Caroline Bianchi's Blog
Spring time after a long winter is always a welcome change. But soon, long summer days will bring scorching heat to your home.
Preparing your home for the summer is something many of us don’t do until it’s too late--as we’re hoisting an air conditioner into a window on a 90-degree afternoon.
In this article, we’re going to help you avoid such struggles. Read on for advice on how to prep your home for the summer heat.
We’ll start with one of the most important objects in your home when summertime arrives--your air conditioner or HVAC systems.
First, change your filters. After almost a year of collecting dust, your filters will need to be cleaned or replaced to best circulate the air in your home. A dirty, clogged cooling system is bad for your home in more ways than one. The unit will struggle to circulate air and will have to work harder. That could mean components breaking on a hot summer day leaving you stranded in the heat. Over the long run, it can cost you more on your utility bill as it has to run longer to achieve the same temperature change.
Refrigerator and freezer
Another thing you’ll want to clean is the coils or vent on your refrigerator. If the temperature in your house drops in the summertime, then your refrigerator will have to compensate for that temperature change and work harder to stay cool.
As I learned last summer, there’s nothing worse than losing an entire trip to the grocery store when your refrigerator stops working in the middle of the night and it takes hours for a repair technician to arrive.
This is also a good time to decrease the temperature setting in your refrigerator or you might find that it isn’t keeping your perishables at a low enough temperature.
Prepare for insects
You’ll be tempted to toss open the windows to let in a cool, summer evening breeze, but if you haven’t checked your screens you might be inviting in more than refreshing air.
Make sure your screens have no holes, including your windows, doors, and other ventilation systems that lead to the outside.
Use smart lighting and cooking practices
There’s no need to bring in more heat than is necessary in the summertime. Close the blinds and curtains on the east side of your home in the morning and the ones on the west side in the afternoon to decrease the greenhouse effect of warming your house with sunlight.
Similarly, opt for cooking outdoors or using your microwave when possible to avoid heating up the kitchen.
Clean the kitchen
Kitchen odors become worse in the summer heat. To avoid unpleasant odors, the spring is a good time to do a deep clean of your kitchen. Emptying and cleaning your cabinets, throwing away expired food, and degreasing the surfaces in your kitchen will help avoid kitchen odors.
Once you’ve achieved the items listed above, you’ll be on your way to staying cool and refreshed during even the hottest summer days.
22 Arrowhead Ave., Auburn, MA 01501
Entering the housing market for the first time can be daunting, particularly for those who want to quickly and seamlessly buy a top-notch residence at an affordable price.
Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of navigating the homebuying process.
Now, let's take a look at three vital tips to help a first-time homebuyer acquire a residence that matches or exceeds his or her expectations.
1. Analyze the Housing Market
The housing market constantly changes, and as a result, differentiating between a buyer's market and a seller's market can be tough. Fortunately, a homebuyer who analyzes the real estate sector closely should have no trouble discovering a variety of outstanding houses at budget-friendly prices.
To assess the housing market, you'll first want to look at the prices of residences that are currently available. This will enable you to better understand the prices of homes in cities and towns where you'd like to live.
Next, you should analyze the prices of recently sold houses in your region. With this housing market data in hand, you can find out whether you're preparing to buy a home in a buyer's market or a seller's one.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
A first-time homebuyer may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage. That way, you can prepare a homebuying budget and narrow your home search accordingly.
To obtain a mortgage, you'll want to meet with several banks and credit unions. This will allow you to learn about all of the mortgage options at your disposal and make an informed mortgage decision.
Furthermore, don't forget to share your mortgage concerns and questions with potential lenders. This will enable you to choose a mortgage that won't force you to overspend to acquire your ideal house.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Let's face it – the homebuying journey can be long and arduous, particularly for a homebuyer who is exploring residences for the first time. But with a real estate agent at your side, you can remove the guesswork of going from homebuyer to homeowner.
A real estate agent is an expert of his or her craft, and as such, will do everything possible to help you achieve your homebuying goals.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your homebuying expectations. This housing market professional also will set up home showings, keep you up to date about new residences that fall within your price range and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will help you alleviate stress throughout the homebuying cycle. A real estate agent understands the challenges of buying a house and will do whatever it takes to help you avoid or overcome potential homebuying hurdles.
Don't miss out on an opportunity to purchase your dream residence – use the aforementioned tips for first-time homebuyers, and you can boost your chances of acquiring a terrific house without breaking your budget.
22 Arrowhead Ave., Auburn, MA 01501
If you’re like many families, you never seem to have quite enough space for each family member to spread out. To stay within your budget, or maybe to create a more close-knit family you have two or more children sharing a room. As time goes on sharing personal space can create rifts between siblings. To avoid added stress and tension consider employing some shared space solutions to help your family members establish their own space, even in a shared room. Here are some divided ideas to get you started.
Mirroring setup – A simple solution is to just split the room right down the middle. Create mirroring layouts on either side of a shared dresser or desk-space and allow each child to spread out on their half.
Curtain Wall — You can also divide the room with an actual curtain or screen. A weighted curtain hanging through the center serves as a visual barrier and helps create a sound barrier as well.
Lofted bed — Purchase a pair of lofted beds with built-in desk space underneath. Each child can build out their area and have a place to go that is entirely their own. As children age, you can even install curtains across the bottom of the loft to give them more privacy.
Divide the closet — Children commonly fight about a sibling's belongings finding their way into their space. This issue is especially true when it comes to closet space. Make sure you establish a separation of closet and storage space (and bathroom if they're sharing one) to help your kids protect their belongings and feel that their stuff is indeed theirs.
Wireless Headphones — Without purchasing furniture or shelving, you can give your kids a sense of personal space by merely providing them with a way to block out the activities of other family members. Get each of your children a pair of wireless headphones so they can enjoy their music, audio-book or phone entertainment without disturbing each other.
Hold Children Accountable for their space. Separately. — Your daughters might share a room, but both may not be equally at fault for the clutter or lack of cleanliness. A benefit of delineating a separation between their spaces is that it helps you see what each of them is doing, individually. Hold the messy child responsible for their half of the room and positively reinforce the child who is completing their chores.
Though they might think it so, children to do not need their own rooms to be happy. Learning to share smaller spaces can help your family grow closer. You have to learn more about each other, pay attention to preferences and pet peeves and generally learn to give and take on a more regular basis. Start your kids on the right path to personal growth and family unity by establishing their individual areas and responsibility versus shared family space.