Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley - CENTURY 21 Cobb Real Estate



Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 7/15/2018

There are many different advantages to adding more nature to your home inside and out. For one, it makes you happy to be around more natural things. We spend so much time in front of screens and using technology, that itís nice to be brought back to nature right in your own home. 


All this being said, itís a great idea to consider building a fish pond on your property. Thereís many different advantages to these bodies of water around your home including:


A Pond Will Build Up The Look Of Your Property


If thereís a part of your property that you just canít get past, perhaps building a fish pond will be a good use of that area. Some people take the idea further, creating a water garden complete with streams. However you decide to build your fish pond; simple or elaborate, youíll appreciate how it will improve the look of your property.


It Will Spark Your Creativity


Planning where and how a fish pond will go in your yard can really spark your creativity. You and your partner can think about what you want and find the best ways to execute your project. From the way youíll establish the surrounding landscapes to how you plan to dig the pond to what kind of fish youíll put in the pond, thereís a lot to think about. The best part is that you will create how you want your property to be more exciting and pleasant to spend time on. 


You Make A Good Use Of Your Space


Maybe you feel that you have a lot of ďwasted spaceĒ on your property. Installing a fish pond is a great way to make use of the space that you do have in your yard. If you feel that you could be doing something incredible with the space that you do have, building your own pond is a great way to do that. 


Connect With Nature


A fish pond allows for you to enjoy more than just fish. It will attract other types of wildlife including unique insects, birds and more. Watching fish has also been proven to be an activity that reduces stress and increases your level of health. According to studies done by the National Marine Aquarium, the mere act of watching fish has been shown to reduce blood pressure and decrease heart rate. Being in a natural environment is much more soothing to both your physical and mental states.       


While building a fish pond can seem like a huge project, you can see that the benefits are many. Youíll truly feel that you have maximized your land space and can enjoy the many benefits of having your own small wildlife sanctuary right on your property.





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 7/8/2018

Once you have bought a new house, you may feel lost as to where to start. Thereís a long checklist of things that you should do to get yourself established in a new space. Here, you'll find a plan on what to do next. 


Get Recommendations On Local People You Can Work With 


Your realtor is a good place to start in asking who they recommend for many types of workers including plumbers, electricians, contractors, and more. You may even want to talk to your next door neighbors and see who they have used in the past for these types of handy work jobs. Even if you donít need any kind of work done immediately, itís a good idea to have some names and numbers on hand for future reference.


Donít Paint Right Away


Although it seems much more practical to paint an empty house, once you live in your new home for awhile, youíll get a sense of where the light hits and what colors will complement your furniture. When you pick colors in a rush, you run the risk of choosing shades that you may not love in the long term. Focus on properly lighting your rooms before you even start to paint.


Donít Forget The Housewarming Party!


If you plan a housewarming party for a date thatís not too far after you move in, it will give you motivation to get things done in the house. The housewarming party is your accountability partner to get you to unpack those boxes and get decorating. Try to plan the party somewhere between one and two months after your planned move-in date. This will give you time to get things done, just not too much time!  


Meet The Neighbors


You should take some time very soon after you move in to meet your new neighbors. They can be a great resource for you as to what happens in your new neighborhood. Find out if any of your new neighbors have dogs that your own dog could meet for a friendly walk. Your new friends will even give you information about a neighborhood watch or important community activities as well.


Safety First


Youíll want to check all of your smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and alarm systems. Be sure that they work. Then, change the batteries in each system to start fresh. You should also equip your house with a fire extinguisher or two. You can never be too prepared for an emergency. 


Next, you should check all of the door and window locks. Replace anything that used a key. You never know who had keys to the home before it was sold.

When you start small in a new home, things will begin to come together slowly but surely just like puzzle pieces.





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 7/1/2018

You know there are certain household items that need to be replaced regularly. But just how regularly is where things might start to get fuzzy. Especially those big tickets items that need to be replaced on a yearly span rather than months or days. Keep reading to discover how often you need to replace items around the home. Pillows. You want to replace the pillows in your home every couple of years. Youíve probably heard by now that up to a third of a regularly used pillowís weight can be attributed to dust and dead skin cells. You may not, however, made the connection that a dust filled pillow equals dust mites. While dust mites do not carry communicable diseases, they do pose as an allergy and/or asthma irritant. HVAC filters. During the summer and winter months when your system is working longer hours to maintain your homeís temperatures you will want to change your filters each month. Meanwhile, in the spring and fall, you can do so less frequently, changing it around the three-month mark. Changing your filter regularly will keep your system running efficiently and save you money on energy costs in the long run. Fire extinguisher. You have a fire extinguisher in your home, right? If you donít I suggest you run out and get one right away. Fire extinguishers can be replaced every ten years, however, they do need to be tested monthly and inspected regularly. Toilet brush. This is one not many homeowners think of, if ever. However, it advisable to replace your toilet brush every six months with regular cleanings in between. As you can image, toilet brushes are host to all kinds of germs and bacteria you donít want to hang around your home. Toothbrushes. If your family stays on top of their recommended regular teeth cleanings every three months this point shouldnít be an issue. However, it is one worth mentioning. Your familyís toothbrushes should be replaced every three months as they can develop bacteria that lead to gingivitis and/or tooth decay. And isnít that what weíre trying to avoid when we brush our teeth? Smoke detectors.†It is best practice to proactively replace the batteries in your smoke detector†twice†a year. With that said it is a good idea to also replace the smoke detector itself every ten years to ensure you have an up to date model. Throughout those ten years, however, you should be regularly testing your alarms. If you have recently moved to a new home and are unsure of how old your smoke alarm system is it is a good idea to plan on replacing them in the near future. Hopefully, you already regularly maintain these items. However, if you canít remember the last time you have replaced any of the items mentioned you should consider making a plan to invest in some replacements. Making a spreadsheet in your home binder or setting up alerts on your virtual calendar will help you stay on top of the regular maintenance your household items require.





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 6/24/2018

After a move, everything feels fresh and energizing. This is, of course, in part because of the energy that comes with a big change. But it also comes from having a neatly, organized home. In the jumble of packing and unpacking, junk gets tossed and items get new homes. Everything gets a new dedicated area where it belongs. Everything is tidy, as it should be.

So how then can you maintain this wonderful feeling and continue to keep things neat and tidy?

First, you need to make a daily habit of doing a quick clean sweep every day. Whether you do it in the morning, afternoon or before bed isnít important. What is important is that you do it every day.

Go through the house to make to corral up stray dishes, put items back into their dedicated places, and give homes to those who donít have one yet.

And if you canít think of somewhere to put it? Question its purpose and consider either donating or tossing it.

Aim to keep your surfaces clear of items. Allowing things to accumulate is one of the fastest for clutter to quickly take over. Stop it in its track by tidying up when youíre done using this ďstationĒ of your home.

Practice not being ďlazyĒ. If you bring your tea to sip on the couch when you leave the room take your mug with you straight to the dishwasher. If you finished the last of the chips put the clip away where it belongs instead of leaving it out on the counter. Put pens back away after using them to jot out notes. Recycle magazines when you're done reading them.

If you find things are building up as clutter quickly you might have too much stuff. Which is okay, it happens!

Decluttering isnít a one and done process. We need to consistently be assessing the things that collect in our homes and what benefit they are adding to your life. Sometimes we once used all the time have fallen out of favor or need to be repaired/replaced.

Make time once a month for a quick declutter session and once a season for a more detailed one.

And the best way to avoid clutter is to closely monitor what youíre allowing to come into your home in the first place. If you find you love to take things home just because they were free or on sale, itís important to take a step back and ask yourself why.

After all, the less stuff we have in our homes the less there is to manage. Which means more time spent doing what you enjoy doing, like spending time with your family, and less time organizing it all.

 





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 6/17/2018

Purchasing a home can be stressful, and the homebuying process might even cause your blood pressure to rise if you're not careful. Fortunately, there are many quick, easy ways to minimize stress and stay calm during the homebuying process, including: 1. Don't Be Afraid to Take a Step Back and Relax. The real estate market remains an ongoing battle between homebuyers. Plus, after you find a house you like, you may encounter problems with a home seller as you try to finalize a purchase agreement. But remember, as you move along the homebuyer journey, don't be afraid to take a step back and relax. Buying a home represents a life-changing event, one that should not be taken lightly. However, homebuyers who try to rush through the homebuying process may watch their stress levels rise quickly Ė the last thing any homebuyer wants to encounter. If you feel stressed at any point during the homebuying process, be sure to take a deep breath and focus on the big picture. By doing so, you'll be able to improve your chances of remaining cool under pressure and simplify your journey from homebuyer to homeowner. 2. Stay Organized. As a homebuyer, you may be required to make phone calls and emails as you move along the homebuying journey. And in some cases, problems could arise if you don't document your conversations properly. But a homebuyer who devotes the necessary time and resources to stay organized should have no trouble tracking phone calls and emails that are sent to a home inspector, lender or other professionals who may be involved in the homebuying process. Jotting down notes on phone calls usually is a great idea for homebuyers, as this allows you to keep track of your conversations. And if you send emails, you already have a surefire way to monitor any messages you send or receive, too. 3. Hire a Courteous, Diligent Real Estate Agent. Let's face it Ė it often is easy to become emotional during the homebuying process. On the other hand, if you have a courteous, diligent real estate agent at your side, you'll be better equipped to overcome any hurdles that you may encounter during this process. Your real estate agent will offer information about upcoming open houses and set up home showings, enabling you to check out many homes that fit your needs. Also, this professional ultimately will serve as a liaison between you and a home seller and can help you stay calm, cool and collected during negotiations. Furthermore, your real estate agent will keep you up to date as you progress through the homebuying journey. As a result, this professional is exceedingly important and can help streamline the process of buying a home. The homebuying process can become time-consuming and complicated, and as such, cause stress. Conversely, if you use the aforementioned tips, you should be able to simplify the process of finding a home that suits your perfectly and buy this residence without delay.