Holiday Safety

Our society is increasing communication via social networking. Most of us love to post what we are doing and our exact location at the time of our post. As the holidays are frequently a peak crime season, we should all revisit our safety measures. If you are leaving for the holidays, perhaps an online posting should be excluded. 

This post from MUSC about Holiday Crime Prevention provides some handy reminders.

“Christmas and the holiday shopping season is a peak time for crimes such as home burglaries, thefts, and even muggings. This brochure contains valuable tips that can help prevent you from being the victim of a crime during the holidays.” click here to read more…

In-Floor Heating – “Heating Up” In Popularity!

As the coolness and crispness of Autumn begin to settle in here in Wisconsin, we thought we would share an article that recently ran in the Appleton, WI newspaper about the rising popularity of radiant in-floor heating in new homes and as a home improvement. A toasty warm floor on a chilly morning – sounds pretty good!

You can read all about it by clicking here.

Whenever you have questions about home improvements to your home or a property that you wish to market for sale, be sure to email!

How Do You Store Your “Stuff” At Home?

If you have worked with Glass Slipper Homes you know that we go paperless whenever we’re able to. For example, when you visit one of our listings you will receive a cd containing scanned copies of property information rather than a packet of paperwork. We like it that way – and we hope you do too!

This leads to the question of the day – how and where do you store important documents in your home? While we strive to make sure our homes are safe at all times, sometimes accidents happen. With this in mind, where do you keep documents like insurance policies? The title policy for your home? The closing documents that the title company gave you after a property purchase or refinance? Copies of your tax returns? Receipts if you’re a business owner?

A common answer is a Banker’s Box that you can purchase at any office supply store. While this is handy and economical, what if you store it in your basement and then you get water down there after a heavy rainstorm? Or if you put the same box anywhere else in your house, what will  happen to the information if something like a fire or smoke damage occurs? These aren’t things that we like to think about, but it’s important as responsible homeowners to do so.

If possible, consider scanning documents into your computer and then backing up your computer system using an on site option like an external hard drive or an off site option like Mozy or Carbonite. If scanning isn’t an option for you, consider a water and fireproof container for storing important documents – you won’t regret it!

For more tips on how we achieve paperless as well as we do, email!

More Remodeling Tips: Cost Vs. Value

In our last post we discussed tips for remodeling that won’t break the bank. Another great tip that we want to share is the “Cost Vs. Value” report that is published annually by Remodeling Magazine and featured in the National Association of Realtors publication titled: REALTOR. This report offers a break down of average costs for common residential remodels (Cost) and then it also charts the average recoup on the investment (Value). While this report is only a tool, you can consider it a great resource as you contemplate remodeling your home. You can review the actual 2009-2010 report by clicking here. Be sure to click on your region (and your exact city when possible) to see information relevant to your geographic area.

If you have any questions, email!

Don’t Let Remodeling Break Your Bank – Five Ways to Save on Home Improvements

With a stymied economy and a slow housing market, many people are electing to stay put in their existing homes – with a little help from home improvement.  Spending on remodeling is expected to rise this year and we have a few tips to hold down expenses and still get the updates you want.

  1. Create a budget and plan and stick with it. Do a some research on the types of improvements you want and get a feel for both labor and materials costs. Use those numbers to create a basic budget that you know you can comfortably afford and then design a simple plan for making that happen. It will help your contractor understand your vision better and should keep you on track to stay within your spending limits.
  2. Choose contractors wisely. Get at least three bids and check references. There are also online resources, like Angie’s List, that can be used to screen potential contractors. The low bid may not necessarily be the best bid – get your estimates in writing and line them up against your preliminary plan.
  3. Do the demo and prep work yourself. If you have the ability to do some basic demo, such as removing old appliances or fixtures, wallpaper, or popcorn ceilings, you can save money and focus your contractor on specialized skills like carpentry and electrical. Disposing of used materials and trash yourself will also help keep your costs down.
  4. Use recycled materials. It may make sense to use recycled lumber and other materials – even recycled hardware can add a unique touch and may be much less expensive (and greener) than new.
  5. Make selections quickly and stay with them. Time is money to your contractor and any delays you insert into the process by delaying or changing your selections can layer cost on without you even realizing it. Look for the types of materials and the color selections you prefer during your planning phase and don’t change your mind mid-stream.

Updating your home can be a relatively simple and affordable process that can make your home more livable for you and more desirable for resale down the road. If you follow some basic strategies, you are sure to be pleased with the improvements and save money in the process.

If you would like to discuss what home improvements may be best for your property, send us an email at!