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Mary Alice Ruppert
Licensed Associate Broker
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Date Archives: May 2020

Live, Love, Long Island Blog Home

Buy a home | 24 Posts
Homeownership | 25 Posts
Long Island, NY | 55 Posts
Nassau County | 1 Posts
Relocating | 1 Posts
Sell a home | 18 Posts
Uncategorized | 1 Posts

Long Island: Create a Time Capsule With Your Family

Family Time Capsule - Coach Realtors

Has your family run out of words for Scrabble? Maybe you've binged everything in your Netflix queue. Our REALTORS® understand the difficulty of finding new and entertaining ways to pass the time at your home on Long Island.

Creating a time capsule is an absorbing and rewarding activity that pays dividends now and later. Use these helpful suggestions to start a creative project involving the whole family.

  1. Make It Personal
    Traditional time capsules tend to focus on historical context, with documents and artifacts that objectively depict events of the time. While such items can certainly be part of your time capsule, the primary purpose is to relate each family member's personal experience during the COVID-19 quarantine.

  2. Limit Technology
    It's tempting to use the convenience of flash drives, DVDs, and other digital storage. While improvements in technology are largely a good thing, they come so quickly that storage forms can be outdated by the time you're ready to open the capsule. Stick to hard copies of photos and writings wherever possible.

  3. Document Your Surroundings
    Our world has temporarily shrunk to include only our immediate surroundings, which is your home, and what you can see from the windows. Draw a diagram of your neighborhood or print a picture off Google Maps. Add as much as you can about who lives where and what your interaction is with them. Also include detailed photos of your home, both exterior and interior.

  4. Make Lists
    There's a reason "listicles" are so popular in online media. They're easy to read while still imparting a lot of information. Stay-at-home provides almost an endless selection of topics to build lists around. Possible choices include TV shows and movies you've watched, games you've played, new recipes you've tried, and books you've read.

  5. Include Meaningful Mementos
    Newspapers and magazines are great inclusions to give a global perspective of events, but be sure to include items that are relevant to you and your family. Consider options such as a toilet paper roll (empty, of course), face mask, wrappers from favorite snack foods, and locks of hair from each family member (including pets!).

  6. H Is for Homework 
    Homeschooling has become the rule instead of the exception. Include copies of reports, math problems, spelling quizzes, and other examples of schoolwork your kids have done so they can recognize their accomplishments. 

  7. Say It in a Letter
    Are you or your kids unsure where to start? Writing thoughts down in the form of a letter makes it easier to maintain a casual, conversational tone. Address the letter to a friend, another family member, or your future self.

  8. Look Ahead
    What do you see happening one year, five years, or 10 years down the road? Have each family member write down their predictions for the future. Everybody can have fun giving their imaginations free rein, and you can look forward to finding out whether any of the dreams become reality.

  9. Set an Opening Date
    Think carefully about when you plan to open the time capsule. A certain amount of distance, at least 10 years, makes the opening more meaningful. You may want to coordinate the opening with a milestone birthday, anniversary, or other significant family occasion.

Do your future plans include a new home? Contact us at Coach Realtors for up-to-the-minute information on Nassau County homes for sale and Suffolk County homes for sale.


How to Make Your Home a Sanctuary

Create a Sanctuary - Homeowners - Coach Realtors

While a vacation or retreat are excellent ways to de-stress and reconnect with your family, sometimes it's not possible to get away. Ensure that your time at home is at pleasant as possible by turning your home into a sanctuary. Our REALTORS® also find that peaceful properties are attractive to potential homebuyers. Check out a few simple tricks to make your home your own personal sanctuary.

  1. Use Music to Add Ambiance
    Add ambiance to your home in minutes with music. A catchy tune can quickly lift your mood or give you a surge of energy. Make it as convenient as possible to turn your music on and off by using your home assistant to control your playlist.

  2. Create a Nook for Your Hobbies
    Your home should feel like a safe haven after a stressful day. Carving out a chunk of time for one of your hobbies is a fantastic way to relax and recharge. However, don't waste time gathering supplies and finding a clear spot at your kitchen table.

    Instead, set up a permanent nook to enjoy your hobby. Use a spare corner or closet to set up a desk if your hobby involves crafting or writing, or position a cozy chair and storage basket close to a window if you like to knit or read. Or, if you need a little more space for woodworking or painting, set up a studio in your basement or garage.

  3. Remove Items That Don't Enrich Your Life 
    If your home feels stressful and you can't figure out why, start by getting rid of all your clutter and any items that don't enrich your life. Decluttering may feel overwhelming if you have a lot of overflowing spaces. Break the decluttering process into sections and start with one room or category of items (like clothing or paperwork) at a time. 

    Trash anything you don't use, that you don't wear, or that you just don't enjoy seeing. Make sure that every remaining item has a home, and see that your family understands where items are supposed to go.

  4. Get Rid of Stressful Reminders
    In many households, it's common to stick a bill or appointment reminder to your fridge or display board so you don't forget about it. However, seeing these items every time you walk into the room will make the space feel like anything but a sanctuary.

    File these items away in your planner or household binder. Replace them with photos or charming magnets that make you happy.

  5. Embrace Natural Light
    Give any room a quick pick-me-up by bathing it in natural light. Open the blinds or drapes and move any furniture that is blocking the light. The room will instantly feel more peaceful.

  6. Give Your Home a Signature Scent
    A pleasant spot has to have a delightful scent. Use candles, essential oils, or a diffuser to give your home a scent that welcomes you the moment you step through the door. When you smell that signature scent, this signals that you've arrived at your sanctuary. 

Concerned that your home isn't right for your needs? Contact us to explore other properties!


Get a Jump on Summer Home Maintenance

Summer Home Maintenance - Coach Realtors

Practicing social distancing presents the perfect opportunity for a clean and happy home by tackling home maintenance projects. While prepping your home for summer can be tedious, our REALTORS® know that it helps you take back control of your home and give yourself the chance to beat the heat.

Check these summer home maintenance to-dos off your list to keep your home in prime working condition.

  • Wash Windows and Screens
    One obvious sign of a neglected home is dirty and ripped screens and windows. Start by vacuuming window screens that have dust and a small amount of dirt. You want to use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment. Then scrub each one with some dish soap and brush to remove lingering debris. You can then set them outside to dry before putting them back in place. Then, get some type of window cleaning solution to tackle the window from the inside out. Clean windows can make a huge difference with the amount of light that passes through them.
  • Freshen up Your Home's Exterior
    Your home's exterior should shine in summer. So, walk around your home to see if there are any signs of rot or damage from the winter – those spots should be repaired first. If your home's paint needs a refresh, you can do that on a day when you have nice weather. Brighten up the shutter and replace any weathering siding to maintain the best summer curb appeal.
  • Focus on Your Garden
    Summer is also a great time to boost curb appeal. That includes tackling things such as mulching to create a clean and crisp appearance, keep weeds out of your gardens, and lock in moisture to help your plants thrive through the hot summer months. If you haven't already, get a few flowers to decorate the front of your home. Remove any dead plants, mow your lawn, and trim shrubs, bushes, and trees, ensuring they are kept away from your home AC unit and roof. And don't forget to test your irrigation systems at the beginning of the season for any cracks or worn-out sections.
  • Prep the Deck and Porch
    Summer is a great time for hanging out on the deck or porch and watching the world go by. Now is time to get your porch ready by cleaning the floor, front door, windows, and windowsill. Use a long-handled duster to remove cobwebs from high corners, light fixtures, and ceiling. Examine your deck to make sure there is no structural damage and hammer any nails that are loose. If needed, sand and reseal the surface. If you have deck or porch furniture, wipe it down and wash the cushions.
  • Clean Your Grill
    Make sure your grill is ready for backyard barbecues by deep-cleaning it. If you have a charcoal grill, empty it and wipe away any residue or dust. With hot water, soap, and a scrub brush, clean both the outside and inside of the grill and let it dry before use. For a gas grill, turn the heat up and let it cook for about 30 minutes. Allow it to cool and use a brush to clean the grates and interior. Wash the exterior with a sponger dipped in warm, soapy water.

  • Inspect Cooling Units
    The summer heat means it's time to prep your cooling units for their busiest time of the year. You may want to let a pro handle your HVAC unit to make sure everything works properly all season long, but you can remove, clean, or replace filters to boost performance and cut energy bills. Use a damp rag to clean all ceiling and house fans, including vents.
  • Check Safety Devices
    Smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and any home timers should be checked at least once a month. Test the detectors by pressing the test button and replace old batteries to make sure they are in working order. Also, check the expiration date on fire extinguishers and replace them if needed.

Ready to put your home on the market among Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk County homes for sale? Our team would be happy to help get your home sold quickly and for the right price. Contact us today to speak to an agent.


What's That Noise? Help for First-Time Homeowners

House Noises and Solutions - Coach Realtors

Creaks, groans, bumps in the night. Houses make all kinds of strange sounds, some of which can be downright unnerving if you're a first-time homeowner. 

Our REALTORS® have heard them all. Some really are "the house settling," just like your parents always told you. Some are common (but often irritating) noises that you can get rid of with little more than a few turns of a wrench. But a few household noises might represent a serious issue that needs professional attention.

  • Whistling Windows
    Few household sounds are more unsettling than the wind whistling through leaky windows at night. Luckily, this is generally an easy problem to fix. Just use caulk or weather stripping to seal up the gaps around leaky windows. You'll put an end to the ghostly whining, and probably make your home a bit more energy-efficient in the process.

  • Running Water
    It's normal to hear running water in your pipes when someone runs the shower, flushes the toilet, or turns on a water-using appliance like the dishwasher or washing machine. But you should never hear water running if nobody's using anything. If you do, turn off the main water valve and see if the sound stops. If it does, you have a leak somewhere.

  • Scratching in the Walls
    This is one you don't want to ignore. If you hear a sound inside your walls or roof that sounds like scratching or scurrying, there's a very good chance you have one or more uninvited guests. Mice, rats, squirrels, and raccoons are often to blame. If you suspect a pest problem, it's best to call an animal control expert before it gets worse. They're not just annoying; they can chew through insulation, siding and even electrical wires.

  • Banging Pipes
    Chances are you've been in a house with a steam radiator that makes those incessant banging and clanging sounds when the heat turns on. As frustrating as those noises are, they're usually easy to fix. Banging in your radiator is usually caused by the water not draining properly, in which case you can fix the problem by putting wooden shims under one side to level it out.

  • Water Heater Sounds
    The strange sounds that sometimes come from an old water heater (usually described as bubbling, popping or crackling) are usually the result of sediment buildup. A lot of sediment can accumulate in water heaters over time, and you may hear it bubbling or cracking when the cycle starts. This sound isn't a death sentence for your water heater, but it often means it's nearing the end of its lifespan. Ideally, the best way to prevent this sediment buildup is to drain and flush the tank a couple of times a year.

  • Mysterious Hissing Sounds
    Hissing sounds could have many possible sources, but a gas leak is one possible cause. It can be hard to pinpoint the exact source of a mysterious hissing sound, especially if it's coming from a hard-to-reach place, so it's usually best to err on the side of caution and contact a professional.

  • Furnace Noises
    Furnaces all have their quirks, but if yours starts making a new and persistent sound, it's usually best to contact an HVAC professional. Squeaking, squealing, banging, popping, clanking, and whistling could all indicate potential issues, and it's always best to nip problems in the bud before they become more serious. Furnaces are expensive to replace, and it's wise to have it serviced every six months or so to keep it healthy and avoid potentially costly repairs. 

Contact us today to learn more about the ins and outs of homeownership. We can help you find the right place to call home among the many Nassau County homes for sale and Suffolk County homes for sale on Long Island.

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 05/18/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 05/18/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of OneKey MLS (last updated Wed 05/18/2022 7:28:21 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coach Realtors may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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