Quote & Smoke~ Stay Safe!

            “The few who do are the envy of the many who only watch.” -Jim Rohn

 Smoke alarms are an important defense against injury or death in house fires. The National Fire Protection Association states that nearly two-thirds of home fire fatalities happen in homes with non-working or missing smoke detectors. Most building codes now require smoke detectors in all residential structures, which has resulted in a steep drop in fire- and smoke-related deaths. Homeowners should check with their local public safety office or fire department for specific information on these requirements.

Bright Idea
NOTE: Remember Washington state has mandated CO Carbon Dioxide detectors installed in all home at change of ownership
  • As in real estate, location is important! Smoke alarms should be in installed every bedroom, outside every sleeping area, and on each level of the home.
  • Alarms should be placed high on a wall or on the ceiling. It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement. High, peaked ceilings have dead air space at the top; smoke alarms should be placed no closer than 3 feet from the highest point.
  • For areas close to the kitchen, use a detector with a hush button that can be used to silence nuisance alarms triggered by cooking smoke or steam. Alternatively, consider installing a photoelectric alarm, which is better at detecting smoldering fires (vs. flames) near the kitchen. Never remove the unit’s battery to stop or prevent nuisance alarms.
  • There are two primary types of smoke alarm technology: ionization and photoelectric. According to the National Fire Protection Association, ionization alarms are more responsive to flames, while photoelectric alarms are more sensitive to smoldering fires. For the most comprehensive protection, both types or a combination unit should be installed.
  • Test the alarm monthly. Put a reminder in your calendar to do this on the first or last day of the month, for example. The units have a test button that will sound the alarm for a brief time when pressed. Any alarm that fails to sound should have the battery replaced. If the test button fails with a new battery, replace the entire detector immediately. Monthly testing is also an ideal time to dust off the unit.
  • Replace the batteries at least once a year. A common rule of thumb is to do this when changing to or from Daylight Saving Time in fall and spring. Some alarms come with 10-year batteries; for these, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for battery replacement. Remember, a non-working alarm is no better than no alarm at all.
  • If the alarms are hard-wired to the home’s electrical system, make sure they are interconnected for maximum effectiveness – meaning that if one alarm is triggered, all of the others will sound as well. Any hard-wired alarms, interconnected or not, should be installed by a licensed electrician.
Thank you to local Pillar To Post Home Inspector for this great reminder and  information!
BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK… It’s not about what you get, it’s about what you give. Focus on giving your clients more and the rewards will follow.
#snohomishcountyhomesrealestate, #homeownertips, #homemaintenancetips

6 financial steps that you should consider taking after buying your home

Congratulations you have finally closed on your home and are moving in! You thought the day would never come after all those little issues that may have come up. Finally you did it and you cant wait to make this house a home. 

Enjoy and I am so excited for you. Hopefully I was your agent. ( wink, wink)

There are however 6 financial steps that you should consider taking after buying your home and of course once you get settled in.

1- Consider setting some goals. This means budgeting. Think about what you want to do to your new home. New windows? Backyard need a face-lift? Putting a few dollars away here and there really adds up and come next summer you could be laying in a hammock admiring your handiwork and saying… Ahhhhhh.

2. Maintenance– It is true houses do cost money and you need to maintain your investment The average costs are 1% of the purchase price per year. For example a $250,000 house you should plan on saving and spending $2500 per year. Repairing or replacing items in your home is just a fact and the more you ignore needed repair items the more it will cost you in the long run.

By the way, change your furnace filters folks! I have seen way to many lately and it amazes me how people don’t realize they should change them every few months. Your breathing that dirty air.. Yuck. Not only that it could cause expensive repairs to the furnace.

3. Understand your policies– Once your settled in review that policy that you just accepted real quick to get the loan done. It may be a great one but most folks do not pay attention to all the details and now is a good time to go over. For example if a tree falls during a storm and takes out the shed is it covered? Also, now is the time to make sure you have enough life insurance. We don’t like to think about it but what happens if your spouse is in a accident and passes away? Can you afford making the monthly house payment by yourself?

4. Set up auto payments– Life is so crazy busy and even though I fought this for years thinking I would always remember to pay the bills on time I finally gave in and set up automatic payment for household bills. It really has been great for my family and I don’t stress anymore if I paid the light bill. Some even might give a discount for paying automatically. Doesn’t hurt to ask.

5. Emergency Fund- Always something isn’t it? Prepare for the unexpected. They say to have 8 months to a year worth of living expenses in savings. This is to include what you pay for your mortgage, utilities, cable, phone bills and other regular bills. I don’t honestly know that many people that have, or can, do this. After all those of us who have kids rarely have any left for savings. Seriously! Start by setting aside a small amount each month. You will be surprised how fast it does add up and you will be thankful for the extra cushion of cash down the road.  Just in case you notice the roof leaking.

6. Take your time in Decorating. Now for the funnest one. Don’t rush and decorate the house. You might regret it. Take time and live in the house; how you use things day to day and get a feel for everything. Then have a decorating budget, watch for sales and slowly buy things that you know you will keep around. I know its hard to wait but you will make smarter purchases that you will enjoy years down the road instead of it ending up in next years garage sale and someone offering you a $1 of it.

Although I inserted my own flare and added on to these tips there from the Costco Connection so you know their great tips…must give credit where credit is due.