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Homeownership

December
5

Christmas Tree Care - Homeowners - Badger Peabody & Smith

If you celebrate Christmas, you know there's nothing like putting up a live Christmas tree for the holidays. Your home is filled with wonderful, fresh scents, and your family can't wait to decorate the tree. Our real estate agents know that a live Christmas tree adds beauty to any home, so we have five tips to keep your tree looking fresh throughout the holidays.

  1. Purchase Your Tree from a Local Farm
    During the holiday season, you'll find an abundance of Christmas tree lots, as well as trees at nurseries, garden centers, and home improvement stores. These trees were likely shipped from out-of-state locations and may not be very fresh. Chopping your tree down at a local tree farm will ensure freshness, but if you can't, keep these freshness tips in mind:

    • Choose a tree that's been in a shady location.
    • Look for a healthy, green fresh tree without any brown needles.
    • Run some branches through your hands to make sure the needles are pliable.
    • Shake the branches to make sure the needles don't fall off.
    • Lift the tree several inches, drop the trunk to the ground, then look for falling green needles. A lot may indicate the tree is drying out.

  2. Trim the Trunk Before Taking Your Tree Home
    When purchasing a live Christmas tree, the seller should make a fresh cut straight across the bottom of the tree trunk to get rid of dried resin that keeps the tree from absorbing water. When you get the tree home, if you're not taking it inside right away, place the trunk in a bucket of water in a cool area like an unheated garage or shed protected from freezing temperatures, rain, and wind. Before you bring your tree into the house, cut another inch off the bottom of the trunk to make sure the tree can absorb adequate water to stay fresh.

  3. Put Your Tree Up in a Safe Place
    A live Christmas tree creates a beautiful setting in Berlin and Bretton Woods homes for sale, but it can also create a fire hazard if you don't put it in a safe place. To prevent a fire, you should follow these safety tips:

    Buy a sturdy tree stand that will hold at least one gallon of water. Check the tree's water level daily and add water when the level gets low:

    • Make sure the water always covers the bottom 2-inches of the trunk.
    • Lower the temperature in the room.
    • Add a humidifier to the room.
    • Keep the tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, and air ducts.
    • Buy tree lights with UL safety ratings.

  4. Take Your Tree Down Before It Dries Out
    To prevent a fire and a messy house, take your Christmas tree down before the branches dry out. Waiting too long can leave you sweeping up dead pine needles or clogging up your vacuum cleaner. Some homeowners leave their trees up through New Year's, but that's only a good idea if your tree is still fresh without falling needles. Dragging a dry tree out of the house can create big cleaning chores.

  5. Dispose of Your Tree
    When you're ready to dispose of your tree, you have several options: You can recycle it through your local sanitation program, turn it into mulch for your garden, or start your own compost pile. Whatever you do, don't attempt to burn your tree outside. Christmas tree needles are extremely flammable, and fire can spread quickly to your house and other nearby structures.

If you're thinking about buying or selling, contact us about available properties and prices in neighborhood communities.

October
21

Trick-or-Treating House Prep - Badger Peabody & Smith RealtyProviding candy for trick-or-treaters is a fun way to feel a part of your neighborhood and provide local kids with a fun experience. Keep the kids safe and happy by ensuring your home is ready for them with these tips from our real estate agents.

  • Light up the exterior of your home.
    Aside from preventing break-ins and vandalism, ensuring that your home is well-lit on the outside will help keep kids safe. Check all your exterior lights and consider replacing them with higher-watt bulbs for the holiday. If you have path lights, be sure to turn them on. If you won't be home or aren't offering candy, keep your motion sensor lights on but turn off the porch light and keep your front windows dark so trick-or-treaters know to skip your house.

  • Keep your walkways clear.
    It's especially important for the path from the sidewalk to your door to be clear of any potential hazards. Clear any decor that could be a trip hazard. If you're expecting a freeze, keep the path shoveled and put down some de-icer.

  • Catch up on any repairs.
    Before the big night, check for any missed repairs you've been putting off. Tighten railings and ensure there aren't any paving stones sticking up that could cause someone to trip. If you have stairs up to your porch, ensure the lights illuminating them are in working order.

  • Use LED candles.
    Candlelight creates a delightfully spooky decoration in jack-o-lanterns and other decorations but can be a serious fire hazard, especially if placed where low-hanging costumes could catch the flame. Instead, use LED candles to light jack-o-lanterns and other spooky decor. LED candles in paper lunch sacks lining the walkway offer a great way to keep kids on the right path.

  • Keep pets inside.
    With so many kids and their parents roaming around the neighborhood, it's best to keep pets inside, where you can keep them quiet and safe. Pets are often spooked by seeing so many strangers, especially in strange costumes, and can also react badly to people coming to the door all night long.

  • Test your smoke alarms.
    Plymouth homes for sale typically have smoke alarms installed in all the important places, but after buying the home, many homeowners forget to test the smoke alarms regularly. It's a good idea to test them all before a holiday like Halloween, which can carry with it a fire hazard if you or neighbors are using real candles in the decor. Change out batteries if they're older than a year or if you can't remember when you last changed them.

  • Set your home security system if you're leaving the house.
    Some people prefer to leave on Halloween, and that's understandable. You may have other plans or just not like the doorbell ringing all evening long. If you choose to leave, make sure you set your alarm. Halloween is a fun holiday for children, but it can also be an opportunity for mischief-makers.

Are you hoping to celebrate Halloween in a new home? There's still time! Contact us today to get your search started before spooky season gets underway.

September
12

End-of-Summer Maintenance - Homeowners - Badger Peabody & Smith RealtyIn our region, it's imperative that those end-of-summer maintenance tasks get done before the chill winds blow. Indoors and outdoors, we can easily find tasks that need doing so we can put our property properly "to rest" for the fall and winter. Naturally, that doesn't mean activity ceases within the home you bought from among Franconia homes for sale, but rather that you're shifting with the seasons, battening down the hatches, so to speak, and ensuring all is ready for colder temperatures.

Our real estate agents hear plenty of stories from our clients about what they wish they'd done to prepare for winter, so here are some of them.

  1. Check your rain gutters.
    If you have gutter guards, you're a step ahead by ensuring they won't become clogged with falling leaves. However, you must ensure the covers are intact and in good order. Squirrels and other creatures may be eyeing your gutters as a good place for a nest, so either check them out yourself or have it done. Have any broken sections of your gutters repaired before winter.

  2. Check your roof.
    While you (or someone) is up on the roof, look at your roof, making sure tiles or shingles and metal structures are all in place and in good working order. You want to avoid leaks from melting ice and snow into your home and ice dams along your roof. 

  3. Wash off outdoor wooden structures and concrete surfaces.
    Rent a power washer and wash off the deck or patio, sidewalk and porch, or wooden fences. Renew weatherproofing as needed.

  4. Prepare your awnings.
    If you have fabric awnings, they probably need to be taken down unless they are high pitch or designed to carry a heavy load of snow. If you have metal awnings, they may be left in place if they are aluminum or galvanized steel. If your awnings are subject to rust, take them down, clean and dry them and store them away. 

  5. Touch up exterior paint.
    It may be the exterior doors, eaves, and what have you need some touching up to protect the wood in places where the paint has worn.

  6. Touch up interior paint.
    While in painting mode, open the windows while you still can and touch up the paint indoors. Or repaint the whole interior.

  7. Change the HVAC filter; have your HVAC system serviced.
    The change of seasons is always a great time to get your HVAC serviced, just in time for the winter. Your service tech will look at components that the air conditioner and heating system share, like the air handler, but also components specific to heating, such as the furnace, including burners and heat exchanger. It's also a good time to change the air filter. Remember to do so regularly, particularly if you have shedding pets or burn candles often.

  8. Air seal your home.
    Air seal the minute cracks, holes, and other places where conditioned air can escape, and winter's cold air can get inside. Some of the worst sites for escaping air are around window and door frames, under exterior doors, around wires, cables, and pipes in exterior doors, around baseboards, through gaps between window panes, around attic hatches, and through recessed lighting. Use insulation, caulk, and weatherstripping to air seal.

Need more hints on home maintenance, or are you ready to list or buy a home? Contact us today. 

June
10

New Homeowner To-Do List - Badger Peabody & Smith Realty

Summer is here, and it's a great time to get your new house in order. After visiting the Plymouth homes for sale that caught your eye and settling on the one that stole your heart, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Even if it may not seem like it at first, there are plenty of chores you need to stay on top of as a new homeowner, and the following are 10 tasks you won't want to skip.

  1. Change. The. Locks.
    Our real estate agents cannot emphasize this enough. You have no way of knowing who the previous owner gave keys to over the years. Quite frankly, you don't want to wake up in the middle of the night to find friends of the former owner dropping in for a visit. Always change the locks, reset key codes, and ensure that motion sensors, latches, and other security features are solid and reliable.

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May
25

Housewarming Gifts for New Owners - Badger Peabody & Smith RealtyDo you know someone who has recently moved into a new home? You may have thought about bringing them a housewarming gift to help them settle in. Our real estate agents love this tradition and think it's a great way to usher people into a bright future in their new space.

Our list of ideas for housewarming gifts in 2022 will help you find the perfect gift for every new homeowner this year.  

  • Houseplants
    Houseplants are classic housewarming gifts: they're inexpensive, long-lasting, and add a cheerful personal touch to any home. Unless you know for certain that the family has no young children or pets, be sure to choose plants that are non-toxic to both humans and animals. Some classic options include African violets, spider plants, and parlor palms. As a bonus, these plants are also very hardy, so they're easy for even beginner gardeners to care for.
     
  • Personalized Address Stickers
    Most of us may not send physical mail as much as we used to, but many people still enjoy sending the occasional holiday card or handwritten letter. Personalized address stickers are perfect for quickly adding a return address to the envelopes on those occasions. This gift is particularly nice because it ties the new homeowner's identity to the home itself. This makes the move feel more official, satisfying, and lasting.
     
  • A Smart Home Device
    If the new homeowner is tech-savvy, they might like to bring more modern conveniences into their home with a smart home system. Even if your recipient already uses these devices, getting them another one will help them to expand their network in their new (and likely larger) home. Just be sure to check which type of device they use – branded smart home products like Google Home and Amazon Echo devices run on their own ecosystem and are not compatible with each other.

  • A Charcuterie Board
    Charcuterie is extremely popular right now. Give your recipients a charcuterie board to help them experiment with this trend in style. Look for a quality board that won't warp, snap, or splinter. If you want to make the gift extra-special, you can get the board engraved with the homeowner's name or phrase that holds special meaning to them.

  • Personalized Ornaments
    Many people like to commemorate milestones in their life with holiday ornaments that tie back to major life events. Giving your recipient a personalized ornament with their address, postal code, or a picture of their home on it will give them a tangible representation of their big move. They're sure to remember the event (and you!) fondly when they hang the ornament up each year.

  • Kitchen Linens
    If you prefer to give practical gifts as housewarming presents, kitchen linens are a great option. A new set of dish towels or kitchen cloths is always useful, especially in a new house where old linens might not have been fully unpacked yet. Choose some with fun patterns that match the décor of the homeowners' new kitchen to show off your attention to detail and ensure your gift doesn't feel generic. 

Want to be the next family to host a housewarming party? Contact us today for more information on any of our listings or to connect with any of our expert staff. 

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