Oregon–where everyone wants to be!


Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1105

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1132

Oregon has been in the news lately with the release of the annual migration studies from Atlas Van Lines and United Van lines a few weeks ago. Both companies tracked the percentage of inbound and outbound moves in each state in the country. Oregon topped both lists – Atlas found that 64 percent of moves in Oregon were inbound, and United found that 69 percent of moves were inbound. United said that 2015 was the third straight year that Oregon ranked first.

mapWhile most of the population growth has been in the metropolitan areas of the state; there are signs that the influx is starting to filter into our area as well. The webzine, Only in Your State released its list of the top picks for Oregon Towns With Maupin, Dufur and Mosier making the top five on their list.

According to the publishers, “Whether you’re looking to relocate, retire, or just find a change of pace, these rural towns in Oregon are wonderful alternatives to the hustle and bustle of city life. Oregon has lots of wonderful tiny towns for those of us who prefer the quiet, peace and serenity of the simple life; communities tucked away in the forest, by the river, or in the countryside.

The eastern end of The Gorge has seen an influx of newcomers alongside old-time ranching families which creates an interesting contrast and an exciting synergy that poises The Dalles and the surrounding areas for growth.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Make 2016 Your Best Year!


Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1105

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1132

As 2015 comes to a close and we start 2016, thoughts turn to New Year’s resolutions. 635845200979031950-1693487873_2016yay

Resolutions almost always include a financial goal or two, and real estate can help you meet those financial goals, as well as other personal goals. The following real estate resolutions can help you get on your way to a happy and prosperous 2016, and beyond:

“In 2016, I’ll Be a First-Time Homebuyer”
Are you ready to jump in for the first time? If so, you’ll need a great Realtor, a timeline, a wish list of what you want, a down payment and an idea as to your budget to know how much home you can afford. Spend some time making your real estate plan of attack and you can be a homeowner in 2016!

“In 2016, I’ll Save Up for a Down Payment”
Maybe you’re not quite ready to take the plunge into homeownership. A good place to start as we enter the New Year is to come up with a savings plan so you will have the funds needed to cover a down payment and closing costs for the home of your dreams. It might take all year, or more than a year, but either way, now’s the time to start.

“In 2016, I’ll Live in a New Neighborhood”
To quote The Jeffersons, you could be “Movin’ on up” in 2016, to the neighborhood you’ve had your eye on.  Now is a great time to make a move, real estate is a good investment.

“In 2016, I’ll Buy an Investment Property”
Investment properties are a great way to meet your short or long-term financial goals. Owning an investment property can provide a stream of income through rents, vacation rentals, or even just pay for itself while you own the property with plans to sell the property at a later date.

“In 2016, I’ll Downsize”
Is it time for a smaller home? It might be time to move from a big house to a smaller place, or one with less property to maintain.

If you’re ready to set some real estate resolutions, let us know. We’re here to help you make 2016 your best year yet!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Get into the Spirit of the Holiday Season.


Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1105

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1132

There is nothing better than being with your family and friends and celebrating the holidays in The Dalles. Now that you’ve completed all your holiday gift buying, (haven’t you?) It is a perfect time to relax, get into spirit and check out what is going on in the community for the holiday season.

This Sholiday-banneraturday,  Santa is going to be downtown The Dalles on 3rd Street at the old Griffith motors building. He’ll be taking pictures from 10-2pm there will be sleigh rides, ornament making and holiday goodies.

The Gorge Winds Concert Band Christmas Concert is this Sunday, December 20 at 3 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church in The Dalles. Need more holiday music? Then check out Handel’s Messiah later that day. This annual community concert is  at 7 p.m. at St. Peter’s Landmark in The Dalles.  Both events are free, donations are welcome

Other holiday activities include the holiday art show at The Dalles Art Center through the end of December
Enjoy the holidays!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Is The Local Real Estate Market ‘Back’?


Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1105

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1132

The November numbers are in and they are all positive. Total sales for the year will be at least 17% over 2014. Average sale price will be up 5-7%. Time on the market is dropping and inventory is under 5 months. Mortgage rates remain very low. There are multiple offers on some properties. The market is set to be back on track to a sustained healthy market like existed in the 1990s. Sales should remain steady, appreciation will continue but at a sustainable rate. The actions of the Federal Reserve regarding interest rates will affect the market but it will most likely not be too depressing to the market.  The total additional closing costs to consumers that are a result of the Dodd-Frank Act have not all settled in so there may be some changes there.
The current numbers and outlook would indicate that if you haven’t already made the decision to buy, now is the time.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Small Town Things We’re Thankful for This Thanksgiving


Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1105

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1132

Thanksgiving is a great time to take a minute and just be grateful. One thing we take for granted is living in such a great little community. Utopia? No, but it is a pretty nice place to live. So, in the spirit of this Thanksgiving holiday, here are some things to give thanks for that are unique to our small town life:

CanadianThanksgiving2013_freecomputerdesktopwallpaper_1920-548x3421. Quiet – It’s hard to find quiet in a big city. Being able to easily find silence when we want … priceless.
2. Elbow room – We get to take “personal space” for granted.
3. Fresh air – City folks spend way too much time inside … enough said.
4. Nature – Rivers, mountains, visibly twinkling stars; we get to see Mother Nature up close. So inspiring and humbling.
5. Community – To know well and be able to depend on so many of the people in our back yard.
6. Diversity – Having friends of multiple ages and backgrounds, far left and far right, blue collar and white collar, comfortable and struggling, talented in so many different ways. It’s enriching to have such differently amazing people as friends.
7. Safety – We don’t worry nearly as much about crime and the safety of our loved ones.
8. Local talent – Whether it’s great chefs/restaurant pros or performing artists, knowing personally the folks who create the masterpieces we enjoy always adds to our experience.
9. Pets – Pets are everywhere. It’s tough to be in a bad mood when a happy dog is nearby, right?
10. Children – It’s great to be part of a place where “what’s good for the kids” is given special consideration.

Wherever you may be this Thanksgiving, we hope you too are grateful for your town, the people in it, or whatever else your good fortune may be. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Posted in Living In Dufur OR, Living in The Dalles OR, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Know Before You Owe


Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1105

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1132

Law-300x199October brought the roll-out of a new initiative from the Consumer Finance Protection Board. Nicknamed the “Know before you owe” rule, it is designed to insure that consumers understand the terms of their home loans before they sign on the dotted line. If you’re considering purchasing a home in The Columbia Gorge, you need to pay attention to these changes.

One of the biggest changes is that information on all charges, fees, and line items must be included along with the loan estimate at least three business days before closing. This should prevent unpleasant surprises at the closing table. Interest rate increases from an eighth of a percentage point, pre-payment penalties, or other fees that would increase the buyers costs requires new documentation and a new three-day waiting period. Decreases in fees or interest rates would not necessitate another three-day window. The new forms are also much easier to read and understand and do not use complicated terms or overlapping information.

This should make the understanding the loan process much easier for Columbia Gorge home buyers. The only downside is that if you need to buy Columbia Gorge real estate on a deadline, you will need to plan ahead and begin negotiations quickly. A local, experienced real estate agent can be a real asset to this process. Call our office to discuss how the new ruling might affect your house buying process. Be sure to visit the Know Before You Owe page on the CFPB website to learn more about these changes.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Check List for New Home Buyers


Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1105

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1132

A real yard. The freedom to decorate however you darn well please! Making the switch from renting to owning is exhilarating, but many rookie homebuyers find the process trickier to navigate than they expected.   So to take the surprises out of homebuying we are providing a First-Time Homebuyer Checklist. Based on an article by Jennifer Nelson of House Logic, this 12-month timeline will help you sidestep common mistakes, like paying too much interest or getting stuck with the wrong house. (Yep, it happens!)

1homebuying2 Months Out
Check your credit score. Get a copy of your credit report at annualcreditreport.com. The three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) are each required to give you a free credit report once a year. Avoid last-minute bombshells by checking your score long before you’re ready to make an offer. And work diligently to correct any mistakes.

Determine how much you can afford. Figure out much house you can afford and want to afford. Lenders look for a total debt load of no more than 43% of your gross monthly income (called the debt-to-income ratio). This figure includes your future mortgage and any other debts, such as a car loan, student loan, or revolving credit cards.

There are plenty of calculators on the web to help you determine what you can afford. If you’re pushing the limits, start reducing your debt-to-income ratio now.

Make a down payment plan. Most conventional mortgages require a 20% downpayment. If you can swing it, do it. Your loan costs will be much less, and you’ll get a better interest rate. If, however, you’re not quite able to save the full amount, there are many programs that can help. FHA offers loans with only a 3.5% down payment. But they require mortgage insurance premiums, which will drive up your monthly payments. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides a list of nonprofit homebuying programs by state.

As you’re planning your savings strategy, keep in mind that banks like you to “season” your money. That is, they like to see that you’ve had stable funds in your account for 60 to 90 days before applying for a loan. Don’t worry: You can still use a financial gift from a family member or bonus received near the time you buy.

9 Months Out
Prioritize what you most want in your new home. What’s most important in your new home? Proximity to work? A big backyard? An open floor plan? Being on a quiet street? You’ll make a much better decision on what home to buy if you focus on your priorities. If it’s a joint decision, now is the time to work out any differences to avoid frustration and wasted time. Perhaps most important: Know what trade-offs you’re willing to make.

boy doorResearch neighborhoods and start visiting open houses. But now’s when the fun begins, too.

Start researching homes online or visiting open houses to get an idea of what kind of homes are in your price range and what neighborhoods appeal the most. Seeing potential homes will also keep you motivated to continue reducing your debts and saving for your down payment.

Budget for miscellaneous expenses. Buying a home has some miscellaneous upfront costs. A home inspection, title search, property survey, and home insurance are examples. Costs vary, but expect to pay at least a few hundred dollars. If you don’t have the cash, start saving now.

Start a home maintenance account. Speaking of saving, start the good habit now of putting a little aside each month to fund maintenance, repairs, and home emergencies. It’s bad enough to have to call a plumber. It’s worse if you’re paying credit card interest on that plumbing bill.

6 Months Out
Collect your loan paperwork. Banks are very particular when it comes to mortgage loans. They demand a lot of paperwork. What they’ll want from you includes:
• W-2 forms — or business tax return forms if you’re self-employed — for the last two to three years
• Personal tax returns for the past two to three years
• Your most recent pay stubs
• Credit card and all loan statements
• Your bank statements
• Addresses for the past five to seven years
• Brokerage account statements for the most recent two to four months
• Most recent retirement account statements, such as 401(k)
If you start collecting these documents now, it’ll lessen the stress when it’s time to get your loan. Bonus: Looking closely at your loan documents each month will also help you stay focused on saving for your down payment and keeping your debt-to-income ratio low.

Research lenders and REALTORS®. Start interviewing REALTORS®, a broker will work in your best interest to find you the right property, negotiate with the seller’s agent, and shepherd you through the closing process. Your broker also can be instrumental in finding a lender who’s familiar with first-time homebuyer programs.

Even better, look for a mortgage broker, who will shop for a competitive loan rate for you among multiple lenders, unlike a bank, which can only offer its own products.

3 Months Out
Get pre-approved for your loan. At this point, if you’ve been following this timeline, your credit score, paperwork, and down payment should be on track. You’ve done your research on lenders and buyers’ agents. Now it’s time to start working with them. First you’ll need to get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Make an appointment with your lender or mortgage broker and bring all your paperwork. He’ll run a credit check on you and tell you how much of a loan you’re approved for. It often makes sense to borrow less than the maximum the lender allows so you can live comfortably. Draft a budget that accounts for mortgage payments, insurance, maintenance, and everything else you have going on in your life.

Start shopping for your new home. One you’re pre-approved, the buyer’s agent you’ve chosen will be able to target homes that meet your priorities in your price range. This way you won’t be wasting time looking at homes you can’t afford.

2 Months Out
Make an offer on a home. It usually takes at least four to six weeks to close on a home. So if you have a firm move-out date, allow enough time to deal with any hiccups that can delay closing.

Get a home inspection. One of the first things you’ll want to do after an offer is accepted is have a home inspector look at the property. If the home inspector finds something that needs repair, that’s a common example of something that can delay closing.

In the Last Month
Triple-check that all your financial documents are in order and review all lending documents before closing. You’re in the home stretch! If you’ve been keeping your documents up to date, and your down payment is in reserve, these final steps are the easiest. Reviewing the mortgage documents is probably the most difficult. Your agent can help guide you through them.

Get insurance for your new home. Don’t forget to secure insurance before closing. You’ll need to bring proof of insurance to closing.

Do a final walk-through. Do a final walk-through of your new home, usually a day or two before closing, to make sure the home is in the shape you and the seller have agreed upon.

Get a cashier’s check or bank wire for cash needed at closing. Make sure you get an exact amount of cash needed for closing. You’ll get that number a few days before closing so you can secure a cashier’s check or arrange to have the money wired. Regular checks aren’t accepted.

That’s it. Congratulations!

Posted in Home Buying Tips, Living in The Dalles OR | Leave a comment

Fall Home Checklist


Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1105

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1132

With leaves falling, farmers markets proudly displaying heaps of gourds and the sun dipping lower in the sky each day, there’s no doubt we are in the heart of autumn now. Pick and choose from among these seasonal tasks to make the most of this harvest month and prep for the winter ahead.

fall housePrepare your home for winter weather. If you use storm shutters and doors, now is the time to take down the summer screens and install heavy-duty winter weather protection. Check weather stripping and door sweeps, and replace as needed.

Clean gutters. Once the majority of the autumn leaves have fallen, clear out those gutters and downspouts — clogged gutters can lead to pooling water and eventually a leaky roof. If you are not comfortable on a tall ladder, or if your home is two or more stories high, be safe and hire a helper to do the job for you.

Inspect the roof. While you’re cleaning the gutters, take a look at your home’s roof. If there is any noticeable damage, schedule a repair now.

Boost night lighting. With the sun setting earlier as we move deeper into fall, having proper exterior lighting in the evening is especially important. Check outdoor lightbulbs and replace as needed — and if lighting isn’t satisfactory around the porch, driveway or backyard, consider having additional exterior fixtures installed.

Rake leaves. If your yard boasts any deciduous trees, you’ve likely already started on the annual leaf raking. Dry leaves make a wonderful addition to compost, so think about starting a compost bin instead of setting out leaf bags for city collection.

Turn off exterior faucets. October is when regions with cold winters sometimes get a first freeze. Protect your pipes by removing and rolling up hoses, and shutting off water to the exterior faucets.

Pick up some fall gourds. From pumpkins in shades of orange, green and white to unusual gourds in all shapes and sizes, consider this fall bounty your one-stop shop for autumnal decorating. And remember, less is sometimes more.

Restock emergency kits. Having bottled water, shelf-stable snacks, pet food, flashlights, emergency blankets, first-aid supplies and a hand-crank-powered radio is essential in case of an emergency. Check expiration dates on medicines and food products and replace as needed. Visit the American Red Cross website for complete emergency supply lists.

Check home safety devices. Check batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher; replace as needed.

Assess the dining room. Planning on hosting a major holiday this year? Get a head start on prep by taking stock now of your seating, table space and entertaining essentials. If you find you’re missing anything (like extra chairs or a big platter) there’s still plenty of time to get it.

Start a holiday gift list. Especially for those ambitious crafters among us, the holidays can sneak up before you know it. If you’re thinking of gifting anything major and handmade (like a quilt or knitted sweater), start now and stick to a schedule to get it done in time — you’ll thank yourself later.

Clean out the spice drawer. When was the last time you checked the expiration dates on all of those dusty spice jars? While spices don’t typically go bad, they do lose potency and become less flavorful over time, with most becoming quite bland after about two years in the cupboard. Ground spices lose flavor more quickly than whole spices, while extracts (like vanilla) can last for many years. When in doubt, do a taste test.

Declutter the den. Sporting events and movie nights tend to center around the TV, and fall is prime time for these kinds of gatherings — clear the clutter from your den and bring out the popcorn. Put away items that belong in other rooms and edit your media collection down to favorites.

Bring serenity to the bedroom. With temperatures dipping and life outside the home getting busier, fall can bring with it stress and colds. Give yourself the gift of a serene escape with a clean, decluttered bedroom.

Posted in Home Improvement | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Preparing Your Home for Emergencies


Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1105

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1132

Did you know that September is National Disaster Preparedness month? Putting together an emergency preparedness kit you hope never to use may seem like a waste of time and money. But  from wildfires to an earthquake when disasters happen that are beyond your control, you can take charge of how you respond.

Items for an emergency preparedness kit
Store all items in an easy-to-carry bag or suitcase that’s readily accessible. Make sure everyone in the family knows where it is and what it contains. If you need to evacuate your home quickly, here are the essentials you’ll need for a basic “grab and go” kit.

  • Water: One gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation; double if you live in a very hot climate, have young kids, or are nursing. Bottled water is best, but you can also store tap water in food-grade containers or two-liter soda bottles that have been sanitized. Factor in your pet’s water needs, too.
  • Food: At least a three-day supply of non-perishables and a can opener. Pack protein, fruit, and vegetables, but make sure they’re in a form you actually like—it’s bad enough not to have access to fresh food without also having to subsist on nothing but canned tuna. Include treats like cereal bars, trail mix, and candy bars. Store food in pest-proof plastic or metal tubs and keep it in a cool, dry place.
  • Flashlights and extra batteries: Candles are not recommended because there are many house fires caused by candles left unattended
  • Cash: Have at least $100 in your kit.First-aid supplies: Two pairs of sterile gloves, adhesive bandages and sterile dressings, soap or other cleanser, antibiotic towelettes and ointment, burn ointment, eye wash, thermometer, scissors, tweezers, petroleum jelly, aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever, and stomach analgesics such as Tums or Pepto-Bismol, and a laxative.
  • Sanitation and hygiene supplies: Moist towelettes in sealed packets, paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags, and plastic ties. You might also want travel-size shampoo, toothpaste/toothbrush, and deodorant.
  • Radio or TV: Keep a portable, battery- or crank-operated radio or television and extra batteries to remain connected in case the power goes out, as well as an extra cell phone charger. Search for emergency radios online.
    Helpful extras: Duct tape, dust masks, a signal whistle, toys for kids.

Update your emergency preparedness kit regularly Replace all food and water approaching its expiration date. Replace batteries. You might pick a specific time each year to check, such as before hurricane season in the south or after Thanksgiving if you live in the north.

Find more information on disaster preparedness at www.ready.gov

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Get Your Home Ready For Fall-Clean Those Garden Tools!


Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1093

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1105

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/tdreb/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1132

As summer gardens fade and a new season begins, it’s time to think about caring for the hardworking tools that have served us so well. Although cleaning garden tools regularly (preferably after every use) is ideal, tending to trusty blades and spades prior to winter storage will help extend their life and effectiveness. Regular maintenance helps preserve sharp edges on digging tools, prevents rust and removes soil that may have been contaminated by diseased plants. It also means a fresh start come spring.

The Nitty-Gritty
All tools are important to clean, especially those made with metal because of the risk of rust.  Tools with moving parts or joints are especially vulnerable because of the crevices that trap dirt and moisture.

garden toolsFor trowels, spades, shovels and pruners,  the tried-and-true method is first cleaning away dirt and garden debris, then, after mixing motor oil into a 5-gallon bucket filled with sand — just enough to moisten the sand slightly — dipping the tools into the bucket and swirling them around a bit. The grit of the sand will remove encrusted dirt, and the motor oil will protect the metal from rust.

The gardening gurus at the National Gardening Association offer an alternative method for deep cleaning: Soak the metal ends of tools in a tub or bucket of hot, soapy water for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse with water and dry each tool thoroughly. Once dry, use WD-40 to lubricate the metal blades of shears and pruners and the metal heads of other tools and wipe away the excess.

To condition wood handles, the NGA recommends smoothing out rough, splintery spots with medium-grained sandpaper, then rubbing with a small amount of linseed oil. The oil will aid in preserving the wood, reduce splintering and guard against rot.

Remove Rust
If rust has found its way onto your tools, the NGA suggests scrubbing the area with a bit of steel wool and a dab of Naval Jelly rust dissolver, which should be used only in well-ventilated areas. Rubber or plastic gloves and safety glasses should be worn when using the gel too, because it contains hazardous chemicals.

If this sounds more than a little scary, the gardening association has a second option: Use a stiff wire brush to get off as much rust as you can, then apply a rust-inhibiting primer and paint the tools according to product directions.

Obviously, preventing rust is always Plan A. To do this, keep tools clean, dry and stored away from moisture.

 

Posted in Home Improvement | Tagged , , | Leave a comment