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How to Not Burn Down the House While Cooking the Turkey

How to Not Burn Down the House While Cooking the Turkey

happy-thanksgiving

If you decide to deep fry a turkey, move away from the house and use a long-handled tool, as this firefighter shows. By HomeInsurance.com The countdown to turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie has begun. Thanksgiving’s arrival means many of us are scouring the closet for pants with stretchy waistbands so we can prepare to feast.

The holiday is all about giving thanks and spending a day with loved ones. But cooking the festive Thanksgiving meal can lead to fires. And fires can lead to injuries, deaths or property loss, so make sure to follow some safety suggestions for this holiday.

Check the Stats

Thanksgiving Day is the peak day for cooking fires in homes, accounting for about three times as many fires as any other day of the year, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Each year between 2011 and 2013, Thanksgiving Day produced an average of 2,100 residential building fires, resulting in $28 million in property damage, 50 injuries, and 10 deaths, according to a report by the U.S. Fire Administration.

What causes most Thanksgiving fires? More than 71 percent of fires were attributed to cooking, and the highest percentage of fires (24.6 percent) occurred between noon and 3 p.m., the report said.

Eyes on the Prize

Er, turkey. Leaving food unattended while it was cooking was the leading cause of Thanksgiving cooking fires, according to the NFPA. You’ll want to visit with your guests during this holiday, but it’s far more important to pay attention to what’s in the oven or on the stovetop so that you don’t become a statistic.

Also, assign guests items to bring for the meal. Having a potluck-style Thanksgiving dinner will prevent you from doing all the cooking, so you won’t be trying to cook multiple dishes at once. Giving your undivided attention to one dish at a time will help to keep food from burning and starting fires.

And when you want to chat with your guests while you’re cooking, call them into the kitchen with you. Leaving the room while food is in the oven or on the burners is a risky move that makes your insurance provider sweat.

Don’t Wear Loose Clothing While Cooking

Let’s set the scene: You’re wearing a baggy sweater as you cook vegetables in oil or butter, and you divert your attention to talk to a family member. A fire ignites, and, in a panic, you attempt to move the pan to the sink to run water over it. When you move the pan, your loose sleeve connects with the flames and, in a flash, your entire arm is on fire.

There are several things wrong with this scenario. The first is that you should avoid wearing loose-fitting clothes while cooking, as it puts you at an increased risk to catch fire and be injured.

Secondly, never move a pot that’s on fire, or try to put out a grease or oil fire with water. It’s best to put a lid on top of the pot to smother the fire, leave the pot where it is, and turn the heat off when the fire has been tamed.

Getting distracted while cooking is also a no-no.

Keep Fire Hazards Away From the Stove

Just like ill-fitting clothing is a hazard that can easily ignite, so are things like potholders, wooden utensils, towels, and flowers. Keep these items away from burners and the oven to reduce the chances of having a kitchen fire.

It’s also important to keep pets out of the kitchen. Say you just turned off the burner, but your pup comes sniffing around, puts his paws up on the counter, and accidentally slides a towel on top of the still-hot burner without you noticing, causing it to be engulfed in flames. Avoid this type of scenario by keeping the dog in a gated room and keeping other hazards at bay.

Know the Biggest Risks

Frying is the greatest risk for home fires. So if you’re deep-frying the turkey this year, take extra precautions.

Keep the fryer away from the house and on even ground. The fryer should be set up more than 10 feet away from the home, and on level ground to keep the oil even.
Completely thaw and dry the turkey first. Only fry a turkey after it has been fully thawed and dried off to reduce the possibility of splattering grease, which can ignite fires.
Keep children and pets away, and have a fire extinguisher nearby. The last thing you want on Thanksgiving Day is for a child or pet to knock over the fryer and get injured.
If You Have a Thanksgiving Day Fire

The majority of non-fatal Thanksgiving Day fire injuries occurred when people tried to fight the fires themselves. If your home catches fire when you’re preparing Thanksgiving dinner and you don’t have a fire extinguisher on hand, just get everyone out of the house.

Keep yourself, your family, and your guests safe. You can call 911 when everyone has evacuated.

The good news is that property damage and liability coverage for incidents involving fires are typically eligible for coverage under standard home insurance policies. That’s something to be thankful for.

Original RE/MAX Blog by Rob Penrose http://remaxprosblog.com/how-to-not-burn-down-the-house-while-cooking-the-turkey/

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How to Sell Your Home Quickly Over the Holiday Season

How to Sell Your Home Quickly Over the Holiday Season
It’s tempting for many sellers to take a step back over the holiday season and wait to list their home until after the New Year. Some sellers may even pull their homes off the market temporarily to relist once the holidays are safely behind them.
This strategy works well for sellers who may have other obligations and can’t be as committed to the sale of their home during the holidays. Admittedly, there are many distractions – holiday parties, family obligations and an endless to-do list. But if you’re motivated to sell, staying focused during the holidays can really pay off.
The end of the year is typically a slower time of year for the real estate market. For motivated sellers, that means less competition. Once the New Year hits, there will likely be a flood of inventory from all those sellers who were holding off on listing their homes. Take advantage of the lack of inventory during this season to make your home stand out and attract your ideal buyer. The holiday season can present some unique opportunities to get your home sold quickly if you take the appropriate steps.
Price competitively. One sure way to make your home stand out against the competition is to price appropriately. The market is incredibly price sensitive. Even slightly over-pricing a home can result in lost momentum and extra days on the market. If your goal is to sell quickly, then over-pricing is not an option.
There may be fewer buyers actively looking on the market during the holidays, but more of these buyers will be serious prospects who are also making their home search a priority. Work with your listing agent to develop an appropriate pricing strategy that works for you and that will also catch the attention of potential buyers.
Make your home shine. Make sure your home is showing at its best. This is the golden rule no matter what time of year you’re listing your home, but it can be especially difficult over the holiday season. Out-of-town guests, holiday decorations and winter weather can all be challenges to getting your home in showing condition.
Holiday lighting, a fire crackling in the hearth, and festive decorations can make a home feel inviting and appealing but only if it’s been executed correctly. Think classic and minimal. Going overboard with holiday lawn ornaments, chotchkies or flashing, multi-colored lights could be a major distraction for buyers. Less is more.
Decorate strategically, get organized, and make a plan so you can easily and painlessly get your home ready for a last-minute showing request.
And if you’re putting your home on the market for the first time, you may want to hold off on the holiday decorations altogether, or remove them temporarily for the photo shoot. Second to price, excellent photography is one of the most important ways to make your home shine and to catch the eye of potential buyers.
A few extra pieces on the fireplace mantel or a garland on the banister can probably be overlooked in person, but it could stand out like a sore thumb in your property photos and distract buyers from noticing your home’s most impressive selling points.
Be flexible. The best way to sell your home during the holidays is to be flexible and make your home easy and available to show. This can be easier said than done, but it’s important to keep your end goals in mind. You’ve already gone through the work of getting your home ready to sell over the holidays, but if you don’t make your schedule flexible enough to get buyers in to see it, it will all be a wasted effort.
Buyers who are looking during the holiday season are often more serious and more motivated to buy and close quickly. Both buyers and sellers alike may take advantage of tax incentives for closing before the end of the year. Although, you should speak with your tax advisor regarding your individual tax situation.
Selling during the holidays also allows you to reach out-of-town buyers who may only be in town for a short time, house hunting during their vacation or in-between visiting family. Scheduling during the holidays can be difficult, so the more flexible you can be to get buyers in the door, the better the chance of a successful sale.
For serious sellers, listing your home over the holidays has its definite advantages. Less inventory means less competition and buyers who are searching over the holidays tend to be more motivated and willing to close fast.
Set yourself up for success to sell your home quickly over this holiday season. Price competitively to attract buyers, make your home shine (less is more), be flexible about scheduling so you can get potential buyers through the door and stay focused. Because, ultimately, what better way to start the New Year than with a fresh start and the successful sale of your home?
Blog by: Sally Forster Jones

http://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/articles/how-to-sell-your-home-quickly-over-the-holiday-season/

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You Want To Buy or Sell, Now What?

You want to Buy or Sell – Now What?

 

After helping people buy and sell real estate for over 12 years, I hear all people tell me all the time that they didn’t know where to start, what to do, what not to do, and they were a little scared. I ask them, “Well how did you decide to call me” and they almost always say, “our friends used you or we saw you sell that house down the street” or something to that effect.

The Joe Reed Team

It started me to think, what does the person do who doesn’t know someone or is going to start this process alone?

So with the beginning of 2017 here I decided to give my advice to those individuals who need help starting the process of buying or selling.

If you are selling your home:

  1. ALWAYS make sure that the Realtor you are considering is a Realtor. Every agent is not a REALTOR®, but most   are. If you’re unsure, you can ask your agent if they’re a licensed REALTOR®.  REALTORS® are held to a higher ethical standard than licensed agents and must adhere to a Code of Ethics.  Some REALTORS® are brokers, while some are agents. Unfortunately, people use the term interchangeably: there are some differences.
  2. Interview more than one agent! I would suggest that you interview 3 agents. That way even if you go with the one you like the most from the get go, you will know that you made the right decision and won’t question, “what could have been”
  3. Ask questions! Don’t be shy to ask the tough questions. These are some of the ones I recommend.
  1.  How long have you been a Realtor?
  2.  Have you sold homes like mine previously?
  3.  What are your marketing strategies to help sell my home?
  4.  Are you a full time agent?
  5.  Does the agent communicate in a way that works for you? i.e. – texting, social media etc..

 

If you are Buying a home, here are some questions to ask your Buyers Agent

 

  1.  Are you a full time agent?
  2.  Is this agent able to show you homes in the time frames you need?
  3.  How long have they been an agent?
  4.  How strong of a negotiator is this agent?
  5.  What tools does this agent have to help you see a home before anyone else does?
  6.  Does the agent communicate in a way that works for you? i.e. – texting, social media etc..

Some additional questions you should ask are:

  1. Ask the agent why they like real estate. This one can really give you a good feel for if you have the right agent for you. You are going to be spending a lot of time with this person and so you want to have a good relationship with your agent.
  2. How many homes did you and your brokerage sell last year? This is important to know because you will learn how much experience they have as well as how familiar they are with the market.

 

These are just my recommendations on questions to ask, however, for more information please visit http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/handouts-for-customers/for-sellers/questions-ask-when-choosing-realtor for more great questions and advise.

We at The Joe Reed Team are full time real estate team dedicated to excellence. We would love an opportunity to meet with you whether you are buying or selling or investing. Call us today at 970-270-7505, isit our website atwww.joereedteam.com, or catch up with us on social media.

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Buying A Home In The Spring

Buying a Home in the Spring

Spring and summer are the high season for buying a home: according to one estimate, about 40 percent of home sales happen from April through July. Spring is a great time to buy a home, because buyers can move in better weather, have months to fix up the house before the cold sets in, and can get kids settled before the school year begins.
However, those advantages also mean that spring can be a competitive time to house-hunt. It’s important to be prepared: Know what you want, what you’re willing to trade off and how much you can spend, and be ready to move quickly when you find the home you want.

buying a home in the spring

Set Your Budget for Buying a Home

First, decide how much house you can afford. Besides monthly mortgage payments, you must have enough money for a down payment, closing costs, moving and the initial expenses of living in the home, including things like new furniture and paint.
The Mortgage Bankers Association recommends that buyers spend no more than 2.5 times their income on a home. Total housing payments should not exceed 28 percent of your gross income, and total debt payments should be less than 36 percent. That means payments on all loans, including your mortgage, student loans, auto loans and credit card debt. Try our Home Affordability Calculator to do the math.

Determine Your Home Wants and Needs

Before setting out on your search for a home, determine your needs. Make a list of what you absolutely must have and what you would be willing to forgo. Research the neighborhoods that interest you. Check out the schools, the local services and the public facilities and speak to people on the street to get a feel for the area.

Choose a Good Real Estate Agent

Local agents offer information you can’t always find online or through property listings. Agents know the prices of recently sold properties, and many have a good handle on what a house is worth. A buyer’s agent will represent your interests; helping you find homes that fit your budget and list of requirements and helping you get the best deal.

Get Mortgage Loan Pre-Approval

Speak with several mortgage lenders, online and off, and choose the best rate and the most appropriate terms for your budget. The low rates that are available may not last indefinitely, so see if you can lock in all or part of the loan. Many lenders offer various plans for your monthly payments. With a mortgage loan pre-approval in hand, you’ll be ready to act quickly when you find a home you want to make an offer on.

Blog by Cina Coren

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Change Is In The Air

Change Is In The Air

Change is definitely in the air early this year in Colorado. Being born and raised in Colorado, I have learned that our beautiful state and this industry can throw just about anything at us. The changes in Autumn make it my favorite season. Maybe that is one of the reasons I love Colorado and in particular, the Grand Valley.

I have always believed that while sometimes tough, change is good. One of my favorite quotes about change is, “Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender who you are for what you could become”. With that being said, we at The Joe Reed Team have had some changes that I would like to share with you. As you know we have always tried to provide the best support team to our agents and to you, our clients.

Kristie Clark has played a vital role in that but now has taken on a new role with our team. She is now the Buyer’s Coordinator for the team. We are very excited for her to bring her knowledge and spirit to another division of The Joe Reed Team.

I would also like to introduce Nicolle Lewis, our new Listing Coordinator. She is a tremendous asset to our team and we couldn’t be happier with where things sit for us as we move into the 4th Quarter.

I want to thank you for taking a moment to read our blog and we look forward to helping you, your friends and your family with all of their real estate needs.

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Mistakes Sellers Make

Mistakes Sellers Make

One of the most important things that happens when you hire The Joe Reed Team is the consultation at your home. Sure; everyone is worried about the dreaded and feared P R I C E when a Realtor comes over, but price is just one of the many things that add into an equation to net you the most money in the shortest amount of time. 

The consultation with us is one of our trade secrets but I did want to share with you all today about one of the mistakes that Sellers tend to make. 

I call it the “Less is More Rule”. Sellers tend to want to fill their home to stage it and put out as many things as they can to show how big it is. Totally opposite of what we want to do. We want to create what we like to call “white space” empty space. Space for the Buyers to envision their belongings in the house. We want to pack up any collections, collectables, family heirlooms, family portraits, and clutter. We are striving to stage the house with only the basics and to make the house look like it is straight out of a magazine. Basic furniture, a couple of well appointed decorating pieces and that is about it. Things like new throw pillows, that have a splash of color, new bedspreads on the beds, and a most importantly a new colorful door mat are all little things that help your home stand out above the rest. Whether you are a busy professional or someone who just doesn’t have an eye for these types of things, when you hire The Joe Reed Team, you can take advantage of the free services of our cleaning crews and staging crews.

Call us today at 970-270-7505 when thinking about Selling your home. Who you list with does matter, and we would love the opportunity to show you how we can get you the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time.

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What makes a tech savvy agent?

Are all agents the same? What makes a tech savvy agent?  Don’t they just put your home into the MLS and then sit back, golf, and wait for their check to come in?  That is the most common statement that we hear when a Seller has listed with another agent, their home doesn’t sell and we are sitting in their dining room as we ask what happened with their first agent.

 

As uncomfortable as it is for me sometimes, I like the honesty from the Seller even as inaccurate it is most of the time. However, it gives us an opportunity to really tell the Seller what we do that is different from other agents.

So what exactly is it?

Technology is the single most important thing in selling a home in today’s market in my opinion. Yes, face to face interaction, proper contract writing skills and knowing the legal details are important, but if you don’t have the best, latest technology and truly understand how the consumer utilizes it, then your agent isn’t reaching the most amount of Buyers for you; therefore, not doing the best possible job.

 

The largest generation of Buyers, in the history of real estate, is just now entering the buying field; the Millennials. They are smart, savvy, and quick. If they can’t navigate your business while mobile, they will move past you and never give you another shot. If you don’t text, blog, have an online and interactive way for them to view homes, network with them through social media, or simply move as fast as they do, then you lose them! GAME OVER!

The steps a tech savvy agent should take for YOU.

So, that is why back in 2007 when I joined RE/MAX 4000, I made a commitment to my Sellers and Buyers that I would always have the latest technology for my clients. We were the first to have a lot of the technology in Grand Junction that is now standard in our area.  We are more than just a tech savvy agent, we are tech savvy people who embrace it and love every aspect of it.

 

I can confidently say, there is not another agent in the greater Grand Junction area that has the amount of technology The Joe Reed Team has. Call us today for your personal appointment, custom tailored to your needs to help you achieve your real estate goals.

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Leading the Pack or Left in the Dust?

Technology

What does technology mean to you? Do you stay up with it? Or try? I believe many of us try to stay up with “The Jones” with the newest iPhone or TV but have you ever thought about if your Realtor stays up with technology? Do you even know what that could mean to you as the Buyer or Seller?

Leading the pack

We at The Joe Reed Team consistently stay up with the latest trends in technology. When I started in real estate back in 2004, I like all Realtors back then, took their own photos with a point and shoot camera. Disappointed in my photography skills, I met my now friend Leah and started taking more professional pictures with a much more expensive camera. I didn’t stop there, I wanted more!! Leah then introduced me to my now photographer Jim Adams, Leah’s husband. Since 2006 I have had professional photos done on all of my listings, regardless of price. Back in those days only million dollar homes had this courtesy. I essentially raised the bar of real estate photography in Grand Junction. Can you believe that there are some agents that still, in 2016, taking photos with their iPhones or point and shoot cameras? 

There is a similar story to Virtual Tours. In 2010, I wanted to raise the bar again with how virtual tours were done. I had a client in New York and he wanted to see the house thru video because the listing photos were so terrible. I had a dilemma; then I had an idea.  I had met Erika, Matt, and Joe Jones a year prior and they together ran with my vision of how virtual tours should be done. I was tired of the fish bowl look and wanted something more. I wanted a virtual tour that if you were a Buyer who was looking at the house online, you could feel yourself walking through the home. So we started the HD walking tours we now have. They have evolved with the ever changing technology. I went back and looked at the first one we did and I think to myself, “THIS was revolutionary back then!?”

The Joe Reed Team is always on the leading edge of technology whether you are buying or selling. If you are in the market or know someone who is, let us help.

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The Best Home Improvements For Fall

What are the best home improvements for fall?

Fall is the season for posting apple-picking photos on Instagram, enjoying pumpkin spice–flavored everything, and spending weekends enjoying the autumn scenery. Just peek out your window —whether you live in Boston, MA, or own a piece of Atlanta, GA, real estate — the cooler temps and changing leaves are hard to resist. While beautiful, fall is also the perfect time for rolling up our sleeves and tackling those home improvement projects we put off during the summer.

Fall Home Tips“Enjoying the weather can put you in a great state of mind and allow you to focus on the task at hand — and do it well. Beyond that, most building materials are at their best when they are installed at moderate temps,” says Phil Eby of Eby Exteriors in Akron, PA. Plus, contractors typically have fewer projects during the fall, so you’re more likely to find help quickly if you don’t want to go the DIY route. Especially if you plan on listing your home in the spring (or anytime within the next year), you’ll want to prioritize the best home improvements for resale.

 

To figure out what’s worth your time and budget, we asked real estate agents and other professionals for their expert opinions. Here’s what they had to say:
1. Paint the front door ROI: 80% to 140%
Hands down, the easiest exterior project is also the one that reaps the biggest rewards. A freshly painted front door helps your home stand out from the block, and it can be finished in less than an afternoon. Fall is usually the perfect time for this activity; just pick that afternoon wisely. “Normally, exterior painting should be done at a time when the temps are at least 50 degrees or so and aren’t dipping below the 40s at night. This allows the paint to adhere properly and prevents it from freezing before it is fully dry,” Eby says.
2. Refresh (or repair) the deck ROI: 80% to 120%
A deck is only as good as its condition. If the wood is splintering, the finish faded, or the rails shaky, call in the experts. “A buyer who sees a dirty deck that’s in disrepair may sour their feelings about your house, and even if they still want to buy your home, they will certainly use it as a negotiating point,” says Eby. Even if you have to outright replace the deck, it’s worth the expense. (Just remember to get a permit!)
3. Enhance the exterior ROI: 60% to 100%
If your exterior paint job is in decent shape, a few touch-ups could suffice. But for those with chipping paint or a 1970s color scheme? Call the pros immediately. “The last thing you want is to scare buyers away before they even get inside,” says Than Merrill, former host of A&E’s Flip This House and CEO of FortuneBuilders. On average, you’ll spend $1,000 to $3,000 (for a 500- to 1,500-square-foot single-story home), but he estimates that the investment in curb appeal can help properties sell for up to 10% more than others on the block. Just stick to neutrals: This isn’t the time to try out a statement color.
4. Replace or repair your roof ROI: 50% to 110%
“The peace of mind offered by a functionally sound roof is invaluable to its respective occupants and is weighed heavily by those intent on making a purchase,” Merrill says. A new roof can be basic or with details that enhance curb appeal, but its main value comes from instilling confidence in a prospective buyer. This holds true for repairing leaks and for cosmetic damage, which buyers often use to negotiate a lower price.
5. Power-wash the exterior ROI: 40% to 110%
The ROI for this project can vary based on just how dirty your home was before the wash. If the home was merely a little dirty, the ROI may not be as great as it is for one that will look almost new after the wash. If your home falls into the latter category, it can be worth it to hire a pro. “The ROI could be 100% or more, even if done by a pro for $1,000 or more,” Eby says. If you decide to go DIY, Eby cautions to take care to avoid spraying water in a direction that’ll force it behind siding or under shingles.
6. Window replacement ROI: 50% to 80%
Windows can be hit-or-miss investments, mainly because they are expensive to replace and almost invisible to buyers. “It’s been my experience that unless the windows are damaged or so poorly insulated that your utility bills are sky-high, most buyers don’t consider windows to be a major deciding factor,” says Wingfield.
7. Update your HVAC ROI: 20% to 50%
This project ranks as one with the lowest payoff, simply because current buyers have come to expect all homes have central air. An upgrade isn’t a selling point unless the system was old to begin with. “If your existing system has been in place for more than 10 to 15 years, it’s likely that you’ll soon need a new one. It becomes an area that a potential buyer will most likely use to negotiate a lower price,” Eby says. Even then, you might have to show proof of gains in efficiency to recoup your costs.
8. Clean the gutters ROI: Priceless
Here, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. “While you may need to wait for inclement weather to realize your return on investment, a mere 30 minutes of routine rain gutter maintenance could prevent thousands of dollars in damage to the foundation of a home,” Merrill says. If you outsource this chore, expect to pay $3 to $9 per foot.

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How to Find the Perfect Home

Tired of looking at house after house after house only to discover that none of the options you’ve been shown really matches up with the home in your head? Worried that you’ll exhaust your options without ever discovering the perfect home? Here’s what you need to know.

There’s No Such Thing

First and foremost, understand that no home is perfect. The best you can do is to match your needs and wants as closely as possible. There WILL be a need to compromise. There’s simply no getting around it. Short of having a home custom designed and built to your specifications (and often, even then), you’ll never ever find a home that perfectly matches that image in your head.

Explain to Your Realtor

It might not be that your expectations are out of line with reality. It might be that your realtor simply doesn’t know what you want and what you value most in a home. Explain your expectations to the real estate agent you’re working with. This goes beyond the number of bedrooms and baths. You need to share your hopes and dreams for the home, as well as the most important features that you MUST have.

Be Honest with Yourself

It might be that you need to dump a cold bucket of water over your head and look at things a bit more realistically. There will be some need to compromise, but if you’re not willing to do so, you won’t find the perfect house. What features do you have to have, and which would merely be nice to have? What can you live without, so long as certain other requirements are met?

With these tips, you’ll be better prepared to find a house that, if not perfect, meets your needs and will become a home you love.

Source:

http://www.frontdoor.com/real-estate/finding-the-perfect-home