John Colby


Posted by John Colby on 11/19/2017

Behind your doors and windows lies everything you hold dear. Your family, pets, important documents, expensive laptops and televisions, and any number of things rely on the hope that no one will break into your home. In spite of this, many people choose not to take the best safety precautions available, whether it is because they feel safe in their neighborhood or they think they can't afford a security system. As home security technologies advance, homeowners and renters get a growing selection of security systems. Finding†a security system that works with your budget while still keeping you safer†is possible. However, learning about the various systems and choosing one that works best for your needs is the hard part. In this article, we'll cover the basic types of security systems and what they offer so you can make the best decision for your home and family.

Monitored or unmonitored

One way of dividing up security systems is monitored and unmonitored. Monitored systems depend on landline, cellular, or broadband connection to communicate with the security provider who will call your home and alert authorities in case of a break-in. Unmonitored systems, on the other hand, rely only on alarms such as sirens and flashing lights. Monitored systems that are connected via landline have the disadvantage of being cut or by losing connections due to power outages. Cellular-based systems (a.k.a. wireless monitoring)†have the advantage of staying up even if your telephone line is cut.†One disadvantage of monitored systems is that they often come with monitoring fees. The disadvantage of unmonitored systems is that it relies on your neighbors to call the police in case of an emergency. The problem with this is that not all neighbors are going to go see if everything is okay until it's potentially too late.

Contracts and Installation

Depending on whether you rent or own your house and how long you plan to stay in your house, you'll want to read over contracts before signing away. If you plan on moving or are only leasing your apartment, it might be a better option to buy a system outright that you can set up yourself at your next home. Systems that rely on technicians for installs may charge you fees for having to relocate or uninstall your system.

Added features

Home security and home automation are two separate industries that have become one due to similarities in the way they function. Many home security companies now offer automation technologies that allow you to control various items in your home remotely. If you can't remember if you locked your door or if you need to unlock it for a house guest, there's no need to leave work--just hit a button on your smart phone to unlock the door.†Other systems even allow you to answer your doorbell remotely from your smartphone in the same way that you would have a conversation on your phone.†If you are paranoid about checking up on your house, you could go with a system that allows you to view your security cameras live feed right from your phone or computer.   Now that you know the basics of home security systems, go check out some of the top rated providers and compare prices. You'll soon be on your way to making your home an even safer place for you and your family.  





Posted by John Colby on 11/12/2017

Although your real estate agent will do the lion's share of the work involved in selling your home, there are several things you, the homeowner, can do to help move things along.

By making sure your home is always ready to be shown at a moments notice to prospective buyers, you will be helping to "tip the scales" in the direction of a faster sale. Since making a great first impression is crucial to the sales process, it's important that your home always looks its best -- both inside and out. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you decide to put your home on the market.

Order versus chaos: Every time your real estate agent sets up a showing of your house, it's an opportunity to attract and engage potential buyers. When your house and property look organized, clean, and well cared for, it sends a series of positive messages to prospects.

Admittedly, it can be a little bit of a hassle to keep your house looking (and smelling) immaculate all the time, but doing so can definitely work in your favor when it comes to making a great impression and getting your house sold faster.

To the extent that it's possible, try to eliminate or significantly reduce anything that could be described as "clutter." Clutter can include anything from excessive furniture and wall hangings to knick-knacks on your shelves and too many containers on kitchen countertops.

The ultimate effect you want to achieve is one of spaciousness, tastefulness, and organization. Anything which detracts from those desirable qualities could potentially work against you. As the classic 1980s TV commercial for a well-known dandruff shampoo reminds us: "You never get a second chance to make a first impression!"

Remember curb appeal: Actually the real first impression happens before prospective buyers even enter your home or step on your property. In many cases, it occurs before they even get out of their cars!

Making sure your house and property look as impeccable as possible from the street can help attract potential buyers and put them in a more receptive state of mind. Maintaining a manicured, clutter-free lawn, highlighted by a few splashes of floral color, can be an effective way to create eye-appeal and make a positive first impression.

One thing home sellers are either unaware of or forget about is the fact that prospective buyers sometimes do a preliminary "drive by" before picking up the phone and calling your (or their) real estate agent to schedule a showing. If they do not like what they see from their car, they probably are not going to take the next step and arrange a full tour of your home.

When you come to the realization that every person who drives by or visits your home is a potential buyer, you'll be more motivated to take care of the many details that either attract of send away prospective buyers.





Posted by John Colby on 11/5/2017

Imagine an area of your home that's particularly cluttered now, and then picture in your mind's eye how nice it would look if it was cleaned and organized. If you take a few seconds to visualize this scenario, it will feel like a breath of fresh air! For many people, a cluttered, disorganized living space or working environment tends to create mental clutter -- and that makes it nearly impossible to be at your best. On the other hand, when you create a plan to organize your storage space and get rid of household clutter, you're taking a major step toward enhancing your home and the way you feel about it. Although you may have a dozen or more areas that need to be organized, if you create a methodical plan to tackle one small area at a time, then the project is much more achievable and less overwhelming. The Outcome Is Worth The Effort If you've ever undertaken a task like this, you know how rewarding it can be to see the results. You'll also enjoy the feeling of pride that accompanies improving the look and feel of your home. When you've transformed chaos into a semblance of order, it can have a positive effect on your attitude and your self esteem. Although taking charge of household clutter is not a panacea for stress, it can be one of several improvements that make a big difference. Where to Begin You can infuse a feeling of fresh energy into your home by organizing and cleaning the following ten areas:

  1. Closets: Most homes have a ton of them and they're probably in a major state of disarray!
  2. Book shelves: If you have a library of books, then organizing them can dramatically improve the appearance of any room -- from living rooms and family rooms to bedrooms and home offices.
  3. Kitchen cabinets (Check expiration dates while you're organizing.)
  4. Bathroom cabinets and drawers (Refer to note in item #3.)
  5. Junk drawers: Virtually every home has them, and they usually consist of a combination of junk and treasures. In most cases, it's obvious what should be thrown away and what's worth saving.
  6. Garage and tool sheds: These areas are typically in desperate need of cleaning and organizing.
  7. Work bench: If tools, hardware, and supplies are haphazardly piled on top of each other or randomly strewn on your work bench, then finding what you need when you need it becomes increasingly frustrating and time consuming. Taking an hour or so to organize your work bench can make life a lot simpler and more productive.
  8. Spare bedrooms: In many people's homes, that area tends to become a repository for things that either need to be put away, given away, or thrown away.
  9. File cabinets: Being able to find important documents, information, and receipts depends on well organized and clearly labeled files. Ideally, that takes place on an ongoing basis, but if that's not happening, a semi-annual review of your filing system can help keep things in good order.
  10. Basements: Depending on how long you've lived in your house, this might be a project that needs to be spread out over a few days!
Involving members of your family in the cleanup plan can also make it move along faster and feel more like a team effort, rather than a solo undertaking. To avoid procrastination, start small and branch out from there. As the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step."





Posted by John Colby on 10/29/2017

Youíre getting your first home and finally have the freedom and room to create your own gaming center. Whether in a spare room or your living room you can have the ultimate gaming experience youíve always dreamed of. Here are seven video gaming station necessities that will keep you in top form:

First things first, a tv stand unit with plenty of room for all of your consoles and game collection. Think about how you would like to show off your collection. By console? By model year? Or alphabetical? Keep this in mind as you choose your shelving so you have plenty of space for your existing games as well as the ones to come.

A cable management system planned ahead of time. Cables are always a pain but when setting up several systems it quickly becomes a nightmare. The good news is there are several ways to organize all those wires. You can use color-coded zip ties, a specially designed cable organizing box or save up those plastic bread tags to label cables. And of course be sure to plug them all into a surge protector.

The ultimate gaming chair is a must for those all-nighters grinding through the latest game. And when sitting in the same chair while logging all those hours you want to make sure the one you choose is comfortable and ergonomic. And, of course, a comfortable couch for gaming with friends. A set that offers recliners, cup holders and USB ports is always a win.

Perfect lighting and reduce eye strain by choosing tinted bulbs that will eliminate glare. Alternatively, paper lantern lamps also create a soft glowing light. If you want to play with more focus for longer this is key. A glare is not only detrimental to your eye health but can also seriously impact your gameplay for the worse.     

The little big things: Prioritize bandwidth with a router with QoS option to prioritize your console for seamless gameplay. Charging stations not only keep controllers ready for gameplay but are also a great way to keep them organized. Surround sound or at the very least a sound bar takes your game experience to the next level by immersing you into your world of choice.

Moving into a new home is an exciting time for many reasons, but for many gamers, it also means the ability to finally create the gaming center theyíve always dreamed of. Itís easy to get caught up in creating a theme or pulling it together as fast as possible to get gaming sooner. However, taking the time to create an organized space that prioritizes your health and overall experience youíll set yourself up for years of peak-performance game plan ahead.




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Posted by John Colby on 10/22/2017

Junk beginning to pile up in your home? Or have you noticed that you no longer use half of the things you own? Is your closet overflowing with clothes, shoes, and handbags? It might be time to think about clearing those things out of you home. Doing so will make you feel liberated and bring extra space that you may not have seen in years. Below are a few of the different ways in which you can free yourself of unwanted belongings. Garage/Yard Sale: Garage or yard sales are a great way to sell your old/unwanted things. These options make you some money and get your stuff out the door fast. It will take a little work on your part, as you need to advertise and prepare. Be sure to promote through online resources, post signs and even place an ad in the newspaper. Itís also important to prepare in advance making sure you have everything you need such as tables and hanging racks. Donate: Donating your unwanted possessions is a great alternative to selling them at a yard sale. And it often requires no work to you. Many foundations send trucks out in search of donations. If you have the extra space hold onto your things and wait for a truck to be in your area. If you donít have that extra space you can always bring it to places like the Salvation Army. Sell it: Selling your things is another great way to do away with your unwanted possessions. There are multiple avenues that you can take when selling including online and consignment. For online there are sites like eBay, the use of your own social media, craigslist and multiple apps such as letgo, Close5, and Vinted. There is also the option of selling your things to a consignment shop. There are many options for getting rid of your old and unwanted belongings. And it may be that you want to use a combination of the ways listed above. As the age old saying goes, one manís junk is another manís treasure.




Tags: garage sale   yard sale  
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