Your March Home Checklist


March can be unpredictable when it comes to the weather, but no matter what Mother Nature is doing outside your window, it’s natural to crave a fresh start this time of year.

  1. Plant a tree. Spring and fall are the best times to plant trees because wet weather and cooler temperatures make it easier for root systems to get established. Be sure to check with your local nursery to determine which species will do best in your microclimate.
  2. Inspect your home’s exterior. Once winter storms have passed, carefully inspect the exterior of your home for damage.
  3. Simplify the table. Cupboards feeling overstuffed? Simplify your life by paring back on dishes and glassware, letting go of mismatched and chipped pieces and sets you no longer love or use often.
  4. Spring-clean the kitchen. Clean small appliances; wipe grease and grime from the range hood, backsplash and light fixtures; clean grout; and vacuum hard-to-reach places (like under the stove) using an attachment.
  5. Clean slipcovers and soft furnishings. Smaller slipcovers and washable rugs can be laundered at home; drop off larger pieces with professionals.
  6. Get ready for tax time. Getting your ducks in a row this month will make things a lot less stressful. Sort through paperwork, update your files and gather all important documents in one place so you’re ready to go.
  7. Treat yourself to spring blooms. Spring flowers such as daffodils are plentiful and inexpensive this month, so keep an eye out for bargains.
  8. Make a garden plan. There’s still time to get your garden growing! Sketch out a plan and jot down ideas for this year’s plantings, as well as any ideas you have for changes to the hardscape, like putting in a new path or fence. Start some seeds indoors, or pick up seedlings at your local nursery.
  9. Clean up patio furniture. Outdoor furniture can get really grimy over the winter, so be sure to give everything a good scrubbing before you start using it for the season. Launder washable outdoor cushion covers, and replace worn-out pieces if needed.
  10. Tune up lawn and garden tools. Sharp tools get the job done. Take your lawn mower and clippers in for a sharpening and tune up before you begin work in your garden.

For full article visit http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks

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Tips on Holding a Safe Open House


 

NAR has designated September as Realtor Safety Month. There’s no time like the present for some safety tips.

Open house pic

Most of us will hold an open house at one time or another, so it’s a good idea to follow some safety guidelines so we don’t become a victim of crime.

Open houses are a great way to meet new buyers and expose your listing to the public, but they can be a target for criminals.

Here are 10 Tips for Holding a Safe Open house:

1. If possible, have at lease one other person working with you at the open house.

2. Check the strength, signal and the battery life of your cell phone before the open house.

3. Upon entering the house, check all rooms and select several “escape ” routes.

4. Make sure that escape routes through the back door do not prohibit your escape from the back yard. Make sure there are no high fences or locked gates.

5. Have all open house visitors sign in. Ask for full name, address, phone number and email.

6. When showing a house, try to walk behind them or along side of them.

7. Avoid getting cornered or trapped in small rooms, etc. Do not let a visitor distract you while someone else is in the house.

8. Inform a neighbor of the open house and make sure your office, family or friend are aware of your open house and check in with them frequently.

9. Tell the owners not to leave any drugs, jewelry or valuables out.

10. At the end of an open house, check all the rooms and yard before leaving. Close all windows and lock all doors. Be aware of your surroundings and be careful getting into your car.

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Surterre Properties

Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 495-8600

Keep Flies Away With One Simple Trick…It Really Works!


Keep flies away the natural way…

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I recently saw a post on facebook about this trick…and I never thought about blogging about it until now, since so many people had never heard of this, I thought it would be worth sharing.

My wife’s family has been doing this for many years to control flies the natural way. I was skeptical until we tried it ourselves. It really does work. We would just put in 1 penny and sometimes a crumbled up piece of aluminum foil in a bag, filled it with water and then hung it by a tree, under a patio umbrella or wherever pesky flies would be. It definitely works!

Below are comments on this fly control idea.

Zip-lock water bags: #1 Says: I tried the zip lock bag and pennies this weekend. I have a horse trailer. The flies were bad while I was camping. I put the baggies with pennies above the door of the LQ. NOT ONE FLY came in the trailer.The horse trailer part had many. Not sure why it works but it does!

#2 Says:Fill a zip lock bag with water and 5 or 6 pennies and hang it in the problem area. In my case it was a particular window in my home. It had a slight passage way for insects. Every since I have done that, it has kept flies and wasps away. Some say that wasps and flies mistake the bag for some other insect nest and are threatened.

#3 Says:I swear by the plastic bag of water trick. I have them on porch and basement. We saw these in Northeast Mo. at an Amish grocery store& have used them since. They say it works because a fly sees a reflection& won’t come around.

#4 Says:Regarding the science behind zip log bags of water? My research found that the millions of molecules of water presents its own prism effect and given that flies have a lot of eyes, to them it’s like a zillion disco balls reflecting light, colors and movement in a dizzying manner. When you figure that flies are prey for many other bugs, animals, birds, etc., they simply won’t take the risk of being around that much perceived action. We went from hundreds of flies to seeing the occasional one, but he didn’t hang around long.

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And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.

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Best regards,

Michael Caruso, Broker Associate ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

Surterre Properties

Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 495-8600

Being Likeable Can Help You Get More Clients


59_seconds

Likeability is a subjective term. Who’s likeable and how important is it?

According to Best selling author and psychologist, Richard Wiseman, in his book “59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot”, 30 years of research says it doesn’t always come down to qualifications, experience, education or a host of other criteria. Often times. it comes down to likeability.

Likeability has also been linked to the success of presidential candidates in a presidential race (as predicted in Gallup poll). Likeable people are reported to be far less likely to get a divorce, or be sued by malpractice. Likeable people are easier to work with and trusted more.

So instead of cutting your commission or adding even more designations behind your name to get business, you may want to try being irresistibly personable to help win over more clients. However, don’t go too far, or people are also less likely to trust you if you come off as “too perfect”.

Here are nine easy things you can practice to become more likeable:

1. Be known for your Positive attitude

2. Be passionate about what you’re doing

3. Have a good sense of humor

4. Assume the best in people, especially in front of others

5. Be complimentary, but not over the top

6. Listen more than you talk. Here’s how: Hear it, Acknowledge it, Add something of Value

7. Be known for your adaptability

8. Be polite. Have good manners, good grooming and good language

9. Be humble

And what would you think the 10th thing would be?

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Michael Caruso, Broker Associate ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

Surterre Properties

Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 495-8600

Keep your Pets Safe and Cool in the Summertime


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Five Ways to Keep Pets Cool
Water play, shade and tasty treats…

In the heat of the summer, you may be cranking up the air-conditioning to stay comfortable, but don’t forget about your four-legged pals — especially if they’re spending a lot of time outdoors. Consider these five fun and easy ways to keep them cool and happy.

H2O and treats

It may sound obvious, but your dog and other pets need access to plenty of fresh, cold water. On a really hot day, you might toss a few ice cubes in the bowl to keep the water even colder. There are also ice cream treats designed specifically for dogs, or you can find recipes online to make your own. Here’s one clever idea — fill an ice cube tray with chicken broth or beef broth and then toss your dog a “pop” once the individual squares are frozen.

Water play

Many dogs love to get wet, whether they are splashing in a stream, swimming in a lake or jumping into a kiddie pool in your backyard. You can also set up a sprinkler for them to run through.

Check out new products

There are always new products on the market to keep pets cool in the heat, such as cooling bandanas and collars, pet beds that can be filled with cool water, and a collapsible water dish that you can carry anywhere — from a hike to a car ride. Keep in mind that if you’re driving with your dog, do not leave him waiting in the car for you, even if you crack the windows. His body temperature can rise quickly in a hot car and prove fatal.

Limit activity in the middle of the day

If you’re heading out for a walk or involving your pet in other outdoor activities, make sure to plan your excursion during cooler parts of the day (morning and early evening). The middle of the day is usually the hottest, and too much activity during this time can lead to an overheated pet. Pay attention to your pet’s cues and seek the advice of a vet if she is exhibiting any health problems.

Provide shade

If your pet stays outdoors, make sure he has a shady place to retreat when the heat becomes too intense. If you don’t have any natural shade in your yard, consider getting a beach umbrella or invest in a doghouse.

With a little bit of thought and preparation, you can prevent your pets from suffering in the summer sun. And they’ll love you all the more for it.

This article is presented by M.Benz of Laguna Niguel, California

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Michael Caruso, Broker Associate ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

Surterre Properties

Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 495-8600

Caruso’s Saturday Shot ~ When Life Gives You Lemons…


When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

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Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 495-8600

Carpe Diem…


Special Day Today ~ 12.12.12

It is the last repeating number date of the century, and just possibly holds a bit of magic.  So go seize the day and make it magical.

    

Carpe diem…

 

We Are Now Accepting Qualified Listings

Now providing “Short Sale Services”

Call Today for More Info on Our 

 Marketing Plan 

And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.     

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Best regards,

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 495-8600