July 20, 2017

Green and Clean With Essential Oils
Part of our cleaning routine involves using a variety of products to get rid of the
grime and bring on the sparkle. We wash dishes, clean floors and scrub toilets
often without thinking of the toxicity we may be exposing ourselves and our
families to. However, you may have noticed the warning labels such as
Studies have shown that these chemicals may cause short-term and long-term
health problems when you use them.1
Of particular concern are the affects these dangerous chemicals can have on
children. They are often more vulnerable to chemical exposure during
developmental stages, and certain chemicals may interfere with the development
of their neurological, endocrine, and immune systems.2 Younger children have
higher respiratory rates than adults, therefore they absorb more air contaminants
per unit of weight, meaning they experience a higher inhaled dose.2
The main routes of exposure: eating, drinking, breathing, and touching.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside a
typical home is 200–500 percent more polluted than the air outside mainly due to
toxic household cleaning products.
It is estimated Americans as a whole spend around 5 billion dollars a year on
cleaning products, with the average household spending nearly $700 dollars a
Cleaning supplies can be hazardous to your health, your children and pets,
pollute the environment, contaminate septic tanks, cause safety issues for refuse
workers, and there is no proof they are any more effective. According to a
WebMD article, "These products don't work any better than their natural or nontoxic
counterparts, and they damage the environment and potentially place our
long-term health at risk."
However, by swapping out expensive and toxic products for items you probably
already have in your pantry, you can create easy, inexpensive, safe and

effective natural cleaning products.

June 12, 2017

4 Reasons to Buy this Summer!

Here are four good reasons consider buying a home today, instead of waiting. 1. Prices Will Continue to Rise CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 7.1% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.9% over the next year. The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense. 2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have remained around 4%. Most experts predict that they will begin to rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac & the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase by this time next year. An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home. 3. Either Way, You are Paying a Mortgage There are some renters who have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage - either yours or your landlord’s. As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity. Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you? 4. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise. But what if they weren’t? Would you wait? Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy. If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

May 30, 2017

Tips to Help Stage a Home on A Budget
Have you ever walked into a showroom home and imagined yourself moving in?  The organized, clutter-free and neutral decorated space is key to creating mass appeal. Although hiring a staging company is out of your budget, there are many things you can do yourself to mirror the look and feel of a staged home at a minimal cost.
Here are the top tips to help prepare your home for that rapid sale.
Make a Good First Impression  
Within 30 seconds, buyers have already made up their mind about your property. Get a clean, fresh look by addressing the outdoors and indoors.
Outdoors: Wash, paint, weed and plant. Clean your front door. Sand and repaint it an interesting color. Remove all empty plant pots, children's toys and weeds. Mow the lawn, scrub the paving stones and add a pop of color with potted plants.
Indoors: Have your carpet steam cleaned. At minimum, remove any stains by mixing 2 parts water to one part distilled vinegar, spray on stain, cover with a damp cloth and iron on low heat.
Eliminate mold by making a paste with equal parts vinegar and baking soda. Scrub with an old toothbrush and rinse cleanse.
Make those windows sparkle! Mix 1/4 c. vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap and 2 cups water and clean windows inside and out.
If you have a pet, remove all traces of hair and odor. Pull hair from carpets and upholstery by using a squeegee or lint roller. Use a essential oil diffuser or odor eliminator to freshen up the air. Remove toys, food and water bowls prior to showing your home.
De-clutter and De-personalize
Space sells and a neutral decor enables potential buyers to envision themselves in your home.
Start by removing all personal photographs and toiletry items from the restroom, such as toothbrushes, hair brushes and medication.

Free up space by hiding, selling, storing and culling. Take all appliances off the counters and pack them away. Show the storage potential with room for growth by emptying built-in storage and keeping each shelf only half full. Bedroom wardrobes and closets should be less than 75% full.
Rearrange and Decorate
Simple, thoughtful details can make a big difference on how your home shows.
Set your dining room table by using place mats, plates, cutlery and a small arrangement of flowers or candles. Make your bathroom feel like a spa with new fluffy white towels, candles and decorative storage boxes. Keep bedroom furniture to a minimum; bed, bedside tables and a dresser or wardrobe. Make spare rooms functional by borrowing a bed frame then dress an air mattress with neutral bedding.
Present your house as a blank canvas by painting walls a neutral color. Group items in three using a unifying element like color, shape, or texture.

Lights, Camera, Action!
It's time to show off your home at its very best and you have set the stage to encourage buyers to form an emotional connection to it. Before any showing, tidy up, open the curtains and blinds, and turn on every light in the house. Fluff the sofa cushions, add some fresh flowers, and simmer cinnamon, vanilla and water to make your kitchen smell of cookies. You are now set to highlight the best features of your home and allow buyers to envision themselves as the new owners!

April 29, 2017

Big ideas for small spaces
Smaller rooms can be difficult to decorate, because if you don't know a few important tricks, the space can end up feeling a little claustrophobic. Here's how you can keep a room feeling airy and spacious, even if it's just a studio apartment or an attic.

Breathing room
Your first inclination might be to arrange all your furniture flush against the walls. Though this may add a little extra room to move through the room, it'll make everything feel more crowded and congested. Instead, try arranging items at an angle, or pull them six inches away from the wall.

Mirrors and strategic colors
Dark paint will make the room feel smaller. Instead, opt for whites, light grays, and other light colors. A well-placed mirror will also expand the room's appearance-think of the times you've been in a restaurant and a mirror made the space look twice as large.

Multi-purpose items
Look for storage everywhere-you can keep books and DVDs inside an ottoman, or store blankets in a bench or hollow coffee table. If you don't have room for a dining table, you can invest in a coffee table with a pop-up section.

Raise your window treatments
It's common to hang your curtain rods just a few inches above your windows, but to make the ceilings appear taller, you can hang them just a few inches below the ceiling. It can have a dramatic effect.

Swap out the sofa
The sofa is likely the biggest, most unwieldy item in your living room. What if you swapped it out for a settee or a pair of comfortable chairs? You won't lose much in functional seating, but you'll gain some precious space and room for foot traffic.

April 27, 2017

Open House this Saturday, 5/29/17 from 1 until 4 PM

Join us for an Open House at 2273 Beckham Way, Hayward, from 1-4 PM on Saturday, April 29 and enter to win a $15 gift card. Tour a spacious, 2,517 sq. ft multi-level home nestled in a park-like setting on a quiet cul-de-sac. It features 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, a bonus room, patio and a two-car garage in the desirable Fairview neighborhood. Visit BayFamilyHomes.com to learn more.

Green and Clean With Essential Oils Part of our cleaning routine involves using a variety of products to get rid of the grime and brin...