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How Early is too Early?

by Noelle Tripolino Roberts

I must admit I'm a traditionalist in the sense that we do not decorate for Christmas until AFTER Thanksgiving.  I've seen way too many posts of Christmas trees and lights going up.  I've heard too many Christmas carols being sung. 

 

Speaking of...

 

Has anyone noticed the plumber building is all lit up like a tree already?

 

Christmas is one of my favorite times of year in all honesty.  I'm tending to jump on the bandwagon I've noticed coming the last few years of minimalism though.  I'm finding more value in time, homemade things, and family than in material things.  Perhaps it's a generational idea, or an era of sustainability that will fade, but I tend to think it's an overall good way of life. 

Toward the end of the season last year I posted about recycling options for Christmas lights.  These pesky things that are practically made to be disposable, yet bring joy and light to many during the holiday season where, here in Minnesota, it is dark by 4:30 shouldn't be taking up landfills. 

I wished I had known about this recycling option at the beginning of the season, however, so let this serve as a reminder of sorts.  My tendency is to go through and find the lights that are working well at the start of the season before I put them up.  At the end of the Christmas season, I just throw it all in a bin and assume I'll sort it out and untangle next year.  So as you're going through your Christmas lights to put them up.  Don't toss them out, recycle them and learn about this amazing organization and how it helps more than the environment by checking out the post from last year: http://www.rochesterhomesource.com/blog/Recycle-Old-Christmas-lights-right-here-in-Rochester

BONUS: They've added more drop off locations this year! Find the one closest one to you Here!


 

 

 

Still suffering from Allergies?

by Noelle Tripolino Roberts

Are you still struggling with allergies? They haven’t seemed to go away this year - having not had a truly hard frost, the congestion and itchy eyes have been a lingering bother for many.  

What you may not realize is that after pollen levels drop, it may not be your typical hay fever, rather the infamous mold causing these symptoms. About 10 percent of allergy sufferers are sensitive to mold spores.

I know we all reject the idea of mold spores growing in our home, and remain that we take exceptional care, but there are some places you may not have thought of that are great environments for these pesky fungi.

1. Your Dishwasher

You’d think a cleaning appliance would be clean, right? Thing again. When tests, 62%

of dishwashers had mold (especially in those rubber seals.) 56% contained black yeast which is toxic to humans. 

So, leave that dishwasher door cracked open or wipe it down with a towel. Also, don’t put damp dishes away until they’re dry.

 

2. Herbal Medicinal Plants

Herbal meds are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)yet in one study 90 percent of the samples had mold.  70 percent had fungi levels exceeding what’s considered an "acceptable amount” and 31 percent were identified as harmful to humans.

 

3. Toothbrush

I’ve always used multiple toothbrushes because this one grossed me out - turns out I wasn’t too far off.  You want your toothbrush to be dry to prevent mold growth.  If you have a power toothbrush, look at the head to find out if it’s a hollow-head or solid-head (You can tell by the way it connects to the base of the toothbrush) you want to aim for as little space as possible which means solid-head toothbrushes are best when preventing mold growth. 

Refrain from using covers (especially when traveling) it’s best to let it get fully dry to prevent mold growth. 

 

http://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/allergy-symptoms-there-might-be-hidden-mold-your-home

https://www.uth.edu/media/story.htm?id=9ad4907e-b9d0-4aa3-b8d1-7ebe6c787978

Happy Halloween!

by Noelle Tripolino Roberts

So, after our article and post yesterday, we decided it's a great time (unfortunately: because it can be anywhere) to focus on Mold.  While not as cool as shark week, we think "mold week" will be just as educational and less bloody.

In preparation of this beautiful Halloween day, I've watched as neighborhood pumpkins have sunk, sagged and began foaming at the mouth with mold. I remember mine from last year did the same. Actually, that memory is what stopped me from carving one this year. I've seen more posts this year than any year past about how to preserve your pumpkins and when I took the time to read the directions, it seems awfully complicated:

"Fill bathtub with bleach solution, completely submerge your carved pumpkin for 8 hours then air dry and cover with petroleum jelly, then refrigerate it when not in use... blah blah blah"

Too much work!

So what's your plan to still enjoy a pumpkin and avoid the "overgrowth"?  How'd it work this year?  We want to hear from you and see pictures : post on our facebook , Google+ , or twitter and we'll enter you to win a gift card to starbucks so you can snag that pumpkin spice latte before they're gone!

 

 

 

Threats of Mold

by David Glenn

How To End the Lurking Threat of Mold​

Unlike most household threats, mold has to be dealt with fast and eliminated with urgency. A rusty pipe or a cracked windowpane can wait a few weeks until the homeowner finds a decent contractor with affordable services, but mold has a direct effect on health, meaning that any delay is a hazard to the well­being of anyone living in the home.

Mold is Everywhere

Fungal growths known collectively as mold flourish everywhere in nature. Tens of thousands of varieties grow on trees, on forest floors, and under rocks, spreading quickly when supported by a warm and wet environment. Of course, modern homes carry their own sources of moisture. Pipes are the sealed conduits for household water supplies, and there's a network of drainage outlets and air conditioning ducts threading between walls and under floors. It only takes a tiny leak in one of these systems and a dark, warm space for mold to gain a foothold in a property. Air conditioning ducts become dirty and trap damp air and walls spaces become covered in condensation due to extreme levels of humidity. The conditions that allow mold to prosper are there, behind the walls and under the floorboards in every home.

The Health Impact

Although next to harmless when found under a shady tree or beneath a rock, mold in a home can trigger​countless allergic reactions responses and respiratory problems. The spores released by mold are a part of their biological reproduction cycle, a fundamental stage in fungal spread, but those airborne spores are the core of the health hazard. They float through air conditioning vents and become trapped in poorly ventilated rooms. The result is shortness of breath and skin irritation, but sensitive individuals exposed to contact with these spores could suffer from more dramatic and chronic illnesses, with most targeting the lungs. Asthma sufferers in particular run the risk of ending up in hospital due to a respiratory attack.

Tracking Down Mold

If a family member is suffering from a disturbing allergic reaction, even when all of the windows are closed, then there may be mold in the building. Even a runny nose and an itchy throat could be a sign of airborne spores floating through the house. Home protection begins by finding the area of infiltration and determining whether or not mold is the cause. If it's visible, the signs can easily be spotted as a spreading discoloration. It could be black or white, or a more colorful tone seen spreading down a wall or along a ceiling in a bathroom or kitchen. The signs are often less obvious, hidden beneath a sink or even behind a wall space. Any tiny patch could be the tip of a substantially larger colony, spreading and generating spores.

Tips on Decreasing and Eliminating the Spread

Once discovered, it's time to stop the mold growth in its tracks. Cut off the source of the spread by ventilating the room in question and sealing the leak. Stop the dampness and lower the humidity level. Consider calling a qualified air conditioning contractor if necessary to install a dehumidifier, and permanently end the humidity entering the home. These actions will be especially effective if the home is drawing air inside from a humid locale. Check the basement for any build­up of water. Homes located on wet land are prone to flooding and vulnerable to water seepage entering the basement during wet seasons. The solution here is to consider installing a sump pump in the basement, or to give a local building contractor a call to evaluate the property for cracks in the foundation.

Mold is a serious health risk and one that has to be addressed in order to protect household members from breathing difficulties, but there are solutions available. Find the growth, root it out and starve the mold of warmth and moisture.

Back to School

by Heather Dickinson

The daylight hours are slowly getting shorter, the days are getting cooler, even if it hasn’t felt like it lately. This can only mean one thing, school will be starting soon. Soon we'll be seeing the big yellow buses driving around making frequent stops with parents standing on the sidewalks waving and crying as that kindergartner gets on the bus for the first time or, for some, wishing they could turn back the clock as that sweet kindergartner is now a senior and will be graduating this year. No matter the age of your child, back to school means the same thing for all of us. That last minute mad dash for the forgotten items on the supply list, or the perfect pair of shoes for the first day. Whatever your reason for the “mad dash” remember that everyone else is doing the same thing with their child tagging along, as well. So when you are driving around looking for a spot to park or stalking up and down the front of the store looking for a check out that isn’t a mile long, be mindful of the example we set for our children and others. Yes it is a long, crazy, and sometimes aggravating day but you'll get through it.

Advice isn't just for parents getting their kids off to school. We polled a few kids to find out what their advice was for going back to school.  We want to hear what your kids have to say after their first week of school so post away on facebook or Google+ and we'll enter you to win a drawing to take your kids out for a treat!

 

The Final Countdown

by Noelle Tripolino Roberts

Today and tomorrow left to vote for the BIG backyard giveaway : VOTE HERE 

Still hoping to win, so I can write about the experience, but more than that : found out this weekend our neighbor's lawn mower died.  That was the one thing on the list we weren't really in need of, but how cool would that be to send them one?


  

Even if you don't vote, have you checked out the entries?  There are some pretty deserving backyards right in this area.  I thought I'd take the opportunity to offer some great backyard ideas for a blank canvas backyard.  Check them out and then send us your photos and ideas of how to make it happen. 

http://www.hgtvgardens.com/photos/landscape-and-hardscape-photos/backyard-landscaping-ideas

admin@rochesterhomesource.com

Backyard Makeover

by Noelle Tripolino Roberts


 

We had someone give us the idea to do a blog on the Big Backyard Giveaway that's being promoted by KTTC right now.  With my constant fight to rid our backyard of pests and to get grass to grow that I've been writing about lately, I thought, "Why just blog about it? Why not offer a first hand account?"  

So here it is, my backyard in all it's glory (or shame) has been entered for scrutiny and votes by all on facebook, blog, twitter, and google.  

Each person can register and vote 5 times per day.  VOTE HERE or enter your own home for competition and may the worst backyard and most deserving family win!

 

UPDATE: Noelle is in 3rd place (also the link here has been updated so check out the contest.)

Something I never thought I would do...

by Noelle Tripolino Roberts

Well last night was a first for me (and hopefully a last).  I have NO IDEA what I was thinking.  I went to do the dishes and I've found a brand of natural soaps that I really like.  I poured some of this new dish liquid into the dishwasher dispenser.  It's been sitting under the cupboard for months while I used up another brand.  

I started a load of dishes and sat down to eat dinner with my husband.  After our meal I walked into the kitchen and stepped into a puddle.  My mind immediately went to our home warranty which expires this month.  Quick - we need to call them so it's still on this home warranty.  My mind always jumps to, it must be someone else's responsibility.  Low and behold, a faux pas on my part, I had put dish liquid instead of dishwasher liquid in the dispenser.  I opened it to find an avalanche of suds appropriately surrounding my lucky ducky plate (we are adults, really)

    

Realizing I was at fault, I called my mom, took some photos and had a good laugh, then, like any good Gen-Y-er, I turned to the internet.  As embarrassing as it was that I somehow read wrong and didn't think twice when the liquid was a little thinner than usual (that's typical of natural products, right?) I was comforted to know that there are articles galore out there to help out when you, like many others, make this mistake. I thought I'd let you know what I learned: 

http://www.wikihow.com/Remove-Dish-Soap-from-a-Dishwasher

Number one on this link is helpful, but does not bode well for my patience.  It is hard to scoop foam with a bowl, cup, or towel (I tried all).  I then opted to try the 1/2 c of olive oil because it was recommended by manufacturers.  I poured it in the bottom, set it on a rinse cycle, and all is well.  I suppose this dishwasher from the 70s isn't quite ready to go yet.  Still works like a charm.

 

An Example of the Decesions Made During Building a Home

by Beth Nordaune

I am currently in the process of making selections for 3 new Penz Custom Home models.  Every once in awhile I like to go through the whole process and really assess current trends and what buyers in Rochester are wanting in new homes today.  Building a model home has challenges when it comes to picking out the details.  Will a buyer really want this feature?  Are they going to be willing to pay more for it?  Most buyers do not understand why it would be a big deal when it may only cost a few hundred more dollars but a few hundred here and a few hundred there turn into thousands.  Then, maybe if they are not aware of the differences and what they cost, they may choose another model home that is "cheaper."  I am inclined to believe that today's buyer IS interested and willing to pay for those upgrades and features.  It doesn't seem to be all about the square footage anymore.  What do you think?

I read this article on choosing the right kitchen sink today and it reminded me of all of the details that go into building a new home.  I would love to know what appeals to you!

 

Know when to fold 'em

by Noelle Tripolino Roberts

About 2 weeks ago I planted sun and shade grass seed under our tree.  Out of sheer stubbornness

I will get grass to grow this year!

 

I bought a bow rake, loosened the dirt and leveled it before putting down the seed.  I marked off the perimeter with the hopes of keeping the dog out (which was pretty successful for a few days)

We finished putting down the very last of the seed as sprinkles began to fall and it rained for the next several days.  I've  waited and watched for the past two weeks and have not seen a single shoot of grass.  At what point do I add grass seed or rake it up and start over?

 

Found a fascinating article on ways to check the pH of our soil and hope this might give some insight. More details to come - in the mean time check out the link!

http://www.wikihow.com/Test-Soil-pH

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 463

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Beth Nordaune
RE/MAX Results
4600 18th Ave. NW
Rochester MN 55901
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Beth Nordaune of  RE/MAX Results and her team would like nothing more than to be your guide to the Rochester Minnesota real estate market, one of the most stable markets in America. If you are looking forward to purchasing homes in the Rochester area then this site is for you! This site contains listings for majority of homes in the Rochester MN MLS area. We are ready to assist you with whatever needs you might have, whether it's scouring Rochester for your dream home, or selling your condo or townhome quickly and efficiently. Our Rochester Realtors have a wide variety of experiences and a vast base of knowledge, enabling us to provide our customers with the utmost level of customer service.  Thinking of selling your home in Rochester MN?  We employee a powerful marketing plan that your home will be sold quickly and efficiently.  Our services include 2-3 initial consults, professional staging services, a full HD video tour of your home, lots of still and panoramic photos and unparalleled internet exposure just to name a few.  To get started on your real estate journey please send us an email or give us a call.  We are waiting to hear from you.