Minneapolis Real Estate and Community News

July 23, 2018

House Fire Prevention and Safety Tips

SUBJECT: House Fire Prevention and Safety Tips

 

Knowing how to prevent and detect a house fire is vital to the safety of those in your home. 

 

Here are some common fire dangers according to consumersafety.org:

 

  • Check your home for cords that are worn out or frayed. Remove and replace these cords. 
  • Stay safe when cooking in the kitchen. It is a good idea to have a fire extinguisher that is easily accessible in your kitchen to quickly put out a fire. 
  • Smoking in the home is also a cause of house fires. 
  • Candles that have been forgotten and left burning while not home or set too close to something that is flammable or knocked over by a child or a pet, can all cause a fire. 
  • Unplug your curling iron or hair straightener when done using and make sure it is placed in a safe spot to cool away from flammable materials. 
  • When using an outdoor fire pit make sure the fire is at least 25 feet away from any structures and that sticks, branches and shrubs are cleared from the fire area. Use extra caution when lighting the fire and keep a shovel, water and a fire extinguisher nearby in case the fire becomes too big or spreads outside of the fire pit.
  • A grill can also be a common cause for starting a fire. When grilling do not leave it unattended and make sure it is placed away from the house and railings, and out from under eaves and tree branches. It is also important to keep your grill clean ensuring the trays below do not have a buildup of grease. 
  • One key element to fire safety in your home is your smoke alarms. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that you have a smoke alarm in every bedroom, on every level including the basement and outside of all sleeping areas in the home. The alarms should be installed on the ceiling or high up on a wall and at least 10 feet from the stove. The NFPA also recommends that you use interconnected smoke alarms so that when one goes off, the rest of the alarms in the house will go off as well. You should test your smoke alarms monthly. For those who are hard of hearing you can use special alarms that have strobe lights and bed shakers. The NFPA states that all smoke alarms should be replaced when they are 10 years old. If your alarm does go off, make sure you and your family leave the home immediately and if there is smoke, get below the smoke to exit. You should have a fire escape plan that you and your family have practiced so everyone knows what to do in case of a fire and where to meet outside of the home once they have exited the home. 


For more information and tips on fire safety visit www.nfpa.org.
  Sources: www.nfpa.org and consumersafety.org.

 

 

Warmly,

 

 

 

       LivingLocal Realty

 

 

 

 

Posted in Real Estate News
July 16, 2018

Five Ways to Increase your curb appeal

SUBJECT: Five Ways to Increase your curb appeal 

 

Whether you are preparing your house to sell or simply want to make a good first impression, curb appeal is important. 

 

There are a few simple steps you can take to add curb appeal to your home without spending a lot of money. 

 

1. The Front Door: It is the entry to your home so don’t neglect it. Get creative with your front door by adding a splash of color. Try a fresh coat of paint or a bold and colorful new door mat. 

 

2. Make a Statement with Some Flowers: Keep things symmetrical by adding a flower pot to each side of the entrance. Visit your local nursery and ask for advice on the best design ideas for your flower pots. Get something with more height for the middle and then place lower annuals such as wave petunias around the edges so the flowers spill over the edges of the pots. 

 

3. A Good Clean Rinse: Use a pressure washer to clean your driveway and walkways. Then clean your windows inside out to let the sun shine in. 

 

You will be surprised at what a difference this will make!

 

4. Take Care of Your Lawn: Your lawn has a huge impact when it comes to the over-all curb appeal of your house. Make sure to keep your lawn manicured and green. For expert advice on caring for your lawn visit the national Association of Landscape Professionals’ website at https://www.loveyourlandscape.org/.

 

5. Upgrade Your Lighting: Visit your local hardware store to select lighting that better fits the style and size of your home. 

 

Quality lighting for your garage lights and porch lights will upgrade the entire look of your home. 

 

With these budget-friendly changes you will see your home’s curb appeal drastically increase.

 

Contact me to find out the accurate value of your home. See front page for contact information. 

 

 

Warmly,

 

 

LivingLocal Realty

 

Posted in Selling Your Home
July 9, 2018

The Truth About Your Credit

SUBJECT: the truth about your credit

 

Did you know there are more than 55 different scoring models? FICO is the most common; it’s the one most people have heard of. The letters in FICO stand for the company responsible for it: Fair Isaac & Co. Two men — Fair and Isaac — founded the company 60 years ago. So now it’s an acronym that everyone knows — but few people know anything about.

 

FICO is a measure of our credit worthiness based on the debt agreements we have, and whether we’ve made payments on time, what our outstanding balances are, and so on.

 

The major reporting agencies — companies separate from FICO, including Experian and TransUnion, look at common factors, break them up into categories, types of debt, and then the lender — not the reporting agency by the way — makes a decision.

 

The main areas lenders look at are how long you’ve had credit and how you’re using it. That’s the number of credit accounts and the number of years they’ve been open, and then balance information — how much you’ve borrowed against the total amount available.

 

Will Credit Inquiries Impact My Credit Score? Inquiries. That’s when someone checks your credit. They have a temporary effect on your credit numbers. When a potential lender pulls your credit report they see who looked at your credit over the last six months. After six months it falls off. Basically every inquiry affects your score by 1 to 2 points. It doesn’t sound like a lot but if you apply for several cards it adds up The lender will look at the inquiries and say, “This person is applying for a lot of credit — more credit than the income from their job would support. 

 

What about the credit card or line of credit that you haven’t used it in a long time: should people keep the accounts — the “trade lines” — open? When you close out a card you’ve had for 10 or 20 years you cut off 10 or 20 years of positive credit history. It’s better to have a card open and unused than to have had the card and then close the account completely. Just keep the zero balance. Of course, it’s better to use it occasionally and make sure there’s no annual fee.

 

What about short sales, foreclosure, or bankruptcy? First there’s a time line involved — how long will you have to wait, what were the conditions when credit or that home loan went bad for you, what kind of loan are you trying for now, and so on. The general range for “seasoning” as we call it is between 2 and 7 years

 

For additional questions regarding your credit and to be connected to a quality lender for a full credit report, reach out to me using my contact information provided on this email.

 

For any Real Estate Advice that pertains to financial, legal, or tax related information please contact the professionals in those fields. The practice of Real Estate representation can vary by state. Ask your Real Estate Representative for agency information pertaining to your state and company.  

 

 

Warmly,

 

 

LivingLocal Realty

 

Posted in Buying a Home
July 2, 2018

Giving Back to Your Community

SUBJECT: Giving Back to your community

 

Giving back to your community can be a rewarding and fun experience. It is something you can do individually or together as a family. When it comes to volunteering it can be a bit overwhelming to get started. Before committing to a volunteer position there are a few things to consider:

 

1. Time Commitment- How much time do you want to spend volunteering? One hour a week, one Saturday a month, a few times a year?

 

3. What are you passionate about? If you are passionate about the organization or cause you are much more likely to enjoy the time you spend volunteering. 

 

3. What are your strengths? Do you have a specific skill that you would like to utilize when volunteering? It could be working as a volunteer to help with event planning, construction, working with children, helping people with finances, organizing, etc.

 

4. Once you have narrowed down these questions down, find an organization to volunteer with.

 

Volunteering can be a great experience, but don’t get discouraged if the first time you try it or the first organization you volunteer with doesn’t work out. If you don’t enjoy it or the time commitment is too much don’t give up just find something that is a better fit for you and your schedule. There are many benefits to volunteering. It helps you get connected in your community, you have the opportunity to give back and it looks great on a resume! It is also a great way to spend time as a family. 

 

Warmly,

 

 

LivingLocal Realty

 

Posted in Community News