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Time to Fall Back

by Linnea Lavell

Daylight Savings Time ends on November 5 at 2 a.m. so don't forget to turn your clocks back before you go to bed.  It is also a good time to check your batteries in your smoke detectors.

Spring in Texas Means Storm Season

by Linnea Lavell

Springtime in Texas not only means beautiful sunny days and warm temperatures but it can also mean severe weather. We can get straight line winds, thunderstorms, hail, tornadoes, heavy rain, flash floods and parts of Texas can get hurricanes.  It is always a good idea to have a plan in place and be prepared for severe weather.  

Here are some things to keep in mind to so you are prepared for storm season in Texas.

  1. Have a battery operated storm radio or download an app that will alert you if storms are heading your way. Also make sure you have additional batteries. 
  2. Know where to go in your home if the weather turns bad.  You want to be on the lowest level of the structure with as many walls between you and the outside walls of the home. An interior closet or bathroom on the first floor with no windows is a good choice. A storm shelter is the best choice should your home have one.
  3. Make a plan with your family on where to meet or how to reach each other should you not all be in the same location when a storm hits.
  4. Have an emergency preparedness kit available.  This should include a first aid kit, a flashlight with fresh batteries, a battery powered radio, any medications you must take, bottled water, etc.
  5. Make sure to protector your head.  Cushions or pillows can provide protection for your head.
  6. Make sure you have the proper footwear on during a storm.  If you are home and are barefoot, you will want to put on shoes in case there is broken glass or debris you need to walk over.
  7. Make sure pets are secured and you have food/water for them as well. Your pets will be scared so put their leashes on them and keep them calm during a storm by talking to them.
  8. Stay away from windows and stay inside during a storm. It is very tempting to see what is going on outside but if debris is flying through the air, you don't want to take the risk of being hit by debris or broken glass.
  9. If you are in a vehicle, pull over to a safe location and find shelter.
  10. Watch for downed power lines that could still have an electrical current running through them. Do not touch any downed lines. 

If you do experience damage to your home make sure you contact a reputable repair company to do the work on your home.  Many cities are having contractors register with them.  The town of Little Elm is offering this to residence who have been impacted by storms this past week. To view the information, click here.

Finally remember, things can be replaced but lives cannot.  Stay safe this storm season and keep an eye on the sky.

Natural Spring Cleaning Ideas

by Linnea Lavell

It's the first day of Spring and while not everyone is enjoying blue skies with record breaking temperatures, we in North Texas are enjoying a beautiful day!  

Many people are wanting to do a little spring cleaning around the home and opening the windows to get some fresh air. While you are doing your spring cleaning, it is also a good time to de-clutter your home so go through your closets and see if there are any items that can be donated to a shelter or charity to help those in need.  

You may also want to consider some natural cleansing alternatives that will get things sparkling clean but are less harmful to your family, pets and the environment.  A few of my favorites involve lemons, baking soda, vinegar, salt, cream of tartar, rubbing alcohol and tea tree oil. Here are some simple ways to use these items to get your home sparkling clean.

  • Lemon Scouring Paste- the natural acid in lemons juice removes rust and dirt. It makes an excellent scouring paste when combined with salt.
  • Grout Stains - cream of tartar is a natural bleaching agent. Combine with 1 to 2 teaspoons to lemon juice to make a paste, then apply with a toothbrush to the grout and rinse with clear water.  Your grout will look brand new.
  • Cleaning countertops is as easy as cutting a lemon in half and dip the cut side in baking soda. After scouring the counters, wipe with a clean sponge.  This is not recommended for delicate stone like marble or stainless steel (it may discolor).
  • All purpose cleaner can be made with 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1 1/2 cups of water and 10 drops of tea tree oil.
  • Glass cleaner (streak free) - 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, 2 cups water and 1 tablespoon of corn starch.
  • Scouring cleanser - 1/4 cup baking soda, 1 tablespoon dish soap, enough white vinegar to make a paste.
  • Wood cutting board cleaner - wipe with full strength white vinegar or cut a lemon and rub over board to sanitize it.
  • Freshen the garbage disposal by taking the lemons you used for your cleaning, drop them in the disposal and turn it on.  Lemony fresh and sanitized.

If you have questions or would like additional ideas, please contact me

 

 

 

Spring Forward

by Linnea Lavell

It's that time of year again to set our clocks forward 1 hour.  The official beginning of Daylight Savings time for 2017 is 2 a.m. on March 12.  Before you go to bed Saturday night, don't forget to set your clocks forward 1 hour.

It is also a good time to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors.  

Spring is just around the corner.  Enjoy yourselves!

 

 

Buyer Representation When Purcahsing a Home

by Linnea Lavell

Buying a home is one of the largest financial decisions you will ever make so doesn't it make sense to have an experienced representative to work with you during the transaction?   

Not all real estate agents are created equal so here is a further explanation of types of buyer representation.

A Buyer's Representative (or simply Buyer's Rep) is a licensed real estate agent that represents a prospective home buyer during their transaction.   You can expect a Buyer Rep to assist you with how much you house you can afford to buy, understand your wants/needs, locate appropriate properties, view the homes with you, provide information on homes, advise you in formulating an offer, help with a negotiation strategy and keep track of the details throughout the transaction.  A Buyer Rep should make the home buying experience go as smoothly and successfully as possible.

An Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR) is a buyer's agent who has taken advanced training and  who has proven experience in servicing the special needs of the buyer client.  In addition to knowing the dynamics of the local market, an ABR designated buyer's rep can help you make informed decisions throughout the entire home buying process.  

A Buyer Rep and an ABR can also assist you with new construction.  It is important to remember that the builder representatives are just that - representatives of the builder.  When making such a large financial decision, it is important to have someone that represents you the buyer and can help you throughout the home buying process.

Many buyer's are concerned about the commission for a buyer's rep.  In the vast majority of cases, the seller's contract outlines the commission for the buyer's rep.  

If you are considering purchasing a home in the North Texas area and need an ABR, I would be happy to assist you.  To schedule an appointment visit my website.

 

 

 

 

Season's Greetings from Our Family to Yours

by Linnea Lavell

Wishing you all a very Happy Holiday Season and a prosperous New Year!  

 

 

 

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Thanksgiving: A time for Celebration and to Give Thanks

by Linnea Lavell

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, many people are planning meals or preparing to travel to visit loved ones. Some of you are excited about the holiday and some are stressed out about it.  

I wanted to share a little history on the upcoming holiday and to give you a few ideas that may alleviate some of the stress you may be feeling. 

Thanksgiving originated as a time to celebrate the harvest with family and friends through a festival.  A time to be thankful for the harvest and bounty of the year.  Thanksgiving Day is public holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November and has been nationally celebrated on and off since 1789 after a proclamation by George Washington.

Through the years as times changed so has the celebration.  The basic premise has remained a time for celebration with family/friends and a time to be thankful but now we also enjoy football games, turkey dinner, movies, family traditions and many people even get ready for Black Friday shopping. Whatever you elect to do on Thanksgiving, take time to reflect on the people and what you are thankful for in your life.

If your plans include preparing a meal for your family and friends, it can be stressful. Especially if you are not used to cooking for a large number of people.  To help ease the stress, plan the meal in advance and if items can be prepared early prepare them.  Don't be afraid to ask for help.  If you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner, assign side dishes or desserts to those attending the celebration.  This allows your guests to be part of preparing the feast and exposes your guests to dishes they may not have had an opportunity to try prepared in a different way than they are used to having them.  Having side dishes prepared by your guests also will free you up to enjoy time to visit with everyone.  If guests are traveling from out of town that cannot prepare a dish, ask them to help in different way.  Maybe have them bring wine, rolls, a salad or ask them to help set the table or help in the kitchen.  

Traveling a long distance in a car with children is never easy as they can get bored easily.  Make sure they have things to keep them entertained while they are in the car.  Technology is great to keep kids busy but research some games that the entire family can participate in while traveling or better yet make one up as you are traveling.  Discuss towns you are traveling through and what each town’s “claim to fame” is or something the town is known for producing.  This a good way to turn a boring road trip into a learning experience without the kids even realizing it.  It may take a little planning on your part but it will be worth it.  You can also have a conversation about what you are thankful for and why.  Be creative and make the trip a fun for everyone.

Whatever your plans are for Thanksgiving.  Take time to reflect on what you are thankful for in your life, celebrate what you have and enjoy those who are with you.  Don’t forget, if you have a friend or neighbor that may not be attending a celebration of their own, ask them to join you.  Not everyone is fortunate enough to have loved ones near them so include those people in your celebration of thanks.

As for me, I am thankful for my friends, family, teachers, employees and clients that have taught me life lessons and helped me with my successes or encouraged me during difficult times.  I am blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life.

Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Health Benefits and Uses for Pumpkin

by Linnea Lavell

As Halloween and Thanksgiving approach many of us are using pumpkins for decorations or in making pies but do you know the nutritional facts on this beautiful orange plant?

According to the USDA Nutrient Database, one cup of pumpkin (cooked, boiled, drained and without salt) contains:

  • 49 calories
  • 1.76 grams of protein
  • 0.17 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of cholesterol
  • 12 grams of carbohydrates (including 2.7 grams of fiber and 5.1 grams of sugar)

Consuming one cup of canned pumpkin would provide well over 100% of your daily needs for vitamin A, 20% of the daily value of vitamin C, 10% or more vitamin E, riboflavin, potassium, copper, manganese and at least 5% for thiamin, B-6, folate, pantothentic acid, niacin, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. 

Preparing and using fresh pumpkin provides the most nutritional value but canned pumpkin is a good choice too.  Just make sure if you use canned pumpkin that it does not contain any added sugars, syrups or salt.

There are many ways to incorporate pumpkin into your diet. Look for sweet pumpkins or pie pumpkins for cooking which are smaller and sweeter.  Make your own pumpkin puree instead of canned pumpkin. Here are a few ideas on adding pumpkin to your diet.

 

  1. Use pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin when baking in place of oil or butter.
  2. Make a quick pumpkin chocolate yogurt by combining Greek yogurt, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, honey and cocoa powder.
  3. Add pumpkin butter to toast, cookies, crackers, oatmeal or anything else.
  4. Pumpkin dip for apples, veggies, pretzels.
  5. Use pumpkin puree in your morning smoothie.
  6. Pumpkin spice latte.

Pumpkin can also help our pets. It can calm an upset stomach, keep that pudgy pooch feeling full so they don't eat as much and hopefully loose a couple of pounds, helps promote support for their immune system, keeps skin and fur healthy and helps to prevent cancer. 

This fall try something new and add some pumpkin to your diet, it's easy to do and you may realize some great health benefits. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8

Contact Information

Photo of Linnea Lavell Real Estate
Linnea Lavell
Lavell Realty, LLC
P.O. Box 1243
Little Elm TX 75068
214-280-5900
214-810-5906
Fax: 877-488-1740