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Posted by Diane Stone on 10/6/2017

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Posted by Diane Stone on 3/28/2017

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Posted by Diane Stone on 12/16/2016

Happy Holidays!

There's some great info in this month's newsletter. Enjoy and call me for anything!

Brought to you by Diane Stone.


Home improvements: DIY or hire a pro?

Everything feels new and exciting when you buy a home, but unless you’re buying a newly built house, repairs and improvements are likely in the near future. You can tackle some projects yourself, but others need professional work. Here are some questions to ask when deciding to DIY or hire a pro.

What can you afford?
Buying a home requires a lot of money up front, and you may not have much left for major improvements. DIY repairs can be more cost-effective, but not always. Depending on the project, purchasing materials and tools can cost the same as hiring a professional. Get quotes from multiple places and compare them to the cost of doing the project yourself before making a decision.

What skills are needed?
Before going the DIY route on any home repairs, you should ask yourself if you have the proper skills for the project. Major projects, like plumbing and electrical work, need certain knowledge and experience to be done well. If the job isn’t done right, you could end up hiring a professional to redo the work anyway.

Is the project dangerous?
You should also consider whether or not you can do a project safely. If there’s a chance of hurting yourself, it’s better to call the professionals. Additionally, you should consider hiring someone for projects that might jeopardize the safety of your home. For example, electrical work that's done incorrectly could be a fire hazard in the future.

Whatever project you’re considering, the work should be carefully thought out. Look into the costs, skill set and safety hazards involved before choosing to do it yourself or hire a professional.

Popular smart home devices

Smart homes are no longer a thing of the future. As technology advances, devices are being created or upgraded to make everyday functions faster, easier and energy efficient. Home automation — the ability to control items around the house from your phone or other connected device — is the new norm. Here are a few of the most popular smart home items on the market:

Automated thermostats can help ensure comfortable temperatures at all times and reduce your power usage. Some smart thermostats will even learn habits and adjust the temperature automatically throughout the day.

Light Bulbs
Smart bulbs are another way to save energy. You can adjust their brightness and change the color on some of them. Certain bulbs even come with security features, like motion activation.

Central Hub
With more smart devices in the home, a central system like Amazon Echo or Google Home will come in handy. Both have built-in “voice assistants” ready to respond to commands. You can tell it to play music, turn off lights, make a call or provide updates from your social media.

Smart devices are transforming home life. With certain functions automated, you can save time and money in the smallest of areas.

5 Holiday Gifts That Give Back

Make a difference this holiday season with gifts that support a good cause. These philanthropic gifts truly embrace the spirit of the season:

RxArt coloring book
Love Your Melon hat
Bears for Humanity teddy bear
cuddle + kind wall art
Hooray for the Underdog greeting cards

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Diane Stone REALTOR, ABR
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