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Home Safety 101 - Carbon Monoxide Alarms

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has several flyers and helpful information on Carbon Monoxide Alarms. Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, propane, etc. do not burn completely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of CO. Carbon monoxide incidents are more common during the winter months, and in residential properties. Vehicles or generators left running in an attached garage can also produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. A lot of families are not familiar with the hazards of carbon monoxide poisoning in the home. I have added two NFPA flyer PDF’s for you to download.  Get to Know Carbon Monoxide Alarms   Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips Flyer I have gathered some fact and safety tips about Carbon Monoxide from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)  that I wanted to passing on to you: The dangers of CO exposure depend on

Home Safety 101 - Portable Generators

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has come up with information on the risks of Portable Generators. I am forwarding this information onto you and your family. Portable generators are useful during power outages, however, many homeowners are unaware that the improper use of portable generators can be risky and deadly. Downed utility lines, power company blackouts, heavy snow falls or summer storms can all lead to power outages. Many people turn to a portable generator for a temporary solution without knowing the risks. The most common dangers associated with portable generators are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, electrical shock or electrocution, and fire hazards. Half of the generator-related deaths happened in the four coldest months of the year, November through February, and portable generators were involved in the majority of carbon monoxide deaths involving engine-driven tools. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has a flyer to download Portable Generato

Safety Tips for Paddle Boarders, Kayakers and Canoeist on Lake Michigan

It is getting that time of year when everyone is looking forward to spring and summer and fun activities on Lake Michigan. Navigating Lake Michigan is different for paddle boarders, kayakers and canoeists then the inland lakes. Here are some safety tips to help keep you safe. Always check the weather in your starting point and ending point Never go out alone. Always use the buddy system. Leave your route information with someone reliable and stick to the route. Always wear a life preserver and pack a waterproof container with a cell phone and waterproof flashlight or flares. Know how safe your craft is and how to handle your craft. Try to stay out of the shipping lane to avoid being hit or capsized. Keep the shoreline in sight at all times. Try to stay away from break walls so as to not get capsized.  Take a safety course with your local paddles club. I have more safety tips and special non profit blogs on my Val Cares web page. Valerie Bomberger ABR, AHWD Re/Max Harbor Country.

Buchanan’s Memorial & Special Event Tree Program

I came across a great program in Buchanan, Michigan called the Memorial Tree Program ; you purchase a tree and have it planted in a loved one’s name. Giving families a unique way to honor friends, family or to celebrate a life event. A new baby in the family, anniversary , wedding or plant one in memory of a loved one. You are given a certificate to give or just to keep.  The trees are planted in the spring and fall. We have attached their page link for more information. Tree Program I have more safety tips and special non profit blogs on my Val Cares web page. Valerie Bomberger ABR, AHWD Re/Max Harbor Country. 

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19)

  I wanted to share with you the steps I am taking  to keep my clients safe. These are unprecedented times, and I understand the uncertainty that many are experiencing. While we all take a break from what was our normal, it's important to remember to take this time to stay healthy and remember what matters most is you and those you love.  We are seeing historic low mortgage rates and new buying opportunities emerging in markets across the U.S. When the time is right, I'm here to help you - whether it's to navigate your local real estate market, help you buy a new home, or sell your current one. My website offers a number of useful tools and features that will help you with your real estate mission when you're ready. We are all in this together, and I'll be right here when things have settled down. Here are a few things that I am doing to try keep my buyers and sellers safe. I am doing virtual open houses only  I have  adopted a policy of having  all buyers needing

What Type of Contractor Do I Need?

A couple of days ago I got my Remax Real Estate Advisor for February. I get one every month along with my clients. This month it was titled What Type of Contractor Do I Need? It had a lot of great information on contractors. I wanted to pass this on along to anyone out there who is thinking about doing any contracting work on their house. Right now we are in a sellers market. A lot of people are looking to spruce their homes up to sell. I hope th is article will be of help. If you like the article and would like to sign up for a free monthly copy of the Re/Max Advisor please contact me or Text/Call  269-208-4750. What Type of Contractor Do I Need?  Home improvement projects can be daunting, especially if you don't know what you're getting into. For many homeowners, hiring a contractor for a project is a must. It shouldn't come as a surprise that there are many different types of contractors and specialists (just like there are many different types of home improvement proj

Ice Safety Tips for enjoying Michigan lakes this winter

         Brownington Pond in Brownington Vermont     My sister in Vermont reminded me today about being careful on the ice. She lives with and takes care of our dad on a small pond in Vermont. A couple of teenagers were out fishing on the pond and fell through the ice. Berrien County has a lot of lakes for ice fishing, snowmobiling and ice skating.  I thought that it might be a good idea to touch on some ice safety info .   When ice fishing or snowmobiling on frozen water you should have 2 ice picks or they are sometimes called ice claws with you at all times. Ice varies from area to area on lakes and ponds. It is never the same thickness. Temperature, underwater springs and water currents can affect the thickness and stability of the ice. Stay off the ice if it is covered in snow or slush on top. Snow on top of the ice insulates the ice and slows its freezing.  If there is slush it means that the ice is no longer freezing from the bottom. It is never a good idea to take a car or tru

The importance of needing a home inventory

  Home Inventory With the hurricanes, floods and earthquakes happening weekly, I thought it might be a good time to share about how important having an home inventory is for everyone. My sister and I put together a fact sheet on home inventories for our clients about five years ago.  Remind your family and friends so they are prepared if necessary.  Having  your home contents insured is very important. Having a detailed record of everything that you own is a must. Should you ever need to file a claim; the insurance adjuster will expect you to submit a list of all damaged belongings, complete with purchase dates, purchase prices, brand names, model numbers, receipts and photos. If you can't provide this information, your claim may be denied, and that's not what you've been paying those hefty premiums for! Protect yourself (and your belongings) by completing a full home inventory and updating it annually.  Having an up-to-date home inventory will help you get your insurance c

What is the hidden cost of buying a home?

Hidden Costs of Buying a Home You’ve saved and planned, and you are finally ready to buy your first home or move up to a larger one. It is easy to figure out how large a mortgage you can fit into your budget. Your real estate agent has tables and formulas that can determine the percentage of your income that’s reasonable for a home. However, be aware of the numerous other costs that must be considered, both for the home purchase and for the monthly payment. Loan Origination Fee This is the fee paid to your lender for the work involved with making the loan. It can be a large expense, depending on the lender and the size of your mortgage. Figure it will be between a half and one percent of the total mortgage. The loan origination fee must be paid to the lender up front, so budget accordingly. Inspections Your first big expense after your offer on the home is accepted will be inspections . Your lender will likely require a thorough inspection, but it will be money well spent for you to fi