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If you are thinking of installing a fence around your yard, or replacing an existing fence, then you are in the right place. Today we are going to be talking about the pros and cons surrounding this topic, and hopefully at the end you will have a better feel if this decision is right for you and your family. Whether it be wood, vinyl or wrought iron, a fence is a major part of the functionality and aesthetic of your property and can be a large and expensive project to take on. But there are also many perks that come with installing one in your yard, which we know to be true as there are many beautiful fenced properties around Omaha, NE. Let’s dive right in! 

Pros to fencing your yard:

-One upside to fencing your yard is privacy, as it will reduce any outside disturbances to you and your family. Additionally, it will limit the amount of noise transfer from your home to your neighbors during outdoor parties or while making memories in the backyard.

-On that same note, if you live near a busy street you can try installing an eight-foot-high solid fence to reduce the noise from the area. If using the right product, you can potentially reduce noise by up to five percent depending on the elevation, height of the fence and noise frequencies. 

-Having a fence around your property is a great way to not only keep people and unwanted wandering critters out, but also keep your kids and pets in. Win-win! 

-From a design standpoint, a fence that is well built and constructed can definitely add to your home’s curb appeal and overall aesthetic. A well-known example of this would be a white picket fence, as it is able to add a charming look to the home and define property boundaries at the same time. 

Cons to fencing your yard: 

-The most obvious con to building a fence in your yard is cost. Whether you are thinking of fencing your whole property, or just part, it will not be a cheap project. As you could image, the price can vary depending on things such as labor, materials, length, etc., but to give you an idea a wooden privacy fence averages about $17 to $23 per linear foot. You can do the math on that!

-Second, if you are thinking of fencing your yard you have to take into account the maintenance of the fence itself, as they can begin deteriorating over time. This is especially true with wood fences which can begin to warp and rot over time. To avoid this, make sure to pencil in the occasional sealing, cleaning, staining and/or painting on your to-do list!

It’s official – you have finally found, closed on and moved into the home of your dreams in Omaha, NE. We think a congratulations are in order as that is no small feat! But once the celebratory Champaign bubbles have fizzled out and all the boxes have been put away, it is now time to ensure that a few things are in order in your new abode. Below we have listed a couple items for you to tackle in the areas of security, home documents, emergency planning and maintenance to not only help keep you organized, but also avoid any costly home repairs down the road. 

Home safety and security:
First thing’s first! When it comes to home safety for you and your family, this is something you want to jump on right away:

-Before anything else, make sure to change the locks on the home. You never know who had a spare key and could let themselves into your house at any point.
-On that same note, you want to reset any codes that allow access into the house/property, such as gates, garage doors, etc. 
-It is always a good idea to have a fire extinguisher near the kitchen in the event of an emergency/fire.
-Set aside some time to test carbon monoxide and fire detectors to ensure they are working properly. 
-In all exterior lights, make sure that all bulbs are working and replace any that need to be fixed. 
-Lastly, be sure to hide extra sets of keys in a lockbox out of sight. Robbers have gotten cleaver and know to check under flower pots! 

Important home documents: 
There are a few important documents that you may want to keep handy in case an unexpected dispute arises, or you need to reference information: 

-Insurance documents
-Final closing documents
-Contact information for lender
-Inspection report 

Emergency planning:
The least ideal time to plan for an emergency is while it is happening. Here are a few things to keep in mind and plan for:

-Be sure to familiarize yourself with the circuit box, as well as label the circuit breakers.
-If you have gas, make sure to know where the gas shut-off valve is in case of an emergency. 
-Find where the main water shut-off value is in the event of a broken pipe. 
-For quick reference, make a list of emergency contacts such as your insurance agent, utility companies, electrician and plumber, and make it easily accessible to everyone in the home. 

Maintenance: 
As a homeowner, you now are responsible for all maintenance of your property (we know, *sigh..*) To make it a bit easier for you, we have created some bullets below for you to reference. It may be beneficial for you to set calendar events, so you don’t miss these basic maintenance tasks: 

-Schedule HVAC maintenance in the spring and fall, as well as change the filters at least once a season. 
-Check on and clean out those gutters at least once a year. 
-Clean out the dryer vent and hose at least once yearly to avoid fires.
-Once a year, drain your water heater. 
-If your refrigerator was not purchased recently, be sure to clean the coils at least once a year. 

With spring coming to an end, we are quickly approaching the time of year where many families head out for their long-awaited summer vacations. Whether you are jet setting to a foreign country, packing the car for a road trip or relaxing in the sun on a tropical getaway, you want to enjoy your vacation with the peace of mind knowing your home is safe and secure back in Omaha, NE. And that is where we come in! We have packed this blog post with tips and tricks to help make your house burglar-proof, so you can return home relaxed, refreshed and a little sun-kissed. 

-The first tip we have for you is to install an alarm system in your home, as they serve as an effective deterrent to burglars. You want to be sure to find a system that has both audible and visual warnings and links back to a reputable monitoring company. 

-Our second tip is to install external sensor lights that will turn on when someone enters your property, as burglars tend to avoid areas that are well-lit. On a similar note, you also may want to leave a few lights on in the house to trick intruders into thinking someone is home. 

-Next, you may want to consider installing a CCTV system to have 24/7 monitoring of your property. This system will also come in handy in the unfortunate situation that you need video evidence to catch intruders while you are away. 

-The fourth tip is to secure all valuable items in a safe (preferably a fire-proof safe) while you are vacationing. These items may include jewelry, cash, spare car keys and important documents such as birth certificates, life insurance policies, stock certificates and passports. 

-If you are planning on being away for a while and have a free-standing mailbox in front of your home, you may want to find a friend or family member who can come clear it out a few times a week. A full mailbox can give the impression to burglars that you are not home, thus putting a target on your property. 

-Our last tip for you is to get to know your neighbors if you don’t already. They can be a great asset to you while you are gone by keeping a close eye on your house and giving you updates during your trip. 

Let’s Talk Radon!

by Nancy Heim-berg

Since January is National Radon Action Month, we wanted to dedicate an entire blog post to this topic. Our hope is to educate you on ways to keep you and your loved ones safe from this serious health risk that, sadly, is responsible for more than 20,000 American deaths each year. What is radon you ask? Well that is a great place to start! Radon, which seeps up from the ground and dissolves into the air, is an odorless, tasteless and invisible gas that can prove to be very harmful when exposed to large quantities. As one of the leading causes of lung cancer deaths in America amongst nonsmokers, it is important to be educated on the ways to detect radon and fully understand the steps you can take to ensure the safety of your home from this harmful substance. We have listed a few actions for you to take below, and hope you take a few minutes to review this crucial information. 

-The first (and most obvious) action you can take is to test your home. The U.S. Surgeon General, as well as the EPA, have advised that all homes in the United State be tested for radon, and luckily the testing is relatively simple and reasonably priced. Here is a link to obtain your test kit and learn more about the testing process in your home. 

-Second, if you are in the market to purchase a home, make sure you are buying a radon-resistant home by finding builders who use radon-resistant new construction. 

-Third, stay up to date on local radon events happening around your community. Especially in the month of January when the topic is at the forefront of many discussions, it will be much easier to find events to attend in the coming weeks/days. 

-The forth step is to spread the word! As we stated above, we can’t smell, see or taste radon, which presents a large challenge because a normal person cannot detect the substance without testing for it. Spread the message to your family, friends and neighbors and let them know not only about the harmful effects of radon, but also the steps in which they can protect themselves and their loved ones. 

Halloween Safety Reminders For Your Home

by Nancy Heim-berg

If you are a fan of pumpkin carving, costume stores and everything spooky, then we bet you are excited that Halloween is just a few days away! And while you may be daydreaming about your get-up and enjoying the thought of all the little trick-or-treaters that will soon be knocking on your door, you also should stop to think about some safety precautions to take to ensure everyone has a fun and safe holiday. And lucky for you we have you covered on that front. If you are interested in a few safety tips for your home this Halloween, then keep reading below!

Our first tip for you this Halloween is to make sure that the front of your home is well lit. While it may seem more haunting and spooky to keep your home dark, the dramatic effect is not worth someone potentially tripping or falling from not being able to see clearly. You are also more likely to ward off intruders and any criminal activity if your home is well lit at night. Next, you want to be sure to clear walking paths of any debris such as leaves, tangled roots and displaced branches. Many young and eager trick-or-treaters will do anything and everything they can to collect their sweet treats in a flash, so be sure to have a clear path for them to jog, run and skip to your front door.

While you may be tempted to dress your pet up in a festive costume and have them be a helping paw to hand out candy, it is best to keep them indoors and away from all commotion. No matter how well behaved Winston may be, pets can have anxiety with all the noise, strangers and masks that come with the holiday. Lastly, you should always be aware and attentive to fire safety. We know how much fun you had carving your pumpkins and just how much a candle brings the creation to life. But an open flame can be dangerous, especially if a dinosaur accidentally knocks over the lit pumpkin with its tale. So instead, maybe think about a flameless candle as an alternative to keep everyone safe and away from open flames this Halloween.

Tips on how to keep your backyard safe this summer

by Nancy Heim-berg

With summer in full swing, we are sure your weekends are filled with BBQ’s, pool parties and lots of backyard soirées. And let’s be honest, after a seamlessly never-ending cold winter we deserve the long, warm days that summer brings. But we can’t be naïve to the fact that while backyards can be a fun play area, they can also present some dangers to your family and visitors if the right precautions are not in place. In today’s blog post we are going to be talking about a few simple ways to keep your pool, playset and trampoline safe in hopes to avoid any accidents and keep your summer bashes going all night long!

The first topic we are going to touch on is pool safety. As a home and pool owner, it is so imperative that you take the necessary steps in order to keep everyone safe, as the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) reported there are 10 unintentional drowning deaths each day. How can you keep your pool safe this summer? The first and most important step is to create a barrier around the pool with a fence, ideally with self-closing gates and locks. This will ensure that children can’t wander into the pool area unattended and help to keep your family and friends safe from the water. If you want to take things a step further, try looking into extra layers of protection and incorporating things such as alarms and safety covers to secure the pool when no one is using it.

Next, when it comes to playgrounds and swing sets, you want to be sure to be maintaining the equipment regularly. Things to keep an eye out for include protruding or rusted bolts, broken ropes, cracked slides and/or swings and open hooks. And to prevent injury and insulate falls, playgrounds should be installed on things such as tiles, rubber mulch or any other soft surface. And as always, adult supervision is highly recommended when children are playing on swings and playsets outdoors. And lastly, when it comes to trampoline safety, you want to be sure to have pads and netting around to prevent jumpers from falling off. It is also important to regularly inspect your trampoline and look for missing parts, rust and tears, and try to not have too many people on at once. And as stated above, it is always important to supervise children while they are enjoying the long days of summer outside on the trampoline.

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Photo of Heim-Berg Team Real Estate
Heim-Berg Team
Berkshire Hathaway
13340 California Street
Omaha NE 68154
(402) 677-9024
402-679-7108
Fax: 402-493-4805

Stacey OHara CMG financial 515-306-2360

 

©2015 BHH Affiliates, LLC. Real Estate Brokerage Services are offered through the network member franchisees of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Most franchisees are independently owned and operated. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc®. Equal Housing Opportunity. Equal Housing Opportunity Realtor License