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Craig Whitlock

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Spring Pest Season Is Among Us

by Craig Whitlock

Spring has sprung! As we begin our Spring home cleaning, it’s important to keep a look out for pests, as ants, roaches, spiders and other pests that are dormant over winter will likely start to become more active in the next few weeks.  Of course the area in which you reside may determine which type of pest most frequently encountered, but here on the Westside, we have a pretty good array to deal with.

"Now that spring has officially begun and once temperatures are consistently above 70 degrees, pests will begin making their way out in full force," says Matt Peterson, Orkin's Southeast Division technical services manager. "Insects stay in a hibernation-like state during the winter since cold temperatures slow down their metabolism and reproduction cycles, but as the weather begins to warm, their systems start moving again."

Ants
Many homeowners consider ants to be one of the most serious pests. There are more than 10,000 species worldwide, and about 50 of those in the United States. Ants can infest homes by coming in through the tiniest of cracks, and controlling them is difficult because they leave an invisible pheromone trail for others to follow once they find a food source. There are three main categories of ants: nuisance, health (such as fire ants) and structural (such as carpenter ants).

"Another common sign in the Spring is a group of ants with wings which can be confused with termite swarms," said Peterson. "It's a common misconception because of their similar appearance. Correctly identifying an ant infestation determines the best treatment method."

Roaches
In addition to entering a home through cracks and crevices, vents and pipes, other items like grocery bags, boxes and purses can transport cockroaches and their eggs. Because cockroaches are nocturnal, if you see one during the day, that means they were likely forced out by overcrowding—a possible sign of a severe infestation.

Cockroaches are filthy pests. They pick up germs on their legs and bodies and can spread disease, contaminate food and cause allergies and asthma. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), roaches can also carry organisms that cause diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, typhoid fever and viral diseases.

"Roaches burrow in mulch or bark for the winter," said Peterson. "But since the ground temperature has been getting warmer, you may start to see more and more of them as the temperatures begin to increase."

Spiders
According to a recent Omnibus survey, the biggest concerns with spiders are that "they could bite, sting or attack me" (50 percent) and "they're creepy" (44 percent). However, there are only two species of spiders in the U.S. that are harmful to humans – the brown recluse and the black widow. Most other spiders are just nuisance pests and like to feed on other insects, so if you see spiders around the inside of your home, that could be a sign of a larger pest problem.

"Sanitation is really the most important factor when it comes to helping to prevent spiders," said Peterson. "Some spiders like moisture and others like dry, warm areas."

Peterson recommends the following tips to help prevent ants, roaches and spiders from being attracted to your home:

  • Remove all unnecessary food and water sources.
  • Seal cracks and crevices around doors and windows.
  • Clean up spilled food and drinks immediately.
  • Keep gutters clear, and direct water from downspouts away from your home.
  • Thin vegetation and do not pile mulch or allow soil to accumulate against your home's siding.  This could provide access for ants and roaches to enter your home.

Source: www.orkin.com.

LA Westside Sales Highlights - February 2013

by Craig Whitlock

This report will provide a quick overview as to how the Westside micro-markets are currently performing and then compares that data to the same period a year ago.  The key market indicators are:

Pending Sales Activity - sometimes referred to as the 'Number of Properties Under Contract'.  This is a forward-looking indicator of current sales activity where there has been an accepted offer and escrow has opened.

Median Sales Price - that point at which half of the properties have sold for a greater amount and half have sold for a lesser amount.  This indicator pinpoints where in the price spectrum homes have sold rather than reflecting home value.  There is a common misperception that a drop in the MSP directly indicates a drop in home value.  It is far more likely that the drop indicates either smaller, older and/or homes in lower-priced areas have sold during the period.

Months Supply of Inventory (MSI) - a leading indicator of market supply, which directly impacts pricing.  Generally, a five to six month supply indicates market equilibrium while anything less signals a 'seller's market' and anything above a 'buyer's market'.  

LA Westside Homes For Sale - Sales Highlights Chart - February 2013   Information not guaranteed.  © 2009 Terradatum and its suppliers and licensors (http://www.terradatum.com/metrics/licensors)

To view a portfolio of four additional reports trended over the past 12 months:  Properties For Sale, Days On Market, New Properties For Sale and Supply & Demand, visit the Market Sales Data section.  If you have any questions or would like to discuss this data at greater length, just drop me a note or call.

LA Westside Sales Highlights - January 2013

by Craig Whitlock

This report will provide a quick overview as to how the Westside micro-markets are currently performing and then compares that data to the same period a year ago.  The key market indicators are:

Pending Sales Activity - sometimes referred to as the 'Number of Properties Under Contract'.  This is a forward-looking indicator of current sales activity where there has been an accepted offer and escrow has opened.

Median Sales Price - that point at which half of the properties have sold for a greater amount and half have sold for a lesser amount.  This indicator pinpoints where in the price spectrum homes have sold rather than reflecting home value.  There is a common misperception that a drop in the MSP directly indicates a drop in home value.  It is far more likely that the drop indicates either smaller, older and/or homes in lower-priced areas have sold during the period.

Months Supply of Inventory (MSI) - a leading indicator of market supply, which directly impacts pricing.  Generally, a five to six month supply indicates market equilibrium while anything less signals a 'seller's market' and anything above a 'buyer's market'.  

LA Westside Homes For Sale - Sales Highlights Chart - January 2013   Information not guaranteed.  © 2009 Terradatum and its suppliers and licensors (http://www.terradatum.com/metrics/licensors)

To view a portfolio of four additional reports trended over the past 12 months:  Properties For Sale, Days On Market, New Properties For Sale and Supply & Demand, visit the Market Sales Data section.  If you have any questions or would like to discuss this data at greater length, just drop me a note or call.

Challenging Times For Home Sellers in 2012

by Craig Whitlock

Last year was certainly a positive growth story for the market overall particularly as it related to first-time buyers.  It however represented a contrasting reality for sellers as many home owners were selling to get out of the market due to financial hardships rather than moving up.  The article below provides some insights into those issues.

Painting Kids' Rooms: Tips and Tricks To Get It Right

by Craig Whitlock

Looking to set up a nursery in your home or revamp the color of your tweens bedroom? Painting is an easy and cost-effective way to create just the right atmosphere. But knowing how to get started can feel overwhelming. These tips will help you choose the best type and color of paint, while keeping the process quick and stress-free. 

Sheen Savvy -Sheen determines how shiny your paint looks when it's dry. Choosing the right sheen adds the perfect finishing touch on a room, and it can make a big difference when it comes to cleaning up.

Semi-Gloss - Brings a soft shine to the room without being overpowering. It's good for kids' rooms because it's durable and easy to clean. You can wipe off crayon and pencil marks with common non-abrasive cleaners.

Eggshell/Satin - Has a smooth finish with a subtle sheen, and is washable and scrubbable.
Flat - A beautiful matte coating with no shine. It is ideal for low-traffic areas and hides minor dents or nicks best.

Choosing Colors
For many DIYers, choosing paint colors can be a tricky and time-intensive process. There are so many options and many people worry about making a big color mistake.

Get inspired - Look through magazines, websites such as Pinterest®, an online pinboard, and even at friends' homes to get some ideas.

Try them out - Once you've narrowed down your color choices, try out your top picks to see how they will look in the room with your specific lighting conditions.


Painting Tips
• Consider using a combination paint and primer -- it can save you time and money by eliminating the need to use two painting products.
• Work from the ceiling down to the baseboards. Do one entire wall or area at a time.
• Use wide masking tape to mask off areas you don't want to paint, such as window panes or trim.
• Use a roller to paint in blocks of roughly 4 x 4 feet. Paint adjacent blocks before each previous block dries to help blend the edges.
• Paint molding and woodwork with a brush, in the direction of the wood grain. Use short strokes to coat the surface, then use longer, smoother strokes for an even and finished surface.
• Make sure the room is well ventilated as you paint.
• Pick a paint that dries quickly and has low odor, so your child can move into the newly painted space sooner.

Source: www.Glidden.com
.

Stop The Spread of Flu With These Home Cleaning Tips

by Craig Whitlock

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu activity has been elevated for the past four consecutive weeks and we are on track to have a relatively elevated number of cases this season. If someone in your home has flu symptoms, take extra caution and use these cleaning tips to keep yourself healthy this winter.

  • Everyone in the home should wash his or her hands regularly in warm soapy water. For quick disinfecting, use alcohol-based antibacterial hand sanitizer. Make an effort not to touch your mouth, eyes or nose without first washing your hands.
  • When cleaning, always wear rubber gloves to protect yourself.
  • Regularly use household disinfectant on any surfaces that are commonly touched, like toys, doorknobs, appliance handles, remote controls, light switches, phones, and facial tissue box covers. Follow proper usage instructions on the product label. Some viruses can live for up to 48 hours on hard surfaces.
  • Use disinfecting spray in bathrooms. Spray disinfecting cleaner on a cloth and wipe clean toilet handles and seats, faucets, showers, tubs and sinks. Allow the disinfectant to air dry for several minutes.
  • Make sure to wash items like towels and bedding in hot water with detergent. Be sure not to share these items until they are thoroughly washed if someone has been sick in the home.
  • Change vacuum bags frequently.
  • If multiple toothbrushes are kept in a common container, boil toothbrushes for one minute in water and vinegar, put them through the dishwasher or purchase new ones.
  • To protect yourself at work, use antibacterial wipes on your keyboard, phone and writing utensils regularly, in case others have used them.

Source:  http://www.maids.com/


 

Displaying blog entries 161-166 of 166

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Craig Whitlock
COLDWELL BANKER BRENTWOOD
11661 San Vicente Blvd., 10th Floor
Los Angeles CA 90049
Mobile: (310) 488-4399
Fax: (310) 820-1457

Broker/Agent does not guarantee the accuracy of the square footage, lot size or other information concerning the conditions or features of properties provided by the seller or obtained from Public Records or other sources as presented in this website.  Interested parties are advised to independently verify the accuracy of all information through personal inspection and with appropriate professionals.  Information herein deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

CalBRE LIC 01827537