Archive | July, 2011

Tips For a Stress-Free Move

28 Jul

Planning to move to a new house can really stir up excitement in a person. However, it is never enough to simply place everything inside bags and boxes and – voila, you’re moved in! Often, moving to a new house without any strategy will end up having more clutter- and damage for that matter- once inside your new house than you would ever want.

So, to save you much stress and have a convenient move, follow these tips:

  • As much as possible, get your things organized the earliest.

Packing up everything is not a day’s work. You need as much as time as possible to deliberate which things need to go inside the house and which needs to be find their way to the trash. Also, moving an entire household is never easy with breakables to attend to carefully as well as any collections to keep together, the stack of clothes from your closets and other necessary things to bring. So, do yourself a huge favor and pack your things days before the big move.

  • Label everything

Yes, you need to label everything. This will keep you on track on the things that you brought along as well as what room they belong to. This will keep everything smooth and easier to unpack once inside the new house.

  • Delegate tasks to everyone

Assign a member of the family to be in charge of the breakables in the kitchen and another person in charge of all the clothes. To make this much easier have each one have a checklist of their own assignments so they can easily monitor if everything is brought along.

  • Secure your valuables

Even if you are extremely busy, it does not give you an excuse to forget about your valuables. Always secure your valuables first. If you have an extra bag you can carry around to monitor your things, use it so you have all valuable things around you and not somewhere a moving person could easily pick them up. I hate to even suggest it, but things do go missing sometimes, so play it safe! You can also have other members of the family assigned to a certain number of valuables so one person will not only have the greater responsibility of securing the house valuables.

  • Pet sitter is handy when you have pets.

If you have dogs or cats, have someone to take care of them while you are managing your move. This will keep you from worrying about them and will keep them from making a mess of your things.

  • Select a viable transportation method

If you have a lot of things and a lot of house furniture, make sure you have hired a BIG moving truck. Otherwise, a large van or truck may accommodate everything if you are moving from say, an apartment to a house. This will ensure that everything will be brought along when you move as well as minimizing you the cost of transfer and taking multiple trips.

  • Coordinate with your movers

Your hired movers do not know what you packed along or an inventory of your things so make them aware that the boxes from the kitchen must be handled with care. This will avoid any damages in your things and for the movers to know how to appropriately stack your boxes inside the truck.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

Velomobiles | Oklahoma City’s New Transportation Alternative

26 Jul

Oklahoma City is about to hold a new power over those intrigued by unique cars with the Velomobile. However, this is not your ordinary car. In fact, it is not a car at all.

Frans van der Merwe is commuting daily from Oklahoma City to Guthrie for his job. Having a car is costly especially when it comes to fuel consumption and a bicycle is just too blase. As he continued to search for ways to commute with a degree of luxury but cut the fuel cost, he had the brilliant idea of coming up with the velomobile. It is a three-wheeled bicycle with a protective composite shell.

Velomobiles are widely known in Europe. However, such alternative vehicle is not yet available in the United States. Although the cost may be too overwhelming for some, it did not stop van der Merwe from having one of his very own. Still, with the hindrance of the expensive cost in buying oversees, van der Merwe decided to create his own velomobile.

After completing work on his own creation, van der Merwe called his velomobile Pterovelo – meaning winged bicycle, as it is made of carbon fiber and weighs in at only seventy pounds – it can easily be used by a single rider.

Van der Merwe relies on the vents and evaporative mist cooling system for air conditioning. The heater is the rider, which basically gets hotter as you go faster. What is more appealing in Pterovelo is its top sliding back just like a convertible.

With the van der Merwe’s new velomobile, he surely gets the attraction in the streets of Oklahoma and soon will be counted among the other velomobiles riding across America. There will be U.S. and international riders that will start a three thousand mile trip to promote cycling in the country. It will start in Portland, Oregon and will end in Washington D.C. on August 25. Velomobiles will be covering about 120 miles a day.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

Ways To Prevent Mold Damage In Your House

25 Jul

No one really enjoys repairing home damage. Your finances go through some tight times,  not to mention the time it takes out of your schedule to put into cleaning and fixing the place. But, when compared with most home repairs, mold damage is one of the worst. Fixing mold damage is very expensive and can even reach well  into five figures.

But, as they always say, prevention is better than cure – that is better than repairing. So, here are some preventive ways on mold damages inside the house.

  • Get Rid of Clutter
    Getting rid of clutter inside the house will give you double benefits. First, you will have a more organized and cleaner house. Second, you prevent mold from building up. Molds are often caused by microclimates since these can feed the growth of mold. These elements are created where there is moisture. So if you have too much furniture blocking the supply grilles as well as too much clutter blocking airflow, then expect moisture and mold in your house.

    Therefore, prevent moisture build up in your house by also enhancing air circulation inside your house.

  • Control Your Indoor Climate
    Often molds are created during humid and hot summers. But setting the air-conditioning right will prevent these moisture problems. Most often, it is recommended to set your thermostat to 78 degrees F. Too high will not dehumidify your air and too low will only create cold surfaces for water vapor to condense.

    In line with this, have your air conditioner checked. Always inspect if the drain pipe is doing its job properly. If the pipe is blocked, water will accumulate inside the unit as well as on your floor. Call a professional immediately for any problems.

  • When using an air-conditioner, close your windows and door.
    Open windows and doors will only invite humid air inside and let the air conditioning go out. This will enhance condensation and in turn form into molds.
  • Check for standing water inside the house
    Often, the humidity inside the house is not caused by air conditioning but by dampness or standing water inside. Check if your house is already residing dampness especially in freezers, refrigerators, windows and basement doors. This will only allow mold to form when condensation is easy in these places.
  • Install a Dehumidifier
    Installing a dehumidifier at home will eliminate extra moisture in the air. Sure, it can cost you additional expense but it will surely prevent mold from forming inside the house and save you more expenses for house repairs.

Easy Ways To Make Your House Greener

20 Jul

Making your home green is not only a trend in real estatethese days but also a way to battle extreme weather changes, effects on our body and in our surroundings. For some people, recycling their trash is the only way they can do to reduce the clutter and garbage inside their houses. Though reduce, reuse and recycle are the basics of green living, there are also other means to have a greener house and live a greener life.

Here are some tips on how you can make your house greener and live a much healthier lifestyle.

  • Make your house literally green
    Make it as green as possible – literally! This does not mean you need to paint your house green or choose furniture and other house fixtures that are green. It means planting trees and other flowering plants in and around your house. You can have indoor plants as additional decorations in some parts of the house. You can also have a little garden on your front porch. The idea is to have spots of green in and out of your house with plants. This will not only induce an earthly tone to your interior and exterior but will enhance ventilation as well as warmth inside the room.
  • Get rid of your old appliances
    This is especially true with old refrigerators. If your refrigerator is more than 10 years old, it is time to take it out of the house and go for an upgrade. Yes, you need to buy another refrigerator but it will SAVE you, especially when it comes to energy. There are new refrigerators that are labeled with energy star labels, meaning that it conserve much more energy compared to other older models.
  • Save as much water as you can
    As much as possible, make all your daily routine water efficient. This means that whenever you brush your teeth, take a bath, water your plants or wash your clothes, think of the quantity of water you will be using. You can save much water by turning your faucet off whenever you do not need to wash anything, measure the water you only need to use, use low flowing water systems and recycle “grey” water that can still be used to water your plants or clean the house.
  • Use energy saving bulbs
    Replace your incandescent lamps with CFLs or compact fluorescent lamps. If you do not need much lighting in the room, look for alternative lighting. Use dimmer lighting that will enable you to do your work properly while saving much energy
  • Use renewable energy if you can
    Using alternative energy source will give you greater savings in the future. Yes solar panels or wind turbines can cost you big time at first but think of the much savings you will generate after several years. Moreover, think of the clean energy you are using and the safety it delivers to your and to the environment.

Make Your Teen’s Room a Place to Call Their Own Haven

18 Jul

Just as you had your own style and personalities back when you were a teen, so do your teens now. They too desire to reflect their own personalities in everything they do and have. They become more expressive of their own desires and these are often manifested in what they wear and what they want for their rooms… as any of you with teenagers are ALL too aware I’m sure.

The same is true when it comes to their rooms. Since they will be spending most of their time in their rooms as well as with their friends, they want to make it their own haven. So, here are some tips on how you can make your teen’s room suitable to their persona:

  • Know what your teens like. Teenage boys and girls have very different taste and often these are extremes. If you plan to please this generation, you have to suit their desires. Know what they like. If they want to express themselves more in music, put in musical decorations on the wall like posters of their favorite bands. If you teenage girl love something girly, sophisticated and creative, a dash of polka dots and pink will do the trick.
  • Make sure their rooms are both stylish and functional. This can be done well with funky cabinets and fixtures. If you are out scouting for their room, find colorful cabinets that match their style. You can also open yourself to a versatile cabinet that they can decorate for themselves like leaving a side bare to paste pictures of their friends or admired celebrities.
  • Add enough space for lounging. Teenagers love to hangout. When they have some friends over, they would hang for several hours inside their room. So, make room for more space. Add a comfy rug with some bean bags for extra chairs. This will be conducive for several friends over and giving them a good time together.
  • Place a comfortable and easily accessable work station. Your teenager needs to set aside friends and interests sometime to make room for important matters like studying. Help them become encouraged to study by adding a comfortable work station. Make sure they have everything they need to work on their homework as well as enough space to spread out materials for their projects. A table with several three or more chairs will be good enough to invite a study group with friends. Also, place a bulletin board so this will help them become more organized with their school things.
  • Let them work on their room too! Teenagers are becoming more creative as they grow especially if it taps their interests. Let them bring out their creativity by allowing them to make decisions and work on their own rooms. You can supervise to keep things on track as they tend to become extreme sometimes but the outcome will give it a personal touch that will let them connect more to their own haven.

Tips On Buying A Second Home

13 Jul

For most people, having a second home is a dream come true. Sure, they have their first, but they want another home to really go and relax, to have a vacation or just to have a time off the responsibilities of work and home.

Here are some tips on how you can buy a second home without looking impractical or insane – which in the economy of brown paper bags at designer clothing stores… is apparently an issue.

  • Think of the primary reasons why you are considering a second home. Will it be for the kids in the future? If so, make sure it is somewhat near to your first house. A nice rule of thumb here is a second home you can get to in 3 hours – be that by plane, train or automobile. Make sure it far enough for you to leave behind the busy city.
  • If you want a low maintenance house, consider a condominium unit. That way, even if you come to your second house twice or thrice a year, you need not to worry on the maintenance and spending your first couple days of vacation making it feel “habitable” again.
  • Choose the perfect location for your house. You can filter your searches by choosing the right neighborhood for you. That way you can save much time and effort in searching only in feasible places. Because this is a second home – you can forego certain amenities in leu of that perfect location since you will only be here a few times a year.
  • If you already have chosen a location, find out more about the neighborhood. Include the security in the community as well as the crime rate. You will have to leave the house more often so it is best to make sure that it is in a safe place.
  • Try to visit the area at different times of the year. This will give you an idea on what it is like in various times.
  • Ensure that there are health care centers, schools and market are nearby. This way, once you stay for a longer period of time in your second house, you can have all you need within your reach.
  • Always check the weather of the place. Will it be ideal for YOUR vacation?
  • Consider the price of your second house. Will it be reasonable enough for a thrice a year stay?

New Changes For Edmond Kindergarten Schools

12 Jul

Changes to the school day of kindergarten students in Edmond schools are now taking place. A full-day curriculum is now expected to commence in more than half of the elementary schools in contrast to the traditional half day.

Out of 15 elementary schools in Edmond, nine of these schools will start to offer a full-day kindergarten class schedule beginning this fall. If everything goes as planned, the remaining six schools will also have a full-day class schedule for kindergarten next year.

The entire district of Edmond is in full support of the new changes and said it is a smart move. According to Lynne Rowley, Edmond Public Schools Executive Director of Elementary Education, this will help students become more exposed to literacy and sill be able to learn more like sounds, letters and patterns in math, which will help them build their mathematical reasoning.

The changes in the class schedule will incur the district a cost of about $70,000 which will go towards teacher salaries with the addition of 11 teachers. Some experts claim that the full-day schedule will aid kids to be prepared in their first grade and future school years.

Still, the full-day class schedule for the kindergarten is optional. Parents still have the option if they will place their kids on the full-day schedule or stick to the usual half day.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031