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.

10 Tips to Turn Your Neighborhood Into a Hometown Haven

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If you’re considering a move, you may be worried about replacing the comfort and support of family and friends you’ll leave behind. Or maybe you’ve completed a move and would like to meet more of your neighbors. We’ll explore 10 ways you can utilize technology to foster in-person connections with your neighbors, make friends and get engaged in your local community.

  1. Join Your Neighborhood’s Social Network
    A growing number of neighborhoods are utilizing private
    social networks like U.S.-based Nextdoor and Canadianbased
    GoNeighbour. These platforms are a great way to
    share neighborhood news, but don’t just use them to
    connect virtually. Extend an invitation to your neighbors to
    attend a block party or a park playdate for families.
  2. Lend A Hand
    Volunteering your time and talents is a great way to meet
    people who share a similar mission. Search for volunteer
    opportunities you’re passionate about at VolunteerMatch.
  3. Attend A Place Of Worship
    Joining a local place of worship is a good way to meet
    people who share your beliefs and values. There are a
    variety of on-line resources available to help you find a
    match in your area.
  4. Find An Interest Group
    Whatever your favorite hobby or pastime, you’re guaranteed
    to meet people who share your interests when you join an
    interest group! The website Meetup.com has over 32 million
    members in 288,000 groups in 182 countries. You can
    search for a group that appeals to you … from book clubs to
    running groups to professional networking, they have it all.
  5. Take A Class
    Develop a skill while meeting people who share your
    interests and passion for learning. Most community
    colleges offer inexpensive classes on a variety of topics. To
    search for one in your area, visit the American Association
    of Community Colleges website or Schools In Canada.com.
  6. Attend An Event
    Search for a live event in your area at Eventbrite –
    eventbrite.com. Be strategic about the type of event you
    choose to attend. For example, it may be harder to meet
    people at a large festival or concert. A retreat or a
    networking event could offer more opportunities for
    one-on-one interaction.
  7. Share Your Stuff
    “Sharing communities” facilitate the free exchange of goods
    among neighbors to reduce consumption and keep usable
    items out of landfills. Nonprofit groups like The Freecycle
    Network – freecycle.org and Little Free Library –
    littlefreelibrary.org are made up of people who are
    giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and
    neighborhoods.
  8. Support A Community Garden
    Not only do community gardens beautify a neighborhood,
    they also foster community, conserve resources and
    reduce family food budgets. Visit the American Community
    Gardening Association website to search for a community
    garden in your neighborhood.
  9. Carpool With A Coworker
    Carpooling presents an opportunity to form a bond with coworkers
    and/or neighbors during your daily commute. A new
    wave of carpooling websites and apps aim to revolutionize the
    way we commute by making it easier and more convenient
    to carpool. Kangaride Local – local.kangaride.com, Scoop –
    takescoop.com and Waze Carpool – waze.com/carpool are
    just a few examples. Check to see if any of these are available
    in your local area.
  10. Participate In World Neighbors Day
    The organizers behind World Neighbors Day promote it
    as “an invitation to share a moment with your neighbors,
    to get to know each other better and develop a real sense
    of community.” Participants are encouraged to organize
    gatherings with their neighbors to build relationships that
    “form the fabric of our communities.” Whatever you do, be
    sure to make your gathering inclusive and welcoming to all.

Be A Good Neighbor As with anything in life, you will get out what you put in. It can take time to build lasting and meaningful friendships with your neighbors, but the effort you make is likely to pay off tenfold. The tried-and-true way to make friends, grow your support system and get engaged in your community? Be a good neighbor yourself.

Are You Considering A Move? I am a local market experts and can help
you find the ideal neighborhood for your hometown haven. Please contact me for
a free consultation!  Search for Homes for Sale  

Key Professionals in a Real Estate Transaction

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When you are buying or selling a home there are a number of individuals you will come in contact with.  Here are some of them:

  1. REALTOR® – A REALTOR® is a licensed real estate agent and a member of the National Association of REALTORS®.  They also belong to their state and local Associations of REALTORS®.
  2. Listing Agent – A listing agent or broker forms a legal relationship with the homeowner to sell the property.  The listing agent’s responsibility and fiduciary duties are to the seller.
  3. Buyer’s Agent – A buyer’s agent or broker works with the buyer to locate a suitable property and negotiate a successful home purchase.  The buyer’s agent’s responsibility and fiduciary duties are to the buyer.
  4. Home Inspector – A home inspector can be hired by the seller before they put their home on the market or by the buyer when an offer has been accepted.  The inspector provides a comprehensive analysis of a home’s major systems and components.
  5. Loan Officer – A loan officer is a representative of a bank or financial institution.  They help customers identify their borrowing options and help them understand the terms of the loan.  A seller should also meet with a lender before putting their home on the market so they know the “big picture” of their financial situation.
  6. Appraiser – An appraiser works on behalf of the lender and provides a market analysis of the subject property. An appraiser’s finding is subjective and combined with market data of sold properties within the surrounding neighborhood.
  7. Insurance Agent – An insurance agent helps a home buyer determine the coverage needed and finds the right insurance policy for the home.
  8. Real Estate Attorney – In some states, real estate closings can only be conducted by an attorney.  They can give advice on all legal aspects of a real estate transaction. Such as drafting and reviewing contracts, help with how to take title and assist with the closing process.
  9. Escrow/Closing Officer – An escrow or closing officer is a non-biased third party who works with all participants to facilitate a successful closing of a real estate transaction. At the closing, the closing officer will collect the purchase money funds from the buyer and settlement costs from each party.  The will prepare and record all necessary documents to transfer ownership of the property.
  10. Title Company – The title company will search the title and provide title insurance policies to produce clear property titles and enable the efficient transfer of real estate.

Get my free ebook…7 Home Seller Tips before You Sell.  Do you live in Northeastern Ohio/Cleveland area and want to know what your home is worth?  Find out Today.  Looking to find a home in the Greater Cleveland area, get the most up-to-date listing…Search Like an Agent.  Get my free-ebook…10 Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Home.  Was your home listed and it expired?  Get your free expired report on what went wrong and how to fix it!

I am here to help! Guiding You Every Step of the Way!

Just listed: 31601 Douglas Dr, Willowick, OH 44095 for $114,900 via @realbird

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Willowick Ranch with great curb appeal for sale. Partially finished rec room with glass block windows. 2 Car garage and nice patio area. Wonderful home.

Source: Just listed: 31601 Douglas Dr, Willowick, OH 44095 for $114,900 via @realbird

 

Get my free e-book 7 Home Seller Tips before You Sell.  Looking to find a home in the Greater Cleveland area, get the most up-to-date listing…Search Like an Agent.  Do you live in Northeastern Ohio/Cleveland area and want to know what your home is worth?  Find out Today.  Was your home listed and it expired?  Get your free report on what went wrong and how to fix it!

Preventing Household Mold

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Preventing Household Mold Got Mold

Household mold can cause a host of ailments, particularly among children and older adults.  Symptoms include respiratory problems, headaches, fatigue and rashes. Controlling common household mold isn’t as tough as you might think.  To minimize your exposure to household mold, scrub small visible patches of mold with a solution made with a cup of bleach added to a gallon of water. Rinse thoroughly.  For large areas of dried mold, call a professional.  Tackling this yourself can release toxin-carrying spores into the air.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these tips to prevent the growth of mold…

  • Clean bathrooms with anti-mold products
  • Use a dehumidifier to keep indoor humidity below 50 percent
  • Fix leaky or broken pipes quickly
  • Remove or replace soaked rugs and upholstery
  • Don’t replace carpet in moist indoor areas, such as a basement or bathroom
  • Make sure ventilation in all rooms is adequate

Get my free e-book 7 Home Seller Tips before You Sell.  Looking to find a home, get the most up to date listings…Search Like an Agent.  Do you live in Northeastern Ohio/Cleveland area and want to know what your home is worth?  Find out Today.

Improve Your Credit Score

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creditscore10 Tips to Improve Your Credit Score 

There are no quick fixes for improving your credit score but over time you can raise it by consistently managing your finances.

  1. Pay your bills on time – This is the best way to improve your score.  It is never to late, find a system (calendar, App) to keep you on track. If you are going to be late, don’t avoid your creditors keep in contact with them.
  2. Keep credit card balances low – High outstanding debt can pull down your score. Don’t max out your credit cards all the time.
  3. Check your credit report for accuracy – It is possible there may be inaccurate information on your credit report that can be easily cleared up.  It this is the case, then you should contact the three credit reporting agencies to get it corrected (TransUnion, Experian, Equifax)
  4. Pay off debt rather than moving it around – Consolidating your credit card debt onto one care or spreading it over multiple cards will not improve your score in the long run.  The most effective way to improve your score is by simply paying down the amount you owe.
  5. Keep your credit cards – manage them responsibly – In general, having credit cards and installments loans that you pay on time will raise your score.  Someone who has no credit cards tends to have a lower score than someone who has managed credit cards responsibly.
  6. Don’t open multiple accounts too quickly – Opening too many accounts in too short of a time period can look risky because you are taking on a lot of possible debt.  Too many inquiries can hurt your credit score.
  7. Don’t open accounts you do not need – This approach could backfire and actually lower your score.
  8. Don’t close an account to remove it from your record – It is a myth that closing an account removes it from your credit report. In fact, closing accounts can sometimes hurt your score.
  9. Shop for a loan within a short period of time – FICO scores distinguish between a search for a single loan and a search for many new credit lines based in part on the length of time over which recent requests for credit occur.  If you shop for too many loans over a long length of time this could hurt your score.
  10. Contact your creditors or see a legitimate credit counselor if you are having financial difficulties –  This won’t improve your score, but the sooner you start managing your finances well and making timely payments will improve your score overtime.

Get my free e-book 7 Home Seller Tips before You Sell.  Looking to find a home, get the most up to date listing…Search Like an Agent.  Do you live in Northeastern Ohio/Cleveland area and want to know what your home is worth?  Find out Today.

The secret to good gardening is . . . lasagna?


If you’re considering putting in a new garden and want to keep it as environmentally-friendly as possible, you might want to consider prepping the ground this year and plant next year.

Creating a great garden space can’t just happen overnight. Getting the soil ready for planting a garden takes some time, work, and organic matter to make some garden lasagna.

What is lasagna gardening?

Building your garden soil through a process similar to composting lies at the heart of lasagna gardening. Made popular two decades ago by a book written by Patricia Lanza called – what else? – “Lasagna Gardening.”

Rather than bringing in yards of soil, Lanza reasoned, you build the soil from the ground up by adding alternating layers of nitrogen-rich (green) and carbon-rich (brown) organic matter. The green layer can include grass clippings, kitchen compost, coffee grounds and herbivorous manure. The brown layer includes fallen leaves, straw, newspaper and even shredded cardboard. Each layer should be at least an inch thick.

Making garden lasagna

This is the perfect time of year to start your soil for a new garden. It will take about a year for your soil to be completely ready. The process is simple.

  1. Mark off your garden plot.
  2. Using a shovel, turn over the soil about a foot deep and break up the sod.
  3. Rake all your leftover leaves from the winter into the spot. Better yet, mulch them to create your first brown layer. Save a week’s worth of newspapers and add a bale of straw and you’ve got a pretty good first layer.
  4. Ask your neighbors to catch their first mow grass clippings to add to your first green layer. You may have to buy a couple of bags of manure to get enough to make a good layer.
  5. Don’t compress the layers. You want to make sure your lasagna is getting enough air and water to aid in the breakdown.
  6. PRO TIP: Don’t add more green than brown; your soil will turn acidic.
  7. You can make as few or as many layers as you want.
  8. When you get to the last layer, cover it in brown matter or soil.
  9. Water it down to start the process.
  10. Walk away – for a year – and let nature take its course.

It’s perfectly fine to plant in the decomposing mulch in the first year. By next year, the soil will be perfect.

Looking to buy or sell your home, visit my remax website…and remember I am only a phone call away. Jody Finucan, REALTOR  440 221-6383

Serving Lake County, Geauga County and Cuyahoga County and relocation services around the world.

How to prevent frozen pipes and what to do if a pipe bursts


When the temperature reaches freezing, this can cause the water inside pipes to freeze. As the water freezes, it expands causing the pressure inside the pipes to increase. Frozen pipes is a minor inconvenience; a pipe that bursts is a homeowner’s nightmare.

Water lines are particularly susceptible to freezing when the temperature outside gets cold very quickly because the warmth from your heating system is unable to keep up with the demand the suddenly cold temperatures bring. Homes in more temperate climates are also susceptible when the temperature dips below freezing. Because they are typically warmer, water pipes may not be insulated as well as they should be.

Preventing frozen pipes

  • Insulate pipes, especially those close to outside walls, attics or crawl spaces where the chance of freezing is greatest.
  • Seal any air leaks near the pipes.
  • If there are water supply lines in your garage, keep the garage doors closed.
  • Always remember to drain, disconnect and store garden hoses.
  • Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs.
  • Open the cabinet doors in kitchen and bathroom – this lets warmer air circulate around the plumbing.
  • Maintain thermostat at 55 degrees or higher when you are out of town.
  • If you get a cold snap, turn on both hot and cold faucets near outside walls allowing a small trickle of water to run during the night.
  • Identify the locations of shutoff valves so that you are prepared to stop the flow of water as soon as possible when a pipe bursts.

If pipes freeze:

  • Thaw a frozen pipe using a good hair dryer. However, avoid using a hair dryer around standing water.
  • Heat water on the stove, soak towels in the hot water and wrap them around the pipe.
  • When thawing a pipe, start nearer to the faucet and work your way back.
  • Turn on the faucet so water can drip out as the ice melts.
  • If you have one frozen pipe, chances are that you may have more. Check all other faucets in your home.

If pipes burst:

  • Shut off the water at the main valve.
  • Take precautions to avoid electrical shock from being in or near standing water.
  • If the break is in a hot water pipe, the valve on top of the water heater should be closed.
  • Call a plumber.
  • Take inventory of any damaged property.
  • Contact your insurance agent to help you locate an emergency water mitigation specialist who can dry out the damaged area quickly.

Looking to buy a home or sell your home, visit my RE/MAX website for a home search or great information.

Avoid snow shoveling accidents this winter

With much of the U.S. getting its first snowfall of the year, people in many areas are getting the white stuff that don’t normally see it.

Clearing the driveway is a rite of passage for many homeowners. According to WebMD.com, snow shoveling injuries send more than 11,000 adults and children to the hospital every year.

Common injuries

Not to sound like a medical disclaimer, but a number of injuries, and even death, can occur while shoveling. Many of the injuries, of course, involve slip and falls, but many are due to technique and the physical demands.

  • Cuts and bruises
  • Broken bones
  • Lower back injuries, ranging from back spasms to much more serious herniated disks
  • Heart-related issues, which accounted for all deaths
  • Head injuries due to flying snow shovels, most victims are children

Why injuries occur

Believe it or not, shoveling snow is great exercise. You’re using every muscle in your body from legs to arms to core to your heart. (Yes… it’s cardio exercise, too!)

The problem is that people don’t use the proper technique – or the proper tools – when shoveling. Most snow shovels are not long enough and not ergonomically designed for efficient use.

How to limit injuries

The cardinal rule when it comes to shoveling snow is to practice a bit of common sense.

  • Stay in shape – People who are physically fit have less concern about injury.
  • Stretch beforehand – Warm up the legs, back and shoulders.
  • Take breaks – Don’t do it all at once. Shovel small areas and take an occasional break, especially if it is wet, heavy snow.
  • Use proper technique – Use the shovel like a bulldozer, rather than a scoop. Use your legs rather than your back. Don’t rotate or twist your body.
  • Use the right shovel – Ergonomically designed shovels with bent handles take the stress off the back.
  • Wear layers – Keeping your muscles warm will help you avoid strain.
  • Wear proper footwear – Wear snow boots with good traction to avoid slipping.

What to do with holiday party leftovers

‘Tis the season and we are in full swing. This time of the year is hectic for many: You may be finishing up end-of-the-year projects, shopping, taking vacation time, or planning to host a holiday party or two.

When hosting a party, there’s always going to be leftover food and drink. Of course, you don’t want to just throw everything out – what a waste of money!

If you don’t want to live off of party food for the next week, or you don’t want everything taking up valuable refrigerator space, here are some suggestions to save those leftovers so they won’t go to waste.

Pro tip

Make sure you have plenty of storage containers and zip lock freezer baggies before the party. It makes cleaning up and storing easier.

Send some home with guests

Use zip lock bags and disposable containers to send leftovers home with guests.

Leftovers for quick meals

Think quiches, wraps, tacos, omelets, scrambled eggs with diced up turkey or ham in it. These can be for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Freeze in small portions for quicker defrost.

Share with a shut-in

If you have a neighbor, friend or relative who can’t get out, plan on taking them a plate before or after the meal. It’s a good idea to send them enough to make a couple of meals for themselves.

Some creative repurposing

  • Club Soda

Don’t throw out flat club soda; instead, use it to hydrate houseplants. The phosphate in it is good for growth and root development.

  • Wine

You can freeze cubes of leftover wine for later use in recipes. Red and white wine are especially good for Italian sauces.

  • Candy Canes

Use candy canes as drink stirrers, or crush them to make peppermint sugar, which can be used throughout the year.

  • Bread

Make bread crumbs or seasoned croutons.

  • Cheese

Hard cheese can be grated and frozen. Soft cheese is great for making sauces and grilled cheese sandwiches. Cheese based soups and fondues are also a good option.

There’s no reason to let leftovers go to waste. Armed with some knowledge, a little creativity and plenty of storage containers, there’s no reason to throw out much.