7 One-and-Done Resolutions to Start the New Year Right

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Forget resolving to make lifestyle changes that you’ll abandon by February. We’ve got New Year’s resolutions for your home that you can achieve in one step.

 Resolution #1: Use less energy.

One-step solution: Install a programmable thermostat.

The bulk of your energy costs in 2013 will be spent heating and cooling your home. Put a dent in that bill with a thermostat that’ll keep your house comfortable when you’re home to enjoy it, and saves energy when you’re not. You’ll spend less than $100 for a basic model, and can save as much as $180 per year.

Resolution #2: Save water.

One-step solution: Get a rain barrel.

Irrigate your lawn for free with a rain barrel, which can save 1,300 gallons of water and lower your water bill by about $35 per month in the summer. You’ll spend $35-$200 on a commercial barrel, or you can save more money by making one yourself from castoff food-grade containers. A 55-gallon syrup drum is about $10.

Resolution #3: Decrease your chances of a home fire.

One-step solution: Schedule a chimney inspection.

Creosote, birds’ nests, and other debris can clog your chimney, causing a home fire risk, but an inspection will sweep those problems away. A level-one inspection, in which the inspector will look for damage and remove obstructions, will cost anywhere from $79-$200.

Resolution #4: Beef up your home security.

One-step solution: Install outdoor motion sensor lights.

These lights, which plug into ordinary wall outlets, provide a security boost by illuminating your home’s exterior when anything moves outside. They take minutes to install and cost anywhere from $13-$105.

Resolution #5: Make the most of your storage space.

One-step solution: Pitch everything you haven’t used in a year.

The first step in gaining storage space is decluttering. We’ve got ideas for how to responsibly get rid of hazardous materials, old technology, kids’ stuff, books, and more. Bonus: It won’t cost you a penny.

Resolution #6: Save money on your insurance premiums.

One-step solution: Assess your home owners policy.

First determine what kind of coverage you have now, then assess how much you really need. If you’re able to raise your deductible, you’ll pay a lower premium per month.

Resolution #7: Prepare your family in case of a disaster.

One-step solution: Make an evacuation and communication plan.

If disaster strikes in 2013, you’ll be ready: Document your escape routes, designate a meeting place in case family members are scattered, and assign a “communication commander” who will relay messages between loved ones. Don’t forget to include your pets!

What are your New Year’s resolutions for your home?

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Just Sold – 4 Bedroom Home Just Sold in Southbridge MA

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JUST SOLD by Best Option Real Estate with RE/MAX Professional Associates!  This 4 bedroom home located at 328 Worcester Street in Southbridge Massachusetts SOLD on December 19th, 2012 for $63,899!  Congratulations to our buyers!

Sale Price:  $63,899
Bedrooms:  4
Bathrooms:  1.5
Living Area:   1862 SQFT

If you are thinking about buying or selling real estate, we’d love to work with you!  Let Best Option Real Estate show you what we do to get homes sold fast and to negotiate the best price on your next home purchase.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Southbridge, click the link to get started or give us a call.  We are happy to help.

This was one of many sales made by Best Option Real Estate Team!

Call 508-444-2673!

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JUST SOLD – 3 Bedroom Home Just Sold in Worcester

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JUST SOLD by Best Option Real Estate with RE/MAX Professional Associates!  This lovely 3 bedroom home located at 56 Darrow Street in Worcester Massachusetts SOLD on December 14th, 2012 for $203,000!  Congratulations to our buyers Tracey & David!

Sale Price:  $203,000
Bedrooms:  3
Bathrooms:  1.5
Living Area:   2012 SQFT

If you are thinking about buying or selling real estate, we’d love to work with you!  Let Best Option Real Estate show you what we do to get homes sold fast and to negotiate the best price on your next home purchase.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Worcester, click the link to get started or give us a call.  We are happy to help.

This was one of many sales made by Best Option Real Estate Team!

Call 508-444-2673!

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JUST LISTED – 2 Bedroom Apartment Rental in Webster

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JUST LISTED by Best Option Real Estate with RE/MAX Professional Associates!  This lovely 2 bedroom apartment rental located at 19 Mount Pleasant in Webster Massachusetts was JUST LISTED on December 09, 2012 for $600/month!

Rent:  $600
Bedrooms:  2
Bathrooms:  1
Living Area:   720 SQFT

If you are thinking about buying or selling real estate, we’d love to work with you!  Let Best Option Real Estate show you what we do to get homes sold fast and to negotiate the best price on your next home purchase.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Webster click the link to get started or give us a call.  We are happy to help.


Soarin’ With Santa – Thank Your For a GREAT Event!

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Yesterday I took the kids to the Worcester Airport for an event that I was invited to on Facebook called Soarin’ With Santa.  What an awesome day!!!  First we were greeted at the door where we were given a ticket  with a number on it so we could go up and see Santa once he arrived.  Then we enjoyed some free samples of Polar beverages and got to visit with the Polar Bear.  Zach & Will went on to make some Christmas ornaments and then we rushed outside to make sure we didn’t miss Santa’s arrival.

Watching closely we first saw a blue Ford SUV drive down towards us.  There was someone waving graciously at the crowd and at first I couldn’t tell who, but then I saw the lovely Jennifer Roy.  Jen is a beautiful Worcester TV & radio newscaster who I recently met outside of Facebook through Karaoke For a Cure.  She is very involved in doing great things in our community.

When Santa landed from his airplane he drove down in a firetruck to come greet all of the anxious children and parents.  For a second I thought us adults may have been more excited than the kids when we spotted him in that small plane on the runway!

We enjoyed free snacks and activities while we awaited our turn to go up the magical escalator to see Santa. Once up there, we were able to take as many photos as we’d like on our digital cameras and phones of our families with Santa.  What a beautiful display!  Just as I arrived at the top with my kids the fire alarm started going off.  Luckily just a false alarm that one of the kids in the building must have setoff.  When I asked Zach his favorite part of the day he said “seeing Santa to tell him about the Legos I wanted and the worst was that fire alarm going off!”.  LOL

Thank you to all of the sponsors yesterday and to the Children’s Smile Coalition, Inc for creating this magical day.  The Children’s Smile Coalition is a non profit organization created to help underprivileged children in Massachusetts.  Please click the LIKE button on their page to support and learn more about them.

Here is a picture of my family enjoying a visit with Santa:

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8 Super-Secret Hiding Places for Holiday Presents

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After you’ve fought the crowds for the best bargains, you’ll face another dilemma: Where to hide all those presents?

Whether you’ve got a nosy spouse or a curious kid, you need a good hiding place to squirrel away those gifts until you find time to get them wrapped and under the tree. Here are some ideas we came up with:

1. Borrow a friend’s house. Swap storage spaces with a trusted friend or neighbor, and you won’t spoil any surprises. This is particularly useful if you’re buying someone a big present, like a bicycle or a car — you might talk a neighbor into letting you borrow space in their garage until Christmas morning.

2. Pop the trunk. This won’t work if you have an SUV or hatchback, but if you’ve got a car with a trunk that’s closed off from the backseat, it’s a primo place to hide gifts. Small children will never get in there.

3. Make your office work for you. If your office is a safe, secure place, squirrel some presents there. This is only an option if you work out of your home, though — home officesare prime targets for prying eyes.

4. Take stock of kitchen pots. Got a huge stock pot? Unless you’re planning to make a giant vat of soup anytime soon, the stock pot can hold a load of small gifts, and chances are your family will never think to look there.

Christmas presents under the tree5. Make use of your underwear drawer. Small presents can easily fit there. Your spouse probably won’t hesitate to look there, but your kids might stop short of rifling through your skivvies. (We hope.)

6. Crack the crawl space. If you don’t mind a little dirt and some creepy-crawlies, the crawl space can hold some sizable presents. Don’t store anything there for too long, though — unless your crawl space is insulated. Moisture and temperature changes could damage items. Plastic toys are OK to keep outside; electronics should be stored inside.

7. Rent a storage space. If you’ve got a ton of presents to hide, you’ll need to look outside your house. Some storage units offer one-month-minimum specials for as low as $25. Check the storage units in your area for deals.

8. Go for the cleaning supply closet. Worst-case scenario: Your kids might find presents there, but they’d also find the cleaning supplies, which means they might actuallyclean something. Now that would be a Christmas miracle.

Where do you hide holiday presents?

‘Gangnam Style’ Christmas Light Show Goes Silent

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An Austin, Texas, resident had to unplug the music to his Christmas light show to cut down on all the car traffic.

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Holly Santa Claus, being a YouTube sensation can cause a traffic jam.

John Storms and his family have been putting together eye-popping holiday light shows for years without a hitch, but this year’s display has become too popular.

Their “Gangnam Style” Christmas show went viral this week and was driving too many rubberneckers to their doorstep. Feeling overwhelmed, and probably to keep the peace with the neighbors, the Stormses decided to keep the lights on but ditch the music.

Guess they didn’t want to be bad neighbors. But we suspect many will miss it.

Here’s the video for all to enjoy safe & soundly online: