Moving Checklist

Making the move to your new home can be a dream come true! Follow this moving checklist to keep the process as smooth and seamless as possible. You’ll be all settled into your new space in no time!

Moving Checklist – Two Months Prior to Moving: Organize and Purge

Go through each room in your home and decide what to keep and what to get rid of. Having to pack and move items can be a great incentive to let go! Set these items aside for donations or selling. Yard sales are a great idea if you want to make a few bucks to get rid of bulkier items. Also, take note and label any items that will need special packing or insurance.

Research Home Moving Companies

Getting estimates from multiple different home moving companies is a worthwhile time investment. On-site estimates are the most accurate. It’s best to get your estimate in writing(or email), and be sure it has a USDOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) number on it. Due to the current pandemic, most companies are offering virtual moving estimates. You can walk them through your space, they will ask you questions during the walkthrough, while you can let them know what is and isn’t coming on your move. They will provide the same quote as if they went to you on-site.

Start a Home Moving Binder

This a great place to keep track of all your estimates and notes on all the items you’ll be moving. This can include, but not limited too: moving checklist, moving budget spreadsheet, utilities, moving company information.

Collect School Records

If you have children and are moving to a different school district, contact their current school and arrange for their records to be sent over to their new school. You can even put these records into your moving binder to better manage all your paperwork.

Moving Checklist – One Month Before Your Move: Choose Your Moving Company

Select your moving company and get your finalized contract with your dates and other details.

Start Packing

Pack any items that aren’t being used frequently and any off-season items to make things easier on moving day. Clearly label each box with its contents and which room it goes in. Separate any valuables to take with you in your personal vehicle on moving day.

Notify Necessary Parties

It’s a good idea to alert all the following ahead of your move: your banks, brokerage firms, your employer’s human resources department, magazine and newspapers you subscribe to, credit card companies, insurance, and utility companies. If the cable and internet provider you currently use are not available where you are moving, make sure to find a new company that offers the features you want and need.

Forward Medical Records

If you are moving to a new location with a new primary care physician, have your doctor forward your medical records to your new office.

Moving Checklist – Two Weeks Before: Arrange A Few Days Off for Moving Day

If you aren’t moving during a weekend, you’ll want to make sure you have a full day off work to get everything done.

Get your vehicle checked

Make sure your car is all tuned up for the trip! This is especially important if you are moving a long way.

Contact the Moving Company

Reconfirm your arrangements to be safe.

Moving Checklist – One Week Before: Refill your Prescriptions

Get any regular prescriptions refilled prior to your move so you won’t immediately have to worry about having them filled at a new pharmacy

Moving Checklist – A Few Days Before: Pack your suitcases

Try and have all of your packing done a few days before your move, and pack suitcases with a few days of clothes for your entire family so you will be prepared while you unpack at your new house!

Moving Day! : Verify your movers

Make sure the number on the moving truck matches the USDOT number on your contract.

Inventory

Keep a copy of your signed inventory list once everything has been unloaded.

Now it’s time to enjoy your new home and unpack your labeled boxes that are already in the correct rooms – at your own pace since you already have the prescriptions and clothes you need for now! Congratulations and enjoy!

If you are moving during the pandemic, check out this blog post for even more tips and tricks.

Are you looking to purchase a home? Contact one of our experienced loan officers today!

Source: https://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/organizing/moving/moving-checklist

Spring Cleaning Tips

The return of springtime also marks the return of the annual spring cleaning ritual many partake in. Here are some tips for tidying and sprucing up your space this spring.

Spring Cleaning Tip #1: Go Room by Room

When cleaning, taking a room-by-room approach can make things much more manageable. Consider making a checklist for each room you want to tackle, as your tasks for one room may be far different from another. You can prioritize rooms more in need of improvement. Avoiding bouncing from room to room can help you stay on task and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Spring Cleaning Tip #2: Prioritize Tasks

Figure out what’s most important to you. You may want to consider tackling projects and tasks you normally put off or avoid so you get them out of the way. However, it is important not to take on too much all at once which can cause quick burnout. If you need help gaining momentum and getting motivated, try taking on some manageable tasks you know you can knock out easily first. Your main priorities really depend on how much needs to get done and what you feel is most important to accomplish.

Spring Cleaning Tip #3: Focus on Clutter

As important as actual cleaning is—like mopping, dusting, and wiping down baseboards—focusing on downsizing clutter can be particularly important and impactful in sprucing up your space. Identify things you want to donate or sell, things you want to throw away or recycle and things you want to keep. Once you’ve collected items you want to keep, make sure they all have a particular place to be stored so you always know where to put them away when cleaning throughout the rest of the year.

Spring Cleaning Tip #4: Don’t Forget About Outside

Your outdoor space needs attention, too, especially if it was neglected during winter. Clean and declutter your garage just as you would a room in your house. Remember to clean your gutters, fences, windows, patio furniture, and siding as needed and take care of your lawn.

Spring Cleaning Tip #5: Work on Creating Good Habits

Though spring is a great time to get some serious cleaning done, you can cut down on how much you have to do next spring by cultivating positive habits to practice all year long. Start each morning by making your bed. Try taking 15 minutes at the end of every day to tidy up and put things away. Designate certain days for certain tasks, such as laundry on Sundays and vacuuming every Wednesday. Continue taking a room-by-room approach when cleaning.

Are you thinking about refinancing your home or buying a new one? Contact one of our knowledgeable loan officers today to explore your financing options!

15 Tips to Reduce Your Utility Bills

Life can get expensive, and some costs will always be outside of our control. Read on for 15 tips to reduce your utility bills and save some serious green!

1. Check the seals on all your windows, doors, and appliances.

Drafty doors and windows make your thermostat work harder all year round. Poor seals on your appliances do double damage since the fridge or oven will have to work harder to maintain their internal temperatures,  while the cool and hot air escaping will also have an impact on the overall temperature of your home. Sealing everything up saves energy and money.

2. Fix leaky ductwork and change your air filter.

Just as windows and doors can let hot and cool air seep out, so can the ductwork for your heating and cooling systems. Check to make sure there are no leaks, and repair any you find. This lets your system run with optimal efficiency and saves valuable wasted energy. An old filter can also reduce the effectiveness of your heat and air conditioning, costing you unnecessary cash. AC pros recommend replacing your air filter every 45-90 days.

3. Give your thermostat a nudge.

Setting your thermostat back when you’re away from home can offer some seriously valuable savings without impacting your comfort. Smart thermostats have programmable schedules that will do the work for you! Also consider light bedsheets in summer and extra blankets in winter, so that you can save a few degrees overnight and still sleep soundly.

4. Adjust your fridge and freezer temperature.

Setting your refrigerator to 38 degrees and your freezer to between 0 and 5 degrees keeps your food fresh, without making the appliance work any harder than it needs to. Setting them any colder is considered unnecessary and ups your utility bill. A packed freezer and fridge help to lower costs even more since the frozen and cooled foods help keep things chilly!

5. Take shorter showers.

Taking just two minutes off your shower time saves about 5 gallons of water every time you wash. This can make a big difference in your water costs throughout the course of a year, especially if you have multiple people in your home and everyone commits and makes the cut!

6. Replace your showerhead.

Can’t shorten your shower time? Try a low-flow energy-efficient showerhead instead. These can save up to 2,700 gallons of water a year! Combining tips 5 and 6 will make for even more savings.

7. Don’t wash clothes in hot water.

Sticking to warm and cold washing machine cycles can save up to 50% of the energy cost of your washer. Be sure to pre-treat stains so everything still comes out looking great!

8. Fix leaky faucets.

Leaky faucets and toilets can end up costing a fortune on your water bill. Regularly check to ensure you have no leaks so that you don’t miss one and end up surprised with a higher than normal utility bill!

9. Adjust the temperature on your water heater.

Lowering the setting on your water heater to 120 degrees versus 130 degrees can save 10% of the energy cost! Turn the water heater to the lowest setting when you’re out of town for even more efficiency.

10. Purchase energy-efficient appliances.

Energy Star-labeled appliances come in a wide variety of price ranges and options, and they can save tons in energy costs over the lifetime of the appliance. If you’re shopping for something new – look for energy efficiency first.

11. Ask about discounted rates.

Some energy providers offer discounted rates during off-peak times. Call your provider to find out if they offer this, and if so try doing your laundry and dishes on off-peak times.

12. Swap out your lightbulbs.

Changing just five of your most frequently used lightbulbs to compact fluorescent or LED Energy Star bulbs can save up to $75 a year. Swap out all the bulbs in your home for an even larger impact.

13. Install dimmer switches.

Dimmer switches aren’t just aesthetically desirable, dimming the lights to suit your mood saves valuable energy as well.

14. Use smart power strips.

This tip is more important than ever with so many of us working from home! Many electronics in our home still use energy when we aren’t using them. Smart Power strips completely cut power to electronics when they aren’t in use, stopping the trickle of wasted energy. The savings can really add up over time!

15. Do an energy audit.

Many utility providers offer home energy audits. These audits can uncover ways your home is wasting energy and give you a personalized plan to correct the problems. Some come at a cost, while some are free! Contact your energy provider to ask about scheduling an audit and see what you can save.

Reducing your utility bills may make a big difference in your budget, and so may reduce your mortgage payment. Contact one of our experienced loan officers today to find out if refinancing your home to help reduce your mortgage payment is the right decision for you*!

*Refinancing your current mortgage loan could result in the total finance charge being higher over the life of the loan.

Source: https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/finance/how-to-save-money-on-your-electric-bill

 

Selling Your Home During Winter

Many people believe winter is the most undesirable time to sell your home, but this doesn’t have to be the case. If you know what to expect, you can have just as much success selling your home during winter than you would any other time of year. Don’t be afraid to list during wintertime.

Who’s Buying in During Winter?

In many cases, you’re likely to see more serious buyers in winter than in spring and summer where it’s more popular to look for homes even casually. There are a whole host of reasons someone may be looking to buy a home during winter, some of which come with increased urgency to find a home such as job relocations, an expiring lease, or a contract on their current home. If someone is willing to battle cold and sometimes inclement weather to see your home, it’s probably because they’re serious about buying. The weather can help your home sell faster, too; people are less likely to want to look all over town for a home when it’s cold or snowy which means they may be more likely to choose one of the first homes they see that fits their needs.

The Internet is Your Friend

Virtual listings and showings are always important but especially are during the winter months when it’s cold and gets dark earlier. This is even more so the case now in the wake of COVID-19 with fewer people venturing out. Be sure to get your home on as many listing sites as you can to increase its visibility. Make sure your listing description is thorough and engaging. Depending on scheduling, you may find most of your showings are at dusk or after dark; talk to your realtor about considering a virtual 3D walkthrough to fully showcase your home during the daytime for interested buyers.

Know How to Prepare and Stage Your Home

Prepping and staging your home for its online listings and open houses is always an important part of the selling process. There are some particulars you should keep in mind when selling during the winter months. Winter can be dreary, so let in as much light as you can. If you’re going to be holding in-person showings, ensure all walkways are cleared if it snows and be sure to keep the temperature inside warm and comfortable for visitors. When it comes to decorating for the holidays, keep it simple and tasteful; potential buyers want to envision themselves in your home year-round, not just at the holidays. Make your environment cozy and inviting; you can even consider offering coffee and hot chocolate to prospective buyers.

There’s no need to be afraid of selling your home during the winter months. If you’re preparing to sell your home, you’re probably thinking about buying, too. Contact one of our experienced Loan Officers today to learn more about financing options.

4 Easy Steps to an Organized Garage

Your garage can serve many purposes, but not if it’s full of clutter. A recent study showed that only 30% of homeowners with garages use them to store their vehicles because they are just too full! If you are ready to organize your garage, the good news is that this is a project you can tackle yourself at little to no cost to you.

Step 1: Purge Unnecessary Items

Set aside a few hours or a whole day to go through absolutely everything in your garage. Sort items into four separate piles – items to keep, items to sell, items to donate, and items to the trash. Make plans to drop off donations and sell anything you’d like to right away, so you can free up that space for your “keep” pile. Put the trash out immediately, or schedule a trash pick up or take a trip to your local dump as soon as possible if it’s too much for your regular trash service to take.

Step 2: Decide Which Keep Items Stay in The Garage

Some items should not be stored in a garage. Move anything from the list below to a safer spot in your home or yard!
Paint Cans: Extreme cold or heat can ruin the paint. It’s best to store cans in a temperature-controlled area.
Propane and Other Fuels: Experts recommend keeping this outside and away from your home since a small spark could ignite them.
Paper goods and Pet Foods: These can attract pests and small animals to your garage. They are safer when stored indoors.
Extra Refrigerator: This can be a huge energy drain in spaces that are not air-conditioned, and is better off indoors if possible.


Step 3: Make the Most of Your Storage Space

Sort your “keep” pile, such as lawn and garden, bikes or sports equipment, tools, seasonal items, etc. An organized garage starts with storing it all! Wall hooks and open shelves are an inexpensive way to add lots of extra vertical storage space in your garage. Clear or labeled bins are great for grouping and storing smaller items. Clear jars are perfect for keeping track of very small items like nuts and bolts. Wall hooks and baskets can hold all sorts of items, from bikes and hoses to flowerpots. Large items such as lawnmowers should go against walls or in corners to avoid bumping into them with your vehicle. It’s a good idea to store frequently used items closer to the garage door for easy access, while seasonal items can be stored out of the way until they are needed. The garage ceiling can be a great spot for flat, infrequently used items like sleds and beach chairs, just be sure they are placed out of the way of your garage door and high enough not to scratch the roof of your car.

Step 4: Safety Counts!

It’s a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher mounted or easily accessible in your garage, in case of emergency. A carbon monoxide detector can add additional peace of mind (even though you should never leave your car running with the garage door closed!).

You’re now ready to start on your journey to an organized garage.

Considering moving or refinancing in the near future? If so, one of our experienced Loan Officers would love to help!

5 Tips to Make the Most of Thanksgiving 2020

1 Decorate and dress up to make the day feel special, even
if you’re celebrating with a smaller group or by yourself
this year.

2 Relax and watch the Macy’s Day Parade. It will look a
bit different this year with no crowds, but the tradition
continues nonetheless!

3 Try outdoor dining and activities as a safer way to gather
with friends and family. Picnic tables and cornhole might
just become new holiday favorites.

4 Adjust your Menu. With many of us having much smaller
gatherings than usual this year, it’s a great time to take it easy and
keep the meal simple. On the other hand, it’s also an opportunity
to test out fun new recipes in smaller batches!

5 Use Facetime and Zoom to “party” with your friends and
relatives who are out of town and may not be able to travel this
year.

Source: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/thanksgiving-ideas/g34450121/quarantine-thanksgiving-ideas/

Here at First Home Mortgage, we continue to provide the highest level of customer service while adhering to social distancing guidelines. Our innovative communication technologies allow us to exceed your expectations while keeping everyone as safe as possible. If you are considering purchasing or refinancing a home, please contact one of our Loan Officers today!

5 Tips for a Safe & Spooky 2020 Halloween

1. Choose Outdoor over Indoor Activities

The CDC recommends outdoor over indoor activities as a safer alternative to indoor activities this Halloween. Some popular safe suggestions are pumpkin patches without hayrides, outdoor costume parades, reduced contact trick or treating, and small outdoor gatherings. Indoor costume parties and haunted houses are considered to put you and guests at a higher risk of sharing germs.

2. Plan for Social Distancing

While outdoor events are certainly safer, it’s still important to practice social distancing as much as possible. If you are visiting a pumpkin patch, try and leave space between your party and others. If you or your children are participating in a costume parade, make sure each contestant stays 6 feet apart. The same goes for any small gatherings you may attend or host. The CDC recommends even greater distance for any events scary enough to get guests screaming, as this could potentially send germs flying even further. For trick or treating, setting out treat bags or candy bowls for children is a great option to spread joy while keeping your distance to prevent the spread of germs!

3. Mask Up!

Halloween is a time when both fun and frightening masks are already common! The CDC suggests that decorative masks are not a safe substitute for medical masks, and that a medical mask should still be worn in any sort of public space, and for trick or treating, even if it’s underneath a costume.

4. Keep Sanitizing

When out and about for holiday fun, remember to wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer after making contact with surfaces. This is particularly important when visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where others may have touched produce right before you, and if you are going to door and knocking or touching doorbells. The good news is that candy is not thought to be a high-risk factor for the spread of COVID, so parents don’t need to worry about disinfecting it all once they get their little ghouls and goblins back home!

5. Stay Local

The CDC recommends staying within your own local community as much as possible this year, to prevent possibly spreading COVID between different areas. We are also all advised to take our local directives into account, and base our activities around the prevalence of outbreaks in our areas. Someone in an area with no known incidences, for example, has a wider range of safe activity options than a person in a highly impacted area. Some extra cautious suggestions for Halloween fun are yard decorating, virtual costume parties or contests, pinatas at home or scavenger hunts distanced around neighborhoods, and a good old-fashioned pumpkin carving or scarecrow making.

Whatever your situation looks like this Halloween, we can all still honor traditions and make spirited holiday magic while keeping ourselves, loved ones and communities safe. Wishing everyone a safe, fun and very Happy Halloween, from First Home to your home! Find more information on current CDC guidelines here.

Here at First Home Mortgage, we continue to provide the highest level of customer service while adhering to social distancing guidelines. Our innovative communication technologies allow us to exceed your expectations while keeping everyone as safe as possible. If you are considering purchasing or refinancing a home, please contact one of our Loan Officers today!

Tips for Babyproofing Your Home

Welcoming a new bundle of joy into your family is an exciting milestone, but as they get older and more mobile and curious, it’s important that you make sure your home is safe. Babyproofing, or kid-proofing, your house is a great way of minimizing risk and ensuring your little one stays healthy and safe. Here are some helpful tips for how to best babyproof your home.

Secure Furniture and Décor

Your child may be small, but in many cases, it doesn’t take much to tip over a large piece of furniture which can severely injure them. Heavy and large pieces such as dressers, book shelves, TV stands, and TVs are particularly at risk of toppling over. To avoid this, anchor this kind of furniture to the wall. Make sure heavy picture frames and other décor are properly hung so you don’t risk having them fall. Avoid placing items on tables using tablecloths and runners as your child may be able to pull on them and knock things off. Putting corner guards on furniture can also protect your child from hurting themselves if they bump into something.

Protect Against Water and Electricity

Water and electricity pose a drowning, burn, and shock risk. Cover all electrical outlets and avoid leaving cords within your baby’s reach. To minimize the chance of your child pulling on cords, try keeping furniture in front of plugs so they’re less accessible. Avoid using power strips unless they’re kept up high and out of you little one’s reach. When it comes to water, restrict your child’s access in order to minimize drowning risk. Keep toilet lids shut and consider buying a lid lock to ensure they can’t open it. Never leave water in the bathtub after bath time. While sinks are generally too high up to be accessed by your baby, you can use handle locks so your child can’t turn on the water by themselves. Make sure your water heater is set to no higher than 120 degrees to prevent scalding and burns. It’s also important to keep electrical items away from water so there’s no electrocution risk.

Beware of Choking Hazards

Putting things in their mouth is one of the ways young children start to explore the world. If your little one gets their hands on something small, they can, and often will, try putting it in their mouth which presents a serious risk of choking. Toys with small parts, jewelry, batteries, nails and bolts, magnets, push pins, paperclips, and coins are just a few of the everyday items that can pose a choking risk. Make sure these are out of your child’s reach and check between cushions, under rugs, and on low surfaces to double check that nothing hazardous is still accessible. Medications, chemicals, alcohol, soaps and detergents, and paint not only pose a choking risk, but a risk of poisoning as well, so be sure they’re secured by keeping them up high when possible and always locked away.

Restrict Where They Can Go

Even when you try your hardest, your busy life can make it difficult to keep eyes on your little one at all times. When set up correctly, baby gates are a great way to make sure they stay safe and are only able to access certain rooms. Keep doors that lead outside locked (using top locks and bolts when available) and use doorknob covers to stop them from opening doors they shouldn’t.

Don’t Forget About the Outdoors

When it’s done right, babyproofing should make it all but impossible for your child to make it outside on their own. However, you should still do what you can to make your yard and surrounding areas safer should they somehow end up outdoors. Make sure landscaping equipment is put away and secured. If you have a pool, it’s essential that it be fenced in and have a locked gate. There are even pool alarms you can get that will sound when someone enters the water should your child manage to make their way to the pool.

Go Room by Room

Check out every room of your house to ensure all potential hazards have been taken care of. Getting down on your hands and knees can help you view a space from your child’s perspective and may uncover risks you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. From there, you can create a list of things to do and buy to make each room safe. There are many online guides that detail safety tips by room, like this one from SafeWise.

Make Sure Your House is Safe for Everyone

Beyond the typical child-proofing measures you can take, you should ensure your home is safe for everyone in it. Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries and are functioning properly. Have your home utilities and systems periodically tested and serviced to ensure they’re in working order. Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen or near the fireplace. Consider adding a home security system. The more you do to ensure your home is safe, the happier and healthier your whole family will be, including your child.

Are you puppy proofing instead? Check out our blog on how to pet proof your home here.

Home Decorating Ideas for Fall

Now that fall is officially here, it’s time to start thinking about switching up your décor to fit the new season. Check out these ideas for decorating your home this autumn!

Try Out Different Patterns

Beyond the traditional red, orange, and green color palettes, fall is a great time to play around with various patterns. Plaid and tartan are very popular for fall and allow you to use different and often unique color schemes.

Let the Light In

As it starts getting dark earlier, you’ll likely find yourself using additional light sources more often in place of waning natural lighting. Use candlesticks on your dining room table and spread scented candles around your home. String lights are another fun way to add light to any room or outdoor space.

Up Your Cozy Factor

As temperatures begin to drop, many of us start spending less time outside and more time bundling up indoors. Use blankets and pillows as accent pieces in your home. This can be a great way to utilize interesting patterns and colors in an eye-catching yet functional way.

Bring the Outside Indoors

Fall is one of the most visually striking seasons. Bring a piece of the lovely fall foliage inside by displaying leaves, acorns, and pine cones in some way; try creating a wreath or using them in a table spread. Flowers aren’t just for spring and summer; there are some beautiful flowers that bloom in fall. Mums, pansies, marigolds, black-eyed Susans, and asters are just a few of the fall flowers that can enhance the look and feel of your home. When it comes to decorative fall produce, we all know pumpkin is king. While they’re definitely a great option, don’t be afraid to think outside the pumpkin-shaped box and explore other types of produce such as flint corn, corn husks, gourds, and apples. These can be a beautiful addition to your front porch or a table centerpiece.

Go Online for Inspiration

Thanks to the internet, we have seemingly endless information at our disposal. There are so many places online where you can source decorating ideas. Pinterest is a great place to start for visual inspiration but there are countless other sites and blogs you can browse. Check out HGTV’s favorite fall decorating ideas and Country Living’s best fall decorating ideas to turn your home into a seasonal escape.

Have Fun with It

Regardless of whether you stick with traditional fall decorating motifs or try something new, the most important thing is that it makes you feel like the look of your home is elevated and helps you embrace and celebrate the new season. If you have kids—and even if you don’t—you may want to emphasize the “spooky” aspects of fall and things associated with Halloween such as ghosts, witches, mummies, vampires, jack-o-lanterns, and even candy. What matters most about your decorating is that it makes you happy!

If you’re interested in buying a new house or refinancing your current home, contact our experienced loan officers today for more information!

Pet-Proofing Your Home by Room

When a new furry friend enters your life, it doesn’t take long for them to become an important member of the family. Animals, especially young ones, can be very curious and easily get into things they shouldn’t. It’s important that you take steps to protect your pet from hazards in your home and from potential damages caused by your pet. Here are some tips for pet-proofing different areas of your home.

Throughout the Home

In many ways, your pet is a lot like a little kid. Think about the steps you’d take to make your home safe for a child. If there are areas of your home you don’t want your pet to access, consider using a pet or baby gate to restrict where they can go. You may even want to use childproof latches to stop them from using their paws to open cabinets and drawers. Like you would for a child, beware of small items they can easily swallow such as batteries, coins, magnets, buttons, paper clips, and anything with small removable parts. Try keeping electrical wires and cords out of your pet’s reach so they can’t chew through them, or at least try making a habit of unplugging things when they aren’t in use to minimize the risk of electrocution. The tidier you keep your house, the less likely your pet is to get into something they shouldn’t. When it comes to house plants inside and out, do your research; some flowers and plants (including lilies, tulips, and azaleas) are poisonous to animals and can make your pet critically ill. The ASPCA has a list of toxic and non-toxic plants you can review.

Kitchen

Keep your food up high and secured where you pet cannot access it. The ASPCA has a list of food to avoid feeding your pet so you can take extra care securing foods that are more likely to make your pet sick. Beyond the well-known chocolate, these foods include avocados, onions and garlic, grapes and raisins, coffee, nuts, salt, and gum. Even when a food isn’t harmful to your animal, the wrapper or packaging it comes in could be. Watch out for little things like twist ties and can tabs that your pet could easily swallow. For extra safety, you may want to use a gate to keep your pet out while you’re cooking so they don’t get under your feet and they stay away from any hot surfaces or open flames

Laundry Room

Always check to make sure your pet hasn’t gotten into the washer or dryer before loading them. Keep laundry detergent, bleach, and other chemicals up high and out of reach. It’s best to keep your laundry in a basket to minimize the risk of your pet chewing on or even swallowing small articles of clothing such as socks. When swallowed, things like strings and buttons can cause digestive issues.

Bathroom

Keep any and all medications, soaps, cosmetics, and cleaners up and out of your pet’s reach. Make sure your toilet lid is kept closed to stop your pet from drinking from the toilet. Don’t leave your pet alone when there’s water in the tub or shower to prevent drowning.

Living Room

If your pet is particularly rambunctious, you may want to secure your furniture to the wall to avoid potential tip overs which could injure your animal or someone else nearby. If you have children, keep their toys tucked away when not in use so your pet can’t chew on or swallow them, especially small toys. If you’re concerned about your pet damaging upholstery, there are couch and chair protectors you can buy so they can’t scratch or chew your furniture.

Bedrooms

Keep your clothes and shoes out of your pet’s reach so they don’t have an opportunity to chew on them. Be careful what you leave on nightstands if it’s at eye level or within swiping reach of your animal. Make sure your pet isn’t sleeping in any drawers or closets before closing them. If you have a very small or senior pet that sleeps in bed with you, you may want to purchase a ramp or set of steps to help them get into bed easier.

Outdoors

If your pet has access to a pet door, it’s essential that you have a fence or other barrier in place to keep them within your yard. Check your fence for any gaps or holes where your pet might be able to get through. Be careful and follow directions when using pesticides and other chemicals as these can make your pet sick if they come in contact with them; keep your pet inside when working with chemicals outside and store all chemicals up high and away when not in use. After your pet has been outside, especially in tall grass, it’s important you check them for pests such as fleas and ticks.

Are you looking to purchase a new home or refinance your current home? Reach out to one of our loan officers today to get more information!

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