UNLV and other organizations team up for free Christmas tree recycling

UNLV and community organizations will team up this holiday season to help turn Christmas trees into mulch. This free recycling service will be available at more than 30 locations around the valley beginning Dec. 26 and run through Jan. 15.

The recycled trees are chipped into mulch and used in public gardens and parks across the community, according to a service spokesperson. The trees will help conserve soil moisture, dust control and keep plants healthy.

UNLV recycling manager Tara Pike-Nordstrom stated “Recycling trees is a great way to give back to the community as they stay local and beautify our parks.” More than 15,000 trees were recycled last year into 136 tons of nutrient-rich mulch. Local landfill volume was spared the equivalent of ten school buses.

This community based program was started in 2001 and since then over 227,000 trees have been recycled. The organizers of this event suggest removing all non-organic materials such as lights, wire, tinsel, ornaments, nails, tree stands and any other items that are not part of the tree before recycling it.  Also, flocked trees cannot be recycled, and trees more than 5 feet tall should be cut in half.

Las Vegas Cub Scout Pack 219 and Boy Scout Troop 96 will be collecting trees to recycle for residents who want to recycle but are unable to drop off their trees. The scouts earn a conservation badge and raise funds for their organizations.

The Southern Nevada Christmas Tree Recycling Committee is a partnership of local businesses and community agencies, including UNLV’s Rebel Recycling program and the Springs Preserve.

Check here for the closest available locations.

Also, mulch from the trees will be available for free to community members at several valley locations from Dec. 28 to Jan. 14. These spots include Pecos Legacy Park, Acacia Park, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, North Las Vegas Research Center, Demonstration Orchard and its Lifelong Learning Center in Las Vegas.

Pickup times vary, and residents are encouraged to call UNCE’s Clark County office at 702-222-3130.

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Why are you still having packages delivered to your front door?

Do you also still leave your house and car unlocked? Do you leave your purse or wallet on the front porch too? Come on people! There are pirates out there (and I’m not talking the Pirates of Penzance or the Pirates of the Caribbean) Being a porch pirate has become as trendy and cool as the Keto diet and many of you are still hoping you won’t be next, instead of doing something intelligent about it. I regularly see posts on Nextdoor and Facebook about packages being stolen… with a video of the thief! For Pete’s sake, people, stop being a victim!

When it comes to having packages delivered, here are some DO’s and DON’Ts;

DO mail it to a neighbor/friend who is home during the day (make sure you check with them first)

DO use an Amazon Locker [use this link for the words Amazon Locker https://www.amazon.com/primeinsider/tips/amazon-locker-qa.html%5D

DO mail it to your job (make sure you ask permission first – this will not work for every employer – I’m sure the casinos, for example, do not have the resources to allow for this – but smaller business might).

DO get a mailing address at a local UPS Store or Postnet (you can also get a PO Box, but understand that only the US Postal service can deliver there, so that will eliminate deliveries from FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.)

DO look for other options – I assure you they exist! I can’t remember where I was recently (I think in a grocery store) – they had an advertisement “Have your packages delivered here… safely” and the reason I don’t remember where I was is because when I read the sign I thought to myself, “I already get my mail at a UPS store, so that is not important for me to remember”

DON’T think your video camera will thwart the attempts – it’s such a low impact crime, the police don’t really have the resources to chase after them and (based on what I see on social media) it’s not slowing anyone down… probably because they know the police do not have the resources. Plus, let’s be honest, if you would just choose a different way to get your packages, the police would have more time to devote to other, less-preventable crimes.

DON’T just build a fence and put a lock on the gate… I have seen many videos of fence-jumping-porch-pirates.

If you feel you MUST have a package delivered to your house when you are not going to be there, at least create some kind of visual barrier for the delivery person to hide the package behind or in… this will at least ensure that the package is not super visible from the street like a neon sign that says “I got this for YOU”. It’s not a great solution, but it will improve your chances, at least slightly. Have you ever heard the saying “locks keep honest people honest”? Do you know what that means? It means, that even a weak lock will protect your items from people who are opportunists, but not career thieves. When the package is visible on your porch, like it or not, you are actually tempting people who might otherwise be reasonably respectable to grab an easy opportunity.

DON’T whine about your missing packages… seriously… if you are not willing to take steps to prevent porch piracy in 2018, then,  you’re basically asking for it (I know I’m gonna catch heat for saying that, but),  you wouldn’t leave your wallet on the front porch would you? And if you did, you really couldn’t be surprised that someone took it.

One last DON’T… DON’T booby-trap your packages… as much as I completely feel that the porch pirates (and all thieves) should feel consequences, in this country, you can be held civilly & criminally liable for hurting these people… that means they could sue you (and win) and you could end up with jail time. It’s just not worth it!

AND… if you want me to, I will accept your packages safely at my office near Summerlin… just call me in advance so I know to expect them and I can call or email you when they arrive!

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Stay safe when decorating your Home for the Holidays

It’s that time of year again to get the holiday ornaments, lights and other decorations to make your home more festive both inside and out.

When putting up the Christmas tree make sure your ladder is sturdy and has good “footing”.  Did you know that at this time of year there are typically about 15,000 people that visit the ER?  Half of these injuries come from falling off ladders while putting up holiday decorations in high places inside or outside of the home.

Make sure your tree is not too close to heat sources from fireplaces, radiators or candles – the tree can go up in flames pretty quickly.  Also, if you have a real tree, keep it well watered so it doesn’t dry out too quickly.

We all love holiday lights however you can easily overload your electrical system with flashing lights.  Add up the total amount of amps used by your string lights that are using the same electrical source.  Also make sure any extension cord you use you’re your circuit breaker can handle the total amount of amps.

For you outdoor decorations make sure you use GFCI outlets (that’s the one with the reset button on it) – this type of outlet should be installed anywhere there is a risk of electricity mixing with water.

I want you and your loved ones to have a wonderful and safe holiday season so take the extra time to check and double check to make sure your home is safe – it’s really difficult to climb down the chimney as Santa when you are on crutches!! Plus those ER bills really cut into your gift budget!

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Freezing Temperatures Are Coming! Protect Your Sprinkler and Irrigation System!

When people move to Las Vegas they mistakenly believe the Las Vegas Valley never experiences temperatures below freezing.  Well it does and in 2007 and again in 2011 the valley experienced several consecutive days below freezing.

At that time irrigation anti-siphon and PVB (Pressure Vacuum Breaker) valves all over the Valley cracked, resulting in many, many flooded yards.  Normally anti-siphon and PVB valves cost around $85, however if you add in the laws of supply and demand prices soared to as much as $350.   As we all know water expands as it freezes and turns into ice.  It is this expansion that causes the damage.

There are several things you can do to reduce the potential for damage to your system.  If you are an engineering type of person then you can review the draining procedures.  The average homeowner would have difficulty performing this maintenance action. But there are simple steps any homeowner can accomplish to reduce the potential for damage.   The Home Depot carries decorative fake rocks and Star Nursery carries insulated covers that can be installed over the PVB.  The interior of the decorative rocks should be filled with insulation.  If insulation is not readily available then several towels or a blanket would work as a substitute

Don’t forget that it is vitally important that your pipes on the PVB are protected too.  Most hardware stores carry foam pipe insulation that is already split down the seam allowing for very easy installation.   All you need to install this product is a pair of scissors in order to cut the product to the proper length and some sturdy tape to hold it tight.

You should also check around the exterior of your home for cracks near doors and windows that can let in cold air and can cause your heating bill to rise.  Plug up any cracks you find and check the bottom of doors for drafty areas.

It is also important to have your heating unit checked to make sure it is working well. An annual check-up is a great way to prevent problems that may be on the horizon.

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

 

Why Your FICO Credit Score Could Get a Boost in 2019

Things might be changing for the better when it comes to FICO scores in 2019.  For decades credit scores have been based on borrowers’ payment history; from mortgage to credit card payments.

Fair Isaac Corp is the creator of the widely used FICO credit score and has plans to roll out a new scoring system in early 2019.  This new system will factor in how consumers manage the cash in their checking, savings and money-market accounts and will be among the biggest shifts for credit reporting and the FICO scoring system, the bedrock of most consumer-lending decisions in the U.S. since the 1990s.

The new scoring system will be called UltraFICO Score. It isn’t meant to weed out applicants,  it is designed to boost the number of approvals for credit cards, personal loans and other debt by taking into account a borrower’s history of cash transactions, which could indicate how likely they are to repay.  This has been in the works for years; it is FICO’s latest answer to lenders who after years of mostly cautious lending are seeking ways to boost loan approvals.

This new system is occurring at the same time the consumer-credit market appears relatively healthy. Unemployment is low and consumer loan balances—including for credit cards, auto loans and personal loans—are at record highs, and lenders are looking for ways to keep expanding loan volume.

We as borrowers currently have little control over what is in our credit reports, except for the ability to contest information they believe is inaccurate. Lenders, collections firms and other parties are fed payment-history data to the major credit-reporting firms, Experian PLC, EquifaxInc. and TransUnion, and that information determines consumers’ FICO scores.  Lenders use FICO scores to help make most of their lending decisions.

The UltraFICO score will function as an appeal of sorts, likely boosting many applicants with less-than-ideal records. If an applicant’s traditional FICO score falls short, a lender can offer to have the score recalculated to reflect banking activity. Would-be borrowers with at least several hundred dollars in their accounts, who have had the accounts for a while and who transact frequently and don’t overdraw are likely to see their scores rise, FICO said.  Applicants will be able to choose which accounts they want considered when the score is recalculated.

A decade after the subprime-mortgage binge nearly brought down the U.S. financial system, consumer lenders remain wary of borrowers with low credit scores.  Banks have spent much of the past 10 years chasing creditworthy borrowers. That slice of the market, which has grown as the economy has improved, is largely tapped out.

All this has lead to lenders asking credit-reporting firms and FICO to figure out a way to help them boost lending without taking on significantly more risk. And regulators have expressed interest in exploring ways to increase access to affordable lending for consumers who have no or low credit scores.

This is an interesting fact – Of all the U.S. consumers with FICO credit scores, a record 58.2% have a score of 700 or higher on a scale that tops out at 850. The average FICO score is at a record 704.   FICO said about seven million applicants who have low credit scores as a result of thin borrowing histories would likely see their scores improve under the new system. Separately, some 26 million subprime borrowers will end up with higher credit scores, FICO said, with nearly four million seeing an increase of at least 20 points.

UltraFICO is the latest in a recent series of changes by credit-reporting and -scoring firms that are helping boost consumers’ credit scores.

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Don’t Fall for Home Repair Scams

Home repair, renovation and improvement scams can be costly so beware of con- artists looking to take your money and then disappear.  Protect yourself from these unethical people by looking out for common schemes.

Do not trust a person that just arrives at your home and says “Hey I was doing a job in the neighborhood and I have some extra materials left over, so I’ll give you a good deal on a driveway sealing project.” A good and reliable contractor usually knows how much material they need for a certain project and if they have leftover material will not peddle it door to door. If you really think you like the deal, ask for the name and address of the person they just did the job for and ask that neighbor how satisfied they were with the job that was done.

Another potential red flag for a home improvement project is the contractor stating, “We won’t need to pull permits.”  Of course, not every home improvement job requires a permit, but if you think this one should, contact the city and ask. Improvements that should have had permits, but do not, can cause trouble when you try to sell your home.

Be careful if you are speaking with a contractor that states “I’m going to need you to pay the whole job up front”.  A reasonable down payment is part of the process – usually about one third of the price of the job.  Never pay for the entire project up front – if you do that person will just take the money and run.  Check for regulations that are in place as a guideline to protect you.

 

Don’t hire a contractor that says “We don’t need to put anything in writing”.  You should have a written contract – that protects you and the contractor for very good reasons.  Make sure the contract specifies a dated work schedule, payment terms, cost breakdown, as well as proof of licensure, bonding & insurance, and any concessions for work not completed on time.  This is the strongest legal protection you can have.

Remember a good contractor will not pressure you to make up your mind on the spot.  They know this is a costly investment and you will need time to think it over.  You should also think about speaking to more than one contractor before making your decision and checking local jobs they have done similar to yours.

Finally, go the extra mile and contact the Nevada State Contractors Board (http://www.nvcontractorsboard.com) about the license # they provide you (a truly legitimate contractor will have no problem with that.) I had a client a couple of years ago hire a contractor who was using the license number of a company he used to work for. A few extra minutes to verify him would have prevented what ended up costing my client over $70,000…

I have a list of people I refer to my clients for specific jobs and am happy to recommend these contractors to any reader since I know their work and reputation. Feel free to reach out to me any time for recommendations.

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

The Influence of American Ninja Warriors

In my opinion the TV show American Ninja Warrior is the most inspiring reality show and it has changed the way many people look at exercise.

Of course, most of us are not at the level of the athletes we see run the course – however I know many people that have gotten up from their couches and started some sort of exercise because of it.  It could be walking, swimming, class exercises, private instruction or even building parts of a ninja course in your garage or backyard.  There are some gyms that have built these types of obstacles just for the purpose of “ninja” exercise.

My son is one of those people that wants to compete on American Ninja Warrior and can’t wait until he is old enough.  He trains on “ninja” obstacles and I must say I am very proud of his goal (and maybe a little jealous as well).

The one thing to remember is – you shouldn’t go from the couch to the course.  First you should train to get into better physical shape before attempting any ninja-like exercises.  He works out at a gym named Camp Rhino that has a very comprehensive program for adult ninja training (and Saturday classes for kids too).  You might want to try this type of gym before you build an obstacle course in your backyard or garage.

Climbing is a big part of ninja training so you just might want to build a rock wall with a variety of holds screwed in.  You can also have a slack line for balance and other obstacles to train on – getting your upper body strong is essential for doing a ninja course. (Don’t forget to get adequate pads underneath you as well).

There are a few competitors my age, it’s true, but I’m not likely to pursue it, however in my dreams, I crush the course and hit the buzzer too.

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff