Dan Gil's Blog
Dogs are a man’s best friends, but the mess they bring into your home? Not so much. Learn how you can have a clean house and a lovable pup at the end of each day. Here are ten tips below to get the best of both worlds.
1. Groom regularly. Keep less fur off your floors and furniture by brushing your dog on a regular schedule. Ideally, this would be a few times a week. Eliminate even more clean up by brushing out your pup outside when possible.
2. Sweep floors in high traffic areas with a microfiber cloth broom each day. The microfiber cloth will grab onto fur and dirt alike and can be reused. It’s also a quick and simple habit to develop and one you can easily delegate as a chore for the kids.
3. Dust often. Stay on top of fur build up by dusting a few areas of the home each night with a microfiber cloth. By just doing a room or two at a time it becomes a less overwhelming task and easier to do regularly. You can even keep a cloth stored away in each room to make the chore even simpler.
4. Vacuum furniture and drapes as well as carpeting. When you have a furry friend your vacuum is going to be working a lot harder around the house. You’ll want to vacuum drapes, furniture, and carpets frequently to stay on top of hair build up. Just as with dusting, you can do a few rooms at a time throughout the week to break up the tediousness of doing the whole house at once.
5. Lint brushes are your new best friend. You might as well fill a handbasket full of them the next time you’re at the store because you’ll never have too many. Store them where they can easily be on hand in closets, bathrooms, the mudroom and your family's’ vehicles. Where there is fur, there’s a way so be prepared to keep clothes fur free when leaving the house.
6. Take care of stains ASAP. Make cleaning up pet stains a no-brainer by putting together an easy to grab bucket filled with cleaning supplies that are made for the job. Be sure to include a pair of rubber gloves, a roll of paper towels, a microfiber cloth and your preferred cleaning solution.
And a bonus for the extra meticulous: wipe paws down with a microfiber cloth after walks. Microfiber clothes are wonderful multitaskers for household cleaners and now you can add “paw wipes” to the list. Before you let your dog run loose around the house after a walk gently wipe their paws with a dry microfiber cloth to catch any loose debris they could track inside.
We love our dogs. They are cute, funny and oh so loving. The messes that come with them, however, aren’t always so welcome. You can easily keep your home spick and span with a little preparation and a regular cleaning schedule. At the end of the day, you can admire your handiwork while curled up on the couch with your pooch.
Let's face it – even though many great homes are available, securing your dream house at the best price can be extremely difficult due to the sheer volume of homebuyers. Lucky for you, we're here to help you stand out from the competition so you can purchase your ideal home at a price that matches your budget.
What does it take to differentiate yourself from the homebuying competition? Here are three tips to help homebuyers gain a competitive edge over rivals:
1. Submit a Competitive Offer
There is no time for hesitation in a highly competitive real estate market. Thus, if you see a home that you like, be ready to submit a competitive offer immediately.
With a competitive offer, you can improve your chances of securing your dream home in no time at all. This offer shows that you are serious about purchasing a residence – something that may help your proposal stand out from others. Plus, a competitive offer will be based on housing market data and research, ensuring that your proposal will meet your needs as well as a home seller's.
Furthermore, if a home seller counters your initial offer, be ready to negotiate. Keep an open mind, and ultimately, you may be able to land your dream house quickly and effortlessly.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage enables you to establish realistic expectations before you begin your search for your perfect home.
Check out what various credit unions and banks have to offer prior to agreeing to mortgage terms. By doing so, you can find a mortgage that will correspond with your finances.
With a mortgage in hand, you can start your home search. Be sure to explore lots of houses that fall within your price range. And when you're ready to submit an offer, a home seller may be more likely to accept your proposal thanks in part to the fact that you have already secured financing.
3. Employ an Experienced Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents possess plenty of housing marketing knowledge and expertise. Therefore, they can help you streamline the process of securing the perfect residence.
Finding a real estate agent who understands the ins and outs of the housing market is paramount. This real estate professional will keep you informed about new houses in your area as they become available, set up home showings and even help you submit competitive offers on residences. In addition, if you're ever uncertain about how to proceed, your real estate agent can offer guidance and tips throughout the homebuying journey.
Perhaps best of all, your real estate agent will respond to your homebuying concerns and queries. He or she is happy to help you in any way possible and will ensure that you can differentiate yourself from the homebuying competition.
Hire an experienced real estate agent, and you can gain a competitive edge that is sure to serve you well in any housing market, at any time.
Keeping your house cool during the summer months is easy--just blast the air conditioner until autumn, right? Well, for most of us the steep increase in our summer electric bills make us hesitant to keep the air conditioner on more than necessary.
There are techniques and habits, however, that will help you keep your house cool without sweating your electric bill.
In this article, we’re going to break down several ways to lower the temperature in your house. Some will save you money immediately, others are long term solutions that will keep your bill low years down the road.
Investing for the future
Oftentimes, the best solutions are the ones that address the root causes. If your house receives a lot of sunlight, there are a few projects you can undertake now that will save you money for years to come.
First, making sure your home is air tight and well insulated will help you keep the cool air in and the warm air out. Insulation and weatherstripping are easy to neglect, since they’re mostly out of sight and mind. However, the work they do and the pennies they’ll save you in heating and AC will add up over the years.
Next, if you do use an air conditioner, make sure it’s energy efficient. Many people use years-old air conditioners that waste a lot of electricity. Determine if your unit should be replaced or maintenanced--spending some money on your air conditioner now will save you in the long run.
Other, lesser-known, methods of cooling your home involve altering the exterior of your home. You can do this by planting trees in strategic areas to give shade to your home. Or, you can paint your home a brighter color and use reflective roof paint that will reduce the amount of light absorbed on sunny days. This is also true for driveways, where dark colored asphalt will absorb more heat than bright colored concrete.
Simple cooling tips
If you’d rather make short-term changes to your house to lower the temperature now, we have several pieces of advice:
Open your blinds and windows at night, when the outdoor temperature drops below the indoor temperature, and then close them in the morning before you leave for work.
Limit daytime appliance use. Your laundry machine, dishwasher, and oven all give off a lot of heat that can make your house hotter than need be. Wait until the sun goes down and until you can open the windows in your kitchen and laundry room before starting your chores. Cooking outside and having cold prepared meals is a good way to limit oven use in the summer months.
Change or clean your air conditioner filters. Old and dirty filters make your until work harder than it needs to.
Try the ice and fan trick. Put a large bowl of ice in front of your fan to chill and moisten the air it gives off. This is especially nice if you don’t like the dry, sterile feeling of air-conditioned rooms.
Keep the lights off and use high efficiency bulbs, such as LEDs.
Create a draft by opening a downstairs window slightly on one side of the house and opening fully an upstairs window on the other side of the house.
Make sure your ceiling fan is blowing down, or counter-clockwise.
Use awnings to let light into your home while avoiding direct sunlight from heating up the house.
More Info on this Property | Sign up for Updates