Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 10/19/2015

Ever feel like things pile up in your home? Maybe on the kitchen table or counter, your dresser, or nightstand? Well a little organization can turn your home from full of clutter to nice and neat without having to throw everything away. Here are a few things to keep in mind when improving the organization of your home.

  1. Everything needs a place - if every item in your home has a place to be stored, you are less likely to just drop it anywhere. If an item shouldn't be sitting on your counter top, then it should have a home.
  2. Maximize your storage space - If you feel like you are lacking storage space, think again. A closet with no shelves can't store as much, and those spaces you aren't using, like under your bed, can be transformed into storage places too. Setting up the places that you have to store items so they can be fully used is key to making sure everything can be stored.
  3. Label - If you can find where something goes, you are more likely to put it there. Having boxes stacked into a closet, and not knowing what's in there, doesn't help you organize. But having storage containers, shelves, drawers, etc that are labeled for easy finding does.
  4. Shelves and containers - Having the right assortment of storage is key. Not everything is stored well on a shelf and the same goes for in a container. Make sure you have a variety of what you need; everything from small to large containers, baskets, drawers, shelves and hooks. You want to make sure that where you are putting something can be easily found and accessed.
  5. Get into the routine - Old habits die hard so when you first organize you might find you still leave things hanging around. Getting into the new habit of putting things away can take time but an easy way to start is to set aside 10-15 minutes at the end of each day to put everything where it belongs. Before you know it, you will be doing it throughout the day!
Regardless of whether you go all out on organization, or just do a little, you will find that with a couple of changes you can enjoy your space much more. And without all the clutter that has been left behind!  





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 10/12/2015

A bar of soap won't just keep you clean it can serve many more purposes! Here are some uses for soap to solve common household problems: Stop squeaky hinges by wedging moist soap between the doorframe and hinge, and work the door back and forth; also rub soap directly onto the hinge. No more squeaks in floorboards when you work a little moist soap into the cracks between the boards. Unstick a stubborn zipper by rubbing soap on both sides while closed, then unzip it and rub soap over the opened teeth. Solve sticky drawers by rubbing both sides and the underside with soap. To keep eyeglasses from steaming in cold weather, rub both sides of each lens with soapy fingers, and then polish. Have any of these tricks worked for you? Share more soapy tips below.  





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 10/5/2015

It is the time of year when we start to use the fireplace. A crackling fire is the picture of a cozy home but it can also be a home hazard. Keeping an eye on a few key items inside and out will make sure your wood-burning fireplace is safe and ready to go for the burning season.   Here is a checklist of things to look for on the outside of your fireplace:

  • A chimney cap; this keeps out rain, animals away and helps prevents hot embers from landing on the roof.
  • Bird’s nest or any type of debris buildup on the cap.
  • Tree limbs that hang above or near the chimney.
  • Crumbling and/or missing mortar and bricks.
  • A chimney that rises at least 2 feet above where it exits the roof.
  • A flue liner that is visible above the chimney crown.
  • The chimney is plumb and not leaning to one side or the other.
  • Roof flashing that is tight against the chimney.
Here is a checklist for the inside of your fireplace:
  • A flue damper that opens, closes, and seals properly.
  • Daylight can be seen through the flue, no combustible material such as animal nests or other foreign objects in the flue.
  • There are no cracked bricks or missing mortar in the fireplace surround, hearth, and firebox.
  • No moisture can be seen inside the firebox, which could mean a faulty cap.
If you spot any problems always call a licensed chimney professional or mason to remedy the problem. There is no hard and fast rule on how often to clean your fireplace but you will need to keep a keen eye to determine if it is time for a cleaning. Use your fireplace poker to scrape away some of the creosote from the fireplace lining. If the creosote buildup is is 1/8 of an inch, or more you should schedule a cleaning.




Tags: Fireplace Safety  
Categories: Help Around the House  


Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 9/28/2015

              Painting your home for staging purposes is a little different than painting your home for personal pleasure. While your daughter may love having her walls painted Barbie pink, a potential buyer may see this as a distraction. Choosing neutral colors will enable buyers to imagine themselves in your home much easier. And while a fresh coat of paint on your walls may initially seem to be a costly endeavor to undertake, consider that painting your home can increase the value of your home by a few thousand dollars in some cases. Below is a basic guide to what colors you should have in mind if you plan on painting your home for show. The Kitchen - Kitchens do well with yellows, oranges, and reds. As long as the shade is neutral, these colors will serve to highlight home appliances, kitchen size, and overall comfort. Picking these food-friendly colors will definitely kick your kitchen up a notch. Bathrooms - Bathrooms, because of their size, are best served by very light colors such as tan or pale yellow. The darker you go, the smaller your bathroom will look. In addition, Light colors will also give a sense of cleanliness to a bathroom. If you happen to have a bathroom that already boasts a robust color due to architecture or tile, then pulling colors from these may be an option. For instance, if you have a tile floor in the bathroom with a blue or red in it, then drawing from these colors and choosing a paler shade for the walls could potentially work for the overall flow of the bathroom. Bedrooms - Bedrooms should always steer clear of bright colors, but other than that, you can have a bit more freedom here. Things to keep in mind include the color and style of flooring and fixtures, and whether or not your master bedroom has a master bathroom. Be sure to pick colors that compliment each other if so. Hallways and the rest - Again, you get a bit more freedom here. Salmon-hued paints have a tendency to make people look lively and energized, while beige and blue tones can convey a sense of tranquility and calm. Beige with green tones can be energizing, so it may be something to consider once you reach the living room. Bright reds should probably be avoided in hallways, as they have a tendency to keep people from fully relaxing. This may sound a little crazy, but it's true.




Tags: decorating   painting tips   paint  
Categories: Help Around the House  


Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 9/21/2015

With the recent growth in telecommuting, home offices are also becoming a necessity rather than a luxury. Home buyers are looking for a place where they can work, a place to pay bills or simply surf the net. Investing in a home office will help you now and may pay off later. Have you always dreamed of a home office? Do you have an office that is overrun with papers? A home office is usually the place where junk finds its home. Getting that room into a place where organization is king can be easier than you think. Implementing an organizational system that has you working in peace with everything at your fingertips is easy if you follow these simple tips. 1. Choose the space. Think of all the things that you'll need to work comfortably in your home office. You want to make sure the space will allow for your desk and chair and anything else you will need in your office. 2. Organize your space. Part of organizing means decluttering. If you have three staplers, six pairs of scissors you will need to get rid of anything extra. Clutter is very distracting and reduces efficiency. Identify a space for all the necessities. You need to identify a place for the printer, file cabinet, reference books and supplies. 3. Schedule the date and time for your office organization. Set aside a specific time and date to plan your space. If you have lots of files and file cabinets, make a decision on how much you want to get done in the initial session. You may need to plan several dates to complete the whole task. 4. Reorganize. Clean and organize your office at the end of each day. It will only take a few minutes and keep you on track to staying organized. Plan on reorganizing your office every three months or so. By planning your home office space and getting it organized you'll enjoy it more. Your work will be better, you'll appreciate being at home, and you'll have the perfect place to work--your home. Now focus on success!