Claire Rainville, Broker Associate, REMAX


You always want to be safe in your new home, but bringing home a new baby brings your safety protocol to a whole new level. In the first few months of life, the baby won’t be getting into too much trouble. By the time the baby can crawl, however, it’s a whole different story. This is why you want your home prepared before the baby even gets there. You should keep your home free of hazards. No more boxes in the way on the floor. The glass coffee table may need to be put away for a time. The nature of your home will certainly change once your little bundle of joy arrives. Below, you’ll find some of the most basic baby safety measures that you can take around your home in order to bring it from normal home to “baby proof.”


You’ll want to look at your home from the level of a child. Anything that you feel he or she could get into when you’re on the floor on your hands and knees is fair game.


Lock Drawers And Cabinets


Both drawers and cabinets should be locked in the bathroom, kitchen, even in your office. You never know what a baby can get himself into! This is especially important for drawers and cabinets that have sharp objects like knives, scissors, or tools. Any cabinets that have chemicals, heavy pans, or anything else you don’t want a child getting into should have a lock on them. Locks for cabinets are available in both the interior style or exterior style safety lock. Both types of locks can be easily installed in cabinets and drawers in order to prevent children from opening them, yet giving the adults in the house continued access to the things that they need. 


Outlet Covers


These small plastic fittings come in a variety of types and styles. Some insert into the outlets themselves while others cover the entire outlet plate. Some snap onto the outlet while others open like a door. You’ll want to choose a type of outlet cover that will work best for your needs. You don’t want an inconvenience when you do use the plug and you also don’t want a lot of small plastic pieces hanging around the home to be just another hazard to your child. 


Gates


Gates are one of the most valuable safety items that parents can install for their kids. Gates can be installed in doorways where the child shouldn’t have immediate access. These safety measures are also important at the bottom and top of each stairway in the home. Baby gates come in all shapes and styles, so you’ll want to decide what works best for your needs in the home. Some gates are mountable while others are detachable and portable from room to room. Some gates even have extension pieces that are available to be installed along with them to fit rooms of all sizes. 


Bumpers


Bumpers get their name because they prevent exactly what the name states-bumping! You’ll want to put these bumpers and corner guards to cover any rough or sharp edges around your home. Consider covering the following areas of your home:


  • Fireplaces
  • Counters
  • Coffee tables
  • Wood stoves

 Anything with a sharp corner or edge needs to be covered to prevent your child from injury.    


Baby Proofing can be a difficult task, but with the right tools, you’ll be able to protect your precious little one from harm around your other big investment- your home.  


Before you kick off a home search, it is important to differentiate an ordinary house from a dream residence. That way, you can set realistic goals for your home search and accelerate the process of acquiring a house that matches your expectations.

Ultimately, each homebuyer's definition of a dream home varies. But for homebuyers who want to streamline the search for a dream home, there are several home factors to consider, and these include:

1. The Age and Condition of a Home

Dedicate the necessary time and resources to learn about a home's age and condition – you'll be glad you did. With these home insights, you can determine whether a home will require substantial repairs in the immediate future.

To evaluate a house's age and condition, you should hire a home inspector. This professional will examine a residence both inside and out and search for any structural problems with the property. Then, the home inspector will provide a detailed report that outlines any home issues.

A home inspection offers a valuable learning opportunity, one that can help you determine if a house is right for you. And if a home inspection reveals your dream home is actually a dud, you can always rescind a home offer and reenter the housing market.

2. A Home's Price

Many people want to own large, extravagant mansions. Yet the costs of these properties can be prohibitive, which is why most homebuyers search for houses that fall within a specific price range.

As you prepare to search for your dream home, you should get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will enable you to enter the housing market with a budget in hand and avoid the temptation to spend too much on a house.

Also, it is important to realize that no home is perfect. Although you may search far and wide for a dream house that has all the amenities and features that you want, you'll likely need to make trade-offs to find your ideal residence.

Creating a list of must-haves and wants for your dream home usually is a great idea. This list will enable you to narrow your home search, evaluate properties that fall within your price range and discover your dream home faster than ever before.

3. A Home's Location

Consider where you want to live before you launch a home search. By doing so, you can identify available houses in certain cities and towns and map out your home search accordingly.

Think about what's important to you in terms of home location. For example, if you want a home that's close to your office in the city, you may want to search for residences in or near the city itself. Or, if you want to live close to the beach, you can explore properties that are conveniently nestled along the beachfront.

Lastly, if you need help finding your dream home, you should hire a real estate agent. With a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble making your homeownership dreams come true.


Long before Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter changed the way we communicate and share information, there existed traditional social networks.

Although it's an old-fashioned concept, its value and importance will never go out of style.

For homeowners, growing families, and senior citizens, having a small group of people you can consistently turn to for support can make problems smaller and challenges a lot easier to glide through. Not only that, but having a solid connection with a few good friends, family members, and neighbors can help keep your spirits up, through both good times and bad.

When it comes to being a homeowner, raising a family, and growing older, here are some specific reasons why staying in touch with your social contacts can make life easier, less expensive, and safer:

  • Getting recommendations: Whether you need a new dentist, dog groomer, or plumber, your chances of finding someone who's dependable and reasonably priced are much greater when you ask a friend, relative, or trusted neighbor. When you're just left to you're own devices to sift through Internet listings, online reviews, and advertisements, it can be pretty time consuming and frustrating. All things being equal, you're more likely to have a successful experience with a service provider who's been recommended to you, as opposed to going through the vetting process completely on your own.
  • Taking care of your house while your away: When you're on vacation or away from home for a long weekend, it's nice to have someone you can rely on to water your plants, take care of your pets, and check to see if your house is secure. They can also make sure you don't have newspaper deliveries, packages, or mail piling up in front of your house.
  • Knowing a neighbor you can trust: Having someone nearby who can help you in an emergency, take care of your kids if you can't get home on time, or keep on eye on your house while you're away is a vital resource.
  • Senior citizens need a support network: As we age and become less able to get around like we used to, a helping hand can make a big difference in our lives. The psychological benefits of having a social life at an older age have also been well documented. Social contact enhances the quality of life for senior citizens and can even contribute to longevity.
If you've recently moved to a new community, it may be worth your while to join a couple organizations, take an adult education class, meet a few of your neighbors, and become active in the community. As songwriters, poets, philosophers, and spiritual leaders have reminded us for generations, everyone needs the help of other people in different stages of our lives. Seventeenth century English poet, John Donne, said it the mostly concisely when he wrote "No man is an island."

If you have hired a realtor to help you sell your home, you have already taken care of a good amount of the job that needs to be done to get the home sold at the right price. There is one important thing that you need to tend to as a seller- that’s getting your home ready to be shown. Once the home is on the market, your realtor will work with you to schedule open houses and times for the home to be shown privately. Whether you only have a few hours or a day or two to prepare for a home showing, there are a few certain areas that you need to tend to in order to help your home appear clean and tidy to impress buyers. 


Sweep Up


It doesn’t take very long to sweep down your hardwood and tile floors. After you do this, run over the floors with a mop to remove any stains that may be present on the floor. 


The Dust Rag Is Your Friend


If you have time, you can do a deep clean of your home. It also doesn’t take a long time to go over the surfaces of your home with a duster. Getting up the dust will not only make your home smell fresher, but it will appear cleaner as well. 


Make The Beds


Your mother told you for years that you need to make your bed in the mornings. She was right. Beds that have been made look much more presentable and homey than rooms with bedding strewn around. If your bedding is looking less than inviting and you have some time before your showing, you may want to pick up some new bedding. The small details are so important when it comes to selling your home, and making the home look inviting is one of them.       


Clear The Clutter Out


Whether it’s piles of clothes on the floor, dirty dishes in the sink, or papers on the counters, clean it up! While you want to give prospective home buyers an idea of what it’s like to live in a place, the home doesn’t need to look “lived in.” Try and get rid of the personal traces that you leave behind as you prepare to sell your home. As a bonus, you should also make sure the trash is empty and fresh. 


Vacuum The Rugs


Running a vacuum over your rugs can really help to freshen the home. If you have pets, this will help remove the odor that animals leave behind. It will also provide a fresh surface for anyone who is touring your home to walk on. 


Turn On The Lights


When you leave the house for a showing or open house, definitely make sure that all of the shades are open and the lights are on. A bright home is an inviting home.      


 


Most people love the idea of working from home. You have access to whatever food you want for lunch, you decide when to get out of bed, and whether or not it's worth getting dressed for the day. While it does have many benefits, working from home has one huge disadvantage: distractions. Making your home office, living room, or bedroom a productive place to work is difficult, but it can be accomplished. Ultimately, your productivity is a matter of motivating yourself to work. But being in the right environment is still vital to creating a distraction free workplace. Whether you're self-employed, have a hobby that requires a home office, or just need a quiet place to do some paperwork, having a minimal home office can be vital to getting the job done. In this article, we'll cover all the elements needed to creating a simplistic workspace where you'll feel comfortable but still focused enough to work.

Setting the mood

Are you the type of person who works best in a well-lit room or do the lights need to be slightly dimmed? Depending on your preferences, you might want to choose a room that receives a lot of sunlight or convert part of your basement to an office. When it comes to wall and furniture colors, studies have shown that different colors can affect our mood. Depending on the atmosphere you're going for, you might choose white, light grey, or light blue wall colors. Bold colors will probably be too distracting and bright red colors can even be anxiety inducing. Try building a color palette online and deciding which color combinations you would enjoy for the walls of your office.

Avoiding distractions

You want your office to be sparsely decorated and free of distractions like games, phones, food, etc. However, for some people an empty room is even more distracting than a cluttered one. A good way to fill up the room without adding distractions is to incorporate plants and simple artwork. When choosing plants for your office, consider the amount of sunlight the room receives. It's possible to incorporate plant life without having to worry about moving them to receive sunlight. Similarly, there are cacti, succulents, and terrariums that require little upkeep and watering. You don't want to give yourself excuses for not working by telling yourself you need to water the plants.

Setting up your desk

Being productive is all about having a routine. You want your desk to help you stick to that routine. That means it should have everything you need to work and little, if anything, else. Aside from encouraging you to focus on your work, having a cluttered desk can also make it difficult to find what you need like a lost pen or a certain important piece of paper. Once you have your desk set up with what you need, be it a laptop, power cord, lamp, etc., then it's your job to keep it that way and avoid any rubbish from building up.