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Moving to a New House: 5 Things to Do ASAP

The sold sign is down, everything has been delivered to your new home, now what do you do! Below is an great article to help you stay focused.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Joyce

Moving to a new house is an exciting occasion. While it can be tempting to kick back and relax after all of your hard work, there are several things that you should take care of as soon as you move in. Here are five of them.

After working hard to find and buy the perfect ..home, you have finally finished moving to a new house. Before you start celebrating, there are some tasks that you should tend to. Here are five things that every new homeowner should do immediately:

1. Change the locks. You don’t know who has a key to your new home, so change your locks as soon as you move in. The best case scenario is that well-meaning neighbors, family members, or friends of the previous owners may not have heard the news, and it’s possible that they could accidentally try to gain entry to your home. The worst case scenario is that someone with ill intent has heard about the change and knows that there’s an easy opportunity to rob your home. Be on the safe side, and either do it yourself or hire a locksmith to change the locks for you.

2. Put together an emergency kit. You never know when an emergency is going to happen, but you should always be prepared in the event that one does. Make a comprehensive kit comprised of first aid supplies, water bottles, flashlights, batteries, food, and anything else you might need in the event of a major emergency. It’s also a good idea to map out emergency plans for you and your family and to discuss them with everyone so that there won’t be any questions if anything does happen.

3. Find the number for a quality handyman. The time to find a good handyman is not when something goes wrong. Find a reliable professional with a business close to your home as soon you move in, and you won’t have to worry about trying to find someone when you’re in the middle of a dire situation.

4. Start a file for all of your records. Keeping track of repairs and problems is an essential ongoing task for homeowners. Find a place to keep organized records of any work you’ve had done so that you can easily access it if you need it. Start your file with any documents that you collected during closing, and find a safe place to keep them.

5. Unpack and downsize. Moving to a new house can be tiring, and it can be tempting to unwind after moving is finished. Unfortunately, the longer that you leave things packed up, the easier it is to never unpack them and to store them instead. Do yourself a long-term favor and try to unpack everything as quickly as you can. If you discover that you’ve brought things that you never unpacked from your previous house, consider donating them instead of keeping clutter around.

After you’ve gotten settled, you’ll be able to kick back, relax, and enjoy your new home.Explore your neighborhood, get to know your new neighbors, and congratulate yourself for all of your hard work.

TAMMY OAKLEY, Coldwell Banker Bain Blue Matter
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JHillTacoma, Life, Life's Experiences, Pet Friendly Tips, Tacoma Neighborhood homes for sale, Tacoma Washington, Uncategorized

4 Tips To Make Your Home More Pet Friendly! A happy pet means a happy home!

Anyone who owns a pet will relate to how important they are in our lives. This became so very relevant to me recently. My beloved Molly, our 23 year old yellow lab, went into cardiac arrest and is currently in the pet hospital. As I sit here writing about how pets become a part of our families, I realize that my heart is breaking. Oh how much I would treasure just one more time to take her to the park, to give her a special cookie, to give her a good brushing. I hope that you get some good suggestions from this article and don’t neglect to give your special pal a big hug.  Joyce

Pets are more than just animals from different species, they’re members of the family. As such, they deserve to live in a safe and comfortable environment. Pets aren’t decorative or disposable, they’re sentient beings that require time and affection.

Tip #1: Beware of Toxic Substances – Toxic materials can come in several shapes and sizes. Obvious toxins include the harsh chemicals found in cleaning supplies, pesticides, fertilizers, and rodenticides. In fact, did you know that antifreeze is extremely dangerous to dogs and cats and just a small drop can kill them. Yet, even the most benign things can be hazardous to your pets as a lot of substances that aren’t toxic to humans can be lethal to your furry family members, especially certain foods, medications and plants.

Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure, coffee grounds, dark chocolate and chocolate in large amounts can kill them, sugar-free foods and gum containing Xylitol can cause liver failure, and nutmeg can cause tremors, seizures and nervous system damage… Check out the full list of Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets. Common house plants, such as azaleas, lilies, poinsettias and aloe, among many others, are toxic to pets so make sure you check out the ASPCA’s list of Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants and remove poisonous plants from your home and get informed before you purchase your next plant. It is so important to be preventative.

Tip #2: Give Them Their Space – Pets like to have their own living areas just as we humans do. Make sure you set up a proper feeding area for them where they can eat in peace. This means separating it from the loud washer and dryer or from the smelly litter box. Speaking of the litter box, it should be placed in a private space, but not too isolated like in a dark attic where your cat might feel unsafe. If you have an elderly dog, make sure you leave wee-wee pads out for it to use at its leisure.

Your pets should also have their own beds, even if they sleep on yours at night, as it is important for them to have their own personal space to lay down and relax. Consider placing it next to your couch in the TV room so they can nap comfortably next to you. However, note that once your dogs sleep with you for a while, they will not want to be in their own beds at night. If you have a cat, consider getting an enclosed cave-like bed as cats love to hide inside of things.

Tip #3: Clean Pets = Clean Home – This no-brainer is often times highly understated and is very important to keep both your pets and you happy and stress-free. Make sure you bathe and groom your pets with frequency, depending on your pet’s breed guidelines. If you have a long-haired pet, make sure you help it stay cool during the hot summer months by keeping its hair short and well groomed. Place considerable focus on their facial hair, preventing it from obstructing their vision and getting dirty when they eat. Dental hygiene is very important to your dogs health… The vet has the good toothpaste for them .

Additionally, take the time to brush their hair to prevent excess shedding and cleaning their paws when they’ve spent some time outdoors, especially if you took them on a walk and it recently rained. This not only helps them stay comfortable, it also helps keep your furniture and floors clean and looking like new. If you have a cat that likes to scratch your furniture, curtains or rug, consider trimming its nails.

Tip #4: Help Them Help You – A lot of the troubles that pet owners go through can be simplified by giving your pets the tools to do thing themselves. This wonderful realization can come if various forms, such as getting them a water fountain that automatically filters tap water or a food dispenser so that you don’t have to constantly fill their bowls.

Another great idea is to install a doggy door that gives your dogs access to your backyard without the hassle of having to open and close the door to let them in or out. This allows your pets to come and go as they please and will help prevent accidents around the house when you’re not home. Unfortunately, this only works if your live in a house and not in a condo. If you live in an apartment, make sure you take your dog on several walks a day and let them enjoy the outdoors for as long as possible. Remember, a happy pet means a happy home! Jill Eber, Coldwell Banker Bain Blue Matter

JHillTacoma, Selling a Home, Tacoma Neighborhood homes for sale, Uncategorized, University Place homes for sale, Updating or Creating Environments

What to Do if Your House Isn’t Selling

Denice Jentlie - 2425 78th Ave W, University Place, WA
If your home has been on the market for a while and you haven’t received any offers yet, it might be time to reevaluate your plan and take action in a new direction. Here are a few things you can do if your house isn’t selling.
Trying to sell a home can be frustrating if you aren’t getting the results that you want. The housing market is fairly strong at the moment, so watching other homes quickly sell for asking price or higher can be downright maddening. If your house isn’t selling and has been on the market for longer than you’d like, there are a few things that you can try.
Here are five ways to bring in the right buyers:
1. Lower the price. No one wants to lower the price of their home, but if you notice that you’re getting a lot of online views or buyers coming to look at your home but not making an offer, it could be that your home is overpriced for the market. Ask your real estate agent to prepare a comparative market analysis for you so that you can see what other similar homes in the area are selling for. Unless your home has some spectacular features, you can expect to get an offer in the range of what others are getting for their homes as well. If your real estate agent has suggested a lower asking price in the past, speak with them about it. Ask them why they feel that way and then really listen to what they have to say. They are market experts and might be able to offer you useful advice about how to add value to your home.
2. Take it off the market and wait. If you’ve seen the market analysis and don’t like how low the average selling price is, consider taking your home off the market and waiting until the market has improved a bit. If you live in an area that doesn’t see a lot of market change, you might be out of luck, but if your market often fluctuates, you might have a better chance of getting closer to your asking price if you wait. (For example, if you live in an area where vacation homes are popular, you’ll notice that there are typically certain times of year where the market spikes.)
3. Fix any and all major problems. If your home is priced correctly for the market, but you still aren’t seeing any offers, it could be that your property has problems that buyers don’t want to deal with. Take the time to make any cosmetic repairs as soon as possible. If you know about any obvious or major repairs that need to be made to the home, consider biting the bullet and repairing them now. Many buyers would much rather move into a home that is ready to live in as opposed to one they have to do work on, and they’ll often pay more for a move-in ready home.
4. Stage it. Staging homes has been shown to help them sell faster, so it might be worth it to invest in a home stager. Don’t just choose anyone to do the job. Instead, choose a stager or staging company with a track record of success. There is an art to successfully staging a home, and it’s better to spend more on a qualified company than waste money on one that doesn’t perform.
5. Find out if you’re letting emotion get in the way of business. We love our homes, and it can be hard to look past our emotions during a sale. If you’ve put a lot of work into a home, you’re more likely to feel a stronger connection to your property, but you have to remember that this is a business transaction. Lowering the price or selling to someone who doesn’t seem like they appreciate all the work you’ve done can be difficult, but if you’re waiting for a buyer who loves your home as much as you do, you might be waiting for a while. It’s possible that you’ve over updated or that your market just isn’t strong enough for you to get what you want. Remember to compromise and always think about what the best course of action for the deal is.
Hopefully the steps listed above make it easier for you to bring in a good buyer. Check in with your real estate agent to find out what’s happening on their side of the table, and listen to the advice that they give you. It might not always be what you want to hear, but well-maintained homes that are priced correctly for the market should have no problem selling. If your house isn’t selling, it’s time to figure out why.  Tamara Oakley – blog.coldwellbanker.com/