Claire LeBlanc - REALTY EXECUTIVES



Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 12/30/2015

Are you looking for inexpensive ways to add value to your home without breaking the bank? Whether you're getting ready to sell your home or just making some home improvements for your own enjoyment, it isn't that difficult. There is an old saying that kitchens and baths sell homes so these tips focus on those two rooms. Here are some good strategies to help you started: The kitchen For just a few hundred dollars: -Replace the kitchen faucet -Add new cabinet door handles -Update old lighting fixtures   With a slightly larger budget: -Give the cabinets a makeover by refacing them -Get a facelift for your appliances buy ordering new doors or face panels for them   The bath -Replace the toilet seat -Add a new pedestal sink -Replace the old bathroom floor with easy-to-apply vinyl tiles -Re-grout the tile and replace any chipped tiles in the tub and shower -If a new grout job won't do, try a complete cover-up with a prefabricated tub and shower unit Remember the actual cost of the renovation, and the value it adds to your home, depends on many factors including the real estate market value in your area.





Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 12/23/2015

They get grimy, dirty, smelly and can be some of the dirtiest things in your home. What are they? Your kitchen appliances! But with some everyday household items and a little bit of elbow grease, your kitchen appliances can look and smell like new for many years to come.   To clean your dishwasher: Regularly clean the seams and liner of your dishwasher this will help reduce bacteria buildup and improve its effectiveness. Scour the inside of your dishwasher with a pad dipped in baking soda to remove residue and stains from the interior surface and crevices of your dishwasher. Run a regular cycle of wash with lemonade. The ascorbic acid will help remove any remaining buildup, and leave your dishwasher smelling clean and fresh. To clean your oven/range: Loosen baked-on food inside your oven using a plastic spatula. Use the juice from two squeezed lemons to clean your oven. Place the juice into an oven safe dish, throw in the lemon remains and bake 30 minutes at 250 degrees. Now you have a clean and fresh smelling oven. To clean your refrigerator: Clean your refrigerator monthly. Remove all of the food from your refrigerator and discarding items that are aged or expired. Create a paste from ½ cup of baking soda with 1 tbsp of vinegar. Apply the paste to a soft scouring pad, and scrub. Wipe away any residue with a damp sponge, Vacuum the undercarriage of your fridge. Wipe down the outside with warm water and vinegar. Keep baking soda at the back of fridge to help keep it smelling fresh. There is no need for fancy cleaning products the things you have around the house will do just fine.  Do you have any other tips for keeping your kitchen spic and span?





Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 12/16/2015

Everywhere you turn people are saying "go green". More and more people are looking for alternatives to heat and power their homes. One alternative is solar energy. There are both benefits and pitfalls to solar energy. The Benefits •Solar power is predictable. It is easy to predict how much electricity your system will produce because the amount of sunlight that hits your roof doesn't vary that much. This means it is also easy to predict how much you will save in electric bills. •Solar power will lower your electric bill. Solar power will offset the usage of conventional electricity especially in places where the price for grid power is high — like California, Hawaii and much of the northeast. •Solar power is safe and clean. Solar energy systems produce emissions-free electricity. •Installing solar panels may also help you qualify for a tax credit. For more information on energy tax credits click here. The Pitfalls •Solar power can be predictable but it is also variable. In other words, it can be predicted on a long term basis but not on a daily or even weekly basis. For example, solar panels won’t produce electricity at night. •Solar power can be a more expensive alternative in the short term. The price of solar panels continue to fall but there are many aggressive financing options. If your state has no tax incentives and electricity prices are relatively low solar would be an expensive option for you. •Some homes just don't work. The roof must be in good condition with an unobstructed southern exposure. If the house is surrounded by trees and tall buildings solar panels will probably not work. A ground-mounted system is an option only if you have sufficient space in your yard.





Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 12/9/2015

For most of us cleaning is no fun. There are some hidden secrets that can make cleaning just a little bit easier. Here are some little known cleaning tips: -Remove grease and dirt build up from kitchen cabinets. Say to clean cabinets, 1st heat slightly damp sponge or cloth in microwave for 20 - 30 seconds until it's hot. Put on a pair of rubber gloves, spray cabinets with an all-purpose cleaner containing orange oil, then wipe off cleaner with a hot sponge. -Soak old paintbrushes in hot vinegar for 30 minutes and good as new. -Clean that oily, sticky residue off of appliances with a little Cream of Tarter mixed with a few drops of water, add some scrubbing! -Get a clean microwave by filling a microwaveable bowl with 1-2 cups of water and add a dash of vinegar (about a tablespoon or two). Put the bowl in the microwave, shut the door, and turn it on for 5 minutes. -Chalk will remove grease stains from clothes. Simply rub the stain with chalk, then toss in the wash as normal.





Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 12/2/2015

Not only do plants make a beautiful addition to your homes décor but they are also beneficial in oxidizing and refreshing the air you breathe. Oxygen producing plants can be used to both produce oxygen as well as remove harmful chemicals in the air. Not only do plants clean the air we breathe but they also have been proven to reduce our heart rate and blood pressure and reduce muscle tension related to stress. There are so many different plants that you can bring into your home to help clean the air. Here is a list of just a few. A popular clean air plant that removes toxins like benzene, trichloroethylene, exylene and toluene from the air is Warneck Dracena. Another good air cleaning plant that is easy to take care of is the Peace Lilly. The Money Plant releases oxygen in the air while removing formaldehyde, this is commonly released by cigarette smoke and adhesives with wood furnishings. The Snake plant also known as Mother-in-Laws Tongue converts CO2 (carbon dioxide) to O2 (oxygen) at night making it an ideal bedroom plant. Other plants to try are Philodendron, English Ivy, or a Spider Plant. While the plants are busy purifying the air in your home, they also provide a therapeutic effect with their color green. The color green has a soothing green effect and helps people to feel at ease. Here is a quote from plantforlife.info “It may sound surprising but as little as 2 or 3 minutes in the company of plants and trees or natural environments can be enough to provide measurable stress relief!" What a small investment for something that can bring so much beauty and health to your home.







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