Archive | July, 2013

Free Landscape Workshop Offered in Oklahoma City

30 Jul

Free Landscape Workshop Offered in Oklahoma City

A beautiful community is something to be proud of. We want to see the place we live filled with blooming bushes, colorful flowers, and healthy trees. It is also nice to observe nature fusing with urban living.

That is one reason why many neighborhoods form beautification groups to enhance and maintain the aesthetic look of their community. Many volunteers join these groups because they see the value of keeping their neighborhood clean and beautiful.

To support these groups in their endeavors, the Oklahoma City Parks & Recreation Department will be hosting a free Public Landscape class for neighborhood and community groups. The free class will feature different ways to create attractive public landscaping and how to maintain it.

Some of the topics that will be discussed include specific technique for landscaping designs in public places, proper maintenance of landscaping, and how to choose different kinds of plants.  The city’s new Community Beautification Watering Program will also be discussed.  The program will be accepting applications for $1,000 in water credits for public landscape maintenance.

The Public Landscape class is a free workshop, but participants must register in advance in order to attend.  The workshop will be held on Friday, August 2, at 9:30 a.m. at the Will Rogers Garden Exhibition Center.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

Benefits of Having a Smart Home

29 Jul

Benefits of Having a Smart Home

You may have wondered before what it’s like to live in a smart home.  Many vouch for their effectiveness, and smart homes are ideal if you want a more advanced daily lifestyle. But, some homeowners hesitate before transforming their homes into smart homes due to the huge cost associated with it.

One of the things to keep in mind is that any home renovation requires a certain amount of investment, and it is the actual return in the future that matters the most.  If you spend less on a certain kind of renovation, but you don’t earn some of it back, it can actually be more costly than if you invest big, but gain more in return.

So, to help you understand why most people choose a smart home, here are its benefits:

  • Smart homes can reduce bills significantly. Instead of having to remember to manually turn on and off your lights or other functionalities at home, your smart home will automatically do it for you. This will help you conserve more energy and save money on your bills because your home will detect when certain things are no longer in use and will turn them off for you to minimize waste.
  • Smart homes offer convenience.  Do you often feel exhausted when you come home after a long day at work?  But, you still have to face the burden of doing chores all by yourself?  A smart home will make things easier for you by allowing you to have remote access to common tasks like cooling your home, listening to music, or turning on the lights. It is convenient to do things with a click of a button, and sometimes it’s those little things that can mean a lot.
  • Smart homes provide more security for you and your family. Smart home systems include safety features that will alert you in case of intruders or will trigger lights if there is a fire or water problem.  It allows you to immediately become aware of and act on dangerous circumstances before the problems get too big.
  • Smart homes add value to your home. If you plan to resell your home, you can increase its price due to the value of your automated systems. Smart homes are usually more expensive given their more efficient capabilities, which also add beauty, comfort, and convenience to the living space.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

Why Go Green When Cleaning Your Home?

25 Jul

Why Go Green When Cleaning Your Home

If you have ever searched for tips on how to properly clean your home, you have probably encountered people who say that it is practical to make your home cleaning greener.

What is the importance of green home cleaning? Why do you need to make sure that what you use for cleaning your home is good for the environment?

There are actually several reasons why you need to implement green cleaning for your home, and they not only focus on helping the environment, but they are also much better for the health of you and your family.

To help you understand the importance of going green when cleaning, here are a few of the benefits:

  • It is better for your health. Have you ever noticed the strong bad smell of many detergents or home cleaning products?  Most commercial cleaners emit harmful toxins into the air.  Can you imagine what they do when they get inside your body?
  • Your air quality indoors is enhanced. Without the strong smell of harsh chemicals, your indoor air will smell fresher. This will make it easier for you to breathe inside your house, which is even more important if you have kids.  Unhealthy indoor air can cause adverse effects on asthmatic people, so if someone in your home suffers from that ailment, it is particularly important to use natural, non-chemical based cleaners.
  • Green products are effective and safe. Natural home cleaners are just as effective as the ones you buy in the store. Plus, they are cost-efficient if you create your own and are much safer to use.
  • It makes cleaning simple and easy. Most commercial cleaning products are designed for specific cleaning tasks. As a result, you have to buy different kinds of cleaning products for your bathroom, your kitchen, your windows, your floors, etc. Natural cleaners can help you eliminate the need for different cleaning agents because they are more flexible to use.
  • Mother Nature will appreciate your gesture. A small act of using eco-friendly cleaners can significantly benefit the environment. If you avoid using harsh chemicals, there will be less damaging toxins that will harm the environment and get into your soil and water sources.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

Oklahoma State Superintendent’s Program to Assist Teachers

23 Jul

Oklahoma State Superintendent’s Program to Assist Teachers

The storms that hit the state a couple of months ago caused a lot of major damage to not only businesses and homes, but also schools. Many classrooms were significantly damaged or destroyed, which has sparked concern among teachers and administrators. Aside from dealing with recovery in their personal lives after the tragedy, teachers also have to face the problems of collecting their school supplies and repairing their classrooms.

With the next school year starting in just a little over a month, this is presenting a huge challenge for teachers. That is why Oklahoma State Superintendent Janet Barresi has started a program that will help teachers obtain the necessary school supplies for the upcoming school year.

Superintendent Barresi is launching “Project Meet the Need,” which is a program specifically aimed at helping teachers collect supplies to meet their needs.. Through the program, teachers will be provided with specific items that they place on their wish lists.

The program is asking teachers and school administrators to create a list of the items they need for their classrooms and post them on the program’s website. This will notify the state superintendent’s office, so they can gather the needed supplies.

Those who want to participate in the program can offer their help through donations. Donors can take supplies to the Oliver Hodge Building at the State Department of Education from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

Keeping Mosquitoes Out of Your Home and Yard

22 Jul

Keeping Mosquitoes Out of Your Home and Yard

Having outdoor parties and resting inside your house on the weekends can be very enjoyable activities, but if there are mosquitoes flying all around, they may not be as fun and relaxing as you would like.  Not only are they annoying every time you see them, but your skin also becomes uncomfortably itchy when they bite you.

The worst part about mosquitoes is the transmitted diseases that they bring. Since mosquitoes bite from one person to another, certain diseases can easily be spread.  It is therefore important for us to protect our families from mosquito bites by keeping them away at all times.

Fortunately, there are many ways we can make our homes and yards mosquito-free. Here are a few tips:

  • Install screens on your windows and doors. Mosquitoes cannot pass through screens because the holes are too small.  Make sure, however, to always check your screens for holes or tears because they will open up a passageway for mosquitoes to enter.
  • Repel mosquitoes with citronella. A sure way to keep mosquitoes away is citronella. You can use a citronella plant in your garden or light a candle with citronella oil. There are also citronella lotions that you can apply on your skin.
  • Do not let water collect in areas such as rain barrels, old tires, or even flower vases and cans. Standing water is a good breeding ground for mosquitoes. Prevent them from increasing in number by eliminating the areas where they can breed their eggs.
  • Use natural mosquito-killing products. There are mosquito-killer sprays that are effective in eliminating mosquitoes while still keeping your environment safe from hazardous chemicals. Always choose natural products when you can to protect your health and safety.
  • Always wear bright colors.  They do not attract mosquitoes as easily as dark colored clothes do.  Also, wear loose fitting clothes because mosquitoes can actually bite through fabric, and if your clothing isn’t pressing tightly against your skin, you are less likely to be effected.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

Choosing the Right Countertop for Your Kitchen

18 Jul

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When it comes to food preparation in the kitchen, a reliable countertop makes everything easier. Chopping food ingredients and using various small kitchen accessories and devices is best done on a countertop that is strong enough to withstand the activity.  A countertop should also be aesthetically pleasing and something that adds elegance to your kitchen.

There are several options when it comes to kitchen countertops. Common materials include wood, natural stone, and concrete. Other popular options are metal, ceramic tiles, or other solid surfaces. Even if you think going with a safe option of using common materials is best, you may be surprised by some of the other materials out there that could be an even better fit for your needs.

Here are a few tips to help you determine the right countertop for your kitchen:

  • Know your budget. A lovely natural stone countertop may look ideal next to your kitchen cabinets, but if the material alone already goes beyond your budget, then it is not really ideal after all. A budget allows you to set a limit for the total expense you can invest in your countertop. There are many beautiful options out there, so choose the best material that is within your desired budget.
  • Consider how you use your kitchen. Do you allow kids to help you in the kitchen? Do you prepare a lot of food most of the time? There are countertop materials that may look elegant, but they may not be as reliable when it comes to durability. Make sure that your countertop can meet your needs in the kitchen.
  • Choose the right color. Not all colors blend well together.  Perhaps a lighter color would look better next to your cabinets than a darker one. Consider how the color of your countertop will fit aesthetically with the rest of your interior. Get samples before you buy a material, so you can test it at home first.
  • Think about maintenance. Is your desired countertop easy to maintain? Do you have the time to maintain it? For most homeowners, less maintenance is more favorable because it gives them more time to focus on more important things than just cleaning their countertop.
  • Opt for combinations. You can actually utilize two different materials on your countertop, depending on its desired functionality. Not only could this help you fulfill your needs more effectively, but it will also give you a distinctly beautiful countertop.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

Rebuild Expo Offers Good Information for OKC Residents on How to Build Homes

16 Jul

Rebuild Expo Offers Good Information for OKC Residents on How to Build Homes

Many homes and businesses were destroyed by the tornadoes in May. As a result, families are in the process of re-starting their lives and rebuilding their homes.

To help OKC residents build or repair their homes and businesses more effectively, the City of Oklahoma City will be hosting a free Rebuild Expo to those who would like to learn valuable information about home repairs and construction.

The Rebuild Expo is a way of reaching out to people affected by the May storms. Through the seminar, they will be provided with support on how to start their new life by building better homes. The Rebuild Expo will feature different organizations involved in home construction and repair, and various speakers will talk about proper techniques and important information pertaining to home construction.

Participants of the expo will also have the opportunity to ask the speakers questions.  It will be an interactive seminar that will cover topics such as water quality and consumer protection.

Those who want to attend the free Rebuild Expo can go to the Westmoore High School Common Area located at 12613 S Western. The expo will take place on Saturday, August 3, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031