If you can’t attend Than Merrill’s San Diego FortuneBuilders seminar, there are 10 ways to help you get the best offer for your home:

Tip 1

Remove all family photos, toys, nick knacks, and excess clothing. Replace the family photos with generic paintings. Eliminate anything that creates an odor-especially diaper pails or litter boxes.

Tip 2

Give each room a definitive function. Bedrooms should have a bed and a dresser. If it’s an office, remove anything that would distract from that purpose. Exercise equipment belongs in a gym or a storage building, not in an office.

Tip 3

Remove heavy curtains and valances, and replace them with lighter weight fabrics. Replace old or worn out light fixtures, and wash the windows.

Tip 4

Patching and painting walls will give the appearance of a well-kept home. Use neutral colors that will appeal to everyone. It does not have to be white, but a shade of white or tan should work. The darker a room is, the smaller it will look.

Tip 5

Remove and replace–if possible–old carpets. Call a professional steam cleaner if the carpets are in good shape. Look for specials on wood flooring or tiles to replace floors that cannot be saved.

Tip 6

The two rooms that are scrutinized most are the kitchen and bathroom. To sell a house for top dollar, these two rooms must be updated. Painting cabinets and replacing countertops will make a big improvement in their appearance. You should update the faucets and hardware, too. Replace any broken or leaking plumbing fixtures.

Tip 7

Paint exterior walls if they appear dull and old, and update the entry. The front door and outside lighting will be one of the first things prospective buyers will see. Damaged or old doors will deter buyers from even stepping inside the house.

Tip 8

Mow the grass and plant fresh flowers, or create planting beds and get rid of over-grown bushes and trees.

Tip 9

Stage the house so that rooms appear larger. A chair, sofa, coffee table, and an end table with an attractive lamp, are more than …

When it comes to education, it is very important to invest the most in your students.  Budgets are very tight in a lot of school districts these days and schools are trying to cut down on costs, but not compromise their student’s education. Having a proper environment that is conducive to learning is very important as well. Both the school administrators and students need to feel that they are in a place where they can both teach and learn. We have tips for you on ways to cut costs in certain areas and invest more in others.

Cafeteria Foam Products

This may come as a surprise to you, but by switching the type of tray you use in the cafeteria can save a school up to millions of dollars a year. Recently in cities like Miami there has been a Miami foam ban, which has eliminated the usage of foam from the area. This foam ban is spreading to other cities in Florida as well, which is only going to increase costs for school districts. One way for schools to save money is by investing in foam trays rather than eliminating them. Alternatives to foam trays, such as compostable trays, are very costly and can lead a school to spend a lot more money than anticipated.

Don’t Skimp on Teaching Materials

When it comes to equipment needed to do the job, always provide proper school supplies. Teachers need certain supplies to do their job efficiently and students need certain supplies to participate in a classroom. Whether your school is filled with whiteboards or chalkboards always have the proper writing materials available to create an organized environment. Tissues, paper to print, and pens are all staples in a classroom, which will go a long way! You don’t want your teachers to resent the school for not providing necessary materials for learning.

Author Frederick M. Hess, has a book called Stretching the School Dollar: How Schools and Districts Can Save Money While Serving Students Best. This book has in depth details on how to cut costs in areas where it …

Although you might fall for the black eyed creatures, raccoons are wild animals that you do not want to cross paths with. Raccoons are highly intelligent and lack a sense of fear, contributing to their dangerous name. It is important to hire pest control to get rid of raccoons (more raccoon info) that reside around your home because they can harm both you and your dog. I don’t know about you, but nobody messes with my golden retriever.

Raccoon removal is dangerous thus the importance of hiring a professional to capture a raccoon. Professionals have the best tactics to trap wildlife animals and know the proper protocol to deal with the raccoon once it is captured. Additionally, you don’t want to put yourself at risk for rabies.

When it comes to your pets, raccoons can put your pets in harm’s way, but especially your dogs. Dogs are greatly at risk because they try to fight back raccoons in order to protect themselves.

Raccoon attacks frequently happen at night, which is when it is the most important to monitor your dog when they go out to the bathroom in the dark.

Raccoons have a number of deadly tactics for harming dogs. The most common ways that raccoons try to attack dogs is by attempting to scratch out their eyes. Raccoons have very sharp claws that allow them to ravenously scratch and bite at dogs.

Raccoons are definitely no friend of your furry pooch, which is why it is important to eliminate raccoons the minute you notice their presence.…

There are certain areas in every home where it is definitely worth it to splurge. Some things you can buy from the floor in bulk and it will not make a difference, but certain aspects of a home are worth investing a little more time and money in. Quality is important for both resale value and for performance purposes in your home. The three areas, which we think are the most important to invest in are your entry door, closets, and countertops.

Entry Doors

Your entry door (is one of the first things someone will see upon arrival to your house. The entry door is the first impression of your home, which someone experiences while waiting for you to come to the door. It is important to have an entry door that will both protect the inside from the outside and perform its job. There are several different types of materials used to design a custom entry door (http://www.thompsoncreek.com/doors/custom-entry-doors-and-front-doors) that you get to design the door to your liking. When designing your entry door it is important to find a door that will protect your home from the outdoor elements and keep your home safe from any intruders. It is also important to find a door that will not require a lot of maintenance since that can become quite costly.

Counter Tops

Custom counter tops are definitely something worth splurging on in your home, especially in your kitchen. Custom counter tops can definitely be a good selling point if you’re looking to sell your home at some point. Nothing makes a kitchen look more finished than nice counter tops. There are several different types of counter tops for your kitchen ranging from granite to marble to glass. The kitchen is one of the most commonly used rooms in your home, making it pertinent that it is in the best condition.


Custom closets are another area of the home worth investing in. Custom closets today are made so efficient that they will solve all of your organizational issues. Whether you have a really small closet or a really …

There are many people that relooking into moving into a new home, but they are undecided as to whether they should rent a home or buy one. Some FortuneBuilders are afraid of the housing market crash a few years ago and so they are reluctant to purchase a home, while others are simply tired of renting, and they would rather spend money every month on something that they can call their own. Although there may not be a clear cut answer on which is better there are some things to take into consideration.

When buying a house there are many things to consider. The first thing that a person should consider is how financially stable are they? Do they have a good job? Is their credit score high enough to get a good deal on a mortgage? All of these questions should be thought about, at length, before just jumping into buying a home. Purchasing one is a long-term commitment. Many people are attracted to that since it gives them a sense of security in knowing that they don’t have to live under the reign of a landlord, they can change the layout of the house, and they are responsible for all of the repairs.

Renting a house for some people seems as if it is a better option. They like the idea of having someone else responsible for the property maintenance. They also like the fact that they are only locked into, typically, a one year lease. This is a good choice for people that are unsure on if they are going to stay in the area or not. Typically, changing the layout, or performing any major renovation, on a rented house is not advisable. This is because the renter will have to spend their money for the materials and the labor for the renovation, and the landlord may not reimburse the renter for it, so they will have to take the monetary hit for the renovation.

In conclusion, depending on a person’s lifestyle, their financial status, and their plans for the future deciding to rent or buy a …

Today there are a lot of options when it comes to closets, making closet design much more intricate than it used to be. This can be both beneficial and alarming. It is beneficial in the sense that there is a plethora of options to choose from today when it comes to organizing your wardrobe, but it is also alarming in the sense that sometimes you just don’t know where to begin.

One of the best tips I have ever learned is to think about your own personal style and go from there. Once you truly assess your clothing habits and what you wear most, the rest will fall into place. It is important to organize according to your lifestyle; if the majority of your clothes are hanging items and more formal, than you will need more space for hanging items. Accessibility is important as well, if you live in t-shirts and sweaters on a daily basis than organize them on shelves or in drawers that are easily accessible. If you love shoes than make sure that you have enough shoe shelves to fit your needs. High heels need taller shoe shelves than flat shoes if you are a woman, which is important to keep in mind. Planning your closet design can be chaotic, but it is also reassuring since there is a custom solution to fit your closet needs.

As fashion icon, Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and The City says, “I like my money right where I can see it… hanging in my closet.”

Whether you live in a 300-square foot walk-up in New York City or a mansion in Connecticut it is important to make use of every inch of your closet space. This is especially important if you have minimal space. When you use custom closet design services they truly utilize every nook and cranny from the ceiling to the floor, which gives you the full bang for your buck.…

For ages now, children’s games at festivals still reign supreme. Many, if not all, of the children’s games at festivals have been around for 100s of years, and children along with their parents, still enjoy the excitement and fun that come with these games.

With that said, the following are popular children’s festival games, that may likely will remain popular for some time to come. They may even remain popular when young children of today will become old and grey:

1. Cake Walk

With this game, numbered squares are set up in a ring. The squares would be large enough for one person standing on it. Also, the number of squares should be the same as the players. The players will walk on the squares while the music is playing. Once the music stops, all players must stand still. Then the game operator will draw a number randomly, and the person standing on the number wins.

2. Ring Toss

Ring toss is definitely a classic festival/carnival game. Poles will be set up, and players will attempt to throw hooks on the rings, so they will hook around the rings.

3. Penny Pitch

With the penny pitch, a table is set up with various colored dots of different sizes. Players must exchange their tickets for pennies for throwing. The goal is for players to land pennies on colored dots to win prizes. Otherwise, different sized cups can be used for the penny throwing, instead of using colored dots.

4. Quarter Drop

Used many times to raise money for charities, a few ledges of different sizes are set in a fish tank. The fish tank must be filled with water, and then people must be allowed to try dropping a quart on one of those ledges. Winning occurs when they succeed.

5. Musical Chairs

This is another classic for indoors and outdoors. With this game, there is one more chair than there are players, and there is also music playing. The players must walk around the chairs while the music is playing. However, when the music is turned off, everyone must find …

My house never seems to be warm enough and our heat bills seem to be increasing each month. We haven’t increased the number of times we shower a day or the amount that we use our gas stove to cook. What we seem to be adjusting each month or even each day is the temperature on our thermostat. I couldn’t take it anymore, both the cold breeze in our home and the rising prices on our monthly gas bill.

It turns out that our crawl space was the root of the problem and the cause of the cold air in our old colonial style brick home. We had specialists come out and take a look at our crawl space and we quickly learned that it was filthy since it was unprotected and had several unfinished surfaces. The dirt in our crawl space led to moisture, which was the cause of growing mold.

The air from our crawl space was leaking into the walls of our home, which was why it has been so chilly in our home the past couple of months. We are lucky that thankfully the air wasn’t too contaminated and did not cause anyone to get sick or anything.

We later learned that when you have a dirty crawl space with a lot of moisture it is an environment that insects, pests and wildlife gravitate towards. Our crawl space was clear of any wildlife or pests, which was truly a miracle.

The solution we chose to eliminate our crawl space issues was to install the CleanSpace Crawl Space Encapsulation System. The CleanSpace system essentially created a bubble in our crawl space, which works to keep the moisture out and locks in the heating and air conditioning. This bubble was installed on the floors and walls of our crawl space.

The system ensures that no moisture or toxic air is leaking through the walls into your home. Since we have installed the CleanSpace system we have watched our heat bills reduce by 20% a month, which definitely is nice to see. Now we can keep our thermostat at …

There are many people that are reviewing Yelp and FortuneBuilders not sure whether if they should buy a move in ready home or a fixer upper. Although, there are no easy answers to this question there are things to weigh when it comes to choosing what style of home that a person should purchase. A person should seriously weigh the pros and the cons for each option so that they can make an informed decision prior to being locked into a commitment to buy.
First, a “move in ready home” is just that; move in ready. There is very little work, if any, that needs to be completed in order for a family to move into it. There may be a little bit of painting or decorating that needs to be done, but that would be about it. There should be more major issues with the house that will need attention, and the price will reflect that. People that are not mechanically inclined should opt for this type of house since they would have to pay a contractor to do the work if they were to choose a “fixer upper”.
Next, a “fixer upper” home is a house that may need a substantial amount of work in order to make it habitable. Typically, it may need work done on the roof, plumbing, heating, electrical, or flooring and drywall. This is a great option for people that are looking to save money on their initial investment, and for those that are handy and know how to complete the work in order to make the house habitable. Many of these types of homes can be purchased for a lot less than a “move in ready” home; however, there may be a lot of work to be done on it. While some of the minor work can be done when a person is moved in, such as painting or minor plumbing work, the big jobs such as roofing, installing flooring, and re-wiring the house should be completed prior to moving in.
In conclusion, it is really up to the mechanical aptitude of the …

From readingeagle.com:

Baby-teeth jewelry and postpartum corsets were among the top parenting trends reported last year. Take a look at what moms are buzzing about this year on BabyCenter.com.

The crowdfunded baby

Parents are starting Kickstarter or GoFundMe accounts for everything from first birthday parties to Christmas presents. “Two out of three moms are worried about having enough money to raise their kids – an 11 percent increase since 2013,” said Rebecca Michals, director of BabyCenter’s global community. “Crowdfunding may be moms’ way of trying to make it all work.”

Parents smoking pot

With the legalization of marijuana in several states, will more parents be indulging and, if so, what are the implications for families? “There are already several active BabyCenter groups about marijuana with nearly 1,500 members combined, and in 2014, conversations on this topic increased compared to the year before,” Michals said. “Many parents don’t think twice about having a glass or two of wine regularly to unwind, but we’re waiting to see if they will make the transition to marijuana.”

Germophobic parents

Some parents are changing the game when it comes to daily interactions with their children.Germophobic parents won’t allow their children to interact with anyone who’s not vaccinated, and they go above and beyond to keep their babies shielded from germs in general, usually by keeping them indoors and preventing friends and family from hugging or kissing their children.

– See more at: http://readingeagle.com/life/article/parenting-trends-to-watch-in-2015#sthash.orBw1FkU.dpuf…