Thursday, May 31, 2018

NEXTDOOR.COM - A COMMUNITY EVENT

One of the cool tools available on the internet is Nextdoor.com. This nifty, nationwide, website, is neighborhood oriented, so when you sign up it focuses on your neighborhood. Thus, when I started my neighborhood website it became "DeSoto Lakes" website. I still log into Nextdoor.com, but it knows to take me to Desoto Lakes. 

If you live in an area that does not have access to Nextdoor.com, it may not be yet included in the website. Hopefully that will change.

The website offers an opportunity to meet your neighbors online. DeSoto Lakes has about 650 homes, so it is hard to get to know everyone. Once your site is set up (you get instructions when you start) you can share information about local businesses, setting up a community yard sale, sharing wants and needs and letting people know if you have a need. I just found a local plumber who was recommended by neighbors for his good work and fair prices. We also discovered several break-ins in the area, and since we could find out that it was a local group. Increased law-enforcement caught the group of teens pretty quickly and things calmed down and have stayed that way. Lost pets, requests for help, etc. all are entered into the feed. You can also recommend a company to neighbors when you have someone work around the house, and do a good job. There is also a section where you can advertise your business or the place where you work. All in all a pretty great idea, and its FREE!

If you sign up, you may find that your neighborhood already belongs. Just dive right in. If you are the first to sign up and your neighborhood is included, you'll need to recruit several households to join. Don't worry. Nextdoor makes it easy to do.

It also is available on all of your computers, phones and tablets. Now go join up. And enjoy your new-found neighbors!

PROTECTING YOUR HOME

Whether you are a new home owner or you already have a home but are worried about security, I think this will help you with some ideas. It is from the Florida Realtors Magazine. Good luck! 

18 TIPS TO PROTECT YOUR NEW HOME

FIRE PROTECTION
1. Install smoke/carbon monoxide alarms on every level. Test
    monthly and replace batteries each year.
2. Buy an ABC multi=purpose fire extinguisher for the kitchen 
    where half of all fire occur. Check pressure annually.
3. Plug major appliances into wall outlets, not extension cords, 
    which can overheat.
4. Create escape plans for all rooms and place escape ladders in 
    upstairs bedrooms.

BURGLARY PROTECTION
5. Change locks on exterior doors and confirm that all doors and   
    windows lock securely.
6. Add security bars to sliding glass doors.
7. Trim shrubs near home to reduce spots where burglars might 
     hide.
8. Install motion-detector lighting to illuminate dark areas.
9. Consider adding a home alarm system.

FLOOD PROTECTION
10. Place wireless water alarms under washing machine and sinks.
11. Install flood-safe hoses on the washing machine.
12. When leaving on trips, turn off water at main valve to prevent
      floods.
13. Confirm that homeowners' insurance covers water and mold 
      damage due to leaks and sewer backups. Some policies don't.
14. Trim trees and shrubs so weakened branches won't fall on
      home or be propelled into windows by high winds.
15 Install downspout extensions to carry heavy rains away from 
     the foundation.
16. If you evacuate when a dangerous storm hits, turn off utilities
      to deter flooding and fires. (ready.gov/utility-shut-safety)

WEAR AND TEAR PROTECTION
17. Inspect inside and outside of home monthly for signs of
      damage.
18. Repair/replace broken items before small problems become
      serious ones.

A final note. I have installed motion sensor lights at strategic places around my home. Shortly after I installed them neighbors on my street had their cars vandalized and items stolen out of them. My car was in my carport, and was totally untouched - I attribute that to  those lights. Keep safe!

Monday, May 28, 2018

SELFIES!

I just got a chuckle out of a short comment in the AARP Bulletin:

Selfie Do's and Don'ts
Do: Take pic of yourself in your garden.
Don't: Take pictures of yourself in your pot garden, like England's Richard Edmunds. He snapped a shot of himself in a room full of marijuana plants - and when cops found a copy during a raid, Edmunds ended up in jail.

Friday, May 25, 2018

REASONS TO WORK WITH A REALTOR

Well, I had a potential customer ask me why they should hire a Realtor instead of the sale themselves. There are countless reasons, the most important one, to me, is personal safety. But I found a good list to help you, my readers, understand. This is courtesy of Florida Realtors Magazine.

WHAT TO KNOW
7 Reasons to Work With a REALTOR®
REALTORS® aren’t just agents. They’re professional members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics. This is the REALTOR® difference for home buyers:

  1. An expert guide.
    Selling a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes.
    Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved, so you want to work with a professional who can speak the language. 
  2. Objective information and opinions.
    REALTORS
    ® can provide local information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They also have objective information about each property. REALTORs® can use that data to help you determine if the property has what you need. 
  3. Property marketing power.
    Property doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. A large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts with previous clients, friends, and family. When a property is marketed by a REALTOR
    ®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
  4. Negotiation knowledge.
    There are many factors up for discussion in a deal. A REALTOR
    ® will look at every angle from your perspective, including crafting a purchase agreement that allows you the flexibility you need to take that next step. 
  5. Up-to-date experience.
    Most people sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each sale. Even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS
    ® handle hundreds of transactions over the course of their career. 
  6. Your rock during emotional moments.
    A home is so much more than four walls and a roof. And for most people, property represents the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on the issues most important to you.
  7. Ethical treatment.
    Every REALTOR
    ® must adhere to a strict code of ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a REALTOR®’s client, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

FOODS THAT DOGS SHOULD AVOID

Almost everyone knows that dogs should not eat chocolate. But there's a relatively long list of foods that our canine friends shouldn't eat - but will! These include:

Macadamia Nuts
Grapes
Onion
Garlic
Raisins
Avocados

There are probably more, but these are the ones I was able to find as universally unhealthy. So, help your dog eat healthy and avoid the above foods and any other foods your Vet recommends to avoid.

INTRODUCING "MESSAGES . . ."

I learn something new every day. The idea here is to share these ideas with the Universe. Some are things I remember learning, some are new information that feels like its important enough to share, the rest will be things that I have written down for future reference - the future is now!