Brian O'Neil - RE/MAX Advantage I



Posted by Brian OíNeil on 4/11/2021

If youíre looking to make your home smell nice, but arenít sure about using chemical air fresheners for your home, you can turn to the natural odors that nature provides. Below, youíll find some of the best natural air fresheners and how to use them to make your home smell fresh and clean. 


Lemon And Rosemary


Who knew that one of the best natural air fresheners was right in your kitchen? All you need is a mason jar, vanilla extract, rosemary, water, and lemon. Mix together and leave in the jar for a fanatic smell. 


Lilac Room Spray


You can leave your home smelling like springtime the whole year through. Just combine water, vodka, and lilac oil in a container with a sprayer. This compound is the ultimate room refresher.


Natural Carpet Freshener


You can freshen your carpets quickly and naturally by combining baking soda, dried rosemary, and lavender right on your carpets. Just let the mixture sit on rugs for about 15-20 minutes, then vacuum it up and voila, youíll have quite a fresh smelling room. 


Natural Refills For Plug-In Air Fresheners


You donít need to throw away empty plug-in the wall air fresheners. You can reuse the glass container. You can use your favorite essential oils and water, place back in the jar, and keep your rooms smelling fresh and clean.


Fall Into A Season


If youíre not a fan of burning candles, you can combine cinnamon oil, orange oil, and water. Boil it together, and your home will smell like a fresh fall day. 


Stove-Top Potpurris


There isnít really any one particular scent that you have to use in your potpourris. Just look for recipes that intrigue you. Your home will smell like a new world when you combine sweet and spicy smells to make a long-lasting scent out of potpourri.


Make Your Own Diffuser


To make your own reed diffuser, all you need is a small glass container, rattan reeds, alcohol, almond oil, and your favorite essential oil. Some examples would be lemon oil or lavender oil. It all depends on what room youíre using the diffuser in and what effect you hope to have. The reeds soak in the scent, giving it off to the entire room. 


As with many kinds of cleaning around your home, you donít need fancy cleaning products or air fresheners. Things that you probably already have in your home can work as great cleaners, deodorizers, and odor neutralizers. Give these natural air fresheners a try and see if they make a difference in your home.          







Posted by Brian OíNeil on 4/4/2021

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Depending on where you live, recycling may not be an easy task. Some communities don't even have a local center. And beyond that, reusing something has less of an environmental impact than recycling. So when you can reuse, you absolutely should. But it's not always easy to see treasure when "trash" stands before you.

Here are some simple and creative ways to re-purpose your recyclables for storage.

Coffee Creamer Bottle Salad Sprinkles

Are you trying to add more healthy nuts and seeds to your salads? Make it easy for yourself by re-purposing a creamer bottle. Simply remove the label and wash. Then add things like:

  • Almond slivers
  • Crushed walnuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Orange Juice Bottle Watering Can

    After cleaning the bottle, simply use a small drill bit or hammer/nail to bore some tiny holes into the lid. Fill it with water. Screw on the lid tight. And then, turn the bottle at an angle to allow the sprinkles to cascade over your plants.

    Single-Use Plastic Bottle Wastebasket 

    You'll need a couple of metal rings for support here. So look for old furniture or machinery that has them. Then string four bottles together with a wire running through top to bottom. Glue the bottle columns to each other to create a cylinder. Use a recycled piece of wood, metal or hard plastic for the round base, and Voila! 

    Old Desk Recycling Station

    Do you have a table, desk, armoire or dresser that's on its way out? Turn that old wood into several crates. Use them for anything. But they're perfect for recycling.

    Carefully disassemble the furniture. Then cut the wood into slats. Nail those slats together to form a crate. Paint each container with a different vibrant color. Then stencil on a label such as:

  • Paper
  • Cans
  • Bottles
  • Now, when someone visits your home, they immediately sort recyclables into the right bin. 

    Hopefully, these ideas will help you see other recyclables in a new light to create your own up-cycled storage solutions. 




    Tags: recycling   storage   Repurpose  
    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Brian OíNeil on 3/28/2021

    Photo by Larisa Koshkina via Pixabay

    Restoring native habitat to our surroundings is like pressing the "refresh" button on biodiversity. Homeowners who embrace native gardening are making big contributions to healthy landscapes, which is great for maintaining the native ecosystems.

    Making a Difference—Beautifully

    Native plants are the greenery that would grow in certain areas with or without human intervention. These plants evolved along with the rest of the living community in the same area, meaning native, dynamic gardening brings in more than plants. It buzzes with life and energy, above and below the soil - from flitting birds to pollinating insects.

    The impact of native plant species on even a small stretch of land is impressive. Areas where oak trees thrive, for example, can sustain about a hundred times the diversity as other types of nursery trees. This is all due to the fact that the oak is the native tree of the land and has a built-in capacity for the surrounding ecosystems.

    What's more, native gardens produce beautiful flowers, abundant fruits, and lovely, ever-changing seasonal displays of subtle and vibrant hues. They produce the age-old foods of a local area's wildlife. The nectar attracts pollinators, such as bats and hummingbirds.

    Payoffs of Native Gardening

    You can re-do your garden completely and go 100% native— or choose to implement a majority of native plants with a few accented implants. You could also gradually transform your garden by bringing a few native plants yearly into what you already have. This is called "conservation by addition." 

    Either way, native plants in a landscape or garden take about as much effort as establishing other plants you might buy from a market or nursery. Yet after their roots take hold, native plants can flourish with surprisingly little gardening work.

    Indigenous plants have evolved to do well in the local weather and soil. This means they rarely need extra resources or sprinkler systems for support. Great news for water bills! No matter what size your garden project, your native garden can help save water and key resources.

    Plus, oaks, maples, and other native trees to your region work efficiently to hold in carbon dioxide while replenishing precious oxygen. These trees continually add shade, beauty, and pure, refreshed air to your surroundings.  

    Ready to Give It a Go?

    Visit natural areas around you. This will give you ideas about what will fit in well on your property. Use your zip code to find local plants that will delight your local birds and bees.

    Contact other gardeners in your area for advice. Social media is another great source of tips.

    Then enjoy learning, and celebrating the natural character of the land on which you live.




    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Brian OíNeil on 3/21/2021

    Image by Philipp Berndt from Unsplash

    Sometimes the timelines for buying and selling a home donít match up perfectly. You may have purchased a new home or need to relocate before you can sell your current residence. In these cases, your property may remain empty for weeks or months at a time. Here are a few ideas for keeping your home secure until ownership is transferred.

    Keep Your Utilities Running

    It is an extra expense to keep paying for a utility bill on a property you do not occupy, but it's ideal for security purposes. Electricity, in particular, allows for the use of lights to create the impression of occupancy. Consider using lights you can set to a timer ó ensure the lights come on at appropriate times in the evening and go off during daylight hours. Installing exterior motion detector lights will turn on your lights when someone comes within range of the sensor. 

    If your home is vacant during the winter months, you will want to keep the heat running to avoid issues like frozen pipes. You can maintain the temperature with a programmable thermostat or one that you can connect to remotely. It is helpful to have a local contact who can check in on your heating system during especially harsh weather.

    Maintain Your Security System

    If you have one, maintain your security system until the next occupant moves in. Let the security company, as well as your local police department, know that your property will be uninhabited. The more security measures you have in place, the better the protection for your property. Having a security system in place can notify you and the local authorities if there is unusual activity on your property. Notice of a security system often serves as a deterrent for keeping criminals away.

    Keep the Yard Neat

    Hire a landscaping service to mow the lawn and keep the landscape looking tidy. If you leave your yard looking untidy and unkempt, it is a visual cue to passersby that the house is vacant. If the weather is cold, plan for snow and ice removal to ensure the property is accessible.

    Your unoccupied home is a financial asset until it is sold to someone as their forever home. Keep it in the best condition possible until you transfer ownership. If your property may be vacant for an extended period of time, it can be helpful to arrange for a property management service to keep an eye on your home. Your real estate agent is a great resource for management services in your area, call for recommendations today.





    Posted by Brian OíNeil on 3/14/2021

    Image by June Hanabi from Pixabay

    Buying a home is never easy, but it can be especially challenging if you're making your purchase from a remote location, like when you're buying a vacation home. If you're purchasing a second home or a vacation property in the next few months, these tips can help you through the process. By doing your homework, working with the right real estate professional, and by making decisions in advance, you can make the purchasing process easier on yourself. Here's what you need to know.  

    Understand the Tax & Loan Implications

    Mortgages for vacation homes often require a larger down payment than primary residences. In addition, some loans that can be used to purchase primary residences cannot be used to buy vacation homes. For example, you can't pay for a vacation home with an FHA loan. 

    You may be able to deduct the mortgage interest from your taxes, but only up to a certain amount. Your accountant can help you understand how the mortgage deduction will work before you buy the house. Call your accountant before getting into the home purchase process, so you can be fully aware of the tax implications before finalizing the purchase.

    Know What You Want

    Sit down with your family before you start shopping for a home. Have discussions that will focus your search. Ask questions like: Where do we want to buy? How big will the house be? How large should the lot be? Answering these questions in advance will help you narrow your search and keep it focused on houses that are likely to make you happy.  

    Research the Real Estate Market

    Are homes competitive in the area where you'd like to buy? Do they go fast? Must you act quickly? What's the price range of homes you'd like to buy? What's the forecast for real estate in the area? Having answers to these questions will help you make decisions that will inform your home buying process. Some of this information can be found online, but the best and most accurate way to get a lot of this information is to work with a reputable real estate professional.  

    Plan at Least One or Two Trips

    Much of the home buying process can be done remotely. PDF document signing technology has made it easy to make offers and send documents to home buyers from out of state or even out of the country. However, it's still advisable to make at least one trip to the area and see the house you'd like to buy in-person before making an offer. 

    Very likely, you won't find the house you want to buy in the first trip. Plan to make at least one (and possibly two or more) trips to the area where you'd like to purchase. Plan your trips carefully to ensure each trip is productive. Make a list of properties to see before leaving. Communicate your list of properties with your real estate agent in advance, so your real estate professional can make appointments to see homes before you arrive.  

    Find the Right Real Estate Professional

    Work with a real estate agent who has facilitated long distance purchases in the past, and who has strategies for helping out of town buyers. To find a real estate agent, interview reputable candidates before settling on the right one for you. The real estate professional you choose should be friendly, communicative and confident in their ability to help. Working with the right real estate agent, you'll be able to get the job done, even when you're not in town.  




    Categories: Uncategorized