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Back To School Reminders for Your House

By: Tim Riley

As kids around the Quad Cities are heading back to school this year I thought it would be a good idea to offer up some home learning and safety tips to make your family’s year a success.

Bus Stop Safety: As a parent myself, my first concern is always safety. I want to provide my children with a safe and comfortable place to learn. For a lot of people their school mornings start at the bus stop. Make sure your child knows where and how to get to their bus stop in the mornings. You can practice walking to it with them. Make friends with a house near the bus stop so kids have a place to go in case of an emergency. Also make sure your child knows who to call if there is an emergency. For younger children I recommend you wait with them at the bus stop or join a community group where parents rotate escorting and chaperoning the bus stop until the bus arrives.

Learning zone at home: Upon returning home from school it is a good idea to set up a learning area for your child to complete their homework. This could be in their room, kitchen, dining room, or an office. Wherever you decide to make this place have it in a public area of  your home so you can help answer any questions your child has. Make your learning zone free from distractions so your child can focus. Some popular distractions are; television, loud music, siblings, dad/mom making supper, cellphones, and even the Internet. Finally, setup a routine for your learning zone. It may look something like this. Your child comes home and eats a snack. Ask your child what homework they have and verify it with their planner or even a teacher’s website. Establish a length of time your child will spend on homework each night, usually 20-60 minutes is adequate. If they do not have any homework for the night they can use this time to study for an upcoming test, work towards a project due in the following weeks, or read for fun.

Time with the family: This is without a doubt the most important habit to establish in your home. Spending time with your child doing their homework will have dramatic effect on their academics. You will strengthen a bond with your son or daughter, create values in education, and demonstrate good learning habits. As a parent you will be aware of what your child is studying, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and will be able to spend valuable time with them before their teenage independence phase.

Follow these tips to help make your home a fun and engaging place to learn for your child. You may not see the payoff immediately. But trust me, you will when they graduate and are no longer living at home in your basement for the next 40 years.

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How to Sell - For Sale by Owner

By: Tim Riley

Chances are, you are reading this blog looking for tips, suggestions, and ways to sell FSBO (for sale by owner.) Not only will you learn how to sell your home on your own, but you will learn how to pay yourself tens of thousands of dollars.

We sold our own home in 10 days; I will share with you the secrets and tips we used to sell our personal home fast. Selling our home in just 10 days was awesome, and the hard work we had put into the upkeep of our home over the previous 7 years had finally paid off. We did spend weeks preparing our home for sale though before actually listing it.

The first hurdle we had to overcome was deciding if the time was right to sell. My wife and I had many talks whether or not we were ready to sell. We knew if we were not ready to jump into the FSBO market head first, we would never be successful selling our home.

My wife and I then spent two weeks deep cleaning our house from top to bottom, items such as; kitchen cupboards, window seals, closets, walls, ceiling fan blades, patio, gutters, and everything in between. As homeowners wanting to sell FSBO, we really wanted to make the most out of our pictures and really have them pop.  This is hard work in the bag for when it comes time to show your home.

For the entire FSBO process the most time we dedicated was to the pricing of our home. These talks had been on and off over the 7 years of owning our home to make sure all of our improvements did not exceed our house value. The month before selling our house we really started to study what our house was worth and wanted to get the most for our house, yet sell quickly. This is the most important item when selling a home. Do your homework, and it will pay off financially and avoid stress by not allowing your house to sit on the market for months.

These are a few simple steps to get you well on your way to selling your own home. If possible in your area, locate a reputable FSBO business and look into multiple companies so you are not getting cheated out of money or given poor service. Follow our Pinterest board, Showing Your Home, for tips on how to talk with potential buyers, and sell your home when these buyers arrive at your front door.

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