Sumathi Narayanan Realty - Shrewsbury MA Real Estate, Grafton MA Real Estate, Ashland MA Real Estate


For some people, their bicycle is their main method of transportation. Whether it's commuting to work or getting groceries, a bicycle can be an excellent way to save money, stay in shape, and enjoy the ride to your destination. For those of us who live too far away from work to cycle there, bicycles can still be a fun activity to that also helps you stay in shape. Just like your car, your bicycle requires regular maintenance to keep your rides smooth and safe. Local bike shops will be able to give your bicycle a tune-up or make difficult repairs. However, there are a lot of maintenance tasks that can be done right from home with your average toolkit. In this article, we'll go over basic bike maintenance that you can do in your driveway that will keep your bike in good  working condition.

Safety Check

Before you ride your bike, it's good to perform a basic safety check in your driveway before leaving your home. You'll want to check:
  • tires, to see if they're properly inflated, have enough tread, and don't have any cracks
  • brakes, to see if both the front and rear brakes work properly and that they're touching the rims when pressed
  • chain and shifters, to make sure the chain is lubricated and that the shifters are functioning correctly

Cleaning and lubrication

Cleaning your bicycle regularly isn't just a matter of aesthetics. A clean bike is a safe bike and the process of cleaning helps you discover any potential issues with the bicycle. On a monthly basis, clean the frame and rims of your bike with a cloth. Look for any cracks in the frame, loose bolts or screws on any of the mechanisms. Cleaning and lubricating the chain of your bike will significantly increase its lifespan and will prevent your chain from malfunctioning when you're out on a ride. First, turn your bike upside down so that it is balanced on the sea and handlebars. Wipe off the grime that has built up on the chain with a rag. If necessary, use a degreaser and a small brush to scrub any remaining residue from between the links, then wipe down the chain once more. Apply a drop of chain lubricant to each chain link while you rotate the pedals. While you have the lubricant out, also be sure to apply a small amount to the brake levers an derailleurs (the part that moves the chain onto the different sized sprockets to change gears). Also lubricate the brake cables and gear cables to make sure they can move freely and do not freeze up.

Repairs and replacement

Sometimes, in spite of proper care and maintenance you're going to beed to make some repairs to your bicycle. The most common fixes you'll need to make are changing flat tires and replacing worn brake pads, and chain issues like a skipping link. Depending on your bicycle, you can often find tutorials online that will help you find the tools you need to make these repairs from home. Otherwise, you could always give business to your local bike shop.

As a society we are realizing how increasingly important it is to practice becoming more eco-conscious in our day to day lives. You probably already practice some eco-friendly habits whether it’s reusable bags at the grocery store, signing up for a recycling bin or carrying a water bottle around with your throughout the day. There are lots of small steps we can take. Below are some you may not have thought of, or have been meaning to start carrying out and just need that extra push! When Cleaning: Choose non-toxic cleaning products and microfiber clothes over traditional cleaners. Microfiber clothes are a fantastic multitasker to keep in your cleaning arsenal. Used damp they are great for cleaning and scrubbing while when dry they can be used for dusting. Since microfiber clothes seemingly have cleaning super powers you will find yourself needing less cleaning product. When you do need a product to get the job done opt for a more natural or even homemade one. Vinegar and baking soda are two kitchen ingredients that are also efficient cleaners as well! Smart purchases: Buy items made of recycled materials and reusable options over one-use products. Look for natural cleaners and products for not only around the home but for personal use too. What you put on your body matters, after all, your skin is your largest organ! When buying detergent look for a concentrated variety instead of the traditional watered-down options. And avoid dry cleaning! It’s electric: Look for solar powered outdoor lights to save on your electric bill and, if possible, install solar panels as an energy source for your home. There are many companies today whose goal is to make solar panels more affordable for the average household. When upgrading old appliances purchase low energy varieties that are Energy Star qualified. Bonus points: you can usually get tax credits for doing so! Need a free way to save electricity? Turn off the lights when you leave a room and unplug any electronics not in use. Electronics can use power when plugged in even if they are not turned on! Try using power strips with an on-off switch to easily control electricity flow. CFL (compact fluorescent) and LED bulbs use less energy to heat than traditional ones and while pricier they pay for themselves over time. Water wisely: Bathrooms are, naturally, the place where the most water is used. There a few upgrades you can make, for example, look for low-flow toilets and showerheads with the WaterSense label. Installing a recirculating water pump saves on water by allowing water to be hot when you turn on the faucet so you don’t have to let the water run while waiting for the temperature to change. Some free ways to save on water? Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth and flush the toilet less often throughout the day. Heating & cooling: Thermal drapes are great in the winter to keep out the cold and in the summer to keep out the heat of the sun. Keep drapes open during the day and closed at night during winter and closed during the day and open at night during the summer. Opt for ceiling fans over air conditioning to save on energy in the summer months. In the winter, opt for more layers instead of increasing the room temperature. Draft stoppers and carpeting on hardwood floors are another way to keep your home warmer when it’s cold out. There are so many ways to make your home a more eco-friendly one. Whether you have money to invest in smart upgrades or opt for the more frugal habits each eco-conscious step you take will have a positive impact in the long run on not only the environment but your wallet as well.

What’s the optimal commute time for most people to get to and from work? According to many surveys and research studies, this amount of time is around 30 minutes at the most. The closer you live to your job, the happier you’ll be (that is of course if you do like your job!) If you live further from work, you may think that the bigger house is worth it because of your paycheck. If your commute is miserable, however, you may want to rethink your journey. 


You’ll choose where you live based on a variety of factors including the neighborhood dynamics, the school system and the safety of the area. You may be willing to sacrifice one of these factors to gain another. 


Metropolitan Or The Suburbs? 


Generally speaking, the center of jobs tends to be in metropolitan areas. Yet, better schools and neighborhoods are often seen outside of the city. This makes for longer commute times. Depending upon which city you’re talking about, commute times can vary widely. New York and Los Angeles may beat smaller cities like Cleveland or Kansas City in the average number of minutes that people commute to work.


Don’t Worry, Be Happy 


Your happiness factor is very important when it comes to your living situation and your commute time. Whatever is most important to you should go on the top of your property search list. If you don’t mind spending an hour in the car each way to get to and from work, then you can live a bit farther away without much issue. You’ll also need to add in factors like public transportation, if that’s important to you.   


If you do prefer to take public transportation to get where you need to go, you may need to weigh a few factors. You’ll need to look in areas where trains and buses are more accessible. Living closer to public transportation can often come at a bit of a higher price tag. However, you’ll be able to save some money on the cost of keeping a vehicle. All of these factors need to be kept in mind when you’re beginning your house search and making your wishlist.   


Remember that the area of the country that you choose to live in has an effect on your commute. While some cities have more traffic than others, jobs my be more plentiful in a wider area, making it easier and more affordable to live closer to work. New York City has a much different dynamic than Tulsa, let’s say. 


Working From Home


In the most ideal of situations, maybe your commute is only to your home office! In this case, you’ll only need to be mindful of how far it is to get to the places you need to visit most often. You’ll also want to find a home that has a good space for you to have your office in. 


We all need to work in order to pay for the beautiful homes that we own. Why not make it much easier to get to and from work, and be mindful of commute times in your home search? With today’s technology, it’s a whole lot easier to get this information, so do your research! Happy house hunting!


A property deed is used to transfer the title of the property of a grantor (the seller) to a grantee (the buyer). For the deed to be active, certain conditions must be set in place. The property must have a complete and accurate description. The buyer and seller must also be clearly identified. This formulation is due to the fact that a deed is a signed legal document.


The deed has a few important requirements for it to be valid and legal. First, the deed must be in writing. Next, the grantor must have some sort of a legal capacity (represented by a lawyer) and the grantee must have the competent ability to receive the property grant. Finally, the deed must actually be accepted by the grantee. 


Although this process sounds complicated, it’s usually prepared ahead of time and done at the closing of a property transaction. Different states have different rules and procedures that allow for the transfer of ownership of property, so be sure to check on the specifics in your area.


Different Types Of Deeds


There are many different kinds of deeds. Deeds can be official or private. The type of deed that we are specifying here is known as “official” since the transaction is executed in agreement with legal proceedings. This is just one reason why every home buyer, no matter where you live, is important. Deeds are typically characterized by the type of warranty that they carry.


General Warranty Deeds 


These deeds actually offer the grantee the largest amount of protection. The grantor of this deed makes a series of promises that protect the grantee from prior claims and demands to the land. This document would state that the property is free of liens, unless specifically stated on the deed itself. This also protects the grantee (the buyer) from a defective title. This is the most desirable type of deed. 


Special Warranty Deeds


A special warranty deed defends the title of the home. The grantor certifies that they have received the title to the property and that nothing has happened while the title has been in their possession that would create a major defect on the property. This means that only defects that occurred on the property while the grantor owned it are valid. This provides less protection than a general warranty deed does. Many buyers will insist that they have a general warranty deed instead in order to feel protected in the property transaction.


Other Types Of Deeds To Be Aware Of


  • Quitclaim deed
  • Special purpose deeds
  • Executor’s deed
  • Administrator's deed
  • Sheriff’s deed
  • Tax deed
  • Deed of gift

 

As a homeowner, much of the legal jargon that’s involved in the transfer of title isn’t something that you need to study up on. The important thing to know is that the deed is the means of the transfer of title. The deed must also meet certain conditions for it to be legally binding. The type of deed that you have determines the type of protection that the deed provides. A qualified real estate attorney should be consulted regarding all legal matters in the home buying and selling process.


Whether new or old, many homes can have issues that aren’t obvious from photos. Many of the most common problems in a home have to do with the plumbing system. Since water can be so damaging, it’s especially important to get these issues out in the open prior to sale.

Some sellers might be aware of their plumbing issues, others may have no clue at all. Oftentimes, if a home was previously occupied by only one or two people who didn’t entertain many guests, they may not be aware of the strain that a larger family could have on things like the septic system.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the most common plumbing issues that a home has and help you identify these issues before you buy a new home.

The small fixes

Let’s start with some problems that are common and simple to address. When touring a home or performing an inspection, test all of the home’s faucets. Dripping faucets might not seem like a big issue, but the cost of wasted water can add up on your utility bill.

Leaking pipes are another issue that is seemingly harmless, but can lead to bigger problems that could cost thousands of dollars to repair. Check ceilings, floors, and underneath cabinets for signs of water damage.

Flush the toilets in the house to see if they continue running. Toilets that continue running water is often a simple fix, like replacing the chain or flapper in the tank. However, a leaking toilet could be symptomatic of a bigger problem that could include having to replace the toilet.

Sewer line and septic systems

Ask the owner about the history of the sewer or septic system. Find out if they’ve had problems recently and when the last time they were taken care of. If there is a septic tank or field on the property, look for signs of issues such as the grass having been dug out, water pooling in the yard, or foul smells in the area.

When it comes to septic and sewer issues, always reach out to a professional. They will be able to give you an accurate assessment and estimate of costs.

Inspect the pipes

Spot-checking the pipes in the home will tell you a lot about the state of the plumbing. Pipes that are old, worn, and lacking insulation are signs that plumbing issues could be coming. Rust is a major red flag. The water lines that lead out of the house for lawn faucets should also be wrapped to avoid freezing in the winter months.

Hot water heater

Just like the septic system, you’ll want to ask about the history of the home’s hot water heater. If it’s over ten years old, you might have to replace it soon after purchase.

You should also consider the size of the hot water heater. You’ll want to be sure it can accommodate your expected water usage. If children are in your future, having a bigger hot water heater might be something you want to plan for to avoid cold showers in the morning.




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