Steve Casey
RE/MAX Real Estate Center | 508-341-4464 | stcreal@aol.com


Posted by Steve Casey on 2/20/2017

Vacationing is a time to relax and enjoy time with your loved ones, friends or even yourself. Avoid the stresses of trying to remember whether or not you did everything you needed to do before you leave by being proactive. Leave the house to board the plane to paradise…or your in-laws for the holidays worry-free. Here is a list of things to do before you go away to make sure your house is all set while you’re gone:

  1. Ask for a Friend: If you are going to be gone for longer than a few days, it’s probably wise to ask a friend, neighbor or family member to stop by and check on your house. They can grab the mail and newspaper, water plants, and make sure the house is still standing. Consider paying someone to stay at your home full-time to take care of your pets. Generally, it will be cheaper than boarding them and you won’t be displacing them while you’re away.
  2. Do NOT post on social media: Social media is a staple for many to share their life, but it’s best not to post on social media that you will be heading off to the Caribbean for a week­— unless you have someone staying at your house full-time. This gives burglars the perfect opportunity to break into your home.
  3. Remove spare keys: It’s best to give the person watching your home the spare key and have them hold onto it and remove additional spares key. There are rarely any creative spots to hide spare keys and leaving it under your welcome mat is asking for someone unwanted to enter your home.
  4. Timer lights: Invest in a timer for your lights. If your lights turn on periodically, it will look like someone is at home. It will also save you money compared to if you were to leave your lights on constantly while away.
  5. Unplug appliances/electronics: Unplug anything that will not be used while you are on vacation. This includes toasters, computers, printers, television, etc. Even though they are not on they could still be using up energy.
  6. Close windows/lock doors: Remembering to close your windows and lock your doors sounds like it would be easy, but it’s probably not the first thing on your mind when going on vacation. Set a reminder on your phone to check all of your windows, making sure they are locked if low to the ground, and locking the doors that you are not exiting from.
  7. Use a safe: If you have a safe or locked drawer, it’s very wise to place important things into it while you’re gone. Important paperwork, jewelry, and emergency money that you leave around the house are all items that you should be putting a safe place, such as a safe or locked drawer.
Some other things to do before leaving for a vacation are to contact your credit card company to let them know you’ll be traveling, turn off water if traveling for a significant amount of time (but be careful of freezing pipes), and to, of course, remember your wallet and I.D. Ensure you have a worry-free vacation follow the steps below and have fun!




Tags: home safety  
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Posted by Steve Casey on 12/19/2016

Old New England homes are rich in history and character. The style of many modern houses in the region is heavily influenced by English colonial homes of the early 1700s. It was in colonial times when lead pigment was first used. By the 1920s lead paint usage was at its peak. The paint was strong, it covered a lot of surface area, and it made vibrant colors, all very appealing to home homeowners at the time. The health hazards of lead paint are many. Although, unlike other home hazards like fire or carbon monoxide, they reveal themselves slowly over many years, making them especially dangerous for children. According to WebMD, high levels of lead paint exposure can cause the following:

  • Damage to the brain and nervous system
  • Kidney damage
  • Behavior and learning problems, such as hyperactivity
  • Slowed growth
  • Poor muscle coordination
  • Hearing problems
  • Headaches
  • Bone marrow problems
Scary stuff, right? But don't panic... Here's what you need to know about detecting and eliminating lead paint in your home. If your house was built before 1978, there's a chance it has lead paint. It was in 1978 that the federal government banned the consumer use of lead paints. Since usage reached its peak in the 1920s, the older your house the higher the likelihood of it having lead paint. This puts old New England homes at greater risk. To test for lead paint you should seek out a licensed inspector. Most state websites have resources for locating an inspector near you (mass.gov for example). Inspection can cost anywhere from $150-$400 and will depend on the size of your home, rates in your area, and other factors. Once tested, you will be given options and a risk assessment and can then decide how you'd like to proceed. Some ill-advised homeowners take the situation into their own hands, scraping paint and mopping up the dust. This is exactly what NOT to do. Dispersing all of those lead particles into the air will contaminate your home and yard, seeping into the ground outside. Many people share anecdotal stories about removing lead paint themselves, insisting, "I did it myself and I'm still alive." It's important to remember, however, that those who are truly at risk are the children who will grow up in that house facing longterm exposure to lead. Young children are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning for three reasons:
  1. Toddlers tend to put objects into their mouths such as paint chips or other objects that may have traces of lead. This causes a high level of lead absorption
  2. Children's bodies are developing rapidly and absorb lead faster than adults
  3. They can spend decades in a home, developing the symptoms listed above that can then become chronic, lifelong illnesses
To completely remove the lead from your home you'll need to seek out a lead abatement contractor. View the Lead Safe List for your area to find contractors and receive quotes. If you have attempted to remove lead yourself, or performed recent renovations that may have dispersed lead paint and are worried that your children may have been exposed you should bring them to their pediatrician. Testing for high levels of lead can be detected by a simple blood test.  





Posted by Steve Casey on 4/18/2016

Protecting your home from burglars may seem like a no-brainer to some. Unfortunately for many homeowners, it takes an actual break-in for them to turn their attention to securing their homes against intruders. Here are a few preemptive steps that you can take in order to put your mind at ease. 1. Install a security system. Many modern homes come equipped with some form of security alarm. However, if you find yourself purchasing a home that doesn't already have a security system in place, you should consider your options for outfitting your home with one. There are many different types of security systems to choose from, and picking the most expensive plan doesn't always mean you are getting the most protection for your dollar. If you live in a rural area, for instance, focusing on a deterrent-based form of home security might better suit you than one that places police response as their most-prized feature. If it will take 15 minutes or more for a police officer to respond to your property, then you may need to consider a plan that places emphasis on loud alarms, or even a form of motion-sensor lighting to deter a break in. TopConsumerReviews.com has compiled an up-to-date list of some of the most comprehensive security plans on the market today. http://www.topconsumerreviews.com/home-security/ 2. Keep your doors and windows locked. Many break-ins don't actually require anything being "broken" in order for an intruder to gain access to your home. Keeping your windows and doors locked may seem like an obvious step, but you'd be surprised at the number of burglaries and home invasions that occur from homeowners ignoring this very practical safety measure. Also, if your home doesn't already come equipped with them, consider purchasing deadbolts for all of the exit doors in your home. Additionally, consider installing a peephole in your door if you don't already have one. Sometimes, all it takes is opening your door in response to a knock that can set off a home invasion. Never open your door to a stranger unless you are comfortable and secure in doing so. Don't feel foolish asking for credentials when opening your door to someone claiming to work for the water or gas company, either. Many times, a burglar can shut off certain things in your home from the outside to pave the way for knocking at your door, claiming to be there to help restore your services. 3. Alert a trusted neighbor when you go on vacation. Having a trusted neighbor pick up your mail and newspapers will give your home the appearance of being occupied, and will take the attention away from the wandering eyes of a potential burglar. Also, if the neighbor sees suspicious activity, it will give you an extra line of defense in the event that your security system and safety measures happen to fail. 4. Leave an electronic appliance on that is visible through a window. Many burglars prefer to do their work in your home while you are away. Leaving a television on in a room, or a light on in a window visible from the outside will give them the impression that your house is currently occupied. Many former burglars have stated that they avoid break-ins where there is an obvious risk of coming into contact with the homeowner. 5. Keep track of your spare keys. Putting a spare key to your home under the mat isn't the smartest option, and is in fact one of the first places many burglars check in order to ensure they can get into your house quickly and quietly. Consider hiding your spare key under a rock, away from the front door. This will ensure a tougher hunt for the potential burglar. 6. Landscaping. Many people haven't considered landscaping being an enabler of home invasions, but many landscaping options we use for our privacy concerns can actually end up HELPING a potential burglar gain access to your home. Privacy bushes and fences outside your first-floor bathroom window might seem like a good idea at first, until you consider that you are also giving a potential burglar an easily concealed place to work on entry into your home. Consider more sensible options, like window tinting or decorative cling wraps instead. If you must have a privacy hedge, consider one that loses it's concealment capabilities when viewed from the front yard. This will ensure that your neighbor cannot see you get out of the shower, but would severely limit the amount of concealment a burglar could take advantage of. For more information on how to secure your home, as well as tips for protecting yourself against home invasions, please visit the following links. http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/household-safety/security/home-security-tips.htm http://www.statefarm.com/aboutus/_pressreleases/2010/burglary_is_probably_the_most_preventable_crime-az.asp http://www.crimedoctor.com/homeinvasion.htm





Posted by Steve Casey on 2/17/2016

There are several items that will make your life a bit easier if you have a toddler. These items are easily found at a pharmacy, hardware store, and safety supply store as well as online. This list will help you be prepared and breathe easy once you are settled in to your new home or apartment. Feel free to print and use this list to help you with your new home safety check. • Safety plugs or outlet covers or place furniture in front of outlets • Secure furniture that may topple to the wall • Install a toilet seat lock • Cordless window coverings • Install window guards and stops • Move furniture away from windows and screens • Nonslip pads in the tub • Soft cover for the bathtub spout and knobs • Secure oven door with lock latch • Stove guard blocks for knobs and burners • Any fireplace items must be placed out of reach • Childproof locks on cabinets • Nonslip pads under rugs • Remove toxic household plants




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