Category Archives: Holiday

5 Things to Think About for Your Vacation Home

With favorable interest rates still at hand, you may be considering the possibility of a vacation home. A vacation home can be an excellent investment, providing you with a tangible asset you can also enjoy when you want to take a little time off.


Here are some tips to keep in mind before you start your search for the ideal vacation home:


  1. How far do you want to travel? A remote cabin in an unspoiled wilderness might be a lifelong fantasy, but how much fun will it be if it takes half your vacation time to get there? Ask yourself how often you might use this vacation home and how much time you’re willing to spend to get there.


  1. Have you spent time there before? Don’t buy before you try. Certain locales may sound romantic or exotic, but if your only experience with the place is on the Travel Channel, do yourself a favor and spend some time there first. Choose a living arrangement for your visit which will be most like the sort of home you’re looking to buy (i.e a condo, in a neighborhood, etc.).


  1. Understand “the high season.” Almost every vacation destination will have a time of year where crowds flock. Ask yourself if you want to be there during this season or if you’re more interested in the lucrative potential of renting out your property.


  1. Build in a renter’s mindset. A significant way to offset expenses and build equity is planning to rent your vacation home out when you’re not around. Talking to local property managers can help you understand the seasons, occupancy rates, and the market for rentals. It will help inform your financial picture.


  1. Understand total expenses, not just the mortgage. There will be costs, and you need to see the big picture before you commit. This includes utilities, maintenance, property taxes, and insurance for starters. You want to invest in what you can actually afford.


Proper planning can make owning a vacation home a profitable joy. I’m happy to help you plan for your first vacation home. Let me represent your interests as you search for that perfect “getaway investment”:


A Thanksgiving Post

With Thanksgiving nearly here, I’m reminded of the tradition many families share in which each member around the table expresses something they’re deeply thankful for in their lives. (Truth be told, it’s probably one we should practice every day.)

While I won’t be gathering with you for your feast this year, I would like to share with you my gratitude for your support.

The scholar W.T. Purkiser once said, “It’s not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, that is the true measure of our thanksgiving.”

It is all about our service to others. I am grateful for the trust you place in me, and hope I am able to serve you and your family for years to come. May your Thanksgiving Holiday be a special one.

Can’t Stand the Heat? Make sure your Kitchen can!

The kitchen is the hub of many happy homes. We gather family, entertain guests, and cook special meals for loved ones. Unlike the basic kitchens of even thirty years ago, today’s kitchens feature double-ovens, deluxe, multiple burner stove tops, warming drawers, and even indoor grilling stations. But the kitchen can also be a dangerous place. Did you know that most cooking fires in the home involve the stovetop? The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. Any number of simple mistakes or lapses in attention can turn a festive time into a disaster. To prevent this from happening, keep these handy kitchen fire (and burn!) prevention tips handy, courtesy of the National Fire Prevention Association

• Be alert: If you’re exhausted or have been consuming alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.

• Remain in the kitchen when frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen during these activities, turn off the stove.

• Use a timer when baking, roasting, or boiling food to remind you to check these dishes.

• Keep anything which could catch fire (oven mitts, wooden utensils, packaging, paper towels, dish towels, or curtains) away from your stove. This includes loose clothing and long hair!

• Keep a lid nearby to smother grease fires. Slide the lid over the grease fire and turn off the stove. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cool. Alternately, keep baking soda or a large quantity of salt nearby to smother the fire. Do not use water! Water will only spread the fire!

• For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

• Maintain a 3-foot “kid free” zone around the stove where food is prepared or carried.

• Keep your stove’s hood or exhaust fan free of grease. Build-up is dangerous.

A printable PDF of many of these tips is available here:

Remember: If you do have a kitchen fire that you cannot control, get everyone safely out of the house and call 911 / emergency services.

Summer is Over

Is it really possible that summer is over? It seems that not so long ago we were turning the corner into the new year, the celebrating the Fourth of July and enjoying long summer days. Now of course, those days are starting to shorten.

Continue reading


Halloween is a lot of fun for adults and kids, but nothing ruins the ghoulish night like a trip to the emergency room or a lawsuit. Here are 11 tips to help you balance spooky and safe:

1. Survey all approaches to your home, beginning from the property line. Keep an eye out for hazards, including loose bricks/stones, or holes in the yard.

2. Resist using open flames inside or outside. Use electric light effects, glow sticks, or electric candles instead.

3. Check your smoke alarms and make sure all exits to the house are clear of clutter

4. Before dark, check for exposed extension cords and make sure cords avoid wet areas.

5. Determine how much darkness you really want. Lighted pathways and porches are both inviting and safer for your guests.

6. Make sure children can see in their costumes! Obstructed vision from masks can keep them from noticing cars, hazards, or other excited kids.

7. Also make sure children can be seen by others. Glow sticks are fun “high visibility” items, especially when costumes are dark (also: reflective velcro bicycling bands around ankles or wrists can be a good idea).

8. Never let a child trick-or-treat alone. If they’re going out unsupervised, make sure they stay in a group.

9. Don’t let pets run loose! Halloween is a scary time for pets and they may become aggressive in protecting your home or themselves.

10. Be allergy-sensitive and skip treats with nuts or peanut butter (or offer allergen free alternatives).

11. Do a “treat check” before letting kids dive in, chucking anything questionable either for safety concerns or spoilage.

Fourth of July Inspiration(s)…

Instead of writing a post this week. I wanted to share a blog I follow, A Southern Gir’s Ramblings. I’ve inserted the link to her post in honor of Indpendence Day. Hope you all enjoy!

Benjamin Franklin Quote