Archive | August, 2012

Edmond City Council Considering Repealing Food Handlers Licenses

14 Aug

Businesses in Edmond spend $100 each year to renew their food handler’s license as required by the city.  However, the Edmond City Council is considering retracting the city’s requirement for food handler’s licensing, which would eliminate the required license fee. This would save businesses $100 each year if finalized.

Currently, food service businesses are required to pay $100 to the Oklahoma City/County Health Department each year for their food handler’s license. Fifty percent of the cost goes to the business’s annual inspection conducted by the health department.  Over 300 food service businesses go through this process every year. The City Council has been reevaluating its business procedures to become more business-friendly, which is why it is considering repealing the ordinance.

Notices for renewal of licenses for food handlers were not sent this year since consideration for repealing the ordinance is still in process. For businesses that have already renewed their food handler’s license, a refund will be granted if the ordinance is revoked.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

 

 

 

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Tips for Hiring Professional Home Cleaning Services

13 Aug

When you spend most of your time working, the last thing you want to do is spend the rest of it cleaning your house.  When you’re not working, you want to spend that time with your family, resting, or attending social gatherings with friends.  You work hard to have a nice home and everything you need, but coming home to a dirty house contradicts that.  So, if you don’t want to clean it yourself, you need to hire someone to help you.

Professional home cleaning services provide house cleaning services to homeowners who do not have time or desire to clean their homes.  Professional home cleaners can clean the house, do the laundry, and iron the clothes. What’s great is that, while you’re working, you can be assured that your house is being cleaned and freshened up, so you can enjoy it when you get home.

When taking a look at hiring a professional home cleaning service, consider these tips:

  • Seek recommendations from friends and relatives. Though there are a lot of home cleaning services advertised on TV, online, and in the newspaper, you want to have assurance that who you hire is reliable. Ask your friends or relatives for recommendations because that will provide you with someone who has already been tested, and you’ll know you can trust them.
  • Know about the person or company that you want to work for you. Check the history of the company and feedback from past clients because many people will post their experiences. If you are looking at a company, investigate their licensing and whether or not they hire  also if the company has license and if they hire professional cleaners. You will be trusting them with your house, your family, and your valuables, so this is important.
  • Confirm their workers insurance. Accidents do happen, and sometimes they can be quite expensive. In order to avoid having to pay those expenses, should something occur,  ask if the person or company is insured and request to see a copy of their paperwork.
  • Communicate well with your hired worker. The person that you hire to clean your house needs to know what you think of their work, so they can be sure they are performing to your liking.   Communicating with them is important not only to offer them feedback, but also to lay down ground rules and be sure everyone is operating on the same page.
  • Set your assignments properly. Don’t expect your house cleaner to know what they need to do on the first day of their job. Though they know they are going to clean your house, they also need to know the specifics, such as what they need to clean first, how to clean certain areas in a certain way, and where they are allowed to go or prohibited from going.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

 

 

 

Tips for Choosing the Color of Your House

9 Aug

Due to the endless selection of colors available for your home exterior, it can be difficult to decide which one to use.  The process of choosing usually involves a lot of back-and-forth, so to help you pick the most appropriate color, consider these tips:

  • Look around the neighborhood. Unless you have the guts to do something totally different, try to maintain the general theme of your neighborhood. If most homes are painted in neutrals, then try to stay within that color range, so your house won’t appear out of place. If your neighborhood sports lots of different colors, you have more flexibility.
  • Keep in mind the design and structure of your house. Particular house structures often require more neutral paint colors in order to look elegant and appropriate. Other houses, in the Victorian style, for example, look better with colors.  So, stick to what is best for the house structure itself.
  • Go light to make your house look bigger. Small houses can benefit from light paint colors because they make them look bigger.
  • Make it stand out. Either go bold or go light. Your home will stand out if painted light in a more crowded surrounding or bold in a free and more open environment.
  • Check your surroundings. If your surroundings have lots of trees and green bushes, try to stick to neutral earth tones like browns and greens. Houses near the beach or where it is always sunny may look better with warmer colors like shades of yellow.
  • Mix contrasting colors. Using contrasting colors for your base and trim will highlight every detail of your home exterior to make it more impressive and interesting.
  • Match your paint color with fixed elements of your house. Fixed elements include things like bricks and stone that are already permanent when it comes to color and design. If you do not plan to paint these elements, try to coordinate with them.

 

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Roundabout Planned For Construction In Oklahoma City Boulevard

7 Aug

A new piece of iconic art is being planned for construction for the new Oklahoma City Boulevard. A roundabout, or a traffic circle will possibly be included in the plans for the new boulevard in place of the old Interstate 40 Crosstown Expressway Bridge.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation will be closing I-40 after the completion of the new Interstate 40 Crosstown Expressway this year to give way to the construction of the city’s new boulevard. The expected completion of the new boulevard is set for 2014.

The arts and cultural organizations in the city believed that the location of the new boulevard will be a prime spot for a possible iconic piece of public art. It is ideal in that it is the spot that bridges the urban core between the downtown area and the river. This will become a major gateway for the traffic that goes toward the downtown area upon completion.

If the plan for a roundabout in the new boulevard is successfully pushed through, as well as approval for the art project, it will serve as a major iconic public piece that will enhance the growth in the arts community of the city similar to the Skydance Bridge and the Devon Tower. It will also be a major investment in the culture of the city as well as will serve as a significant tourist attraction for Oklahoma City.

Though the construction budget for the roundabout is still an issue of debate within the city budget, the arts community believes that a public and private agreement will take place to support the construction.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

 

 

 

Keeping Your Patio More Private

6 Aug

One of the most relaxing and entertaining places in the home is the patio. Despite the fact that it’s outdoors, it can be an extension of your living space and a great place for dining with friends and family, lounging on a warm afternoon, or even hosting intimate parties with guests. In order to make it feel like a part of your home, it is important to create some privacy.

Keeping your patio private doesn’t have to involve large costs or renovations.  In fact, you can make use of what you already have rather than spending money on new items.

To help you keep your patio more private, here are a few ideas:

  • Plan a good spot for your patio. If you don’t have a patio yet and are planning to construct one, choose a spot where you can be concealed from neighbors. You may even find that you can use one side of the house to help conceal the area.
  • Plant flowers and greenery around your patio. This can be done by planting plants in pots or creating flower bed border. Or, you can simply move potted plants from other areas of your yard, so you don’t have to spend anything.
  • Add a pergola to your patio. Adding a roof will not only create privacy, but it will also provide more protection from extreme weather conditions, thus enabling you to enjoy it whenever you’d like. A pergola is a roofing option that adds elegance to your patio, and its classic appearance creates a cozy feel. However, if a pergola is too large of an investment for you right now, there are many other roofing options available.
  • Screen in your patio. There are three benefits of using a screen on your patio. First, it protects your patio from complete exposure to the outside. Second, despite being concealed, you still have a view of what is happening outside. Third, the screen helps keep out pesty insects, so you can enjoy your relaxation and meals in peace.
  • Install a fence. Place a fence or elevated border around your patio, so you can have a little privacy when eating breakfast or having a romantic dinner with your spouse. You can even make it blend in with your garden by allowing climbing vines and flowers to cover it.
  • Use fabric curtain. A soft flowing fabric can cover your patio view from your neighbors and add a touch of elegance to your space.  You can also add a hook, so you can tie it back when you’re not using it.  This is also a great opportunity to add a pop of color if you would like.

 

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

 

 

 

Keeping Your Lawn Healthy

2 Aug

Having a beautiful and well-trimmed lawn provides you with the perfect place relax or host outdoor parties. It does, however, require maintenance.  Nothing is worse that discovering your garden has died because you didn’t take care of it, but the same thing can happen with your lawn.  So, when you spend time cutting the grass, make it a point to keep it healthy too.

Below are some useful tips on how you can keep your lawn healthy:

  • Add fertilizer to your grass. Although your lawn may receive adequate sunlight and water to survive, adding fertilizers will keep it even healthier. There are certain nutrients that grass needs to maintain its healthy, green appearance, and it can be found in most fertilizers.
  • Avoid using pesticides. Yes, they may kill the insects and small animals that harm your grass, but they also kill good bacteria that helps keep the soil healthy.
  • Fill empty spots with new seeds, so your lawn will look consistent. Empty spots often emerge where people walk frequently or animals tend to dig.  In addition, weeds usually pull up soil when they are removed. So, assess your lawn from time to time to see if any areas should be reseeded.
  • Select a grass type that is suitable to your area. You want to be sure that what you plant will easily thrive in your climate. For recommendations, ask your local gardener.
  • Mow your lawn properly. Ideally, grasses should be cut to one third of its height. If you go shorter, then the roots of the grass will be exposed and likely die from sun exposure. Don’t cut your grass unless you need to.
  • Invest in a good mower. Having a good mower will enable you to cut your grass properly without causing damage to other areas of your lawn. When mowing your lawn, make sure that the blades are sharp enough to cut the grass easily and keep it clean at all times.

 

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent