Security Cameras – Are they safe?

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ring pic

When it first hit the market, the Ring doorbell system seemed like a great way to keep your home safe. Not only do the cameras on the doorbell let you see who’s at the door, they also let you check to see who has come to visit when you aren’t at home. You can even use the video recorded by Ring to see if a missing package got delivered or to try and figure out who put that pink flamingo in your yard.

In the past few years, however, there have been some concerns about the safety of these video doorbells. Some reports suggest that the doorbells can be hacked, and certain groups have raised privacy concerns centered around how the doorbells operate. If you’re wondering how legitimate these issues are and whether Ring is safe for you to use in your house, here are some things to consider.

How Ring Works

Ring doorbells are smart devices that provide you with a video camera unit by your front door. A motion detector on the unit alerts you that there is someone approaching the door, giving you the option to see them as well as hear what they say and even talk back to them. Unlike old-school doorbell intercoms, Ring connects to your home network and to the cloud so that you can access video and audio regardless of where you are or what you’re doing. Video clips are even shareable if you desire. Given its popularity, in recent years Ring has expanded to offer full-home security options and even smart lighting as well.

Ring Hacking Concerns

One of the big safety concerns that people have regarding Ring is that there have been cases reported where a hacker or other unwanted third party has gained access to the Ring units in someone’s home or to their cloud-based video vault. An exploit in the Ring software was also discovered wherein, in certain cases, details about your home network (including the access password) could be broadcast by the Ring unit in unencrypted plain text; if a hacker were able to get access to this broadcast, they would be able to log on to your network, and potentially access the computers and other devices that were also connected.

Ring and Privacy Issues

On top of the hacking concerns, the fact that Ring begins recording video in front of your house when motion is detected raised some concerns that it might violate people’s privacy. The fear was that even people who weren’t approaching your home could be captured on film if they were walking by when the camera was activated or if the motion sensor was able to detect movement beyond the boundaries of your property. For those who worry about surveillance or are afraid that videos of them might be shared without their knowledge or consent, this makes Ring-related privacy issues a very real concern.

Is Ring Safe?

The concerns that people have about Ring units being hacked or invading their privacy when out in public are legitimate, though for the most part they remain a very small problem. The issue with Ring broadcasting information in plain text was caught before it could be exploited and has been patched, and the company has instituted additional login security measures to help prevent unauthorized access to accounts. And while there is the potential for Ring cameras to pick up motion outside of a user’s property, its sensors have a fairly limited range and should only be able to detect motion relatively close to your front door.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t any concerns to using Ring, of course. Hacking concerns can be reduced by making sure that both your home network and any devices that connect to it are secured with strong passwords. You should also take care to position cameras and motion detectors so that they don’t face your neighbor’s house, and use caution when setting up devices like these if you have a very small yard. With a little care, however, these devices should be safe to use.

Keeping Your Home Secure

Home security is a serious concern, and it’s important that you can trust the devices you use to secure your home. If you’re in need of a more professional security solution, check out HomeKeepr. Sign up for a free account today and we can help you find the security pros that you need to select and install devices that are both safe to use, and trustworthy and reliable when you need them.

Great Lakes Home Team is here to help you with your real estate questions or needs. We have helped so many families sell their home or find their dream home. Do you want to know how much is your home worth is worth, Click here?
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KEEP YOUR HOUSE SMELLING GREAT (EVERY SINGLE DAY)

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Fresh Smell   Have you ever walked into someone else’s home and were overwhelmed by how incredible it smelled? Or maybe you couldn’t wait to leave because there was a not-so-great scent as soon as you entered? Often, we become so accustomed to the way our own home smells that we don’t notice if the scent is bad or good. It can be frustrating to wonder what others think about the scent of your home. If you feel like your house doesn’t always smell fresh, follow these steps to make sure that it smells amazing all the time

ELIMINATE BAD SMELLS

  • Empty garbage cans regularly
  • Clean out your refrigerator once a week
  • Sprinkle baking soda or carpet deodorizer before vacuuming
  • Open the windows when the weather is nice
  • Invest in an air purifier
  • If you have pets, brush and bathe them often
  • Get rid of old musty towels
  • Use a daily bathroom cleaner spray to prevent mildew smells
  • Pour a little drain cleaner in your sinks on a weekly basis to get rid of any unwanted scents

ADD NEW SCENTS

  • Add a few drops of essential oils on your air filters
  • Use linen spray daily
  • Burn candles
  • Use a wax melter
  • Use homemade potpourri in your crockpot
  • Place car vent clips in your air conditioner vents
  • Buy fresh plants for your home
  • Invest in good-smelling cleaning products with scents you love
  • Use an essential oil diffuser

Looking to buy, sell or invest in real estate? Let Great Lakes Home Team help you. Contact us at 440 299-5137 or greatlakeshometeam@gmail.com. Visit us at greatlakeshometeam.com to search for your dream home.

8 HOUSEHOLD USES FOR APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

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ACVYou’ve probably heard about all the benefits of apple cider vinegar in the beauty department – it can be used as a toner, a deodorant, and even a conditioning hair rinse. But did you know Apple Cider Vinegar can be used as a cleaning product? If you’ve been thinking of going non-toxic, replacing your current cleaners with apple cider vinegar is the affordable, easy way to do just that. Here are some of the household items you can replace and how to do so!

1. Fabric Softener

Apple Cider Vinegar is a great way to condition your laundry if you have sensitive skin. Just add 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar in place of your fabric softener and stop all the itching caused by harsh chemicals.

2. Household Cleaner

Apple cider vinegar has a great deal of antibacterial properties so it works extremely well as an every day household cleaner. Mix equal parts water and Apple Cider Vinegar in a spray bottle and you’re ready to clean! While the vinegar smell will fade, you can add a few drops of citrus essential oil to leave a great smell once it dries.

3. Drain Cleaner

Instead of buying drain cleaner filled with dangerous chemicals, use safe items you probably already have! Mix 1/2 cup of salt and 1/2 cup of baking soda and pour that down your clogged drain. Then, pour 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar. Let the products react for 1-2 hours and then rinse with warm water.

4. Window Cleaner

Using the same combination as the everyday household cleaner, mixing equal parts apple cider vinegar and water to create a smear-free window spray.

5. Stainless Steel Cleaner

Your typical stainless steel cleaner can get pricey. Instead, use apple cider vinegar straight out of the bottle to clean your stainless steel.

6. Sticker Remover

Sticker removal can be a giant pain. Soak the area where the sticker won’t budge with apple cider vinegar for about 20 minutes, and then scrape it off!

7. Weed Killer

We’ve all read the warning labels on weed killer found at local hardware stores, so it isn’t a surprise that we can be hesitant when it comes to using those products in the yard where our children or pets spend a great deal of time. Avoid those harsh chemicals and create an alternative, effective weed killer. Mix 1/2 gallon of Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/4 cup of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of dish soap in a large spray bottle. Be sure to spray on each set of weeds individually and avoid spraying any plants you want to keep.

8. Mildew Remover

If you’re trying to get rid of mildew in your bathroom, use apple cider vinegar! For heavy mildew, use Apple Cider Vinegar on its own. For lighter stains, use equal parts Apple Cider Vinegar and water. You can add essential oils to this mix as well for a scent booster.

Looking to buy or sell or invest in real estate? Let Great Lakes Home Team help you with all your real estate needs. 440 299-5137 or greatlakeshometeam@gmail.com. Visit us at greatlakeshometeam.com.

Durable Kitchen Floor Options

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durable floors

Kitchen floors get put through quite a lot! Between all of the dropped utensils, the spills and drips, and everything in between – your kitchen is often one of the most used rooms in a home. Your kitchen floors need to handle kitchen hazards and look good doing it. A large variety of floor materials won’t be an ideal fit for the kitchen because of this. Below, we are listing our favorite kitchen floors that will help keep them low maintenance while keeping a balance between style and functionality.

CERAMIC TILES

Ceramic tiles can be a great fit for the kitchen because they are resilient, hard, and impervious to stains and water. It also helps that they are resilient to heat and breakage, under normal conditions. They come in a variety of colors and even faux finishes to add a beautiful, yet smart, addition to your kitchen.

DURABLE CONCRETE

Concrete is a great option for ground level kitchens and is a long-lasting option for homeowners. Sometimes, concrete slabs may have already been placed beneath your existing flooring. The surface of concrete can be polished or stained to provide a stylish look for your kitchen.

NATURAL STONE

Natural stone is a hard rock which allows it to remain durable and long-lasting. The only drawback to stone is that it is porous, which makes it susceptible to water and liquid stains. This can be avoided with an annual application of chemical stone sealer, which simply provides an invisible coat of protection.

HARDWOOD

Hardwood can be tough to work within a kitchen because the material is porous and relatively soft. However, if you like the look of hardwood in a kitchen, you’ll just want to have it treated with a quality polyurethane-based finish. Keep in mind that it will, overtime, take on a more aged look. If you find character and personality in imperfections, then hardwood will work great for you.

BAMBOO

Bamboo has a similar look and feel to hardwood, and can be a great alternative. It is a harder and more durable material which helps it to be more resistant towards moisture and water damage. The only drawback? It’s tough to refinish because there is no direction to the natural grain.

LINOLEUM

Made popular about 50 years ago, linoleum seems to be making a comeback. Linoleum is made from all natural linseed oil, which makes it pretty environmentally friendly. These floors also pretty easy to clean and maintain. If it is properly cared for, it can generally have a lifespan for upwards of 40 or so years. However, if it is immersed in water, it is highly susceptible to damage. Be sure to avoid basement-quality linoleum in your kitchen or it may begin to curl when faced with humidity.

VINYL

Vinyl is a great and affordable kitchen flooring option. The lifespan of vinyl generally tends to run from 7 to 10 years before it starts showing significant signs of wear and fade. Vinyl is man-made and is nearly impervious to water issues, stains, and other damage. It is also very easy to clean!

Don’t want to replace your flooring? You can always give us a call and we’ll find you a house with the type of kitchen flooring that you love!

http://www.greatlakeshometeam.com

#homeremodeling  #kitchenflooring  #loveyourkitchen #greatlakeshometeam

Tips To Get Settled In A New Home

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Moving into a new home? We know how exciting it can be! We’ve compiled a list of a few things you can do after your move to make sure your experience is comfortable. The hardest part of a move is getting settled in, after that, let’s handle a few loose ends that sometimes get forgotten about till the last minute.

CHECK MAJOR APPLIANCES

Be sure to check all the appliances to ensure everything is still in working order after the move. You want to make sure nothing was broken in the move or stopped working suddenly. Look at things such as your stove, dishwasher, washer and dryer, refrigerator, and microwave. If you brought any appliances yourself and you used movers, you’ll want to make sure everything still works with them, since mover’s insurance companies give a limited timeframe for when you can make a claim.

CHECK ALL OF YOUR BOXES & FURNITURE

Be sure to go over all your boxes and furniture to make sure nothing got damaged during the move. Be sure that everyone has arrived and didn’t get lost in the process. If you notice something is missing a month later, it may be too late to file a claim with the moving company. Even if you don’t plan on unpacking everything as soon as you move in, just do a quick review and inventory everything you brought to protect yourself and your belongings.

SET UP UTILITIES

Did you remember to set up your utilities before moving in? There’s nothing more frustrating than moving into your home to realize the lights don’t work. Make sure you’ve gotten with all of the necessary utility companies to have everything turned on in time for your move.

REGISTER INTO A GOOD SCHOOL

You may have already known to look for a school for your kids prior to your move, but if you haven’t yet found one, be sure to research all the schools local to you to find the right fit for your family. The sooner you can find the right school and register, the easier and less stressful it will be to get them in and settle.

REGISTER YOUR CAR

If you’ve moved to a new state or country, you’ll want to make sure to register your car in your new hometown and update your driver’s license, tags, and plates.

CONNECT TO YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD

Join sites like Nextdoor.com or get a subscription to your local magazine/newspaper to stay in touch with what’s going on in your neighborhood. Be sure to also join local community Facebook groups. You can find out about events or concerns relating to your community.

GETTING YOUR MAIL

Have you updated your address from all the people you’ll be expecting to get mail from? Like your bank, friends, family, and services you still pay for after your move. Check with the post office to have things redirected to your new address while you work to update your info with everyone else.

FIND THE RIGHT PROFESSIONALS

If you’re moving far from your last home, you’ll want to have the right connections. Find a new doctor, dentist, vet, handyman, plumber, etc. Add them into a contact book that’s easily accessible.

EMERGENCY CONTACT LIST

Make sure you have all the correct numbers in the case of an emergency. This can also include doctors, the local police station, a vet, etc.

INSURANCE COMPANIES

More than likely, you handled home insurance and home warranty during the purchasing process. If you haven’t, be sure to get those taken care of right away. You’ll also want to get your auto, health, and any other necessary household insurances sorted for your move.

Great Lakes Home Team is here to help you with or someone you know to buy, sell or invest in real estate. We are only a phone call away…440 299-5137.

greatlakeshometeam.com for a list of homes for sale.

Cleaning 101 Before Listing

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cleaning wp picture

Before you put your home up for sale, you’ll want to ensure it’s clean for all of the buyers that will come through. A dirty house isn’t appealing. You want your home in tip-top shape. Cleaning your home doesn’t have to be overwhelming, below we’ve listed the top things to remember to clean for each room. It can be sometimes inconvenient to keep your home tidy at all time; however it will all be worth it when it sells! That is your end goal to keep in mind.

FOYER:

+ Clean the door and hardware.
+ Wipe off all fingerprints on windows/furniture.
+ Clean off scuff marks on floors and door.
+ Replace all light bulbs and ensure light fixtures are working.
+ Tidy/clean up the coat closet. People WILL look in there to see the size.

KITCHEN: 

+ Wipe down all cabinets.
+ Clean all appliances, inside and out.
+ Clean stove hood, on top and bottom.
+ Clean behind the refrigerator, on top and bottom too.
+ Ensure the microwave is clean of food splatter.
+ Clean the space behind the sink.
+ Wipe down blinds/shades.
+ Wash any kitchen rugs, clean the floors and baseboards.
+ Store all of your pet food/food out of sight.

BATHROOM: 

+ Clean behind toilet and under sink.
+ Only display absolute necessities, declutter.
+ Organize and clean under the vanity.
+ Scrub floors and clean grout lines.
+ Keep dirty clothes and towels off the floor.
+ Be sure to lock away any medication.
+ Clean the fan and make sure it’s functioning.
+ Replace any dead lightbulbs.

BEDROOM:

+ Wash sheets, comforters, and blankets.
+ Clean the curtains and rugs.
+ Dust furniture.
+ Remove any obvious stains from fabrics.
+ Keep closets clean and organized.
+ Store away dirty clothes and personal photos.
+ Clean marks on walls.

These are just the basics you don’t want to forget about. If it’s within your budget, we highly recommend hiring a professional cleaner to ensure your home is in its best condition. Have more questions…Great Lakes Home Team is here to help. Call us today to discuss your needs. http://www.greatlakeshometeam.com

 

 

Get Sweet This Holiday Season

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Do you get to have the pleasure of hosting the holiday meals this year? (Or are you “stuck” with it?”)brownies Fortunately, you can throw a few ingredients together and become the Pinterest-Queen (or king) of the party. Check out these adorable treats that will be a perfect dessert for your next Christmas party. You can snag the recipe here: https://goo.gl/93bPKA

 

Know someone looking to buy or sell? I would love to help them through the process.  440 221-6383…jodyfinucan@gmail.com

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Cut Your Own Christmas Tree at these Northeast Ohio Farms

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Cutting Christmas Tree   Are you looking to cut your own tree this holiday season? Listed below in alphabetic order by city are many located in Northeastern Ohio.  Have Fun!
NORTH CORNER FARM
13800 Butternut Road, Burton Township
440-785-3692
northcornerfarm.com
Open 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

SOBUSTA FARMS
11380 Thwing Road, Chardon Township
440-357-8568 or 440-256-1768
soubustafarms.com
Open Nov. 24 through the weekend before Christmas on Fridays from 1 p.m. until dark and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to dark.

SUGAR PINES FARM
9500 Mulberry Road, Chester Township
440-729-1019
sugarpinesfarm.com
Open beginning Nov. 24 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (and the day after Thanksgiving); noon to 5:30 Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and noon to 8 p.m. on Thursdays.

KATHY’S CHRISTMAS TREES
6861 Williams Road, Concord Township
440-352-8779
Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays

MOUNTAIN CREEK TREE FARM
7185 Williams Road, Concord Township
440-354-8928
mountaincreektrees.com
Open Nov. 18 through Dec. 24. Open Saturdays and Sundays and the Friday after Thanksgiving from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesdays through Fridays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays.

DIVENCENZO FAMILY TREE FARM
16101 Island Road, Grafton
440-926-3873
divichristmastree.com
Open on Saturdays and Sundays until Dec. 17, check the website for hours.

RHODES SISTER
12020 Clay St., Huntsburg Township
440-636-5498
Open starting Nov. 24 seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

SARNA’S TREE FARM
1137 E. Jefferson St., Jefferson
440-576-3450
Sarnastreefarm.com
Open beginning Nov. 24 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays through Monday. Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays or by appointment.

BENDER TREE CHRISTMAS TREE FARM
3381 Sheffield Road, Jefferson
440-944-5240
bendertree.com
Open Nov. 24 through Dec. 23 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

WILCOX TREE FARMS
17620 Diagonal Road, LaGrange
440-355-4027
wilcoxtreefarm.com
Open Nov. 24 through Christmas every day 10 a.m. until dusk.

EMERALD RIDGE CHRISTMAS TREES AND WREATHS
7000 Warner Road (Route 307), Madison Township
440-428-6132
ohiochristmastree.org/emerald-ridge
Open beginning Nov. 24 Fridays 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays

WINTERGREEN TREE FARM
3898 Winchell Road, Mantua Township
330-221-3835
wintergreentreefarmohio.com
Open Nov. 24 through Dec. 19 seven days a week from 9 a.m. to nightfall.

PINEY PARADISE TREE FARM
1647 Snyder Road, Monroeville
419-668-9334
piney-paradise.com/index.html
Open Nov. 25 through Dec. 17 Saturdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
677 S. Norwalk Road West, Norwalk
419-668-9334
Open starting Nov. 24 weekdays only from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

MANNERS CHRISTMAS TREE FARM
780 Dodgeville Road, New Lyme Township
440-294-2444
Open seven days a week Nov. 24 through Dec. 23. Weekdays 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

KENNEDY LANDSCAPING & TREE FARM
320 Bowhall Road, Painesville Township
440-352-6769
kennedyco.com
Open starting Nov. 25 seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

GRAND RIVER VALLEY CHRISTMAS TREE FARM AND GIFT SHOPPE
3553 Laskey Road, Rome Township
440-563-1811
christmastreesohio.com
Open Nov. 24 through Dec. 23 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

MCKOSKY TREE FARM
14740 Leroy Center Road, Thompson Township
440-298-1412
Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Nov. 24

SPENCER’S TREE FARM
2611 Chenango Road, Wakeman
440-839-3018
Open starting Nov. 24 on Fridays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

TREASTER’S TREE FARM
13184 Gore Orphanage Road, Wakeman
440-965-7411
Open starting Nov. 17 from 10 a.m. until dark Fridays through Sundays.

KURTZ CHRISTMAS TREES
22350 Quarry Road, Wellington
440-647-3507
kurtzchristmastrees.com
Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week, starting Thanksgiving Day.

LOG BARN FARM
8711 Stanhope Kelloggsville Road, Williamsfield Township
440-293-7330
logbarnfarm.com
Open daily Nov. 24 through Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

GREIG CHRISTMAS TREE FARM
35900 Eddy Road, Willoughby Hills
440-487-7158
Open starting Nov. 25 on weekends 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekdays 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Storage Ideas For Small Bathrooms

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bathroom small spaces

Is your bathroom small? It’s the worst, isn’t it? Well, unfortunately, small bathrooms are very common, and are usually the smallest rooms in the house. I can almost bet that it almost always feels cramped and tight in there. Although the square footage doesn’t change, a change of organization and storage space can make a drastic change to how your bathroom feels. Here are a few tips and tricks to make your bathroom space feel more functional and spacious.

  •  Medicine Cabinet
    If you have a regular mirror, replacing it with one that includes a medicine cabinet and provide further storage space.

  • Shelving
    If you have free space above your toilet, vanity, or other another empty part of the wall, install shelving units. Purchase a few decorative baskets to maximize shelf space.

  • Hooks
    With a few decorative hooks, in a style of your preference, you can declutter by placing a couple on the back of the door to hang towels or robes. Perhaps one or two right next to each end of the shelving unit you just installed.

  • Towel Racks 
    A rack installed inside of you shower can save you space and convenience, also adding an additional shower bar above the original will work nicely. Another idea is installing a few racks a couple of feet above each other or right next on another. If you have an excessive amount of towels, store some of them away in the bedroom closet.

  • Vanity with Cabinet
    I have come across plenty of pedestal sinks in small bathrooms, but if you want save some space, add some storage, and upgrade the look of your bathroom at the same time, a vanity cabinet will definitely do the trick.

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