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Are your home’s strange sounds keeping you up at night?

Is your home talking to you? Time to pay attention.

Home house keeping you up at nightPart of settling into a new home is figuring out what noises are normal. Most are nothing to worry about but some could signal a deeper issue. Here are a few that you should pay attention to:

  1. Furnace Noises – A humming noise is normal but loud pops, scraping, grinding or squealing sounds should be checked out professionally.
  2. Scratching Sounds – The dreaded sound of scratching likely means you have rodents that are making themselves at home so take notice before it gets out of hand.
  3. Running Water – Check for leaks and water damage around the home. If you can’t figure it out quickly, call a plumber as it could mean a broken pipe.
  4. Gurgling Toilet – Gurgling noises coming from the toilet could signal a blockage in the toilet or drain, a blockage in the vent stack or a main sewer drain blockage.
  5. Noisy Fridge – Some whirring and clicking is normal but if your fridge is cracking or popping, it could be a compressor or a temperature regulation issue.

You can expect to hear some noises coming from your home as the various building materials will contract and expand. Just keep an ear out for anything unusual and don’t hesitate to call a professional if in doubt!

Let’s chat….

Michael J Preston 705-309-1747
Broker of Record, Lakeview Realty Inc., Brokerage

 

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HOME IS WHERE THE SMART IS 

HOME IS WHERE THE SMART IS
Smart home technology is continuing to grow at a rapid rate!

Smart home technology has gone from basic security to smart windows that open and close based on the weather and indoor air temperature.  Here’s a look at a few smart home innovations that will revolutionize our lives:

  1. Connectivity is King – The connected home is a huge theme this year that features connected appliances, smoke alarms, lightbulbs and doorbells.
  2. Talk to Me – There’s a huge focus on voice activated products around the home including voice controlled garbage cans, air purifiers and fridges.
  3. Home Help – Robots are being used to offer companionship for seniors and there’s also an innovative, lifesaving cane that sends out an alert in the event of an emergency.
  4. Laundry Lackey – Washing machines that can do multiple loads at once will save us valuable time and there’s even a machine in the works that will fold the laundry!
  5. Breathe Easy – Sensors can monitor your indoor air for Co2, VOCs, allergens and humidity levels and they’ll also be able to expel bad air and introduce clean air to your home.
  6. Robot Cleaners – With intelligent visual navigation, app control and powerful suction that cleans in corners, you’ll never need to push a vacuum again!

Smart home technology is always improving and it’s a major selling point because the higher your home’s IQ, the higher the resale value will be!  Who knows what the future will bring but one thing’s for sure; smart home technology can provide you and your family convenience and peace of mind.

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DIY Apps

DO-IT-YOURSELF APPS
Your smartphone should be an essential part of your DIY toolkit!

If you’re constantly procrastinating over household projects, you should check out a few home improvement apps for some inspiration!

You’ll soon become a DIY master with the thousands of how-to guides at WikiHow complete with illustrations and videos on every imaginable topic.

There’s also iHandy Level which will help keep you on the level if you’re hanging a picture or if you need to measure a precise angle.

These are just a few examples of the many apps that are available.  From picking paint shades to renovating your home, a smartphone will be the lightest and most versatile tool you’ll ever own!

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The Lowdown on Radon Gas

 

THE LOWDOWN ON RADON
Do you know if you and your family are protected against radon?

Radon is an invisible radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the environment from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks.

It doesn’t present a concern outdoors but when radon becomes trapped inside a house, it can be very harmful to your health as it increases the risk of lung cancer.

Radon can seep into your home through gaps in floors, walls and foundations.  The only way to know if you have high radon levels is to purchase an inexpensive testing kit or to install a radon detector.

Radon concentrations vary from home to home so don’t take any chances — protect your family by testing your home for radon today.

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How to keep your houseplants green

A few houseplants will offer your home a breath of fresh air!

Houseplants are visually appealing and also improve our home’s air quality by adding oxygen and removing harmful pollutants.  Here are a few hardy plants that will thrive in any environment:

  1. Spider Plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are great for beginners as they’re almost impossible to kill and they also look great in hanging baskets.
  2. Cast Iron Plants (Aspidistra elatior) are foolproof as they only require dim light and don’t need much water.
  3. The Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderana) simply stands in water and has been used by the Chinese for centuries in the art of feng shui to create harmony in the home.

Accidental drowning is a leading cause of death for houseplants.  Water them thoroughly but make sure there are drainage holes so excess water can escape as you don’t want your plants to be sitting in water.

Improper lighting is another reason why promising young plants become statistics.  It’s important to match the lighting needs of plants with the amount of light you have to offer.

Houseplants are a simple and cost-effective way to infuse natural, serene style into your home.  Better yet, research suggests they reduce stress and cold related illnesses and also increase our energy levels so go out today and outfit your home with some of nature’s lean mean green machines!

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Hot Home Trends from 2017

It’ a great time to update your living space!

It’s fun to follow the latest home and garden trends, especially if you’re hoping to make your home more attractive to buyers. Here are a few of the latest trends from 2017:

Shedquarters – A “shedquarter” is a private, backyard spot that can be used as an office, artist workspace or party area.

Docking Stations – Small, pull down desks can be added almost anywhere as wireless technology enables us to shift away from traditional home offices.

Vintage Vanities – Putting your bathroom sink on just about anything is huge this year! Old dressers, filing cabinets and even tree trunks can be converted into unique vanities.

Laundry Love – Homeowners are giving their laundry rooms some serious love with innovative storage solutions, bright lighting and even stylish wallpaper!

Foodscaping – Instead of traditional vegetable patches, backyards are now being transformed into edible landscapes that include vegetables, berries, fruits and herbs.

Smart Windows – Cutting-edge window technology now allows our windows to be programmed according to the weather outside as well as the air quality inside.

Just like fashion, home trends can come and go so it’s important not to overcommit. Hopefully, these ideas have given you some inspiration as to what’s coming next, whether you’re thinking of selling or just simply looking to update your home.

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CLEAN UP YOUR DIGITAL CLUTTER

Get a jump on fall chores by clearing out your digital clutter.

Paper files are often the first items we purge during a spring clean but many times we neglect our digital files. Get a jump on year-end chores with a deep, digital cleanse:

Get a Pass – Use a password manager to encrypt one master password that can be used on all websites.

Address Your Apps – Uninstall apps you no longer use to clear up space and keep your phone running smoothly.

Manage Mail – Unsubscribe from emails you no longer read and delete old emails or organize them into folders.

Clear Cache – Regularly clear your browser history, cache and cookies in order to create more storage and speed up your browser.

Back it Up – Make sure all of your important files and photos are automatically backed up to the cloud to increase storage space.

This digital cleanse applies to your computer, smartphone and all your social media accounts. While you’re at it, you should also review your privacy settings on apps and social media platforms to make sure you’re sharing information with the right audiences.

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THE POWER OF LEMON AID

The lowly lemon can make quite the impact around the house!

Load up on lemons if you’re searching for a powerful, environmentally friendly cleaner that can tackle virtually any household chore! Here are just a few ways they can make your home naturally sparkle:

  • lemon juice is great at absorbing stains on countertops
  • soak carpet stains for 20 minutes then rinse and blot
  • mix lemon juice with baking soda to create a scouring paste
  • heat a bowl of water with sliced lemons in the microwave for a few minutes before wiping it down

Lemons are an excellent alternative to toxic cleansers plus they’ll fill your home with a refreshing citrus scent!

A great tip for squeezing as much juice as possible from your lemons is to microwave them for 30 seconds, wait a minute, then cut and squeeze.