Ask yourself, ”Am I a good neighbor”?
Good neighbors are important. Living in a neighborhood where you feel safe and connected can impact your level of happiness and even reduce stress. You may not be able to change your neighborhood, but you can certainly change the experience you have in your neighborhood by getting out and getting involved.
Here are a few qualities of a good neighbor:
Good neighbors are respectful
Always be conscientious about noises that may disturb your neighbors, such as music, loud talking, barking dogs. End parties at a reasonable hour, while you are at it, invite your neighbors. Always return anything you borrow in the same condition, in a timely manner, and express your gratitude when you do so. Make time to smile and say hello. Never forget, while neighbors may live close, they are also respectful of each other’s privacy.
Good neighbors are proud
Be considerate of those around you. Take pride in maintaining your home so that it is neat and attractive. Mow your lawn regularly and keep your landscape trimmed and neat. Coming home to a beautiful house and neighborhood is rewarding.
Good neighbors are helpful
Offer to collect mail, water plants, or watch pets while a neighbor is away on a trip. When snow falls, help elderly neighbors by shoveling their driveway or sidewalks. Prepare a meal when a neighbor is under the weather or run errands while their car is in the repair shop. You never know when you will need one of them to return the favor for you.
Good neighbors are supportive
Organizing neighborhood parties, yard sales, or other functions is a good way to get to know each other better and a great way to build a stronger community. Neighbors who know each other personally are more likely to look out for and help each other. Neighborhood Watch groups are another way to help and support your neighbors. They deter crime and violence, making your neighborhood a safer, happier place to live.
Good neighbors are social
Get to know your neighbors. Welcome new neighbors with a note or a friendly chat. Invite neighbors over for coffee to visit and share good news. Learn from your neighbors who have different cultural backgrounds than you. Everyone gets busy; it only takes a little bit of time to organize an annual holiday party and socialize with all your neighbors.
Getting to know the people around you takes only mere moments out of your day, but can provide a lifetime of pride in your home and the neighborhood. It is nice knowing you can depend on those around you and they can depend on you.
“When strangers start acting like neighbors…communities are reinvigorated.” – Ralph Nader
Approximately 1/3 of our nation’s energy consumption comes from the residential sector and about 70% of this usage is from homes that are more than 30 years old.
Whether you are heating one of these older homes or a home built more recently; saving money AND energy is important to all of us. Here are some strategies you can employ to save on winter heating costs, help the environment, and stay warm!
- Power of Knowledge – An energy audit of your home is a great place to start. Some utility companies will perform them for free! This will show you exactly where most of the warm air is escaping and cold air is entering. They can also provide detailed plans on ways to warm up your home. A DIY method is to hold a stick of incense near windows, doors, and any other place there might be a gap; then watch for the smoke to blow inwards. Leaks can be fixed by using caulk, insulation, or by replacing worn weather-stripping.
- Programmable Thermostat – If your home in not equipped with one, this is a great investment. Different heating schedules for different days of the week can be easily created. You can make sure your home is warm when occupied and saves you money when it’s empty. Reduced heating costs can also be accomplished by keeping the temperature at a consistent level, avoiding spikes up or down.
- Insulation – Lack of proper insulation may be more of an issue in older homes, but there are ways to remedy it with relative ease. Trained installers can inject a nonflammable foam resin into existing walls. The foam is filled with tiny air bubbles that increase its heating and cooling properties. Older homes were built to “breathe”; make sure the professional you hire knows how to determine the correct amount of insulation for your particular home.
- Room Isolation – Don’t waste heat on empty spaces; shut the door of any room that is not being used. Smaller rooms and bedrooms can often be heated by an electric space heater (at a much lower cost) instead of using your home’s central heating system. Don’t heat the entire house at night when all you really need is a warm bedroom. (Use extra care and follow all manufacturers’ instructions for space heaters)
- Fireplace/Indoor stove – When properly used and maintained, they can be efficient sources of heat for multiple rooms and/or your entire home. Some indoor stoves can generate more heat than common home furnaces.
- Dress warmly – Wool socks, warm sweaters, slippers, and blankets can all help keep you warm, while allowing you to reduce your home’s indoor temperature. This can also apply to your windows. “Dressing” them with heavier drapes during this time of year can help retain heat in your home when they are closed at night.
There are many easy, economical ways to improve your home’s heat efficiency, try a few of these to see what a difference they can make! Keep your home warm and comfy for less!
Not ready to face the expense of replacing your stove, dishwasher, or even your vacuum?? Read on to discover some preventative measures you can take to keep many of your household appliances from reaching an early demise. Also, discover when it might be to consider finding a replacement…
How to care for it
When to replace it
|Stand Mixer||Never overload the mixer, causing it to work harder and put extra strain on the motor. When cleaning, make sure ALL parts are cleaned including the attachment socket!||If the mixer won’t turn on at all, you probably have a dead motor.|
|Microwave||Always use proper microwave-safe plates and bowls. Keep the interior clean and the turntable rotating smoothly.||Takes too long to heat food or it won’t turn on. Beyond replacing a fuse, the cost to repair could exceed the cost to replace.|
|Drip Coffeemaker||Rinse pot and grind basket after each use. Once monthly, run 1 part vinegar/2 parts water solution through it to clean, followed by 2 brew cycles of plain water to rinse.||If your coffee isn’t really hot after brewing. The heating element has probably died.|
|Vacuum Cleaner||After every few uses, clean the filters, the opening to bag or canister, hoses, etc. Keep all air flow and parts moving properly.||If the motor dies. The cost to repair typically costs as much as a replacement.|
|Hair Dryer||Clean lint and dust from the rear filter regularly.||Replace if blowing cold air or has a burning smell!|
|Range||Wipe up spills and messes right away, keeping burners clean and preventing fires. The same applies to spills in the oven which can smoke or ignite!||Time to replace when the buttons or knobs no longer work the burners, gas burners won’t light, or the oven doesn’t heat up.|
|Dishwasher||Check the filter located in the bottom of the machine for clogs and debris. Use a cleaner made for dishwashers regularly.||If the machine is cracked, rusted, leaking from the bottom, and if the motor or pump stop working.|
|Washing Machine||Keep machine level, never use more detergent than instructed, and always remove objects from pockets to avoid damage to the machine.||If the washer sounds like a freight train during the spin cycle! This indicates a bad support bearing and a very pricey repair!|
|Clothes Dryer||Clean lint screen after each cycle. Hire a professional to clean vent duct and interior of dryer once a year.||Time to replace if you need to repair more than one part at a time, like a motor and timer.|
|Refrigerator||Once a year, use a vacuum to clean the coils located in the bottom or rear of the fridge. Also test the doors seals periodically to keep cold air from escaping.||Replace if it no longer keeps food cold or frozen. Almost every other part is repairable or replaceable except for the cooling system.|
With a little extra time and TLC you may be able to squeeze a few more days, months or years out of these frequently-used home appliances!
What would you do if there was an emergency? Would you be ready?
September will be your opportunity to find out. Throughout the month there will be numerous activities across the country to promote emergency preparedness.
A few simple improvements can help define your personal style
and will make your space feel more like home!
If you liked these tips check out some other articles we have posted for homeowners
This article was provided by Prudential Homesale;
According to REAL Trends, Prudential Homesale is the 13th most successful Realtor nationwide, among the top 50, in the combined delivery of home services: real estate sales, mortgage closings, title closings, insurance sales, and home warranty sales. Prudential Homesale is ranked the 3rd most successful Prudential Real Estate franchise in the country in closed transactions.
Prudential Homesale’s 28 offices serve 11 contiguous south central Pennsylvania counties plus Maryland’s Baltimore and Carroll counties. Prudential Homesale offers consumers a menu of services including realty, mortgage, settlement, insurance, warranty, relocation, builder/developer services, career services, and a complete customer care center. Information about the company can be found at www.PrudentialHomesale.com. Prudential Homesale is the #1 homeseller in south central Pennsylvania.
Within the next month many parents will face the tough task of preparing their teen for dorm life for the very first time. For the majority of students the concept of a home away from home can be overwhelming and a little bit frightening.
Here are some tips to help guide you and your teen through this exciting and trying period:
Emotional Impact…Your kid may appear confident and eager to leave home, but the truth is this can be a difficult transition for both of you. Getting to know the school before classes begin is a great idea! The more you know, the more you will feel a part of his/her life. Plan a trip to see the campus if possible, an online virtual tour is a great alternative if you can’t visit.
On-campus housing can fill quickly; hopefully the room reservation was sent in as soon as your teen was accepted!! Also encourage them to reach out to their new roommate ahead of time. Facebook is a great way to connect and to get to know the person before moving day. Get to know their likes/dislikes, hobbies, about their family, etc. It’s also a way to organize who is bringing what supplies and furniture so they don’t end up with duplicates.
Small things can be done ahead of time to help kids adjust to their new state of independence. Sit down and talk to your student about the expenses involved and help establish a budget that will work for everyone! Sometimes pre-college programs are available and will provide them with a “small dose” of college life. Talk about the great opportunities ahead and don’t dwell on challenges. There will be good days and bad days! The first semester is usually the hardest! Communicate regularly, but not too much. Be open to communication, but let them initiate it. During these calls, pay attention to the names of classmates and professors, remember the course names and other information he/she shares with you.
Parents will also need to discover ways to handle their own separation anxieties! This is a great time to find a new hobby or activity and develop new routines. If Friday was always family night, find something else to do; get together with friends or enjoy a date night with your significant other.
A little preparation, good communication, and a little bit of confidence can make the college experience a memorable one for all of you!
|⎕||Laptop / Printer / Ink||⎕||Clorox Wipes / Swiffer|
|⎕||Sheets/Blankets / Comforter||⎕||Desk Lamp|
|⎕||Backpack / Messenger Bag||⎕||Mirror|
|⎕||Laundry Detergent / Bag / Quarters||⎕||Alarm Clock|
|⎕||Small Fridge / Microwave (if allowed)||⎕||First Aid Kit / Other necessary medicines|
|⎕||Power Strip||⎕||Storage bins|
|⎕||Shower Caddy||⎕||A little piece of home (pics, etc.)|
|⎕||Flip Flops! A must for walking back & forth to the shower||⎕||Car Accessories – gas credit card and AAA card are highly recommended!|
|⎕||Academic Supplies||⎕||Room Freshener!!|
|⎕||Small Fan / Space Heater (if allowed)||⎕||Snacks|
Do you have a child heading into Kindergarten? Read our blog post on Avoiding Kindergarten Jitters.
The first day of kindergarten can bring a few tears, especially for parents. It may be hard to believe your child is growing up so fast. Try to keep your emotions under wraps and make sure your child feels excited and ready to begin this year of learning and fun experiences.
Is your child is ready and what can you do to help them? Here are a few top recommendations…
Get to know the school – Drive by it often during the summer and take a tour. This will help your child be more comfortable with the building. Bring up school in conversations at home and talk about how much fun it can be. As a parent, attend open houses and meet-the-teacher events. It’s a great way to meet other parents and stay informed.
Independence – Work with your child over the summer on making good choices. Encourage them to pick healthy foods for lunch. Many children this age are used to Mom making choices; this new freedom can be overwhelming. Also find ways to teach them simple problem solving skills. Make sure your child can go to the bathroom alone, use buttons and zippers, and maybe even learn to tie their shoes, if you think they are ready. These activities/accomplishments are great confidence boosters!!
School bedtime routine – Begin a new routine about a month ahead. Parents can scale back gradually each night. 8:00pm is a great time, but you’ll know best how much rest your child needs. Stick to the routine.
Work on skills – Have your child practice writing their name and lower case letters. Incorporate counting into as many daily activities as you can. Count steps to the mailbox, napkins on the table, pieces of fruit, etc. Make daily errands learning experiences, but don’t overdo it!
Study Spot – Find a quiet spot at home and stock it with crayons, paper, scissors, and other “tools”. Set aside time daily to have your child “work” in their spot. When school starts, this can be their place for doing homework.
Kindergarten readiness does not have to dominate the rest of your summer, but taking some time to prepare will certainly go a long way to guaranteeing a smoother transition!
These tips were provided by Prudential Homesale
According to the industry publication REAL Trends, Prudential Homesale is the 13th most successful Realtor nationwide in the combined delivery of home services: real estate sales, mortgage closings, title closings, insurance sales, and home warranty sales. Prudential Homesale is ranked the 4th most successful Prudential Real Estate franchise in the country in sales.
Summer is a great time for some of our favorite activities, like hiking, swimming, relaxing at the beach, or just enjoying the outdoors. But at times the heat of summer can become a bit uncomfortable…..especially in your home.
Tackle these simple projects to make your home more comfortable for those times you are ready to take a break from the outdoor heat!
A/C Filter – Avoid costly air conditioning repairs by performing some basic maintenance……replacing the air filter. This should only cost a few dollars and will help ensure that your a/c continues to run smoothly and efficiently.
Install Shades – A door or window shade can help block out a great deal of the sun’s heat. They are simple to install and can be fairly inexpensive. Be sure to measure carefully! Keeping the blinds closed on extremely warm days can greatly reduce your cooling costs!
Shade Trees – Planting trees to shade your home is a great idea if you are planning to stay there for a while. It seems like an ideal solution to have their canopy for shade, but we know trees do not grow overnight. However, there are certain types that will grow faster than others!
Drafts – No matter what time of year, drafts can torment every homeowner! In the summer, drafts can allow the stifling heat into your home, while allowing the cool air to escape! You can detect leaks by guiding a candle around the frame of doors and windows, watching the flame for signs of a draft. Once located, simply remove any old/worn caulk and replace it with new, waterproof filler!
Check A/C Ducts – If you have been using your a/c for a few years, chances are some of your duct work may have come loose. Loose duct fittings can cause a 20% drop in your air conditioner’s efficiency. Take the time to inspect the ductwork and repair any areas that show “wear”.
Bedding – This might seem like a very minor task to consider, but the difference you will feel with light-weight fabrics is quite noticeable! Heavier fabrics trap heat making it harder to sleep if you are too warm! Natural fibers like Egyptian cotton, will allow better circulation and a much more comfortable night’s rest!
Take care of these few DIY projects this weekend………so next weekend you can enjoy yourself whether you are out OR in!!