Archive September 28, 2015

Show Time

End-of-summer sales on patio furniture might be front and center, but it might be just the right time to invest in new indoor chairs, couches or tables. Take a seat and learn how to prepare with tips from Better Homes and Gardens.

Do your homework. First, measure everything. Write down room dimensions, accounting for the door and other details of the space. Also, have an idea of what you like. Get inspiration from home décor magazines and online research. But, remember, you will need to touch, sit and even lift furniture before deciding if you should bring it home.

Ask yourself the right questions. What is the purpose and function of the furniture? Is comfort or aesthetic the priority? It may help to bring to the store the measurements, photos of the room and magazine pages so that you can refer to them while you’re shopping.

Pay attention to detail. Check the cushions and stitching. Run your fingers over the woodwork and finish. Take time to examine every detail. Make sure that the furniture piece is exactly what you are looking for.

Don’t settle. If you aren’t sold on a piece, don’t get it. Every detail should be perfect. Many stores now even have a custom design division. Still feel overwhelmed? Ask your CRS REALTOR® for an interior designer referral.

CRS Your Home Newsletter, September 2013

Poison Control

Kids are naturally curious about their surroundings. But sometimes they can get into things that are dangerous and even deadly. Safe Kids Worldwide, a global not-for-profit group, provides several tips for keeping children safe in their own homes. Following these simple steps can help keep kids out of harm’s way, giving you peace of mind.

1) Store all household products out of children’s sight and reach. Young kids are often eye-level with items under the kitchen and bathroom sinks, so any items located there should be moved to a place they cannot reach. Install child safety locks on cabinets where hazardous items are stored.

2) Read product labels carefully to find out if the item is harmful to kids. The most dangerous items include makeup, personal care products, plants, pesticides, lead, art supplies, alcohol and carbon monoxide.

3) Don’t leave hazardous products unattended while in use. Many accidents occur when adults are distracted. Keep cleaning products in their original containers, and never put a potentially dangerous product in something other than its original packaging, such as a plastic soda bottle, where it could be mistaken for something else.

4) Check your garage, basement and other storage areas for any cleaning supplies you no longer need and discard them.

5) Check your purse for any medications or makeup that could pose a danger, and store handbags out of reach. Keep all medications and vitamins stored where children cannot reach them, and always put medicines away after every use.

6) If a child has been poisoned, call the Poison Control Center at 800.222.1222, which offers fast, free, confidential help in English and Spanish. If the child has collapsed, call 911 immediately.

7) Install a carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home, especially near sleeping areas, and keep them at least 15 feet away from fuel-burning appliances.

CRS Your Home Newsletter, September/October 2015

Shopping For Green

Today’s buyers are more concerned than ever about living green, and that means finding an eco- friendly home. How do you know the home you want is truly green?

Green means different things to different people. Buyers focused on energy cost savings prefer homes that have basic energy-efficient features, such as Energy Star appliances, weatherproofed windows and good insulation. Buyers concerned about personal health issues prefer homes that use non-toxic materials such as low VOC paints and bamboo flooring. Still other buyers want to contribute a more sustainable future. They look for building materials that are produced locally or use reclaimed wood.

At the most basic level, Energy Star appliances, double-paned windows and efficient heating and cooling systems can lower energy bills and give buyers peace of mind. Other factors include:

Cost – Expect to pay more for a green home. A recent study by the University of California finds that green-certified, single-family homes sold for 9 percent more than a comparable home that wasn’t green.

Square Footage – The larger the home, the more energy it consumes. Buying a smaller home is more economical.

Paint – Use water-based paints that contain lower levels of VOC’s that conventional oil-based paints. VOC’s emit gases that can cause health issues.

Carpeting/Flooring – Choose carpeting made from recycled or renewable materials. For wood flooring, bamboo or reclaimed wood are popular choices.

Utilities – Review past utility bills to determine typical monthly energy costs. Also request documentation on any green features that have been added to the property.

Landscaping – Choose plants and trees that don’t require the same level of maintenance as a lawn.

If in doubt, ask questions. The more questions you ask, the more confident you wil be that you are getting a truly green home.

CRS Your Home Newsletter, September/October, 2015