Posted by Betsy Graziano on 2/20/2017

Every so often, every homeowner faces the big problem of having a mouse in the house. These rodents can cause a lot of inconveniences. Beware that they make more than noise, they make a mess. They’ll cause safety hazards by chewing through cables and wires, even causing a fire hazard. Mice also cause a huge health hazard with the spread of disease. So once you know you have a rodent in the house, consider the following tips:


Put All Food Away


To avoid an infestation of mice, you need to stop feeding them. Make sure all of your food is sealed in plastic. Don’t feed your pets in between meal times, so no food is around unsupervised. 


Clean Your House Often


In order to get rid of the mice that are in your home, you can’t give them anything to stay for. Even small spills may attract mice. Clothes piled up is a breeding ground for mice to nest in. This is why cleanliness is so important to ward off mice.


Try Natural Cures For Mice 


The smell of peppermint is too much for mice. To keep mice out of the house, soak up some cotton balls with peppermint oil and place it near anywhere that mice might be able to get in. You can also place peppermint plants near the entrance of your home to get the same effect. 


Patch Up Any Holes


You’ll need to close up all the holes that lead in and out of your home to keep out mice. It can be hard to find how these mice get in and out of the whole, so check places that you wouldn’t think to check like corners, under cabinets and near the bathtub. This way, the only mice that will be in the home are there, you won’t have a continual infestation.


Use Poison And Traps 


This is one of the more helpful methods in getting rid of mice. This is not a good idea if you have pets in your home, as it is a very harmful substance. Choose appropriate traps for mice. There are a variety of options available including snap traps, glue traps and humane traps. You’ll need to get the type of trap that will work for you. If you don’t want to deal with mice corpses, you’ll need to get the humane traps that allow the mouse to stay alive and be trapped in an enclosed box. 


Get A Cat


There’s no better rodent control than a feline! Cats tend to love to catch mice and protect your home from infestation. Mice will generally stay away from a home where cats are present.  


It may be a bother to discover that you have a mouse in your house. There’s plenty of things that can be done to help you get rid of your pest and bring your home back to order.




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Posted by Betsy Graziano on 2/13/2017

You may have been thinking that you’d like to sell your home. You probably want to sell it at the right time and you want to go about it for the right reasons. There’s so many different that you may want to sell your home that you probably haven’t even thought of. 


There’s Not Many Homes To Choose From


If there’s a lack of inventory on the housing market, it’s a great time to put your home up for sale. Certain times of the year have lower inventory than others, so you may want to consider the fall and winter as a prime time to sell. If you know your home is in a great location, or has little work to be done in it, you’re probably going to want to sell sooner rather than later if you have been contemplating the idea in a low inventory market. 


Remember That Spring Starts Early


Especially in warmer climates, “spring” is a relative term and can start as early as January. People will start their searches online early in the year and the demand for homes only becomes more crucial as the year goes on. The earlier the listing, the better chance the home has to stand out on the market, even if it doesn’t sell right away. In fast moving real estate markets, it may not matter what time of year you sell your home. If the demand is there, you have a great chance to sell the home.


Price Matters


The lower the price point on a home, the faster it will generally move off the market. First-time homebuyers want homes and they want them fast. when your home is priced lower, it’s probably going to move a bit faster no matter when or where you’re selling it. Buyers are always looking for a good deal. 


Interest Rates Affect Home Sales


If there’s rumors that interest rates will rise in the coming months, buyers will be on the hunt for a home. That’s when it’s a good time for you as a buyer to put your home on the market. When buying power for those searching is high, you’re better off selling because you’ll get a lot of interest. Your home will leave the market much faster as well. 


The Decisions Is Yours


Selling your home is not a small decision. You’ll need to find another place to relocate to. Your kids may have to switch schools, and your lives can be a bit disrupted in the process of moving. If you think the time is right to move, you can keep the above suggestions in mind in order to make the entire process a bit more seamless for you.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Betsy Graziano on 2/6/2017

Old New England homes are rich in history and character. The style of many modern houses in the region is heavily influenced by English colonial homes of the early 1700s. It was in colonial times when lead pigment was first used. By the 1920s lead paint usage was at its peak. The paint was strong, it covered a lot of surface area, and it made vibrant colors, all very appealing to home homeowners at the time. The health hazards of lead paint are many. Although, unlike other home hazards like fire or carbon monoxide, they reveal themselves slowly over many years, making them especially dangerous for children. According to WebMD, high levels of lead paint exposure can cause the following:

  • Damage to the brain and nervous system
  • Kidney damage
  • Behavior and learning problems, such as hyperactivity
  • Slowed growth
  • Poor muscle coordination
  • Hearing problems
  • Headaches
  • Bone marrow problems
Scary stuff, right? But don't panic... Here's what you need to know about detecting and eliminating lead paint in your home. If your house was built before 1978, there's a chance it has lead paint. It was in 1978 that the federal government banned the consumer use of lead paints. Since usage reached its peak in the 1920s, the older your house the higher the likelihood of it having lead paint. This puts old New England homes at greater risk. To test for lead paint you should seek out a licensed inspector. Most state websites have resources for locating an inspector near you (mass.gov for example). Inspection can cost anywhere from $150-$400 and will depend on the size of your home, rates in your area, and other factors. Once tested, you will be given options and a risk assessment and can then decide how you'd like to proceed. Some ill-advised homeowners take the situation into their own hands, scraping paint and mopping up the dust. This is exactly what NOT to do. Dispersing all of those lead particles into the air will contaminate your home and yard, seeping into the ground outside. Many people share anecdotal stories about removing lead paint themselves, insisting, "I did it myself and I'm still alive." It's important to remember, however, that those who are truly at risk are the children who will grow up in that house facing longterm exposure to lead. Young children are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning for three reasons:
  1. Toddlers tend to put objects into their mouths such as paint chips or other objects that may have traces of lead. This causes a high level of lead absorption
  2. Children's bodies are developing rapidly and absorb lead faster than adults
  3. They can spend decades in a home, developing the symptoms listed above that can then become chronic, lifelong illnesses
To completely remove the lead from your home you'll need to seek out a lead abatement contractor. View the Lead Safe List for your area to find contractors and receive quotes. If you have attempted to remove lead yourself, or performed recent renovations that may have dispersed lead paint and are worried that your children may have been exposed you should bring them to their pediatrician. Testing for high levels of lead can be detected by a simple blood test.  





Posted by Betsy Graziano on 1/30/2017

It feels like a miracle when the warm weather rolls around and you can finally spend some time outdoors. Whether you're taking a break from yard work or working on your tan, you're going to want a comfortable place to relax. Unfortunately, a lot of outdoor seating is the equivalent of sitting on a hard rock--sure it can withstand the weather, but it doesn't offer much comfort. In this article, we'll talk about some of the best outdoor seating available that will get you outside without sacrificing the comfort of your recliner.

Hammocks

We don't know exactly when the hammock was invented, but the first written account of their use comes from Spanish colonists in the 1400s who noticed Native South Americans using them for sleeping. They were originally made from the bark of a hamack tree--hence the name--but since then have been made of a number of different materials. In the United States, the hammock market has been dominated by, well, the worst type of hammock there is. When you think of a hammock you probably think of white rope hung between two trees with wooden separator bars to keep the netted rope open. Originally, hammocks didn't have those separator bars--and for good reason. Separator bars make for the unsteady, dizzying experience that many people have when they get in a hammock for the first time. Without the bars, you have a much steadier, more comfortable experience that is closer to what Native South Americans have experiences for hundreds of years.

Hanging rope chair

Like the hammock, hanging rope chairs also utilize gravity to add to their comfort level. The difference here is that you are in a seated or semi-reclined position. Rope chairs often have weather-proof seat and back cushions that make them all the more comfortable. You can buy a free-standing chair, or one that hangs from a tree branch.

Floating lounge chairs

If you want to bring your comfort on-the-go, a lounge chair is one of your best options. Lounge chairs have undergone several innovations over the years--some for better, some for worse. Quality lounge chairs make sure your back and seat cushion aren't touching any parts of the metal frame. One good example is the Cabela's zero-gravity lounge chair. They fold up easily and are very comfortable, but they are significantly heavier than cheaper, aluminum framed lounge chairs.

Cushioned furniture set

If you plan on entertaining guests on the patio, there are several outdoor furniture sets that have thick, durable cushions to keep everyone comfortable. You can spend anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to thousands of dollars on a patio set. And, more than anything else on this list, you get what you pay for. Maintaining a patio set is more complicated than the other items we've mentioned. Some have removable cushions that you should bring inside at night or when it rains. Others come with furniture covers that will keep the chairs in prime conditions but are--admittedly--an eyesore.   Whichever options you choose, be sure to try before you buy. When you're shopping for comfort, no one can tell you better than your own back.





Posted by Betsy Graziano on 1/23/2017

When shopping for a home, most people take their time searching for the perfect house. The question is, how much time should be spent searching for the right neighborhood as well? To find the superb setting for your new home, the house and neighborhood need to offer what your family desires.  The following information should be helpful when trying to determine if a neighborhood is right for you. Paint a mental picture of your perfect neighborhood.  Write a list of the characteristics your ideal neighborhood would possess, taking into consideration your long and short term needs. Then answer the following questions:

  • Do you have or plan to have children ?
  • How far are you willing to commute ?
  • How much property do you want surrounding your home ?
  • Are you looking for a rural or urban setting ?
  • Do you prefer a historic neighborhood or one with more modern homes?
  • Would you be comfortable in a neighborhood with lots of noise and activities or would you prefer a more quiet serene one?
With these questions answered you now have a clearer idea of the characteristics you want in your new neighborhood.  This should help to narrow your search area.  Start by scouting around neighborhoods that appear to fit your established criteria.  For example, search a radius around your place of employment using your determined maximum commuting distance.  You may find that an additional 2 miles added to your commute will put you into the neighborhood of your dreams. Once you have located a neighborhood that meets your specifications, it's time to dig a little deeper.  Visit the neighborhood at different times of the day and during the weekend to get a true feel for the environment. Look for the warning signs of a troubled neighborhood such as abandoned buildings, vandalism, and poorly maintained streets and sidewalks.  Talk with people in the neighborhood and see if they will share the pros and cons of living in the area. Local officials should be able to answer your questions regarding the following:
  • Population demographic
  • School system
  • Crime statistics
  • Property values and tax rates
  • Local entertainment, shopping and dinning
Choosing the right neighborhood will make the transition to a new home much easier for you and your family.  The extra time and energy spent researching will be well worth it.  







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