6 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR HOME SAFE WHILE AWAY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

CHECK THE LOCKS

A few weeks before you leave, inspect the locks on all of your windows and doors. Make sure deadbolts slide into place, window locks aren’t easy to pry open, and sliding glass doors have security bar in place. If anything doesn’t work or is missing, repair it.

STOP YOUR MAIL

As soon as you know when you’ll be traveling, fill out the United States Postal Service’s online form to stop your mail. It is a surefire sign you’re away from home.

DON’T STAND OUT

While closing your curtains may seem like the obvious choice, it can backfire. Instead, leave a curtain or two open like you normally would, and move your stuff out of view. And if your’re traveling during the holidays, don’t leave presents under the tree in plain slight. Ask a neighbor to pick up any packages left at your door.

MAKE IT LOOK LIKE YOU’RE AT HOME

Affordable automatic timers can make it seem like someone is home while you’re away. Add timers to lamps in different rooms and stagger the on/off times. Hooking timers up to a TV or Radio can also make it seem like someone’s home.

BEEF UP SECURITY

There are some inexpensive, temporary solutions you can use while you’re on vacation. Wireless alarms and sensors an be attached to doors and windows. If you want an even cheaper option, buy a set of window decals and yard signs from an alarm company. Even if you don’t actually have an alarm, thieves might not bother to test it.

 

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2 TRICKS FOR FLIPPERS TO SELL QUICKLY

Create an Open Floor Plan
One idea that works well when flipping is to create an open floor plan. Older homes that likely need more renovations may have a closed-off floor plan. This can make the home look smaller than it is, and can create a claustrophobic ambiance that may turn off some buyers. Depending on the home that you invest in, creating an open floor plan may be as simple as tearing down the wall dividing the kitchen and dining room.

For added emphasis, you can also tear down any dividing walls between living spaces and the dining room. While you’re not adding square footage through this process, an open floor plan feels bigger to a buyer and may be more appealing. In many cases, this is a cost-effective way to generate incredible results.

Add Natural Light
To transform the space of your investment home, analyze the natural light. Some older homes were built with minimal or small windows, which result in a dark and gloomy interior that is not welcoming or appealing to buyers. Consider enlarging existing windows to bring in more natural light.

You can also add a few windows or a skylight in the bathroom, kitchen or other rooms that are commonly dark. When you incorporate natural sunlight into a room, you transform the space by making it feel more inviting.

 

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5 TIPS TO MAKE MOVING LESS STRESSFUL

Get Prepared

Make a Plan. Select the items that you will be taking with you and leave items that you haven’t used in the last year. Be selective and make sure you’re not packing unnecessary items. You can donate the rest of your belongings to the needy or give out to friends.

Pack Items in Order

Organize the items in different clean boxes and label them with a marker. This way, you will have an easy time unpacking, and the movers will know which room to place the boxes. Make an emergency box where you can keep all the essential items, such as clothing and kids supplies, that you’ll need for the first 24 hours after you move.

Ask for Assistance

Asking for help can be challenging; however, many people know the experience of moving and how hard it can be. Talk to family and friends and agree on a day to come over and help you pack. It could be an opportunity to spend time with them, especially if you are moving far away. Afterwards, you can all go out for a meal. If no one is available, you can call packers to help you with moving heavy boxes.

Check the Moving Details

The last thing you want to do is end up relocating before the moving date. When you buy a property, get in touch with your real estate agent to make sure of the exact time you’re supposed to move. Also, when renting a property, don’t just assume the date given in the lease is when you are supposed to get into your new home. Make a call to the landlord or agent and double-check the day. It can save you a lot of time and hassle.

Call a Moving Company

Avoid breakages that will result in extra costs. If there are expensive items, ask for assistance; there is a lot of information about moving insurance for valuable items. After being sure that you have packed all the necessary things, it is time to call a moving company.  Make sure that the company is licensed and insured for the safe delivery of your items to your new location. In case of any breakages, you are sure to have the piece replaced.

When you follow the above tips, moving will be an enjoyable task. Eat well to boost your energy levels. Carry enough snacks on a moving day, especially if you are going far. Also, make sure you have enough water to stay hydrated. When you get to your new home, do not unpack everything at once. You should first rest and start unpacking carefully to avoid damage.

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5 WAYS TO POWER THROUGH PROCASTINATION

Do it first. If you’re dreading it, do it first. There’s nothing worse than a lingering aura of dread over a task, so by tackling it head on, you eliminate both the project and the anxiety around it.

Set small daily goals. If it’s a larger task (like that big basement clean-out), set small daily goals to keep you on track. For instance, choose one small corner to clean every evening, working in 15-minute increments. After two weeks, the project will be off your shoulders and it will have felt like a smaller deal.

Ask for accountability. An accountability partner is one of the best ways to slash procrastination—but choose carefully. You need to find someone not afraid to dole out a little tough love.

Remove temptation. Do you know that social media or Netflix feeds your procrastination demon? Cut those things off completely until you can get your to-do done.

Reward yourself. Kids and dogs aren’t the only ones who love a treat for a trick! Choose an affordable, healthy reward, like a massage or tickets to a play, to help keep you motivated to bump that item off your list. Or, if you’ve removed a few beloved temptations, simply adding them back in may do the trick!

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GOODBYE INCOME TAX DEDUCTIONS

  • It caps the mortgage interest deduction to the interest on a mortgage principle of $500,000.
  • Homeowners would no longer be able to deduct the interest they pay on home equity loans.
  • The deductibility would be eliminated for second homes and limited to loans on a family’s primary residence.
  • Taxpayers won’t be able to deduct their student loan interest.
  • Medical expenses won’t be deductible.
  • Many small businesses won’t benefit. A Lot of small businesses that are classified as professional service providers won’t be able to get the lower corporate tax rate.

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HOW TO CARE FOR THE AMERICAN FLAG

How to Take Care of the American Flag

You may want to show patriotism by flying an American flag outside your home. But do you know there are official rules on properly displaying the U.S. flag? Read the following tips from USAGov to take proper care of your red white and blue.

When: You can display the flag outside from sunrise to sunset. If you want to fly it after dark, it will need to be lit. Don’t fly the flag during inclement weather, unless it’s an all-weather flag.

On the porch: The union of the flag–the blue section with white stars–should be placed at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff. When the flag is suspended from a rope on a pole extending from a house, the flag should be hoisted out, union first, from the building.

On the wall or the window: When the flag is displayed on a flat surface like a wall, the union should be at the top left.

On the street: The flag should be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east and west street or to the east in a north and south street. The flag should never touch anything beneath it, so make sure it’s hoisted at the proper height.

At the office: Suspend the flag vertically with the union to the observer’s left upon entering. If the building has more than one main entrance, the flag should be suspended vertically near the center of the corridor or lobby with the union to the north when entrances are to the east and west, or to the east when entrances are to the north and south. If there are entrances in more than two directions, the union should be to the east.

On a vehicle: The staff should be fixed firmly on the right side of the vehicle. Do not drape the flag over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle or a boat.

Half-staff: During periods of mourning, it’s common to see the flag flying at half-staff. Only presidents can proclaim such periods for a national remembrance. Governors can also declare mourning periods at a local level. In some cases, heads of federal agencies can order the flag flown at half-staff on grounds under their supervision. Traditionally, states and local governments follow the president’s proclamation during a period of national mourning.

Source: USAGov

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FREE PRETEND CITY FAMILY FUN, HEALTH & WELLNESS FAIR

Date: Saturday June 3rd, 2017

Time: 9:00a.m. – 2:00p.m.

Specifically for: Children (0 – 10); parents and caregivers

Free health screenings include:

  • Speech and language, social and emotional, developmental, vision, hearing, dental, and body mass index (subject to change without notice)

Each child that completes 3 health screenings will receive a free ticket to Pretend City Children’s Museum. And when you visit all the booths, you’ll be entered to win a special prize!

 

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