Child-Proofing Your Home.

Unintentional injury is one of the leading causes of death in children under 14. That should be enough to make any parent shudder. Child-proofing a new or existing home can be quite the headache, but it’s an incredibly neccessary step in making sure your home is safe for all members of your family. Luckily, by following a simple checklist, you can rest easy knowing that you’ve covered most, if not all of your bases. While there are extra steps that may need to be taken on a house-by-house basis, most of these steps are applicable to just about every kind of residence.

Smoke Detectors – While this may seem like an obvious step, you’d be surprised how many people don’t follow through with their fire alert system. Low batteries, improper placement, and broken detectors can all spell potential tragedy for you and your family. Pay close attention to the manufacturer’s instructions. You should have at least one smoke detector per level of your home, including the basement and attic. One very important step you can take these days is to purchase batteries that are designated for electronic devices.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors – These need to be placed near sleeping areas, and at least 15 feet away from any fuel-burning appliances.

Anti-Scalding Devices for your faucets – Contact your local plumber to get an estimate.

Door Stops and Door Holders – If your home already comes equipped with these, then make sure they are all in good working order.

Outlet Covers and Plates – Ensure that covers and plates aren’t easily removable.

Edge and Corner Bumpers – These come in a variety of styles, and are easily installed on the sharp edges and corners of your home. Pay special attention to the corners in your kitchen, as many child injuries take place here.

Safety Latches and Locks – These need to be installed in cabinets that would be accessible at your child’s level. These will prevent your child from gaining access to areas that hazardous cleaning materials are stored, like under your sinks.

Doorknob Covers and Door Locks – Use these on rooms that aren’t child-proofed. If you can prevent unsupervised access to a room, you don’t have to worry about keeping it in perfect working order in regard to child proofing.

Child Gates – Stair-related accidents can be avoided by implementing a gate system. Pay special attention to the types of gates used…..Pet gates are NOT the same product, and may lack the level of protection needed to ensure proper safety of your child. Childen are resourceful individuals, and can breach many systems that your family pets cannot.

You may think that any home improvement is an investment but when it comes to updating your home some renovations can actually be a money pit?

Here are some home updates that don’t bring a return on investment and even some that might repel future buyers.

The saying goes, “Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes”. This is true but keep it simple when renovating. Keep clean lines, neutral decor, upgraded appliances are your best bet. Remember to consider your home and the neighborhood, don’t put a master chef kitchen in a mid-level home. You will only end up losing money.

A bathroom can easily be updated by giving it that hotel spa look. Use white or cream towel sets, a clean but non intrusive candle and some new knobs on the cabinets.

Before you install all brand new carpeting some buyers are turned off by wall-to-wall carpeting. If you have pets this is especially true. Buyers who have allergies do not want to buy a home with wall-to-wall carpeting.

Expensive wallpaper may be in but buyers prefer painted walls. Use clean and neutral colors.

Adding a swimming pool will limit your buyer pool (pun intended). Pools attract a specific buyer but they do not add a monetary value to the home. Some buyers just don’t want the added expense, danger or hassle of a pool. If you do install a pool, an inground pool is most preferred.

Before do any home renovation consider how it would appeal to a larger population in the sale of your home.

If you are thinking about making a move some proper planning will go a long way. Moving can cost more than you might think and can be stressful. Keep costs and headaches to a minimum by preparing a plan and get organized early.

Here is a checklist of moving tips to help make your relocation go as smoothly as possible:

1. Save and set a budget.
Moving expenses can set you back thousands of dollars. There can be unexpected costs like shipping charges, personal travel costs, temporary housing expenses and start-up fees at your new residence. As soon as you know you’re going to move try to plan for all of these things and set a budget and start saving.

2. Mover or do it yourself?                                                                                    
Decide whether or not you will be hiring a moving company or managing the move on your own. If you are hiring a mover you will need to call for estimates and reservations. If you go it alone you should try to secure some help and proper transportation.

3. Look for Work.                                                                                                                              
If you are moving for a new job it may not be as easy for other family members to find work. Start reviewing the job boards and calling on personal contacts before you go.

4. Research the schools.                                                                                                          
Check school schedules and enrollment requirements. Pick up school records or have them sent to the new schools.

5. Protect Your Belongings.                                                                                        
In order to ensure your possessions will be covered while in transit or storage during your move you will want to obtain appraisals for high-value items. Make an inventory and take photos of your valuables to have a record if you need to file a claim. Make sure to also contact your homeowners insurance or renters insurance company to ensure your possessions will be covered.

6. Do a car check.                                                                                                                      
Take care of auto maintenance and repairs before you make a long trip. Don’t forget to notify your auto insurance company of the move.

7. Turn it on and off.                                                                                                            
Make sure to notify your utilities of your move and plan disconnect dates. Also make sure to order new utility services for your new address.

8. Change Your Address.                                                                    
Fill out an online change-of-address form through the U.S. Postal Service to ensure important mail will be forwarded to your new home. Also, be sure to send your new address to friends and family, your physician, schools, magazine publishers and providers of financial services.

 

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