Dirty Money

We live in a world obsessed with cleanliness and are constantly being told that bacterial danger lurks everywhere. But few of us give much thought to one of the dirtiest things we carry every day – our money. That money in your purse or wallet is teeming with life.

Each dollar bill carries about 3,000 types of bacteria on its surface. Most are harmless, but not all. DNA tests show that drug-resistant microbes on money can include traces of anthrax and diphtheria. In other words, your wallet is a portable petri dish.

The most common microbes on the bills, by far, are ones that cause acne. Others were linked to gastric ulcers, pneumonia, food poisoning and staph infections, the scientists said. Some carried genes responsible for antibiotic resistance.

There is also lots of bacteria that aren’t pathogenic: They simply like to hang out on people’s bodies. Some of these critters may even protect the skin from harmful microbes. Other money dwellers included mouth microbes and bacteria that thrive in our private parts because many people probably aren’t washing their hands after they use the bathroom.

Testing has also detected genes that make bacteria impervious to penicillin and methicillin. The latter make MRSA bacteria such dangerous pathogens.

Human touch compounds the problem. Bacteria can feed on the waxy residue of skin and oils that builds up on bills in circulation. We actually provide the nutrients when we handle the bank notes,

At this point, though, scientists don’t how important money is for transmitting pathogens and fueling disease outbreaks.

Would changing the material that paper money bills are made from help to keep them cleaner? The jury is still out.

Some countries, such as Canada, have started printing money on flexible sheets of polymer film, a fancy plastic. One study found fewer bacteria, in general, grew on these plastic bills than cotton-based ones, like the dollar and euro notes. But another study reported that microbes survive longer on polymer-based bills.

Until the ideal material gets figured out, the best protection against money’s invisible inhabitants is also the simplest one: Wash your hands after handling cash.

dirty-money-germs-dollar-bills

Photo via creditnet

The good life for our customers, our good customers for life!

My goal is to have you be amazed with the quality of my service. You have my personal guarantee that you will never find a more complete and satisfying real estate experience anywhere in the world.

I never forget that it is your home I will be selling, not mine. I offer the education and guidance needed for you to make good choices, and I make sure the final choices are yours. Your satisfaction is far more important to me than is any commission check.

I thank you in advance for giving me the opportunity to be your Realtor. You are appreciated!

A Different Resolution

There’s no point in making New Year’s resolutions that you aren’t going to keep anyway. So, why not try something different to boost your happiness and revitalize your life. Here are some suggestions:

Get your picture taken in five interesting places. Visit five interesting places you’ve always wanted to see and make a visual record by making sure you get a photo of yourself taken in each place. How about inside an igloo in Alaska or on the Great Wall of China. Inside a volcanic crater or floating in the Dead Sea. The opportunities are limitless.

Break a record. Make this the year that you break a record! You could aim at breaking a personal fitness record or, if you want to aim a little higher, set your sights on a world one. With lots of diverse (and bizarre) records there for the taking, this may not be as difficult as you think. Check the Guiness Book of Records for some great ideas.

Make a new friend a month. Friends are great for your health, and the more you have of them the better. So, why not make it a New Year’s resolution to expand your social circle. Try to make one new friend a month by making a conscious effort to attend more social events, chat to strangers and get introductions to friends of friends. Making friends with people with different personalities and interests from you can be particularly beneficial in helping you to broaden your horizons, explore different sides of your personality and find new ways to get the most out of life.

Develop a good relationship with your body. Many traditional New Year’s resolutions center around improving our bodies in some way, whether by taking up a diet or joining a gym. But how about a resolution to start to love the body you’ve got instead. While this doesn’t mean you can’t make changes to your diet and fitness regime, it does mean starting to love who you are in the process. Work on improving your body confidence by focusing on the things you do like rather than those you don’t.

Learn something you never learned as a child. You may run your own company, pay your own bills and parallel-park like a pro, but do you know how to do a handstand or ride a bike? For this New Year’s resolution it’s time to nurture your inner child and learn that thing that you never learned to do. Whether it’s the number of days in each month, how to spell ‘necessary’ correctly, how to ride a bike or swim, we all have something we never learned as a child that everyone else seems to know. Have some fun by redressing this gap in your knowledge. Your younger self would be proud!

Try a new food each week. Rather than cutting out foods from your diet as with so many New Year’s resolutions, opt to add more foods in to your diet next year instead. Many of us don’t eat a varied enough diet, so ensure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs – as well as enhancing your enjoyment of food – by making a resolution to try a new food each week. Try hitting the fruit and veggie aisle first to sample some exotic fruit and vegetables you may have yet to try.

Should I list my house for sale in the winter?

A. Winter can be an unappealing time of year to sell your home, but often necessity dictates that you sell at this time of year. Because winter is a dreary time of year, it’s especially important to make your home stand out. Here are some ideas:

Your home should always be warm when a realtor conducts a walkthrough with buyers. Set a timer on your thermostat so it’s warm when they arrive. Also make sure to check there are no leaks or problems with your ducts and vents. You don’t want cold rooms during a walkthrough.

It’s also important to ensure that your home is well lit. You want buyers to feel welcome and impressed. If a room has dim lighting or a burned-out bulb, it will take away from the overall appeal of the room. You may also consider spending a little extra money to upgrade your lighting fixtures. A well lit house is a powerful selling force.

Although your yard will be mostly winterized during the winter, there are ways to spruce it up. Start by clearing your yard of any broken branches or large patches of fallen leaves. It’s also important to ensure that any ice or snow on or near your home’s walkway is removed.

In addition to keeping your house well-lit and warm, there are other ways to make your home cozy and welcoming to buyers. This includes soft music, homemade treats, a lit fireplace if you have one and holiday decorations. You want to make every attempt to make buyers to feel as though they already live in your home when they walk through the door.

I’d be more than happy to discuss this further with you and answer any questions you may have. Just give me a call!

Our Goals: To Maximize Profits To Minimize Hassles

There are two types of real estate agents, aggressive and passive. List with a passive agent and your home will be put in the multiple listing services with the hope that another agent will find a buyer for it. The MLS and a sign are about all you’ll get.

An aggressive agent will implement a proactive marketing plan designed to bring as many potential buyers as possible into your home. Instead of taking a wait and see posture, the aggressive agent attacks the marketplace. His or her goal is to assure that 100% of the buyer pool is made aware that your home is available.

Because there is a direct correlation between the numbers of buyers who see your home and its final sales price, it is important to list with an agent that aggressively pursues buyers.

You will not find a more aggressive marketing plan than the one we offer. Our goals are to maximize your net proceeds and minimize hassles.

February: A time to value the significant people in our lives

The good things in life are a whole lot better when they are shared with someone special. Take the time to do something significant with the important people in your life.

We sincerely thank you for all you have done to make our business a success. You are very much appreciated!

If there is anything we can do to repay you for your past, present and future support, please call us.

If you would like to know the value of a home you own, or would like to own, please call or e-mail us for a no-cost, no-obligation professional evaluation.

Trading Before It’s Paid

Some car dealers advertise that when you trade in one vehicle to buy another, they will pay off the balance of your loan – no matter how much you owe. But some people owe more on their car than the car is worth and for them, the dealer’s promises to pay off their entire loan may be misleading.

People with negative equity should pay special attention to vehicle trade-in offers because the ads may not be true. Dealers may include the negative equity in consumers’ new car loan. That would increase their monthly payments by adding principal and interest. What are your thoughts on trading in a car?

Maximize Your Home’s Appeal With These Tips

Once you have committed to selling your home, there are a number of things you can do to help get the best possible price in the shortest amount of time.

I am an expert in marketing homes. However, selling your home is a joint effort with you playing an important role in the final results. Your major role is to make your home as attractive as possible to potential buyers.

Remember that first impressions count. You should do everything you can to make that first impression a positive one. People who consider buying your home will be as critical as you are in searching for your new home.

Take an inspection tour of your home, observing it as a potential buyer would. Take note of any minor repairs and painting that need to be done.

Here are some tips which have proven valuable to homeowners in preparing their homes for showing.

Don’t Over Improve
Many families tend to live with a broken doorknob & cracked window. All of these little things should be fixed because no prospective buyer wants to do the maintenance you have deferred. Use caution in planning major improvements that you think will enable you to get more for the house than you paid for it. Of course, an investment in paint where it’s obviously needed will be well worth the cost. The same is true with carpeting shabby enough to be a turn-off. Most people out shopping for a house would rather plan their own major changes, & you are usually wiser to sell to them the potential at a price they can afford.

Showing The House

  • The TV & radio should be turned off. Let the salesperson & buyer talk, free of disturbances.
  • Send children & pets outdoors to play. This will eliminate confusion & keep the prospect’s attention focused on your home.
  • Leave drapes open for light & airiness. All lights should be turned on to give the rooms a larger appearance & cheerful effect.
  • Be sure the kitchen sink is free of dishes and rooms are uncluttered.
  • Be courteous but don’t force conversation with the potential buyer. They want to inspect your house, not pay a social call.
  • Never apologize for the appearance of your home. After all, it has been lived in. Let the agent answer any objections.
  • The salesperson knows the buyer’s requirements & can better emphasize the features of your home when you don’t tag along. You will be called if needed.
  • Let the Realtor discuss price, terms, possession & other factors with the customer.
  • One of the most important things I can do for you is to view your home objectively and make suggestions that will improve it’s appearance and marketability.