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

You Can Transform Your Home by Adding More Natural Light

We live in an area of the country where Mother Nature provides us with sunny days most of the year.  Why not take advantage of the beautiful natural night right outside your home and get some window dressings that let the light in.

Natural light can give parts of your home new life – brightening dark rooms, revitalizing the interior of your home and even giving you a happier mood.

Here are some tips on how to “Let the Sunshine In.”

When you walk into your home look for areas that can use more light.  Access where your natural light comes from – windows, glass doors, skylights.  You might have large pieces of furniture or very big plants blocking some of the natural light coming into your home- you can easily remedy that by just a little rearrangement of furniture.

Check your window treatments.  Do you have dark shades or heavy curtains; they will certainly block natural sunlight from getting into your home.  You might consider replacing these with lighter materials and colors that can better let natural light into darker rooms.  Letting in more natural light can transform your kitchen, bedroom and even your bathroom into more interesting spaces.

If you have dark walls you might consider getting your paint brush out and paint the walls a lighter more reflective color that can brighten up your rooms with more daylight.  The lighter color walls can provide a design contrast with your darker furniture and gives your space a lighter look.

Why not replace solid wood entry doors and other doors in your home with glass doors.  This is a great way to let light travel from room to room.  You can still use frosted or tinted glass that provides privacy yet still lets natural light in.

Look at your ceiling in the kitchen area – is it begging for a skylight?  A new skylight will show off your counter-tops and the skylight can become a conversation starter centerpiece of your kitchen as lit adds all day direct sunlight to that area and other nearby spots in your home.  Skylights come in three types – fixed, ventilating and tubular.  A skylight professional can help you decide the best type and size of skylight will be best in your home.

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

Get the Most Out of your Outdoor Furniture by Cleaning it Properly

Well this summer has been hot and we still have a few more months of outdoor weather. You have been enjoying your outdoor furniture and want these pieces to last as long as possible – regular cleaning help the furniture last for years. Different types of finishes need different types of cleaning.

Wicker furniture is a bit tricky since there are lots of surfaces to clean. If something spills on the wicker wipe it up immediately. To do basic upkeep – clean using your vacuum – especially the small brush attachment to clean to remove the dust that can accumulate. If there is a stain on the wicker use a soft bristle brush and mild soap and then rinse with a low-pressure hose to clean. During the winter cover the furniture to protect from winter winds.

Wooden furniture needs extra attention. Spray with a wood cleaner and scrub with a soft brush every two weeks. Moisture is really not good for wood and can cause mildew. It is advised to apply wood oil on the wood surface and let it sit that way for several hours before wiping off. During the winter either store inside or invest in quality furniture covers.

Aluminum furniture is extremely durable and very versatile and doesn’t need much upkeep as it doesn’t rust. Wash aluminum with a low pressure hose to remove dust and debris. Use a mixture of mild soap and lukewarm water and wipe up with a clean cloth. To avoid corrosion and pitting, it is advised to coat your aluminum pieces with automotive wax or baby oil.

Wrought-iron furniture needs regular cleaning with a mixture of mild soap and water and then hose it off and make sure it is completely dry to avoid rusting. If the paint is wearing away repaint the furniture with spray-on paint. If the wrought-iron gets rained on or has bird droppings wash it immediately and make sure it dries completely.

Fabric and plastic on the furniture is especially sensitive to the desert sun, causing fading, cracking and other types of deterioration. Many types of outdoor furniture have removable pads.

These types of pads that can be cleaned as often as needed during the season with soap and water and should be stored indoors for the winter. Be sure they have completely dried before putting them away to avoid mold and mildew. Plastic pieces should also be covered or stored in a shed or garage.

Have fun and enjoy your backyard and be happy you live in Las Vegas where you can use your backyard almost all year long.

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