Tom Lee ABR CRS GRI LTG SRES's Blog
In a not-so-distant future, American homeowners may not have to worry about blackouts any longer. Tesla’s giant battery recently powered up Australia’s grid after a power outage in just milliseconds. And, with new, green technologies, constantly being pursued, it could be within reach to say goodbye to blackouts once and for all.
However, we’re not quite there yet. And, if you live in the colder areas of the country, you’re also at the beginning of the worst season for snow and ice that can wreak havoc on power lines.
So, to help get you prepared, I’ve written this list of things you can do to start preparing yourself, your family, and your home for your next power outage.
Read on for the list.
1. Emergency supplies list
It’s vital to have the supplies on hand before a power outage hits so that you don’t have to be wandering around your home in the dark fishing for things you might not even have.
To avoid this, it’s a good idea to keep a supplies bag packed and tucked away somewhere safe. It’s also important that your family knows where this bag is located in case you’re away when the power goes out.
Now, let’s make your list:
Flashlights and batteries - Two quality flashlights with batteries should be on everyone’s emergency list. Make sure your batteries were recently bought and that they are of high quality that won’t run out of juice in just a few minutes. Also, consider including a wind-up flashlight that doesn’t require batteries for use in case you forget to replace your old batteries.
Radio - Most of us keep our cell phones charged up, but we’ve all been guilty of letting them get too low on charge. In these situations, it’s good to have a battery-powered radio to listen to the news.
Power bank - Speaking of cell phones and their poor battery life, consider buying a power bank and keeping an extra charging cord in your bag. Make a note to charge up your power bank every few weeks to ensure it will be charged when you need it most.
Cash - If the blackout effects more than just your neighborhood, many stores’ ATM and credit card machines may be down. It’s a good idea to have a stash of cash for emergencies.
Optional: generator - while you don’t need to buy a generator for your average power outage, it can help if you live in an area that experiences them frequently.
2. Familiarize yourself with your home
Find out where the shutoff valves for water are, learn the layout of your circuit breaker, and learn how to use the manual release on your garage door.
If you have an electric stove, consider purchasing and learning how to use a small propane grill for emergencies.
3. Best practices during a blackout
If you have children, make sure they know what to do if the power goes out when you’re not home. Especially during the winter months, it gets dark out early enough that many parents haven’t even arrived home from work yet. So, be sure your kids know not to start lighting candles in dangerous places and keeping the refrigerator open for extended periods.
Finally, it’s a good idea to turn off power strips and unplug appliances that were turned on when the power went out. This can stop surges from damaging your appliances and save you money.
After you receive an offer on your home, how should you respond? Ultimately, there are many questions for a home seller to consider before accepting a proposal, including:
1. What is my home worth?
Did you get your home appraised before you added it to the real estate market? If so, you may want to review a home offer in contrast to your home appraisal. This will give you a better idea about whether the offer is "fair" based on your home's condition.
If you have not received a home appraisal, there's no need to worry. In fact, there are many ways to assess your home to determine whether to accept or decline a proposal.
Check out the prices of comparable residences in your city or town. This will enable you to see how these houses are priced and better understand how to proceed with an offer.
Also, review the prices of homes that recently sold in your area. With this information, you can learn about the current state of the housing market.
2. Are there any other offers to consider?
As a home seller, you'll likely have 24 to 48 hours to respond to an offer on your residence. But if you receive multiple offers at the same time, you'll want to evaluate these proposals in conjunction with one another.
Even if you receive two offers for the exact same price, these proposals may differ.
For example, a homebuyer who has financing in hand will be able to streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner. On the other hand, a homebuyer who submits an offer without financing in hand may require additional time to secure a mortgage from a bank or credit union.
Take a close look at all of the offers on your home. Review these proposals with a fine-tooth comb, and you'll be able to make an informed decision.
3. Does this offer meet or exceed my expectations?
An offer on your home may fall short of your initial asking price, but this offer can still meet or surpass your expectations.
Consider what you hope to accomplish as a home seller as you review an offer.
For instance, if your goal is to sell your home as quickly as possible, you may be more inclined to accept one of the first offers you receive. Or, if you can afford to remain patient, you may want to take a wait-and-see approach to ensure you get an offer that matches or exceeds your initial asking price.
4. What will happen if I accept the offer?
After you accept an offer on your home, a homebuyer likely will want to complete a home inspection.
If the home inspection goes well, the homebuyer probably will proceed with his or her purchase. If it does not, you may need to complete home maintenance or repairs to finalize the purchase agreement.
Remember, if you accept an offer, there are still several steps that will need to be completed before you sell your house. With an expert real estate agent at your side, you'll know exactly what to expect at each stage of the home selling process.
The process of selling your house may seem endless at times. Fortunately, there are many things that you can do to speed up your home selling timeline, and these are:
1. Conduct a House Inspection
Although a home inspection usually is requested by a buyer after a seller accepts an offer to purchase a house, you may want to conduct this evaluation before you list your residence. In fact, performing a home inspection now may help you identify assorted house problems that otherwise could slow you down later in the home selling process.
During a home inspection, a property expert will examine your residence both inside and out and offer an inspection report. Then, you can use the inspection report to prioritize various house improvement projects.
A home inspection ultimately gives you the insights you need to update your house to match buyers' expectations. As a result, a house inspection can help you quickly discover the best ways to improve your house and ensure you can reap the benefits of a fast, profitable home selling experience.
2. Analyze the Housing Market
The housing market fluctuates, and a market that favors buyers today may favor sellers tomorrow. Thankfully, a seller who performs a deep analysis of the housing market can differentiate between a buyer's and seller's market and prepare accordingly.
Take a look at the prices of available houses in your city or town that are similar to your own residence. This housing market information can help you understand the price range for comparable houses and enable you to establish a competitive initial home asking price.
Furthermore, check out the prices of recently sold homes in your area. This housing market data can help you determine whether you're about to enter a buyer's or seller's market.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
You know you want to sell your house as quickly as possible, but there are many problems that you may encounter during the home selling journey. But if you hire a real estate agent, you can get the assistance you need to seamlessly navigate the home selling journey and optimize your home sale earnings.
A real estate agent will meet with you, learn about your home selling goals and offer a personalized home selling strategy. Plus, he or she will promote your residence to prospective buyers and set up home showings and open house events. And if you receive an offer to purchase your residence, a real estate agent will present this proposal to you and provide a recommendation about whether to accept, reject or counter it.
In addition, a real estate agent possesses comprehensive housing market expertise. If you have concerns or questions as you sell your house, a real estate agent can address them.
Don't wait to sell your house. Instead, reach out to a local real estate agent today, and you can receive the help you need to accelerate your home selling timeline.
Bring new life to your bedroom without completely redirecting. When we are tired of our existing decor it can feel like we need to start completely from scratch to obtain a whole new look. But before you begin hauling off your bed frame to the second-hand shop consider these small changes first:
Add a variety of textures via linens, upholstery, accents. Look for soft items made up of furs, textured weaves, linens, and velvet. Add interestingly woven baskets, stone, glass and polished wood. This mix will work together to create a visually interesting dynamic no matter the color palette of your room.
Install a different style of window treatments. Let more light into a room with sheer panels. Whites and creams always make for a classic look. However, if you are looking to really shake things look to other colors either as a solid or in patterns. A popular trend at the moment is upgraded solid panels. From patterns to bamboo and even embellishments you will have plenty of options to create unique-to-you treatments.
Create a statement wall without making a commitment with removable wallpaper. Since they are peel and stick they are easier to install than traditional wallpaper. They also give you the freedom to go bold with your pattern or color of choice. So why not reach for the more daring print?
If you want to add a bold print but wallpaper isn’t for you find a pattern you love on a duvet cover. They are easy to swap out as much as you’d like and can also be a great way to add more texture to your space. For example, you could add a pintucked satin or an inviting quilt with a pattern sewn throughout. It will certainly take center stage and make a statement as the focal point of the room.
Create more light in your space by installing a large mirror. Hung or leaning against a wall it helps to open up the room and allow light reach more of the room. If you have several closet doors consider installing mirrors as paneling for a chic, new look. Or create ambiance with paper lanterns. They create a soft, calming light that is perfect to read by at the end of the day.
Since these changes are so easy to make, some a matter of a few minutes, you can create subtle changes throughout each season. Swap out decorative pillows and throws, for example, for patterns and hues that still match your existing decor but better suit the mood of the season. Darker hues paired with creams and beiges create a cozy space in winter with creams or beige. And brighter cheery hues against a crisp white pop and bring energy into the room for Summer.
Over the years, science has been on the side of meditation. Faultfinders will tell you that it is just another New Age name for napping and spiritual hogwash, but that is not true at all. In actuality, science has proven you are better off when you meditate than your peers who choose not to. In recent times, a wealth of scientific research has been carried out to provide undisputed evidence that meditation indeed has healing properties. Take a look at the following health benefits of meditating below:
1. It slows down the aging process
Telomeres are tiny strings of DNA that shield the end of chromosomes. Naturally, these small strings tend to shorten over time as they perform their duty, and as they compress, aging takes place. In 2013, Harvard carried out research that measured the telomeres of 37 people. The result showed that the people who engaged themselves with meditation had longer telomeres than those who did not meditate.
2. It relieves chronic pain
The journal of pain reported a study examining the use of meditation on 89 patients with constant neck pain. Some of these patients were put on a home-based exercise program while the others were set apart to a 90-minute weekly guided meditation practice. The guided meditation practice proved useful in decreasing the pain in contrast to those who used the home-based exercise program.
3. It treats Addiction
In another study, 248 people practiced qigong meditation on a short-term alcohol and drug addiction treatment program. After the study period, the participants confessed to having less anxiety, self-control, and reduced craving.
4. It reduces stress
Several studies have shown that people who practiced loving-kindness meditation more often feel less stressed and can better deal with stressful situations. Also, people who practice loving-kindness meditation feel very confident about themselves and have a lesser probability of getting depressed.
5. It improves fertility
Meditation reduces stress, and science proves that reducing stress can improve the chances of a woman getting pregnant. An Oxford Journal study reports that the stress level of women decreases on the month of conception. Furthermore, in the International Journal of fertility, scientific research proves that couples who practice meditation while trying to conceive are less stressed and more fertile than couples who do not. Regarding these studies, being calm and relaxed plays a significant role in fertility.
6. It keeps the heart in good shape
Meditation helps prevent cardiovascular disease and strengthen heart muscles. A variety of scientific studies shows that people who meditate have lesser chances of developing heart failure, stroke, and blood pressure.
Meditation is an inexpensive way to manage stress and stay healthy. Go on YouTube to find videos tutorials on various meditation techniques or visit your local gym to inquire about taking a class.