Chinese (Simplified)EnglishFrenchGermanItalian

Main Content

Blog

Pro Tips for Hanging Holiday Lights

    It is the beginning of December and the perfect time to hang those holiday lights – if you haven’t already. We have gathered 8 tips for hanging your holiday lights from the pro himself, Bob Villa. Sure, it’s wildly funny to watch the death-defying antics of Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) as he blankets […]

Read more

Maintenance Monday Replace Your HVAC Filters

  Part of responsible homeownership includes, of course, regular home maintenance. And there are some tasks that, if deferred, can lead to a home system that’s inefficient and overworked, which can result in problems and expenses. One such task is changing the filter of the home’s HVAC system. It’s simple and inexpensive, and taking care […]

Read more

Maintenance Monday – Ceiling Fan Direction in Winter

  Being advised to turn a fan on in the winter may not seem helpful. However, even in winter, ceiling fans can be used to help manage the interior climate. Ceiling fan direction in the winter should be clockwise, and the fan should run at the lowest speed. This pulls cool air up toward the […]

Read more

Maintenance Monday How to Clean Your Gutters

  It can be easy to put off cleaning gutters, but it’s a necessary job that isn’t difficult and will keep them working properly. Rain gutters get clogged with leaves and other debris over time, so cleaning them regularly is best to avoid more difficult work later. The good news is, it’s not hard to […]

Read more

Senior Care

    The Lone Star State is a phenomenal retirement destination with 25 metropolitan areas and is in AARP’s network of age-friendly states and communities. At The Luxe Global Group, we are committed to helping the 3.7 million local senior residents with all of their Real Estate needs.  When we say our motto is “Your […]

Read more

Maintenance Monday • Aug. 29, 2022

  The refrigerator is arguably the most important major appliance in the kitchen, and it’s often the most expensive one as well. All it takes to keep this big-ticket appliance running smoothly is a simple maintenance task you can complete in less than 15 minutes. How cool is that! Fortunately, cleaning your refrigerator’s condenser coils […]

Read more

Maintenance Monday • Aug. 22, 2022

  Did you know you are supposed to clean your AC drain line? It’s okay if not. There was a time we didn’t either. Here is a quick and simple video on how to DIY!

Read more

Maintenance Monday • Aug. 8, 2022

  How to Clean Your Windows Easily No matter how clean your home is, it is not complete until you shine up your windows. We learned of the Aquablade from a friend who is an expert cleaner.  It is her go-to for getting the built-up grime off windows. Just fill a bucket with hot water […]

Read more

Maintenance Monday • Aug. 1, 2022

  Ceiling fans create cooling breezes that can make a stuffy room feel pleasantly comfortable. But as they rotate through the air, the blades can collect a ton of dust, dirt, pollen, and other small particles. Depending on where it’s located, your fan might also gather greasy or sticky buildup over time, which can cause […]

Read more

Pro Tips for Hanging Holiday Lights

 

 

It is the beginning of December and the perfect time to hang those holiday lights – if you haven’t already. We have gathered 8 tips for hanging your holiday lights from the pro himself, Bob Villa.

Sure, it’s wildly funny to watch the death-defying antics of Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) as he blankets his home in lights in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, but his technique is not something that you want to imitate. Don’t be like Clark. Take some time upfront to determine an outdoor lighting plan, and make sure to check the bulbs, light strings, and electrical outlets. Follow these eight tips, and you’ll hang your holiday lights like a pro.

  1. Create a Master Plan
    Look at your house critically from the street (or take a photograph) and decide which elements would benefit most from lighting. Consider highlighting architectural features by stringing lights along eaves, pillars, posts, windows, and doors. Also look at bushes, trees, window boxes, and planters. Finally, think about the appropriate lighting for paths and stand-alone figures.
    outdoor lighting plan
  2. There’s More Than Roofline
    “Everyone gravitates toward the roofline, and they forget to balance it with something below,” says Mike Marlow of Holiday Bright Lights, a national chain that provides professional holiday lighting for homes and businesses. “It’s like interior design. You might have something on your room’s walls, but you need something on the shelves and the end tables too.”
    decorate more than roofline
  3. Don’t Forget the Backyard
    Why should the front yard have all the fun? “We’re seeing people decorate behind the house,” Marlow says. “It makes sense because they see the backyard more than the front.” Consider stringing lights along deck railings, decorating a tree—any tree—with lights, or covering out-of-season yard structures.
    backyard christmas ideas
  4. Get Enough Lights
    Before you head to the store, have an accurate idea of how many boxes of lights you’ll need. Measure the lengths of anything you plan on decorating, such as windows, doorframes, fences, railings, etc., and make note of the location of the power source or extension cord. Remember, you will need more or longer strands if you plan on winding them around the spots you’re decorating. Use net lights for bushes and shrubs, which takes the guessing work out of how many strands are needed to cover the branches. Also, pay attention to the bulb count on the box. The brighter you want your house to be, the more bulbs per strand you’ll want.
    how many christmas lights
  5. Assess Your Equipment
    Check that lights and cords are in good repair and are rated for outdoor use. Read manufacturer recommendations to determine the number of lights you can safely string together. Never connect different types of lights on the same circuit or outlet.
    check christmas lights
  6. Power Up
    Outdoor lights should be plugged into circuits protected by ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). To avoid running cords everywhere, try power stakes—portable devices that bring power where you need it (you can buy them on Amazon).
    outdoor power
  7. Opt for Plastic
    Trade hammer and nails for plastic clips that safely secure lighting to everything from shingles and gutters to posts, window frames, and railings. Consider using light stakes (like these from Target) to line walkways, driveways, and garden edges with bulbs. These plastic accessories can be removed after the holidays and reused next season.
    plastic light clips
  8. Stay Safe
    Work with a partner or use an S hook to hang a bucket to the ladder to hold supplies. When possible, keep your feet firmly on the ground by using an extension pole instead of a ladder. Finally, don’t decorate trees that touch power lines. In short, avoid any technique employed by Clark Griswold.
    hanging christmas lights safely

Read Bob’s full article here. 

Maintenance Monday Replace Your HVAC Filters

 

Part of responsible homeownership includes, of course, regular home maintenance. And there are some tasks that, if deferred, can lead to a home system that’s inefficient and overworked, which can result in problems and expenses. One such task is changing the filter of the home’s HVAC system. It’s simple and inexpensive, and taking care of it at least every three months can mean the difference between optimum comfort and avoidable repairs.

Read the whole article here:
https://www.nachi.org/change-hvac-filter.htm

Maintenance Monday – Ceiling Fan Direction in Winter

 

Being advised to turn a fan on in the winter may not seem helpful. However, even in winter, ceiling fans can be used to help manage the interior climate.

Ceiling fan direction in the winter should be clockwise, and the fan should run at the lowest speed. This pulls cool air up toward the ceiling, which in turn displaces the warm air that rises and collects near the ceiling.

A clockwise ceiling fan direction for high ceilings is especially important in winter. It moves the warmer air trapped at the very top of the room down. The air flows toward the floor and along the walls. This makes the room feel warmer, allowing you to lower the thermostat.

The low speed prevents any drafty “wind chill” and keeps the airflow steady and consistent. When standing under the fan, look up and double-check that the blades are rotating in a clockwise direction.

 

Source: https://www.homedepot.com/c/ah/ceiling-fan-direction-in-summer-and-winter/9ba683603be9fa5395fab9036ab25bf#:~:text=Ceiling%20fan%20direction%20in%20the,is%20especially%20important%20in%20winter.

Maintenance Monday How to Clean Your Gutters

 

It can be easy to put off cleaning gutters, but it’s a necessary job that isn’t difficult and will keep them working properly. Rain gutters get clogged with leaves and other debris over time, so cleaning them regularly is best to avoid more difficult work later. The good news is, it’s not hard to clean gutters. Use this guide to learn the basics of how to clean gutters and downspouts.

Why is it Important to Clean Your Gutters?

Gutters filled with leaves.

A home’s gutter system controls the flow of rainwater from the rooflines. This protects your home’s roof, walls, foundation, and landscape. If debris builds up in them, it could lead to sagging gutters, mold growth, wet basements, a leaky roof, or water damage to the interior or exterior of your home. Gutters filled with debris can also make homes for rodents and other pests. Neglecting gutter maintenance can lead to costly repairs down the line.

Gutters need to be cleaned at least twice a year – in the spring and in the fall. If you have pine trees near your home, needles will need to be removed every three months to reduce the potential for clogging the gutters and downspouts.

Hiring someone to clean your gutters is an option if you aren’t comfortable on a ladder. Fees vary depending on your location. Prices are based on how many linear feet of gutters you have. It typically costs more if you have a two- or three-story home.

Determine if Gutters Should be Replaced, Repaired or Cleaned

A person cleaning leaves from gutters.

Regular maintenance will make your gutters last longer. At some point, they will need to be repaired or replaced to help protect your home from water damage. Here are a few signs that will help you determine if your gutters need to be repaired or replaced.

Cracks or splits

Even small cracks will grow, allowing water to seep into the fascia boards behind the gutters, the shingles above the gutter, and the foundation below. Replace any split or crack sections of the gutter.

Paint damage and rust

The paint on your gutters is weather-resistant. Peeling paint or rust indicates that water is present on the surface on a continuous basis. Look for clogs and remove debris to get the water flowing. Replace or touch up the paint on the damaged section of the gutter.

Pools of water and mold

If you see standing water or mildew near the foundation, it can indicate that the gutters are clogged or there could be a defect in the gutter system. Remove the clog. If the problem persists, replace that section of the gutter and downspout.

Water damage or watermarks

Inspect directly beneath the gutters on a dry, sunny day for any evidence of water damage. Water damage underneath gutters can indicate that they are leaking or overflowing with water. Look for possible blockages in the area. If there are none, this indicates that the section has a crack or a leak which will need to be repaired or replaced.

Sagging gutters

Gutter sag is a definite sign that it’s time to replace gutters. Gutters should never sag or pull away from the house. Sagging gutters means that it is no longer draining properly and need to be replaced. This may be a good time to look into upgrading your old ones with gutter guards or screens or with seamless gutters.

Guidelines for How to Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts

A person removing leaves from a gutter.

A regular and thorough cleaning helps keep gutters in tip-top shape. It requires only a few tools and an afternoon to get water flowing from your roof and away from your home.

Cleaning gutters in early spring will prepare them for the heavy spring and summer rains. In the early fall, clear out leaves and other debris that accumulated during the warmer months.

When possible, avoid cleaning gutters after rain. Allowing a few dry days before cleaning your gutters will allow the debris to dry out, making the chore much easier.

Start your gutter cleaning task near the downspout and work toward the closed end.

Practice Ladder Safety

A person on a ladder cleaning debris from a gutter..

Cleaning gutters requires working from a ladder. Work safely.

  • Never climb above the second to last step/rung.
  • Do not extend your reach.
  • Use a step ladder on solid level ground whenever possible.
  • For two-story homes, use an extension ladder.
  • Use a ladder stabilizer to help keep your ladder in place, if using an extension ladder.
  • If you are not comfortable on ladders, consider hiring a professional.

Clear Debris From the Gutters

A person scooping gutter debris into a bucket.

Have two buckets available to make your job easier. Use one bucket for the debris you remove. The second bucket can hold your tools. Hook the buckets to your ladder for easy access.

  • Wear safety glasses to keep bits of dried leaves and other debris out of your eyes.
  • Put on the rubber gloves under your work gloves if the debris is damp. This will help keep your hands dry while protecting them.
  • Begin cleaning near a downspout. Place your ladder squarely on level ground before you climb it.
  • Remove and clean the downspout strainer.
  • Clear large debris such as leaves and twigs by hand.
  • Use a trowel or gutter scoop for compacted debris.

Flush the Gutters

A person flushing a gutter with water from a garden hose.

After most of the debris is removed, flush the remaining bits and dirt from the gutter with a garden hose.

  • Fit your garden house with a spray nozzle.
  • Flush out the gutter with water, starting at the far end and moving toward the downspout.
  • Use a strong stream of water and avoid spraying underneath the roof shingles.

Specialty gutter cleaning attachments for your garden hose can make the job easier. For maximum power when spraying gutters and downspouts, use a pressure washer.

Check the Downspouts

Water draining from a downspout.

After the gutters are clean and the water used for flushing isn’t draining quickly, check the downspout for clogs and any lodged debris. Turn the hose on and spray down the spout. If the amount of water coming out is less than what is going in, there is a blockage.

  • Feed the hose up the downspout from the ground.
  • Turn the hose on at full pressure to try to dislodge the clog.
  • If this does not dislodge the clog, use a plumber’s snake to break up the blockage.
  • If you have a downspout that flows into an underground tiling system, you will need to remove the bottom end to access the longer length of the downspout.

Check for Gutter Drainage and Slope

A person using a power drill to repair a gutter.

When the downspout is clog-free, flush the gutters once again. Check for proper water flow and drainage. Also look for any leaks at the seams.

  • If there is any standing water in the gutter, the gutter is not properly sloped. Gutters should slope 1/4 inch for every 10 feet toward the downspout. If your gutters do not slope properly, detach the hangers to adjust the gutters to the proper slope.
  • Make sure all the gutters are secure and firmly attached to the house.
  • Inspect each gutter section and the downspout for damage.
  • Add support hangers or reattach gutters to the fascia if needed.

Complete the Gutter Cleaning

A person on a ladder painting gutters.

Seal any leaking seams and joints with gutter sealant, following the product’s instructions. To spruce up the outside of the gutters, use a pressure washer to remove any mildew and dirt. Touch up with paint, if needed.

Now that your gutters are free of debris and draining effectively, consider adding gutter screens to reduce the amount of work needed for future gutter cleaning.

Cleaning your gutters is a necessary home maintenance task. With the right tools and this guide on how to clean gutters, you can complete the work and repairs on your own. If you need a ladder to reach your gutters, rent one from your local Home Depot.The Home Depot Rental.

Source: https://www.homedepot.com/c/ah/how-to-clean-gutters/9ba683603be9fa5395fab90ce752a5b

Senior Care

 

 

The Lone Star State is a phenomenal retirement destination with 25 metropolitan areas and is in AARP’s network of age-friendly states and communities. At The Luxe Global Group, we are committed to helping the 3.7 million local senior residents with all of their Real Estate needs. 

When we say our motto is “Your Real Estate Agents” for life, at The Luxe Global Group, we truly mean that. Taking care of all generations is our top priority. Real estate can be difficult to navigate for aging loved ones, or saying goodbye to a lifelong home to receive the care you need. These changes are inevitable and we are here to help you navigate these transitional steps. Let us help you plan your future.

We specialize and have resources to: 

  •  Understand your future housing possibilities 
  • Plan for downsizing and estate sales
  •  Inform you about property taxes
  • Advise on when it truly is in your best interest to sell your home or keep it as an investment
  • Determine what to repair or not repair in your home before selling
  • Provide resources for the transition into retirement 

We will help you put a plan together for the right place, the right time and the right way to sell or purchase your property. We will work with your family members, if needed, to ensure your best interest is at the forefront of all we do.  

Our expertise with the Senior Market will provide realistic options and valuable information for your residential, commercial or land properties, whether you are:  

  • Selling
  • Purchasing
  • Relocating
  • Renovating to Stay
  • Refinancing 

Nursing homes are a popular and affordable option that can help seniors with long-term care and housing needs, many of which can be found in your community. Unfortunately, choosing the best facility to meet individual needs can be inundating and time- consuming for aging adults and families.

For this reason, we came up with a resource to help seniors and their loved ones explore the different facilities available to them, as well as costs and payment options. You can learn more from Community Outreach and Senior Advocate’s guide here:

CLICK HERE to take a look at the Guide!

 We care about our Seniors! We want to help you navigate your next steps, with your best interest at heart and be your Agents For Life.

Maintenance Monday • Aug. 29, 2022

 

The refrigerator is arguably the most important major appliance in the kitchen, and it’s often the most expensive one as well. All it takes to keep this big-ticket appliance running smoothly is a simple maintenance task you can complete in less than 15 minutes. How cool is that!

Fortunately, cleaning your refrigerator’s condenser coils is a simple task for do-it-yourselfers. Put it on the calendar to complete at least once a year, or twice a year if you have pets that shed. Keep reading to find out just how to clean refrigerator coils—and how easy it is to help keep your fridge functioning at its peak.

Step 1
Unplug the unit (the first rule of any appliance maintenance, upkeep, or repair job). This may require pulling your refrigerator out from the wall if the power outlet is located behind it. Don’t worry about spoilage: The coil-cleaning process is quick (15 minutes or less) and the doors will remain closed, so your cold foods will keep.

Step 2
Locate the condenser coils at the base of the fridge in front, behind a toe-grill that snaps off. If your fridge doesn’t have a toe-grill, you’ll find the condenser coils located on the back of the refrigerator. Condenser coils are metal tubes, wound in a U-shaped grid pattern. If the refrigerator’s coils are on the back, you’ll need to pull the fridge fully away from the wall to clean them.

Step 3
Put on a dust mask. (Most dust/debris will get vacuumed up, but some will no doubt become airborne.) Using a flashlight to help you see the coils if they’re located beneath the fridge, vacuum loose dust and debris along the inside of the toe grill or from the backside of the fridge.

Step 4
Brush away the dust with a coil condenser brush, which you can find for about $10 from DIY stores. Measuring approximately 27 inches long with short bristles on the top one-third, its cylindrical design lets you easily slip it between the spaces in the coil grid. Work it back and forth to remove dust, and try gently twisting it to get into corners and tight spots. Keep the vacuum running as you brush. If cleaning coils located on the back of the fridge, hold the narrow end of the nozzle close to the brush with one hand and brush with the other. If cleaning coils at the base of the fridge, it’s easier to alternate brushing and then vacuuming up the dust.

Step 5
Vacuum any errant dust that might have gotten on the floor. Replace the toe-grill (it should snap on easily) and push the fridge back in place if necessary. Plug your refrigerator’s power cord back in, and you’re good to go!

 

Source: https://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-clean-refrigerator-coils/

Maintenance Monday • Aug. 22, 2022

 

Did you know you are supposed to clean your AC drain line? It’s okay if not. There was a time we didn’t either. Here is a quick and simple video on how to DIY!

Maintenance Monday • Aug. 8, 2022

 

How to Clean Your Windows Easily

No matter how clean your home is, it is not complete until you shine up your windows. We learned of the Aquablade from a friend who is an expert cleaner.  It is her go-to for getting the built-up grime off windows. Just fill a bucket with hot water and a good squirt of dish soap, scrub down your windows and squeegee it off. The Aquablade has a patented drip tray to catch any excess water so it’s great for interiors too! Don’t forget, you have to clean the window interiors too, not just the outside.

Look how amazing it is!

If you feel like you need one now, so do we! Find it on Amazon here.

Maintenance Monday • Aug. 1, 2022

 

Ceiling fans create cooling breezes that can make a stuffy room feel pleasantly comfortable. But as they rotate through the air, the blades can collect a ton of dust, dirt, pollen, and other small particles. Depending on where it’s located, your fan might also gather greasy or sticky buildup over time, which can cause dust to cling even more. Not only does a dirty ceiling fan run less efficiently than a clean one, but it can even scatter clumps of particles throughout the room. To keep your home’s air cool and free of dust, it’s important to know how to clean a ceiling fan effectively. The trick is to remove the dust and grime without making it rain down on your floors and furniture. Learn how to clean ceiling fans without making a mess using these tips.

How to Clean Ceiling Fans

Follow these steps to clean your ceiling fans about once every two to three months, or as soon as you notice dust building up on the blades. It’s a good idea to dust and clean fans each spring and fall as you switch the direction of the blades, which helps keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

What You Need

  • Step stool or ladder
  • Old pillowcase
  • Mild all-purpose cleaner
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Warm, soapy water
  • Can of compressed air

Step 1: Dust fan blades with a pillowcase.
Turn the ceiling fan off, and place a step stool or ladder underneath if needed to reach the blades. Lightly spray the inside of an old pillowcase with a mild all-purpose cleaner or a solution of equal parts vinegar and water. Slip the pillowcase over one of the blades and gently pull as you wipe, trapping any dust or debris inside. Repeat with the other blades. If needed, run a microfiber cloth along the edges to catch any remaining buildup. When finished, take the pillowcase outside, turn it inside out, and shake out the dust. Then launder as usual.

Step 2: Wash glass light globes.
Make sure the light is turned off and completely cool, then wipe ceiling fan lightbulbs with a dry microfiber cloth to remove dust. If your fan has glass globes around the bulbs, remove these after dusting. Wash them in warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly before replacing.

Step 3: Clean ceiling fan motor and pull chain.
Use a microfiber cloth to wipe the fan’s pull chain and motor. Spray the motor housing with compressed air to clear away any dust inside. Check that the fan blades are running in the correct direction (clockwise in the winter and counter-clockwise in the summer) and adjust if needed.

Source: bhg.com
Questions? Ask Us!
Please fill out the fields and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you!