Posts tagged ‘homes in pennsylvania’

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.

 

 

 

June 10, 2013

Live in Your Dream Home Forever.

dreamhomebanner

To most, the phrase dream home brings to mind a home filled with fantasy amenities, custom trims, top-of-the-line appliances, the latest in home technology, swimming pools, and much, much more.  For smart homeowners, it now means a home that you can live in forever!  A home that can accommodate you and your young family, through a hectic mid-life, and finally to coping with the physical limitations that can sometimes accompany getting older.

Universal design, sometimes called lifespan design, is a term used to describe this type of home design. This design combines the best of accessible, ergonomic, and green design.  It creates spaces that can be used by everyone and are also appealing to all.  It doesn’t stigmatize any particular group of users.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the specifics of universal design, breaking it down by rooms in your home.

Entry and General Living spaces

  • A 3’-wide gently sloping, no-step entry – allows entry for wheelchairs, strollers, walkers, etc.
  • Lever-handled Front Door – easier to grip and open
  • No changes in floor levels through main area of the home – increases safety, eliminates tripping
  • Pocket doors where possible – Provides privacy and gives sense of extra space
  • Handrails on both sides of staircases
  • Open, spacious floor plan with 5 ½’ hallways (4 ½ ft. standard)
  • Rocker panel light switches are easier to “flip”

Bedrooms / Baths

  • One bedroom and full bath located on main floor – Can serve as a study or office until later in life
  • Mirrors – placed to been seen from sitting or standing positions
  • No-slip flooring material in bathrooms
  • Curb-less shower prevents tripping and allows wheelchair access
  • Securely anchored grab bars in shower ensure safe mobility, can double as towel bars
  • Molded shower seat looks attractive, can be handy for children and seniors

Kitchen / Utility Room

  • Paddle-handle faucet – easier and more convenient to use
  • Pull-out work boards at varying heights to accommodate standing or sitting positions
  • Main floor laundry room
  • Small rolling cart for workspace and to eliminate unnecessary walking
  • D-shaped drawer pulls are easier to grasp and pull open

Mechanics

  • Keyless locks use a remote control or keypad that is user-friendly
  • Smoke detectors and carbon-monoxide alarms that provide both audible and visual signals
  • Circuit breaker panel on the main floor rather than basement or garage is easier to access
  • Universally designed appliance controls with obvious symbols and colors to help clarify written instructions
  • Switches and controls are placed at easy-to-use heights, more convenient to more people

Consider these design ideas when you are contemplating building a new home or buying your dream home, or even if you choose to remodel your current home.  A few simple design choices now can make life a lot easier later; for you, your children, aging parents, even house guests. 

May 13, 2013

Is it Your Time to Sell??

righttimetosellYes, it looks like it might finally be the right time to put the For Sale sign in your front yard! Rising home prices and lower inventories are creating new opportunities for home sellers; sometimes even bringing multiple offers to purchase on the same home, as buyers become more confident and try to take advantage of lower interest rates.

Read on to discover more reasons why you should list your home NOW instead of waiting…

  • PricesHomes prices are slowly making a comeback. However, it is still your best bet, to price your home reasonably from the beginning. A newly listed home will have its largest viewing audience the first few days on the market and a properly priced home could see 8+ showings that first week!
  • Inventory – The supply of homes is at its lowest point since 2005! Typically, the home inventory increases in the spring season. A stronger demand from buyers and a currently low inventory of homes could help you get your desirable sale price!
  • New Construction – The home building industry took a hard hit the past few years, but it is showing signs of making a recovery. Builders are becoming more confident and more active, creating competition for sellers of existing homes.
  • Household changes – Family formations are changing and growing, creating a need for “move up” homes. Rental occupancy is also nearing all-time highs. And those that may have fallen on hard times are getting their credit repaired; creating buyers who are more than ready to purchase!
  • Interest Rates rising? – It has been projected that interest rates may start to inch up during 2013. This possibility is enough reason to push some homebuyers off the fence and onto the path of becoming homeowners.
  • Selling faster – Statistics also show that homes are selling faster. The average days a home was on the real estate market in January was 71, compared to 99 days on the market one year ago!

Once you’ve made the decision to sell your home, here are some other items to consider:

 Find the right agent – Interview several, until you feel confident that you have found the right match!
 Clean it up – Clean and prep your home right away: do a little painting, some carpet cleaning, and make minor updates. You want your home to make a great first impression!
 Consider offers carefully – especially competing offers. Consider ALL terms of the offer, not just the sale price. Things to think about……closing date, inspections, cash down, appraisals, etc.
 Plan for the appraisal – Provide the appraiser with comparable sales in your area and be sure to point out special features of your home they might miss!

Happy Selling!!!

Homes for Sale in Maryland and Pennsylvania Real Estate from Prudential Homesale. Looking to sell your home? Contact a Prudential Homesale Real Estate Agent today.

February 14, 2013

Hearts & Homes

It’s Valentine’s Day, so here’s an Infographic that we found on RealEstate.com which takes a look at how romantic attachments influence home buying.  The graph looks at the statistics for the married vs. single populations of U.S. cities. The U.S. demographics have changed, and for the first time more households are unmarried. Check out the full article here.

Valentines-Day-Infographic2

Homes in Maryland  | Homes in Pennslyvania

February 4, 2013

Repair or Replace?

faucetFrustrated by a leaky bathroom faucet?

You have two easy options, either repair it or replace it. Both options are simple enough to do yourself; follow the steps below and stop that annoying drip once and for all!

To Repair: (slightly easier than replacing)

  • First, you need to determine the source of your leak; is it coming from the tap or the handle?
  • A leak from the tap means you need a new Washer, a leak from the handle means you need a new O-ring.
  • Next, turn off the water using the valves located under your sink and then drain the faucet by turning it on and allowing any remaining water to drain out.
  • Place a towel in your sink to avoid any damage or scratches to the bowl while you make the repair.
  • Now remove the decorative handles and the screw underneath; then remove the lug nut using a wrench, turning it counterclockwise.
  • Take out the “stem” and replace the Washer or O-ring with an exact match purchased at your local hardware store.
  • Put all parts back in the way they came out.

To Replace:

  • If you are not replacing the entire vanity top, be sure to select a new fixture that is the same configuration as your current faucet; either a single-hole, all-in-one fixture or a center-set faucet with decorative handles set the standard 4” apart. If your wash bowl sits on top of the vanity, faucets that attach to the wall are an option or even a goose-neck style will work (will be more difficult to replace).
  • Turn off the water supply at the valves under the sink. Loosen the supply tubes at the hot and cold valves. Use a basin wrench to loosen and remove the nut at the faucet stem. Remove the nut holding the faucet to the sink, and remove the faucet.
  • Remove the nut above the P-trap (curved piece of pipe under your sink), and loosen the nut attached to the P-trap. Remove the P-trap. Remove the pop-up lever from the drain. Loosen the lock nut holding the drain to the sink. Unscrew the drain and the drain flange (usually metal, visible in the bottom of the sink bowl).
  • Place paste or plumber’s tape on the faucet stems. If your faucet has a rubber gasket, install it on the base of the faucet before inserting the faucet stems in the appropriate holes in the sink. If your faucet doesn’t include a gasket, run a line of caulk under the faucet before installing it to prevent leaks.
  • Secure the nuts holding the faucet to the sink. Tighten the nuts by hand then give them another quarter-turn with a wrench. Connect the water supply tubes to the faucet stems. Apply more paste to the shutoff valve threads, and tighten the coupling nuts to the faucet-supply stems. Do not over tighten.
  • Apply caulk or paste to the underside of the drain flange and press it into the drain hole. Place the lock nut on the drain housing, followed by the metal washer and the gasket. Screw the drain housing tightly to the flange.
  • Drop the pop-up drain into place, keeping the hole for the control pin toward the rear of the sink. Place the bail lever in the side hole of the drain assembly so the control pin fits through the appropriate hole in the pop-up drain.
  • Set the drain rod into the hole in the faucet, and attach the connecting link to the faucet rod by tightening the attached screw. Make sure the pop-up is up and the drain rod is down, then attach the bail lever to the connection link, using the V-clip. The pop-up should go down when the lever is pulled up.
  • Replace the p-trap and turn water supply valves back on. Clean the supply tubes by removing the aerator from the faucet and turning on the water. While the water is running, check for leaks. Shut the water off after you’re certain there are no leaks and replace the aerator.

You can do this project in about 2 hours and save yourself the expense of
hiring a professional plumber, it’s that easy! Good luck!

December 13, 2012

Holiday Decorating – Hazardous to your Health?

xmasYes, actually it can be, to you, your children, and your furry family members!

Every year during the holidays more than 14,000 people are treated in emergency rooms due to holiday decorating related injuries, and other holiday decoration “issues”. Millions of dollars in property damage and additional personal injuries are caused by Christmas tree and candle related fires! So here are some tips to keep your family and your home safe this holiday season:

The Tree

  • Artificial – Look for it to say Fire Resistant on the label
  • Fresh cut – Look for freshness; green needles that do not fall off easily. Keep your tree fresh by watering it regularly. Keep the tree away from heat sources, such as fireplaces, radiators, and heat vents.
  • Avoid sharp, breakable, ornaments or trimmings that are small or have removable parts if you have small children in your home. Best to avoid decorations that look like food or candy too!
  • Place your special keepsake ornaments near the top, out of the reach of children and pets.

Lights

  • Only use sets that have been tested for safety by a nationally-recognized lab, such as UL.
  • Check for frayed/bare wires and loose connections. Throw away damaged sets.
  • Do not use electric lights on a metallic tree!
  • Make sure your outdoor lights are approved for this specific use.
  • Use extension cords that are rated for the intended use.
  • Unplug all lights before going to bed or leaving your home.
  • Keep all cords inaccessible to your pet so they will not be tempted to chew on them.

Candles

  • Keep all candles within your sight and extinguish them before going to bed or leaving your home. (unplug them if using the electric version)
  • Keep lit candles away from items such as curtains, decorations, furniture, and your tree or other evergreens that could ignite quickly. Keep away from high-traffic areas to avoid being knocked over.
  • Electric candles – check all wires, sockets, etc. for fraying or damage and replace if necessary.

Fireplace

  • Do not burn wrapping paper, tree branches or other items inside that could ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
  • Be careful with “fire salts”, used to produce colored flames. They can cause internal irritation and illness if swallowed…keep away from children and animals.

Miscellaneous

  • Keep alcohol and baking extracts out of reach.
  • Keep candy canes, potpourri, and scented candles away from pets. Even if not toxic, you may still end up with a mess to clean up if they decide to taste them.
  • Mistletoe berries, holly berries, and poinsettias can be poisonous if ingested. If you are using them to decorate, make sure kids and pets cannot reach them.
  • Round up ribbons, bows and other shiny goodies. These are an open invite to your pets for fun and could end up in their tummies!

The holidays are a time to be with family and friends, not visiting the emergency room. Keep these tips in mind while you decorate. Not only can your decorations be dangerous, but hanging them can also be a danger; be cautious. Once all of your trimmings are up, keep a close eye on them.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!

 

Check out some more holiday decorating tips here.

November 29, 2012

Oh, the Joys of Packing

Finding the home of your dreams is fun and exciting. Preparing to leave the old one can be a bigger task then expected. Starting weeks ahead of the move and being organized is the key. Here are some ideas to help you prepare and simplify the process.

Items you may need:

  • Boxes
  • Bubble Wrap
  • Packaging Tape
  • Markers
  • Moving Company (or friends and family)

Purge – Packing items you don’t need is a big waste of time, box space, and moving manpower. Take the time to go through drawers, cabinets, closets and be honest with yourself about what you need and no longer use. If it is something you haven’t worn in the past 12 months it should go! Some items could be sold, some trashed, and others donated to your local Goodwill or shelter.

Clean – Once you have eliminated the items you no longer need, give everything in the house a good dusting. You will be very grateful to have clean items to unpack after a long day of moving. This is one step that is better to do now, rather than later!

Create a system – Devise a packing plan and schedule. If time allows, plan on packing one room every 2-3 days. If you are in a time crunch, order some pizza and host a packing party for your friends. Start by packing the items you use most infrequently. Be sure that each box is sealed tight with packaging tape and clearly labeled. Always label the box on more than one side so finding its new location will be easy!

Packing pointers – Even if you’re not moving far, wrap delicate items in bubble wrap and label as fragile. Fill each box to the top to avoid having it smashed during transit, but don’t over-pack. Over-packing a box can put your items at risk of being damaged. If it is an option, you may want to keep valuable, irreplaceable items with you rather than the movers. Also create a plan on how to move un-packable items, such as pets, plants, etc.

Use it or lose it – Start using the items you can’t or won’t want to pack, like frozen and perishable foods.

Not to be forgotten – Aside from the physical work involved in preparing for a move, there are other important tasks that require your attention prior to moving day. File a change of address form with the postal service, forward medical records and children’s school records, arrange time off work to move, clean out safe deposit box, refill necessary prescriptions and consider a tune up on your car, especially if you will be driving a long distance for the move. The last thing you need is a roadside break-down!

On your way out the door – Keep a box or two for the very last day. As you go through your home one more time, you are bound to find a few missed items and items that you used up to moving day. Pack these remaining things to take along with you or ship to your new home.

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 22, 2012

RENTING VS BUYING

Owning your own home has often been referred to as the “American Dream”. Before the housing crisis began in 2007, it wasn’t even a question as to whether or not you should try to buy a home. The thought was…..If you could afford it, you should do it!! The housing crisis has definitely taken its toll and made people stop to think before taking this leap. With current mortgage rates at an all-time low, the question has come up again, repeatedly. This could be the best time for renters to become first time homeowners.

Even though the real estate market has changed dramatically over the past few years, your thought process should still be the same as in the past. Some factors you should consider:

  • Hope for appreciation. As in the past, your home should appreciate in value over the years. The beauty of your home is more than just an increasing dollar value. Being able to make your home into something that reflects you personally is also a very rewarding.
  • Stay put. Be sure you are ready to stay in the same place for at least 4 years. Moving too early can cost you more than just the hassle of packing all your belongings. Moving too quickly will not allow you to build much equity in your home.
  • Be ready. Don’t just be emotionally ready to buy, make sure you’re financially ready as well. Build your credit and savings before buying; having both of these items in tip-top shape will help you secure a better interest rate on your mortgage!
  • Location. Buy in an expanding area. An area with a growing economy and employment opportunities will help bring greater value to your home purchase.

Still unsure about taking the big step, here are a few more items to ponder:

  Advantages Disadvantages
Buying:
  • Freedom to paint, remodel and change landscaping
  • Build Equity
  • Sense of stability, security
  • Not dependent on landlord for upkeep
  • Responsible for maintenance
  • Higher costs, taxes, insurance, etc.
  • Less mobility
  • Possibility of equity loss or even foreclosure
Renting:
  • Little or no responsibility for maintenance
  • Easier to move
  • No additional costs, like taxes or maintenance charges
  • No equity is built up
  • No control over rent increases
  • Dependent on landlord to make timely repairs, etc.
  • No freedom to decorate

Bottom line: after considering the factors above, if you feel like you are in the right place and at the right time in your life to buy a home, one of our Homesale real estate agents would be happy to help!

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