Donna Coffin - ERA Key Realty Services - Distinctive Group



Posted by Donna Coffin on 4/19/2019

There are plenty of things to worry about around your home when you have kids. One of your top priorities should be safety for your kids. If you look closely, you’ll find some hidden safety dangers around your home that should be addressed. The top culprits can be found described in detail below.


The Dishwasher


Your dishwasher is something that you probably use every single day. There are a few considerations that you need to make about the dishwasher when you have kids. First, the door should have a good locking mechanism. If the door to the dishwasher doesn’t shut properly, all if takes is a little tap for the door to release and fall right on top of your child who is either walking or crawling around the house.


The other point to consider about a dishwasher is the actual contents of the dishwasher. Silverware, especially sharp objects, should be left pointing downward. This is in case the washer is left open and the child gets at it. You don’t want sharp knives pointing upward that could cause an injury to your child. The detergent can also be a hazard to your child. Whether you are using pods, liquid detergent, or the powdered kind, all pose poison control risks and choking hazards to your kids. Keep the dishwasher closed and locked when it is not in use. Also, be sure to wipe down your dishwasher in case of any debris that’s left from your detergent. 


Ovens And Ranges


If your range or oven is not installed properly it could cause serious harm to your kids. For safety, be sure that ranges have anti-tip brackets installed. This way if the child leans on the stove or climbs it, the unit will not fall on them, posing the risk of serious injury. 


Wall ovens should be secured as well. Make sure that the door of the oven locks and cannot fling open easily. When cooking, use the back burners in stead of the front. You should also keep the pot handles turned inward so they aren’t as easy for kids to reach.  


The Nursery


The nursery is where your child will spend a lot of their time. First, you should start with the crib. The crib needs to be firm and nothing should be in the crib other than the mattress and a tightly fitted sheet around the mattress until the baby is old enough. The crib should also be sturdy. It’s preferable to have a new crib for the baby as occasionally, hand me down cribs can be missing parts or have faced major amounts of wear and tear. The nursery should also be free from excessive cords and be equipped with window locks. This way, you’ll be able to put your child to sleep with peace of mind.         






Posted by Donna Coffin on 4/12/2019

The homebuying journey can be long and arduous, particularly for an individual who makes mistakes along the way. Fortunately, an informed homebuyer can identify potential problems early in the homebuying journey and take the necessary steps to resolve such issues without delay.

Now, let's take a look at three common mistakes that homebuyers make, along with the best ways to eliminate these problems before they escalate.

1. A homebuyer spends too much time debating whether to submit a home offer.

The housing market moves quickly, and a homebuyer who hesitates to submit a competitive offer on a residence risks losing this house to a rival homebuyer.

Ultimately, it pays to learn about the real estate market. That way, if you fall in love with a house, you'll be better equipped than other homebuyers to submit a competitive offer before it's too late.

Check out the prices of houses in cities and towns where you'd like to live. This may help you narrow your search for the perfect home and provide housing market data that highlights how much it may cost to acquire your dream residence.

Also, take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in different areas. This will enable you to determine whether you're working in a seller's market or a buyer's one.

2. A homebuyer foregoes a home inspection.

Even though a homebuyer may want to rush through the purchase process, there is no reason to forego a home inspection.

When it comes to buying a residence, it is always better to err on the side of caution, and a home inspection offers a valuable opportunity to learn about a house's condition and uncover any "hidden" problems with a residence.

For example, a home inspection may reveal roof damage that could lead to thousands of dollars in roof repairs in the near future. On the other hand, a home inspection may show there are no major issues with a residence, thereby verifying that a house is a sound investment.

Don't forget to consider a variety of home inspectors before you schedule a property inspection. This will ensure that you can find a home inspector who possesses the necessary skills and expertise to perform a deep evaluation of a home before you finalize your purchase.

3. A homebuyer tries to purchase a house without support from a real estate agent.

For those who want to streamline the homebuying process, expert help may be necessary. Luckily, you can hire a real estate agent who can help you seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey.

Real estate agents are easy to find in cities and towns nationwide. Meanwhile, these housing market professionals are available to help you narrow your home search, submit offers on residences and much more.

If you need additional help during the homebuying journey, it usually is a good idea to hire a real estate agent. By doing so, you can receive the expert guidance and support that you need to go from homebuyer to homeowner.




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Posted by Donna Coffin on 4/5/2019

Everybody wants the garden the neighbors say “wow” at in amazement. But building the perfect garden doesn’t happen in one day. But by taking note of these easy steps, you can start your journey to a creating that perfect garden of your dreams.

  1. Take care of bugs as soon as they appear. You have to watch out for bugs and insects and deal with them as soon as they show up. They don’t just destroy the aesthetic value of your garden, a lot of bugs actually act as carriers for viruses and bacteria, transmitting them from one plant to the next. And a plant that is under insect attacks is less likely to be able to resist diseases.
  2. Don't tolerate weeds. Weeds are the biggest enemy of your garden. They compete with your legitimate plants for sunlight, water, and nutrients. Get rid of them early enough too. It is easier to kill off small weeds than large weeds. Spray them, pull them out or hoe them away, but whatever you have to do, do it to get rid of them.
  3. Space your plants appropriately. Overcrowding isn't good for humans, and it isn't good for plants either. Spacing plants too close together mean that they have to compete for the same amount of sunlight, soil water, and nutrients. Such conditions also make it easy for quick transmission of diseases between plants.
  4. Don’t overwater or underwater your plants. An overabundance of water will bring about rotting roots while water shortages will cause flowers to wither away. Keep on practicing until you know just the right amount of water good enough for your type of soil. When you water too, water in such a way that reduces the amount of moisture on the leaves, as disease pathogens need water to thrive just as much as the plants. The best way to water is to water the roots, holding the foliage out of the way. Those are the parts of your plants that need water. 
  5. Always apply the right amount of fertilizer. Too much ammonia can damage plant roots and reduce their water intake, making them more liable to come undone by drought or heat. If you are not sure of the right amount of fertilizer to use, contact your local agricultural extension agency and they will provide you with accurate information. 

Talk to your real estate agent about the best plants for curb appeal!




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Posted by Donna Coffin on 3/29/2019

No matter what time of year, everyone naturally gravitates to comfort food and easy meal plans when life gets busy. If you've decided to adopt a new way of eating, falling into this pattern can derail your goals. Sometimes, all that's needed to keep you on track is knowing the simple substitutes to your basic recipes. That way, you get comfort food but stay on track.

If you’ve chosen to try a low-carb or ketogenic diet, try one or more of these substitutes for your go-to favorites:

Crust-less Quiche

Use your favorite quiche recipe—provided the filling doesn't include bread cubes or some other off-plan ingredient. Add an extra egg (or 2 for a large quiche) and an extra cup of grated cheese (Swiss, Gouda, or Jarlsberg work well) to the ingredient's list. Then, in place of the crust, butter the baking dish well and sprinkle the extra cheese on the bottom. Pour in your egg mixture, meats (bacon or ham are excellent), veggies (think spinach leaves or bell peppers), and additional cheese on top. Bake as usual at about 350°F. You'll find that the cheese on the bottom and sides crisps up nicely to create a self-crust, so no flour crust necessary.

Tortilla-free Tacos

Another family favorite, tacos, is easily adapted. While the kids are eating theirs on tortillas, wrap your filling in lettuce leaves. Merely remove the outermost lettuce leaves before cutting up the rest of the head. Wash and pat them dry and use in place of the tortilla.

Lettuce wraps

The large outer lettuce leaves–or other leaf-lettuces such as Romaine—are useful in place of bread or carb-laden wraps for other meal staples as well:

  • Sandwiches: simply wrap your meats and cheeses in a lettuce leaf to reduce both carbs and calories.
  • Asian wraps: wrap your eggroll fillings in lettuce leaves. Or, you can use cabbage leaves for this one.
  • Burgers: follow the example of large burger chains and lettuce-wrap your burger patty, tomato, and cheese. So-called “protein-style” burgers work best with several layers of crisper lettuce leaves, so don’t skimp on the lettuce.

Snack foods

Finding enjoyable snack foods is one of the more difficult parts of sticking with your meal plan. If you’re looking for something crunchy, try one of these:

  • Mini pizzas: lay pepperoni slices on a baking pan. Top with grated mozzarella cheese. Bake at 375°F them for about 10 minutes. Remove and lay the chips out on a paper towel to absorb the extra grease.
  • Pepperoni chips: Follow the same recipe as above, but without the cheese. After patting the cooked chips with a paper towel, return them to the oven for another two to three minutes. These chips pair well with sour cream dips and guacamole.
  • Devilled eggs: Make your mother’s recipe but without the sweet pickles.
  • Bacon wrapped … well, just about anything. A favorite is shrimp poppers though: Split fresh jalapeño peppers and remove the seeds. Dab a half teaspoon of cream cheese on the pepper and set a de-veined, cooked shrimp on top. Wrap in a half-slice of bacon. Slide a toothpick through to hold it all together and bake in the oven at 400°F for 15 minutes or until bacon crisps. Or, for a backyard version, put several on a skewer and pop them on the grill.

Sticking to a new plan isn’t always easy, so preparing alternatives in advance can keep you headed in the right direction. 

If you find you’re no longer inspired you to eat well in your current home, talk to your real estate professional about available homes in your area that offer upgraded or gourmet kitchens.




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Posted by Donna Coffin on 3/28/2019

You will fall in love with this Pottery Barn Perfect 3 bedroom, 2 bath raised ranch! Enter into the spacious foyer with built in bench and beadboard coat rack and cubbies with tile flooring. Stroll down to your family room to enjoy your fireplace with lovely detailed molding. Full bath with pedestal sink and separate laundry room can also be found on this level. Beautifully renovated in 2017 boasting sunfilled open layout with gleaming hardwood floors. White cabinet kitchen with peninsula, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances opens to entertainment sized dining room with picture frame molding. Large living with with recessed lighting and slider to deck. Crown molding throughout main level. This stunning home is like new construction without the wait!

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts




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