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A Happy Thanksgiving for Marion and Cedar Rapids

by Heather Morris

I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t love Thanksgiving. It’s one of those holidays where we can just be happy for our friends and families, and all of the wonderful things we enjoy here in Marion and Cedar Rapids. Did you know that there are also real estate benefits to the holiday? Simply by being thankful, and taking stock of all that we already have, we may just realize that our real estate situation is even better than we thought it was.

We sometimes apply the “grass is always greener” principle to our homes, comparing them to others without stopping to consider whether it’s really a fair appraisal. Idyllic renovations or over-the-top landscaping may be a good fit for celebrities or TV “reality” shows, but for the rest of us, they may turn out to be just food for frustration. Rather than fret that your home isn’t like Martha Stewart’s, stop to think about whether it fits not only your family’s needs and lifestyle, but your budget too. Chances are very good that it does. If it’s time to sell your home, this frame of mind will help you market it better because you’ll already know all the great features it has to offer.

Thanksgiving is also the starting gun for the shameless shopping season. It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy of buying, and the irrational need to spend more. Unfortunately, running up a holiday debt could affect your mortgage application in the months to come. What’s more, you may end up with more stuff that you don’t really need cluttering up your home. Not only is it more to clean and organize, it’s more to hide when it’s time to show your home to prospective buyers. If you’re shopping for a home, keep in mind the difference between what you need and what you want. You need a certain number of bathrooms or a garage, but you simply want an elaborate outdoor kitchen. What’s more, that “want” is probably something easy enough to add later on when the urge to spend has passed…if you still really, really want it.

Every year at this time I’m reminded of how fortunate I am to live here in Eastern Iowa, and what wonderful friends my clients have become. Know that I wish you all the best this Thanksgiving, and that I’m here to help you with any real estate questions you may have.

Heather Morris Realtor
Skogman Realty
341 8th Avenue
Marion, IA  52302
319-350-7653 (SOLD)
www.heathermorrisrealtor.com

Feeling the Burn in Marion and Cedar Rapids

by Heather Morris

With the cooler weather arriving, many of us here in Marion and Cedar Rapids are getting less exercise than we did during the summer…or at least that’s how it may seem. Did you know that cleaning your home is a great way to get exercise? It can be just as physically beneficial as spending an hour at the gym. What’s more, if you know how hard you’re working out, you’ll benefit even more.

Apartment Therapy recently released the results of a study that followed 84 hotel housekeepers. Half of the group was told which muscle groups they were using and the number of calories they were burning, and the other half wasn’t given any of that information. A month later, the group in the know had lost more weight, and lowered their blood pressure and BMI more than the other group. Since they were all doing the same activities, the results seem to point to the workers’ state of mind while doing the chores. Those who knew what was at stake were more likely to take advantage of the health benefits on offer.

When you’re at work cleaning your own home, keep in mind the following health information. It may just help you get more out of the work than simply a clean home.

Scrubbing floors – 325/calories hour. To maximize stretching and toning, get on your hands and knees.

Stairs – 250 calories/hour. Switch it up and don’t clean one floor all at once. The more frequently you climb, the more you’ll get out of it.

Vacuuming/sweeping – 240 calories/hour. Put on some music and make it an aerobics session. Chances are you’ll move faster.

Giving the change in the season, don’t forget your outside chores, too. Raking leaves can burn up to 235 calories/hour, mowing the lawn (not on a riding mower) comes in at 325 calories/hour, and shoveling snow gets you a whopping 415 calories/hour. Just be careful not to overdo it, and use your knees to lift heavy shovels.

Heather Morris
Skogman Realty
341 8th Avenue
Marion IA 52302
319-350-7653 (SOLD)
www.heathermorrisrealtor.com

Beating the Heat in Marion and Cedar Rapids

by Heather Morris

There’s nothing quite like summer here in Marion and Cedar Rapids – warm days and long, twilight evenings. Unfortunately, summer can also mean high heat and humidity, and an uncomfortable indoor environment. Here are some ideas to help you keep your cool this season.

Ceiling fans are one of the most economical beat-the-heat upgrades you can make. They’re relatively inexpensive to buy, and there’s an almost unlimited range of sizes and styles to fit your room and decor. For the cost of running a 100-watt bulb, the wind-chill effect they create will help you keep your cool. If you use air conditioning, running a ceiling fan in conjunction with it can save you 40-60 percent.

Speaking of air conditioning, make sure your unit is situated on either the north or east side of your home to keep it out of the direct sun as much as possible. If you can’t move the unit, consider planting trees or shrubs that will give it shade during the sunny months. Getting it out of the sun can save you 10 percent in electricity usage. Don’t forget to clean and change the filters, too. That can save you another 15 percent.

Your home’s windows let in almost 40 percent of the unwanted heat that accumulates during the day. Installing plantation shutters that let you control the light while letting in fresh air are a good option. A more costly one is to install insulated shutters, which can reduce heat exchange by up to 80 percent. A simple option is to use sun control film, much like what you see on some car windows. They reduce heat and glare, but bear in mind that they also reduce the amount of light that gets in. The most basic option of all may be your indoor window treatments. Honeycomb or cellular shades act as insulators, and some even have reflective coatings to block out the light.

Summer is also a great time to find the home of your dreams. The warm weather makes moving simpler, and the current market conditions make this the perfect time to both buy and sell. Call me today, and let me show you just how great this summer can be.

 

Heather Morris
Skogman Realty
341 8th Avenue
Marion, IA 52302

(319) 350-7653 (SOLD)

http://www.heathermorrisrealtor.com

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

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Heather Morris
Skogman Realty
341 8th Avenue
Marion IA 52302
(319)350-7653

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