Winterize Your Home In A Weekend

Preparing For Jack Frost’s Arrival Can Send A Shiver Down Any Homeowner’s Spine.

Charlotte NC Real Estate A long to-do list for getting your home ready can feel overwhelming, leaving you wondering where you’ll find the time and resources. But, with some optimism, easy tips and access to a few rental tools, you can winterize your home in just one weekend, leaving plenty of time to enjoy autumn’s splendor.

Prepare Your Lawn And Landscaping

Cold temperatures cause grass and other plants in your landscape to go dormant. Spend a few hours preparing your lawn for beautiful greenery next year.

Start by aerating. Renting an aerator is a cost-effective and efficient way to reduce thatch and provide extra space in the soil for water and oxygen to reach the roots. Find a local American Rental Association (ARA) member store near you by visiting RentalHQ.com. After aerating, spread a quality winter fertilizer to give your grass the nutrients it needs to grow strong. If you live in an area with harsh winters, remember to cover roses and delicate perennials so that they are protected. [Read more…]



Click With Confidence: Three Tips To Protect Your Privacy When Shopping Online

Charlotte NC  Real Estate If the growing online shopping statistics from the past few years have been any indication, buyers will again be flocking to online retailers this holiday season – perhaps in larger numbers than ever before.

However, as people become increasingly savvier as Web shoppers, awareness and concerns about online privacy and safety have also grown. As many as 91 percent of consumers say that they’re concerned about privacy when shopping online. Frequent news stories about consumer information being sold or mishandled have helped contribute to an atmosphere of mistrust, and more than half of consumers say they don’t trust businesses with their personal information.

For those who love the convenience and choice that come along with online shopping, there are a few ways to ensure that your information is kept safe and private.

1. Read Privacy Policies. You’ve probably seen them countless times, but how often have you actually read a privacy policy? If you’ve shopped without reading, you’re certainly not alone. While 97 percent of websites have a privacy policy, those documents average nearly 2,500 words – which is almost twice as long as the Declaration of Independence. It would take the average person at least 10 minutes to read that, and not too many online shoppers want to spend that much time. However, reading the privacy policy will give you the details about what a site is doing to keep your information safe. [Read more…]



Clean Water Act Celebrates 40 Years Of Water Improvements

Charlotte Home Inspection The Clean Water Act was established 40 years ago with the goal of protecting waterways and ensuring homes and offices receive clean drinking water.

As the legislation marks its 40th anniversary, water officials and water consumers alike are looking back on the accomplishments and planning for new ways to continue water quality improvements.

“The Clean Water Act touches every source of water and establishes a goal for protecting our waterways and systems in the cities and communities where we live and work,” says Mike Musgrave, director of program development for MWH Global, a water-focused engineering consulting firm that has helped organizations and municipalities meet demands of the Clean Water Act. [Read more…]



Flu Season Etiquette Tips From The Emily Post Institute

When The Flu Hits, Manners May Not Be The First Thing That Comes To Mind.

Yet, good “flu etiquette” and hygiene can go a long way in helping to prevent the spread of influenza. While most Americans recognize that the flu virus spreads easily, they admit to sometimes forgetting their manners when they have the flu: a 2011 survey of more than 1,000 Americans found that three out of four Americans (75%) would go to at least one social situation if they had symptoms of the flu (out of a list of seven).

Influenza, or “the flu,” is a contagious viral infection of the nose, throat, and lungs which occurs most often in the late fall, winter, and early spring. Flu is a serious infection which is associated, on average, with more than 200,000 hospitalizations due to flu related complications and can lead to thousands of deaths every year in the United States. [Read more…]



Fire Safety Tips Protect Your Family Through The Holiday Season

Charlotte Homes With colder temperatures forecast across the country, activities are moving indoors, and families are preparing to celebrate time-honored traditions and new beginnings.

Boxes of decorations, candles and strings of lights will be unpacked and spread throughout homes. Seasonal family feasts will be prepared. While intentions are great to keep safety top of mind when decorating and entertaining throughout the cold weather months, fun and frolic often take precedence.

A hazard that usually is the furthest from one’s mind – fire – is one of the easiest home risks to address. More fires and fire deaths occur during the winter than during any other time of year. Before your company arrives this year, perform a three-step home fire safety check to ensure your family and friends aren’t at risk. [Read more…]



Travel Tips For A Joyful Holiday Season

Charlotte NC   Real EstateYou’ve managed to navigate the holiday crowds at the post office, the mall and the office party, but you still need to get over the river and through the woods to gatherings with family and friends.

Before you hit the roads, rails or skies this holiday season, dash through these helpful tips to make your trip as jolly as possible and, while you’re away, help you get a good night’s sleep.

* Be Prepared: Don’t forget the necessities for the inevitable travel delay when packing your luggage and gifts. Pack each child a personal travel bag with surprise snacks, new books, small toys, art supplies and a travel-sized blanket and pillow. Bring yourself a book, crossword puzzle or correspondence to catch up on. Whether it’s a canceled flight, delayed train or road construction, planning ahead to keep your family occupied during these hold-ups ensures you will all arrive at your destination in a festive mood. [Read more…]



Clearing The Air: What An HVAC Cleaner Should Really Do In Your Home

Real Estate Charlotte NCThose Statistics About Indoor Air Pollution And It’s Relation To Respiratory Problems Convinced You It Was Time To Get Your Heating, Ventilation And Air Conditioning System (HVAC) Cleaned.

You were even looking forward to the increased energy efficiency that a clean system can provide. But $49 and one very noisy service call later, you’re still sneezing and you haven’t seen any dip in your energy bill.

What Happened?

“A very low service charge may indicate the service provider isn’t performing a thorough cleaning and maintenance of your home’s entire HVAC system,” says Matt Mongiello, president of NADCA, the HVAC Inspection, Maintenance & Restoration Association. “He or she may have done nothing more than blow air through the ducts and clean off vent grills inside the home. A cleaning performed to NADCA standards – which are cited by the EPA as a best practice – encompasses much more than just the ductwork.” [Read more…]



Turn Great Art Into Great Home Decor

Charlotte HomesFrom the moment the first cave dweller marked the wall of his home with a bit of charcoal, art has been a home decor must that has stood the test of time.

Whether it’s the vibrant colors of a van Gogh, the almost-mystical perfection of a da Vinci or the dreamily diffused light of a Monet, great art speaks to the soul.

The works of master artists have inspired home decor for centuries, and technological advances have made it easier than ever to incorporate their genius into your own home. It’s no longer necessary to visit the Louvre in Paris to view the “Mona Lisa” or to travel to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City to savor van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” [Read more…]



Getting Your Home Ready For The Hosting Season

Charlotte Real EstateSome might call the fall and winter months the holiday season, but it could just as easily be known as the hosting season.

It’s the time of year when cooking for crowds and welcoming friends and family for celebrations is the name of the game. For those opening their homes to guests, it can be hectic, but there are plenty of ways to make the season as full of cheer as it should be.

Decorating your home for the holidays goes hand-in-hand with getting ready for guests – whether those visitors are planned or impromptu. So, as you start to consider your decor themes, think about updates that can be made around the house to make your guests feel even more at home. [Read more…]



Home tech: affordable and uncomplicated ideas to add enjoyment to your home

Did you know it’s almost the year that Michael J. Fox went ‘back to the future?

While we don’t have hover boards or flying cars, our innovations have changed drastically since 1985, especially when it comes to technology in the home. Now there are many affordable innovations that are simple to use and can add unique benefits and enjoyment to routine activities.

High-fashion, high-function faucets

Kitchen faucets continue to increase in functionality and style – but imagine the convenience of having a faucet that can sense what you’re trying to accomplish, and with a simple wave of your hand, immediately responds to your needs. New MotionSense technology from Moen offers you three ways to operate the faucet. In addition to the traditional handle, you can activate the kitchen faucet by using the Wave Sensor – by waving your hand over the faucet to turn on and off – or the Ready Sensor – by placing your hands or an object under the spout. [Read more…]