Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!


happy thanksgiving
As we gather with our families this Thursday and speak about our blessings I thought I would look back at a bit of history about Thanksgiving and share what I found.
  • The first Thanksgiving was a simple gathering between the remaining 56 English colonists and the 91 American Indians that helped them reap their harvest in 1621. It was a traditional English harvest festival that lasted three days.
  • Did you know that George Washington was the first President to proclaim a nationwide day of Thanksgiving? November 26, 1789 "as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts"
  • Abraham Lincoln made a proclamation declaring October 3 Thanksgiving Day in 1863.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt , December 26 1941, signed a joint resolution that moved Thanksgiving from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday.
  • Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada, our northern neighbors.
  • The classic meal for Thanksgiving of turkey, cranberries, pumpkin pie and root vegetables is based on the New England fall harvests although local cooks have modified the menus based on taste and food choice.
  • New Mexico uses chilies and southwest flavors. Locals on the Chesapeake Bay use blue crab as an ingredient. In the Midwest, the turkey may have wild rice stuffing, or in the northwest hazelnuts are an added ingredient. Indiana prefers persimmon puddings and Key West key lime pie. Baltimoreans add sauerkraut to their meal.
  • Corn, sweet potatoes/yams and pork are southern staples with addins like ham, sweet potato casserole, corn bread dressing along with other pies and puddings.
  • Sunday after Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day in the United States. Over 10 million people will find a flight. Another 40 million will drive 100 miles or more to be with family and friends.
So as you sit around your table this year take a look back at where Thanksgiving began and give a bit of thanks for those first English settlers that fled England in search of something better. Because without them, we might not even have Thanksgiving!

And remember if you, a friend or family member need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Holiday Hosting Disasters and How to Avoid Them

Holiday Hosting Disasters and How to Avoid Them

Next Thursday is our big turkey day! Family coming over, food being cooked, lots of camaraderie and love going around. But what happens if your oven doesn’t work or your sink clogs or heaven forbid, the heat goes out in your home. Don’t fret! Peruse the solutions to these problems below and have a Happy Thanksgiving!
  • Issue: Your oven doesn’t heat. One simple tip..don’t self-clean your oven until after your T-day dinner! You take the chance of blowing a fuse or thermostat You don’t want to end up at your local Chinese restaurant and trying to get an appliance repairman could cost big bucks if you can find one.
  • A clog in my kitchen sink. Plumbers are often the busiest right after a holiday meal. Major reason: mistreating your drains when cooking. Here is some advice. Don’t dispose of fats and cooking oils down the drain, they can solidify in your pipes. If using the garbage disposal, make sure it runs before shoving stuff in it and never put anything fibrous, stringy or starchy. Fixing the drain will probably take a snake which you can buy at your local hardware store. Don’t use chemicals, they harm the pipes.
  • No heat in the house. I know I have posted about the importance of regular maintenance. Here is one place where it is warranted. Get your HVAC system checkup done at least every fall and spring. Replace the filters every 90 days. Inspect the insulation on the refrigerant lines into your home. Replace anything that is missing and fix anything that is broken. That way during the middle of winter or the middle of summer you don’t lose your comfort zone.
  • The toilet is stopped up. Simple: don’t flush anything but toilet paper and sewage down it. Add a note to remind guests around the toilet if it happens often.
  • My refrigerator is not cooling. Ut oh! Keep an eye on the fridge by putting a thermometer in it. You can monitor to make sure it stays below 40 degrees. Also, we are back to regular maintenance. Each spring and fall, pull out your fridge and vacuum the dust and any animal hair from the coils. Remove anything from around it that is blocking air flow. Keeping the coils clean is huge!
Now you have been properly prepped and are ready to handle all your family and guests next Thursday. Don’t forget to do your shopping! 😊

And remember if you, a friend or family member need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

CALLING ALL INVESTERS AND INCOME PROPERTY SEEKERS 3 HOMES ON 2.77 ACRES!!!


Bathroom Renos for Germaphobes

bathroom renos for germaphobes
Touchless Bathroom

We live in our homes and with us lives the germs and microbes of everyday life. But there is a way to combat the buildup and get some upscale improvements at the same time. Here I give you five bathroom upgrades that will help you fight dirt, germs and bacteria. Read on!

  • Minimize the Grout. Throw away the old adage that a bathroom has to have tile. Try glass or waterproofed real-stone veneer instead. They are supplied in large sheets so very minimal on the grout. Or you can hire an artisans to do your bath in Tadelakt. A lime-based plaster that is waterproof, resists mold and mildew and is sealed with a soap solution. But if you like tile then opt for larger tiles to minimize the grout lines. Fewer lines means less upkeep. Rethink sheet vinyl. The products are getting better at looking like real tiles with fake grout lines. Cleans up just like any other vinyl, no grout cleaning needed.
  • Don’t touch that facet. Sensor facets are a good way to keep the germs from getting a starting foothold. If you aren’t touching it then you aren’t depositing on it. Beware though, touchless faucets tend to use more water.
  • Copper fixtures have been shown to help fight germs with its anti-germ properties. Hospitals use it for this reason. Maybe a brass doorknob would help also.
  • Toilet Duty. How about a new one-piece toilet. Easier to clean than the old two piece cousins they will decrease your cleaning time. Also look for a pressure-assisted toilets that emits a powerful jet of water around the bowl to help keep it clean and flush down debris. They are high efficient also.
  • Exhaust that moisture. A good exhaust fan will fight against mildew, mold and other nasties that like to grow in high moisture situations. Newer fans are more efficient and better at their job. Some even have a humidity sensor that works the fan automatically. Not the most glamorous of upgrades but probably one of the most important. Moisture is your enemy in the bathroom.

Germs, mold, mildew and bacteria can grow anywhere that is unattended so when it comes time to clean don’t skimp on the project. Remember Mom’s spring cleaning? Well it is also a good idea to clean it up before you get closed up indoors with it all winter. And don’t forget to clean these; shower heads, shower curtains, drains and your medicine cabinet.

And remember if you, a friend or family member need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.

Friday, November 6, 2015

November Events and Happenings

Here is a quick rundown of some events and happenings in Greenville this month.


This is just a sampling of the many events and happenings for the month of November. To see a full calendar go to www.visitgreenvillesc.com. The link I have provided is already filtered for November.


And remember if you, a friend or family member need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Breathe Easy with these Alternative Fireplaces

breathe easy with these alternative fireplaces
Image: Regency Fireplace Products
Wood burning stoves and fireplaces are becoming a thing of the past. Burning wood can be as harmful to you as smoking cigarettes. Wood smoke is loaded with carcinogens. The chimney tends to suck up more heat than it puts out. Soot buildup in your chimney has to be removed once a year. Also it's a good idea to get a professional to inspect the fireplace and chimney before lighting it in the fall. Bet you didn’t think about all that did you? Enough of the bad stuff, here are some more popular alternatives to a fireplace that burns wood.

  • Direct-Vent Gas Insert Fireplace. This is a permanent replacement option. A professional will need to install because it has to be vented to the roof or side wall. Also a plumber will need to install and hook up the gas line. Being a gas alternative, the flame is kept behind glass so there are no pollutants expelled into the room. There is a real flame but no sound. This alternative is expensive. With installation, prices are between $2K and $5K and it will increase your gas bill a bit but there is no heat loss. To offset the utilities, turn down the heat thermostat when burning the fire. Make sure to have a pro come clean it before the season starts.
  • Electric Fireplace Insert. Some units are easy to install just by plugging into a grounded outlet in the home. They use electricity and there are no pollutants. Presentation is a faux fire with newer units using LED lights. No sound or scent with this one either. Cost is less than a gas alternative around $500 to $1,500 but it can impact your electric bill. Good thing it will last longer than a gas fireplace since there is no fuel burning. Unplug and clean dust each year before the season.
  • Alcohol Gel Fireplace with Faux-Logs. Place the faux logs inside your existing fireplace. It uses an alcohol gel which you can buy in cans like the sterno cans caterers use. One can will burn up to 3 hours. Burning alcohol does emit steam and a minute amount of carbon dioxide. But it is way below what could be considered dangerous. Depending on how often you use it, just air out the home to keep any pollutants from building up. Produces a real flame with all the sound, thanks to salt, and comes in odorless or scented versions. As with the other two, please take time to clean out the fireplace before the burning season begins. Shop vacs are great tools for this.

The pros suggest installing a carbon monoxide monitor in the same room as your fireplace as a precaution. Most of us already have one in our homes. Now that you have some information, please do your own research and contact your local professionals before you install.

And remember if you, a friend or family member need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.