Bob Falter, CRS, GRI - Exit Real Estate Executives | 508-612-1649 | [email protected]


Posted by Bob Falter, CRS, GRI on 10/4/2017

It has been said that owning a dog is like having a two year old that stays two for his entire life. There is some truth in this statement. Dogs--like children--have many needs, and each dog has a unique personality. But, as any dog owner will tell you, there is no greater joy than coming home to your tail-wagging, slobbering best friend. There are several factors you should consider before getting a dog. You'll want to think about how much time you have to spend with the dog, your family's ability to contribute to caring for him or her, and how suitable your home and yard are.

Your dog's new home

If you've always wanted a large, playful dog, you should think about the size of your home and yard. Big dogs and dogs with high energy need a lot of room to run around in. If you live on a busy road would you consider putting up a fence to keep your dog safe from traffic? If not you might have to tether your dog to a run in the backyard, which is significantly less fun and exercise for the both of you. Inside the home poses another challenge. If you are considering a puppy, know that there is muchtraining involved to keep your dog safe and your house in one piece. One of the many benefits of adopting an older dog is that they tend to already be housebroken, avoiding a lot of clean-ups and chewed furniture.

Raising a dog is a team effort

If you are thinking about getting a puppy or a high energy dog (in other words, a "permanent puppy") it's important to recognize that your whole family will have to be on the same page when it comes to training. Your dog takes cues from your family's behavior. So if one person in your family allows the dog to jump up on them when another doesn't it will give the dog mixed signals. This is also true for rewarding good behavior. Your dog should obey each member of your family because they trust them, not fear them or feel dominant over them. Play-time and treats are a great way to build that trust with every member of your household.

Please consider adopting

We all have the image in our heads of our children playing with a new puppy. But the same joy and bonding can come from adopting an older dog. When you adopt, you can teach your kids the value of rescuing and caring for animals that have been neglected. What's more, adopting is also a way to show support for shelters rather than puppy mills who often breed puppies in poorconditions.

Guidelines for dogs and your home

  • If you have a small home and yard, get a small dog or an older, low-energy dog
  • Likewise, take the dog on lots of walk to make up for missed exercise in the yard
  • If you have a wooded yard be extra vigilant about ticks and fleas
  • Training never ends for you or your dog. Make sure you are constantly working with your dog





Posted by Bob Falter, CRS, GRI on 12/21/2016

Once you've lived in your home for a while it's easy to become relaxedon security. Maybe it's because you live in a safe neighborhood, or maybe you just have a habit of not locking doors. Regardless of the reason, practicing good security can pay off in a huge way protecting yourself, your family, and your belongings from harm. In this article, we're going to cover some home security basics that you might be forgetting and help you build a habit of taking care of them. Read on to learn some tips forsecurity at home.

Safety hazards

Some of the most common safety hazards to your home are completely preventable. Hazards like fire and carbon monoxide are both easily avertedby safe practices when it comes to cooking, electronics, and using open flames of any kind. Follow these tips to protect yourself from fire:
  • Install fire and CO detectors throughout your home. Set a reminder in your calendar to check the batteries yearly or however long is recommended on the detector.
  • Make sure your family knows basic cooking an electronics safety such as how to properly use ovens, microwaves, and power outlets.
  • Teach your family the proper use of fire extinguishers and have a fire safety week at your home where you cover the aforementioned topics, as well as how to evacuate the house in case of a fire.

Burglary

According to the FBI, break-ins are the number one most common threat to a home. There is a break-in every 15 seconds in America. Follow these tips to prevent break-ins at your home:
  • Don't leave spare keys outside your home or on your porch. Similarly, don't leave spare keys on or in your vehicle.
  • Make sure your doors and windows lock properly. Burglars will often move past a home if they cannot easily enter through the front or back doors. Installing a deadbolt will add to the integrity of your doors.
  • Don't keep valuable items like laptops, televisions, or expensive sound systems in plain sight from the road.
  • Change the locks when you move into a new home and keep track of the number of key copies that are made.
  • Keep a fireproof, waterproof, heavy safe in your home with important or dangerous items stored inside. This includes jewelry, important documents, and firearms& ammunition.
  • Get to know your neighbors and agree to keep an eye on one another's homes, especially when one of you is away. Install motion sensor lights and find out if your neighbor uses them. Similarly, have them pick up your mail when you're away so it doesn't seem obvious that your house is empty.

The Role of the internet and technology

Technology can be a useful tool in making your home safer or it can be an easy way to advertise that you are vulnerable to a break-in. Follow these tips when it comes to technology-related security:
  • Don't post pictures of valuable items on social media
  • Don't advertise to your social media "friends" when you are going away. This could be an invitation to break in.
  • Installing a security system or even some dummy cameras and alarms can be a great deterrent.
  • Use encrypted cloud storage to keep your data safe. That includes copies of birth certificates, social security cards, family photos, wills, and more.
 





Posted by Bob Falter, CRS, GRI on 2/10/2016

Mold in a home can present serious health risks for the occupants, and even more problems for those looking to buy or sell a house. Remedying a major mold problem can be costly, so taking steps to ensure that mold can't gain a foothold is important for you and your family. Control the humidity - Keep your humidity levels low....No higher than 50%. Most people run into humidity issues in their basements, so think about getting a dehumidifier if you are having trouble with moisture levels. If you have central a/c, then controlling the humidity level of your house should be relatively easy, as the air in your home will be constantly on the move, keeping humidity from building up in any one particular room. Just be sure to have your air conditioning and heating ducts checked for signs of mold. Check Your Vents - Dryer, kitchen, and bathroom vents can all pose mold problems if they aren't built to blow exhaust directly out of your home. Flooding - If your home happens to incur flood damage, be sure to rectify the problem within 24 house, and at most, 48. Any longer than that, and you risk mold growth. Sometimes, minor flooding issues can be overlooked for a day or two, so if there are any instances where carpets, rugs, or upholstery are moist or wet for an extended period of time, then have them replaced to avoid mold complications. Painting - If you plan to paint your home, look into adding mold inhibitors to your paint. This will cut down on the amount of places in your home that mold can proliferate. If you suspect that your home has an existing mold problem, then please follow the link provided. http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldcleanup.html




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Bob Falter, CRS, GRI on 1/27/2016

There are several items that will make your life a bit easier if you have a toddler. These items are easily found at a pharmacy, hardware store, and safety supply store as well as online. This list will help you be prepared and breathe easy once you are settled in to your new home or apartment. Feel free to print and use this list to help you with your new home safety check. Safety plugs or outlet covers or place furniture in front of outlets Secure furniture that may topple to the wall Install a toilet seat lock Cordless window coverings Install window guards and stops Move furniture away from windows and screens Nonslip pads in the tub Soft cover for the bathtub spout and knobs Secure oven door with lock latch Stove guard blocks for knobs and burners Any fireplace items must be placed out of reach Childproof locks on cabinets Nonslip pads under rugs Remove toxic household plants




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Bob Falter, CRS, GRI on 6/21/2015

Not that long ago, most people didn't think twice before grabbing a glass, and filling it up with tap water from their kitchen sink. But in the past few years, concerns over water quality have prompted people to look for safer alternatives. While some regions are plagued with tap water having a "bad taste" (usually due to water treatment agents like chlorine), other areas have more serious issues to deal with, like bacteria proliferation and industrial pollutants. While some people don't mind the cost of purchasing bottled water, others have tried to be more economical, installing water filters on their tap faucets, or in many cases, outfitting large, expensive water filtration systems for their entire house. By understanding your family's water needs, and doing a quick bit of research, you'll be able to get a better idea of the quality of water in your area, and the steps you can take to ensure your family's safety. 1. Do your research - Sites like http://water.usgs.gov and http://water.epa.gov/drink/ compile up-to-date statistics on a wide variety of water measurements in your area. 2. Look into cost - If you find yourself living in an area where the tap water consistently receives low marks, then it just makes good sense for you to explore your water filtration options. While there are many options to choose from, it really boils down to your peace of mind. Water Filtration Pitchers - The classic Brita pitcher is what usually comes to mind for most, but there are actually quite a few of these types of water filtration systems on the market now. And while they are definitely the most convenient kind of water filtration system, many don't offer the same guarantees as some of the more advanced systems you have the option of choosing from. Not to say that these simple fill-and-pour systems should be overlooked, though. These pitchers are great for areas that have those "bad taste" kind of water issues. In these areas, many people are content with just a pitcher. However, you will have to buy replacement filters on a regular basis, and that often overlooked expense can leave many regretting that they didn't just spend the money on a bigger system. Faucet Filters - These come in two varieties. One variety attaches to your actual faucet, and the other is installed under the sink, purifying the water before it reaches the faucet. Each have their pros and cons, but most of them are better equipped to remove a wider variety of contaminants than the classic water filtration pitcher. If you live in an area where hard water is a problem, many of these undersink varieties offer water softening options as well. These systems are ideal for people who are looking to only purify their sink water. Installing one of these in your kitchen will give your family superb drinking water, while providing you crisp, clean water for cooking purposes. Whole House Water Filters - These are attached at the "point of entry" water source of your house, and will filter all of your home's water, from the shower to the ice maker. Many people find that this option is the best, as all of their water quality concerns have the capability of being met by only one filter. These systems require the least amount of maintenance, but have the heaviest price tag out of all of the systems outlined thus far. If you have municipal (city) water, then a decent whole house water filtration system will cost you an average of 700 dollars or more, and well water systems can set you back into the thousands. However, this is the best way to ensure that all of the water flowing into your home is safe, soft, and tasty. For more information on the kinds of water systems available to you, please visit http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/water-filters/buying-guide.htm