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Life @ Home eNewsletter: February 2021 for Buyers


» How to find the right neighborhood
» Housekeeping checklist: 9 maintenance tasks to do every month
» Spring is coming: 3 tips to get your garden ready

Design Element 2
Walkability is key
How to find the right neighborhood

Finding the right house starts with finding the right neighborhood. After all, location is everything. However, evaluating a neighborhood can be tough, particularly if you’re moving to an unfamiliar area. Here are a few tips to help you in your search.

Consider everything
When you’re just starting out, don’t eliminate anything right away. A neighborhood you heard one bad rumor about, or that you’ve only ever buzzed past, may actually be a delightful place to live. Look at all your options with fresh eyes, so that you can make a truly unbiased decision.

Remember what’s important
Just as with home buying, choosing a neighborhood comes down to what you can and can’t live without. Research local schools, average house prices and planned developments. Consider things like traffic noise, proximity of shops and parks, and how close you need to be to work. As you think about all these criteria and more, make a list of your must-haves. If you’re on the fence about a location, use your list to help you decide.

Ask around
Once you’ve found some neighborhoods you like, it’s time for a visit. Try going for a walk in the area, eating at a local restaurant and talking to local business owners as well as potential neighbors. You may even want to rent for a while to really get a feel for things. In-person visits are the best way to observe things like safety, cleanliness and friendliness. So make sure you take a good look around to be sure it’s the right location for you.

Tackle your microwave
Housekeeping checklist: 9 maintenance tasks to do every month

There’s a lot to keep of track of in a home. There are daily tasks like doing dishes or making the bed. Weekly tasks, like laundry and mowing the lawn. Then there are monthly tasks. We tend to let these chores slide, often because they’re out of sight. Use this checklist to make sure you never forget an important house chore again.

  • Dust obscure items including ceiling fans, air vents, lights and curtains.
  • Wash windows and walls. These surfaces accumulate a lot of oil, dirt and spillover.
  • Change filters. This means air conditioners, furnaces and even vacuum cleaners.
  • Deep-clean appliances. This can include scraping burnt remnants off the oven, scrubbing the microwave and emptying the fridge to wipe off the shelves.
  • Wash your trashcans. It’s a dirty job, but necessary.
  • Organize your storage. This doesn’t have to be a Kondo-style purge; just tidy up your closets, shelves and storage areas.
  • Vacuum underneath what you don’t normally move like beds, couches and desks.
  • Vacuum inside furniture such as couch cushions and storage ottomans.
  • Walk around your house. Check the roof, foundation and siding. Keep track of changes over time to help catch little problems before they become big headaches.
Start seeding!
Spring is coming: 3 tips to get your garden ready
It’s (almost) never too early to start gardening. During late winter and early spring, you can:

  • Clear winter detritus and leftover fall debris.
  • Plan your garden by deciding layout and ordering seeds.
  • Pot spring bulbs to start blooms indoors.

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