Watson International


How to Prepare Your Home for Recovery After a Medical Procedure

The poet Maya Angelou wrote that “The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” We decorate our homes with memories and the spirit of our family and loved ones; this is a positive environment for rehabilitation. If you are facing an upcoming surgery or other medical procedure, this means recovery time spent in your home. And while you are already in the best place to restore your health, there are things you can do to make your home even more conducive to a quicker and more peaceful recovery.

Here are a few suggestions:

Inform Yourself about Your Specific Recovery

Different kinds of surgeries and medical procedures require a variety of recovery recommendations and adjustments. This includes dietary needs, which requires stocking your pantry of particular items. Knee surgery means limited mobility, while other types of surgery might require longer periods of time in bed. Learn about the best protocol for your recovery in order to follow it at home and install the proper accommodations.

Healthline recommends installing handrails or using a raised toilet seat as precautions after knee surgery. This also includes preparing your recovery area, temporarily modifying your home to ensure you’re in the safest spot, avoiding stairs or long walks to the bathroom.

If your recovery will be lengthy and accessibility is still going to be an issue, upgrades may be in order. Renters might even consider finding an accessible apartment, or at least one with an elevator, depending on circumstances and projected needs.

Shift the Energy

If you have some clutter in your home, it might be a good idea to tackle it before your procedure. There is a practical reason for this, which is removing possible obstructions and obstacles that might cause a fall and impede your recovery.

Also, according to The Spruce magazine, clutter is low stagnant and confusing energy in your life. This drains your positive energy and often becomes distracting and stressful. This is precisely the opposite of what you need when recovering from surgery. Decluttering will help in opening up spaces and increasing feelings of positivity and new energy.

Embrace Nature

While your home is the most comfortable place to recover, one can suffer from cabin fever after being confined to one space for long periods of time. This is normal; we are used to a busy life and moving around constantly. One way to mitigate these feelings is to introduce nature into your home in a much more deliberate way. Consider the following ways of incorporating nature into your home:

  •  If you are not an allergy or asthma sufferer, add plants to bring oxygen and positive energy into your home. Plants like jasmine and rosemary can increase feelings of well being or as Today reports, aloe for its low maintenance qualities.
  • Create a herb garden in your kitchen. They are easy to maintain and water and can spice up your kitchen area.
  • Hang art on the walls. Landscape art can be a great way to invite nature into your home and utilize the healing power of art. A program in the UK, as reported by the Creative Review, decorated hospitals with art, suggesting the positive effects of visual stimulation on patients. The same can go for your home.

Light the Way

The ancient Chinese principles of Feng Shui are used in various areas of the home to encourage positive energy and happiness. One way to invite new energy into your home or to create a sense of comfort is by changing and experimenting with the lighting.

  • Good lighting will illuminate rather than obscure or create shadows.
  • Invite plenty of sunlight into your home.
  • Consider the light bulb. Use stronger lights for bigger spaces and softer lights for smaller spaces.

Home recovery doesn’t have to be long and arduous. As Angelou said, home is where you go as you are without being questioned, so modify your house for your specific needs. Make the most of the space you have available to invigorate yourself and your recovery process, giving your body time to heal and maintaining your spirit healthy and positive in the process.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Author: Michael Longsdon, Elder Freedom

Why New York City Is a Great Location for Your Business

The city that never sleeps offers ample opportunity for businesses of all kinds. Although starting or relocating a business in the city can feel overwhelming, there’s a reason why over 8 million people call NYC home. The cost of living can be higher than in smaller towns, but the community and customer base are invaluable and often balance out some of the costs. Below are some additional reasons that New York City is a wonderful location for your business.


This is one of the categories where NYC shines. You should have no problem finding customers, mentors, fellow business owners, and local leaders to connect with. This type of community will help strengthen your business financially while also allowing you to learn, improve, and implement effective business changes at a rapid rate.

Quality of Life

Another category where NYC beats almost every other city is the quality of life. World-class restaurants, entertainment, education, parks, events, and so much more are around every corner. This is one of the main reasons you can feel that trademark buzz in the air when you arrive in the city.

Notable landmarks include:
● Central Park
● Broadway
● The Metropolitan Museum of Art
● The New York Public Library


Narrowing in on education, New York City can be said to encompass an educated and capable workforce. This adds to the quality of the talent pool who will be applying for jobs at your organization. In New York City, more often than not, you can be sure that there are workers seeking employment positions with the specific skills that you are seeking.

Here are a few of New York’s best colleges:
● New York University
● Columbia University
● Barnard College

Of course, in today’s higher education world, it’s never been easier to get that elusive advanced degree thanks to accredited online universities. And the return on the dollar has never been better. Western Governors University, for example, offers online business degrees that generate an ROI that ranges from 202 to 267 percent, depending on the program.


New York has excellent https://www.nationalexpresstransit.com/blog/9-benefits-of-public-transportation/ and is highly walkable. Not only will you be able to get around quickly and easily, but your workforce is not as likely to face delays. Affordable, unlimited public transportation cards are available for added convenience. In addition, New York City boasts iconic tax cabs, an ever growing presence of Uber and Lyft drivers, and some of the highest end luxury private driving services in the country. In addition, the city boasts a seemingly endless supply of parking garages, enabling staff to pay for hourly, daily, weekly or monthly parking.

Starting a business in New York is an excellent option for almost any industry. The large population automatically provides a customer base and workforce that fits your needs. With the resources above, you should be able to get started in no time.

Image via Pexels

Author: Tina Martin of Ideaspired

How Real Estate Investors Can Set Up a Safety-Conscious Home Office for Meetings During the Pandemic

Since the pandemic is still a concern for many, real estate investors are increasingly embracing safety-conscious designs for their home offices. If you want to do the same, here are some tips.

Core Safety Best Practices for Meetings

There are several critical best practices that all real estate investors should use for in-person meetings. Some of the biggest include:

Each of those can help slow the spread of COVID-19. As a result, they are great places to start if you want to ensure your home office is safe.

Additionally, use technologies that help minimize contact. For instance, payment and invoicing software eliminate the need to hand over paper bills or handle credit cards, reducing the amount of contact.

Choosing the Right Home Office Space

When you get ready to set up a safety-conscious home office for meetings, you need to select the right space. Ideally, you want to use a room with a door you can shut. That way, you can minimize noise and distractions and create a level of privacy.

If selling your home is something you’re considering, building a separate home office space could work in your favor in today’s work-from-home environment when Home Offices are in high demand. Make sure you track the improvements and take before and after pictures. That way, you can use the information to get the best sale price.

Setting Up Your Home Office for Client Visits

When it comes to the layout of your home office, you can be safety-conscious by positioning furniture in a way that supports social distancing. For example, make sure that the seat your visitor will use is at least six feet away from yours and position a coffee table in between to ensure they don’t scoot up. For rectangular meeting tables, place chairs at the far ends. That way, you’re spaced further apart.

If you need an excellent option for seating, repairing a damaged chair or couch you already own could be a great option. By using a furniture upholstery service, you could potentially get a couch fixed up for between $1,200 and $3,500. Since the exact cost varies depending on the fabric choice, size, and other factors, you’ll want to get quotes. However, search online for “chair reupholstery near me” and make sure you read online reviews before reaching out to discuss your needs. That way, you can focus on reputable companies. Of course, buying brand new furniture for your Home Office is always a great option as well!

Lastly, try your best to keep clutter and messiness under control. You never want your clients to visit an office that is disorganized. For example, if you have a lot of paperwork that’s taking up space in your home office, consider digitizing those documents so you can easily access them on your computer. You can even use free apps to compress PDF files into smaller sizes; that way, you won’t have to worry about lots of large files clogging up your PC.

Preparing for Video Conferences and Virtual Visits

Since virtual meetings are safer than in-person ones, setting up your home office for web conferencing is a smart move. Make sure that you have a neutral background in a camera-friendly color, like light blue or beige.

Consider buying a ring light to illuminate yourself evenly, and consider using task lighting or opening your curtains to introduce more natural light into the room.

Investing in a high-quality microphone will help to ensure that you can be understood in your meetings.

Additionally, practice making eye contact with the camera – not the screen – to mimic eye contact with your client.

Bonus Tip: Protecting Your Assets

Finding ways to protect personal assets is crucial for everyone operating a business. For example, if you haven’t already done so, give yourself some extra protection by shifting your business structure from a sole proprietorship to an LLC.

With an LLC, you reduce your liability, safeguarding your assets from a range of potential issues. Plus, filing is surprisingly simple. While you do need to research local formation laws – as the rules do vary by state – in many cases, you can skip the hefty legal fees and either file yourself or use a formation company instead. With that approach, you can accomplish the same goal at a lower cost, making it a great option for budget-conscious real estate investors.

Author: Cherie Mclaughlin 

The Art of Moving to Another Country with Children: Choosing a School Without the Ability to Visit

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Once you have made the choice to move to another country, you still have a long list of decisions to make. From choosing a moving company to deciding what you want in your new home, you will have a lot of options to weigh. One of the most important options for parents to consider is the selection of schools in their new location. This can be even trickier if you are moving to a state like New York, where the law prohibits real estate brokers from discussing or advising on schools. In many states, you’d be guided by the expertise of a trusted real estate professional to consult about local school information, but in New York, your real estate broker by law won’t be permitted to assist in this way.

Deciding where your child will attend without being able to personally visit makes the task even more complicated. Luckily, through careful consideration, research, and phone calls, Trulia points out that you can make the important decision from afar.

Zero In On Potential Schools

To start creating your list of potential schools, there are some important questions to help you determine what is important to you in a school. Do you and your child prefer a traditional or alternative educational style? How important are extracurricular activities, and which ones are most important? What level of contributions (time or money) to the school is your family interested in making? Also, consider schools where your child has thrived and determine what characteristics aided in his or her success. Look for those same characteristics when searching for a school in your new location.

Standardized test scores are important, but they should not be the deciding factor in your choice. In order to get a good picture from afar, you will need to do a little more research. Use Facebook as a tool. Many communities and schools have groups and pages on Facebook where parents can post complaints, questions, compliments, and recommendations about the school.

Check out the school’s website, too. You may be able to find newsletters, PTA meeting notes, information on awards and certifications the school and its staff have received, and more. There are also sites that compare schools, such as GreatSchools.org and SchoolDigger.com. You will learn about student/teacher ratios, average numbers of students in each class, test scores and progress, reviews from parents, and more.

Make Contact

Once you have narrowed down your list to a few options, call the schools directly. If possible, arrange to speak with the principal, at least one teacher, and another member of staff, such as the guidance counselor. Inquire about the school’s approach to discipline and homework and how the school supports children with any unique academic, social, or developmental needs. Ask how information is shared with parents and what current parent involvement looks like. Also, inquire about the qualifications of teachers, as well as the rates of teacher turnover.

Adjusting to Living Abroad

After selecting the school, you can pretty much hammer down the rest of the details regarding your move. Prepare to have your belongings shipped to your new home, and make sure everything about your new home is ready to go. Additionally, spend time taking care of things that aren’t directly related to a move. If you want to stay in touch with loved ones at home, teach them how to use Zoom, or purchase an international calling card.

If a loved one, who lives in the Philippines, for instance, relies on you financially, look into transfer services that will let you send money home without charging you a lot of money in convenience fees. Remitly is one such service that lets you transfer money to places like the Philippines for around $4 (there is zero charge for three- to five-day transfers). All of these little steps add up, so make sure you keep a running checklist of things you need to do before the move.

Moving to another country with children is difficult, and when you have to choose a school without ever setting foot in its doors, it can make the process even tougher. You want to ensure your child’s school sets him or her up for success while also ensuring your child is safe at the school and home. Determining your family’s needs and wants from a school, carefully researching your options and making phone calls will give you peace of mind in your decision.

Real Estate Investing: Tips For Success

Real estate investments are an excellent way to earn passive income, however, your first real estate purchase can be overwhelming. Below are a few tips to help you become a successful, self-made landlord in NYC.

How To Find the Perfect Property
Finding the right property to invest in is vital. When deciding which property makes for the best investment, location, size, utilities, and neighborhood are essential factors. In addition, you also need to examine the availability of similar properties for rent in your area. If there are too many similar options on the market for rent, then you may have a more challenging time finding renters.

For your first investment, consider buying a condo or townhouse that requires little to no maintenance. Complete a full property evaluation to ensure the value of the building or space you want to purchase. You can use an online home property value calculator to help with the process.Look at the neighborhood and survey any factors that may generate concerns. For example, there might be a busy highway next to the rental. This can either deter or attract renters depending on their intentions. Don’t be afraid to ask your real estate broker questions about the neighborhood or why the sellers are offloading the property.

Make Improvements To Attract Renters

Once you have found the perfect property to invest in, it is time to make improvements. Draw up a budget. Ask your real estate broker what kinds of renovations are likely to help attract quality renters at top-of-the-market prices.

You can improve your property by adding amenities that provide an optimal rental atmosphere. If the kitchen is large and well-apportioned, renters are more likely to enjoy cooking in it. Be sure to keep the improvements you make in mind when pricing your rental. For example, if you spend money on renovating the bathrooms of your New York City apartment, raise your rate accordingly.

Hire a Property Manager
Real estate can be a lucrative venture, but it isn’t always easy. That’s why hiring professionals is so important. In addition to your real estate broker who will be able to list the property for rent for you, hiring a property management company is often beneficial. Look for management companies that can do everything from preparing rental agreements to handling the maintenance. In the future this will be beneficial as you will not have to be readily available for any emergency repairs or requests that arise. When finding a property management company, look for one specializing in rentals similar to yours. It is a bonus if they know the region and the people who visit it. Make sure they also have an excellent reputation; you can find out by asking around in your real estate network or conducting internet research.
Start Earning With a Successful Real Estate Investment
Once you have a plan, find the right property, and get the property on the market, you can turn a small real estate investment into the perfect passive income.

Initial Investment: Dipping Your Toe Into Real Estate Waters

The history of real estate investment in the U.S. is long and storied. You could argue that the country’s first real estate “investment” began with the Louisiana Purchase, followed by laws and regulations designed to offer some stability, as well as patterns of economic booms and busts that both created fortunes or destroyed them.

If investing in real estate has always intrigued you, it’s wise to get started with realistic expectations and curbed enthusiasm. Real estate is not designed to be part of a “get rich quick” scheme; rather, you’re more likely to reap initial benefits in tax advantages. And if you decide to build on your real estate investment empire (that is, purchasing multiple properties), you’ll need to have top-notch bookkeeping, budgeting, and overall accounting skills. Rather than outsource, you could learn all these skills yourself by taking online courses that work around your schedule. You may even decide to add another degree to your belt. However, most real estate investors opt to hire a professional tax preparer and bookkeeper.

If you can afford to tie up your cash in an asset for months or years and aren’t in a hurry for huge profits, then a sensible approach to investing in real estate might be right for you. Here, Watson International shares guidance to help you understand the basics of investing in real estate.

Getting on the right path

While investing in real estate is generally considered safe, part of that safety needs to come from your current financial situation. You should have income stability, disposable income, and cash reserves post closing. If you cannot afford to purchase real estate investments without financing, then you should be sure to have enough income to pay the mortgage on your new investment property until it is either renovated and sold, or it is suitable for a tenant. The safest approach of course is always to buy in cash, as doing so has a way of “recession-proofing” and “disaster-proofing” you. For instance, if you buy in cash then you won’t be burdened by having to carry a mortgage in between tenants or during natural disaster repairs.

You also need to be prepared to take over the costs during vacancies, which can fluctuate based on economic and market conditions. The economy in which you purchased the property may not be the same economy three years later, ten years later, and so on. And, unless you are able to purchase the property without a mortgage, your credit score will help determine how affordable that mortgage payment is. If you can increase your score in a few months to save money on the mortgage, it may be worth your time to wait, in the event buying in cash is not an option for you.

In addition to paying your mortgage (if you have one), you must consider your other associated costs. The rent you charge a tenant must minimally be enough to cover your property taxes, insurance, and other necessary expenses. During vacant periods, those costs are yours – along with utilities that need to remain on so you can adequately show the property to prospective tenants. And of course, if you want to make a profit, which is always the goal, you should ensure that you charge rent that will cause a profit. Moreover, you should raise rent annually to increase your profits and to align better with the increases in your property taxes and expenses.

Maintenance and upkeep are yours year-round. If you already have a full-time job, consider how much available time you have to do this yourself. While property management companies charge a fee to take this off your hands, Women Who Money points out that it may be worth the 8 to 15 percent of the monthly rent to hire a professional property management company – particularly if you increase your rental portfolio.

Location, location, location 

Other than your financial situation and stability, the location of your property is the largest determinant to everything: your ability to buy a property, your ability to consistently rent it with quality tenants, your ability to keep up to date on property taxes, and your ability to re-sell.

In order to properly estimate your numbers to maximize your gains – and minimize potential losses – you need to research various real estate market trends carefully to see where you can afford to buy, how quickly you will have to move on your purchase before it sells out from under you, and what your likely return will be in either rental income or a resale.

If you buy in a fast-moving market with a limited inventory, it may make sense to purchase the property with the intention of selling it quickly while the market is still hot, particularly if this occurs during a time when capital gains taxes are favorable (which of course does not happen often, historically). On the other hand, a stable but slower-moving market may be better suited to the rental market for a while, particularly if it has a low vacancy rate.

Search out the most recent real estate data for your desired areas. This will tell you what homes are selling for, how many offers you can expect to compete with, and the average time a home is on the market. If homes are entering contract in days, you have to move faster than they do.

Taking care of the property

Mashvisor notes that preparation for tenants and general upkeep will require some initial investment as well, especially if you want to attract trustworthy tenants. Once the property is yours, assess any necessary repairs throughout, and be sure to completely repaint the interior. You may also need to update appliances, replace light fixtures and hardware, and address any flooring issues as well as any window treatments.

The exterior is equally important, so take stock of what you have to work with, and notice if there are any hazards like large, dying trees, loose bricks, cracked sidewalks, or landscaping in need of fine-tuning. Trees that are dead or dying pose a significant risk, so your best bet is to use a professional tree removal service to ensure anything hazardous is promptly removed. Find a specialist with experience who can also gauge other trees on your property to determine what simply needs pruning.

As for your landscaping, if you have neither the time nor talent, consider hiring landscape design services to make the necessary updates to your lawn and garden. Consider having them create a low-maintenance, high-impact look if possible.

Reapplying real estate investment lessons

Your first real estate investment will be your teacher. Even if there are some things you’ll wish you had done differently, with proper upfront planning and a consultation with a financial investment counselor, you can take those lessons and apply them to the next one.

Photo by: Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash

Author: Michael Longsdon

Need to Work From Home? You Have Office Space Options

If you’re like many of us these days, you either work from home or are currently considering moving your business from a traditional brick and mortar setting to home. This has many benefits, including saving money, time, and frustration from the morning commute. So, what are the options? They are to completely overhaul your current space, do a simple redesign of an existing room, or to buy a new property with your business in mind.

Option #1:  Renovate

Whether you are in a townhouse, condo, or other New York City accommodation, if you own it, you may have the option to add or take away walls to create more space for your business. Watson International’s general contracting service can help you turn your space from unusable to ideal.

Option #2: Redesign

When a complete overhaul is not in the budget, you can always redesign a current bedroom, den or living room to meet your business needs. This might involve simple steps, such as painting and adding new light fixtures. You might also opt to bring in an interior designer to make the space more attractive, spacious, and aligned with its purpose.

Option #3: Buy

The most expensive option is to simply buy a new property to accommodate your new or growing business. Curbed New York explains that spring and fall are the best times to buy a condo, co-op, loft, or townhouse in New York. If your work from home does not require commercial foot traffic, than a strictly residential property would be feasible. But, if your business model includes meetings or foot traffic, then you will need to look for a property zoned for Live/Work use – these are rare, so you may have to call the codes department if you believe you’ve found one. Also, ensure that the property has the amenities that you, your business, and your family need, such as an on-site gym or business center.

Work At Home Needs (Aside From Office Space)

You know that you have to have space from which to work, but there are many other subtle nuances to consider if you’ve never worked from home. A few of these include:

  • Reliable Internet. When you work from home, your internet is your most valuable asset. Ideally, you’ll have access to fiber optic service, which is much faster than DSL (up to 10 times faster). If you’re looking to save money, you can usually bundle your internet and TV, but, be aware that you can only write off a portion of your internet on your taxes. If you have choices, do your research and make sure that you are in an area where you can get maximum speeds and the best coverage.

  • Quiet. Having a quiet workspace is crucial, even if it is on the same level of your home as your main living areas. Make sure that your office can be closed off and soundproofed, particularly if you have loud neighbors or children and other family members home during working hours.

  • Boundaries. By boundaries, we don’t mean physical boundaries but those that separate your work and home lives. Establishing boundaries with your family is a crucial element of successfully operating a business from home. Make sure that your loved ones know when it’s okay to come into your office and when they need to treat it as an entirely separate entity from your home.Career Toolbelt also says you will want to set standards with your employees and clients as well.

The State University of New York explains that small businesses make up 99.8% of all businesses in the state. As such, your home-based endeavor will be one of many that help to bolster your local economy, create jobs, and provide services to your friends and neighbors. While finding the space to work from home is often a challenge, it’s a hurdle worth jumping for all of the benefits that it brings you and your community.

Katie Conroy


Resources for Prep That Every Home Seller Should Have


Are you looking to sell your property in the near future? If so, now may be a great time to do so. Although property values in cities are not optimal at this time, those who have properties in suburban areas, shore points, or rural communities are enjoying a sellers market right now. Deciding to sell may be the easy part, but what comes next?

Preparing your home for sale involves much more than hiring an agent and getting it listed. Not only do you have to keep COVID-19 precautions in mind, you also have to look at your home through the eyes of a buyer, especially if you want to maximize your home’s sale price.

This resource guide offers a great deal of information about getting your home listing ready.

COVID-19 Considerations

The pandemic hasn’t left yet, so it’s important to think about how you will deal with people coming and going from your home. Property hunters, appraisers, agents, repairmen, photographers and other professionals are all possible visitors to your home. Attention to germs helps to ensure everyone stays safe during this time.

● Deep clean and disinfect your home.
● How to handle home inspections during the pandemic.
● Show your home to buyers with a virtual tour to identify out only the most interested parties for in person viewings.

Boost Curb Appeal

This term is most often used when discussing non-urban communities, but the concept can be helpful for homes in all different locations. What buyers see on the exterior of your home will help them decide if they want to see what is inside of your home. Make sure your first impression is a good one with some attention to your curb appeal. Start with a good tidying up, then make improvements as needed.

● If you are selling a house, power wash the exterior of your home. If you are selling an apartment, make sure the front door and surrounding area is clean, mark free, and clear of any extraneous items.
● Take a look at the 20 best ways to make your front yard stand out in terms of curb appeal.
● Explore color ideas for your home’s front door.

Update and Modernize

You’ve addressed your curb appeal, now turn a critical eye towards the rest of your home. A little updating can go a long way in making your home stand out from the crowd of properties on the housing market. Catch attention from buyers with the right changes!

● Consider these 10 updates that may help to increase the value of your home.
● Consider the long-term ROI for kitchen and bathroom remodeling.
● Analyze what professional real estate agents advise about paint colors.

Make Repairs

Knowing that they won’t need to move in and add a bunch of work to their to-do list will encourage property hunters to look at your home. The more “move-in ready” you can make your home, the better. Tackle all the little things that you have put off repairing, making your home as polished and well-maintained looking as possible.

● Here are a list of 10 Things to fix before listing your home for sale.
● For repairs requiring professionals, such as repairing or replacing windows, search “windows repair near me” on websites like Angi.

Get Organized

It’s easier for buyers to envision themselves in a tidy space than one that is full of distractions. An organized, uncluttered space makes your home look well-maintained and spacious. Keep in mind, buyers will be looking in every nook and cranny. Make sure your belongings are orderly and organized, even those items not normally on display.

● Check out this decluttering checklist.
● Use this link to easily organize your closet on a budget.
● Get rid of all the stuff you don’t want to move; ideas include having a yard sale and donating items to Goodwill.

Prepare for Pictures

Once you have your home generally ready for sale, make some final preparations for your real estate photos. At this point, you want the home to look as good as if the buyer were coming to view it in person.

● Consult with your trusted real estate advisor about staging to help buyers envision living in your home. Staging nowadays does not need to be physical, so be sure to investigate virtual staging options which are much more convenient and offer a waiver array of options.
● Open your window treatments to let in as much natural light as possible.
● Remove all items from surfaces, such as toothbrush holders on sink vanities, family photos on top of dressers, tables or on walls, area rugs on floors, and pet furniture or feeding bowls.
● Do a last minute cleaning and tidying of your entire home, ensuring that personal items are stashed away.

Few homeowners want their property to linger on the market. Chances are, you have a new home or a new adventure awaiting you. Don’t get stuck waiting on your home to sell. Think like a buyer and make these simple and effective changes to score a higher bid and a faster sale.

Author: Derek Goodman, Inbizability

A Little DIY Can Save a Lot of Money: Easy Home Maintenance Fixes

Home ownership is a costly proposition, what with mortgage payments (if you decide to finance the purchase, which Watson International does not typically recommend), property taxes, homeowners association dues, and maintenance and upkeep. The costs add up quickly. You may be seeking ways to defray mounting expenses, especially if yours is an older property. The more you can do to minimize costs, the better off you’ll be in the long run and in the foreseeable future as well. Fortunately, there are plenty of small-scale fixes that you can tackle with ease.

Holes and drawer handles

Say you’re in a hurry and you want to find something in that one kitchen drawer that seems to hold everything. You yank a bit too hard on the handle which cracks, bends, or just comes loose. You could get out the Super Glue and attempt the painstaking job of putting it back together. Or, you could choose the route that won’t require another quick fix in a couple weeks when it happens again.

Why not buy a new handle at the corner hardware store? Just pop out the drawer, and with the turn of a couple of screws, you’ve got yourself a nice shiny new drawer handle. Fortunately, it’s not an expense that’s going to put your summer vacation at risk.

Those annoying holes that appear in your drywall, usually in the vicinity of a door and doorknob, are among the most common small maintenance tasks and also one of the easiest to repair. Find yourself a little self-adhesive drywall patch mesh, at least twice the size of the hole you’re repairing, with about an inch extra on each side. Press the piece in place over the hole making sure the edges are in solid contact with the wall all around the hole. Put a layer of joint compound over the mesh with a compound blade, gently pushing on the mesh to ensure the holes are filled with no bubbles.

After about 24 hours, sand the first layer down and apply another one. Repeat the same procedure after another 24 hours. If it still doesn’t look quite right, add more joint compound. Then, install one of those little spring bumpers at the bottom of the wall to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Cracks in molding are usually caused by fluctuations in humidity. Fortunately, this small home repair is also an easy one. You can try using spackling to create an invisible seam, though you’ll likely have to do it again once the wood expands and contracts again in response to changes in atmospheric conditions. Instead, try a more flexible material, such as siliconized latex caulking, and forget about it.

Filters are your friends

When you hear your HVAC unit switch on at night, do you sometimes wonder how many more years of service it’ll provide? If you make liberal use of air filters, you can delay the inevitable by a few years and keep breathing healthy air. You can find the right size at most big retailers or have them shipped directly to you.

Disposal duty

Does that mysterious little mechanism in your kitchen sink concern you? If yours is in need of a little cleaning, put some lemon and vinegar in an ice cube tray, and when it freezes, simply dump the vinegar “rocks” down the disposal and flick the switch. Vinegar’s potent cleaning properties will freshen things up down there, the lemon will make it smell nice, and the hardness of the cubes will help sharpen the blades a bit.

When to call the pros

Some home projects just aren’t meant to be completed without a professional. For instance, if an appliance isn’t functioning properly anymore, you’ll want to hire an expert. This way, the job can be done safely and efficiently, and you’ll avoid the need to spend more money on a replacement. Searching for an appliance repair company in NYC can seem daunting, but thanks to websites like Angi, it can actually be quite simple. They provide lists of highly-rated companies to help you narrow your search more quickly. The listings also indicate any awards the companies have earned. Focusing on these key points will guide you toward making a wise decision.

Some home repairs are more so meant to be “DIY jobs.” DIY means you’re saving money both now and later, and it offers the satisfaction of making you feel like a bona fide handyperson. However, it is important to know when to call in a pro — after all, when it comes to maintenance and repairs, safety should be the highest priority.

Courtesy of Pexels.com

Author: Linda Chase of Ablehire

Safe Sanctuary: How Security Can Affect Selling Your Home

If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market but aren’t sure what additions are needed to make it competitive, it’s time to consider home security — especially if you live in a townhouse or a building that does not offer a full time doorman. A safe and secure property is more than alarms and deadbolts. There are plenty of ways to increase the safety of your domicile beyond traditional monitored services.

Available Smart Tech

One of the ways you can ensure your home’s security is through smart technology. No matter how far from home you are, there are devices and apps you can use to monitor your property. Best of all, these extra security measures may give you a higher sale price and a quicker sale overall. It is no surprise that Full Time Doorman buildings generally trade for higher values and in less time than their unstaffed counterparts. Some studies suggest that up to 81 percent of buyers would choose homes with smart tech over houses without it. The options available are numerous, and you can discuss with your broker what most buyers are looking for in your area.

Monitored Security

A staple for single family townhouse safety has always been a monitored security system. The same system is a wise addition for any of your multi-family investment properties, as they can help to protect all of your tenants living on site. Like other safety additions, a monitored system may help to add value to your listing. It’s an extra that can attract potential buyers, particularly when they are comparing similar properties. And, fortunately, you have many options to choose from when it comes to monitored systems. Of course, different companies offer various features, so research what your property needs. That might mean one that has several automated features, such as a remote light control or one that dispatches a dedicated security team when you need it.

Lighting Your Property

One of the best ways to keep your property feeling safe is with motion-detecting flood lights. This way, if your family is coming home late, you know light will be instantly available along your walkway, preventing a surprise burglary. The same is true for the tenants in your investment property, especially if the property is located in an area like the “city that never sleeps.” You should wisely consider where you decide to place flood lights. You want to install them in frequently used areas such as the front door, but also at the rear and perimeter of your property. So, if someone tries to sneak in through a back door, the bright light will hopefully scare them into leaving the premises. These are good additions, even if you choose other security measures as well.

Fencing and Gates

Adding a tangible perimeter to your property can add a layer of physical security, allowing you and your family — or potential buyers — to feel more secure. The goal isn’t to make your house invisible, but to make it physically more difficult to get to. You likely will to choose a tall structure, preferably over eight feet, that has no horizontal bars or panels to provide a foothold. Fences come in endless styles and can even be used to accent your design theme. You may also wish to also hire a contractor to install a driveway security gate in the event you have a property with a driveway. It may be an investment, but the additional protection is priceless, especially to someone thinking of purchasing your property.


Lastly, use your front and rear gardens to your advantage if you have them. If you wish to install an artistic structure, you can opt to use tall beautifully manicured shrubs that look outwardly inviting but will still keep outsiders from having accessibility to the property. These are common accoutrements in locations like the Hamptons or Palm Beach. Keeping trees far from windows may be a wise option to consider. If you feel that an area of your property might be overly vulnerable, such as a blind spot or along the edge of the fence, you can opt to plant some thorny flowers in the region. This security tactic may seem trivial, but every step you take toward securing your property protects whoever may be residing there.

We all want to feel like our properties are safe. Install lighting where appropriate, invest in protective landscaping, and consider what other safeguards are necessary.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Author: Linda Chase, Ablehire.com