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Posted by Heidi Mahoney on 7/17/2017

Moving to a new house means big changes for everyone involved, but for a dog, it can be an especially confusing time. While you can talk to a child ahead of time to explain to them what to expect we, unfortunately, do not have the same ability to communicate with our beloved pets about the big changes ahead. The good news is, there are a few things you can do to make the move a smoother process for both you and your dog. Ahead of time - if it's close enough, visit the new house with your dog prior to moving to familiarize them with the new environment and neighborhood. Also, pack your dog's belongings (toys, bowls, bed, food) together so you can be prepared to pull it out first when you arrive at the new house. During the move - consider having your dog stay with a friend or doggy daycare on moving day. This will save your dog from the stress of their surroundings changing during the move. You also won't need to worry about where your dog is while doors are being left open or if they are underfoot during the moving process. If moving over a distance - take frequent breaks to let your dog out to walk around and avoid feeding him right before the journey in case they are prone to car sickness. Talk to your dog in a calm voice throughout the moving process to comfort them, they can pick up on our emotions so trying to remain calm yourself will cue to your animal that everything is okay. Stay safe - before letting your dog loose into your new yard you will want to ensure that it is free of potentially poisonous plants they may try to eat and check for any holes in fences they may try to squeeze through. You will also want to update your dog's tag and/or microchip with your new address and phone number. Maintain structure - keep old bedding and toys to give your dog some familiarity in their new environment. If you are looking forward to replacing their bed, waiting until your dog is settled into the new house is ideal. Stick to regular routines that were in place before the move where possible. This includes things like walks, feedings, and times you are away from the house. Have fun - when you arrive, allow your dog to explore the new house and yard. Take them for a walk around the new neighborhood, play their favorite game with them and get them tired out so they will be more relaxed when it's time to settle in for the night at home. Bonding time - spend quality time with your dog to reassure them that moving to the new home is a positive experience. Try to spend the first few days after the move at home with your dog to spend time with them and monitor how they are adjusting. Moving can be an exciting process for both you and your dog with a little bit of preparation. Setting up ahead of time before your dog's arrival to the new home and spending quality time together not only makes for a smoother move in experience but also gives you the opportunity to strengthen the bond between you and your dog!




Tags: moving tips   Dog safety   dogs  
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Posted by Heidi Mahoney on 7/10/2017

Going green seems to be on our minds nowadays more than ever. We recognize that there are lots of ways we can shrink our carbon footprint whether it be by recycling paper goods or opting for reusable items in place of disposable ones. One arena we might not think to lower our footprint in is furniture shopping. There are, however, a few steps you can take to make a more conscientious purchase for your home. When foraying into the green/sustainable shopping lifestyle it is always best to keep the term reduce, reuse, recycle in mind. Before running out to buy a new piece of furniture, albeit one with a smaller footprint, ask yourself how vital the piece of furniture you are looking for is. Is it highly functional and does it fit in well with your other pieces? Or is it a purchase you are making on a whim that does not have a purpose or fit in seamlessly with the rest of your decor? It is important to start with the big picture in mind and find a piece that you can keep, and love, for years to come. Start with upcycling - check to see if you have something similar lying around the house that could be altered. Ask friends and family if they have unused furniture that would fit the bill and check second-hand shops in your area for pieces that will do the trick. If you are handy and/or creative think of ways a piece can be altered to better suit the needs of your home. Try DIY - Consider making a piece on your own from scratch. Not only will it be an engaging project for the weekend you can be proud of but you will also have complete control of the final outcome allowing you to create a one-of-a-kind custom piece. When DIY-ing choose paints that are VOC(volatile organic compounds)-free lumber with the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification. Many popular paint brands now offer VOC-free options in their color lines and can easily be found at home improvement stores. Look for labels - when shopping for a new furniture piece look for labels. Certification labels, that is. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has a certification for wood that is responsibly sourced, the Rainforest Alliance has a Rediscovered Wood Certification for items made with reclaimed material and Greenguard is a certification for items with low-toxicity. Sustainability is on our minds more than ever as climate change is becoming more and more evident of an issue and the toxicity of everyday products has become concerning. With some time, patience and research not only can you be well equipped to make your furniture choices well-informed ones but also have fun along the way.




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Posted by Heidi Mahoney on 7/3/2017

Purchasing a home should be fun, memorable process. However, many homebuyers struggle with fears as they embark on the process of acquiring their dream homes.

Some of the most common homebuying fears include:

1. I will pay too much for a house.

Overspending on a house is a common fear among homebuyers nationwide.

If you pay too much for a house, you may struggle to afford the monthly payments for the duration of your mortgage. Perhaps even worse, your house may lose value over time. And if you eventually decide to sell your home, you may be forced to accept less than what you initially paid for it.

Ultimately, an informed homebuyer will understand the differences between a buyer's market and a seller's one. He or she will be able to determine whether a home is affordably priced and proceed accordingly.

An informed homebuyer also will know the importance of getting pre-approved for a mortgage. With a mortgage in hand, this homebuyer will understand exactly how much that he or she can spend on a house.

2. I'll wait too long to submit an offer on a residence.

If a homebuyer is uncertain about buying a particular house and waits too long to submit an offer, he or she risks missing out on this residence altogether.

Fortunately, there is a simple way to avoid this problem.

A homebuyer who knows what he or she wants to find in a dream home can narrow a home search. Then, if the homebuyer discovers a home that matches or exceeds his or her expectations, this individual can submit an offer right away.

Don't forget to submit a competitive offer, i.e. one that accounts for the needs of both a homebuyer and home seller, as well. A competitive offer will stand out from other proposals and increase a property buyer's chances of securing his or her dream residence.

3. I'll buy a home that will fail to maintain its long-term value.

What you pay for a home today is unlikely to remain the same over the course of several weeks, months or years. But a homebuyer who employs an expert home inspector can learn about a house's strengths and weaknesses and ensure a property is a viable long-term investment.

A home inspector will conduct an assessment of a house after a property seller accepts a buyer's proposal. At this point, an inspector will examine a house's interior and exterior and identify any potential issues. Lastly, a home inspector will issue a report with his or her findings, and a homebuyer will have a final opportunity to modify or rescind an offer on a house.

For homebuyers, it is important to work with a trusted home inspector – you'll be glad you did. This home inspector will go above and beyond the call of duty to evaluate a house before you finalize a home purchase.

Working with an experienced real estate agent may benefit a homebuyer too. With a top-notch real estate agent at your side, you can get the support you need to acquire a first-rate home that will maintain its value both now and in the future.




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Posted by Heidi Mahoney on 6/19/2017

If you’re looking to make changes to your home in a big way but don’t have the time or the budget, there’s plenty of things that you can do in order to bring your home to another level without breaking the bank. 


Look From The Outside In


Enhancing the landscaping and curb appeal of your home can be an easy project to add value and comfort to your home. Whether you’re getting ready to sell or you just want to feel more at home, making your home look more inviting from the outside is a worthwhile project. 


Open Some Space


Just knocking down a wall can make a huge difference in your home. Once a wall is removed, it can really transform your space. Be careful though, as knocking down a wall where plumbing is or electrical work is can disrupt a lot. This can become very costly, so you may not want to undertake such a big project. Also be mindful of reconnecting floors or moving features like a kitchen island. Be sure to get a few quotes from contractors for these jobs before you settle with one.


Get New Windows


Putting in new windows is a great project that can add a lot of value to your home. You should really replace the windows in your home every 20-25 years. Updating the windows in your home not only changes the look of your home but makes it more energy efficient as well. The extra insulation can also help to keep out noise disturbances and keep your home a quiet place to live. If you live near a main road, new windows are a must. 


Upgrade Appliances 


There is nothing more attractive to buyers and homeowners alike than new appliances. These are fairly cheap investments considering their returns. You can replace one appliance or go for a whole new kitchen if you’d like. It all depends on the condition of the appliances. Even simply replacing the washer and dryer can make your life easier and also make your home more attractive to buyers when you decide to sell.


Change Up The Floors


Simply switching your carpet or ripping up carpets to put in hardwood floors can be a huge game changer for your home. The costs of these improvements can vary greatly. The size of your rooms and the type of materials that you choose can affect the costs as well. 


Get Organized


Putting in shelving or other organizing systems to help you and your family keep organized can be invaluable. Not having to deal with constant clutter can reduce stress and make your home look more presentable. This is another improvement project that is totally worthwhile for you to complete.





Posted by Heidi Mahoney on 6/12/2017

There’s many theories about when the best time of year to buy a home is. It’s spring, right? Not necessarily. Spring is one of the busiest times of the year for real estate but it’s not always the best time of year to buy a home. The emphasis on home buying in spring tends to be rooted in the fact that spring is associated with all things “new.” However, these misperceptions about the housing market can be detrimental to homebuyers. 


Spring And Summer Are Top Times To Sell


Many people get the urge to sell their properties in the spring and summer simply because they get new perspective after being cooped up in the house all winter long. People are ready for a change after the long winter. Moving close to the summertime works well with traditional school calendars. For some people, selling in the warmer months of the year is the best time, but it doesn’t hold true for everyone. 


Seasons Change


Others suggest that the best time to sell a home is in fall or winter. People who are looking to buy in the end of the year are often buying for a purpose. Their need to move is much greater. It could be due to family issues, home repair needs or other crucial factors, but these buyers are motivated. On the flip side, there’s less homes to look at since inventory tends to be lower at this time of the year.


In the spring, while many people are looking, their need to buy is much less urgent, so the demand is less. There’s a potential for more competition in the spring if you are a serious buyer just because of the high volume of shoppers. 


Remember one key fact: spring starts in January when we talk about real estate! The number of listings will continue to ramp up until about mid-May. Buyers will be looking throughout the summer months. Then, the number of buyers starts to drop off in September. 


The Bottom Line


There is really no “right” time to buy or sell real estate. The right time has to do with what works best for you. If you’re starting your search, it’s best to begin in the spring, but you may very well land the best deal in the fall when there’s less competition. When you start a serious home search, you get a better idea of what you want. You also don’t want to let the perfect house pass you by because you were waiting for “just the right time.” 


Some Additional Tips:


  • Avoid Closing Around Christmastime 
  • Know Your Moving Timetable
  • Consider How Long It May Take You To Find A Home
  • Remember That Closings Take At Least 30 Days


Whenever you buy a home, choosing a knowledgeable real estate agent can help you to close a great deal on your home whether you’re buying or selling. By planning ahead, the process will go much smoother.  




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