Archive | December, 2013

Upcoming Open House Offers Information on MAPS 3 Interstate 44 West Trail

31 Dec

Upcoming Open House Offers Information on MAPS 3 Interstate 44 West Trail

A new trail is a huge benefit for those who plan to walk, jog, run, or bike without possible danger on highways and busy streets. Instead of risking being sideswept by running vehicles, they will have their own path designated just for pedestrians.

The MAPS 3 Interstate 44 West Trail is an eight-mile trail that adds to the Master Plan of Oklahoma City’s MAPS 3 Project. It aims to provide a safe pathway for bikers, runners, joggers and walkers with a great view of the Oklahoma River. Those who want to commute with their bikes to the downtown area can now pass through I-44 West Trail.

To give the public more information about the Interstate 44 West Trail, an open house is set for Wednesday, January 15, at Will Rogers Garden Exhibition Center in Will Rogers Park. The open house will start at 5:30pm and run until 7:30pm, with a short presentation from the MacArthur Associated Consultants at 6pm.

The public can also provide their feedbacks on the proposed trail during the event. The cost for the I-44 West Trail is $13.8 million, which will come from MAPS 3.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

DIY Home Winterizing

30 Dec

DIY Home WinterizingWinter; the is the coldest season of the year is upon us, and with it comes freezing rain and snow that can cause damage to parts of your home. Most homes could save hundreds of dollars by simply preparing their homes for the harsh weather by winterizing, or prepping the home for winter. For those of us here in Oklahoma, we still have a few months of winter to go, so it definitely is NOT too late!

Here are some helpful tips to get your home ready to the upcoming winter:

  1. Look around the perimeter of your home for things that you don’t want outside for a long period of time such as yard tools that have been left out. Disconnect the hoses and place them in the garage.
  2.  Check the exterior of your house for cracks that let heat out, making it more difficult to keep your house warm. Fill the problem cracks with a generous amount of caulking. Smooth the caulking out with your finger or a tool, but make certain to seal the crack completely as you smooth out the caulking.
  3. Buy a window insulating kit that includes heavy plastic that you can attach to the window from the inside with double sided tape. While they may not be very pretty, these kits serve as additional protection for a window or they can replace storm windows if you don’t have one.
  4. Clean and fix rain gutters as the accumulated leaves will stop the water from moving smoothly causing ice dams that will damage your rain gutters. Make sure the gutters are all aligned and not leaking.
  5.  Clean and seal your fireplaces both top and bottom; it is recommended to use plastic sheeting while you do so to avoid mess. Make sure that the top allows heavy rain or snow to fall off the sides to keep the heat from escaping out.
  6. Insulate your home to save to save energy while winterizing your home. Insulate your pipes to keep them from freezing during cold weather. Keep your attic and crawlspace to prevent cold air from seeping into your living space during the winter. Choose good quality insulation for the best results and install the insulation according to the directions.
  7. Follow these tips and rest easier knowing that while the weather outside may be frightful, inside is infinitely more delightful!

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

 

Flood Vents and Their Importance

23 Dec

Flood Vents and Their ImportanceGood houses are built on strong foundations and should be able to withstand not only the wear and tear of time, but also unexpected natural disasters like storms and floods. Although not all weather will leave a house unharmed, there are certain ways you can minimize damage, particularly when dealing with water and flooding.

Flood vents protect houses and buildings by preventing water pressure buildup that can destroy walls and foundations. They allow flood water to pass from a building’s exterior to interior and back, which enables high concentrations of water to move to less concentrated areas, thus easing the stress on your home’s foundation that would otherwise lead to cracks and compromised structural stability. Though these “cracks” are not readily seen, their profound effects appear over time.  So, it is a good idea to have your home’s foundation checked every once in a while to ensure that it is in good condition.

When building a new home or building, owners must follow certain regulations for flood vents, which may differ from area to area. Building codes may require the flood proofing of a building depending on where it is located, which can affect things like if a building can have a basement. These laws and regulations help ensure that a building is structurally sound and will not succumb to damage caused by flood water.

If you want to ensure that your home’s foundation is safe and protected against flood damage, you should contact a professional to determine what type of venting system to use.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

Tips for Sweeping Your Floors

19 Dec

Tips for Sweeping Your Floors

Sweeping your floors may sound like an easy task, but in reality, every time you are done, there are still areas where dust particles collect. Is it because of your broom?  Is it because of your technique? Here are a few tips for how to properly sweep your floors and achieve great results:

  • Choose the right kind of broom for the job. Certain brooms are appropriate for indoor cleaning, while others are intended to be used outside. Soft bristle brooms are good for indoor cleaning because they can sweep up smaller dust particles without scratching your floors. Firm bristles are good for the outdoors because they can pick up thicker, more tightly-packed dirt.  Make sure you are using the right kind, so you can effectively sweep away dust, dirt, and other particles.
  • Sweep your floors one room at a time. It’s not a good idea to pile and drag all of the dirt from one room to another. You run the risk adding dirt to the areas you just swept if you keep dragging dirt across a large area. You can trap and scoop dirt more thoroughly if you clean one area at a time.
  • Avoid cleaning your broom with water. Not only will it look messy, but it will also make your broom stink and can easily damage its bristles. To clean your broom, all you need to do is  tap it in the air until all the dust is removed.
  • Clear the area first before sweeping. Move furniture out of the way if you can, so you can sweep the entire floor versus only the areas you can reach. It will prevent dust and other particles from becoming trapped long term underneath your furniture.  If you cannot move your furniture, just make sure that you sweep underneath your furniture as far as you can versus just sweeping around it.
  • Sweep in one direction. This will keep dust and other particles trapped in one area. Also, start in the corner and then work your way toward the center in one direction. Pile the dust and then sweep it into a dust pan.
  • Work your way from top to bottom. That way, you will not have to re-sweep any area. Clear the walls and ceilings from dust first, since some particles will fall to the ground. Then, you can start sweeping the floor and get everything at once.
  • Store your broom properly. Hang your broom so the bristles do not bend. If you do not have a place to hang the broom, place your broom near the wall with handle down and bristles up.  If your bristled become bent, they will not pick up dirt very well, so this is an important tip to follow.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

OKC Seniors to Receive Gift bags this Christmas

17 Dec

OKC Seniors to Receive Gift bags this Christmas

What do you think of when the words, “Christmas gift” comes to your mind?  Do you think of electronics, toys, and other luxurious things?  This Christmas, Home Instead Senior Care is asking you to shift your mindset to think of what kind of gift a senior citizen would love.

This coming holiday, senior citizens of Oklahoma City will soon receive the gifts they have wished for this Christmas. Home Instead Senior Care will again organize its “Be a Santa to a Senior” program, where donors can give a gift to a senior citizen based on a wish-list directory.

Launched 10 years ago, the “Be a Santa to a Senior” program is a small holiday effort where seniors will be asked to fill in a wish list for Christmas. These wish lists will then be placed on Christmas trees and wreaths to be distributed to businesses in the city. Establishments as well as donors can choose a wish list and provide the items listed.

Employees of Home Instead Senior Care will be gathering these donated items and placing them in gift bags. Seniors who submitted their wish list will then receive his or her gift bag with the item they desired inside.

This year, Home Instead aims to distribute 700 gift bags to the elderly. Most seniors are simply asking for everyday items such as towels, toiletries, blankets and warm socks.

Those who wish to help in the “Be a Santa to a Senior” effort can volunteer or donate some of the gift items. Call 521-1963 to learn how to donate or volunteer.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

Ways to Remove Smoke Odors in Your Home

16 Dec

Ways to Remove Smoke Odors in Your Home

Smoke odors, whether they come from tobacco, burnt food, or fire damage, can seep into every area of your home from your carpets to your walls. Smoke odors are difficult to get rid of, and it isn’t always a fast process.  However, there are few tricks you can do to remove, or at least cover up, the annoying scent in a pinch.

Follow the list below to make scents fainter and less noticeable in just few minutes:

1. Boil lemon or orange peels. The acidity of the fruits will help neutralize the existing odor in the air. Filling small bowls with white vinegar or ammonia is another option; place them in the rooms where the stench is most pungent.

2. Remove all drapes. Take them to a dry-cleaner and inform them about the smoke smell, so they can take the proper measures to remove it.  If the drapes can be washed, you can wash them in hot water with vinegar, which is a great neutralizer and natural cleaner. Dilute one cup of vinegar into water to cover a full load.

3. Use granulated dry carpet cleaner. Carpets are the most difficult material to clean because they tend to trap and lock more cigarette odor than anything else in your home. Simply sprinkle the cleaner onto the carpet and make sure you spread the product evenly around the room, getting into corners and covering floor edges. Wait for at least 15 minutes before you vacuum the carpet.

4.  Wash your walls using a mixture of water and vinegar. Vinegar will cut through the resins and tar that smoke leaves behind; the smell of vinegar will disappear over the next couple of days. Make sure to wash the closet walls that contain clothes that the smoker wears and open the windows while doing so to help ventilate the room.

Smoke odor is not an easy problem to fix, but with time, patience, and a lot of hard work, you’ll be smelling sweet, clean air again.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

Maximizing Your Garage Space

12 Dec

Maximizing Your Garage Space

Garages tend to be a “catch-all”, where we store everything from tools and toys to bikes and seasonal decor. Most of the time they become so cluttered that you can barely even walk through them. Everyone dreams of having a functional workspace in a garage, where they can store their necessities and still be able to pull in a car, but sometimes it’s difficult to figure out how to pull it off. Fortunately, with a little creativity and ingenuity, you can make it happen.

Here are a few tips for maximizing the storage space in your garage and making it neat, clean, and organized:

1. Take out the trash. If your space is cluttered, you will probably be able to find a lot of things hiding around that can easily be thrown away.  Get rid of garbage and separate items that can be recycled. This will help you see your garage better, so you can begin examining ways to save room.

2. Make a plan or layout of where you want to store your items. Section off areas for different uses.  If you want to keep your vehicle in the garage, make sure that you allow for enough space around it to avoid hitting shelves or workbenches when you drive in.

3. Add shelves. Shelves offer a great way to maximize storage space in your garage. Items that can’t be hung on hooks can be stored within easy reach on shelves. Shelving is available in all price range, sizes, and styles at home improvement stores.

4. Screw hooks into the beams of your garage. This is another method to take items off the ground to clear space on your floor. Place the items you want to hang onto the hooks, such as garden tools and bicycles.

5. Tie up extension cords and wires. A great way to store cords is to wrap them up and tie them in place with a ponytail holder. They last longer and are easier to use than rubber bands or twist ties.  This will keep your cords tightly intact and prevent them from getting tangled together and turning into a spaghetti mess.

By maximizing the space in your garage, you can have a clean effective workspace and an easy-to-access storage area that allows you to get what you need without any hassle.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031