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Pensacola Real Estate Professionals Reminds You to Take Extra Care of Your Pets in Cold Weather

pets cold 1Winter is upon us, so don’t forget Man’s Best Friend (Lassie, Rin-Tin-Tin or Fido) can also be affected by the cold days and nights ahead.

The Human Society of the United States (HSUS), the world’s largest animal protection organization, is urging pet owners to take a few common sense precautions to safe guard their pets from the bitter cold.

Despite their fur coats, domesticated animals like cats and dogs depend on humans for protection from elements such as freezing temperatures. The HSUS is offering the following suggestions to  help keep all pets safe through the cold winter months:pets cold 3

Don’t leave pets outdoors when the temperatures drop below freezing. Dogs need outdoor exercise but take care not to keep them out for lengthy periods during very cold weather. Short-coated dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater during walks. Never let your dog off of the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm, dogs can loose their scent and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure yours always wears ID tags. Dogs and cats are safer indoors in all sorts of weather. Animals should never be left outdoors unattended as they risk being stolen or otherwise being harmed. Cats who are allowed to roam/stray are exposed to infectious diseases, including rabies from other cats, dogs and wildlife.

pets cold 4Wind chill can threaten a pet’s life, no matter what the temperature. Outdoor dogs must be protected by a dry, draft-free doghouse that is large enough to allow the dog to sit or lie down comfortably, but small enough to retain his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered  with cedar shavings or straw. The house should be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with a flap of heavy waterproof fabric or heavy plastic.

Pets spending a lot of times outdoors need more food in the winter. Keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet’s water dish to make certain the water is fresh and not frozen. Use plastic food and water bowls rather than metal; when the temperature is low, your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to metal.

Warm car engines are dangerous for cats and small wildlife. Parked cars attract small animals that may crawl up under the hood looking for warmth. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car’s hood to scare them away before starting your engine.pets cold 2

De-icing chemicals are hazardous. The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pad’s of your pet’s feet. Wipe the feet with a damp cloth every time after coming in from outside even if you don’t see salt on your sidewalks.

Antifreeze is a deadly poison. It has a sweet taste that attracts animals and children. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze out of reach. Better yet, use antifreeze-coolant made with propylene glycol; if swallowed in small amounts, it will not hurt pets, wildlife or people.

Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. When you bathe your dog in the colder pets cold 5months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk.

Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing animals to freeze to death.

Just remember, if it is cold and uncomfortable for you, than it is also too cold and uncomfortable for your pet.

Your pet will thank you many times over for providing this extra care during the bitter, cold winter months.

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Pensacola Real Estate Professionals Shares 6 Annual Cool-Weather Home Maintenance Tips

We, at Pensacola Real Estate Professionals, wanted to remind you that an ounce of prevention can save you big bucks on the maintenance of your home! Because what may be a small, inexpensive problem now could be a huge, costly problem later! Neglecting to clear a leaf-chocked gutter could result in wood rot and the spread of mildew. A poorly maintained heating system may eventually spew toxic fumes or stop working entirely on a cold day. And cracks in walls and windows (besides creating nasty drafts) are an open invitation to pests and water.

Yearly fall maintenance is more than convenience; it’s also a smart investment strategy. Many homeowners get their homes professionally inspected in the fall, so they can keep a running record. Everyone should have a history of their home, and when you go to sell, having one could make or break the deal. It helps perspective buyers see evidence of the repairs you’ve made over the years. Every time you make repairs or renovations, it’s a good idea to take a video or photo of the results and save the details to your computer.

Although you should really call a specialist for certain jobs, here are some jobs you can do yourself.

Clean Gutters and Drainage Spouts.

gutter cleaningProtect yourself first by always wearing gloves – animals or insects can hide in gutters. A gutter scoop is a convenient tool for removing leaves and other debris. Then place the garden hose in the downspout to flush it out.

Inspect Your Roof.

Look for signs of deterioration (loose shingles, rotting wood, cracks, etc.) Carefully trim heavy branches that are hanging over your roof. ( A falling branch could hurt someone, cause a blackout or damage your roof. Ifroof maintenance you’re using your chimney, flying sparks could possibly ignite overhanging branches.) If the branches are near power line, call a professional tree-trimming company to do the trimming; they may need to contact your power company to temporarily disconnect your power before they start working.

Check All Windows and Doors.

window caulkingRemove summer screens and install storm windows and doors. Inspect and repair any loose or damaged windows or door frames. Install weather stripping or caulking around windows and doors to reduce drafts, too. If you discover signs of deterioration, such as moisture on surrounding walls or dry-rot damage, call a certified home inspector or restoration specialist immediately.

Clean Your Heating System.

Replace the filters in your furnace. You should do this monthly if you or any one in your family has allergies. Check for air leakage around the joints. And consider having an air conditioning and heating specialist checkcleaning heating system 1 your entire system before winter sets in. If you don’t already have one, install a carbon monoxide detector near all appliances that burn fossil fuel, but be sure you install it in an area where you’ll hear the alarm if it is triggered.

Check the Smoke Detector.

checking smoke detectorSome people wait until they reset their clocks during Daylight Savings Time to inspect their smoke detectors, but if you missed it in the spring, don’t wait another month – check them now. Press the button to make sure it beeps and replace batteries if necessary. Most smoke detectors signal with an automatic beep when the battery gets low, but it’s always good to check on an annual basis. Smoke detectors should be replaced every six months.

Secure the Cracks.

From skunks to insects to other critters, your home can fall prey to unwanted invaders. Before they start seeking shelter from the cold,secure exterior cracks inspect the perimeter of your home for cracks or holes where they could enter and then seal them well. Clean and lubricate the garage-door hinges, rollers and tracks to make sure the door closes securely. If you detect evidence of animal activity, such as urine odors, unexplained gnaw marks, feces or footprints, consult an exterminator.

If I can help direct you to a local professional inspector. Please contact me here or directly at 850-393-7106.

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A Guide to Space Heaters Courtesy of Pensacola Real Estate Professionals

As temperatures drop, we at Pensacola Real Estate Professionals wanted to share some general and safety information pertaining to space heaters.

Everyone wants to save money on heating cost. One option is to use space heaters. They can add warmth and comfort to your home, as long as you use them safely. Space heaters have been known to cause fires, if not used properly.

There are two basic types of heaters: convection and radiant. Convection heaters provide warmth by blowing or pulling air over a heated surface. These heaters are designed to heat an entire room. Radiant heaters direct heat at an object.

convection heater at lowesConvection heaters are either fan-assistant or fan-less. These heaters are priced on average from $10 to $400.

Ceramic heaters are some of the newest convection heaters on the market. These heaters have ceramic plates and aluminum baffles. When electricity passes through the ceramic, it is heated. The heat is then absorbed by the aluminum and a fan blows the hot air into your room.

Ceramic heaters are easily portable and give off a great deal of heat from a small box. These heaters tend to be more energy efficient and safer than many heaters, so even though they heat up quickly, their plastic casings stay cool. A great use for this type of fan would be in a small office or tabletop.

The some Ceramic heaters range from $15 to $100 dollars. Delonghi’s Ceramic Heaters can be viewed at delonghi.com. Another company that carry’s a variety of them locally is Lowe’s Home Improvement Store. Their selections can be viewed at lowes.com.

Heater fans use a standard metal-coil element that is placed in the fan to help distribute heat to the room. These convection fans provide a minimal source of heat for a small areal, but not an entire room. Heater fans usually have a good price point and often are available in a variety of sizes and color. The heat element can also be turned off, so this fan can be a great choice in both the winter and the summer.

The average price range for heater fans is $10 to $400. Go to lowes.com for selections to view.heater fan at lowes

The radiant heater is one of the most common type of space heaters. However, this type of heater has been updated with more features and temperature controls, keeping safety in mind.

Most of these heaters use a glowing quartz or some type of metal element and reflector to provide heat to a specific area. Radiant heaters quickly provide heat to those closest to the heater, rather than providing heat for an entire room.

Radiant heaters range in price on average from $30 to $100. See a consumer search review of some available at consumersearch.com.

Oil-filled radiators look like old fashioned radiators that are found in many older houses. However, these are radiant electric heaters that are permanently filled with oil. Many of the models available come with wheels so they are easy to move around your home. This type of heater provides a steady heat source for an entire room.

The price of some oil-filled  heaters range from $50 to $110. Honeywell’s HZ 709 is priced at $90. Visit honeywellstore.com for it and other heater selections.

Another option for additional heating in your home is using either a gas or kerosene heater. Both of these heaters give off a great deal of heat and come in handy when there is no power, since they don’t require electricity. However, always be careful when using them and be sure to follow the manufacture’s guidelines.

honeywell oil filled heater

Propane gas heaters are among the newest ways to provide additional heat to your home. These heaters can provide heat for almost six hours on one-gallon tank of propane. Prices range on average from $10 to $300. See Mr. Heater Portable Buddy Propane Heaters at mrheater.com or visit The Home Depot at homedepot.com for available models.

Since natural gas is so plentiful in many parts of the country, natural gas heaters are another great option. You’ll have to connect this type of heater to a gas source; however, you can still disconnect the heater to store elsewhere during the summer.

Fireplaces are the most popular source of additional heat in many homes. They can give off a lot of heat and provide warmth to a room. Fireplaces are becoming so popular, you now find them in bedrooms, kitchens and even bathrooms! However, if your home doesn’t have a fireplace, the costs of adding a chimney and/or gas line can really add up quickly.

The electric fireplace is one of the newest products on the market. Not only does this fireplace add warmth to a room, but it’s attractive  and can become a focal point. See Home Depot for available models at homedepot.com. The price of some electric fireplaces can range from $50 to $300.electric fireplace

Space Heater Guideline:

1) Only purchase a heater that has the UL mark, which stands for United Laboratories. (It’s an independent testing lab.)

2) Keep at least three feet from combustible items.

3) Turn off before leaving a room or before going to sleep.

4) Always supervise children and pets when using a heater.

5) Only plug into wall outlets; don’t use extension cords.

6) Don’t use it to dry clothes.

7) Cool down completely before adding fuel.

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Pensacola Real Estate Professionals Favorite Christmas Trees

Pensacola Real Estate Professionals is delighted to offer some fresh ideas for decorating the family Christmas tree.

metallic sparkler christmas-treeMetallic Sparkler

Create an opulent feel without overwhelming the space by decorating your Christmas tree with a limited color scheme of silver, gold and bronze.simply elegant Christmas tree

Simply Elegant

The plan is simple: strands of tiny white lights, glass icicles, and medium-to large-size ornaments in shades of gold and cream.

cascading ribbon treeCascading Ribbon Tree

Decorate your Christmas tree with long, cascading tendrils of colorful ribbon, rickrack, and pom-pom fringe. Search the remnants section of a fabric-and-trim store for good deals on pieces that are at the end of a roll or odd-sized, and collect throughout the year. Attach ribbon directly to an embroidery hoop and then simply slide over the top of your tree.refined rustic tree

Refined Rustic

Use warm colors and nubby textures to make a rustic tree. Burlap unifies the look with homespun stockings on your fireplace mantel, an oversize bow topping the tree, and gifts wrapped in woven material. Cool mercury glass ornaments add a touch of shimmer.

Modern Glamour

modern glamour treeA petite white fir tree, heavily flocked at the tree lot, makes a big statement in a small room. Flocked trees may be a retro thought but look thoroughly modern when paired with a crisp white-on-white color scheme. Bursts of peacock blue and sea-foam green pop against the clean backdrop, and a sculptural weathered urn makes a perfect base.

Colorful Classiccolorful classic tree

A Fraser fir, with its symmetrical shape, coordinates nicely with classical architecture. A Southern magnolia wreath hanging on a nearby window by strips of fabric used elsewhere in the room, and red and gold ornaments play up a traditional bells and holly theme. Strands of large, clear glass bulbs usually used to light a patio, give this tree and ethereal glow at night.

Classic Red and Silver

classic red and silver treeThe common color of old and new silver ornaments makes this tree elegant; different shapes and sheens make it interesting. Red beads mimic cranberries without the mess. Vintage-look white bulbs cast a calming glow. A Fraser fir holds lots of ornaments.

Colorful Tabletop Displaycolorful tabletop display tree

If you are tight on space, try a tabletop tree planted in a sculptural garden urn. Dripping with antique ornaments and beaded garland, it’s a festive way to display your treasures.

Organic and Shimmery

organic-shimmery-treeSkip the ubiquitous metal tree stand, and give your tree a unique base by anchoring it in a large container. Adjust the vessels to your style: fancy urns for an elegant look and rustic baskets for a casual one.

Beachy Casualbeachy-casual-tree

Sand dollars, sea stars, and shells make ideal ornaments, since we live by the coast. Collect them all summer to bring a warm smile to the holidays.

Twinkling Delight

twinkling delight treeFor the ultimate twinkling tree, dress each branch with white lights. It can be tedious, but the glow is worth it. Minimal ornaments in a limited color scheme show off the tree.

Colorful and Coastalcolorful and coastal tree

Shades of aqua, turquoise, and white create a crisp, festive holiday vibe. Glass pinecone ornaments reflect the area’s indigenous conifers and bring a traditional holiday motif to the tree. Extend the unconventional color scheme to the giftwrap paper you use under the tree to carry through the fresh look.

Winter Wonderland

winter wonderland treeUse silver and gold to decorate the tree, basically neutral, but with a little bling. Glittered ornaments and mercury glass balls lend a glimmering, glamorous feeling. Skip the tree skirt for a clean and simple look , and to let the lower limbs of the tree brush the floor. Place packages around the outside of the tree to make it look larger.

Nostalgic Red and Goldnostalgic red and gold tree

Nothing is more traditional than a red and green holiday palette. Give it a twist by using only red and gold ornaments on the tree, so that the pine needles, gift ribbons, and threads of green in a tartan blanket tossed on a sofa nearby are the only green elements. This look proves that a nostalgic color scheme can be updated for a fresh and modern look.

Green and Gold Tabletop Tree

green and gold tabletop-christmas-treeIf you have small children, we suggest a small, tabletop tree to keep fragile ornaments and alluring packages out of reach. A wide burlap ribbon will look pretty festooning this tree, cascading down the branches with casual elegance.

Fashionable Fresh Greensfashionable fresh greens tree

The trick to keep this graphic look punchy, and not ho-hum, is choosing the right shade of green. A crisp apple hue pops perfectly — anything darker or lighter would fade into the tree. To keep the holiday look fresh and bright, choose all-white ornaments for their modern feel and bold contrast. A playful, paper lantern is a cute tree topper, and trailing garland and ribbons can echo the same color palette.

Blue Christmas

blue-christmas treeMany of us love to decorate with blue, so why not incorporate it into a holiday palette? Offset the rich colors with plenty of sparkle. Pile on silver and glass ornaments, disco ball-esque garlands and a quirky topper.

Whimsical Snow White Treewhimsical snow white tree

Let your Christmas tree reflect or carry through a white-wall color palette. Find a tree that is white or looks like it has been dusted with snow. Use candy-colored ornaments and garlands that look like jewelry. In lieu of a traditional skirt or stand, place the tree in a sculptured garden urn.

Golden Glow

golden glow treeCompliment a colorful living room with an all-gold tree. Pair antique ornaments with modern ones for a more “collected” and less “designed” look.

Whatever way you choose to decorate the family Christmas tree, remember to have fun and rejoice for the gifts received, not just at Christmas, but everyday.

If I can help you find a new home for the holidays, or if you would like to start the new year in a new home, please contact me here or directly at 850-393-7106.

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Shane’s Rib Shack in Pace Florida Gets a Big Thumbs Up from Pensacola Real Estate Professionals

shanes rib shack 1This past May, Shane’s Rib Shack opened in Pace, Florida. It is a spectacular, family-friendly barbecue restaurant serving lunch, dinner and carry out meals! Pensacola Real Estate Professionals gives it a big thumbs up for the mouth-watering pulled-pork, ribs and chicken wings, to name just a few of Shane’s menu items.

With Thanksgiving a few days away, and family members gathering, why not head to Shane’s Rib Shack for a family barbecue before the big Thanksgiving feast?! It is well worth the trip! It is close to Stonebrook Village, Cottonwood, Covington Woods, Winners Gait, Hammersmith, Abernathy, Plantation Woods and Ashley Plantation. Their central Pace/Milton location puts them in close proximity to these neighborhoods, as well as the many others in the area.

There are also locations nearby in Gulf Breeze, Florida and Mobile, Alabama.

Shane Thompson built his business around hard work, family support and out-of-this-world food. He believes in giving people more than what they pay for and he believes in treating everybody like family. Family comes first, but darn good barbecue is a close second in his opinion. We heartily agree!

His dream started in the Atlanta, Georgia area, when he dusted off his grandfather’s secret recipe and opened his first shack in 2002. Shane’s Rib Shacks can now be found across America. We are lucky to have three in our general vicinity. shanes big dad sammie

Try Shane’s chicken wings. They are so moist and delicious, they just fall off the bone! The Big Dad’s pulled-pork sandwich is to die for, too! The french fries are crisp and flavorful and their salads are full of the freshest ingredients! It doesn’t seem like you can go wrong with any selection off of their varied menu!

The Pace/Milton Shane’s Rib Shack is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.  They serve lunch and dinner. Contact them at 850-736-8851, if you need to have an event or special occasion catered. They do that, too! Yum! Stop by and let them know that Pensacola Real Estate Professionals sent you!

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