Linda Raymond Real Estate Blog, Fairfield, Westport & More

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Neighborhood Safety Tips for Open Houses

We all love open houses.  Open house events have many virtues, but what you may not know is that they also come with some risk.

Open houses offer the perfect chance for buyers to start looking for a new home and getting a feel for what’s available.  Open houses help sellers gain exposure for their property in the marketplace.  And they are an opportunity for buyers and sellers to meet Realtors they may want to work with for their next move.

But there is a risk.  While promoting the property and the open house event, Realtors are also promoting the fact that they will be alone in a house at a specific address, date and time.  This leaves an opportunity for people who may have ulterior motives.  Some people visit open houses with the intent of theft of valuables or prescription medications. Others may have assault in mind.

Open House Safety

There are educational programs for Realtors to help them prevent potential dangers and know what to do if the unthinkable were to happen.  The photo shows the Fairfield police captain and an officer delivering a training session to agents at the William Raveis Real Estate office in Southport.  Some of the information pertains only to the person hosting the event, but there are important open house safety tips that guests and neighborhood residents should be aware of.

Most of us would agree that it’s important for everyone to contribute to a safe neighborhood.  Open houses are an integral part of neighborhood activities.  So we all need to take watch, especially during these community events.  Please keep the following safety tips from the police in mind.

 

  1. First and foremost is to be aware of your surroundings.   As a neighbor, you may see open house signs quite often. Try to be aware of the activity during the open house near you.  Does it seem typical?
  2. Does anything seem “not normal”?  If something stands out to you as out of the ordinary, take notice.  Are there too many people in that car?  Did the car park much further away from the open house than needed?  Does something seem odd? Not normal?
  3. Trust your gut.  Whether you are participating in an open house event or are a neighbor observing from across the street, if something just doesn’t feel right, it most likely is not.  If you assume wrong and err on the side of cautiousness, no harm is done, right?
  4. Take actionIt’s best to park on the street when you attend an open house if possible so that you won’t be blocked in. If you are in an open house and don’t feel safe, try to exit right away.  Go outside, call 911 and immediately provide the address.  If you are a neighbor and notice that something is not right, call 911, or if you feel it is not urgent, call the police and ask them to drive by.  And last, but not least, if you see a frightened Realtor heading toward your house, please let them in!

Open House, Welcome!

We can all work together to keep our neighborhoods and our open houses safe and enjoyable.  For more information on this topic or to discuss your moving plans, please send a note using the form below.

 

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Dust and Pet Allergies? You Better Clean Your HVAC System!

I moved into my house 10 years ago and was wondering if getting all the dust and dirt out of the air ducts right out of the gate would be a good idea.  I always had allergies to dust and animals, and the previous owners had a cat.   After finding cat hair in the refrigerator, I figured there must be plenty in the air ducts!

But the days turned into months…. and 10 years later I’ve been thinking that cleaning my HVAC system is surely well past-due.   Then just as I was about to take action, I heard someone say that duct cleaning can actually loosen dust and make air quality worse.  I wanted to do whatever was likely to keep my surrounding air clean while spending as little money possible.  This article from House Logic had some helpful information that allowed me to be more comfortable with my decision to hold off again.

DUCTS

However, after several lousy nights of interrupted sleep due to clogged sinuses, I had to do something!

Air vent returns Before & After cleaning

Air vent returns Before & After cleaning

So I started by taking a quick look at the air vents and returns and the air filter even though it had been changed two month prior.  I was appauled by what I saw!  Filthy returns and a black air filter! No wonder dust was accumulating daily on every surface!  So I immediately changed the air filter and got on a ladder with my vacuum. What a difference this made!  Without cleaning my air ducts, the surfaces actually stayed clean, the air was cleaner, the furnace surely was running much more efficiently and as you may have expected, I had a great night’s sleep!

Feel free to comment or ask a question below.