Donna Coffin - ERA Key Realty Services - Distinctive Group



Posted by Donna Coffin on 3/2/2018

Trying to successfully manage the many demands of a growing family, a high maintenance home, and a stressful career is no easy task, but most of us seem to get the hang of it after a while! With so many priorities to handle, though, things don't always work out as planned. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to help smooth out the rough spots and avoid some of the pitfalls of modern life. Here are a few miscellaneous ideas to help you accomplish that.

  1. Be security conscious. Even if you live in what you consider to be a safe neighborhood, all it takes is one incident to rob you of your sense of security -- not to mention any valuables that might be lying around. While there are a handful of small, close-knit communities out there where folks feel comfortable leaving their doors unlocked, it's still better to exercise a little caution. Unless you can depend on your neighbors to keep a close eye on your house when you're not at home, locking doors and windows before you leave is a smart safety practice.
  2. Get at least three estimates. Whether you're planning on remodeling your kitchen, repaving your driveway, or having the exterior of your house painted, you can often save thousands of dollars by getting and comparing three written quotes. When you talk to contractors and other service providers, you'll also get a sense of how easy or difficult they are to work with. If they're impatient with your questions or slow to respond to emails and phone messages, then you're probably seeing a preview of what they'd be like on the job.
  3. Get a dehumidifier for your basement. If your basement is dry and you don't have any drainage issues outside your house, then this suggestion may not apply to you. However, if your basement humidity level is approaching 60%, a dehumidifier may be necessary to help prevent mold growth, indoor air quality problems, and other issues. (Monitoring tip: Inexpensive humidity gauges are available at hardware stores and online.) Preventing mold growth before it takes hold can potentially save you thousands of dollars in mold remediation costs. If your basement is wet, musty smelling, or has visible signs of mold or mildew, consulting with a certified mold assessor or a basement waterproofing company can help you identify the extent of the problem, as well as what to do about it.
  4. Research dog breeds before choosing a family pet. All dog breeds have different characteristics, personality traits, exercise needs, and training requirements. Unfortunately, some families choose a puppy based on how cute it is, rather than how well it will fit into their lifestyle. Dogs generally need a lot of attention, especially when they're being housebroken and acclimated to daily routines. To help ensure a successful relationship with your new dog, it's important that every member of the family understand the responsibility that comes with pet ownership: It's a labor of love and a long-term commitment.
Whether you're a first-time home buyer or a seasoned property owner, there's always something new learn. Stay tuned to this blog for more homeowner tips, helpful reminders, and money saving strategies!





Posted by Donna Coffin on 6/12/2015

Life can be busy and tending to houselhold items can often times be overwhelming. Doing the little things will help prevent big problems later on. Here are five quick and easy fixes you can do around in your home in a just a few short hours. Do the Little Things Walk through your home and make a list of any broken electrical plates, locks that need lubrication, sinks or tubs that need caulk. Take a quick trip to the home improvement store and get all of the items to finish up these little jobs. That way you can get it all done in one concerted effort. Rotate Your Mattress Flip, spin and vacuum your mattress. This helps keep your mattress lasting longer and may also help you catch some more Zzzz's. Clean One Closet Choose an easy one to clean at first and pick a day to do it in. Pull everything out and start from scratch. Make a pile of things to give away or donate. Things that are stained or torn can be used for rags. If you haven't used it in the last year get rid of it. Conduct an Energy Audit It would be great to see if you could save money on your utility bills. Call the utility company and ask for an energy audit. They will make recommendations to help you improve the efficiency of your home. Clean the Dryer Vent To achieve maximum energy efficiency and to prevent a fire hazard clean the dryer  vent twice a year. Remove the tube that attaches to the machine and clear out the lint. Don't forget to clean the outside vent, too. It is the little things that add up, so keeping the easy tasks under control will have you more prepared to tackle a bigger task. What are some quick and easy things you do to keep your home working smoothly?