Bob Falter, CRS, GRI - ERA Key Realty Services | 508-612-1649 | [email protected]


Posted by Bob Falter, CRS, GRI on 8/14/2019

When it comes to remodeling, some pet owners think outside the box to provide a comfortable environment for their pets. From designing indoor retreats to constructing cat highways, pet owners don’t mind spending thousands of dollars on remodeling just for the comfort of their pets. 

In recent times, homeowners in America and beyond are now keeping their pets in mind when renovating the home. Whether you are remodeling the entire house or just the living room, here are some major pet-friendly trends to include in your plan. 

Feeding Station 

Most pet owners see their furry friends as part of the family and would want them to eat along with everyone else in the kitchen. But the kitchen is often hectic, and it is easy to knock or step over pet dishes. Also, if your pets eat carelessly, water and moist food will be littered all over your kitchen floor, a constructed feeding station is a perfect home remodeling idea to help you to keep your kitchen clean as well as ensure that your pet eats along with everyone.

Dog Washing Station 

This is one of the quickest growing trends among pet owners. Fed up of hoisting their pets into laundry tubs or bathtubs, pet owners enjoy the comfort of areas designated for dog washing. Most dog washing stations resemble a shower stall, but it is half the height. Washing stations feature cold and hot water supply, a ledge for comb and shampoo and a spray nozzle. Including a dog washing station in your remodeling plan is not expensive and it will add more value to your home when you sell it to someone who owns a dog. 

Built-in Beds 

Gone are the days when cats sleep on cardboard and dogs sleep on crates. In today’s world, homeowners have added pet beds in cabinets, shelves, and numerous built-in features. Giving your pet its own bed to sleep will make it comfortable as well as create space in your home. 

Cat Highways 

If you want to bring your kitties outdoor experience into the home, a cat high way is the ideal pet-friendly remodeling trend you need to consider. By nature, cats love to jump and climb so by including perches and walkways in one or more rooms, your kitty will always stay active and you won't lose floor space. 

Indoor Pet Retreats 

This is a room designed for pets to have nothing but fun. It features a drinking fountain, automatic feeders, doggy shower and a lot of space to run and play.

Talk to your general contractor to help you incorporate these ideas into your remodeling plans and make you and your pet happy.




Tags: pets   home improvements   Remodel  
Categories: Home Improvements   Pets   remodel  


Posted by Bob Falter, CRS, GRI on 8/7/2019

There are two main ways to treat those annoying bedbugs you have in your home – Chemical and non-chemical.

Non-chemical Bed Bug Treatments

  • Wash and dry all of your bedding and clothing at high temperatures. However, just washing bedding or clothing is generally not enough to kill the bugs. Drying at high temperatures is the key.
  • Heat the infested items to at least 118 °F for 1 hour. The higher the temperature, the less time is required to kill the bugs.
  • Cold treatments below 0°F for at least five days (or 120 hours) can eliminate some infestations. The colder the temperature, the less time required to kill the bedbug infestation. However, your home freezer is generally not cold enough to effectively kill them.

Chemical Treatments

There are dozens of chemical products on the market that are registered with the EPA to kill or repel the bugs. Unfortunately, many of the over-the-counter products simply do not work. Therefore, many homeowners unknowingly waste time and money trying to treat their homes without professional assistance. DIY homeowners also either over-apply or misapply the chemicals they purchase. 

Contact the manufacturer of each product directly because most local pest control professionals will not be able to consult you on which DIY chemical they'd recommend for your situation. 

How to Keep Bedbugs Out of Your Home

A key reason for the success of bedbugs at spreading from location to location is their ability to survive extended periods time without feeding. Some bugs can survive up to12 months without eating.

Preventive tips

There are a few basic precautions that can help keep your home safe from an infestation:

  • Use protective covers to encase mattresses, box springs, and furniture to eliminate hiding spots.
  • Remove clutter from your home that might be prone to hiding places• Avoid bringing used furniture into your home without a comprehensive inspection.
  • Perform a thorough search of your hotel room for signs of bugs
  • Use luggage racks for suitcases and reduce the contact between your Clothing and the bed or carpet
  • Perform a thorough inspection of your luggage and clothing when you return home and limit the contact between travel clothing and mattresses, box springs and furniture

Bed bugs aren't fun, but if you are knowledgeable about what to look for and consult with a pest solutions technician to find the best solution, you can beat bed bugs.





Posted by Bob Falter, CRS, GRI on 7/31/2019

Moving is an exciting time. Whether you’re moving across town, state or country you get to create a clean slate to build your home and life upon. But for children, this can be a confusing and scary time. Routine and familiarity are comforting for children and a move shakes up the very foundation they are used to.

But you don’t have to leave your child in the dark. There are several things you can do to help better prepare your child for the big move. By taking the time to spend with your child discussing the changes ahead. As you start house hunting and throughout the moving process involve your child where possible.

Keep an open dialogue with your child. Ask them what they are excited for and what their fears may be. Collect books either from the library or for your family bookshelf on stories about moving. Reading stories helps children process their feelings and become more familiar with the process. Using storytime is a great way to create a natural conversation about moving with your child.

If possible bring your child to walk or ride their bike around the new neighborhood. Take note of any parks, playgrounds or schools in the area your child may be interested in. If they have a hobby such as dance or soccer look up information about the classes and teams. Talk about the similarities and differences they will experience.

Take the time to research information about the new school they will be attending. What will be the same? What will be different? Ask if your child has any specific questions for you to seek out answers while you do your research to help ease them into the transition. 

Assure your child they will be able to stay in touch with friends and family. Collect contact information from their friends as well as the form of communication their parents are comfortable with. Offer options like sending letters, scheduling video chats and visiting the area. 

Even if you’re child is especially excited about the move it’s a good idea to keep things as similar as possible. Refrain from changing out furniture and bedding right away. And if possible maintain your usual schedule throughout the days and weeks ahead. Sticking to a familiar routine will be soothing for your child as they transition to their new environment.

Moving is a big change for children and often their first major life transition. And while they may feel confused or scared you can ensure they feel understood. By keeping an open conversation with them throughout the process you can cater to bother their excitement and fears. A new home can create both a clean slate and more importantly an opportunity to bring your family even closer together.




Tags: moving   preparation   children  
Categories: children   moving   preparation  


Posted by Bob Falter, CRS, GRI on 7/24/2019

If you want to quickly find and acquire your dream house, it generally is beneficial to narrow your property search. Because if you focus on available homes in a select group of cities and towns, you may be able to speed up the process of buying your ideal residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you locate your dream home.

1. Consider Your Short and Long-Term Aspirations

Think about where you want to be in the next few years. Then, you can map out your home search based on your short- and long-term goals.

For instance, if you currently work in a big city and intend to stay with your company for many years, you may want to search for a residence in the city itself. Or, if you plan to start a family soon, you may want to focus on houses near parks and schools.

You should try to be flexible as you begin a home search too. Remember, even the best-laid plans won't necessarily come to fruition. But if you maintain flexibility, you could find a home that will suit you perfectly both now and in the future.

2. Create a Budget

The homes in large cities tend to be more expensive than those in small towns. Fortunately, if you craft a homebuying budget, you can determine where you can afford to reside and plan accordingly.

Oftentimes, it helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you meet with banks and credit unions, you can learn about myriad home financing options. Next, you can select a mortgage and enter the real estate market with home financing in hand.

If you have concerns as you pursue a mortgage, don't hesitate to ask questions. Banks and credit unions employ expert mortgage specialists, and these professionals are happy to provide you with the insights you need to make an informed home financing decision.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you are uncertain about how to approach a home search, there is no need to worry. In fact, you can hire a real estate agent who can help you identify your dream residence.

A real estate agent is dedicated to client satisfaction, and he or she will work with you to make your homeownership dream come true. First, a real estate agent will help you narrow your house search. This housing market professional then will keep you up to date about available homes in your preferred cities and towns. Once you find a house you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this residence. Finally, when you are ready to close on a house, a real estate agent will help you complete your home purchase.

Dedicate time and resources to find your dream house – you'll be glad you did. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can accelerate the process of locating your ideal residence and acquire a house that can serve you well for years to come.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by Bob Falter, CRS, GRI on 7/17/2019

After you decide to sell your home, it may be only a few weeks before you need to pack up your belongings and relocate to a new address. Thus, it may be beneficial to start planning ahead for moving day. By doing so, you can sell any items you have no plans to bring to your new address before moving day arrives.

Ultimately, there are many items that you may want to sell prior to listing your residence. These items include:

1. Appliances

An outdated refrigerator, washer or dryer is unlikely to do you any favors when you show your home to potential buyers. At the same time, you may be unlikely to bring these appliances to a new home in the foreseeable future.

If your current appliances no longer serve your needs, you may want to sell your appliances and pick up new ones. New appliances may help make your home more attractive than ever before to potential buyers. Plus, you can account for the price of any new appliances when you set your home's initial asking price.

Meanwhile, you should have no trouble selling appliances online or at a yard sale. You also can donate appliances to a local charity or give them to family members, friends or others.

2. Furniture

Your couch, work desk or other furniture have been staples in your residence for many years. Yet these items may take up lots of space. And in some instances, your furniture may make it tough for you to show off the true size and beauty of your house.

When it comes to selling your current furniture, there may be no reason to wait. If you sell your current furniture today, you can earn extra cash that you can always use to buy new furniture for your new house. Furthermore, you can avoid the challenges commonly associated with moving big, bulky furniture from your current address to a new residence.

3. Decorations

As a home seller, it is important to make it simple for prospective buyers to fall in love with your residence. And if you have decorations set up around your home, it may be difficult for a buyer to envision what life may be like if he or she purchases your house. As such, if you have lawn decorations, paintings or other decorations outside and inside your home, you may want to sell these items sooner rather than later.

Selling decorations online or at a yard sale is an effective option for those who want to get rid of various decorations. On the other hand, if you need to get rid of decorations immediately, you can give your current decorations away for free.

Lastly, as you get ready to sell your home, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert recommendations as you navigate each stage of the property selling journey. As a result, you can receive comprehensive home selling support and boost the likelihood of a fast, profitable property selling experience.