October 30, 2014

20 Moving Tips That Will Make Your Life Easier

Moving from one house to another can be stressful and exciting all at the same time. Staying organized, making lists, and planning ahead make the whole process a lot easier, but so does having a few handy packing tips and tricks up your sleeve!

 

move

1. Make a Packing Supplies Basket

 

Put together all of the things you need for packing in a basket so you aren’t constantly trying to remember where you put the tape. This way you can carry it around with you and have everything at your fingertips. You might want to include: packaging tape, labels, scissors, Sharpies, a screw driver, baggies, and a utility knife.


Source: A Bowl Full Of Lemons

 

2. Make your last Grocery Trip Two Weeks Prior to Moving

The more food you end up using before moving, the less you’ll have to throw out.

 

mirrora   

    3. Masking Tape on Mirrors

Use masking tape to place a large X on your mirrors and glass frames. It won’t prevent it from breaking, but it will absorb shock and keep the glass in the frame in the case that it is dropped or shuffled in the moving truck.

 

 

 

Source: Martha Stuart

 

box handles

4. DIY Box Handles

Make picking up and lifting heavy boxes a little easier by cutting handholds in two sides of the box with a utility knife! Leave the top flaps of your triangular cut-outs attached and simply fold them in

 

 

 

 

Source: Martha Stuart

 

5. Use soft items for Padding & Space Fillers

Place stuffed animals, pillows, sheets, blankets, and other soft items in trash bags and use them as padding next to fragile items in the moving truck. It also helps fill up irregular empty space in the truck so your belongings won’t shift around during the move.

 

6. Defrost Your Refrigerator

Plan ahead! Don’t forget to defrost, towel dry, and clean your refrigerator 24-48 hours before moving day. This will help prevent a stinky, wet mess.

 

7. Take a Photo of Your Cords

Before you disconnect them to be boxed up, take a quick snapshot of the cords on the back of your television and other electronics so that you can remember where they all go!

 

8. Pack Plates Vertically

platesSource: apartmenttherapy.com

Pack vertically like records. When packing vertically, don’t forget to create a barrier between each plate. You could place newspaper or even a foam plate in between to protect your delicate glass and ceramic plates. Place one in-between each place to prevent them from chipping or breaking.

 

9. Press n’ Seal Will Be Your Best Friend

Dresser drawers are like their own moving boxes — this will keep you from having to unpack and re-fold their contents. It’ll also make moving the actual dresser much more manageable. Press’n Seal is also great for keep jewelry displays intact. You can also use plastic wrap to keep items in their place! No sense in emptying your drawers or silverware tray when you can use plastic wrap to keep drawers shut or smaller items in their intended container

plastic bags

 

10. Use Sandwich Bags

Keep sandwich bags handy for holding any small parts of things you have to take apart, like curtain rods or mounted flat-screen TVs. Tape the sandwich bags to the back of the item they correspond to. ALSO: use this method with the cords for your electronics.

 

 

 

11. Rolling Luggage

If you’ve got them, use your rolling luggage bags for really heavy items like books. Now you can avoid the heavy lifting and simply roll the bags onto your moving truck.

 

 

clothesgarbage

12. Put Hanging Clothes in Garbage Bags

Keep them on the hangers while still protected in garbage bags! This saves the hassle of taking them on and off of the hangers. It also keeps your clothes all together in the order you had them hung, less wrinkled, and ready to hang up when you get to your new home. You can also put the bag on the opposite way; hangers go in first. Just poke a hole for your hangers to fit through the bottom of the bag. You can’t fit as many clothes in this way, but they stay in better form, and you can tie the bottom off with the drawstring closure. Label each bag and then you can hang them up where they belong before easily ripping the bag off.

 

 

Source: Wicker House Blog
glassware

 

 

13. Use Wine or Beer Cases to Carefully Store Stemware and Glassware

Visit your local bar, restaurant, or winery, and you’re bound to come home with several empty wine box cases! The inserts in these boxes are perfect for protecting glass cups, wine glasses, and vases

 

 

14. Enlist in the Color Coding System

Pick a color code for each room and label that room’s boxes accordingly. Label the door of each room with the corresponding sticker/tape so that movers know where to place the boxes.

 

15. Read the Fine Print 

If you hire movers make sure you read the fine print and find out if there are any weird rules. For instance, some movers will only move things in boxes, not garbage bags. Which means you’ll be paying them extra for unnecessary boxes at a marked-up price.

 

16. Change Your Address

Two weeks prior to moving make sure you change your address. This might seem like a no-brainer for important things like utilities and cable but don’t sweat the small stuff. You will want to change the address on your credit cards, bank account, magazine subscriptions, and all other mail.

 

17. Utilize Everything!

Think outside of the box! Use your pot holders to safely hold knives, store socks inside of shoes and boots, use the inside of your washer and dryer for storage — anything you can think of to fill up empty space. This will save much needed room on the truck.

 

18. Pack The Truck Like An Expert

mvoeSource: My Move

****For those who are moving themselves and not a moving company here is a simple way to pack the truck. Depending on the items you are moving, and how much, there are different techniques to packing a moving truck, but there are also the basics that will help you pack fast and efficiently.

 

19. Pack A First-Night Box

Chances are, you’re not going to be able to unpack and organize everything the first day of your move. You will want your essentials within easy access. Pack a labeled box/bag with all of your first-night essentials and load it into your own vehicle.

*You might want to include: toilet paper, toiletries, medications, snacks, basic cleaning supplies, COFFEE and coffee maker, a first-aid kit, a utility knife, pet supplies, a night light for the kids, bedding, disposable plates, cups, and utensils.

It is also a good idea for each member of the family to pack a small bag that contains personal belongings that they might need for the first couple of days. Just pack as if you’re going on a short trip! This way everyone has a change of clothes and anything else they might need.

 

And lastly……….

 

20. Have A Sense Of Humor

Relax! You’ll get there eventually. Moving day is probably the easiest excuse to get frustrated. Remind yourself before the day starts that everything will be ok.

 

A little planning will help you and your family to navigate the thrills and frustrations of moving and get you well on your way to having fun and making memories in your new home!

 

Relocating to Maryland or Pennsylvania? Take a look at our relocation services to help you with all your needs in the search of a new home.

 

 

 

October 27, 2014

Living In Your Home While It Is For Sale

You have decided it is time to move and put your house on the market. You have made a big decision, congratulations! When the for-sale sign is placed on your lawn, dozens of interested buyers and real estate agents will be trudging in and out of your entire house. You will have unfamiliar people examining every nook and cranny of your home.

Selling your home is a huge financial undertaking, so you will want to give your home the best chance to sell for the maximum price….while you still comfortably reside there.

Follow these steps to maintain a livable home and still sell it at the highest possible price.

Start Packing Now

As of right now, you may only have 3-4 months until the moving truck arrives and it is time to move. Therefore you need to remember that you are not going to need all of the decorative furniture or little knick-knack items that are currently filling your rooms and closets over the next few months. So if it is October and you lviein Maryland or Pennsylvania, you won’t need your spring and summer clothes; pack them up. The secret to getting a house clutter-free is to have the mindset of removing all the things you can live without while your home is on the market (it’s only a temporary).  With that in mind…….

 

Keep it, Store it, Toss it or Donate it!

Clutter can eat away equity and kill potential deals. The concept of less is more – removing clutter – is at the heart of preparing to sell a home because space is an important commodity. Showing that you have a little extra breathing room and a sense of expansiveness in your home gives off the feel of luxurious, calming and uplifting. As obvious as this seems, buyers will be more attracted to a home that feels like it has extra space, which is why removing unnecessary clutter from your home is essential when preparing for an upcoming move.

 

Scrub Away

After you have de-cluttered your home, it is time to start cleaning. Say farewell to all the cobwebs, dust, grime, rust, mildew and carpet stains. The windows, glass and mirrors must sparkle. The sinks and toilets should look ‘five-star hotel perfect.’ Most people dread cleaning, but the payoff is worth it in the end.

 

Maintain your Privacy and Safety

Believe it or not, people are nosy and may look through your drawers, closets, medicine cabinets, etc… at your open house or showing. Don’t keep anything in the house that you do not want other people to see; personal documents and valuables. Don’t leave mail sitting around, lock up all checks, credit cards or any other personal information. Be extra cautious about anything of monetary or sentimental value. Although this type of behavior is rare, it is better to be safe than sorry in this case,

 

Send your Pets on a Holiday

Animals are a wonderful addition to any household; however they may not be the best addition to an open house or listing. Therefore you should plan accordingly, ask friends and family to take your pet(s) for the day or at least a few hours, while the house is being shown.

 

Prep Like a Pro

When you are living in a house that is on the market, you need to be prepared to “Show Prep” you home for each showing. Even though your real estate agent is constantly working hard for you, they are busy and often arrive at the same time of the potential buyers. This means they may not have the opportunity or time to prep the house. When those buyers arrive, your house must be ready to go. Every light set perfectly, the doors and windows open if weather permits and the temperature exactly right.

 

Involve Your Kids in the Process

If you have children, you most likely have a lot of toys laying around to entertain them. And of course, your kids need to be able to play and continue on with their everyday lives. So how do you get the house looking perfect for every showing? Involve your kids. Make the process a game and get them to participate. Let them understand that it’s time to put the house “on show” and you all need to set the stage together. Have them pick up their favorite toy and stuffed animal to showcase in a perfect spot each time for the show, and put the rest of the toys away. You will be surprised how cooperative kids are and how much fun they have when you announce its “Show Time!”

 

Get it Ready and Get Out

Once you have gone through the checklist and completed everything that needs to be done before each showing, it is time to get out! You want the potential buyers to feel that this could be their future home. After you have worked so hard to create the perfect atmosphere for their experience, the last thing you want to do is ruin it by hanging around. The real estate agents and the potential buyers need to be able to speak openly and honestly with one another, and if you are present, this most likely won’t occur.

 

Final Panic – “I can’t live like this!”

Don’t let the pressure of maintaining a clean house overwhelm you. You will be concerned that you won’t be able to keep your house sparkling clean every day. But don’t worry, if you truly dress up your home for sale the process of prepping will be easy. Since your things are packed and organized, and your down to the essential basics, moving will be a easy-breezy.

 

 

Source: http://goo.gl/1EIPfq
October 23, 2014

9 Old House Features We Were Wrong to Abandon

We were probably right to abandon many hallmarks of yesterday’s home, but maybe we should reconsider these 9 once-popular features for their practicality.

 

Dutch Doors

doubledutchSource: http://goo.gl/nKoPQZ

Popular with the 18th-century Dutch settlers of New York and New Jersey. Dutchdoors are split horizontally in the middle; open just the top to keep out animals while letting in light and air. Making your own is straightforward. Saw any wood door in half, then attach each half to the door frame with two hinges apiece. A simple sliding bolt joins the top and bottom as a single, solid panel.

 


Sleeping Porches

sleeping-porch-r-xSource: http://goo.gl/IiZGG5

Sleeping porches became popular in the 20th century, when they were advocated by health professionals who believed that the fresh air they provided bolstered immune systems. Such porches were already popular in the South and West, where sleeping outdoors was cooler and more comfortable.

 

Transom Windows

transom

Source: http://goo.gl/UPfils

Transom windows are those panels of glass you see above doors in older homes, especially those built in the Mission or Arts and Crafts styles. They admitted natural light to front hallways and interior rooms before the advent of electricity, and circulated air even when doors were closed for privacy. Transoms serve both purposes just as well today, and of course, the if they are crafted with stained glass they are a timeless beauty.

 

Laundry Chute

laundrychute

Source: http://goo.gl/0ObMKZ

If your bedroom is two floors up from the washer and dryer, you might want to resurrect another nearly forgotten feature of older homes: the laundry chute. If you’d like to construct your own, to ensure that your clothes are funneled smoothly, weld sheet metal together to create a ramp, or use lengths of extra-large PVC pipe to form a tube that ends in your laundry room. No matter your approach, adding a laundry chute injects low-tech convenience into one of life’s never-ending chores.

 

Intercoms

intercomSource: http://goo.gl/18XeC7

Intercom systems may remind you of The Brady Bunch, but these 1970s-era devices can be useful even if you don’t have six kids, a dog, and an Alice. Systems consist of a base station and several remote modules, and the newest intercoms are capable piping music throughout your home. If you’d prefer to avoid any hard wiring, opt instead for a phone system with built-in intercom functionality.

 

Pocket Shutters

pocket shuttersSource: http://goo.gl/Vt78v4

Northeast homes of the 18th and 19th century had walls of exceptional thickness (as they were often made of brick), providing a deep window jamb whose embrasures, or pockets, could contain an entire interior shutter. It’s high time these clever architectural details made a comeback, because interior shutters provide not only privacy, but also insulation or shade when the elements really start to bear down.

 

Phone Nook

phone-nook-xSource: http://goo.gl/EJZQLV

Back when telephones were large and unwieldy, homes often had a special nook to accommodate the bulky devices. Although the size of these cumbersome antiques is what necessitated their having their own hole in the wall, designating a dedicated space for a telephone doesn’t seem like such a bad idea, even today. After all, most of us spend the last five minutes before leaving the house screaming, “Where’s my cell phone?!”

 

Claw-Foot Tubs

tub

They’re lovely to look at and provide a deeper soak than most modern tubs. So if you have enough space in your bathroom, consider adding the luxury of a claw-foot tub to your life. Or, get whimsical and put one outside in your garden or on a patio so you can bathe under the stars. You can find many claw foots inexpensively at salvage yards that, with a little TLC (and maybe some porcelain paint) will look as good as new. Or rather, old.

 

Rumford Fireplace

rumfordSource: http://goo.gl/MmLnKh

Henry David Thoreau once counted his Rumford fireplace as a modern convenience that was often overlooked by his contemporaries. Common in the early to mid-1800’s Rumford fireplaces are tall and not very deep, which allows them to reflect most of the heat generated by burning wood back into the room. With escalating fuel costs, this old design is becoming popular again as way to save some real money in the modern era.

Source: bobvilla.com
October 20, 2014

Shut the Front Door

 

What is the first thing a visitor sees when they visit and the last thing they see when they leave? Your front door and entryway of course! First impressions count. Therefore if you are hosting a dinner, having family over for the holidays, etc, you should take some time to spruce up your entryway. Here are a few quick, cheap and super simple tips to achieve instant results!

 

DIY_Paint_Front_Door_1

 

 

1.) Wash it down

It is surprising how much grime and dirt builds up on your front door. You will want to grab a sponge and wipe it down with warm and soapy water. If you have a door with older paint, make sure you use a soft sponge and wipe it clean carefully to make sure you don’t accidentally take some of the paint off.

 

 

 

Paint-your-Front-Door2.) Roll on the paint

After you have washed your front door, you may be left unsatisfied. If it seems something is missing and washing the door hasn’t done the trick, it is time roll up your sleeves and go to the paint store. Take your significant other, family member or friend to the paint store and pick out a nice new color or polish for your front door. Since this is a DIY project make sure you give yourself enough time to do it properly. This project could be timely; sanding, primer and two coats of paint.

 

 

 

funny-doormat-2

 

3.) “Welcome”

Perhaps your home is not as welcoming as it could be. If you have an old front door mat that is worn by both age and more shoes than you remember then it is time to find yourself a new one. A new mat can make all the difference in the world.

 

 

 

pretty-fall-porch-decor-ideas-49

 

 

 

4.) Character

Add some color and pzazz to your front door. Transform your doorway into a bright welcoming entryway. This can be done with seasonal decorations, plants, or anything you see fit. You could even choose something hearty that looks good throughout the year and doesn’t require much maintenance.

 

 

 

 

 

5.) Knock, knock

Who’s there? Go to your local hardware store and pick yourself out a door knocker. It is a nice alternative to a doorbell and when someone knocks you will actually be able to hear it. Adding a door knocker will create a design-savvy point of interest which you are more than welcome to take all the credit for.

doorknocker

 

 

 

October 16, 2014

To Move or Improve?

 

remodeling

 

 

 

Are you considering renovating your existing home or starting completely over by moving? If you ask around, you’ll receive mixed opinions, but the ultimate decision is up to you (and perhaps your significant other). But how will you come to a decision? What criteria should you use to make a rational decision on whether to stay and renovate or pack up and move on?

 

 

Here’s some criteria to help you decide:

 

1.) How do you feel about your neighborhood?paper home

  • Is it a place you enjoy?
  • How well do you get along with your neighbors?
  • Would you miss your neighborhood community
  • Are you and your children happy with the local school district?
  • Is your neighborhood a good fit for you (and your family)?
  • You can always fix a house, but you can’t fix your neighborhood

 

 

2.) Is there an intangible quality to your house?

  • While not every house has significance beyond simply providing shelter, many do. Whether it is the age, design or historical quality, a home that has significance shouldn’t be subjected to the wrecking ball. Expanding, renovating and adapting homes of such value are sure ways to keep the significance alive for years to come.

 

 

 

3.) Does renovating make sense financially?moeny

  • There are a handful of factors to consider when it comes to the question of ‘How much will renovating cost?’. If you are renovating, there are going to be other costs. For example an associated cost could be temporary living quarters while your house is under construction.
  • However it can also cost money is you stay and you are in the way. Some contractors may charge more where clients stay because there will have to be additional cleanup on a daily basis, a rush for certain mechanical work (i.e. plumbing, electric), and even something as simple as socializing with the onsite homeowners (wasting time on the clock).
  • If you are planning on moving, there will be associated costs with purchasing your new home as well. Costs will include: realtor fees, decorating the new home, moving truck costs…..etc.
  • Determining whether to stay or move requires you to evaluate all the costs on both spectrums before making a decision.
  • This decision is best to determine with a contractor. If you have never been to a house that is under-going a remodel, you should so you can understand how much of your home/life will be affected by what you have planned.

 

 

4.) Does your existing house have a sturdy foundation?

  • Not every house is an ideal candidate for a renovation. While there might be a good reason to renovate an old historic barn that is full of family memories, a 20 year old house with a collapsing foundation or other significant defects would not be a good candidate. Therefore make sure you asses (either yourself or professionally), the bones of your house to see if the base of your home is structurally solid.

 

zoning5.) Are the new zoning restrictions going to affect your renovation plans?

  • Depending on the age of your house, the zoning restrictions may have been different during the time it was built.
  • While the house you currently reside in may fit you perfectly (due to the previous lenient restrictions), a new house in its place might not.
  • You should evaluate height/distance to property lines, yard dimensions…..etc., to see if saving the existing structure of the house is worth your while.

 

 

 

6.) Are you willing to have patience and fun with a renovation project…..even when it is not going well?

moneypit

  • Whether you are remolding or even building a custom home, you will have to make numerous decisions. Some of the major decisions include: size, budget and time frame. While some of the other decisions come down to minor details but are extremely important to the whole aesthetic and feel.
  • Make sure you keep your sense of humor. If you are considering renovating, you should watch The Money Pit. The dialogue is filled with classic lines, such as “two weeks” as the stock answer to the question about when the project will be finished. Just remember that renovations may not go as smoothly as planned, but that it’ll be all right in the end. So do your homework, trust in the professionals you’ve hired and enjoy the ride.

 

 

October 13, 2014

PA Festivals in October

Here are a few fun fall events going on this upcoming weekend to embrace the autumn spirit!

pumpkinsSource: Tumblr halloween+harvest

 

 

 

apple fest

Apple Fest in Chambersburg

  • When: Saturday October 18th 9am – 4pm
  • Where: Main Street and Lincoln Way, Chambersburg, PA (Franklin County)
  • This is an annual event held the third Saturday of October. A family free event  that celebrates the main crop of South Central PA, with over 100 art, craft and food vendors along Main Street. It creates an excellent venue for holiday shopping and good food. Live entertainment at the Courthouse Plaza adds to the festive atmosphere. Apple related products, services and contests are featured for this family-friendly fall festival.

 

 

 

 

Fall Fun Fest 

  • When: Saturday October 18th 10am – 5pm
  • Where: York, PA
  • Set aside this day to enjoy a trip to the pumpkin patch and orchard to gather your pumpkins, apples and smiles! With a large selection of fall decorations, crafts fresh food and bakery sweets you and your family will be sure to have a wonderful day. The event includes; pick-your-own-pumpkin patch; corn maze; pumpkin painting; wagon rides; straw bale jungle gym; corn boxes; antique apple cider press demonstrations; face painting and much more.

 

 

howard

 

Howard Fire Company Fall Punpkin’ Chunkin’

  • When: Saturday October 18th 10am – 5pm
  • Where: Howard, PA
  • On the one side this festival is like many others, with a wide variety of delicious foods, fun activities , homemade crafts, there is a little bit of something for everyone. On the other hand, medieval weaponry fires ballistic pumpkins hundreds of yards into a lake. At the Punpkin’ Chunkin’ Festival it should be obvious what the big draw is. Large chunkin’ trebuchets are designed and brought in specifically to hurl pumpkins with great force and greater accuracy. Those teams who excel in the best feats of endurance and power take home the prize. Despite being the namesake of the festival, punkin’ chunkin’ isn’t the only thing to do at the festival….for more information click here.

 

 

 

Stonehedge Gardens Fall Festival

  • When: October 19th 12-6pm
  • Where: Tamaqua, PA Schuylkill County
  • Art, Music, Workshops and Celebrations
  • A fall festival stuffed with unique and exciting events. There will be traditional fall activities like garden tours, pumpkin decorating and a scarecrow display. Vendors will be selling their homemade products and there will be drumming circles and fire-performers. Bring the whole family and have a great experience.

 

 

Yorktoberfest ytf_logo_new

  • When: October 25th-26th 12pm – 5pm
  • Where: York Fairgrounds in York, PA
  • Hosted by the Sons of the American Legion, Yorktoberfest has been growing insanely in terms of size and fan base since it began in 2011. With a large selection of brews, wines and vendors the appeal is at once immediate and obvious. Yorktoberfest is a good-time festival . Nearly fifty craft brews are represented, all from state and regional breweries. Everyone from PA’s Troegs to Dogfishhead to the local favorites, Liquid Hero Brewery, are represented at the festival. There will also be nearly a dozen wineries from across the area showcased with a wide selection of red, whites and seasonals. Make sure you come hungry because there will be plenty of food vendors, fifty to be exact. Attendance for this event is severely limited and totally worth it. Be sure to get tickets (to consume alcohol) asap. All proceeds go to charity programs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 9, 2014

Maryland Ranks on Top 100 Best Places to Live

 

Livability.com recently came out with their second annual ranking for the Top 100 Best Places to Live 2015; small to mid-sized cities in the United States.  Some new places made list, some moved up or down and some continue to score well. Over 2,000 cities were ranked, so every city on the list is in the top 5% of livable communities in the United States. The criteria for ranking was based on 8 categories; amenities, demographics, economy, education, health care, housing, social & civic capital, and transportation. Of the 100 cities, 5 are located in Maryland; #19  Rockville, MD; #32 Frederick, MD; #42  Towson, MD;  #64 North Bethesda, MD; #72 Silver Spring, MD.


#19 City of Rockville, Maryland

map_of_rockville_md
-Rockville is located in Montgomery County, MD. Rockville has a population of 60,960, and a median home price is $481,700.

-There are 34 elementary schools in Rockville which are primarily served by Montgomery County Public School District. Parents who are looking for an alternative to public schools have the option of choosing from 44 private schools.

-Since Rockville is a great place to live, it also means it is a great place to work. The economy in Rockville is led by the Corporate, Subsidiary, and Regional Managing Offices industry. This city is also a great entrepreneurship community.

-Rockville residents are part of Montgomery County, which ranks 1st for health outcomes and 2nd for health factors out of the 24 counties within the State of Maryland.

 

 

#32 City of Frederick, Maryland
frederick- Frederick is located in Frederick County, MD. Frederick has a population of 65,171, and a median home price of $255,600.

- There are 40 elementary schools in Frederick which are primarily served by Frederick County Public School District. Parents who are
looking for an alternative have the choice of 26 private schools to choose from.

- The economy in Frederick is led by the Commercial Banking industry. This city is also a great entrepreneurship community.

- Frederick residents are part of Frederick County, which ranks 3rd for health outcomes and 3rd for health factors out of the 24 counties within the state of Maryland.

 

 

#42 City of Towson, Marylandmap_of_towson_md
-Towson is located in Baltimore County, Maryland. Frederick has a population of 55,811, and a median home price of $339,400.

- There are 31 elementary schools in Towson, which is primarily served by Baltimore County Public School District. Parents who are looking for an alternative to public schools have the option of choosing from 52 private schools. After high school, the University of Towson is a great choice for college.

- Towson residents have access to 69 acute care hospitals within 60 miles. Towson residents rank 14th for health outcomes and 12th for health factors out of the 24 counties within the state of Maryland.

 


#64 City of North Bethesda, Maryland

-North Bethesda is located in Montgomery County, MD. North Bethesda has a population of 42,894, and a median home price of $494,200.

- There are 28 elementary schools in North Bethesda. Parents who are looking for an alternative to public school have the choice of 54 private schools to choose from as well.

-The economy of North Bethesda is led by the Corporate, Subsidiary and Regional Managing Offices Industry. There are 116,634 business establishments in North Bethesda with fewer than 10 employees, which is a good indicator of the entrepreneurship community.

- North Bethesda residents are part of Montgomery County, which ranks 1st for health outcomes and 2nd for health factors out of 24 counties within the State of Maryland.

 


#72 Silver Spring, Maryland
silver spring
-Silver Spring, Maryland is located in Montgomery County. Silver Spring has a population of 74, 476, and a median home price of $453,900.

-There are 35 elementary schools in Silver Spring and 49 private schools.

- The economy of Silver Spring is led by the Corporate, Subsidiary and Regional Managing Offices Industry. There are 116,634 business establishments in Silver Spring with fewer than 10 employees, which is a good indicator of the entrepreneurship community.

- Silver Spring residents are part of Montgomery County, which ranks 1st for health outcomes and 2nd for health factors out of 24 counties within the State of Maryland. Residents have access to 61 acute care hospitals within 60 miles of Silver Spring.

 

 

 

Maryland is a great state to live in. Whether you are looking to relocate from another state or simply move to another town/city, our Real Estate Professionals at Homesale Realty are here to assist you every step of the way.

 

 

 

October 6, 2014

Energy; Use less to save more this season

EnergyEfficiency

 

You can save big money by changing your energy habits. Today, most things we use are run by electricity, but have we become over-dependent? What are the alternatives? If you haven’t already, conduct an energy assessment to find out where you can save the most, and consider making a larger investment for long-term energy savings.

Here are a handful of tips to revise your energy habits that can pay big dividends, month after month.

 

 

 


Source: phillippebuilders.com


Electronics and Appliances
Did you know that 75% of the power used by home electronics is consumed while they are off?

  • Plug electronics into a power strip, and remember to turn the strip off when not in use to save energy costs.
  • Avoid energy vampires. Even when appliances/electronics are turned off (those that are plugged in), they are in “standby” mode, which still uses energy to power features such as clock displays.
  • Look for ENERGY STAR-qualified TVs. They are up to 30% more efficient than noncertified models.
  • Unplug battery chargers when batteries are fully charged or aren’t in use.

 

Old Appliances
Older appliances may still do the job, but were not designed with today’s energy efficiency. At an unexpected, intoasterovenconvenient time, a refrigerator or other appliance may need costly repair or replacement.

  • Use microwaves and toaster ovens to cook or warm leftovers, less energy is used in comparison to a conventional oven.
  • If you have a second fridge located in the garage or utility room, it is time to pull the plug. There are numerous places you can call to pick it up for a small recycling fee.
  • Keep you refrigerator temperature between 30-42°F. If you have a power-save switch, turn it on.
  • If your refrigerator is from the 90’s, you may want to consider purchasing a new energy efficient model to lower operating costs.
  • Dust your fridge. Check the coils behind the refrigerator and use coil vacuums or dusters to clean it off and keep costs down.
  • Keep your freezer full – it uses les energy than an empty one. For maximum savings, consider filling your freezer with gallon containers of water.
  • Set your dishwasher on economy mode, to use less water and electricity.

 

Cover Drafty Windows

  • Use a heavy duty, clear plastic sheet or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.
  • Install tight-fitting insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing.
  • Or you could install storm windows for those brutal winter months. These windows can help reduce heat loss by 25-50%

 

Find and Seal Leaks

  • Seal the air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes (“plumbing penetrations”), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.
  • Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.

 


Lightingcflbulb

  • Replace standard bulbs with CFLs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs are more energy-efficient than regular bulbs, and give off the same amount of light.
  • Choose outdoor CFLs for outdoor lighting; they last up to 10 times longer than standard light bulbs.
  • Replace halogen light bulbs. They can get extremely hot and become a fire hazard.
  • Use motion-detector lights for all your outdoor lighting; they are convenient and efficient.
  • Select light-colored or opaque lamp shades and place lamps in corners so they reflect light from two walls.

 

Heatingheating

  • Schedule service for your heating system.
  • Furnaces: Replace your furnace filter once a month or as needed
  • Cover all bare floors; carpeting or rugs add heat retention, especially if there is little or no floor insulation.
  • Raise the temperature slowly to keep your bill lower. Quickly raising your heat pump’s temperature activates the heat strip, which uses a large amount of energy.
  • Your thermostat should be set to 68-70 degrees during the day in the winter months, and 65-68 degrees at night to keep your home comfortable and save on heating costs.
  • Limit your use of portable heaters. Even though they are useful for “spot” heating, running a 1,500-watt heater all day can be pricey.
  • Although the warm months are coming to an end, you can still utilize the sun. Leave window shades/blinds up during the day.

 

Lower Your Water Heating Costs

  • Water heating can account for 14% to 25% of the energy consumed in your home.
  • Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). It will save you money while keeping water hot enough for showers and cleaning dishes.
  • Wash only full loads of clothes and dishes.
  • Check your hot water pipes for leaks, which can drain energy savings.
  • Take shorter showers to cut down on hot water costs.
  • If you have an older water heater, get an insulation wrap to help your old water heater heat more effectively.

 

Reduce Heat Loss from the Fireplacefire

  • Keep warm air in your house and cold air out with proper chimney maintainance.
  • Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter, it allows warms air to go right up the chimney.
  • When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly, approximately 1 inch, and close doors leading into the room.
  • Lower the thermostat setting somewhere in between 50°-55°F.
  • If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.
  • If you do use the fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room.
  • Check the seal on the fireplace flue damper and make it as snug as possible.
  • Purchase grates made of C-shaped metal tubes to draw room air into the fireplace and circulate warm air back into the room.
  • Add caulking around the fireplace hearth.

 

We hope that these tips are helpful. If you have your own energy saving tips, please feel free to share your knowledge. Stay warm, save money and conserve energy.

October 2, 2014

Home Safety

break-inSource: thisoldhouse.com

 

In lieu of the recent residential break-ins and burglaries, homeowners are on high alert. Most of the time, electronics and other material items can be replaced. What can’t be as easily replaced is the sense of security and peace of mind before a break-in. Therefore, you want to be take action now in securing your family and your home.

 

Where Break-Ins Happen

 

front door

 

 

Front door

-Most break-ins occur at your front door. Invest in a solid, pick resistant deadbolt lock (and don’t forget to lock it!). As an added measure: keep your outdoor entry light on so it illuminates the entrance to your house at night.

 

 

 

 

windows

 

First and second floor windows

-You will want to have sash locks on your windows. Easy to reach windows and second floor windows that are accessible from the roof should have double protection. So if you want to take it one step beyond the traditional lock, a wireless alarm system is beneficial.

 

 

Side Entry

-If you have sliding glass doors, install a solid metal jammer that folds up when not in use to keep them from being lifted off their tracks

 

garage

 

 

Garage

-Garages can easily be opened, especially if someone gets ahold of your electronic garage door opener. Even though a side mounted indoor lock may be inconvenient, it will offer extra security.

 

 

 

 

Basement

- Outside entry ways into basements are sometimes left unlocked by accident. It will be beneficial for your home and safety to (first remember to lock the door), install motion-activated security lights near the basement entrance and grade-level windows to give prowlers nowhere to hide.

 

 

Below are a few tips to help prevent a break-in from happening in your home and decrease the likelihood that you will have to replace items that could burn a major hole in your wallet:

 

1. Invest in a security system…. dog

  • Dogs are often the most effective alarm system you can get. Sophisticated thieves often know how to work around electronic systems, and “average” thieves have no issues with breaking windows if there’s no system at all. But dogs are unpredictable – they may bite, they may not. More often than not, thieves will pick a house that’s dog-free rather than take the risk.
  • However, dogs are a lot of responsibility and they can be expensive. With that said, there are numerous security systems that are reliable and effective in warning you of an intrusion (without the barking and biting).


2. Lock Your Doors and Windows (refer to information above)

  • This seems like an obvious tip, but many people forget to do this at times. I know I’ve forgotten to do it countless times myself.
  • Make sure your doors and windows are always locked. Experts say 23% of break-ins occur through first-floor windows. So securing these should be a top priority.


3. Hide Valuables

  • If your neighbors from across the street can see your large screen TV , computer, and/or stereo system, you will want to conceal them. Make sure your valuables are hidden from passer-bys. Use privacy curtains (sheer curtains that let in light but block the view) so people can’t see in while you’re away at work or sleeping.


4. Be Prepared

  • Back up your computers and laptops in the event those items are stolen. Keep wallets, purses and money out of site. Know the model numbers and purchase prices of your most expensive items. The insurance company will want this information if it’s stolen.

 

 

References:
Rodriguez, Natalie. “How to Stop Break-Ins.” This Old House. Time Inc. Network, n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2014.
Levin, Heather. “How to Prevent Home Burglary – 8 Ways to Reduce the Risk of Someone Breaking Into Your House.” Money Crashers. Money Crashers, n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2014.
 
October 2, 2014

Marketing and Technology Report Q4 2014

In this Marketing & Technology Report Q4 2014, Homesale reveals the latest information and results of our efforts from the past quarter. Homesale continues to make the home buying process simple by providing buyers with the right tools and resources. Our Pinterest page features everything from kids rooms to man caves. Feel free to follow us and re-pin our photos. Be sure to look inside to find out the benefits of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Market Activity report for your market area.

 

q4

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