Friday, May 27, 2011

Self Defense Tips!

Self Defense Tips

Knowledge is the best defense

When it comes to your safety, it's important to stay sharp. Here are some tips to consider. Read them through - some you may have heard, others may be new to you. Be sure to let them all soak in, and always put them into practice. They may just save your life!


  • Dress and behave in an appropriate manner for your surroundings
  • Stay away from dark, deserted streets and alleys
  • Walk with someone. Most attackers will be discouraged if you have company - male or female
  • Stay in well-lit areas, and avoid parking close to alleys or bushes where someone could be hiding
  • Stay near people. Avoid shortcuts through parks, vacant lots and other deserted places
  • Hold your purse close to you, not dangling. Never set it down on store counters, restaurant seats or bus seats
  • Don't accept rides with strangers. If a driver stops to ask you directions, avoid getting too close to car - you could be pulled inside
  • If you're being followed by someone on foot, cross the street, act suspicious and keep looking behind you. This may discourage the follower. Vary your pace. If he persists, go to a well-lit store or home, and call the police
  • If you're being followed by someone in a car, turn around and walk in the opposite direction or go up a one-way street the opposite direction. If he persists, record his license number, seek a safe location and call the police
  • When you return home, have your key ready to open door without delay
  • Leave your outside light on so you can easily see anyone who may be waiting for you when you return home
  • Avoid talking on your cell phone. If you must be on the phone, keep your head up and be alert. Never text message while walking


  • Install a peephole so you can see who is outside, and ask for identification before opening the door
  • Don't advertise by leaving a note on the door saying you're not at home
  • Use your last name and first initial only on your door, mail box and in the phone book
  • The average predator will watch you 6-12 times before they commit their crime. Be aware of who is in your neighborhood
  • Buy a big dog dish, and place it by the door. Even if you don't have a dog the idea that a big dog could be inside could work as a deterrent
  • Replace the locks when you move to a new house or apartment. You don't know who has keys to the old one
  • Remember, the best lock in the world is no good at all if it isn't used. Lock your doors and windows
  • Draw the shades after dark, and never dress in front of windows
  • Strangers should stay outside. They can go someplace else to make that phone call, or you can make it for them
  • Make sure your home is well-lit, and replace burnt out light bulbs immediately
  • Don't allow service workers in your home when you're not there. It's best to have more than one person at home when work is being done. Ask service companies questions concerning workers who will be entering your home. Here are some question examples: their name, length of time they have worked with the company and the last time a background check was performed on them
  • Know your neighbors, especially the person who is home during the day. They serve as your eyes while you're away
  • Keep personal information off of the internet. A predator only needs to know your name to determine where you live


  • Keep your purse and other valuables out of sight - under a seat or in the glove compartment
  • Always keep your windows rolled up
  • Keep your doors locked at all times. Before you even fasten your seat belt, lock your doors
  • When you are unlocking your car with a remote be sure to only push the unlock button once in order to only unlock the driver's door. Pressing the unlock button twice will unlock all the doors which can allow someone access to the passenger side or back seat
  • Put your valuables in your locked trunk or take them with you.
  • Intersections and stoplights are favorite places for potential attackers. Keep your car in gear, and if threatened, lay on your horn and drive away
  • Hitchhikers shouldn't be picked up. Don't stop to help disabled drivers if you're alone. Help them by reporting them to police or service station
  • If you're having car trouble, raise the hood, and stay inside with the doors locked. If strangers stop, ask them to report your predicament to nearest service station. And remember - a cell phone makes sense when you are traveling any distance alone
  • If you're being followed don't drive into your driveway or attempt to leave your car. Drive to the nearest police station or open business for help
  • If another driver is forcing you to a curb, don't allow it and keep driving. Write down their license number, the car and driver's description, and report the incident to police immediately
  • When parking your car, park in areas that will be well-lit when you return to your car. Be sure to lock your doors. Check when you return to make sure no one is hiding in your car. Avoid parking next to vans as you could be pulled into the vehicle through the sliding door
  • Never leave keys to your home on your key ring when your car is left with a valet or at a service station

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fantastic 4 bedroom, immaculate condition!

Home Values

Selling real estate is daunting in today’s market. I hear horror stories every day. The key to selling is to be informed. Ignorance is not bliss when trying to sell your home.
The unfortunate reality is the fact that home values have dropped significantly over the past few years. This applies to every piece of property; no exceptions. The market does not care what you paid for your home, how many years you have owned it, or the wonderful memories relating to the house. The market is now driven by supply and demand, upgrades, appraisals, absorption rates and the like. Viewing your home with objective lenses squelches all sentimental instincts with regard to our nest. Think about all the profound quotes relating to our home: “Home is where the heart is.” “There is no place like home.”
Home values are not constant. Like the stock market, the values are altered dramatically, based on the market conditions.
Appraisals provide the best objective opinion of value. When selling, if an offer is accepted by both parties, the deal might not go through if the appraisal does not come in at equal or better than the agreed upon price. This is happening quite often now.
The best preparation for selling the home, is managing your expectations. Get an appraisal before listing your property. If it quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. If the appraisal is at a figure that you can’t live with, then don’t put your property on the market. It’s that simple. List the property at about slightly above the appraised value, and start packing. Buyers are savvy, and expecting a fair market price. The properties that are priced appropriately are selling. The number of transactions is up this year, the values are down. So people are buying, at lower prices.
Best of luck to you!

Home Buying Tips

Buying a home is FUN!

Are you ready to buy a home? The market conditions are perfect for pulling the trigger. Here are some tips to a stress-free, purchasing experience!
Get Your Ducks in a Row!
Get your finances in shape. Here are three recommendations to determine if you are ready:
  • I can make at least a 10% (preferably 20%) down payment.
  • I can afford a 15-year fixed-rate loan. (Preferable to a 30 year).
  • I can keep the house payments at or below 25% of my monthly take-home pay.
Your lender can run the numbers for you, or there are many FREE web sites that can help you with these calculations.
Other expenses to you might need to prepare for.
  • Property taxes
  • Utilities
  • Insurance
  • Inspections, Appraisal, Closing costs.
Your real estate agent should prepare an Estimated Expense Worksheet for you.
Let an expert help.
A REALTOR® that represents only the buyer is called an exclusive buyer’s agent. They are trained in all aspects of the real estate transaction, from pricing and marketing, to closing and legal documents. Working with a REALTOR® can save you time, money and frustration throughout the buying and selling process. A REALTOR® brings valuable experience to the table, ensuring a smooth and successful transaction.