Coldwell Banker Murray Real Estate, Inc



Posted by Coldwell Banker Murray Real Estate, Inc on 12/5/2017

A vacation is a time to rest, relax, and stop worrying about all of the things you have to do around the house on a day-to-day basis. However, it’s hard to relax if you spend the whole vacation worrying about your home.

Home intruders prey on people who are clearly away from their home. It’s much easier to plan a break-in from a house you know is empty for an extended period of time than trying to figure out when someone won’t be home.  

There are a number of ways to improve your home security to ensure your home and belongings are safe while you’re on vacation. In this article, we’ll provide you with a list so that you can relax and enjoy your time away from home.

1. Ask a favor from the neighbor

Being friendly with the neighbors has a lot of benefits. You can borrow their tools or ask for a hand moving something. When you go on vacation, ask your neighbors to bring in your mail for you. An overflowing mailbox is a clear sign that you’re away from home.

Make sure your neighbor has your cell phone number so they call you if anything seems out of place--like if they notice a strange vehicle in your driveway.

2. Get a house-sitter

If you have a relative in the area, maybe a niece or nephew, ask them to stay at your home while you’re away. If they live with mom and dad, they’ll probably be thrilled at the chance to have their own place for the weekend.

As an added bonus, they’ll be able to feed your pets, water your lawn, and take out the trash for you while you’re away.

3. Don’t advertise that you’re away

Most people these days have grown comfortable posting their whereabouts on social media. However, doing so when you’re away is an easy way to tip off would-be burglars that your house might be empty for a week or more.

4. Buy a cheap security system

You can find dozens of security cameras for under $60 on Amazon. When asked, 60% of burglars said the presence of a security system made them decide to move on to another home.

Complement this with a sticker that says you have a security system in place. It could be the one-dollar sticker that makes a would-be burglar decide to leave your house without breaking in.

5. Remove spare keys

Many people leave spare keys in obvious places because it’s easy to describe to people who might need to get in. However, if it’s easy for welcome guests to find it’s also easy for unwelcome guests.

6. Double check doors and windows

When making your to-do list for vacation, be sure to include double checking the locks on your doors, windows, and garage. Almost 30% of burglaries occur when someone enters through an unlocked door or window.

This also applies to any vehicles that you might be leaving in your driveway during your vacation. Remove valuables from the vehicle and place them inside your home in a safe place.




Tags: Home Security   vacation  
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Posted by Coldwell Banker Murray Real Estate, Inc on 11/28/2017

If you’d like to increase the value of your home by a slight amount before you even think of putting it on the market, you may be hesitant to make any kind of an investment. There are numerous upgrades that you can make to your home for under one thousand dollars. In the long run, these upgrades could help to save you some serious money. 


Put In A Programmable Thermostat


The majority of energy usage in your home is consumed by your heating and cooling systems. Using a programmable thermostat can help to keep the temperature inside your home stable throughout the day. Your heating and cooling system won’t need to continually start and restart to create a stable temperature in the home. This could be a great assistance in long-term energy and utility bill savings.


Get A New Toilet


If you want to impress buyers, put a new stylish looking toilet in your home. Upgrading your toilet can also bring your energy costs down. It will use less water with each flush and save you on your water bill.


Re-tile The Bathroom


Tiling a room yourself can be fairly inexpensive. It can also help you to breathe new life into the bathroom. Your tub will look brand new. Buyers will leave thinking that you have done an entire remodel of the bathroom. All you really need to do is replace some tile and grout. It’s a DIY project that can truly pay off with big dividends.


Re-tile Your Floors


Just like the bathroom, putting in a new kitchen tile or floor can really bring back some life into the room. Tile helps to rejuvenate the space by getting rid of dirty, tired flooring and backsplashes. 


If you need professional installation for any of these projects, you can splurge on it a bit. It does take some know how to understand the proper installation floor and backsplash tiles. Replacing the floors and tiles gives your home a new, clean look that will be an attractive upgrade to your home. 


Put Up New Window Fixtures


Replacing your blinds can really add something to each room of the house. Blinds can collect a lot of dust and dirt over time. While you may wash and clean them, sometimes, the dirt gets to a point where it’s completely stuck on. If you want to really make your buyers “wow,” try wood blinds. Most home improvement stores have a wide array of options for window blinds that allow you to customize both the size and style of your blinds.


Any upgrades that you can make to your home are an improvement for you while you’re living in it. These changes also allow you to get a bit more of a return on your property once you’re ready to sell.





Posted by Coldwell Banker Murray Real Estate, Inc on 11/21/2017

Home Insurance is a requirement, but it’s also a welcome protection for your most prized purchase. When getting insurance, you probably want a good deal on it. Your aim might be to try and save some money. There’s much more to insurance than cost, however. You need to know that whatever policy you choose will cover what you need and provide the right amounts of protection for those items. 


There’s so many different parts to an insurance policy that indicate the coverage you can have for your home, it can be dizzying. At its most basic form, home insurance protects your home from risk. This includes fire and robbery. Keep in mind that a less expensive policy will provide less coverage for you. Different types of coverage that you should be aware of are:



  • Dwelling Coverage
  • Other Structures Coverage
  • Personal Property Coverage
  • Liability Coverage


These different pieces of a home insurance policy allow for a wide variety of damages things including: Rebuilding your home, coverage that will allow you to rebuild fences, sheds and screen houses, protection if someone is injured on your property, and the insurance of your personal property contained within the home. Some policies will even cover you to live in an alternative place should your home become uninhabitable. 


Check Your Deductibles And Policy Limits


A deductible is how much you’ll need to pay before the insurance company picks up the rest of the bill. Policies with higher deductibles are less expensive to purchase. Yet, if your home does face damage, you’ll have to come up with a lot more upfront to have your home repaired. When you’re comparing home insurance policies, you’ll need to make sure that you have the same deductible amount selected for each separate policy that you’re getting a quote on. The deductible amount that you choose should be one that you’d feel comfortable paying when and if something happens to your home.  


True Comparisons


While shopping by price is a good place to start, you need to compare much more than that. You want to be sure that when you purchase a home insurance policy that you’re actually getting your money’s worth. You need to be mindful of the type of coverage that you get and the amount of deductible that you’ll need to spend in order to get that coverage. It would be tragic for something to happen to your home, only for you to find out that it’s not covered. You pay home insurance for protections, so it’s a great idea to know exactly what you’re paying for and where the safety net is surrounding your home and belongings.





Posted by Coldwell Banker Murray Real Estate, Inc on 11/14/2017

Many people are finding that their paychecks aren't getting them as far as they used to. The cost of groceries is constantly rising, gas prices are creeping back up, and services like cable and wireless seem to increase every with every bill. To keep up with it all, many people opt to put in more hours at work or find a second job. However, if you're not comfortable with sacrificing your free time there are other ways to keep up with the bills. There are many hobbies that can earn you extra income and will help you learn new skills in the process. This article will overview some income-driving hobbies for everyone and show you how to monetize them to help pay the bills.

Sell your photography

Photography is an amazing skill to learn. Once you get past the basics of understanding shutter speed and aperture, you'll find you can take all different types of photos. Many people associate photography with being very expensive, and while it certainly can be, advancements in the technology have made it rather affordable to get started. Once you've learned the ins and outs of your camera, there are a few ways to earn money from photography. If you have an eye for detail and setting things up, you could try selling stock photography online or taking product photography for local crafters. If you're more of a "people" person, then portraits might be more of a rewarding hobby for you. Graduation photos and family portraits are both good ways to learn the basics. Eventually you could try out being a second shooter at a wedding; meaning you work with a professional wedding photographer to help them get more shots of the wedding and reception. As you improve and build experience, you can increase your prices.

Build things people will love

When I was younger my father worked full-time and when he came home the first thing he did was head outside to start working on whatever building project he had going on. Sheds, picnic tables, tree houses... there's no end to the types of things you can build in your backyard. Getting money for your hard work is easy in the age of the internet. Most important, though, is that you're building things people will love. Pinterest is packed with ideas and YouTube full of tutorials when it comes to inspiration and learning. Once you've completed your project you can put in on your local Craigslist, a Facebook group, or even in your front lawn with a For Sale sign.

Blogging and copyediting

Would you be the first one to notice if there was a typo in this article? Do you find yourself occasionally thinking, "That would be a really good topic to write about"? Blogging and digital copyediting are two growing markets with a lot of opportunity for those of us with a passion for the written word. To work with existing businesses there are several websites that allow you to market your services online. Pick a topic that you're interested in or one you're already an expert at, and reach out to companies in that industry. If you're more of the DIY type, make your own blog with the help of a site like WordPress. Once you build a readership, you can monetize with ads and sponsors.




Tags: hobbies   money   finance   bills   income   photography   carpentry   writing  
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Posted by Coldwell Banker Murray Real Estate, Inc on 11/7/2017

Change is a part of the world. Wherever you look, you will spot change. Look in the mirror and you'll see how your appearance has changed from your childhood days, maybe even from when you were in college. What doesn't always seem easy to change is the way that your house looks.

Interior designers are great house transformers but they are expensive

Bringing change to your home's interior often comes at a price. At the low end, you could easily pay several hundred dollars for an interior designer's services. An interior designer can run you several thousand dollars at the high end.

Hire the right interior designer and your home might look so inviting, open, classic, trendy or elegant that you wonder if you're living in the same house. Path to this type of transformation starts with vision. It also starts with a workable budget and a lot of work. In fact, it could take several weeks to transform a house's entire interior design.

But, that's the long way. Here are three overlooked house changers that only take a few hours to pull off. These three house changers don't require hours of pre-work. They also don't require the assistance of an experienced interior designer. In fact, you can give your home a new look for a fraction of one paycheck by:

  • Replace existing lamps - Remove old lamp shades and replace them with newer, more chic or elegant lamp shades. You can also replace entire lamps, going with metal, halogen, incandescent, long and narrow or oblong lamps.
  • Install new carpet - Install new carpet across an entire room and you can lighten or darken your home. A less expensive way to change the interior design of your house using carpeting is to place one to three throw rugs on the floor. Hand woven, printed, sheepskin, cotton and wool throw rugs are popular types of throw rugs that you could use. Looking to save money? Go with throw rugs that you buy at flea markets or outlet stores.
  • Take the new chair route - Place arm less chairs in room corners. Replace traditional kitchen chairs with stylish leather arm less chairs. Also, be open to putting a chair in a room that is currently absent a chair, rooms like your master bedroom, basement or guest bedroom.

Year round care and creativity do wonders for a home

Performing regular maintenance on your house helps to keep your home functioning at optimal levels for years. Care that you give to your outdoor spaces can turn your property into an amazing outdoor entertainment spot. Summers can be spent hosting barbecues, family gatherings and once in a lifetime celebrations.

Regular maintenance and care for your home is one of the best ways to keep your property values up. Yet, maintenance and care don't change the way that your house looks. To give your home a new look, you may have to transform the interior design.

Traditional interior design options can run anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars. Fortunately, there are workarounds. Get creative and stay open to new ways to alter the look and feel of your home. Also, be open to implementing three overlooked house changers.




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