Is Your Home Prepared for Spring Storm Season? Here are some helpful tips!

Spring is here and temperatures are on the rise along with storm season.  We know here in North Texas we have to be prepared for anything and everything.  But will a little preparation you will be able to protect your home against Mother Nature.

Sign up for Alerts

You can sign up for alerts or download weather related apps that will notify you of what is going on weather wise in your region.  You may already get Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) through your wireless provider that provide alerts for extreme weather, local emergencies requiring evacuation, AMBER Alerts and Presidential Alerts during a national emergency.  Your local news channel and The Weather Channel have alerts you can download onto your cell phone.

Evaluate the Exterior of Your Home

Walk around the exterior of your home and keep an eye out on the following things:

  • Loose shingles that looked rippled.
  • If you have siding, make sure it is firmly in place.
  • Tree branches extending over your house or dead branches that could fall in a storm.
  • Make sure your fence is secure or is in need of any repairs.
  • Gutters should be firmly attached and downspouts in place and cleaned from debris.
  • If you have shutters, make sure they are secured tightly.
  • Secure or move loose patio furniture and décor that could be damaged or create damage during a storm.

Seal up any leaks

Inspect the sealant around your windows, doors and places where utility pipes enter the exterior walls of your house.  You can use a urethane-based caulk to seal cracks and prevent water intrusion.

Emergency Kits

  • Two gallons of water per person.
  • A flashlight and batteries
  • Portable chargers for your cell phones and devices.
  • First Aid kit
  • Garbage bags
  • Blankets
  • Three day supply of non-perishable food for family and pets.

Review your Safety plans

  • Communicate with children on what to do during a bad storm and where to go.
  • Create a communication plan for times when you and your family are not together.
  • Find the safest place in your home to take shelter.
  • Learn evacuation routes.
  • Make sure you have a full tank of gas.
  • Know escape routes and have way for persons to escape the 2nd floor of your home in case of fire from lightning strike.

Prepare Against Lightning Damage

  • Plug in all expensive electronics in to a surge protector.
  • Install whole home surge protection for better piece of mind installed by a licensed electrician.
  • Lightning rods installed on your home could harness and safely ground currents from lightning strikes.

If you need any help with your spring storm preparations, please contact the Stacey Feltman Group at (214) 356-8368 for a list of our preferred vendors. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tips to Survive Spring Allergies

Ahhhhh!  Spring time is upon us!  The time for spring cleaning, blooming flowers, warmer weather and of course Spring allergies!  There are so many ways to help relieve some of the symptoms like itchy, watery eyes, nasal congestion, headaches and sore throats, etc.  Right now in our DFW area and the entire state of Texas Pollen is way up.  According to Pollin.com, todays worst cities are in the state of Texas- Fort Worth, Dallas, Laredo, Waco and Del Rio.

 

Here are some helpful tips that may help you relieve some of your symptoms…

 

Treat your allergies at night

Pollen is worse in the mornings therefore treating your allergies at night with medications and/or nasal sprays is best.  By morning, those 24 hour meds will be fully in your system.

 

Shower and wash your hair at night

Before getting into the bed, shower off and wash your hair of pollen that may have settled in during the day.  You don’t want to transfer the pollen into your bedding.

 

Take Vitamin D

Yes, this is one you may not have heard of in the treatment of allergies but Vitamin D may help make you better resistant to many allergens.  Studies have shown it to protect against a wide range of conditions such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, depression and even dementia.  A vitamin D deficiency has been linked to sensitivity to allergens such as dogs, ragweed, oak, ryegrass and shrimp.

 

Nasal Irrigation

Our nasal passages have tiny hair-like structures called cilia which catch dirt, bacteria, viruses and other substances.  According to WebMD, Nasal irrigation can help relieve sinus symptoms by thinning out thick mucus and help flush out the irritants such as pollen from the sinus passages.  It is best to do at night as with other treatments.

 

Inside your home

Make sure you are taking shoes off before entering or leaving shoes at the door to keep allergens from coming in.  Wash your sheets and blankets regularly, replace AC filters, keep dust to a minimum, vacuum carpet and remove or clean drapes that catch dust.

 

There are many other ways to help you relieve allergy symptoms, these are just a few.  If you have any questions regarding allergies, please visit your doctor.

 

Keep track of pollen count in your area, visit www.pollen.com and type in your zip code.

 

 

 

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Patriots or Eagles? Plan your Superbowl party with these easy tips!

Whether you are rooting for the Patriots or the Eagles, wear your favorite football gear and get ready to prep your home for the big event!  Your main priority is to make sure guests are well fed and comfortable! Here are some helpful tips for the big game!

Get your entryway ready

Particularly if it is cold outside, you will want to set up your entryway to make it easy to store shoes, hang up coats and move people in as quickly as possible.  If you don’t have coat racks, you can get some inexpensive baskets to store items for your guests.  You don’t want shoes and coats all over the floor!

 Get the family room or TV room ready

Make sure all of your media equipment is working properly and if you don’t have that huge TV you wanted for the game, it is a good time to buy as TVs tend to go on sale just before the big game.  Make sure you have enough seating for all of your guests.  Gather any folding chairs or seating from other areas in the home to accommodate all of your guests.

Kitchen is an epicenter at parties

Not only will the excitement be going on in the TV room but in the kitchen will be full of guests getting food and drinks.  Make room by cleaning off counter space so that you have plenty of room for food, party trays and a drink area.

Food & Drinks

It is important to have a wide variety of food and beverages to satisfy all palates.  Finger foods, chips, dips, stews & chili can go a long way.  If your party is potluck, keep a list of what your guests will be bringing so you don’t double up. Don’t forget the ice!  You will need to fill up the cooler and to have for drinks.

Decorate

You can choose the team colors for plates, napkins, table clothes etc. or visit your local party store for more ideas.

Don’t forget the kids

Many of us have kids that will be tagging along to the Superbowl party as well.  If you plan on having kids at your event, have kid friendly foods, drinks and activities to keep them busy while parents watch the game.  If you don’t already have a playroom, you can set up a spot in your home designated for your little guests with toys, games, and tot sized table & chairs.

 Be ready for the mess

With a houseful of people you are bound to have a mess or an accidental spill.  Keep you cleaning supplies and plenty of paper towels ready!

The Stacey Feltman Group wishes everyone a safe and fun Superbowl 2018!  If you would like a new home to celebrate your Superbowl party in by next year, give us a call at 214-356-8368! 

 

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Want to buy a house in 2018? Here are 6 Steps to take now!

Many of us make New Year’s resolutions from dieting, exercising, traveling, etc.  If one of your resolutions is to purchase that dream home in 2018, here are some helpful steps you can take to make that dream a reality.

Check your credit score.

FICO scores range from 300-850.  If your score is above 740, typically you will get a better interest rate on a loan.  This lower rate could mean saving thousands of dollars per year.  If your credit falls a little short you should look into repairing it.  You can start by correcting any errors and paying bills on time.  It is wise to use 30 percent or less of your total available credit.

Don’t open new credit cards.

Opening new lines of credit could hurt your chances of getting a mortgage or getting the best rate.  As tempting as it may be to save 20 percent of your purchase that one time at a store, it is not worth it in the long run.

Interview real estate agents.

You may ask for referrals from your family and friends, but what is most important is to shop around to find the agent that is the perfect fit for you.  Make sure the agent is a good communicator, knowledgeable and experienced.

Keep tabs on interest rates.

Not everyone gets the same interest rate on a mortgage loan.  This depends on your finances and lender you choose.  It is best to shop around for the lowest rates.

Find a mortgage lender & get pre-approved.

Before you even start looking for a home, look for a mortgage lender to find out how much home you can afford or if you are in the position to purchase a home at that time.  Most lenders will tell you some things that you could do to get there faster.  Most real estate agents require pre-approval letters before setting up house hunting trips.

 

If you are interested in purchasing a new home this year, the Stacey Feltman group can help.  We are have the experience, knowledge and negotiation skills to help make your REALTY DREAMS A REALITY!

Contact us at 214-356-8368

 

 

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Keep your sanity on Holiday road trips with kids!

Make it a family affair

Don’t wait until the last minute to get your kids psyched for your holiday journey. If you involve them in the planning process, they’re likely to be more invested in the trip. Give them little tasks so they’ll feel like they’re contributing.

Beat rush hour

You can’t avoid traffic jams caused by accidents or emergency roadwork, but you can plan your trip so you’re not in big cities during the morning or evening rush. You might also consider leaving at night if you feel well rested and comfortable driving in the dark. There will be fewer cars on the road, and your kids will probably sleep most of the way.

Bring snacks

Have a supply of good travel foods (Cheerios, string cheese, bananas) with you at all times. Water is the best on-the-go beverage because kids only drink as much as they need, which will cut down on emergency bathroom breaks.

Be prepared for messes

Have available some hand sanitizer, a small travel first-aid kit, some paper towels and/or handi-wipes

Keep kids entertained

Let your children pack their own bag of toys, travel games, books, and so on. But bring a special surprise or two to pull out when they start getting bored maybe a gift you bought just for the trip. Give little ones their favorite lovey, and then read or tell them a story so they don’t feel ignored. For older kids, encourage them to scout out license plates and road signs or have them track your route with a marker on a map or if you child is tech savvy a tablet with age appropriate games can keep them entertained for hours.  Some schools give a holiday reading list that they can get done before the busy family time.

Most of all be prepared to let the children know that a normal 3 hour trip could take longer due to the busy holiday traffic.

The Stacey Feltman Group wishes all a Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels!

 

 

 

 

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Suffering with Allergies?

If it is one thing that North Texans know about, it’s the misery that comes along with allergies.  In the real estate business, the Stacey Feltman Group helps a lot of people relocating to the area and one of the main things they hear about is how bad allergies can be in Texas.  While we cannot control mother Earth, we can try to eliminate a lot of allergens inside our homes.  Here are a few helpful hints to help you through…

Beat the Dust in the Bedrooms!

We spend a lot of time in our beds at night getting our beauty rest, but behold the ugly dust mites that are inhabiting our mattresses.  A quick fix is to cover your mattress and pillows with zip-on dust mite covers.  Dust also settles in pillows, bedding and drapes.  Go curtain free if possible or use curtains that can be washed along with bedding and pillows.  If you have pets that shares a bed with you their dander can be an issue.  Bathing pets weekly can help relieve some of the dander.  Most people have carpet in their bedrooms, if you cannot remove carpet vacuuming once a week can help pull up some of the dust.  Vacuuming can stir up dust, so you may want to wear a mask while vacuuming carpets.  Some vacuum cleaners have a HEPA filter that will trap dust and keep it from settling back into the carpet.

Keep the Outdoors Out!

Lay down two doormats at each entryway—one outside, one inside—to keep outdoor irritants from finding their way inside. Or, have your family and guests remove their shoes when they enter, so they don’t spread allergens around.

Change those Air Filters!

Don’t forget to clean or replace the filters in your heating and cooling system. Just follow the manufacturers’ instructions on timing and frequency.

Ditch the Drapes!

Blinds or shades trap fewer allergens than fabric window treatments, but if you insist on curtains, opt for the machine-washable kind, which are easier to keep dust-free. Remove dust by vacuuming once a week with a brush attachment, and wash them frequently during months when you keep the windows open.

Eliminate the Mold in Bathrooms!

There are more than 100,000 species of mold on the planet, and one of their favorite places to live is your bathroom. Clean it regularly, making sure to dry off surfaces that collect standing water, and make sure it’s well ventilated. Also replace broken tiles and re-caulk sinks and tubs every few years to discourage mold growth behind walls.

Look Under the Kitchen Sink!

It’s a prime spot for mold growth when pipes drip. Pull everything out of the cabinet and inspect the interior carefully for signs of leaks. Also look for mouse droppings and cockroach webs, since rodents and bugs can trigger allergies, too. Get leaks fixed, seal holes, clean the area, and keep it tidy and dry to eliminate irritant build-up.  Other areas to look for mold in kitchen area include the refrigerator and washing machines.  Make sure you are cleaning these as well.  You can use vinegar and water to safely clean inside refrigerators and washers.

Go Carpet Free!

Minimize the amount of carpet you have.  If you can, replace with the many types of hardwood or solid surface floors.

If you suffer from allergies, you may need to see a doctor to determine what specific allergens you are allergic too.  Click HERE to check the daily pollen count in your area.

 

 

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Eliminate Your Thanksgiving Stress!

Halloween is over and now on to the next!  Never too early to prepare for Thanksgiving especially if you are the host!  Thanksgiving meal prep takes a lot of time and preparation not to mention all the other stuff you need to do to prepare for Holiday guests.  Family can be stressful in itself so let’s focus on the stuff we can try to control.  Hopefully, having a plan with pave the way for a beautiful feast and good time all can be grateful for.

One month out

Make a list of people that will be visiting.

Do you want it to feel cozy, elegant or casual?

Order your turkey and ham early

Choose recipes and figure out who will be making what

Do a walk-through of your home- does anything need to be updated or fixed? New decorating project?

Clear space in your pantry

Clear out the coat closet

Figure out if you will need extra tables, chairs, etc. to accommodate guests.

 

Two to Three Weeks ahead

Create DIY or figure out your table décor

Create your shopping list for non-perishable items and one for perishable items

Make your cooking schedule.  What things can be prepared ahead of time?

Shop for your non-perishables and leave them organized by dish

 

The weekend before

Tidy up your house.  Not the time for deep cleaning and purging.

Tidy up the front porch, maybe add a splash of color with plants or flowers

Clean out fridge and freezer to make room for prep items and leftovers

Shop for your perishable items

Purchase or pick up your frozen turkey so it can start thawing in the fridge

Review your menu and shopping lists to see if you left something out

 

The Day Before

Tidy up again focusing on main areas such as entry ways and bathrooms

Set the table with place settings and décor

Prep any dishes to decrease the workload

Clear out dishwasher

Put any frozen prep dishes you made prior in the fridge to thaw

Set up kids table if necessary

 

Thanksgiving Day

Start cooking Turkey early morning and start your cooking plan

After dinner, promptly put dishes in dishwasher to clear away and make room for dessert!

Graciously accept any help you get

Sit back and enjoy your pie!

 

 

 

 

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Haunted House for Sale!

It is the season of ghosts, goblins and trick or treaters!  This time of year many flock to the numerous haunted houses in their area for chills and thrills.  While this may be exciting and fun, in real life would feelings be the same?  Are buyers really spooked about purchasing and living in a haunted house?  Here is what they are saying…

Thirty-three percent of more than 1,000 consumers recently surveyed say they’re willing to live in a haunted house, and another 25 percent said they’d consider it, according to a newly released survey by realtor.com®.  Still, 40 percent of consumers said they’d need a price reduction in order to choose a haunted home over a non-haunted home. Also, a good neighborhood, extra square footage, and more bedrooms would convince them too, according to the survey. On the other hand, 42 percent of respondents insist they aren’t open to the idea of buying a haunted home, even for those extra perks.

For most buyers, living in a so-called haunted home is not that concerning as 28 percent of respondents have claimed to have lived in one in the past and 14 percent think they may have.

With inventory shortages across the US, like here in the DFW area, buyers may overlook haunted house claims to get into the home of their dreams and in the right schools.  Would you purchase a haunted home?

 

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Fall vs. Summer: Which is Really the Best Time to Buy a New Home?

Many buyers with children may question the fact that school has already started and are adamant about not changing schools. Other buyers may think that they can only get the best deals in the Spring/Summer seasons. This is not the case! Here is why…

Less Competition (Fall Wins!)
Competition drops off the in the Fall season but there are still homes for sale. In some cases, there’s just as much inventory that did not sell in the “prime season.” This puts the buyer in a great position to negotiate. Many sellers may be more motivated to sell before the holidays. Buyers will have more leverage in Fall!

Sellers are Exhausted (Fall Wins!)
Many of these sellers put their homes on the market in the “prime season” and had more energy and excitement. But after many showings, they start to get worn-out. Now they are ready to make a deal. Most will take a lower offer than to wait another six months for spring to come around. Some sellers may have a home that is being built or have to move for a job, therefore, again they are more open to negotiating and accepting a lower offer or the reason they have made a price adjustment.

Prices will Drop (Fall Wins!)
If homes listed during the busy summer months did not sell, chances are they could have been overpriced or at the upper limits of the comparables. Buyers will see prices fall more in line with market value. Again, sellers are more willing to negotiate and adjust their original list price.

Time on the Market (Fall Wins!)
Another issue that works against sellers but favors buyers. The longer the home sits unsold, the more bargaining power a buyer will have.

More Flexibility on Terms (Fall Wins!)
In the fall season, you will see less bidding wars and multiple offers. Therefore, tables are turned and buyers will have more flexibility on terms such as: Closing costs, Repairs, Seller Concessions and closing timeline.

If school being in session is what is hindering a buyer from making that purchase, stop that thinking! Think about the deal for long-term and the positives to make that switch. School just started so kids may not have gotten too comfortable yet in their class, so making this a perfect time to switch and start fresh at a new school. Kids will always make neighborhood and school friends.

In our case of Fall vs. Summer, Fall wins by a landslide! Call the Stacey Feltman Group today at
214-356-8368 or visit us on our website at www.staceyfeltmangroup.com.
We Make REALTY Dreams a REALITY!

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Do It Now! Tips to Get Your Kids Ready for School!

Frisco ISD Parents we are just 2 weeks away from that magical first day of school! This is the day some of us parents have been praying for! Now is the perfect time to get your kids and yourself ready for the upcoming chaos of the morning and afternoon rush. Here are some tips we can start doing now to prepare.

Ease the Family in to the school year schedule
The day of is not the time to start waking them up early. Start 2 weeks prior re-introducing them to the school year bedtime and start waking late sleepers up closer to the time they will need to wake up for school.

Lunch & snack time schedule
Find out what time your child will be eating lunch and having snacks for the upcoming school year and you can plan meals and snacks accordingly so they can better adapt to the new schedule.

Organize your days with a Family Calendar
Back to school also brings those extracurricular activities and busy after school schedules. You may be running around in chaos especially if you have more than one child. Create a family calendar that is centrally located with each person’s activities, meetings, etc. You can also color code each person’s activities. This will help you stay organized without the chaos!

School Shopping
Frisco ISD provides the opportunity to purchase back to school supply kits and delivers them to your child’s classroom so there is no need to deal with the hustle and bustle of going out and hoping one store has all you need. Do assess your kids wardrobe and make a list of items they will need to start school and Do shop early.

School Enrollment
Many schools like Frisco ISD have enrollment guidelines so make sure you are prepared and have the appropriate paperwork handy. For instance Frisco ISD requires:

Acceptable proof of residency is one of the following:

 A copy of a current (current or previous month) utility bill (electric, gas or water) which shows the current usage on it.
 A current lease (for 30 days until a utility bill is available).
 If you have recently purchased your home, a copy of the closing papers will suffice until a utility bill is available to reproduce (within 30 days).
 If you are living with a relative or friend in the FISD attendance zone, an affidavit must be completed, notarized and returned to the school office along with a current utility bill.
 Students living apart from parents—Refer to Policy FDB (LOCAL).

For more information visit http://www.friscoisd.org/about/enrollment/home

Reduce the morning madness
Each evening, think ahead to the following morning; where can you lighten the load? Set the breakfast table as you clear the dinner dishes, and make sure breakfast foods are easy to reach. Lay out children’s clothing the night before. Scan backpacks or launch pad spaces for missing homework, projects or library books. Make sure musical instruments or sports bags are packed and ready to go.

Finally, parents relax and keep calm because kids are almost back to school! If you start organizing and getting prepared early you will be all set to go!

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