REALTORS® Rock!

REALTORS® Rock!

Have you ever thought about being a Real Estate Agent?   Wonder what it would be like to drive around in a fancy car looking at houses?   Ever think about all the money you could make…thousands and thousands of dollars a couple times a week…just for selling a house.  Sounds like a dream job! Whoa!  Reality check time.  Realtors® are a hard-working group of people.   Whether buying of selling, their job is to ensure the process is as easy and hassle free for you as possible.  

Shopfredericton asked Realtor® Amanda Wade why it is important to have a Realtor®.  “The importance of having a Realtor when buying or selling is immense.  A Realtor brings education and experience that has been gained by years of working in the field.  Knowledge of neighbourhoods, demographics and comparable sales.  We guide on price and offer strong negotiating skills.  Often times, buyers and sellers will get emotionally involved and we are there to support and maintain the best outcome.  We offer our professional network involving the best people providing a variety of services necessary to facilitate the sale.”

In order to do their job and do it well, a Realtor® must be a member in good standing with The Canadian Real Estate Association, they must be committed to the Realtor® Code – which is the buyer or seller’s guarantee of professionalism along with quality service.  To be successful, a Realtor® needs to keep up to date about the “goings on” in various communities – pricing, development, housing trends and the market conditions.  That’s not all!  Realtors® are committed to on-going education through courses and workshops to keep current with changes to real estate.

But Realtors® don’t only sell houses.  They are active members of our community…working to make our communities better.  Jason Munn is a prime example of this.  We recently caught up with Jason to find out more about his new initiative “It’s OK to be AWSOME” and this is what he told us… “It’s OK to be Awesome is a new and innovative mental wellness program that coaches young people to create empowering beliefs about themselves. It’s been proven to help youth develop their confidence and recognize their worth, which leads to empowered choices!

I was approached by the founders, Rebecca and Anne who explained that having a sponsor such as myself helps to fund this what I believe to be a very worthwhile cause. When I first learned of this program, I thought, yes, I love it and it is my chance to give back to the community. If it wasn’t for the support of the community, I wouldn’t be in business! Every child deserves to know their self worth and the It’s OK to be awesome program does that.”

Another Realtor® working hard in our community is Wendy Hallihan.  Wendy is a driving force and fierce protector of animals.  She supports the Oromocto and Fredericton SPCA, the Carleton County Animal Society and Dun Roamin’ Stray and Rescue.  For the pat 6 years, Wendy has been raising funds to help support these animal shelters.  She tells us she “loves animals and loves to help them”.  She and a group of animal advocates have worked hard to provide a “voice” for injured and abused animals.  Wendy and the other stakeholders are responsible for the passing of the anti-tethering law.  They have been advocates in court cases because they are the only voice the animals have.  

Wendy and Jason are just two of many Realtors® who volunteer their time and resources to make our communities better. So, if you’re looking to buy or sell, contact a Realtor®. Your prospective home may look pretty, when in actuality it is falling down.  Think of your Realtor® as the foundation of your transaction!

Holiday Safety Tips for Pet Owners

Holiday Safety Tips for Pet Owners

The holidays are a fun time and pets might even enjoy some aspects of the season. They most likely love the extra attention, new toys, and dropped food. There are some extra risks during this time of year, however, and pet owners need to be aware of holiday-related dangers.

Keep food out of reach

Many types of “people food” can be toxic to dogs. Some are outright poisonous, including chocolate and macadamia nuts. Very fatty foods, common during the holidays, can lead to pancreatitis when large quantities are consumed. Sugar isn’t going to harm a pet in small amounts but that doesn’t mean you should share the holiday cookies. While raw bones can make decent treats, always avoid feeding cooked bones. Cooked bones, especially from poultry, can crack and splinter. This can lead to dangerous blockages.

Watch cords

Decorating for the holidays is fun but often involves lots of lights and electronics. This results in more cords throughout the home. If you have a puppy or another pet that tends to chew (house rabbits are common culprits), keep wires out of reach. Consider getting cord protectors from a home supplies store. Pet stores may also carry them, but often at a higher price. The best ones are made from tough, durable materials. Avoid the rubbery types with built-in repellents. These repellents, often bitter or citrus-flavored, are rarely enough to keep curious puppies away.

Secure decorations

Cats and dogs (plus the occasional house rabbit) tend to be curious about Christmas trees, wreaths, and other decorations. Block the tree off with a baby gate or other barrier, especially if you’ll be out of the house. A pet could knock the tree over, causing injuries, or attempt to eat decorations. This can be especially dangerous with tinsel or popcorn strings. Both entice pets but can be life-threatening when consumed.

Inform guests

Pets are more likely to escape during holidays and guests are a common cause. People who aren’t used to having animals around may inadvertently let a cat out or leave a door open. Guests may also try to share food with pets or accidentally leave a plate in a pet-accessible area. Don’t worry about being too harsh, it’s better to have informed guests and a safe pet.

The holidays can be especially fun when pets are included–many owners buy their pets gifts or give them extra attention during holiday breaks. There are some unique risks and challenges, however, and prevention can go a long way. Pet owners need to be aware of holiday-specific hazards before celebrations begin.

4 Tips to Prepare Your House for Winter

4 Tips to Prepare Your House for Winter

For large parts of the world, the winter season means snow, ice and cold weather. Winter also means rising energy bills and back-breaking shoveling. As winter approaches, there are steps every homeowner needs to take to make certain that their home is ready for the brutal weather. Set aside a fall weekend to winterize your home and you will be able to keep your energy bills down and reduce the amount of damage done by ice and snow.

COVER WINDOWS AND PATIO DOORS WITH PLASTIC

The idea of covering windows and doors with plastic is often dismissed as something that is only done in rural areas or by low-income families. The truth is that every homeowner can significantly reduce their energy bills each winter by adding an extra layer of plastic insulation.

One of the reasons why the plastic window insulation kits are so effective is that they create a thick layer of air between the windows and plastic that helps to keep out the cold. You can buy plastic insulation kits for your windows and your glass patio doors as well. No matter how new or well-designed your windows may be, you can make a significant difference to the comfort level of your home and your energy costs by using plastic insulation kits.

CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS

Some homeowners clean their gutters after the leaves have fallen from the trees, and some do not. If you do not clean your gutters to remove leaves and debris, then your downspouts get clogged up and the water will collect in the gutters themselves. As the air turns colder, the water starts to freeze and you get ice dams.

Ice dams cause two types of damage to your home. First, ice dams will cause water to back up under your shingles and leak into your home. Secondly, heavy ice dams will rip the gutters right off your house, causing a significant amount of damage. You can avoid all of that by simply cleaning your gutters after the leaves have all fallen off the trees.

WRAP YOUR PLUMBING

Exposed pipes can freeze and burst when the winter cold sets in. Many of your home’s pipes may be located near the furnace, but there are plenty of areas where the pipes do not get the full benefit of the furnace’s warmth. If you are able to reach all of your pipes, then you should wrap them in insulation. But if you are not able to reach every pipe, then you should at least wrap the pipes that are furthest from the furnace.

You can buy pipe insulation at your local home improvement store in pre-formed lengths that are easy to install. Wrapping your pipes in insulation is an inexpensive project that will only take a few minutes, but it could save you thousands in potential repairs if those pipes were to burst.

GET YOUR FURNACE AND CHIMNEYS INSPECTED AND CLEANED

If you have a furnace, then you have a chimney. If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove along with that furnace, then you have at least two chimneys. Before the snow starts falling, you need to bring in professionals to look over your furnace and chimneys and perform any maintenance or repairs that need to be done.

Your furnace may need a new filter and your chimneys may need cleaning, but these are not things that you want to ignore. Take care of your heating systems and they will take care of you all winter long.

Winter can be a wonderful time, full of beauty and opportunities to get together with friends and family. To get the most out of winter, it is important to make sure that your home is ready for the harsh weather to come.

Three Randoms You May Enjoy!

4 Tips to Prepare Your House for Winter

For large parts of the world, the winter season means snow, ice and cold weather. Winter also means rising energy bills and back-breaking...

April 2017

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5 Easy Holiday Desserts With Just Two Ingredients Per Recipe

We all love indulging in the traditional treats of the holiday season. However, for many of our favorite goodies can be a bit troublesome...

5 Easy Holiday Desserts With Just Two Ingredients Per Recipe

5 Easy Holiday Desserts With Just Two Ingredients Per Recipe

We all love indulging in the traditional treats of the holiday season. However, for many of our favorite goodies can be a bit troublesome to make. Fortunately, it’s simple to whip up some great sweets with a couple kitchen staples and a few tricks. Here are five easy holiday desserts with just two ingredients per recipe:

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake 

Almost everyone enjoys a nice slice of chocolate cake. You can easily make a chocolaty dessert to cap off your holiday meal.

  • Just combine a box of chocolate cake mix with a can of pumpkin puree.
  • Once a thick batter forms, pour the mixture in a loaf pan and bake according to the package instructions.

When it’s done, you’ll have a moist, tasty cake that provides a punch of chocolate flavor along with subtle notes of pumpkin.

Miniature Fruit Pies

If you’d like to offer fun handheld treats at your holiday party, consider preparing a batch of miniature pies. All you need is some refrigerated pastry dough and a jar of your favorite flavor of jam or preserves.

  • Roll out your crust and cut several small circles using a round cookie cutter or lid.
  • Next, put a spoonful of jam on half of your dough disks. Top each one with another piece of pie crust and cinch the edges together slightly.
  • Place your mini pies on a baking sheet and bake them at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes.

When they come out of the oven, you’ll have cute mini pies that are golden brown and bursting with fruity goodness.

Creamy Mint Mousse

Peppermint is a flavor that’s often associated with the holidays. This light and fluffy mint mousse will be a refreshing finish for your Christmas feast.

  • Start with a pint of minty ice cream. You can use white peppermint ice cream with candy cane bits or green mint with chocolate chips. Either one is sure to look festive at your holiday celebration.
  • Let the ice cream soften slightly before stirring in a tub of whipped topping. It’s as easy as that!
  • Place large dollops into beautiful glasses and serve your elegant dessert.

This simple mousse will likely become a holiday staple in your household.

Bread Pudding

When the weather outside is frightful, your guests might want something warm and filling. This scrumptious bread pudding will certainly hit the spot.

  • Begin by tearing a loaf of bread into jagged chunks and placing the bits in a large pan. You can use any kind of bread you like, but the dish will turn out better if your loaf is a little stale.
  • Next, melt a pint of vanilla ice cream and pour it over the bread pieces.
  • Pop everything in the oven and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes.

With just two ingredients, you can make a custardy creation that everyone will love.

Magic Fudge

Fudge is a rich and creamy confection that fits perfectly on any holiday dessert table. However, most old-fashioned recipes contain a long list of ingredients. Plus, the traditional method of boiling on the stove can be a lot of work. Skip all the hassle with this easy version.

  • Simply melt a bag of chocolate chips in the microwave and stir in a can of chocolate frosting.
  • Once everything is combined, spread the mixture in a pan and let it harden.

That’s all there is to it. In just a few hours, your family will be celebrating the season with a sweet treat. This two-ingredient fudge comes together so easily, it’s almost like magic!

Making fantastic goodies for the holidays doesn’t have to be difficult. Any of the ideas on this list will help you create a delicious dessert with just two ingredients. Give one or all of these simple recipes a try to cut down on your seasonal stress. You can spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your holiday guests this year!

Is Your Car Ready for Winter Driving?

Is Your Car Ready for Winter Driving?

There is no doubt that winter driving is more of a challenge. The snow and ice of winter can turn a dry road into a slippery skating rink in a matter of minutes, creating a safety hazard and an increase in traffic accidents.

The danger is even greater if your car is not ready for the rigors of winter driving. Underinflated tires could reduce your traction even more, and worn-out windshield wipers could hinder your ability to see the road ahead. That is why it is important to get your vehicle in shape for winter driving before the first snowflakes start falling.

Consider Winter Tires

If you live in an area with lots of winter storms, you should consider a set of snow tires. All-weather tires are fine in most conditions, but they may not have the traction needed for heavy snow and ice.

Changing the tires can be a hassle, but you will only have to do it once each season. If you invest in a quality set of snow tires, they could last for several winters, and the peace of mind will be well worth the extra cost.

Change Your Wiper Blades

Chances are your wiper blades will be doing a lot more work once the ice and snow starts flying. All that snow and ice can really take a toll on old wiper blades, and you cannot afford to have an obstructed windshield during a snowstorm.

Even if your wiper blades are fairly new, you should replace them before winter arrives. Wiper blades are inexpensive and easy to change, so there is really no reason not to give them a winter upgrade. While you are at it you might want to pick up windshield washer fluid with low temperature properties built in. Regular washer fluid can freeze up in extreme conditions, and that could hamper your visibility and create an expensive repair.

Check Your Battery

If you cannot remember the last time you changed your car’s battery, this vital part of your starting system may be nearing the end of its life. Most batteries are designed to last between 3 and 5 years, so check the sticker to see when it was installed and how long it is expected to go.

Most battery manufacturers place a sticker on the top or side to make this assessment easier. If you cannot find that sticker, you may have to go through your records to see when the battery was first installed. If you do not have the records, you can always have your mechanic or the local automotive retailer test the battery to see how much life it has left. Either way, testing the battery now can prevent a troublesome breakdown later.

Top Off Your AntiFreeze

Be sure to check your antifreeze frequently both before winter and during. Find the antifreeze reservoir and check the level carefully. Top off the reservoir if the level is low, then check it again in a couple of days.

If the antifreeze level is low again, you have a leak somewhere – one that you need to address before the weather gets cold. Take the car to your mechanic and have them look for the leak, then keep an eye on the antifreeze level throughout the winter driving season. 

Check Your Tire Pressure

Tire pressure can fall dramatically in cold weather, so now is the time to make sure all four tires are properly inflated. Going into winter with under-inflated tires is just asking for trouble, so take a few minutes to check the pressure.

If the tire pressure is low, inflate each tire to the manufacturer recommendations. Check the tire pressure again each time you fill your fuel tank and top off the air if needed.

There is still time to get your car in shape for winter driving. Take a few minutes to check your vehicle and make sure it is ready for the challenges of winter. You will be glad you took the time when the snow and ice start to fall.