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Beautiful Plants for Added Curb Appeal This Spring

Protect Your Investment

This brochure is to help homeowners who are struggling to meet their loan obligations. It offers guidance on options provided by lenders.

 Protect Your Investment Brochure

How to Design a Calming Bedroom

When the day is done, nothing is more relaxing than retiring to your bedroom. Unless, of course, your bedroom isn’t a calming space. Below are several tips for designing a sleeping space that brings calm and comfort.

Cool colors. There is nothing calming about a blood red bedroom. Choose a cool hue like gentle blue, green or gray to fall asleep easier.

Window covers. Say it with us: black out shades. Make sure you can block light with opaque window coverings so your hibernation goes uninterrupted.

Tech-free. While many like to watch TV in bed, try and create a sleeping space that is for one thing: sleeping. It’s well known that the light from our devices can interrupt our sleep cycles, so if you must occupy your brain before bed, opt for reading over a Netflix binge or a social media troll.

Clear clutter. Make sure your room remains neat and clutter-free so your mind doesn’t go into overdrive when you enter. Keep clothes in the closet or hamper (not on the floor!), clear those surface areas from stacks of bills, and make your bed every morning so sleeping between the sheets feels fresh every night.

Light it right. There is nothing calming about a harsh overhead light. Set warming accent lights by the bed, or control your overhead light with a dimmer.

How to Shop for Homes Remotely

For future homebuyers, especially those who were mid-search when the shelter-in-place order started, being able to explore potential homes has drastically changed. As social distancing has increased across the country, and with an unknown time frame of how long this isolation will actually last, many open houses and meetings with agents and sellers have been cancelled. However, just because you can’t see homes in person, doesn’t mean your search needs to end.

Talk to a Real Estate Agent
The real estate business is one of thousands that has had to adjust and adapt during this time. Utilizing social media and today’s technology has given agents the opportunity to communicate with clients in new, virtual ways. If you were planning on attending an open-house or walk-through for a specific property, talk to your agent and see if you can set up a virtual tour. They may even have pre-recorded video tours to share. Don’t have a REALTOR®? Find one here.

Utilize Listing Websites
If you’re looking to explore new properties, visit Pilmer Real Estate’s search engine . This site features thousands of listings, categorized by location, price range, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, specific schools and much more. While you’re stuck at home, take some time to research homes in the areas you are interested in moving to and view information, images and sometimes even virtual tours to expand your home search.

Explore Neighborhoods on Facebook
Deciding on a neighborhood, or simply getting to know the ones you’re interested in moving to, can be tough when you can’t visit it. But don’t fret—social media is here to help. Many communities have Facebooks groups, run by local schools and businesses, parents or individuals to stay connected and share information. Exploring these pages is a great way to get to know a neighborhood, from dining, activities and schools to learning about your potential future neighbors and community.

Your home search may be affected by the current state of this virus, but shouldn’t stop you from exploring potential homes and neighborhoods. With the vast resources available, from experienced real estate agents to the expansive search tools online, future homebuyers have the opportunity to shop around from the comfort of their homes.

Save the date! Free Drive-Thru Neighborhood Paper Shredding Event

LOCATION: Pilmer Real Estate, Inc. • 1002 Prairie Street • Aurora, IL 60506

TIME: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

DATE: Saturday, May 30, 2020

We invite you to bring your documents to our office parking lot for a FREE on-site paper shred. Your documents will be recycled and disposed of properly and safely by PROSHRED® Security. Maximum of 4 “copy paper sized” boxes/vehicle.

DESTROY your personal documents.

PREVENT identity theft.

PROTECT the environment.

**PLEASE HAVE YOUR BOXES/BAGS IN THE TRUNK AND REMAIN IN YOUR VEHICLE**

No need to remove staples, paperclips & fasteners, or rubber bands.

TO SHRED

·        all paper

·        file folders

·        hanging files

·        computer files

·        computer paper

·        notepads

·        envelopes

 

 

NOT TO SHRED

·        cans/bottles

·        food/wrappers

·        thick metal

·        copier/printer cartridges

·        corrugated cardboard

·        non-recyclable materials

·        large quantities of plastic

·        bio-hazard materials

·        medical waste

Productivity Tips for Working From Home

Whether you’ve been working remotely for years or are new to a work-from-home scenario, there are important strategies for doing it successfully.

Many have the misconception that working from home is easy and will automatically lead to increased productivity. In reality, the opposite is usually true. There are often more distractions at home, and not having the office resources you rely on readily available can hamper your ability to do your job.

If you want to improve your chances of being productive while working from home, do the following:

Create a designated space. Don’t try to do your job from the sofa, or worse, your bed. If you don’t already have a designated office space in your home, create one. Set up a table and comfortable chair in a room—or corner of a room—where you’re likely to have the most privacy. Having a window nearby is ideal. Also, be sure to have a power supply close for easy charging. Take over a guest room, if you have one, or claim the dining room as your new office, relegating meals to the kitchen instead. The idea is to have a space that’s as private as possible, where you can leave your work materials out at the end of the day.

Get up on time. Working from home doesn’t mean it’s time to sleep in or stay in your pajamas. Be sure to maintain the morning schedule you had when going into the office, and if you now have more time due to not having to commute, use it for exercise or to have breakfast with the family. Giving in to sleeping longer may reduce your energy level and make it harder to focus.

Establish a communication system. Working from home can often leave you feeling cut-off from your coworkers and managers, which can quickly stymie productivity. Make sure you have a system for effectively connecting, using both chat programs and video conferencing to stay in regular contact. Don’t just rely on email, which can lack details and intent. The idea is to avoid isolating yourself, even though you’re not physically present at the office.

Work during work hours. When working from home, it can be tempting to try and sneak in some domestic tasks or social engagements. Try to avoid this during designated work hours, as the distraction factor will quickly mount, and you’ll find it hard to keep switching between work and home life. Take a lunch hour and a couple of breaks for your personal tasks, then focus on work during the times you would while at the office.

Honor quitting time. One of the dangers of working from home is that your work is always right there with you. Be as productive as possible during work hours, then end your day as you normally would when at the office. Shut your computer down, organize your papers, turn off the light in your home office space and call it a day. Taking the necessary time to detach from work every day will ultimately make you more productive.

Houseplants for a Healthier Home

A Greener House: Energy-Efficient Window Treatments

This gallery contains 1 photo.

By Anita Ginsburg

Without windows, our homes would feel like dreary prisons. Windows connect us to the outside world, allowing light and fresh air into our homes.

Windows also contribute to the cost of heating and cooling our properties. One way to cut down on this expense is to use energy-efficient window treatments, such as:

Cellular Shades
Cellular shades feature hollow cells that trap air, which provides a layer of insulation over the windows. Cellular shades are among the best choices for energy-efficient window treatments for your home. These kinds of shades also come in a wide variety of colors and styles to enhance the look of any home. Additionally, they can be paired under drapery for an added layer of insulation. Cellular shades are minimal and versatile in style, but provide the maximum in energy efficiency.

Vertical Blinds
These blinds are an ideal energy-efficient window covering for sliding glass doors. Big glass doors are notoriously energy-inefficient, heating up a house in the summer and letting in the winter chill. Vertical blinds can help alleviate that problem, while at the same time, they’re very easy to keep clean. Vertical blinds come in a wide range of materials, including fabric, vinyl and aluminum. They’re not only excellent for covering glass doors, but for any large expanse of glass. You can also use vertical blinds to create a room divider.

Roman Shades
Made of thick insulating cloth, Roman shades are a great choice for any home. The vast array of fabrics, colors and designs makes this choice highly functional and versatile. Roman shades can fit in with any style—from traditional to modern. You can also add thermal backing for extra energy efficiency.

Roman shades can create a soft, comfortable feeling in your home, while actually helping to regulate the temperature in your rooms. For a window covering that is energy-efficient with a classic, stylish and versatile look, consider Roman shades.

Shutters
While they’re not as commonly used as they once were, functional shutters are very energy-efficient. The tightly fitted louvered panels are adjustable, meaning you can adjust the amount of hot or cold air coming from the glass. During the winter, shutters keep the warm air inside, and in the summer, they block out sunlight and hot, humid air.

Besides being energy-efficient, shutters can add to the overall value of your home. Shutters are also a good choice because they permanently add to the style of your home, which can increase your curb appeal and property value. Shutters come in a wide range of styles, from traditional shutters with narrow louvers to dramatically wide plantation shutters.

While you’ll probably notice a lower gas or electric bill first, moving to energy-efficient home solutions is vital to a greener, more beautiful world. While your choice of window treatment might seem insignificant now, it does make a difference. Making your home a little bit greener makes the whole world a little greener, too!

This was originally published on RISMedia’s Housecall.

Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, Colo. She studied at Colorado State University and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. For energy-efficient window treatments, she recommends
Luxaflex blinds.

Why Selling Your House Without an Agent Could Be a Costly Mistake

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When a real estate agent helps an owner sell a house, the agent receives a percentage of the sale price as commission. You might think that selling your home yourself would save you some money, but it could wind up costing you a lot more.

How Selling Your Home Without an Agent Could Backfire
Many buyers and real estate agents don’t take homes listed as “for sale by owner” seriously because they assume that the seller has unrealistic or unreasonable expectations or will not behave professionally. Some buyer’s agents will only show their clients houses that are listed by a seller’s agent.

It’s easy to overlook problems with your house that you see every day, but a seller’s agent would spot those flaws. A professional would be able to recommend repairs, give you advice on de-cluttering and staging, and help you find a professional photographer to take pictures that would attract buyers.

A real estate agent could get your home advertised on multiple listing services and major real estate websites. Agents also have large networks of professional contacts who can help draw in potential buyers.

Showing a home is time-consuming, and it would be difficult to handle yourself if you work full-time. In addition, many buyers are uncomfortable viewing a home when the seller is present and therefore rush through and miss important details.

Dealing with prospective buyers and hearing negative feedback about your home could be upsetting. A professional agent could identify serious buyers and calmly respond to negative comments.

A real estate agent understands the local market and knows how to price homes to sell quickly. If you set the price too high, you could have few people interested in viewing the house. If the property spent a long time on the market, people might assume there was something wrong with it. If you set the price too low, buyers and agents might assume that the house had problems or that you were desperate to sell.

Even if you have sales experience, negotiating the sale of a house would be different, especially if it was your home and you were emotionally invested in the outcome. A real estate agent has the professional training and experience necessary to get a seller a higher price than an owner could get without an agent.

Selling a house requires a lot of legal paperwork, including a seller’s disclosure of any material facts that could affect a home’s value or desirability. If you made a mistake, the buyer could later sue you for fraud, negligence, or breach of contract. A real estate agent, however, has errors and omissions insurance to cover legal mistakes.

Seek Professional Help
Selling a house on your own might seem like an easy way to save thousands of dollars, but it could be risky. In addition to possibly not attracting a buyer or getting a good price, you could put yourself in legal jeopardy. This is why you would be better off getting help from an agent.