Patricia Betro's Blog
There’s no doubt about it, increasingly Americans deal with allergies and allergic reactions that threaten their health, peace of mind, and even their lives. The rate of increase in allergies for children is over 50 percent from 1977 through 2018, and now 1 in 13 children in the United States suffer from allergies.
Roughly 90 percent of the allergic reactions in children come from eight specific foods - eggs, milk, tree nuts, peanuts, soy, wheat, fish, and shell-fish - and require more than a quarter million emergency visit each year.
Add to that increases in pollen and other allergen counts, and you might find that your home is a veritable war zone for those at risk of anaphylaxis. For others, it may just be the constant irritation of the sniffles or post-nasal drip.
What can you do to reduce the allergen load in your home?
Allergen reducing strategies
- Don’t let it in. You can keep food allergens out of your home by carefully shopping and reading labels. Not all food labels are complete, however, so when trying something new, reach out to the manufacturer for more specific advice on their food preparation practices.
- Take it out. Sometimes, when allergens like pollen and dust mites are floating in the air, you can’t avoid letting them in, but you can filter them out. Check to see that your HVAC systems have HEPA filters both for the air going into the system (the return) and the air coming out of the system (the vents). While this may reduce your system’s efficiency a small amount, the reduction of dust and pollen floating around your home will give you peace of mind.
- Filter it. Adding a high-quality air filtration system into your home does even more to improve your air quality. These systems remove dust and pollen, but they also remove odors from cooking, candles, and other scents to which family members might be sensitive. There are dozens of superior air purification systems, so research the one the filters out the most of the things to which you’re allergic.
- Vacuum. In general, regular vacuuming reduces the amount of dust, dirt, pollen, and other allergens, but some are better at it than others. Look for a vacuum with a HEPA filter system that is washable or that your regularly replace for best results.
- Remove carpets, drapes, and heavily textured upholstery since they tend to hold more dust and allergens. Replace carpet with wood floors, drapes with shades or easily washable curtains, and consider leather or vinyl upholstery for your furniture.
When you’re house shopping, make sure your agent knows about your allergy issues. Some homes work better than others when you’re dealing with allergies and other health issues. Your real estate professional can local the perfect home for you and your family.
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.
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 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.
Although you might have a home selling timeline in place, there may be instances where changes to your plan are required. These include:
1. You are listing your home in a buyer's market.
If you add your house to a buyer's market, you likely will face lots of competition from rival home sellers. As such, it may be difficult to enjoy a fast, profitable home selling experience if you fail to promote your residence accordingly.
To succeed in a buyer's market, you'll need to be patient. But if you can find ways to differentiate your house from the competition, you could maximize your home sale earnings.
Oftentimes, it helps to revamp a house's curb appeal. By mowing the front lawn and performing various home exterior improvements, you can help your house make a positive first impression on potential buyers.
You also should spend some time removing clutter from inside your house. That way, you can make it easy for buyers to envision what life may be like if they purchase your home.
2. You are struggling to stir up interest in your house.
After you add your house to the real estate market, it may be several weeks or months before a buyer submits an offer to purchase your residence. And if you're committed to optimizing the value of your house, it is important to wait for the right offer before you finalize your house sale.
If your home initially fails to stir up interest among buyers, there is no need to worry. In fact, there are many things that you can do to ensure your house hits the mark with buyers.
Generally, it is a good idea to establish an aggressive initial home asking price. This price should account for your house's condition, age and the current state of the real estate market.
It typically is beneficial to consider the homebuyer's perspective as well. Because if you understand why a buyer may be interested in your house, you could discover ways to help you house stand out in a competitive real estate market.
3. You have yet to hire a real estate agent.
Finding a real estate agent who can help you sell your house is key. Yet if you fail to employ an expert real estate agent right away, it may be difficult to enjoy a quick, seamless home selling experience.
Real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals are happy to assist you in any way possible. If you need a real estate agent who can help you list your house and promote it to dozens of potential buyers, you should have no trouble finding an agent who matches or surpasses your expectations. Or, if you want to find a real estate agent who can offer tips throughout the home selling journey, you can choose from many potential candidates in your area.
Remember, be flexible as you proceed along the home selling journey, and you can increase the likelihood of achieving the best-possible results.
Whether you're looking to buy a house or sell one, a helpful saying to keep in mind is the one about recognizing a duck:
"If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, then it's a duck!" As silly as that expression may be, there's a lot of wisdom in its message.
The reason it applies to real estate transactions is that people sometimes tend to overlook, justify, and gloss over potential or actual problems that need to be dealt with (and not ignored). Here are some examples, as they relate to home sellers and buyers:
Selling a home: As a home seller, one of the most important things you can do to make your home more appealing and marketable is staging. Not only is it beneficial to apply a fresh coat of paint where needed, but parts of your home may need to be repaired, upgraded, touched up, or cleaned.
One false assumption home sellers sometimes make it that prospective buyers won't notice or care about broken tiles in the bathroom, peeling paint on the front steps, cracks in the ceiling, or mold in the basement. While there are a lot of factors that help sell a house quickly or cause it to linger on the market for months, sometimes it's the little things that can impact the desirability of a house. If there's an imperfection, flaw, or cosmetic problem in your home that you've been noticing for months or years, there's a good chance prospective buyers will take note of it, too.
Whenever you can affordably correct a cosmetic problem in your home or property, it will usually be to your advantage as a home seller. If the problem looks like it could be a potential deal breaker, there's a chance it will be.
When you need an objective opinion on matters such as home staging, curb appeal, or increasing the marketability of your home, an experienced real estate agent is often your best source for advice and guidance.
Buying a home: There are a lot of factors that need to be evaluated when searching for your ideal home. While optimism is an essential state of mind to cultivate when you're navigating the sometimes bumpy road of house hunting, it's also important to balance that positive attitude with a drop of caution and skepticism. If you get too caught up in the excitement of buying a new house, you might miss red flags along the way that could lead to future problems or expenses.
By hiring a reputable property inspector to check everything in the house from structural integrity to the condition of mechanical systems, you can be alerted to potential safety hazards, possible water damage, malfunctioning electrical circuitry, and dozens of other issues that need to be identified, and hopefully resolved, before you become the new owner of a house.
When you own a condominium, even if you’re entrance is street level, you're not really in charge of the common area or the building's exterior. All the entries look alike, and some even enter from hallways. So, how do you differentiate your home from the four or five others that are for sale in your complex?
Try these simple steps to give your place the edge:
- Mind the door. While you may not be able to paint your condominium door a bright, trendy color, you can take a few moments to make sure it is clean and free from scuffs and finger marks. Use a whisk broom to brush off all dust, debris, and detritus that collects in the grooves and trim. If the door is wood, use a mild solution of a wood-safe soap to wash down the door, inside and out. Then, shine the door up with furniture polish so that it glows. If the door is metal or painted, use a gentle mixture of dish soap and water to remove grease and grime.
- Make it shine. Clean any glass in the door or sidelights with a vinegar and water solution or an appropriate glass cleaner. Use a metal cleaner on the door handle, deadbolts, and any metal trim, including the trim around the peephole, and shine up the fisheye lens too.
- Don’t forget the threshold. With a clean door, you’re already ahead of the game, but take a moment to sweep off the threshold (the wood or metal strip below the door), and all around the edges of the stoop or entry. Even when your doorway is in an interior hallway, the regular building cleaners may not get that extra dust and leftover dirt in the corners. Use your vacuum cleaner to suck away the last crumbs.
- Be welcoming. Set a fresh new welcome mat in front of your door and add a flower pot of bright blooms if you’re allowed. For interior doors, a tasteful wreath or swag on the door highlights your entry. Be careful to avoid going “over-the-top” though. Simple and elegant is best.
- Clear the entry. Your real control of the "appeal" starts once the door opens. Keep the entryway as open and uncluttered as possible. Move furniture away from the entry area to give it a more expansive feel. Keep décor simple, warm, and inviting. Avoid anything the potential buyer might bump into upon entering as that tends to leave the impression of small and crowded.
- Lighten things up. Put the best possible light on the subject. Take time to upgrade the bulbs in your entry lights (inside and out) to “daylight” LEDs for a friendly, well-lit glow.
A warm, inviting entrance sets the tone for the rest of the home, so give yours the edge it deserves.