Apr 25
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7 Simple Ways to Conserve Water

77951101.jpg  Water is one of  earth’s most remarkable resources.  We use it for cooking, cleaning, bathing and we must have it to sustain life.  Clean drinking water is something we could easily for granted as it is so readily available by just turning on a tap while in some countries it is a commodity that is tantamount to the Holy Grail.  Conserving our water supply and protecting it for future generations is something we can easily incorporate into our daily lives. 

Thanks to the Water Quality Advisory Committee of Laguna Woods and the El Toro Water District for preparing these seven simple ways to conserve water.

1.  Fix leaky faucets.  A 1/32″ drip can waste 18,500 gallons of water in a three month period.

2.  Fix that leaky toilet.  A 1/8″ stream wastes 296,000 gallons of water every 3 months.

3.  If you wash your car yourself, grab a bucket and a sponge and use your hose only for the final rinse.  If you use a car wash, be sure it’s one that recycles their water.

4.  When cleaning your patio or sidewalk, pick up a broom instead of a hose.  Be sure to pick up everything with a broom or dustpan to prevent any harmful waste from flowing down the gutter and into the ocean.

5.  Check to see if you have a leaky toilet.  Some leaks are silent and easy to fix.  Pick up free leak detector dye tablets at the Community Center Information /Desk or the Laguna Woods City Hall counter.  Use the tables as directed to find out if you have a leaky toilet.

6.  Keep a watering can next to the sink to catch the water as you wait for the hot water.  This water can be used for watering plants, cooking, pet’s water dish…well you get the idea.

7.  Water-saving shower heads and low-flush toilets can save 500 to 800 gallons a month.  California law now requires that all replacement toilets have a low storage capacity of 1.6 gallons.

These are just a few practical ways we can conserve water and help preserve our supply for future generations.  You don’t need to do everything all at once, just making a few simple changes in the way we do things can make a big impact on our environment.


Posted by: Marlene Bridges | Filed in: Green Senior Living, Laguna Woods, Uncategorized

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Apr 19
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Top 10 Reasons Why Your Orange County Home Didn’t Sell

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Selling a home is something most people seldom do.  Since it typically takes some effort and a little inconvenience to accomplish, most people who decide to sell their homes have a reason to do so that outweighs the reasons not to sell.  So, if after making the effort the house didn’t sell, this can be very frustrating.  Here’s a list of the top 10 reasons a home doesn’t sell in Orange County.  They are arranged in order of importance with number 10 being the most important.   

1. Hard to show - the hours the home is available to show are limited or there is no lockbox.

2. Out-dated; Flooring, colors, appliances, bathrooms are out of style or out-dated.

3. Pet issues - if you have a dog or cat that’s a member of the family, you may not notice it, but there may be pet odors in your home.  Carpets and upholstery need to be cleaned. 

4. No curb appeal - look at your home from the street with the eyes of a prospective buyer.  Is the shrubbery overgrown?  Does the paint look tired? 

5. No internet appeal.  Are there lots of photos on the internet or only a few?  Do the photos show your home off to its best?  Are there good descriptions of all your home’s features?

6. Clutter, clutter everywhere.  The way we live and the way we live when selling a home are two very different things.

7. You are there.   If you are in the home while it’s being shown, this can make prospective buyers feel uncomfortable.  Give them a chance to see the home without you in it.  Buyers need to be able to see themselves in living in the home.  It’s hard to do when you are there.

8. Location - For example, if your home backs to a busy street or has power lines nearby, this can be a detractor.  The things that may not seem important to you, may be negative factors to buyers.

9. The agent you choose or sellers trying to do it themselves - Whether you choose to use the services of an agent or not, marketing is critical.  Today’s market demands strategic marketing.  The internet is key in getting a home sold. Home staging is a must, excellent photos and lots of them and good descriptions will attract buyers.  At the home you need good quality color flyers, a sign in the front yard and having the home ready for prospective buyers.  Getting people to come to your home requires high internet visibility - your home on at least 20 internet sites. When you interview an agent to market your home, ask them to show you their marketing plan and examples of their marketing for the last 3 homes they have listed and sold.  If their marketing doesn’t appeal to you…interview another agent.

10. Overpriced - There were other homes at the same price that were in better condition, had a better location, offered more updated amenities, more square footage, more bedrooms, more bathrooms, more curb appeal, or nicer landscaping.  This is the number one reason homes do not sell.  The worst home, in the worst neighborhood will sell if it’s priced right.  Price can overcome all other possible objections.  If everything that can be corrected has been done…sharpen your pencil and take another pass on setting the price.

The good news is that all 10 of the above can be overcome. 

If you’d like to know the secrets to successfully selling your home, I’m here to help.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

   Marlene Bridges, REALTOR®  800 777-1775

SRES - Seniors Real Estate Specialist®

CRS-Certified Residential Specialist®

President - Laguna Hills/Laguna Woods Chamber of Commerce

 


Posted by: Marlene Bridges | Filed in: Housing Options, Laguna Woods, Selling Your Home or Condo

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Apr 19
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Earth Day Events in Laguna Woods

oaktree.jpgThe City of Laguna Woods   -  has proclaimed April 22 – 25, 2008 “Earth Week”. The week-long observance will include the screening of six environmentally based documentaries.  The documentaries will be shown at the City Hall  located at the corner of Moulton and El Toro Rd. in the Von’s shopping center (24264 El Toro Road). 

Screening times will be 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on April 22 through 24.

Movie Titles:

·        “Energy Crossroads,”  is a documentary that examines resource depletion and global peak energy productions

·        “Too Hot Not to Handle,” is an HBO documentary that explores the effects of global warming on the United States.

·        “Solar Energy- Saved by the Sun” This PBS Nova special is about a family that transforms their 1960’s home into a zero –energy home

The City of Laguna Woods will also give away 2000 compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) – two per Laguna Woods.  Residents receiving the free CFL’s will be asked to sign a pledge to do their best to recycle, conserve energy, conserve water, and protect our natural resources and the environment.   The free CFL’s will be available at the City Hall from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday April 22nd through Thursday April 24th.

Friday, April 25th is Arbor Day.  The City of Laguna Woods plans to observe Arbor Day at 10 a.m. Arbor Day by planting additional trees in the city hall parking lot.   Also planned is a planting of oak trees by residents who fostered oak seedlings in 2007.  The planting will be in an oak grove at Woods End Nature Preserve

Laguna Woods Village’s Earthworks Club will mark Earthday on Tuesday, April 22 from 9:30 to 2 p.m. in the Redwood Room of  the Community Center.  Residents will be able to pick up 5 free compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL’s), reusable grocery bags, recycling information, water conservation tips, view a photo exhibit and enjoy some refreshments.  Residents will also have the opportunity to sign up for tours of the Palm Springs Windmills.  A clean up of the stables starts at 10 a.m. where information on composting will be made available as well.


Posted by: Marlene Bridges | Filed in: Green Senior Living, Laguna Woods, Misc

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Apr 19
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Computer Tip - How to Make the Words on the Screen Larger

If you’re having trouble reading something or want to see the photo in a larger form, this is a simple trick.  This will work on just about every website and most Microsoft programs such as Excel, Word, and Publisher.  Here’s how you do it:

  1. Place the cursor on the image or on anywhere on the screen.
  2. Hold down the “Ctrl” key (just below the shift key on the left side of your keyboard) while rolling the wheel on your mouse.
  3. ROLL UP to make everything LARGER.
  4. ROLL DOWN to make everything SMALLER.

Try it, it works!


Posted by: Marlene Bridges | Filed in: Computer Tips

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Apr 19
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Get Ready For Another Postage Increase

stamp27_4.jpg     Beginning May 12th, 2008  it will cost 1 penny more to mail a one ounce letter First Class.  The cost will be 42 cents.  The price of the Post Office’s Forever stamp will increase to 42 cents.  There have been over 5 billion Forever Stamps sold since they became available last April.  So, here’s your chance to save a penny and buy some of the Forever Stamps at their current rate of 41 cents.  The post office is planning to have an additional 5 billion of the 41 cent Forever Stamps available to meet the anticipated sales prior to the May 12 price change.

Perhaps you’d like to do something nice for a friend this May Day by helping them with the extra one cent stap to use up the rest of their 41 cent stamps.  How about buying some booklets of 1 cent stamps to send to friends and family members (especially your senior friends who might not be able to get to the post office easily) to help them use up their 41 cent stamps and save them a trip to the Post Office?

Here’s a link to the U.S. Post Office Website where you can check postal rates and look up zip codes www.USPS.com.


Posted by: Marlene Bridges | Filed in: Misc, Money, Resources

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Oct 31
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Welcome to Orange County Senior Lifestyles!

Welcome to Orange County Senior Lifestyles. It’s designed to be the perfect place for you to discover all the valuable resources available for Seniors living in Orange County, California.


Posted by: Marlene Bridges | Filed in: Misc

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