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Blog Archive for April, 2015

Six Tips for Choosing the Right School For Your Child

Categories: Blog | Posted: April 23, 2015

Choose the right school for your child

Finding the right home in the right neighborhood is always a challenge for a home buyer. Parents with school-age children have even more to consider when it comes to picking “Location! Location! Location!”

When you’re moving within your own region, you already have knowledge of the school district’s reputation. If you’re moving farther, you need to take the time to consider various factors when choosing a school. Here are some questions to ask yourself and the schools.

  1. What type of learning environment is best for my child? No one knows your child better than you. Determine whether she will thrive in a small or large classroom, needs a particular type of curriculum (structured versus non-structured, liberal arts, faith-based), or would benefit from a school that offers bilingual education.
  2. Does the town support the school? The town’s annual report will show how much of the tax dollars are spent on education. Look at the spending per pupil to determine how deeply the town is committed to education. A properly funded school will have up-to-date computers and technology, a library of diverse resources, proper sporting equipment, and a well-maintained campus.
  3. What services are offered? A school that employs a full complement of staffing—including on-site nurse, resource officer, librarian, and guidance counselors—is better equipped to provide a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment.
  4. What extra-curricular programs are available? The classroom is just one part of the overall education experience. Extra-curricular programs, like clubs and sports teams, provide valuable learning for young people. If your child is an avid lacrosse player, for example, and the school you’re considering doesn’t have a team, then you might want to look elsewhere for the right school.
  5. Does the district offer school choice? Having the ability to choose from more than one school for your child is a benefit. Some districts have a lottery where a certain number of students can attend a different school that better suits their needs. If you have a child who is musically inclined, the possibility of enrolling him in a magnet school for the performing arts may be just what you want.
  6. How does this school’s rating compare locally, regionally, and nationally? Visit GreatSchools.org to view a detailed report on the schools in the area you’re considering, including parent reviews. Keep in mind that all schools – whether they are rated highly or not – often have special tracks for either highly skilled students or those with special needs that are excellent. Don’t let a single score scare you from making the best choice for your child.

Once you have done all of this advance research, you can take the extra step to schedule a tour of each school to see and sense the environment for yourself.

New Home Sales Strongest In Seven Years!

Categories: Blog | Posted: April 17, 2015

New Homes Sales Up

If you are looking to purchase a new home – for any reason – you may not want to wait much longer. Of course you might think we would be biased, but the Wall Street Journal and ABC News agree with us – new home sales are the strongest they have ever been in the last seven years. In fact, here at Tuskes Homes we have already sold over 30 homes this year, and it’s only the middle of April!

New homes have also become a better value over the last year as used home prices have risen dramatically, and the amount of used homes available to purchase has dropped. When you combine the surge in prices with the lack of modern amenities, and energy efficient construction in most used homes, it becomes easy to see why new homes are so popular right now.

Existing Home Sales Data

When home sales increase at the rate we have seen, rising mortgage rates are often not far behind. Even a small increase in rates could mean you lose out on tens of thousands of dollars in buying power, or end up paying hundred more per month. If you’d like to schedule a private appointment in one of our communities to take advantage of today’s momentum before prices increase CLICK HERE or call Martha at (484) 626-1616. We’d hate for you to miss this opportunity!

A Guide To Home Security

Categories: Blog | Posted: April 9, 2015

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The advancement of technology isn’t merely boosting our computers, smartphones, and home electronics, but delivering a convenient, affordable method for home protection. A home security system that features 24-hour monitoring provides peace of mind, but you should be sure that the system you choosing is providing the type and degree of protection you want.

A professional can run the wires in a few hours. Or you my be able to opt for a wireless home security system that works off a cellular signal. The wired systems are more secure, and is often a benefit of new construction.

You also need to be clear on the level of security you need. Do you have an elderly or impaired person in the home who would benefit from a wearable alert when they need help? If so, ask your home security system provider if they offer medical monitoring services.

Do you have pets that might set off a motion sensor? A system that is triggered too easily and frequently might cause you to ignore the alarm when an actual intruder sets it off.

Surveillance security cameras have become a popular option for homeowners. You can capture unwanted visitors on video, and the presence of the cameras is often a enough of a deterrent to protect your home.

You can also install sensors that will sound an alert in the case of smoke, carbon monoxide, or broken glass.

Next, contact your insurance provider to find out if there are any discounts on your home insurance premium if you install a home security system. This could save you a good amount every year.

Finally, remember that a security system only works when you are consistent. Make sure it is enabled. Sometimes, there is even an “app for that” so you can arm the system while away from your house if you forget.

 

7 Bathroom Upgrades Not To Forget

Categories: Blog | Posted: April 2, 2015

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Bathrooms have seen a dramatic shift, thanks to technological advances in home design. What used to be an afterthought, with a sink, toilet, tub and/or showering has evolved into a more thoughtful space. It has grown from purely functional to aesthetically pleasing and pleasingly pampering.

If you’re ready to take a fresh look at your bathroom, consider add any or all of these 7 bathroom upgrades to your wish list.

#1. Pocket door

We’ll start with the entryway. The bathroom often has limited space. In truth, no matter how much space you have in this vital room, you could also use more. By installing a pocket door, or even a sliding door, you conserve that area where your door swings into the room, which is approximately 14 square feet.

If you don’t want to install a pocket door inside the wall, a popular trend is hanging a barn door on a rail above the frame, so it slides back and forth.

#2. Heated floor

What could be more welcoming than stepping onto the cold bathroom floor first thing in the morning and feeling the warmth of radiant heating under your feet? Radiant heat under your floor not only treats your feet, but also efficiently heats the room. You can even set a timer to begin warming up your floor in advance so it’s at the perfect temperature when you walk in the room or step out of the shower.

#3. Luxury shower

Perhaps the focal point of today’s bathrooms, the shower has been reborn. Between the overall size, the wealth of tile choices, a new generation of shower head technology, and the sleek look of frameless, curbless doors, your shower can be a private spa. Expand the space and install multiple showerheads, above and on the sides, if you like. The tiles can be glass, ceramic, or stone—or a combination—to customize a unique look.

The curbless, walk-in shower has no threshold to step over. The shower is flush with the bathroom floor, for a sleeker style. And a frameless glass door and windows gives a more spacious, elegant look.

#4. Motion-activated faucet

You might already have one of these in your kitchen, because a motion-activated faucet gives you hands-free functionality. Why not enjoy the same convenience in the bathroom. Whether you have soapy hands, wet nail polish, or a fistful of whatever, you can turn the water on and off without having to turn the faucet handle or lever.

#5. Dual flush toilet

Energy efficiency can be built into every room of your home. A dual flush toilet gives two choices for flushing. Press one button to use less water and another for a bigger rush in your flush—because you don’t always need a lot of water to rinse the toilet bowl. High efficiency toilets use only one gallon to flush liquid waste, or either 1.28 (required in California) or 1.6 gallons for the solid.

#6. Softer bathroom lighting

The old-fashioned, overhead bathroom light is a thing of the past. Today’s bathrooms feature more functional and visually appealing lighting. Sconces on either side of the mirror add better lighting than overhead. If you can add a skylight, you can also enjoy natural lighting.

#7. Dual sinks

If you’ve ever tried to jockey for space at a single bathroom sink, you can appreciate the value of two sinks, no waiting. Many of today’s bathroom vanity designs feature space for dual sinks, because the demand has soared for master bathrooms.

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