We think it’s safe to say that winter has officially arrived in Vermont! What better time than after some of the first snowstorms of the season to realize your house isn’t as warm as you want it to be?! Having gaps or poor weather stripping around an outside door could mean you're losing up to 15% of the money you spend heating your home! Here is an easy do-it-yourself home project that will save you money on heating this year!
Weather stripping, utility knife, screwdriver, wooden block or book, tracing paper and pencil, cardboard or playing cards and scissors.
Now that you are done weather proofing your door, you will save money on your heating bill and stay warmer through the winter! And bonus: it also helps keep the heat out and the cool air in, during the summer, so you'll be more efficient all year round!
November is here which means winter is just around the corner! While it’s true things slow down in the winter, whether it be staying in by the fire on a blustery night, or home buying, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Here’s why:
Because not everyone is willing to look at homes in Vermont's winter weather, that leaves winter buyers with more opportunity to be selective. While this may mean less inventory to choose from, the chances of buyers successfully buying any home are higher during the winter. Fewer buyers mean fewer competitive, multiple offer situations – meaning less chance for someone to swoop in and top your offer. This is also a benefit to sellers as decreased inventory means less competition for you as well!
Generally, sellers that have their home listed during the winter months are more serious about getting it sold. This means you may be able to get a better deal than you would in the spring and summer months. Make sure to think strategically about your offer because you don’t want to offer an unreasonable amount and sabotage yourself.
Use the cold weather to your advantage
Vermont winters aren’t for the weary and neither are Vermont homes. Use the weather to your advantage by looking at homes in not-so-favorable weather. What better time to find out if the windows and doors are drafty, how weak the insulation is, or if there are problems with ice dams. You can't do that when previewing homes in the spring or summer, but winter is great for that!
It is important to remember; however, the things you can’t see. That is why it’s important to gain information on when the roof was replaced last, the condition of the deck if there is one and whether the septic tank has been serviced or not. Those are items on the checklist that may not be as easy to inspect with frozen ground and snowfall.
First-time home buyer’s advantage
While inventory drops about two-thirds on average during the colder months, that’s not entirely true for first time home buyer inventory. Less-expensive homes actually see an increase in inventory of about 7 percent in the last three months of the year, as compared to the spring. This means if you are on the hunt for a starter home, the winter can actually be the perfect time of year to buy!
Mortgage rates have been at historically low levels for quite some time, so the odds of them increasing next year is viable. Taking advantage of the current rates is a very smart move!
Ready to take the home-buying leap? We're here to help - even through a snowstorm!
Visit our Buying page for more information on how we can help you navigate the home buying process, and reach out to us to schedule your free consultation and let us help you get started!
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Office: 802.488.3487
Once October rolls around, the sweet scent of Halloween is in the air! From trick-or-treating and carving pumpkins, to haunted houses and costume parties, the fun never ends! Even amongst the sugar high, it is very important to remember to always stay SAFE during the holiday festivities! Here are some easy tricks to follow:
- Avoiding masks is best because they can easily obstruct vision
- If you allow your children out at night, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and give them each child a flashlight with new batteries
- Ensure that Halloween makeup is non-toxic and test it on a small area of skin ahead of time
- Remove Halloween makeup before your children go to bed to avoid skin irritation
- Swords and other costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible
- Have them wear a well fitted costume to avoid trips and falls
When They’re Out-n-About
- If going out trick-or-treating, a responsible adult should always accompany minors
- If your older children are going alone:
o plan and review a specified route prior that is familiar and well lit
o plan on a specific time they should return home
o make sure your child has their cell phone on and fully charged
o walk with a group of friends and stick with them
- Instruct your children to not eat any of their candy until they return home. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats
- Instruct your children to NEVER accept a ride from strangers
- Instruct your children to stay on the sidewalks when possible
- No matter what in life, always look both ways before crossing the street
- Small children should never carve pumpkins. Let them draw with markers and have the adults do the carving
- Consider using an alternative to a candle, such as a small flashlight or glowstick
o If using a candle, a votive is safest
Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and away from any path where visitors may pass close by
- Never leave candlelit pumpkins unattended
Home Sweet Home Safety
- Remove any objects that a child could potentially trip over such as hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations
- Sweep away any wet leaves from sidewalks and steps
- Check outdoor lights and replaced burned-out bulbs
- Keep pets in separate room away from trick-or-treaters
- Alert law enforcement immediately if you see any suspicious activity
Driving on Halloween
- Drive slower than the speed limit and be on high alert on Halloween especially in residential neighborhoods
- Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, medians and curbs
- Turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances
- Turn your radio down
- Don’t pass other cars stopped in the street
- Know that popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30-9:30pm so be especially alert during those hours
We hope everyone has a spooky and safe Halloween!
Keeping up with millennial housing trends could be one of the best investments you make this year if you are considering selling your home. There's a common misconception about millennial's being uninterested, or simply unprepared for, home ownership. That is false, because an analysis published on realtor.com in early 2019, found that millennial accounted for more than 40% of all new home loans.
As for home sellers - there's a decent chance that some of the house hunters who show up to your property are going to be in the millennial age range, so it can pay off to know your prospective buyer demographic and home upgrades that can attract their attention.
We have come up with a list of some home upgrades that can put your home on the top of their list!
Millennial's have a reputation for being tech savvy, so it makes sense that they would be interested in whole-house connectivity, including automation options that allow them to control things like thermostat, sound system, garage door or security system alarm from their phone.
When selling your house, one of the most important steps is staging. And if you think, you'll have some first-time buyers show up for an open house or showing, it is important to emphasize areas of your home where potential buyers can gather with friends and family.
Millennial buyers tend to be on the lookout for ways to reduce the expenses incurred by homeownership. One natural option is energy-efficient appliances.
Replacing your washing machine, dryer or dishwasher with Energy Star-certified can be a good way to signal to potential buyers that there are savings embedded in your property.
This is actually good advice no matter which homebuying demographic you're appealing to. Most hose hunters prefer soft, neutral colors to anything bright or garish, and millennial's are no exception. When looking for colors, consider choosing soft grays or warm tans for more of a neutral room.
Smartphones are ubiquitous, and millennial's are going to have their eyes open for easily available charging stations. ultimately, this small investment can really help you sell your home!
If your house has more than a couple of bedrooms, you may consider re-configuring one to look more like an office setting, demonstrating to buyers how flexible the space can be. In recent years, remote work opportunities are on the rise, and millennial buyers may be eager to find a space that's created for them to set up their at home work space.
Fall is approaching fast, the leaves are changing and you can feel the air turning cool and crisp. We created a checklist for you to follow for your home maintenance projects.
Many people believe that flowers are just for the springtime, but don't put those garden shovels away just yet! Fall is a wonderful time to plant and enjoy, too. As we approach the season, start planning with these 5 Fall flowers that will add color to your garden!
Mums are a classic fall and winter plant that can be seen in many gardens! You'll find these plants in yellow, orange, white, shades of red and pink-purple. If you purchase potted mums, transplant them to them to your garden or bigger flowerpot. They're hardy and will come back in the spring!
These daisy-like perennials with starry-shaped flower heads come in multiple varieties ranging from 8 inches to 8 feet depending on the type.These flowers bring delightful color to the garden in late summer and autumn!
Marigolds are a favorite, no-fuss annual that can bring the color of sunshine to your garden. Watch these flowers bloom from late spring until fall with full sun and some well-draining soil. Marigold seeds germinate quickly, within just a few days, and bloom in about 8 weeks. This quick sense of satisfaction makes them a great first-time gardening project. This plant is a great companion in your vegetable garden and can help protect your veggies from predators and pests.
These pretty flowers are versatile and heavy blooming, and perhaps the perfect fall flower. These flowers are ideal as ground covers or hanging baskets. Bonus: Plant pansy in the fall and in many areas, they come back to bloom again in the spring!
Bold and dramatic, black-eyed Susan offers golden-yellow daisy-shaped flowers. a favorite of bees and butterflies, it brightens any landscape or container garden planting. Black-eyed Susan looks particularly good with mums and asters.
Luckily replacing windows is not an annual necessity or even something that needs to be done every five years. Windows can last anywhere from 15 to 20 years, which is good news as replacements are expensive. However, replacing your home's windows when it's time can help extend the life of your home and help keep your family comfortable all year round.
Knowing when to replace your windows can be tough. Many of our clients have held out for another year or season because they didn't know whether or not they needed replacements. Here's five signs it's time to replace your windows.
A sure sign for windows when they begin to shrink, break or not close properly. This allows warm air to travel out of your home during the winter months and can destroy the energy efficiency of your home. If it seems like your electric bill is out of control, try placing your hand in front of one of your windows to determine the amount of air escaping.
Fighting with your window is not a part of your job as a homeowner. If it seems like the tracks an your window just won't go together anymore, then it may be time for a replacement. If you're looking for a quick fix to get you through one more season, try rubbing the tracks of the window and frame with dishwashing soap. This will help them glide easier and will give you a little extra time to save up for replacement.
If it seems like there is no way to keep your window open, short of putting a piece of wood to prop it open, then it may be time for a replacement. This can be dangerous and a safety hazard, especially if you have children. It's best to replace that window before fingers get smashed.
When your window don't properly lock, the security of your home is threatened. It makes it easier for intruders to enter, which puts your family and possessions at risk. Not only could this occur, but the escaping air can increase your electricity bill during the summer and winter, as well. If repairing the lock is an option, it's often best to do that first. If this does not work and the window simply won't stay locked, then it's time for replacements.
One of the strongest indications that you need new windows is when condensation or ice starts forming inside your window. If the window is shut and locked, but you wake up to find condensation on the inside, it's likely time to replace your windows. During the winter you may see ice on the inside or serious frost. Both of these are hazardous, as they can cause mold to grow on the whole frame and cause even further damage. We suggest replacing your windows with this problem as soon as possible to minimize more issues.
The perfect pantry situation is at the top of everyone's wish list! You've seen those beautiful pantry setups on Instagram and Pinterest, and now it's your turn to tackle this area in your kitchen! Need some more inspiration for your pantry? Here are 5 pantry organization ideas to upgrade your current snack situation!
Store your dry goods in glass jars with lids to keep your pantry modern and clean. All you need to do is empty out your snacks into the glass jars, and toss out the packaging. This is a great way to reduce the clutter in your pantry, and we love the aesthetic appeal it gives!
Another bonus is that the airtight seal from a glass jar with a lid can keep everything from going stale!
Buy the jars here!
Metal baskets are great for keeping similar items all in one place. For example: bags of chips, fruit, veggies, etc. Baskets are also great for holding items of all sizes because they can hold a large amount of quantities. Baskets look great on the shelves and you can find various colors and sizes at most stores.
We like these ones here.
It's easier to prepare your favorite recipes when you know exactly where all the ingredients are. Get yourself a turntable to keep all your spices and condiments in one easy to see place.
A spinning organizer can work great inside your kitchen cabinets too and they help to maximize storage space by getting rid of all the clutter on your shelves. You can use it to organize your fridge or put one on your counter top for easy access and to keep your space looking mess free!
This 2-tier snack organizer makes it so much easier for you to organize the smaller snacks in your pantry. That includes cereal bars, chocolate bars, or even tiny bags of chips. This is a great way to free up space on your shelves and makes it even easier for you to grab a snack when you're on-the-go!
Who doesn't love a good label?! Once you empty out your snacks and other dry goods into separate containers, use chalkboard labels to organize them. You can get a set of these for a very small price. Labeling your containers makes everything look more cohesive and it's easier on the eyes. It's both visually appealing and you can find whatever you are looking for with a quick scan.
Navigating a big change like moving has its hurdles. It can sometimes be particularly difficult for kids to adjust to their new home and neighborhood. Parents, keep in mind it may be hard for them because they could be leaving their friends, starting in a new school, and having to get used to new places. It can take some time for kids to adapt to new experiences. Here is a list of several ways to make it easier to help your kids during a transitional move:
Family routines tend to become lax while you go through the moving process. More than likely, you've grown away from regular mealtimes and bedtime routines and that can be disruptive to children. Even though you're in a new environment, begin to set some schedules and routines as soon as you can in your new home. While you're settling in, consider making new rituals- how about a new tradition of Wednesday taco night in the new house?
Your kids may not get as excited about new window treatments as you do, but setting up their new rooms will be fun! Let them be apart of picking out the paint color or bedding! Take a tour of the new room(s) before moving in, so they can get a sense of what their new room could look like. While it can be fun to pick out new things, it may also be best to set up the new room in a similar layout to their old one so they can feel more comfortable.
Moving can also be difficult on your pets, and getting them settled in the new home will also benefit the kids. If you have a dog, explore new places to go on walks, or run around. Taking them to a dog park, is a great way to get outside and get to know your community, while also meeting new people with dogs.
Seeing the new neighborhood kids out playing will be a welcome sign to you and your kids. Get over as soon as possible to introduce your family to the neighbors. These people can be a great source of information on community events, schools, teachers, and other topics of interest. After your family has settled into your new space, suggest a pizza night or other informal gathering at your home so you can all become better acquainted.
You can't get the full feel for a neighborhood until you drive through a few times. Ideally, visit at different times of the day during the week and weekend. Check out the local parks, library, rec center and other kid-friendly neighborhood facilities in your new area. Making sure they stay within your family's safety rules, let the kids explore some of these new attractions on their own. Encouraging their independence will help them feel more confident while adjusting to their new home and neighborhood.
For these and other helpful tips visit: https://www.unpakt.com/blog/helping-kids-adjust-to-their-new-home-and-neighborhood/