Top 10 Must Do
- Have AC and heating systems serviced by a professional.
- Clean all rain gutters and downspouts; make repairs, if necessary.
- Clean and repair window screens. Clean tracks and lubricate.
- Clean debris off roof. Check for loose or damaged roof shingles or flashing. Repair, if needed.
- Sharpen all garden tools and inspect the condition of your wheelbarrow.
- Clean lint from the clothes dryer’s exhaust pipe.
- Reverse ceiling fans to counterclockwise direction to blow air down.
- Lubricate all exterior hinges, gates, garage door tracks, and locks.
- Clear away all leaves and debris from the AC condenser unit.
- Prepare all flowerbeds and plants.
If Time and Budget Allow
- Pressure wash decks, fences, siding and driveways.
- Add additional insulation to the attic.
- Organize at least one closet in your home.
- Dust lampshades and ceiling fan blades.
- Aerate and fertilize the lawn.
- Reseed all bare spots on lawn.
A Little Something Extra
- Flip or rotate mattresses.
- Paint the mailbox and inspect the mailbox post.
- Reorganize all DVDs, CDs, and video games.
- Take all indoor plants outside and clean.
- Test sump pump by pouring a bucket of water to activate.
Sherwin-Williams recently announced the winner for Color of the Year in 2017 is “Poised Taupe”(SW 6039), which is somewhat of a cross-over between warm and cool or dark and light. Or, as Sue Wadden, the director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams, told the Today Show: “It’s like gray and brown had a baby.”
For a perfect pairing, Sherwin-Williams designers recommend combining Poised Taupe with pastels, brights, and jewel tones (such as a faded indigo hue for a French countryside look or combine it with a teal or sunny yellow for a more bold impact). Still can’t imagine what it would look like in your home? Check out these pictures courtesy of Sherwin Williams and checkout their Pinterest page for more ideas!
- 1 (16-oz.) box baking soda
- ½ (10-oz.) can shaving cream
- Chill the baking soda in the refrigerator for a few hours, and then empty it into a bowl.
- Slowly mix the shaving cream into the baking soda until it reaches a snow-like consistency.
How can you use your indoor snow? Let your creativity be your guide. Here are just a few ideas: You can make a snowman, or create snowballs to toss at unsuspecting family members. And, of course, the more people you have involved, the more fun you’ll have—so remember that you can always double the recipe to make it “snow” more inside!
If you’re feeling snowed under by inclement weather, make the indoors your playground. To get more fun indoor wintertime activities, visit www.americanlifestylemag.com/holidays.
– See more at: http://americanlifestylemag.com/how-to-make-indoor-snow-in-2-simple-steps/#sthash.A40ln4yj.dpuf
Declutter: Most listing agents would agree that clutter confuses buyers. They can’t see the home’s “bones” for all the furniture, toys, and other things. You have to pack up to move, so start dividing your things into three categories – keep, donate, and throw away. For things you want to keep, get a storage unit for out-of-season clothes and holiday dishes that you won’t need for a while.
Depersonalize: While you’re decluttering, store personal items such as photos, albums, figurines and collectibles. Accidents happen, so pack up and store as many breakable items as you can.
Detail: Just as you detail your car to help it hold its beauty and value, you should detail your home with the most vigorous cleaning it’s ever had. When you know you’re home is being shown or to get it ready for an open house, get your helpers to grab a basket and pick up anything that doesn’t belong out, like dirty clothes, wet towels, and tablets and smartphones.
Decamp: It’s harder for buyers to imagine themselves in your home if you’re still there, so take the kids and the dog to the park while your home is being shown. Buyers need to feel free to speak their minds and weigh possibilities.
Get everyone on board to keep things clean and neat, and your showings are much more likely to result in your home being sold.
Sometimes, the simplest things make the most difference. Consider a US soldier, stationed thousands of miles away from home. Even the bare necessities, such as food and clothing, would be welcomed. That’s why many people send care packages to our military personnel and veterans all over the world.
Check out this handy list for some of the most useful—and appreciated—items you can send to a soldier.
- knit hats
- colored socks
- Beanie Babies
- small plush toys
- drink mixes
- instant coffee and tea bags
- energy bars and granola bars
- peanut butter and jelly
- trail mix and dried fruit
- lip balm and sunblock
- roll-on deodorant
- toothbrushes and toothpaste
- floss and mouthwash
- individually packaged razors and shaving cream
- moist towelettes
- foot powder
- shampoo and body wash
- hand sanitizer
- cotton swabs
- muscle relief cream
- travel-sized board games
- crossword puzzles
When you decide what to put in your care package, Operation Gratitude will make sure it gets to the troops. For more information on sending care packages to soldiers, including the preferred sizes of the items on their wish list, visit the Operation Gratitude website.
To get more ideas for how you can help veterans, visit www.americanlifestylemag.com/veterans.
You may or may not have heard of the Remembrance Poppy—but you’ve probably seen it. These red-and-black poppies symbolize those who lost their lives in combat, and it was these same poppies that inspired a profound poem about a lost friend over a century ago that started the Remembrance Poppy movement.
During World War I, Canadian physician and soldier John McCrae discovered these very poppies growing around the burial site of his fallen friend, Alexis Helmer, in Flanders, Belgium. In his grief, McCrae penned the poem “In Flanders Fields”:
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
The poem was published in the British magazine Punch later that year, on December 8, 1915, and it became very popular: it was republished throughout the world as a way to honor soldiers’ sacrifices during The Great War.
Later, in 1918, Moina Michael, inspired by the poem, developed the idea for the Remembrance Poppy. It took her two years, but in August of 1920 convinced the Georgia Department of the American Legion to adopt the Memorial Poppy as its symbol. One month later, the Memorial Poppy was adopted countrywide as a symbol of remembrance.
Madame Anna Guérin championed the idea of selling artificial poppies and having the proceeds benefit people suffering from the aftereffects of the war. By 1922, the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Australia, and New Zealand had adopted the Remembrance Poppy.
Now that you know more about the Remembrance Poppy, go ahead and make your own remembrance poppy wreath to display in honor of our veterans.
For more ways to honor veterans, visit www.americanlifestylemag.com/veterans.
It’s the little things that sometimes make a huge difference. Here’s a few hacks to really help impress buyers. Want some more free advice on how to sell your home? Visit www.PetersenPartners.com.
One of the joys of the holidays is going out and about to see how others have decorated their homes. It not only adds an excitement to the air, but also may inspire you for how you’d like to decorate the exterior of your own home.
Perhaps the best place to start is the front porch, which is your home’s holiday greeting to all who visit or pass by. Whether your style is glam and glitz or traditional and country, these tips will make it easy to decorate your porch to celebrate fall, and then transition it seamlessly to winter holiday decor in no time!
GO FOR GOLD WITH GLAM DECOR
A simple, clean, elegant decor never goes out of style. And nothing says glamour quite like the color combination of black, white, and gold, which works quite well as a tool to show your style throughout the seasons.
Plus, you can add a striking focal point to your autumn decor by hanging a gold-painted harvest wreath on your door—this will maintain your glam theme while adding an extra touch of the season.
In the winter, switch out the autumn vegetables with more seasonal ornament-style decor, and forgo the usual pine wreath by opting for a clean gold straw wreath, to which you can add your own personalized touch of the season.
Cross-seasonal tip: Stringing pinecones around your door is an ideal transitioning tool—you won’t have to switch them out during the change of seasons!
KEEP IT COUNTRY WITH RUSTIC DECOR
The autumn and holiday seasons both evoke a sense of home and tradition, which is not only appealing to a lot of people, but also a hot design trend. You can reflect this style by implementing the tips below and bringing them all together in a bronze-colored tub.
In the fall, incorporate the colors of the season with fall vegetables, including mini gourds, autumn corn, and corn stalks; mix in some pinecones; and add a pop of white to contrast the oranges of autumn by including a white pumpkin in the mix.
In the winter, switch out your traditional autumn colors with all white items, and frost the pinecones from your fall decor to bring the holidays to your doorstep; add a touch of green with some pine branches, which will also welcome guests with the scent of the season.
Cross-seasonal tip: Fill your tub with plenty of newspaper to add lift to your items so they stand out more.
To get more holiday-themed decorating ideas that will help you add your personal style to the season, visit www.americanlifestylemag.com/holidays.
Many buyers hope to find a home in perfect condition so they can avoid dealing with maintenance issues. The problem is – no perfect home exists, so as a buyer, you should rely on home inspections to tell you what you need to know about the condition of the home you’re buying.
Be prepared to hire and schedule several types of inspectors to look at structural, pests, and environmental elements, depending on requirements in your state.
A structural home inspection should take several hours and cover all built-in appliances, all mechanical, electrical, gas and plumbing systems, the roof, foundation, gutters, exterior skins, windows and doors.
Home inspections may only cover the main house. This is significant for specialty inspections such as termites, because termites are more likely to be found in outbuildings. Make sure any inspection covers all buildings on the property including guest houses, detached garages, barns, stables and other buildings that will convey with the property, even if you have to pay more.
Attend every inspection and stay with the inspectors. Seeing problems for yourself will help you understand what’s serious, what needs replacement now or later, and what’s not significant. While home inspections point out problems, they also show you what’s working well so you can make your final decision about the home.
You can ask the seller to make repairs, or you can offer a little less. If you’re getting a VA or FHA-guaranteed loan, some items aren’t negotiable and the seller must address them, but otherwise ask your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices sales professional for advice.