Are you looking to hire a real estate agent to sell your home? Here are some must ask questions of real estate agents before you sign on the dotted line.

1. Do you work full or part-time as a real estate agent?

2. How many homes have you sold in my area and what was the price range?

3. What is your average days on the market until a house goes under agreement?

4. How many sellers are you currently representing?

5. At what price do you think my house will sell in the current market? And why?

6. What is your advertising and marketing plan for my house?

7. Can I see a sample of your marketing?

8. What kind of communication schedule can I expect from you?

9. How long have you been a real estate agent and how much education have you received? Do you have any special designations?

10. Is your real estate license in good standing and have you ever been subject to a client complaint?

11. Why should I hire you over your competition?

12. Do you have a website? What kind of online presence do you have?

Lastly, don’t forget to ask for testimonials or references.

We all want a more energy efficient home. And while we know an energy efficient home is an eco-friendly one our favorite benefit is that it also helps save on utility bills each year. Below are some ways you can perform a home energy audit yourself to hunt out the places your home needs to have repaired to prevent energy leaks:

Manual Tests

Start by locating any air leaks. Areas where two different building materials meet are especially susceptible. These places include along baseboards and floors or where walls meet the ceiling. If there are any obvious cracks or gaps you have an energy leak. Windows, doors, plumbing, switches, and outlets are all guilty suspects as well and should be tested for drafts.

For less obvious leaks dampening your hand and passing it over areas that are likely offenders will help you find drafts. If there is a draft the passing air will make your hand feel cool as it passes by. Another test to try is to start by closing any vents in the room and then light some incense. Watch closely if the smoke moves or billows around in areas you suspect are a culprit to any energy leaks. If the smoke wavers there is a leak. Check for leaks around windows and doors by closing them on a paper bill. If it is easy to pull out the bill you have a leak. This test is also a great way to check the seal of your fridge doors for any leaks.

Tech Tests

Buy a home energy monitor to determine which appliances are your biggest energy hogs. Consider upgrading old appliances to more energy efficient ones, keeping them unplugged when not in use or getting rid of the appliance altogether if it isn’t essential. Devices that have a standby are energy consumers even when “off” as they are never truly off. If it has an indicator light, charger, AC adapter or digital clock than it is using up power when plugged in. Plugging these devices into a power strip will allow you to easily flip them to off and disconnect all power to them when not in use.

Investing in a handheld infrared thermal leak detector to detect any leaks in walls in places like outlets, cable wire holes or around windows, doors and attic hatches. If you find a significant difference in temperature as you pass the detector over a likely culprit you have an air leak on your hands.

Whether you opt for the cheap ways to audit your home or invest in a little bit of tech to hunt out those energy leaks taking the time to test your home is well worth the effort. Finding where you home is losing energy and repairing them will save you money in the long run and turn your home will become a more eco-friendly one to boot!

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Bright_red_tomato_and_cross_section02Native to Central, South, and southern North America, the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is a member of the Solanaceae or nightshade family, which includes the potato, chili peppers, and eggplant. Considered a vegetable, the tomato is a fruit. No matter, fruit or vegetable, the tomato is a nutrient dense, low-calorie, delicious food.

The United States Department of Agriculture reports, “A 1⁄2 cup of tomatoes has 15% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin A and 20% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C. A ½ cup serving has only 15 calories, 2 g sugars, and 4 g of total carbohydrate and provides 1 g of protein. Tomatoes are fat, cholesterol and sodium free.”

Lycopene (also known as rhodopurpurin) is a carotenoid pigment associated with the vibrant red color of many tomatoes. Lycopene plays a vital role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and age-related eye diseases.

Medical research further supports lycopene’s health benefits in the prevention and treatment of several different types of cancer including cancer of the breast, cervix, skin, stomach, bladder, lungs, and prostrate.

Antioxidants such as lycopene, vitamins E and C and beta-carotene, found in tomatoes help control the destructive activity of free radicals. Free radicals are compounds in the body that aggressively attack and damage cell membranes. Numerous scientific studies indicate that the uncontrolled activity of free radicals is linked to the proliferation of many types of cancers.

A study, conducted at Harvard University, reports that men who included tomatoes and tomato products in their diets twice a week reduced their risk of developing prostate cancer by one-third verses men in the study who never eat tomatoes.

Although lycopene is present in all red vegetables and fruits, its concentration is highest in tomatoes. In fact, processed tomato products, including pizza sauce, tomato juice, and ketchup are the richest source of dietary lycopene. These processed tomato products account for more than 80% of the total intake of lycopene in the American diet.

Tomatoes appear not to lose their nutrient value when cooked. Heat is an integral factor in releasing antioxidants from tomatoes. Absorption of lycopene is improved by adding a small, but essential amount of oil.

Dr. Mridula Chopra and researchers at the University of Portsmouth, School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, Portsmouth, England, tested the effect of lycopene in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. Dr. Chopra, the Director of Research, reports, “This simple chemical reaction was shown to occur at lycopene concentrations that can easily be achieved by eating processed tomatoes.”

Maintaining good health and preventing disease is a compelling reason for loading your market basket with fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes.

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Barnstable, MA:

This Single-Family in Barnstable, MA recently sold for $210,000.

This is a Cape style home and features 7 total rooms, 2 full baths, 4 bedrooms, 0.35 acres, and was sold by
Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley – CENTURY 21 Cobb Real Estate

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Homemade Lemonade

On June 26, 2016 By admin
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