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Protecting Your House After Snow

Who doesn’t love a snow day? Cuddling on the couch with a mug of hot cocoa while watching holiday movies can make anyone not want to venture out into the cold. Next time you find yourself in this spot, it will be a good idea to head out for half an hour to protect your home, especially if you want to sell in the future. Once your driveways and sidewalks are shoveled, check out these tips on protecting your home that you may not have considered.

Clear Your Vents: Make sure your furnace vents are clear of snow. Carbon monoxide could build up if your furnace vent is blocked.  A blocked vent may also cause a hot water heater to quit functioning. Use a broom to remove any snow.

Uncover Fire Hydrants: If you live near a fire hydrant, you should take a few minutes to dig it out if you notice it is covered – this can help a firefighter if there is an emergency!

Unblock Ice Dams: Be sure to check your gutters for ice dams. When ice dams are present and water backs up, it slows the water melting off the roof behind it and that water then seeps under the shingles and into the house.

Sweep Off Hot Tubs: Always broom off your hot tub if you happen to own one. The weight of heavy snow can cause the cover to buckle in the middle.

Shovel Decks:  If there is more than half a foot of snow, you may want to consider clearing it from your deck. Using plastic shovels can help prevent unwanted scratching on your deck material. Avoid using ice melter or salt as it could damage wood decks.

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10 Items You Shouldn’t Store in Your Pantry

Not all foods store well in the pantry, even if it says it doesn’t require refrigeration. Some can go stale, others grow bacteria, and a few develop mold. Here are 10 items that are better off stored in your fridge.

Garlic-Infused Olive Oil

Homemade garlic-infused olive oil can contain botulinum spores, which grow into the bacteria that cause botulism. Any oil infused with garlic should be kept in the refrigerator to prevent bacteria growth. Throw it away after seven days.

Pure Maple Syrup

Pure maple syrup can go moldy, so it’s best stored in the fridge. If you store your syrup in the pantry and the container is opaque, you may not see the mold until you’ve started to pour syrup on your pancakes.

Sunflower and Truffle Oil

Cold-pressed oils like sunflower and truffle oil have a short shelf life if they’re not refrigerated. As they’re pricier than some of their counterparts, it’s definitely worth keeping them cold to extend their usefulness.

Nuts

When stored in the pantry, nuts are more likely to go stale. If you frequently reach for the nuts, you may be leaving bacteria behind, and if you grab a few nuts while your hands are wet, the chance that bacteria will grow increases. Over time, you could end up with nuts that are both stale and covered in bacteria.

Salami and Other Cured Meats

Cured meats are prone to drying out if opened and stored in the pantry. Wrap the meat in butcher paper and refrigerate it to preserve its flavor and texture, and to protect you from potential illness.

Chocolate

You can extend the life of chocolate by storing it in the refrigerator. Before you stick it in the fridge, wrap chocolate tightly. Once the chocolate is wrapped, put it in an airtight container until you’re ready to eat it.

Tortillas

Though tortillas are rarely served cold, it’s best to store them in the fridge. Whether you use flour or corn tortillas, they’ll stay fresher longer if kept at a regulated cold temperature after you open the package.

Whole-Grain Flours

Whole-grain flours retain the bran and germ that gets removed from all-purpose flours. Both bran and germ contain oils that can go rancid if they’re not refrigerated or frozen, so keep your all-purpose flour in the pantry, but move the whole-grain to the fridge.

Natural Peanut Butter

Natural peanut butter, the kind that separates in the jar, needs to be kept cool. Like the oils in whole-grain flours, the oils in natural peanut butter can go rancid if left in the pantry.

Mustard

Most mustard containers indicate that refrigeration isn’t necessary after opening. But mustard loses its flavor and vibrant color fairly quickly. To keep it tasting and looking its best, keep mustard in the refrigerator.

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Turning a House into a Happy Home

Turning a House into a Happy Home | MyKCM

We talk a lot about why it makes financial sense to buy a home, but more often than not, we’re drawn to the emotional reasons for homeownership.

No matter the living space, the feeling of a home means different things to different people. Whether it’s a certain scent or a favorite chair, the feel-good connections to our own homes are typically more important to us than the financial ones. Here are some of the reasons why.

1. Owning your home is an accomplishment worth celebrating

You’ve likely worked very hard to achieve this dream, and whether it’s your first home or your fifth, congratulations are in order for this milestone. You’ve earned it.

2. There’s no place like home

Owning your own home offers not only safety and security but also a comfortable place where you can simply relax and kick-back after a long day. Sometimes, that’s just what we need to feel recharged and truly content.

3. You can find more space to meet your needs

Whether you want more room in your home for your changing lifestyle (think: working from home, virtual school, or a personal gym), or you simply prefer to have a large backyard for socially-distant entertaining, you can invest in a location that truly works for your evolving needs.

4. You have control over renovations, updates, and your style

Looking to try one of those complicated wall treatments you saw on Pinterest? Tired of paying an additional pet deposit for your apartment building? Maybe you want to finally adopt that fur-baby puppy or kitten you’ve been hoping for. You can do all of these things in your own home.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a move-up buyer who wants to start a new chapter in your life, now is a great time to reflect on the intangible factors that turn a house into a happy home.

The Wheaton/Wass Real Estate Team is here to help.  Call today: 719.822.1444

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6 SMART HOME DEVICES FOR LESS THAN $100

Every day, the world presents us with new technology. It seems like there isn’t much left that technology can’t do. Thankfully, with every advancement, many items have become more affordable. While a high-tech home may not be the choice for everyone, there are plenty of budget-friendly options to try out if you are interested in making your home a little bit more accessible. Here are 6 items to try:

  1. Smart Speakers

    Setting reminders, asking questions, and playing music on demand has never been so easy! Smart speakers are capable of making lists for you, looking up recipes, and so much more.

  2. Smart Plugs

    Left the coffee pot plugged in and need to turn it off, but you aren’t home? Smart plugs allow you to turn off (and on) something plugged in from your phone. These are also great for lighting systems like lamps or even holiday lights.

  3. Smart Doorbells

    Smart doorbells are an incredible investment. Monitor who is ringing your doorbell, when packages are dropped off, and so much more all with your phone!

  4. Smart Locks

    Lost keys? Need to let someone in to water your plants while you are out of town? Smart Locks allow you to use your phone to lock and unlock your door, or just use a keypad!

  5. Smart Switches

    Smart switches allow you to turn lights off and on with your phone. Next time you forget to turn off the kitchen light and you are already in bed, smart switches can save the day!

  6. Smart Bulbs

    Adjust the brightness of color in any room when you install smart bulbs. Great for kids or rooms where you want to be able to dim the lights!

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Gardening Tips to Help Your Yard + Your Stomach

Though millions of households at the beginning of the year already had their own gardens started, there should be no surprise that the numbers are on the rise. With everything going on in the world, the idea of not having to leave the comfort of your home for sustenance is quite appealing. Not only is gardening a great way to source your own food, but it is also an excellent way to pass the time if you  feel like you have a bit extra on your hands at the moment. If you have never gardened before, doing a little research ahead of time can make all the difference in how well your garden succeeds. Here are a few tips to help you get started!

 

Start Inside

Though temperatures are on the rise, evenings may still be chilly depending on where you live. Starting your vegetable growth indoors will protect them from any potential freezing. Growing your seedlings indoors also gives them the opportunity to get a little stronger before facing the harsh conditions that can arise outside.

Choose The Best Location

Before preparing your garden, you will want to find out what spot of your yard is best for your beds. You will likely want a spot where there is direct sun for at least 8 hours a day, as this is the norm for many vegetables.

Install Raised Beds

Once you’ve found the best location and your seedlings are growing, you will want to prepare your garden for transfer. Using raised beds allows for a deep soil stack for further root growth and can just making planting easier. It can even prevent unwanted critters from stealing your vegetables!

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Quarantine Spring Cleaning

There’s a good chance you’re spending more time at home than you are used to. Whether you had travel plans change, or you are now working remotely from home, or you are on a ‘shelter-in-place’ order from your local government, you probably have some extra time on your hands. Now is the best time to get ahead on spring cleaning so when things are looking up, you won’t have to worry about clutter or chaos at home!

Take advantage of this extra time. While a large project can seem daunting, added stress is unnecessary. Taking on a project like spring cleaning step by step can help it feel doable. Make a list of what you want to take care of, section by section.

For example:

-Backyard – sweep patio, clean furniture, update light fixtures
-Kitchen – deep clean floors, clean out fridge and pantry, organize freezer items

Once you’ve made a step by step list for each part of your home, you can create a to-do list for the members of your house and spread the items out over the next week or two.

This is also a great time to get rid of clutter. If you are spending more time in your house than usual, it may become more obvious what is clutter and what is necessary. Take time on one of your first days home to deem items as “clutter” and store them away. If you didn’t miss them over that week, you know it is time to toss or donate them when you can leave your house again.

As you continue to clean, you may be concerned about a shortage of cleaning products. Even if the shelves are running low on Lysol, you can create your own DIY disinfectant. A popular combination includes rubbing alcohol, essential oils, and water. You can also use vinegar and dish soap to clean glass!

Lastly, make it fun. Open the windows if the sun is shining and play your favorite music. Being stuck inside doesn’t have to feel so terrible.

Let The Wheaton Team help you will all your Real Estate needs!

Call today: 719-536-4581

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The How-To of Buying a Ceiling Fan

how to buy a ceiling fan

how to buy a ceiling fan 2Just like other details of your home, sometimes fans (and their light fixtures) can make or break a room. While their appearance is important, keep in mind there are other factors you should consider. Different fans offer different amounts of breeze, and depending on where you live, that range can make a difference when it gets hot. Finding the right fan can keep you cool while also reducing your monthly utility costs by letting your air conditioning unit take a little break. Consider these questions and you will be able to choose a ceiling fan that can meet all of your needs.

SIZE MATTERS

The size of your fan will be a major determinant of the amount of air it can move. The length of your blades and how many there are both play a part in the power of your fan. If you have an average bedroom, around 12’ x 12’, the standard 42” four-blade fan will likely be the best fit. If your room is smaller, opt for slimmer, shorter blades. If you have a larger room, go for a wider and longer blade, like the 52”. A standard fan will have 4 blades, but more blades will help with better air movement. Increasing blades usually increases price, but it will help if increased circulation is your goal.

CEILING TO FLOOR SPACE

The goal is to have a minimum of 7 feet between the fan blades and your floor. Because of the variance in ceiling heights, many manufacturers take this into consideration and offer two different fan configurations, which are the standard model and the ceiling-hugger model. If you have ceilings that are 8+ feet, the standard model with the 6-8” down-rod is perfect for you. If your ceiling is much taller than 8 feet, you may need an additional extension rod. If your home has lower ceilings, you’ll likely need a ceiling-hugger to make sure no one is bumping into your fan while walking around your home.

LOWERING UTILITY COSTS

If your main goal for adding or replacing a ceiling fan is lowering your monthly costs, find a fan with an Energy Star label. These fans are created to use less energy, operating 60% more efficiently than a standard model. They typically feature blade direction switches to use with the changing seasons, adding more functionality to the fan.

DON’T FORGET LIGHTS

If you want to have a light with your fan, make sure one is included or able to be added to the fixture you choose. Not all fans come with lighting functionality, so consider that when making the final choice!

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