fixing the icemaker is warranted based on the cost of purchasing and installing a new one. Consider the payback and you’ll see that this is a bargain. Speaking of appliances, try to keep the kitchen counters free of lots of small appliances. De-Cluttering countertops in kitchens and bathrooms is a easy thing to rectify and most important to do. beforePalm Springs Living

Clean Your Windows and Sliders: Clean all your windows till they sparkle. And wash or replace old screens. Touch up the paint on the woodwork inside and out if needed. Put new rollers on sliders if they are difficult to slide back and forth.

By addressing some quick-fix needs of your home, you can make a better overall impression on your buyers without a lot of time or expense. Your home will sell faster and you’ll get top dollar if your home shows well and there are few visible repairs. I am the first to admit it is not fun living in a home that is for sale. Living in your home and Selling your home are not the same…..but the end result will make you mighty glad you took the time to present your home in its best light!

Real Estate information by following me onGoogle Plus

Would you like to make a comment on this article? It’s a great place for you to “let YOUR thoughts be known on the various articles written. Be My Guest………I‘d love to hear from you! Others would too! To comment just scroll down and leave a reply.

IMPORTANT: If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Desert Area, try searching properties on the same Desert Area MLS Realtor’s use, or give me a call….or visit my website at Palm Springs Homes and Estates. I will be happy to give you or your referral my red carpet service.” After the sale, I will send you a $50 Gift Certificate towards dinner in a fabulous Palm Springs Area Restaurant so you can celebrate!

Nancy Hankin, Palm Springs Real Estate Agent
Brought to You By Your Favorite Realtor,

Nancy Hankin

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