Robert S. Soltz CRS, GRI, CBR, RECS
Sagan REALTORS ® | 781-479-0852 | bob@ownproperty.com


Posted by Robert S. Soltz CRS, GRI, CBR, RECS on 9/18/2017

There's no better way to put a damper on summer fun than by being swarmed by biting mosquitos. Science has worked tirelessly to find ways to keep the bugs away, ranging from the invention of DEET during World War II up to the latest trend of ultrasonic mosquito repellants. In this article, we'll cover the best forms of keeping the mosquitos at bay and the ways that are all hype. But first, let's learn a bit more about what we're up against.

Know thy enemy

Mosquitos typically feed on nectar and juices from plants and flowers. However, the females often feed on blood to acquire proteins for producing eggs. When these mosquitos are on the hunt, they can smell an animal (like us) from up to 50 meters away, according to WebMD. Since they are attracted to fruity, sweet smells, avoiding certain body sprays will help make you less of a target. Since mosquitos can't pierce through thick clothing, it's also important to wear pants and long sleeves if you're going to be outside for an extended period of time. Mosquitos are attracted to some people more than others based on factors like blood type (they prefer type O), whether they are heavy breathers, and those producing a lot of body heat. Similarly, your genetics may play a role in how likely a mosquito is to snack on you instead of your other friends around the campfire.

What doesn't work

I mentioned that there has been a lot of scientific advancements around repelling mosquitos. There has also been a lot of junk science and folklore that have misinformed people or led them to buy ineffective products. Here are the products to avoid:
  • ultrasonic repellants - These noise-makers claim to repel mosquitos by mimicking the sound of bats, or by copying the noises of male mosquitos that the females are trying to avoid.  However, there is no evidence that the ultrasonic systems work at repelling mosquitos.
  • smartphone apps - With the technology as ultrasonic systems, there are many apps that claim keeping them open on your phone will keep mosquitos away. But they too have been shown to be ineffective.
  • herbal concoctions - With a few exceptions, most recipes you'll find online for deterring mosquitos will be ineffective or have negligible results. For one plant-based repellant that has been effective, see below.
  • wristbands - Though some clip-on belts that spray repellant into the air have shown to be effective, wristbands that don't disperse repellant won't do much to keep the mosquitos away

What does

Now that you can spot the gimmicks, here are the best mosquito repellants:
  1. DEET - Since WWII, the most effective spray form repellant has been DEET. Products containing 30% DEET have been shown to keep mosquitos at bay for up to 8 hours if applied directly to the skin. There are, however, valid health concerns that arise from the use of DEET.
  2. Lemon Eucalyptus - The best "natural" mosquito repellants contain high amounts of lemon eucalyptus. The benefit is that you can apply this to your skin often without worrying about health concerns, just don't put it anywhere near your eyes because it is an eye irritant.
  3. Picaridin - One of the new chemical alternatives to DEET, Picaridin, has been shown to be as effective and more pleasant due to it's odorless properties.





Posted by Robert S. Soltz CRS, GRI, CBR, RECS on 9/11/2017

Once you have found the home that you want to live in, put in the offer, and start the process of closing on a home, you may feel like you’re “home free.” The hard part may technically be over, but there’s one more important thing that you need to think about before you get the keys to your place: Closing costs. 

A few days before you head to sign all of your paperwork to close on the home, your lender will send you a detailed report of different closing costs that you need to pay upon the settlement of the property. 


Closing Costs Defined


Closing costs are what you pay to the lender and third parties. These are due at the time of closing on the property and must be paid up front. You should estimate that your closing costs will be between 2 and 5 percent of the purchase price of the home.


Everything Included In Closing Costs


Closing costs cover both one-time and recurring fees that are a part of your home purchase. The one-time fees are things that are generally associated with buying the home. These would include attorneys fees, lender fees, home inspection fees, document prep fees, underwriting fees, credit report fees, and realtor fees. You’ll also need a bank issued check for your down payment at this time.  


At closing, an escrow account will be set up. This is like a forced savings account that will be drawn from to cover things like taxes, insurance, loan interest, and title insurance. These are all very important costs that are a part of buying a home.     


Do Your Homework Ahead Of Time


The best way to deal with closing costs is to be prepared ahead of time. Talk to your lender in order to get an estimate of the closing costs. From there, you’ll need to decide if you need to finance your closing costs or simply pay them up front. There are advantages to both approaches. Sometimes, lenders will look at you as less favorable if you need to finance all of your closing costs. It all depends on the terms of your loan. This is why research is vital.


Compare Rates And Lenders


It’s important not to go with the first lender you talk to. Get some recommendations from your realtor and friends to see who might be a good fit for you. Every lender specializes in something different, so you want to be sure that who you chose is a good fit for you. 


The most important thing that you can do with closing costs and the financing of your home is to get educated!     





Tags: Buying a home  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Robert S. Soltz CRS, GRI, CBR, RECS on 9/8/2017

BEST KEPT SECRET IN TOWN - Nestled back from road. This 8 room center entrance colonial boasts 4-5 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths, high ceilings, possible first floor home office/den or 5th bedroom with full bath, replacement windows, hardwood floors, security system, slate roof, deck, fenced in yard. Near Osgood Park in beautiful South Salem/Forest river area. This home has Beach Rights (association membership required) to private beachfront which offers dock, moorings, swimming, picnics and more. Directly across from Salem State University and near Historic downtown Salem with numerous restaurants, world famous Peabody Essex Museum, public transportation and the "T" to Boston. SHOWINGS START AT OPEN HOUSE Sunday, Sept.10 11:30am-1:00pm. ALL OFFERS HELD UNTIL Tues. Sept.12, 5:00pm. All replies by Wed. Sept.13, 5:00pm.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts




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Posted by Robert S. Soltz CRS, GRI, CBR, RECS on 9/4/2017

After you accept an offer on your house, it may be only a few weeks before you have to pack up your belongings and move. And if you know exactly which packing supplies to pick up, you should have no trouble getting ready to relocate to a new address.

Ultimately, there are several must-have packing supplies to pick up before an upcoming move, and these include:

1. Boxes of Varying Sizes

Transporting items of different sizes can be difficult. Fortunately, there are many quick, easy ways to find moving boxes of varying sizes.

Typically, you can buy moving boxes at any home improvement or hardware store. Depending on how much you own, you may need to pick up tiny, small, medium and large moving boxes in assorted quantities.

For those who are looking to save money on moving boxes, you may be able to pick up various boxes from local convenience stores and supermarkets as well.

Contact local convenience stores or supermarkets to find out if they offer free boxes. Be sure to reach out to these shops at least a few weeks before your move; that way, you can pick up free boxes and still have plenty of time to pack up your belongings.

2. Packing Materials

Bubble wrap, polyurethane foam and other packing materials guarantee that your personal belongings will stay safe as you travel from Point A to Point B. Therefore, you should purchase a variety of packing materials to protect antiques, glassware and other fragile items during your move.

Of course, it never hurts to be creative with packing materials, either. And if you have old clothing or towels, you may be able to use these items as packing materials too.

3. Colored Markers or Stickers

If you commit significant time and resources to pack up your belongings, you surely want to know where to place these items in your new home. Luckily, colored markers and stickers make it easy to label your moving boxes.

Colored markers and stickers can help you keep track of your personal items during your move. Plus, these markers and stickers are inexpensive and easy to use, making them exceedingly valuable for those who want to streamline the process of getting unpacked at a new address.

Clearly, there are many essential packing supplies to pick up prior to moving day. If you require extra help as you prepare for an upcoming move, it never hurts to reach out to a professional moving company for support.

A professional moving company can help you pack up your belongings and take them to your new address. Also, this business employs friendly, diligent moving professionals who will help you take the guesswork out of getting ready for moving day.

Lastly, don't hesitate to reach out to a real estate agent for moving advice. This housing market professional can help you sell your house, put you in touch with professional moving companies in your area and much more.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Robert S. Soltz CRS, GRI, CBR, RECS on 8/28/2017

Cooking with fresh herbs is infinitely better than using the dried out flakes you'll find at the grocery store. Not only are they packed with much more flavor, but they'll also save you money in the process. Sure, there are some herbs you probably won't use very often and should just keep a small jar of them in your pantry. However, certain herbs are so useful that it's worth having on your window sill to pick from when you need them. If you're thinking about starting an indoor or outdoor herb garden, here are the best herbs to put in it that will spice up your recipes and save you money at the checkout line.

Basil

Number one on our list is sweet basil. Basil can be chopped up into sauces and salads, or it can be used whole on pizzas and sandwiches. For a great snack, toss some olive oil with chunks of tomato, mozzarella, and chopped basil. It's the perfect combination of tangy, sweet, and refreshing. Basil is also great for making tea and has a strong and pleasant aroma. If you start running low, you can start a new plant with clippings from an old one. As you pick from the plant, be sure to remove the leaf node (the stem part of the leaf) fully so your plant keeps producing more leaves.

Parsley

A good herb to pair with basil is parsley. It goes great with pasta dishes, sauce, pizza, or eggs. Like basil, parsley can be harvested as needed. Simply cut the outermost leaves for use and leave the inner leaves to mature. However, parsley is also easy to dry and store. To dry parsley, hang it up in a warm place that has plenty of shade and ventilation. Test it by seeing if it crumbles in your hand. Once it does, crumble the rest up and store it in an air tight jar.

Thyme

Arguably one of the the prettiest herbs on the list, thyme fills its long stems with small flowers and fills the air with a pleasant scent. Thyme goes well with many vegetables and types of seafood and is also common in many teas. If you live in a temperate climate, you could also try growing some thyme as an ornamental and aromatic shrub in your yard.

Mint

As you would suspect, mint smells and tastes...minty. To impress everyone at your summer cookout, place some mint leaves from your garden into their ice cold drinks. Like many other items on the list, mint is also great in tea and can be paired up with basil, lavender, and many other herbs to make a great herbal tea concoction.

Lavender

Lavender is another pretty flowering herb. However, due to its size, it's best grown outdoors. You can make several homemade items from lavender including soaps, fragrance sprays, tea, and more. However, be sure to read up on caring for lavender plants as they require a lot of sunlight and well-drained soil. To make use of its size and aesthetics outside, you can plant lavender along walkways in your yard or garden.




Tags: home   gardening   herbs   garden   mint   herb   herb garden   basil   parsley   thyme   lavender  
Categories: Uncategorized  




Robert S. Soltz CRS, GRI, CBR, RECS