Prevent a Holiday Disaster at Home With These 10 Must Read Tips

 

Keep Your Kids (2 legged and 4) safe this holiday season with these 10 tips from Northstar Moving Company!

NorthStar Moving Co-Founder Laura McHolm

There is no ignoring it now. The twinkling trees, tinsel and….attractive trouble are all around. Whether you are singing “Feliz Navidad” or “Dradle Dradle Dradle,” we can all agree this is one of the greatest times of the year, BUT it’s also filled with hidden dangers for your children and pets. In fact, it is one of the most dangerous times of the year for your dog Dasher, your cat Blitzen and your two legged crawlers. So, don’t let all the sparkle distract you, be sure to keep an eye out for festive trouble.

That’s why I called upon two experts to guide us through all of the dangers our holiday décor and holiday foods can create for our little loved ones. First, the child safety experts at Boo Boo Busters talk Santa safety with five key tips to keep your children safe:

  1. The Christmas Tree: We are all conscious of hanging the fragile or sharp ornaments up top to keep them out of reach of those curious hands, but have you thought about where you place your tree? Positioning is always important, think: fire safety. Keep your tree more than 48 inches away from any open flame (that includes candles and the menorah.). When decorating your perfectly chosen greenery, it’s best to use plastic hooks instead of metal. Lastly, KEEP IT WATERED! A dry tree is a dangerous tree. Follow the instructions for watering the tree so it can last as long as your holiday season lasts. Also, consider buying a real live growing tree in a pot, it’s a greener earth-friendly solution and the tree can become part of your family traditions.
  2. Frosty’s Scarves : A strangulation hazard is anything that can be made into a loop and placed around a child’s neck, this includes scarves. Since your little elves need to stay warm, let’s take scarves off the strangulation list by making them safe by simply tucking the ends inside your child’s jacket. Oh so fashion forward and the scarf can’t get caught on anything. Whew, problem solved.
  3. Miniature Décor: Choking hazards are everywhere this time of year; they disguise themselves as decorations and holiday cheer. A good rule of thumb: a choking hazard is anything that can pass through a toilet paper roll holder unobstructed. Now is the time to scan the environment to see what’s around each and every corner. Remember, it’s not always just your house that needs your safety check. Visiting the grandparents, other family and friends who might be inadvertently unaware of what is or isn’t safe for your kids. Say Ho Ho NO! to decorations within your child’s reach. Snow villages, nativity scenes, and light up and display decorations with lots of small pieces, electrical cords and even batteries can easily be pulled out and end up in your cherub’s mouth. Lighted garland adorning the staircase or the mantle where the stockings will be hung with care, can also create dangerous scenarios. Bowls of candies, nuts and little yummy things are often put out for grazing. Even though they are edible, it doesn’t make it safe for a baby or small child. Place these delicious favorites higher than a child can reach. Lastly, although it may not be a choking hazard, put mistletoe on your priority watch list. This pretty little smooch maker may have fun motives but everything else about it says keep away. It’s about as toxic as a plant can get, berries, leaves and all. No one knows what your kids can get into better than you do. So, put your Grinch hat on before the kids see the decorations, then you can put the Santa hat on once the wide-eyed wonder-filled kiddos with busy little fingers enter the scene!
  4. All That Glows: We all have that part of us that wants to light the house up like Clark Griswald, but let’s try to keep those little admirers in mind when powering up. Secure lights in place with clips, not left dangling where a child can reach. Using staples to attach lights can also be dangerous: they can cut through the cord without you even knowing it and cause a short or spark leading to a potential fire. Take extra care when using extension cords to power up those giant blow-up dradles or reindeer dancing in the front yard. Secure them with stakes so they can’t create a potential tripping hazard. Put the lights on a timer so they turn on when you want them to and turn off around bedtime. Mother earth and your neighbors will both thank you. Nothing like a silent glow-free night.
  5. Ringing in the New Year: Last but not least, New Year’s Eve! Party favors, noisemakers and poppers are fun (and equally annoying) but can also be very dangerous. Check when purchasing noisemakers and party favors to see if they could be potential choking hazards. Poppers and silly string should be used with adult supervision. Poppers should never be popped in the vicinity of someone’s face and silly string should never be used near an open flame.

Child-Safety-v2

Next,  Dr. Anthony George, doctor of veterinary medicine and certified veterinary acupuncturist, says to keep these five jolly activities away from your pooches or felines and they will be as merry as you are all holiday season:

  1. Holiday Foods: Many people like to include their furry friend in the festivities by giving them a ‘sample platter’ of the holiday’s bounty. This act, unfortunately, can introduce a variety of potential risks to pets. Eating fatty and rich foods can lead to stomach upset and diarrhea. In some dogs, the elderly in particular, calorie dense foods can potentially lead to inflammation of the pancreas. Chocolate contains methylxanthine, which can cause a variety of symptoms ranging from stomach upset to tremors, hyperthermia and seizures. The darker the chocolate the more dangerous it can be. Grapes, raisins, onions and garlic are also extremely toxic to dogs. And, if you’re taking acetaminophen for pre and post celebratory aches and pains, bear in mind this medication can pose a tremendous risk to your pets. Commonly found in name brands such as Tylenol and Excedrin, along with many generic cold and allergy remedies, acetaminophen can change the ability of the blood to carry oxygen. If your pet ingests any of these substances, it’s always a good idea to contact your local veterinarian. So keep your pets safe by having them celebrate with their regular diets.
  1. Festive Plants: Plants and flowers transform any room into a holiday showcase, but also an unforeseen room of danger for curious pets. The usual suspects, poinsettiasand American mistletoe, have been considered potentially toxic to pets in the past. However, today it’s generally considered unlikely that either one would cause significant ill effects unless ingested in great quantity. Lilies, on the other hand, pose a significant risk to cats. These lovely flowers can dress up any holiday flower arrangement, but all parts of the plant are toxic to cats and can lead to kidney failure. Ingesting even a small amount of the leaves, petals, or even pollen can result in severe illness and possibly death. Warning signs include an increase in salivation, depression, loss of appetite, and vomiting. Stay clear of these beauties if you have a feline friend.
  1. Ribbon: If your dog or cat loves to help you wrap the presents or loves to un-wrap their own present, make sure they don’t run off with the ribbon. These colorful strands can wreak havoc if ingested. Once ingested, the intestines can bunch up on the ribbon in an attempt to pass it. If you should happen to see part of the ribbon ‘exiting’ from the hind end, never pull it out, as this can cause it to cut through the intestines. Absolutely, consult with your veterinarian to aid in its removal, whether it’s through endoscopy, surgically or manually.
  1. The Many Dangerous Layers of the Tree: The Christmas tree is the centerpiece of many holiday homes. However, if you have a cat you may want to lay off the tinsel as it poses the same threat as ribbon does. Electrical cords from the Christmas lights, as well as other holiday decorations, can be an enticing chew toy for a pup or cat. This playful act can lead to severe mouth burns. The electrical conduction of their heart can even be altered, resulting in the accumulation of fluid in the lungsand difficulty breathing. Take measures to prevent your pet from coming into contact with these electrical temptations. Many trees are also fitted with water containers to keep them fresh. This water could contain fertilizer or become stagnant over time. Prevent your pet from drinking from the tree to avoid potential complications.
  1. The Impulse Buy: Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles make sure the entire family actually wants a pet before you present one as a holiday present. Please make sure everyone understands that a pet is a gift for life not just for the holidays. Everyone must be ready for the full-time job of getting the pet acclimated to it’s new home. If you’re planning on adding a four legged family member: puppies and kittens aren’t the only way to go. Remember to rescue and adopt any age and/or any breed. Many lovable pets looking for a good home can be found on www.petfinder.com. Avoid adopting exotic pets, primates and reindeer. Make a pet’s life happy this holiday season too by finding it a forever home.

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Keep your head above the twinkle and remember this simple checklist. Santa’s basic yule tide rule of thumb: if it looks like it could be trouble then put it on the naughty list and hide it away.  Wishing you and your family a wonderful memorable holiday season and an amazing New Year full of safe and happy smiles!

Source: CB Blue Matter Blog

 

Posted on December 12, 2017 at 12:44 pm
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: Celebrate, Dogs, holidays, pets, real estate | Tagged , , , , ,

9 Overlooked Items to Prep Your Home for Sale

So you’ve prepped your home cosmetically for sale in every imaginable way – fresh paint, a deep cleaning, new landscaping, decluttered closets and even organized the garage!  Your house looks better then it ever has and you are ready to hit the market!  Before you proceed with the “For Sale” sign in the ground, there are several key pieces of information that you should consider gathering that today’s savvy buyers are going to want to know.

1.  Survey

Do you have a copy of a current survey on your home?  Have this document available and provide to your listing agent so they can include in the information about your home.  Buyers want to know about property lines, easements, conservation buffers, if there is room for a pool, if the property line extends to the water behind your home, etc.  Having a survey to provide upfront will help to eliminate these types of concerns vs. waiting until a property is under contract.

If you’ve made any changes that would affect your property such as adding a pool or fence since you took ownership and are not shown on your current survey, it’s important to advise the buyer.  A new survey will usually need to be ordered prior to closing in this scenario.  If you don’t have one from when you purchased the home, try contacting the title company or attorney’s office that handled the closing of the property.  Depending on how long ago that was, they may be able to retrieve from their archives.

2.  Floorplan or Appraisal Sketch

Buyers often need to know room dimensions as it helps with determining furniture placement and to ensure how what they have will fit (or have to be reconfigured) in the new space.  As any real estate agent can attest, many hours have been spent measuring spaces while looking at a home and comparing that against the existing buyer’s furniture dimensions.  I’ve encountered entire home searches that revolved around a great room accommodating an entertainment center and the garage size so a motorcycle could fit in addition to the cars!

An appraisal is helpful as it can confirm the exact square footage of a home vs. relying on tax records which may not be accurate.  We’ve all heard stories where the appraisal showed the actual square footage that was smaller than what was initially represented in a listing sheet.  Having an appraisal will help to ensure that does not happen.  You should have received a copy of the appraisal if you obtained a mortgage loan from your lender or if you refinanced.  If you don’t have either, consider having a floorplan drawn up or home measured by an appraiser when prepping your home for sale. Your agent can assist with resources to this effect.

3.  Utility Bills

Buyers want to get an idea of what they can expect the heating and cooling bills to be in a home.  Review your bills over the last one to two years to get an average in the various seasons, or call your local utility provider as they can often provide you with information on the high, average and low costs.  This information can be very beneficial when a buyer sits down to number crunch their total costs of owning a home.  If you had an unusually high or low bill, provide some explanation to accompany the numbers.

4.  Termite Bond

In many markets where termites are alive and well, it is common place for homes to have some sort of protection plan in place which is also known as a bond.   In Florida, where I live and work, this is a primary concern and often one of the first questions buyers and their agents want to know.  Prior to listing your home, obtain a copy of your termite bond policy from the provider, know exactly what type of bond you have – repair or treatment bond and up to what dollar amount of coverage is it good for.  Also know how long the bond is in effect, when it is up for renewal and what the renewal fee is, if there is a transfer fee and what does it provide protection for – not all bonds provide protection against all different types of termites.

5.  Pest Control

If you maintain any type of pest control on your property, compile information as to who the provider is, what you have done, how much you pay and how often does the company come out to treat the property.  A copy of your service agreement is helpful in this instance.

6.  Insurance

Buyers especially want to know who a seller uses for their homeowners insurance and how much they pay.  This is particularly the case in higher risk areas (where there are hurricanes, floods, fires, etc.) With homeowners insurance potentially more difficult to obtain in some areas, going through the existing seller’s insurance company can help streamline the process, particularly on an older home.

7. Product Manuals and Warranty Documents 

Now is the time to gather the various product manuals for all items that will be staying in the home such as appliances, water heater, heating and cooling system, ceiling fans, pool equipment, etc.  If your home came with any warranties, be sure to include these for the new owner as well.  Putting all of these in one large envelope makes it easy for everything to be readily accessible in one place for the new buyer.

 8.  Service Providers

Compile a list of all service providers/vendors and their contact information who you have used on your home – lawn service, pool service, A/C company, etc. While a new buyer may or may not choose to use these services, they will certainly appreciate having resources available to them and may elect to initially use them as they make the transition to living in your home.

9.  Covenants and Restrictions, Neighborhood Rules and Information  

This is key critical information for a new owner to have on hand.  A contract may likely hinge on the buyer’s review of this information, so easiest to have it available ahead of time.  If you don’t have these, contact your neighborhood’s association president or management company for assistance in obtaining a copy. Many of these documents are matters of public record and are available by going online to the appropriate municipality’s website.

Work with your agent to create an informational package or binder that you can provide to prospective purchasers that come through the home with the information mentioned above.  Gathering this information before you put your home on the market will save time and make the process that more efficient once you find a buyer.  It may even help your home to sell faster as all of this information is available upfront, eliminating the need for guesswork and waiting on answers while another property could possibly come on the market to grab the buyer’s attention.  You want to help keep the buyer focused on your home, so make it easy for them to buy by giving them what they want.  Happy selling!  You can read more home seller tips here.

Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter Blog

Posted on December 11, 2017 at 4:13 pm
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: Bidding, Bidding War, real estate, Sellers Market, selling | Tagged , , , , ,

Home Projects Under $300 Guests Will Notice

 

What can you afford that will make a big impression? There are plenty of ways to upgrade your home design with a small budget.

Guest post by Lauren White

Family is coming into town and you’re thinking, what have I done with this place? Will they notice that you’ve changed the furniture layout in the living room? Or that you updated to LED light bulbs? What can you afford that will make a big impression? There are plenty of ways to upgrade your home design with a small budget. For less than $300, you can have a plank wall, a brick fire pit and more.

Barn Doors
This door style is a classic trend and looks much more expensive than it usually is. Your guests will notice this practical upgrade, and it will improve the style and design of any space. Replace a bedroom or bathroom door with a barn door of any style for less than $300. If you have more room in your budget, you can replace bifold closet doors with bypass barn doors.

Plank Wall
A plank wall can instantly create a designer look in your home. It is a much-desired trend with two important barriers: real wood is heavy and expensive. Innovation in wood materials has changed the game, however. Laminate wood planks and shiplap can keep your cost between $200 and $300. You have as many options as with real wood, from color to grain, and the materials are easier to install.

Crown Molding
This seemingly minor detail can make a room feel more complete and polished. It breaks the “standard” appearance of walls and ceilings. You can have crown moldingin every room of your house for less than $300 if you put the work in yourself. Intimidated by the idea of getting all those edges, right? Materials like polystyrene and polyurethane are easier to work with than solid wood and cost as little as $1/sq. ft.

Water Filter
Guests won’t notice this detail at first, but they are certain to be impressed when you offer them a glass of water from your filtered tap. Clean tap water is harder to come by with every year. This investment goes beyond improving appearances and will benefit you every day. The best under-sink models range in cost from $75-$450.

Fire Pit Area
You can keep your costs extremely low with this feature by purchasing a pre-fab fire pit for $30-$100. However, for around $150-$300, you can build a gorgeous brick fire pit. Keep in mind that any old brick won’t do for the interior portion of your pit. Fire bricks should be used on the inside, as they are designed to withstand heat.

New Paint
Fresh paint is a classic way to switch up or improve your design. You have the option of creating new accent walls, brightening or darkening a space and harmonizing color schemes with your furniture and decor. With time, patience and trusty painter’s tape, you can paint the interior of your home for $200-$300.

It’s surprising how much you can accomplish with such a small budget. Rather than buy a new couch table or plate set, consider these noticeable home improvements. They’ll take less time and money and will have your guests thinking you’ve been hard at work.

Learn more about the costs provided above at HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide.

Lauren White is a freelance writer who enjoys reading, hiking and traveling. She can usually be found on an outdoor adventure with her boyfriend and little sister on the weekends.

References

https://www.homestratosphere.com/smart-home-remodeling-ideas-on-a-budget/
https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/21-quick-and-easy-budget-upgrades
https://www.quickstepstyle.com/diy-home-projects/diy-accent-walls/
https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/walls-and-ceilings/crown-molding-installation/#material
https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/water-filters/buying-guide
https://www.fixr.com/costs/fire-pit
https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/painting/paint-a-home-interior/#DIY

Source: CB Blue Matter Blog

Posted on December 7, 2017 at 3:27 pm
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: backyard, curb appeal, decorating, Homeowners, projects, real estate | Tagged , , , , , , ,

How to Decorate Like a Christmas Elf on a Budget

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!! Break out that rubbermaid and dust off your ornaments because it’s time to decorate your home like the elf that I know you are. Here are five affordable and totally adorable ways to decorate your home with Christmas ornaments.

Christmas Shadow Box

Adding Christmas Cheer to your home couldn’t be more easy than this easy DIY Christmas Shadow Box idea.

 

Christmas Ornament Wreath

This project may look difficult but in just four easy steps you will be humming jingle bells. Learn how here.

Window Display

Show your neighbors that you are ready for a Holly Jolly Christmas with this simple hanging ornament idea.

In a Glass Vases

Remind your family it is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year with these easy Vase ideas.

As a Tree

Your guests will be rockin’ around the Christmas Tree when they see this adorable DIY Ornament Tree craft.

Source: CB Blue Matter Blog

Posted on December 4, 2017 at 8:51 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: Celebrate, decorating, holidays, interior decorating, real estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

The New Homeowner’s Guide to Hosting Holiday Guests

As a new homeowner, there’s a good chance you’ll have the opportunity to host the Christmas festivities — after all, everyone will want to see your new place, so you’ll want it to look its best for the holidays.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry: Follow this simple game plan for adding decor to your new home and helping your guests settle in comfortably.

Dress Your Home in Holiday Style

Focus on decorating a few key areas in your home to create a warm, festive vibe. You don’t need — or want — to have decorations in every corner. Using too much decor will make your rooms feel smaller. Instead, make a few spots gorgeous with these tips:

  • Start at the front. Greet your guests with a beautiful wreath on the front door. Choose a pre-lit, battery-powered wreath so you don’t have to worry about extension cords — all you need to do is hang it up. Next, clean off your porch, clear your walkway, and add a holiday doormat. Finish with an easy “wow” factor, like a lawn figure of a nutcracker or snowman.
  • Trim the tree. Don’t worry about getting the tree decorated before your guests arrive. Instead, host a tree-trimming party as a fun holiday activity. Assemble your tree or place it in a stand with water the day of the party. Add lights and set out your ornaments. Then, break out the cookies and eggnog and enjoy a night of decorating with your guests.
  • Hang stockings with care. Decorate your mantel to make it a beautiful focal point. If you don’t have a fireplace, create your own focal point by using a bookcase or entertainment center. Bring the space to life by draping a pre-lit garland across it. Then, nestle a few similar items around the garland, such as a parade of nutcrackers, stuffed or wooden Santas, a Christmas village, a row of candles, or an arrangement of ornaments. Finish by hanging your stockings with stocking hooks or removable adhesive hooks.
  • Add decorations. A few places need a holiday twist: the dining table, the coffee table, and the kitchen island. While you don’t need to cover every surface, you do want to spread some holiday cheer here and there. Try something simple and quick like a glass bowl filled with ornaments, a tall jar of candy canes, or a lovely red poinsettia.

Get Ready for Guests

Treat your guests like you’d want to be treated. Once you’ve spread Christmas cheer around the house, take a few steps to get ready for company.

  • Clean the guest room. Declutter if you’ve put items in this rarely used room. Give it a good cleaning. If the bedding is clean but hasn’t been used in a while, toss the bedspread and pillow covers in the dryer on air-dry to fluff out any dust. Add a fun Christmas pillow to the bed, put out a basket of holiday goodies, and place a predecorated tabletop tree on the dresser.
  • Set up the sofa. Don’t have a guest room? If you’re pulling out the air mattress or sleeper sofa, make sure you’ve got extra bedding on hand. Vacuum underneath the sofa cushions to remove any dust or crumbs. Set aside an area for your guests to put their belongings.
  • Prep the bathroom. Arrange personal care items for your guests in a basket so that they’re easy to find. Show your guests where to locate clean towels and which towel bars they may use. Finally, add some festive elements to the bathroom with holiday-themed soap, air freshener, and hand towels.

Gathering with friends and family is the best part of the season. Once you’ve decorated the key places and made a welcoming spot for your guests, you can sit back and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year.

 

Lea Schneider loves to decorate for the holidays. As a professional organizer, Lea provides tips on tackling your decorating tasks in an organized way. Lea also writes for The Home Depot. To find more Christmas decor options like the ones Lea talks about in this article, visit homedepot.com.

This article is editorial content that has been contributed to our site at our request and is published for the benefit of our readers. We have not been compensated for its placement.

Posted on December 1, 2017 at 8:54 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: Celebrate, decorating, holidays, interior decorating, real estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to Create Lasting Holiday Memories

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and we can’t think of a better season to make some special holiday memories with your loved ones! Knoxville, Tennessee, offers lots of holiday cheer for residents, and we all look forward to the annual traditions. Here are a few ideas for making holiday memories with your loved ones that will last a lifetime.

Ice Skating, Shopping, and Dining on Market Square

Market Square in Downtown Knoxville has always been a hub of activity, ever since its early days as a market where farmers could bring their produce to sell and trade. These days, it’s a great spot for dining, shopping, and people watching. During the winter holidays, Market Square is transformed with a giant ice-skating rink in the center. The rink, part of Knoxville’s Holidays on Ice festivities, opens November 24 and runs through January 7, 2018.

This is a great spot to create some special holiday memories! Maybe enjoy a little skating to work up an appetite for one of the great local eateries around the square. Or perhaps you’d like to cap off a day of holiday shopping with some ice-skating fun. Many shop windows around downtown Knoxville will be decorated in a peppermint theme as part of the Window Wonderland. There’s plenty to do and something for folks of all ages.

Holiday Lights Auto Tour

Many neighborhoods around Knoxville get all decked out for the holiday season, and this is a great opportunity to create some special holiday memories with your family and friends. Plan an evening for you and your loved ones to hop in the car and cruise around town to see all the outdoor holiday lighting and decorations.

Knoxville’s historic Sequoyah Hills neighborhood is always a great option for those really special decorations on a grand scale. West Hills is another neighborhood to visit for lovely light shows, and don’t forget Founders’ Park in Farragut for a truly magical twinkling light display.

Want to get an even closer look at some of the beautiful lights around the city? Take part in Knoxville’s Tour de Lights event on December 15. Decorate your bike with lights and tinsel and meet at Market Square for a ride through the historic 4th & Gill neighborhood.

Love Your Neighborhood

Another special way to create lasting holiday memories is by showing your neighborhood some love. Deliver baked goods to neighbors and maybe sing a carol or two. Or perhaps you could host a holiday drop-in and invite neighbors over for cookies and cocoa.

This is a wonderful way to get to know the folks in your community and introduce yourself to neighbors you haven’t met yet. It’s also a worthwhile opportunity to just get out of the house and explore the neighborhood as a family.

Give Back to the Community

The holiday season is a great time to give back to those folks in your community who might need a little help. Plus, taking the opportunity to give back as a family is a wonderful way to create some lasting holiday memories. Knoxville has a variety of nonprofit organizations that are always looking for volunteers. Consider volunteering at a local food pantry or maybe buying gifts for a family experiencing financial trouble. You can also help out at a local animal shelter.

These are just a few ideas for this season in Knoxville. Get together with your loved ones and see what you can come up with.

Posted on November 29, 2017 at 10:03 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: Celebrate, decorating, family, holidays, real estate | Tagged , , , , , ,

What Is Giving Tuesday and How Can I Give Back?

We spend Thanksgiving being grateful. A roof over our heads, loving family members, new and old friends, good health, and delicious Thanksgiving dinner are some of the things we are thankful for. Then we spend Black Friday and Cyber Monday scoping out great deals on goodies, perhaps for the people we are thankful for. Finally, we spend the Tuesday after Thanksgiving giving back to the community. Giving Tuesday is a day dedicated to giving back to the community. Here are 3 ways you can get involved with Giving Tuesday.

1. Donate

Giving Tuesday is the perfect day to make your year-end donations or donate goods to your favorite charities. What are you most passionate about? Are you passionate about ending poverty, finding cure for a disease, achieving equality for all, or combatting climate change? Whatever your passion may be, you can find nonprofit organizations that can help you make a difference in the world.

Most importantly, do some research on the charity organization. Charity Navigator is a great online tool that evaluates charities. It offers charity assessments for thousands of organizations. Check out the organization’s rating, mission statement, and fund allocations.

Here are some of the charities that we are thankful for this year.

  • Adopt-a-Pet.com 
    Adopt-a-Pet.com
     is North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption website. Since 2015, the Coldwell Banker community and Adopt-a-Pet.com helped over 20,000 pets find their new homes through the Homes for Dogs Project.
  • Move For Hunger
    Move For Hunger works to reduce food waste and fight hunger. Their network of moving companies, real estate agents, and relocation professionals rescues non-perishable food from people who are moving and delivers it to local food banks.

Remember, if you decide to make monetary donations:

  • Find out if your employer offers a matching gift program. Many companies often encourage their employees to give to the community by making a dollar-for-dollar matching contribution to the employee’s charity of choice.
  • Keep records of your donations. Donations to qualified organizations may entitle you to a charitable contribution deduction against your income tax.

2. Volunteer

The gift of time is invaluable. Volunteering is a great opportunity to meet and connect with others in your community. Share your knowledge and expertise with an organization that supports the cause you care deeply about. You may even be able to build on your existing skills or learn new skills. Volunteer this Giving Tuesday or on an ongoing basis.

 3. Advocate

Support a cause by giving your voice. You can be an influencer of political, economic, or social policies and practices. First, educate yourself on the important issue. Learn the facts on both sides of the issue to gain credibility. Then, start conversations and engage others to share the knowledge. It’s also a good idea to visit your elected officials and let them know why and how they can help with your cause. Find out who your Federal, State and Local Elected Officials are and how to contact them. Make your voices heard!

The love we give away is the only love we keep. You may decide to donate, volunteer, or advocate (or all the above) to participate in Giving Tuesday this year, but whatever you decide to do, become part of something bigger and meaningful. There is no better way to warm your grateful heart than to give back to the community.

Source: CB Blue Matter Blog

Posted on November 28, 2017 at 8:34 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: American Cancer Society, Charity, family, real estate, Relay for LIfe | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Home Tip of the Day: Thanksgiving Leftovers

Was a 22-pound turkey over zealous? Try one of these creative Thanksgiving leftover ideas.

At a loss for what to do with the massive amounts of leftover turkey you have from Thanksgiving? Here are a few tasty ideas you might want to try out.

For other clever home tips & tricks, subscribe to Coldwell Banker to view the complete Home Tip of the Day video series.

Posted on November 27, 2017 at 11:15 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: cleaning, cooking, kitchens, real estate, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

7 Secrets to Selling: Tips from Real Estate Insiders

Coldwell Banker Real Estate professionals weigh in on what you need to know when navigating the real estate process.

Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you will ever make. And if you’re selling for the first time, there’s so much you need to know, it can often be overwhelming.  To uncover some of the insider secrets, we turned to Coldwell Banker Real Estate professionals to weigh in on what you need to know, whether you need help selecting the right real estate agent, or are looking for tips on how to market your property.
In this recent episode of NBC Open House, Coldwell Banker Real Estate professionals Dave Bunker with Coldwell Banker Howard Perry & Walston in Cary, NC and Angel Piontek with Coldwell Banker Elite in Fredricksburg, VA share their best tips for navigating the real estate process.
To find a real estate professional in your area, visit coldwellbanker.com.
Source: CB Blue Matter Blog
Posted on November 21, 2017 at 9:31 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: Bidding, Bidding War, Homeowners, real estate, Sellers Market, selling, staging | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Very Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner!

 

Get your game on with a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner! Thanksgiving dinner in Northern California can be more traditional than typical, as many locals will have wild game on their tables on November 23.

Target Your Turkey

Turkey hunting is not just a sport for people who live in the great Nor-Cal area. Once turkey season is open, the forests and ranges are alive with hunters looking for their Thanksgiving turkey. Turkey season is open November 11 to December 10.

Open Range to the Oven Range

Wild turkey is very different from a bird purchased at the grocery store. The breast is much smaller and the legs are longer. The taste is much the same, but if the turkey is old, it can be tough and gamy. Picking the right bird for your traditional Thanksgiving dinner is determined by your experience. Recognizing the difference between a young turkey and an old one is learned from trying to chew the wrong choice a few seasons. Hunters who are true sportsmen always eat the game they take; this is a standing rule here in the North State.

The Call of the Wild

Turkey hunters all have their favorite “call.” Some hunters can imitate a turkey with a certain whistle they do with their tongue. Most hunters prefer a store-bought turkey call. Once tested and found to be irresistible to turkeys, the call goes into the hunters gear and used for years after.

A Healthy Experience

Hunting for a turkey for the traditional Thanksgiving dinner table is for many people preferable to choosing one in the grocery store meat department. Wild turkeys have free range, they have had no hormones to plump them up, and unlike store bought turkeys, there are no additives. Yes, the ones at the store are guaranteed and there are hundreds to choose from. There’s no need to go out in the cold, sitting and calling for hours unless you truly do want a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

This year, it is estimated that over 20,000 hunters will try to bag their bird, but only 10,000 will be successful. There will still be lots of sales at the super market.

If you think you’d like the experience of going out in the woods, trying your talents on a turkey call, and choosing the right bird, make sure to get your hunting license first. You will also need an upland game bird stamp. Both can be purchased from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Source: CB Blue Matter Blog

Posted on November 20, 2017 at 11:22 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: cooking, real estate, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,