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Articles Tagged "Homeowner Tips"

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May
23

Summer Outdoor Entertaining - Homeowners - Laffey Real Estate

As we approach the warmest time of the year, adjust your outdoor space to match the summer. Your outdoor space is more valuable during summer, and you need to get it ready in anticipation of entertaining your friends and family. Hosting a festive outdoor party filled with fun and laughter involves more than moving your indoor party to your patio. Our real estate agents recommend these tips to get your outdoor space ready for summer entertaining.

  1. Up the Ambience by Adding Outdoor Lighting
    Most outdoor events begin in the evening and transition into the night. Therefore, it's important to have adequate lighting. Create some ambiance by adding outdoor lighting like garden stake lights to light up pathways. Backyard uplighting or pool lighting will light up the night and add a beautiful aesthetic. You can choose to add the tiki torches, a summer classic, or the battery-operated candles. Light some citronella candles around the seating area to keep bugs away.

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April
18

Home Equity - Homeowners - Laffey Real Estate

At Laffey Real Estate, our real estate agents want to help you make informed decisions about homeownership. One of the biggest ones is whether to tap into your home's equity.

Equity is the value that builds up over time as you pay off more of your mortgage. Every cent you pay on the principal, the initial mortgage amount, becomes equity. On the other hand, money that pays for loan interest provides no benefit to the homeowner; it is pure profit for the mortgage lender.

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April
4

Update a Galley Kitchen - Laffey Real Estate

A galley kitchen can seem small and dark if not utilized properly. In reality, it's actually one of the most functional designs for a kitchen since everything you need while you cook is at most a few steps away, if not right in arm's reach. How, then, to make this design look more welcoming? The difference is all in the details, as our real estate agents will show you.

  • Clear the Way
    Having a lot of stuff in the way as you traverse the kitchen will make it feel more cramped. Avoid a lot of clutter, such as too many rugs, and for reaching upper cabinets, invest in footstools that will fold up and stow neatly out of the way. If you have a bar, make sure that bar stools can tuck neatly under it when not in use. Galley kitchens look best without a lot of visual interruptions.

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March
28

DIY Day Projects - Homeowners - Laffey Real Estate

While whole-house renovations make your house more attractive to buyers, they are expensive and will eat into your profits. Fortunately, there are DIY upgrades that can boost your home's value. DIY Day is the perfect time to try your hand at these projects recommended by our real estate agents.

  1. Repaint Your Walls
    Walls in a lived-in home often have visible stains, scuffs, or writing in households with children. A fresh coat of paint hides these imperfections, refreshes your home, and makes it more impressive to buyers. Additionally, painting is reasonably cheap, and you can quickly repaint your walls over the weekend.

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February
21

Kitchen Pantry Tips - Laffey Real Estate

For many families, the kitchen is the most important room in the house. That's why it's imperative to prioritize the kitchen when purchasing a home and choose one that suits your family's needs and lifestyle. Inform our real estate agents what you're looking for in a kitchen and which features are non-negotiable, so they can find you houses that are up to your standards.

One of the key features you should consider is storage and workspace; there's no such thing as too much kitchen storage space. Even when you have enough space, your kitchen pantry can quickly become overrun with all the canned goods, cereal boxes, and miscellaneous cooking ingredients that tend to pile up.

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February
14

Family Baking Month - Laffey Real Estate

Mmmmm, what smells better than something in the oven? Our real estate agents will assure you that many potential buyers have been attracted by the aroma of freshly baked cookies in the kitchen. Why not enjoy that same sensation while spending some quality time with your loved ones to celebrate National Bake for Family Fun Month? Here are a few tasty treats that everyone can enjoy:

  • Red Hot Baked Apples
    Not only are they quick and easy, but these delectable desserts offer a healthy, gluten-free alternative to traditional baked goods.

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January
11

Houseplant Help - Homeowners - Laffey Real Estate

Do you laugh when people tell you it's National Houseplant Appreciation Day because you're a notorious plant killer? If, like most of us, you enjoy the beauty houseplants bring to a home but have a brown thumb, have no fear. Our real estate agents have some nearly bullet-proof suggestions that will let you join the ranks of houseplant aficionados whose homes proudly display elegant living decor. Your first step will be assessing the light levels in the spaces where you want to place your plants. 

  •  Albuca Spiralis
    This unique sun lover will be an instant conversation piece when given a prominent position in a window. Its deep green tendrils spiral wildly, like curling ribbon on a package. A healthy plant will welcome spring with stalks of yellow-green flowers that give off a pleasant vanilla-like scent. But harvest the blossoms, or your plant will lose its signature curls. The leaves will also tell you whether your plant is over or underwatered. If they start turning yellow, slow down on the watering. If they droop and the tips turn brown, your plant is thirsty. Be sure to select a pot with good drainage.

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July
12

Ceiling Fans - Homeowners - Laffey Real Estate

When you're decorating your new home, it can seem like there are so many style choices and decorating rules to follow. One choice that everyone seems to have an opinion about is ceiling fans. Even though some people feel they're outdated, ceiling fans do serve an important function, and our real estate agents can affirm that plenty of buyers and homeowners appreciate having them. There are plenty of on-trend designs and updated finishes available so ceiling fans can look great in any style of home. 

Benefits of ceiling fans

If you don't have ceiling fans, here's why you might want to add them, even if you're selling soon. And if you already have them, you may want to update them rather than removing them completely. 

  • All-year temperature control. In warm weather, run the fan to circulate the air and create a breeze to cool down the room. In cold weather, when the heat is on, running the fan in reverse helps push the warmer air down, making the room temperature more comfortable and allowing the heating system to operate more efficiently. They're also a great addition in places like Long Island, where you'll get a few unseasonably warm days before you really want to switch on the air conditioner for the season. It's much easier just to switch on a fan for a few hours.

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May
24

Sun Mapping Before Planting - Laffey Real Estate

Our real estate agents can tell you that no matter how green-thumbed you are, the success of your garden still depends on a higher power. Before you design your garden, buy seeds, or get into the weeds with a new vegetable patch or flower bed, it's important to consult one of the top arbiters of horticultural success: the sun. Just like choosing plants for your climate zone, you also have to pick the right spot for your garden. This means determining how much sun exposure your garden will get, especially in areas where tall buildings and trees cast shifting patterns of shade. The method you'll use to choose the best area for your plants is called sun mapping.

Why Map Sun Exposure in Your Garden?

Solar energy is fuel for plants, but this doesn't mean that all plants require the same amount of sun exposure. Some plants need full sun, which means 6-8 hours of direct sunlight a day. Plants labeled as part sun and part shade require 3-6 of sunlight each day, while those labeled as shade need 3 hours or less of sunlight a day.  A sun map can give a clear picture of where and when the sun hits throughout the day. This can help you plan the landscape around your home and determine the best area for certain crops. Tracking sun exposure and shade patterns on clear days during different months of the growing season will give you a guideline for planting a healthy garden.

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March
8

Spring Cleaning Supply List - Homeowners - Laffey Real Estate

With spring right around the corner, now is the perfect time to prepare for spring cleaning. Spring is a fantastic time to tend to all those projects you've been meaning to do, and our real estate agents know a sparkling house is more appealing to potential buyers. 

Nothing is worse than settling in for a few hours of cleaning, only to discover you don't have everything you need for the job. Here are some items to add to your cleaning supply list to ensure you're prepared for any mess you encounter. 

  1. A Vacuum with an Extension Wand and Attachments
    A vacuum cleaner is a must-have for any cleaning job. Before you start wiping things down, use your vacuum cleaner to remove dirt, dust, and grime. Remember, when dirt gets wet, it makes mud, which can make it even more cumbersome to clean your home. Vacuum as much of it away to expedite your cleaning. If possible, select a vacuum cleaner with an extension wand and a few attachments. A round horsehair attachment is a versatile option that works well on multiple surfaces: upholstered furniture, baseboards, and hard floors. A roller-head attachment is a great addition if you have pets that shed a lot; it will help remove hair from your furniture, bedding, and rugs.

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February
1

Fill Your House With Music in 2021 - Laffey Real Estate

Music may not make the world go round, but it sure does round out your world. Whether you're working from home or resting after a long day at the office, setting your home up for sound is a great way to enjoy the day. Day in and day out, our real estate agents will tell you that an increasing number of homes in the area incorporate systems that make it easy to enjoy music while taking a bath, working in the kitchen, or relaxing on the patio. 

  • Create a Foundation You Can Build Upon
    Smart home systems create a solid foundation that you can use to create a connection between your favorite music in every room in the house. Google and Amazon are the leaders in smart home systems that allow you to connect every speaker in your home through one centralized system. You can install these devices in every room and set your system to operate these speakers individually or as part of a whole-home group.

    At the heart of your home, make sure that you install solid and reliable WiFi. The stronger the signal, the better. If you plan to connect other smart home devices to your system, make sure your system has enough bandwidth to support all of your devices; otherwise, you can end up with a less than desirable sound quality and reliability.

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January
25

Smart Home in 2021 - Laffey Real Estate

Want to upgrade your home in 2021? Whether you're thinking about buying, selling, or staying put, adding some smart home features is a great idea! Our real estate agents are always talking to potential buyers who are interested in homes with smart upgrades, making this an excellent investment. It's also easy to get started! Follow these simple tips and you'll have your upgrades done in no time. 

  1. Consider Your Unique Needs
    The right smart home upgrades for you will depend on your unique needs, lifestyle, and personal preferences. For example, if you work from home, a smart doorbell might be a great idea. This will allow you to see who's at the door so you can decide whether to open it or not. On the other hand, if you spend most of your days away from home, then devices like smart locks, a smart garage door opener, and a programmable thermostat might earn top spots on your wish list.

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December
29

Kitchen Lighting - Homeownership - Laffey Real Estate

Ask any of our real estate agents, and they'll tell you the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home. If you want to enhance your kitchen space, adding some under-cabinet lighting is one of the best ways to do it. This easy and relatively inexpensive project can completely transform your kitchen! Here are a few tips to help you get started.

  • Evaluate Your Space
    Before you begin your lighting project, you need to get a feel for how much space you have under your cabinets. You'll also want to consider the type of lighting you'll use and the location of your workspace. Make sure you think everything through and take careful measurements. Armed with this information, you can start planning out your project.

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December
14

Holiday Home Safety - Laffey Real Estate

Seems we hardly get a break these days, trying to stay a step ahead and maintain safety in our homes, on the job, or traveling around. While we can't control everything, we can take measures to ensure our homes are relatively safe during the frantic holiday season. So as you go about your holiday preparations, take some time to consolidate your safety procedures. Be sure to ask our real estate agents in the Long Island area for more advice on how to keep your home safe in the coming weeks.

  1. Traveling
    Going away for the holidays? Makes sure you ask a friend to check on your home every day, taking in the mail and receiving packages. You can also go an extra step to ensure home security by installing a camera at the front door so you can monitor what's happening in real-time. In addition, install timers so that lights come on and go off as if you were at home. Don't have lights blazing inside and outside all night long. That's a signal to burglars that no one's home.

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November
23

Home in Retirement - Laffey Real Estate

At Laffey Real Estate, our real estate agents have helped thousands of clients make the right real estate moves to support their retirement lifestyle. For many, that means downsizing to a smaller, more manageable home.

But if you already own your home, deciding what to do next is a little bit more complicated.

For decades, people have used their homes as a durable vessel to create financial value. About 75% of the average America's wealth is stored as equity value in the home. Selling a home may empower you with a substantial infusion of cash, but it is not the right move for everybody.

Current homeowners can generate income with their home or even access equity without selling. So, how do you know whether you should sell or stay? Keep these factors in mind as you plan your decision.

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August
31

Houseplants - Homeowners - Laffey Real Estate

Adding plants to a room is a fantastic way to add color and express the decor scheme. They make a room feel more welcoming and can be a relatively low-maintenance focal point for any room. Our real estate agents appreciate it when they see that each decor element in a home has been chosen with care. If your family includes pets, you'll want to make sure that the plants you choose will be as kind to them as you are. Some plants can pose a serious risk to animals, and you'll want to be cautious when shopping at your local nursery. 

  • Consider The Lilies 
    Calla lilies are striking and graceful in appearance but can be toxic to animals and humans. These are normally grown outdoors, but you may receive an arrangement, including lilies. If you grow them outside, keep them well away from pets and children. If you receive a bouquet or wreath, including lilies, keep it out of reach until it's time to dispose of it.

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August
24

Outdoor Kitchen Tips - Luxury Living - Laffey Real Estate

Pools, spas, and meticulously manicured lawns are lovely but few backyard amenities are as exceptional as an outdoor kitchen. An outdoor kitchen is a staple of luxury living. Whether it's poolside, atop a patio, or used to create the transitional indoor-outdoor space that so many homeowners desire, the outdoor kitchen is a fantastic feature. Unfortunately, it's also one of the easiest luxe renovations to botch.

When you're transforming your outdoor space with luxurious upgrades, it's important to make sure your investment is protected before, during, and after the project is completed. Our real estate agents have identified five of the most common mistakes homeowners make when installing an outdoor kitchen and how you can avoid them.

  1. Mistake: Not Planning the Project Professionally
    Solution: Hire A Consultant

    How do you turn the outdoor kitchen of your dreams into a reality? You're going to need some help. Even if you plan on completing most aspects of the project yourself, you should still consult a team of professionals before you begin. This project will involve the installation of ventilation, electrical, gas, and water lines, all of which aren't elements an amateur should attempt to handle alone. Bringing in a professional consultant to help you detail the logistics of your vision will help you avoid mistakes.

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July
27

AC Maintenance - Homeownership - Laffey Real Estate

As temperatures get hotter, the demands on your home's air conditioner are greater. To keep your air conditioning unit functioning well for as long as possible, it pays to have it regularly maintained and serviced as soon as possible when you notice any issues.

Our real estate agents suggest keeping an eye out for the following issues that indicate your air conditioner needs to be serviced:

  • Your air isn't cool enough
    When your air conditioner isn't blowing cool air or it isn't cool enough, that's a definite sign of a problem. It could be caused by several issues, such as a compressor that isn't cooling the air correctly, a shortage of freon, or a duct problem that pulls air from the outside or the attic rather than from the compressor.

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July
20

Grow an Herb Garden - Owning a Home - Laffey Real Estate

Tired of buying fresh herbs at the supermarket and after snipping a few leaves, you find them withered in the fridge, unusable? What if you had your very own herb garden, where you could pinch off just as much as you needed and no more, leaving the plant to grow on and keep producing? If you've thought about an herb garden but weren't sure how to get started, take heart. Many herbs are easy-peasy to grow. 

While you can grow herbs handily indoors in a sunny window or with a grow lamp, you can also create garden magic with herbs outdoors. Your herbs will be more profuse with plenty of sunlight and fresh air, so it's worth a try. What's more, if you take some care to ensure it's well designed and lovely to look at, your herb garden can be a selling point when you put your Long Island home on the market. Just ask our real estate agents about this and other tips for selling your home.

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May
18

Home WiFi Tips - Laffey Real Estate

Working from home has become the new normal for so many people in these uncertain times, and making the transition can be a big adjustment. You may not have had to worry much about your home WiFi network when it was used for browsing, streaming, or gaming, but working from home makes strong WiFi performance a necessity. Our real estate agents have had to adapt along with everyone else, with virtual open houses and videoconferencing becoming the norm in our industry. So let's take a look at some tips to get the most out of your home WiFi, to make the work from home transition as smooth as possible.

  • Is Your WiFi Network in Need of an Upgrade?
    There are a wide variety of tech tools available to improve your WiFi network, and while the cost is rarely prohibitive it can add up quickly. So it's worth considering whether your home network truly needs an upgrade, especially if you've purchased new WiFi equipment relatively recently. If you do need an upgrade, then it's important to decide whether you need to improve speed, coverage, reliability, or all of the above. Once you know exactly what you need to fix, it's easier to find the right tools for the job.

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May
11

Gardening Tips - Long Island - Laffey Real Estate

With the weather warming up, it's a great time to experiment with gardening. Not sure you have a green thumb? Don't worry, it's easier than you think! Even some of our real estate agents who have never gardened before are excited to start this new hobby. Here are some of the best tips to help you get started.

  1. Decide What You Want to Grow
    First, it's helpful to think about what you want to grow. Do you want a full vegetable garden with a variety of foods? Would you prefer to plant some pretty flowers? Or maybe a small herb garden is more your speed.

    Don't over-think it! There's no right or wrong answer to this question and, remember, you can always change your mind next year.

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March
30

Create Home Workspace - Laffey Real Estate

If you've suddenly found yourself among the many remote workers around the country, you can easily create brilliant work-friendly spaces from a spare corner, a few feet of wall, or even in your basement. To help you create a dedicated workspace that is welcoming, smart, and functional, our real estate agents recommend the following tips:

  1. Ensure Comfortable Seating
    Comfortable seating doesn't mean bringing in a sofa, beanbag chair, or other furniture that can make you dose off. Simply get a decent office chair that you can comfortably sit on for a few hours. An ergonomically designed chair with back support will help promote good posture and keep you comfortable and fully alert.

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November
1

Agents Take Their Role in Helping Senior Community Very Seriously

Oyster Bay, NY   – Marianne Conroy and Regina Ciardullo, North Shore Realtors with the Laffey Real Estate Brookville Office were recognized for their contributions at the 2019 Senior Expo Event held on October 11, 2019 at the Glen Cove YMCA. 

Both Realtors were part of a discussion panel of professionals offering their guidance and expertise on subjects like downsizing, living alternatives, healthy living, and financial planning.  The theme at their booth was Senior Concierge Moving in Today's Real Estate market. 

In the past ten years, the number of New Yorkers ages 65 and over increased by 26 percent, making up a larger share of the state's population than ever before.  There are now more residents aged 65 and older in New York State—3.2 million—than the entire population of 21 states. Today, nearly one in six New Yorkers is 65 and above (16 percent).   These statistics make a solid case for focusing on the needs of the 65+ community as they remain a significant part of the fabric of the North Shore with solid purchasing power and influence on household decisions in today's multi-generational households.

"We found that this expo gave us the opportunity to provide a solid frame of reference for community members to learn more about their own personal moving options," explained Regina Ciardullo.  "We were encouraged when many of the visitors we spoke to were eagerly engaged upon hearing the ways Regina and I are able to easily orchestrate the entire home selling process", offered Marianne Conroy.  "Most visitors wanted to know if we could provide assistance in how to handle minor repairs, prepping for sale, determining their home's market value and alternative living arrangements", added Ciardullo. With more than 200 people in attendance, the opportunity to meet and greet members of the North Shore community was most gratifying for both experienced real estate professionals.

Visitors were treated to good bags filled with coupon books for local deals.  Guest speakers included a who's who of notable public figures including Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Glen Cove May Timothy Tenke and Assemblyman Charles D. Lavine. 

October
28

Inheriting a House - Laffey Real Estate

Inheriting a house often happens quickly and by surprise. You realize it will happen eventually, but many people are still unprepared when it does. Our real estate agents have worked with many people in this situation, and while it may be emotionally difficult, successfully navigating these circumstances is possible.

First Steps

Contact the homeowner's insurance and utilities to make any changes needed to continue coverage and service. While you may not want to pay utility bills for a house that isn't occupied, turning them off isn't practical. If you or others will be spending time in the house cleaning out personal belongings or making repairs, you will need electricity and water. During heating season, gas will need to stay on to prevent possible damage from frozen pipes. You'll also need the utilities on for a house inspection. You can discontinue anything that isn't essential such as TV, internet and phone services.

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May
28

Long Island Moving Day

Whether you're moving across town or making a cross-country trek, preparing for a move can be overwhelming. One way to cut down on stress and make packing easier is to "clear the clutter" before you even begin the packing process.  Our real estate agents are here with a quick look at ten tips to lighten the load before you move.

  1. Start Early
    De-cluttering and packing take a lot of time. Start your clean out at least three months before moving day.

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March
11

Long Island Curb Appeal
When it's time to sell your Long Island home, you know you need to get it shaped up and ready to shine. Your first concern should be curb appeal, or how appealing your home is to a potential buyer driving by. Some experts even say good curb appeal can help you get 10% more in the final price.

You might think of asking a friend to give you an assessment of how your home looks. Make sure you get the honest friend; not the one who tells says you look great after that awful haircut.

Our REALTORS® offer these six tips of where to start to make your curb appeal pop:

  1. Mailbox
    Start at the curb and take a good look at your mailbox. Is it scuffed and dinghy, looking as though it is apathetic about holding the mail? Give it a good cleaning, or if it is too far gone, consider replacing it. At least re-paint the post and replace the house numbers with a style that matches your overall house.

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March
4

Long Island Home Staging
Staging your home properly when you're ready to list it on the Long Island real estate market can mean the difference between selling it quickly or having it languish for months. Our real estate agents compiled this checklist of ten tips to make your home shine and stand out from the crowd.

  1. Clean the Clutter
    Although your wedding photos may be a source of enjoyment for you, potential buyers want to envision themselves living there. You're moving anyway, so why not purge, right? Take all unnecessary knick-knacks, toys, photographs, and books and box them up or get rid of them. It's also a good idea to stow away countertop appliances like toasters, blenders and hair dryers.

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December
11

Long Island Home Open House
Your home reflects the love and attention you have poured into it over the years. Colors and furnishings that make you feel at home may not be as attractive to a prospective buyer. When you prepare for an open house, consider how it looks from a buyer's perspective. You can easily augment what you have or make minor adjustments to improve its marketability.

Our real estate agents have compiled a list of six straightforward steps to spruce up your Long Island home for an open house.

  1. Clear away the clutter
    This can be an excellent opportunity to begin purging in anticipation of a move. Pack up your personal trinkets, photos, and other items that you don't use on a daily basis. Clear off the countertops and coffee table. You want buyers to see the home, not the stuff. Store the boxes neatly in a closet or the garage.

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November
7

Long Island Holiday Home Safety
Many of us wait eagerly for the holidays and all of its festivities. From endless Christmas shopping to holiday parties or an extended vacation, you are on the go and having fun. Unfortunately, burglars have a better chance of robbing your house during the holiday season if it's left unoccupied. 

Our real estate agents have created this list of seven smart tips to outsmart the bad guys:

  1. Stay Off Social Media
    It may be tempting to post that you booked a two-week getaway to Maui for the holidays all over Facebook or Twitter, but remember you just posted that info for anyone to see. This also applies to posting pictures of your decorated house as it gives potential burglars clues of where you live.

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