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10 EASY HACKS to SAVE MONEY AROUND the HOUSE

I hope you’re enjoying your first few weeks of fall and (hopefully) cooler temperatures. With the changing of the seasons, it’s a great time to take a fresh look at your home and make tweaks that will help you save money this fall and winter.

I’m providing a cheat sheet that reveals ten ways you can adjust your habits and make small, affordable household hacks that will lower your utility bills — and in many cases, help the environment.

If you’d rather look for a new home that’s more energy-efficient, please let me know; I’d be happy to help!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Easy Hacks

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5 MUST-HAVE TECH ITEMS FOR YOUR KITCHEN

Technology advances are constantly happening all around us and it can be hard to keep up. While you may be eyeing that new iPhone set to release, keep in mind that there is plenty of tech out there that can help make your day-to-day life so much easier. When it comes to kitchen tech, it seems like something new is being announced everywhere you turn. Here are some great new tech items that can make life in the kitchen just a little bit easier.

The Range Thermometer

Always checking temperatures when trying to make a big meal can become overwhelming. Avoid the headache and pick up a Range Thermometer. You can insert the thermometer portion into the deepest part of whatever you’re cooking, and from an app, you can set up an alert for whenever your meal reaches that temperature. Remove the guessing and find comfort in being able to leave the oven and actually enjoy the time while you have guests in the house.

Smarter Kettle

Are you an avid tea drinker? If you feel like you’re wasting time waiting for your water to boil, the Smarter Kettle would be a great addition to your kitchen. With wi-fi capabilities, you can pick a temperature and turn your kettle on right from your phone, so you’ve got boiling water for tea whenever you need it!

Quirky Egg Minder

If eggs are a big part of your daily meals, this may be a great tool for you. This egg minder sends you notifications when you need to buy eggs, and it has LED lights to alert you when your eggs are going bag.

Taylor Digital Measuring Cup

Is baking one of your favorite activities? If so, precision is probably a big deal to you. This measuring cup will weigh your items while also indicating the volume and it can convert from ounces to grams for you!

DaysAgo

Tend to forget how long it has been since you opened that jar in the fridge or pantry? DaysAgo is suction cup digital tracker that will allow you to keep track of how long it has been since you opened a container, so you can avoid eating something that has gone bad.

Visit The Wheaton Team’s Blogs often for the latest and greatest ideas!

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Tricks For Hard-To-Paint Areas

painting hard to reach areas

Painting the wood diving panes and sashes on windows can seem daunting at first. Most people think that lining your windows with painters tape will help, but that is usually just a waste of time. Instead, just paint away! This is the one time it is okay to get a little paint outside of your target area. When paint gets on the glass, just allow it to dry and as soon as it does, scrape it off with a razor blade. Try not to let the paint set for longer than a day.

Painting Behind Toilets

Sometimes, the hardest places to paint are the tight spaces where we can’t really do much to make that space bigger. This is where you will need a “hot dog” roller. They’re smaller than regular rollers and when attached to a longer handle, can make painting in tight spaces a breeze. You can use this roller for other small spaces, like behind radiators or other fixtures.

Painting High Ceilings

If you’ve got a high ceiling or a tall wall where a ladder can’t safely reach, like above a staircase, you’ve usually got a challenge on your hands. This is where a paintbrush extension tool comes in. Rather than attaching a roller to a pole and losing stability, an extension tool is more like an extension of your arm. Make sure to avoid dripping paint by loading less paint on the brush that you typically would for a wall right in front of you.

Fore more homeowner tips and tricks, visit our blog or contact us today!

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Finding The Right Home For You

If you’re a first time home buyer, the stress of choosing the perfect house for your family can feel overwhelming at first. While that stress may seem very real, it is often unnecessary. Instead of entering the market trying to find a house that is perfect in every way, keep an open mind. Approach the situation with a willingness to hear ideas and you are much more likely to find a home that you and your family will love. The process can be long and require work, but it will be worth it in the end – and i doesn’t have to drive you crazy. Here are some tips to guide you when you are trying to find potential new homes and how to know if it is the right one for you.

DECIDE ON DEAL BREAKERS

The easiest way to narrow down the right house for you is to start by deciding what you either can’t live without or cannot tolerate. If two bedrooms will never work for you, or you must have a large backyard for your pets, create a list of those things so that you can rule out properties that just aren’t worth your time.

TRUST YOUR GUT

There may be times when you walk into a home and it seems like it may fit what you need, but there is just something off that you can’t shake. On that same note, if you tour a home and you instantly fall in love, don’t doubt your feelings. Sleeping on a house you love for too long can end up in you losing that home to someone else. Trust your instincts and you will end up in the home that is perfect for you.

TRY TO VISUALIZE

Can you see yourself in this home? Can you imagine your children playing in the backyard and doing homework in the kitchen? If you are touring a home and can already picture what it would be like for your family to live there, you are heading in the right direction.

KEEP LOCATION IN MIND

While a house may check most of your boxes, don’t forget to consider the neighborhood. Are things that are important to your family close by? Are you close enough to good schools or your place of employment? Make sure that you consider location factors so that you don’t end up in a home that becomes an inconvenience.

TRUST YOUR AGENT

While it is important to know what you want and trust your gut in the process, don’t forget that your agent has your best interest in mind. They want to find you the perfect home, and they have worked hard to do that for many others before you. They know the ins and outs of the real estate world, and are there to help you if you are willing to trust them!

Call The Wheaton Team Now….We’ll show you the perfect home for you and your family!  719-536-4581

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Back-to-School Home Organization Tips

back to school organization

back to school organization 2After a few months of having your kids at home throughout the day, sometimes organization and order go out the window. On top of the other stresses that come with a new school year, a messy house adds just another kink in the transition from summer break to school time. Instead of trying to manage the chaos while school shopping and preparing for the new year, tackle these home organization steps now so that you can stress a little less when you drop them off on their first day back!

1. Clean out the fridge, clear it off, and restock!

Get your fridge ready for the new year. Instead of scrambling that first week back, clear out any expired foods now and get lunch supplies. Clear off all of the summer projects and invitations for events that have passed, and put any helpful information for the school year up on the fridge.

2. Inventory the kids’ closets.

Back-to-school shopping is often the best part of the process for your children. But before you head out, take an inventory of what they already have. Get rid of anything that doesn’t fit and see what they may need instead of guessing while you are out shopping. Once you’ve made room for new items, organize what is left so adding new clothes and finding that first day outfit will be a breeze.

3. Create your own mission control center.

Take advantage of that wall you’ve been struggling to decorate and create a mission control center for your family. Add a calendar, a folder for each child, notepads, writing tools, and anything else that will help keep your entire family on the same page.

4. Work on making a menu.

Even when lunches are handled, dinners can be overwhelming during the school year. Between sports, activities, and everything in between, sometimes making sure a well-rounded meal is on the table every night can be a headache. Create a menu and meal prep as much as possible every Sunday to save yourself the stress of meal planning every day.

5. Follow The Wheaton Team Blogs.

For everyday ideas and information make sure you always follow The Wheaton Team and our Blogs.  We’ll help you through your day!

Contact us online or call today: 719-536-4581

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WHAT TO NEGOTIATE WHEN BUYING A HOUSE

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned veteran, the negotiation part of the transaction can be a little daunting and stressful. However, it is necessary to ensure you are getting the best possible deal for your money. So, what should you negotiate when buying a home?

  1. Closing costs. Your closing costs are determined by a variety of factors, but you can expect it to be between 2% to 5% of the purchase price. Ask the seller to cover some or all of the closing costs upfront or request a closing credit that can be used to make specific updates and fixes to the home.
  2. Furnishings. Love how the seller has furnished and decorated the home? Buyers often negotiate keeping couches, fixtures, landscaping items, patio furniture, appliances, and more. And many sellers agree, wanting to make the home more appealing.
  3. Inspection and closing timing. Buyer offers that include a quick inspection and close timeline are often more attractive to sellers who have been going through the process for far too long. Just ensure you allow yourself ample time to get your financing in place and complete proper, thorough inspections.
  4. Home warranty. Sellers will often agree to pay the premium on the home warranty at closing and then hand it off to the new homeowner, who is responsible for the deductible on any future claims.
  5. Repairs. Your inspection may uncover small or large repairs needed to bring the home up to standard. You can negotiate to have these items fixed before closing or ask for a price reduction to cover the costs.
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HOW TO FIX 5 COMMON BATHROOM ISSUES

Homeownership has plenty of perks. You can make changes whenever you want, but that also means you are responsible for making any fixes that you want (or need)! Instead of calling the local handyman every time something small goes awry, you can try out these quick fixes for common bathroom issues that arise while saving yourself some money along the way.

1. Shifting Toilet Seat

Is your toilet seat wobbling every time you sit down? Sometimes, there are visible bolts to tighten, but that just doesn’t fix the issue. Many are unaware that you can actually purchase a toilet seat tightening kit. Most home improvement stores will carry an inexpensive kit, usually around $10. Rather than investing in a new toilet seat, you can save time and money by picking up a kit the next time you’re out.

2. Slippery Shower

There are two main options to remedy a slippery shower. If you have a geriatric family member, a shower chair may be the best option to provide security. These chairs can be as affordable as $20 and can offer peace of mind when it comes to the safety of your loved ones. If chairs aren’t for you, a non-slip bath mat will keep you from falling in the shower and cost as much as a few coffees.

3. Clogged Shower Head

Do you normally have great water pressure, but now your shower feels like a slow leak? Your shower head is likely clogged from a build up of minerals in your water. Instead of calling the plumber or heading to the store to buy toxic chemicals, you can use ingredients already in your home to fix your problem. All you need to do is fill a sandwich bag halfway full with white vinegar, submerge the shower head into the vinegar in the bag, and tie the bag to the piping and allow the head to soak overnight. When you remove the bag, you should wipe the head to remove any excess and then your shower should be back to normal pressure.

4. Slow Drain

Before calling a professional, consider trying a Zip-It tool. You can find one at your local hardware store for around $5, but you have to be willing to deal with a little bit of gunk. The tool is placed in the drain and pulls out whatever is clogging it, usually hair and soap. If you can get past that, you’ll save yourself the price of a plumber.

5. Leaking Water Valve

Instead of heading to the store for a replacement water supply valve, try tightening the packing nut on the valve. A quick video search online will show you which nut to tighten, and it will only take a few minutes. Now you’ve saved time and money!


While these are easy fixes to do yourself, selling your home isn’t nearly as easy to DIY. Call me today if you are ready to put your home on the market! 719-536-4581

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10 STEPS TO DECLUTTER YOUR KITCHEN

how to declutter your kitchen

We are all thankful for the many drawers and cabinets in kitchens today, but they make it easy for us to hide our clutter instead of getting rid of it. If you have reached the point where you can no longer open a door in your kitchen without having something fall out, it is time to declutter your kitchen. Follow these steps and you can begin a clutter-free life, starting with your kitchen!

1. Sort through your utensil drawer. Toss out any broken or unused utensils.

2. Open your pantry and get rid of anything that is expired. Take the time to organize your shelves by food type. Have a shelf for canned items, a shelf for boxed items, and so on.

3.  Throw away any old or expired spices in your spice cabinet/rack.

4. Organize your Tupperware cabinet. If you’re like most people, this is probably the most disorganized area of your kitchen. Toss out any broken containers and any lone containers or lids. If the majority of your Tupperware fits those categories, toss it all and start fresh. Many containers on the market today have stackable/attached lids to help you stay organized.

5. Work your way from the outside to the inside of your refrigerator. Remove any old papers, coupons, or notes from the outside of your fridge. If it is something you don’t want to part with, like a card or invitation, place those in a box for safekeeping. Now that the outside is cleaned, declutter the inside as you did your pantry. Pull everything out and get rid of any expired food or drinks. Wipe down your shelves and replace the items you’re keeping, organizing them by type as well.

6. Clean off your sink and counter area. It is so easy to use the counter as a place to collect clutter, so take the time to go through each item and decide if it stays or goes. Consider buying an organizational tray for your cleaners and soaps, but find a home for everything else. Counters are much more beautiful without clutter.

7. If you have a medicine drawer or cabinet in your kitchen, clean it out. Throw away empty boxes and expired meds.

8. Find your dish towels and designate a drawer or shelf to keep them in. Sort out the ones you no longer use and toss them or keep them as cleaning rags.

9. Get rid of the cups you no longer use. We are all guilty of hanging on to collectible cups that remain untouched for years after we bring them home. If you don’t use them, donate them to a local shelter in need or toss them.

10. Whether we like to admit it or not, most of us have a junk drawer in our home – very often in the kitchen. Empty it and only replace the items you need and use. The sauce packets that have been there since you moved in are not going to be used now if they haven’t been used yet.  Try to only keep items that you use often, like batteries or small tools.

If your looking for a new kitchen of your dreams, contact us online or call us today: 719-536-4581how to declutter your kitchen 2

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LONG-DISTANCE HOUSE HUNTING

how to house hunt out of state

Regular house-hunting isn’t always easy, but adding distance into the mix can present challenges you don’t have when looking a few neighborhoods over for a new home. While it may not be a walk in the park to buy a home from far away, it is possible. If you find a great agent and follow these steps, you can take away some of the stress that comes with moving long-distance.

1. Start Your Research

Knowing what is in your neighborhood is something we tend to take for granted. You know where the best sushi place is and exactly what grocery store is closest to your home for those last minute runs. When moving to a new neighborhood, especially in a new state, it is key to decide what is important to you when it comes to proximity. Does your new house need to be near a park for your kids? Do you need to be 5 minutes from the closest Starbucks? You’ll also want to look into crime rates and school ratings if you have children. Researching your potential neighborhoods will help you feel better about choosing a new home that may be far away.

2. Use Technology To Your Advantage

Google Maps may not be constantly updated, but checking out an aerial view can give you an idea of what your neighborhood looks like if you don’t have the opportunity to travel right away. Getting the lay of the land is just another way to feel comfortable about your new neighborhood.

3. Have a Travel Budget

Even if you have a great agent showing you as many homes as possible, you need to plan for the possibility of making more than one trip to your future home state if you want to see it in person. While you may have adjusted your budget already to purchase a home, consider factoring in travel costs so you aren’t stressed about eating out or gas money during your trips – that way you can focus on finding your dream home.

4. Decide Your Non-Negotiables

Choosing a home from out of town already comes with challenges. If you’re heading in to check out houses and have a weekend filled to the brink with potential home tours, it will make your life easier if all of those homes meet your requirements. Instead of seeing all homes that ‘might’ fit, have your agent remove any houses that have a non-negotiable feature – whether that is no backyard or not enough bathrooms. It will make the most of your time and remove some of the stress of seeing homes that aren’t for you.

Let us at The Wheaton Team be your agents to find you the right neighborhood that fits all your needs.

Call today: 719-536-4581

info@TheWheatonTeam.com

how to house hunt out of state 2

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HOW TO DECIDE IF YOU SHOULD REMODEL OR MOVE

is it better to remodel or buy a new house

is it better to remodel or buy a new house 2

After living in a home for several years, it can be easy to discover things you may not be crazy about. While some things can be a quick fix, there may be major changes that make you wonder if it is worth the investment. At this point, you’re probably asking yourself if you should remodel or just find a new home. As you have probably realized, this isn’t always an easy choice. There are many factors that go into this decision. Here are some things to consider when deciding what will work best for you.

1. Determine which is more cost-friendly

While both options will have costs, one will have more than the other depending on your situation. Some of the costs of selling include agent commissions, moving costs, minor repairs, the costs of a new home, and potential upsizing costs. The costs of remodeling can include permits, architectural plans, materials and labor, and any other additional costs incurred in the process.

2. Look into the current housing market

Depending on whether your local real estate market is hot, it might make more sense to just sell if houses are selling quickly around you. By talking to a real estate agent, you can find out what to expect in terms of days on market, average sales price, and other important factors when it comes to selling a home.

3. Decide if your roots are deep 

Is your home more than just a home to you? If you and your family are actively involved in the community, remodeling may work best for you. On the flip side, if there are better schooling or job opportunities in a different neighborhood, or you already spend hours a day traveling to those locations, selling may be a better option.

4. Decide if a renovation can solve your problems

Take the time to decide if the problems with your home are fixable. Is it really the house, or do you dislike your neighborhood? Do you have to spend an hour driving one way to work? Do you need a lot more space? If your answer to questions like this make you realize renovations won’t solve your problems, consider that it may just be time to put your home on the market.

5. Consider the ROI on your remodel

Calculating your return on investment will help you determine two things – first, if a remodel will cost you less than selling your home. It will also help you determine if you will be able to make your money back on a remodel if you choose to sell in the future. Look into the Cost v. Value Report for the last year, which can guide you on the most and least cost-effective improvements.

If these considerations make you realize it is time to sell your home, give The Wheaton Team a call today! 719-536-4581

info@thewheatonteam.com