Todd Finn - RE/MAX Partners



Posted by Todd Finn on 7/9/2017

When you have allergies, there’s nothing worse than being around your triggers. Most people with allergies know exactly what causes symptoms for them. If you know what the best and worst types of flowers are for people with allergies, you’ll have a better idea of what you can plant in your garden. 


Worst Flowers For Allergies


Unfortunately, most plants in the daisy family aren’t very good for people with allergies. Flowers in this family include asters, dahlias, daisies, Gerber daisies, chamomile, chrysanthemums, and sunflowers. Not every breed of every type of flower falls into the “bad for your nose” category. There are some hybrids available that aren’t as harsh for people with allergies. Most of these can even be pollen-free. Look for plants that are listed as “hypoallergenic.” These hold that title because they either have no pollen, or the pollen is just too heavy to be carried by the wind.


Goldenrod And Ragweed


You have probably heard a lot about ragweed getting a bad reputation since its pollen is carried by the wind. Goldenrod may not be as bad, yet it often is categorized in the same way. These plants are great to attract bees and other pollinating insects, but they’re terrible if you’re an allergy sufferer. 


Baby’s Breath


This type of flower is often seen in floral arrangements and bouquets. Although the flowers are small, they can bring on a large amount of pollen. The double flowered variety is a hybrid and is a better choice for allergy sufferers. This allows the tiny flower to have a lower level of pollen.        


Better Choices For Allergy Sufferers


The good news is that there are many different types of flowers that won’t cause you grief. Many of the “safe” plants are those that are used for foliage. These would include Hosta, cactus, and dusty millers. 


More choices for allergy sufferers who want color: 


  • Azaleas
  •  Begonias
  • Bougainville
  • Clematis
  • Columbine
  • Geranium
  • Hydrangea
  • Hibiscus
  • Iris
  • Lily
  • Orchid
  • Pansy
  • Roses
  • Zinnia  


You can keep beautiful plants throughout your home and garden even when you suffer from the worst allergies. You don’t need to sacrifice color in the process. Keep in mind that you want to avoid flowers with extremely potent scents. Even with the absence of pollen, allergies can still be aggravated by these smells. The sap from these flowers may even cause mild to moderate skin irritation, so it’s best to stay away from these varieties of flowers. 


Tree Pollen


Tree pollen generally needs to be carried via the wind from male trees to female tree flowers. So, it‘s important to find the right types of trees to plant in your yard as well when you have allergies. You want the pollen to land in the right flowers in order to pollinate, not in your nose.




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Posted by Todd Finn on 7/2/2017

Anytime that you move it can be both physically and financially draining. Moving with children is no exception to this rule. There are certain things that you can do in order to make the transition easier when you move with kids. Children can feel a special sort of attachment to a place, especially their home. It’s important that you help them make a smooth transition. 


Tell Your Kids About The Move


While it may seem convenient to hide the fact that you’re making a big move from your little ones, it’s not a good idea. Children are pretty intuitive. Sit down and have a conversation with them explaining where you’re going. You can even throw in the why if the move is due to the fact that you need more space or need to be closer to work. It may even be in your best interest to do this over your child’s favorite meal or at their favorite pizza place in town. 


Donate Anything You’re Not Using


This can be a great teachable moment for kids in the moving process. Teach them about giving things to people who are less fortunate than they are by going through their toys and clothes. Show them that you are donating items from your own collection as well. 


Let The Kids Be Involved


Kids can be involved with the move in many ways. Older kids can pack their own belongings in boxes and suitcases. Younger kids may need a bit more help. You can let them decorate the boxes as they are labeled. This will be a help for staying organized throughout the move. 


Emphasize The Cool Things About The New Place


If your new house has some neat features that you know the kids will love, definitely share it with them. Some things to talk about with kids about the new place you’re moving to:


  • New school
  • Great neighborhood park
  • Bigger bedroom
  • Having their own rooms
  • Playroom/ game room
  • Great ice cream stand


Anything that you know will be a highlight for your child in the process of moving can help them to cope with the changes ahead.  



Make Your Move Less Stressful By Staying Organized


It can be easy to snap at kids when you’re stressed out. Keep all of your important documents and papers in one place. Make sure you leave ample time for packing and moving. Hire a moving company if you need to as well. If you’re selling any of your belongings from your old house, make sure that you do so well in advance of the move to avoid any undue last minute stressors. With a bit of planning, moving with kids can go quite smoothly.




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Posted by Todd Finn on 6/25/2017

If you're in the market to buy your first home, you're probably experiencing a variety of emotions, ranging from excitement to trepidation. Owning your first home is a major accomplishment and lifestyle change, but it also brings with it a lot of responsibility. Not only will you have to make mortgage payments every month and pay property taxes on time, but you can no longer turn to your landlord when the furnace quits or your refrigerator dies. As former U.S. president Harry Truman once said, "The buck stops here."

Understanding Your Credit Rating

One thing you might want to become acquainted with before diving into a full-fledged house search is your credit report. Your credit score, as determined by the three major credit reporting companies, is a reflection of your ability and willingness to pay your bills on time. Banks and mortgage companies factor in this information when deciding whether to approve you for a loan. Your credit score also has an impact on the interest rate you're offered. Also called a "FICO" score, this scale ranges from a low of 300 points to a high of 800. The higher your score, the more desirable you're viewed as a potential loan customer.

If you'd like to find out where your credit score stands, you can get that information for free (once a year) from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Unlike lenders, they don't take into account factors like income and length of employment. The main things they look at are payment history, amounts owed, and length of credit history. If your credit cards are maxed out or you've been late with payments, then that will lower your credit score and make it more difficult to obtain the most favorable interest rates and loan terms. Fortunately, there are a number of commonsense measures you can take to improve your credit score. Side note: Errors may occasionally crop up in your credit report, so it pays to review them on an annual basis and dispute erroneous or outdated information.

Steering Clear of Other Pitfalls

While buying your first home can seem like an intimidating process, an experienced real estate agent can guide you and make the journey a lot easier. A licensed agent can help you get the process rolling, keep you on track, and resolve problems. There are plenty of situations in life where going it alone is a viable strategy, but buying your first home is not necessarily one of them. By working with a real estate agent, you'll avoid unnecessary frustration, stress, and costly mistakes. You'll also stand a greater chance of finding just the right home for your needs, desired lifestyle, and budget.





Posted by Todd Finn on 6/18/2017

Don't make a mistake that some first time home buyers make. Don't fall in love with a house a few days or weeks after you start shopping for a house. Even if the house is large enough to comfortably fit all of your furniture, you could regret deciding on a house to buy so early.

You could regret buying a house less than a year after you move in

If it helps, think of shopping for a house similar to dating. You won't see everything about a house during the first visit. Enter into a closing deal too soon and you could miss seeing several other houses that would in the long term cost you less money to maintain.

Buy a house too soon and you could over look structural damages at the house. For example, you might miss or overlook water stains on walls, ceilings or floors because you can't stop thinking about how spacious and modern the kitchen is. You also might:

  • Get upset when your spouse or friends point out shortcomings with the house that you've gotten too attached to. Rather than to face the fact that even the house you love has drawbacks, you force yourself and everyone else to perceive of the house as perfect.
  • Pay thousands more for a house than you should have. You want the house so badly, that you're willing to pay nearly anything to own it.
  • Focus on one to three features of the house but ignore the fact that the house is located in an area that adds 30 or more minutes to your work commute.
  • End up buying a house that you love and your spouse or children hate.
  • Take on the need to pay for ongoing upgrades and renovations.
  • Become sad or angry when you realize that you don't like the community that the house is located in. For example, if you love the fast pace of a big city and the house you fell in love with is in the suburbs, you might feel too far away from the center of town. You might feel bored.
  • Lack nearby places to take your children for fun and entertainment.
  • Increase the distance between you and your parents, siblings or friends.

Consider as many factors about your next house move as you can

Getting too attached to a house could cost you months of peace and quiet. Fall in love with a house that needs a lot of love and care and you could convince yourself that,with just a few renovations, you can turn the house into the perfect place to live. Three to four years later, construction might still be going on at the house, annoying you and your family.

It's this type of drawback that can put strain on your relationships. You and your spouse might end up arguing about the house more than you end up bumping heads about anything else. If your children hate the schools that are located in the jurisdiction where the house you fell in love with is, their mood and disposition might take a dip as well. Avoid these headaches by taking an objective approach to house shopping. Consider as many factors about each house you love before you decide to buy.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Todd Finn on 6/4/2017

Between 30 and 70 percent of the water used by homeowners is used outdoors. Water usage in the summer time skyrockets as the heat rises and the grass starts growing. People are watering their gardens, their lawns, and themselves as a means to fight back against the heat of the season. Water usage, however, is becoming an increasingly serious issue as global temperature rises. In recent years, droughts have affected much of the continental United States, from California to the Carolinas. Most of us have become familiar with the concept of local water bans; limits on water usage for things like watering the lawn, washing cars, etc. However one good practice to get into is conserving water usage even when your area isn't in a time of drought. Follow these tips to start conserving water. They'll help you save money and help you do your small part for the environment as well.

Tips for conserving water outdoors

Since water usage peaks during the summer when we spend more time outdoors, we'll begin with tips for saving water in the backyard.
  • Sprinkler systems. Homes with sprinkler systems use significantly more water than those without. Sprinkler systems often water the grass when it doesn't need it or it overwaters. Properly setting up your sprinkler system will keep your water bill down.
  • Watering the grass. Before you water the grass, determine if it needs water. Will it rain soon? Step on the grass and see if it springs back. If it does, you might want to hold off.
  • Keep the grass long. The roots grow deeper when the grass grows longer. Deeper roots mean the grass taps into groundwater deeper into the earth, so you won't need to water as much.

Indoor water conservation

  • Replace old faucets and shower heads. Upgrading to more efficient faucets and shower heads will significantly cut down on water usage. If you're concerned about water pressure in the shower, go with a shower head designed for such a purpose.
  • Use a shower bucket. When you're heating up water for your shower, catch it in a bucket and use it to water your indoor and outdoor plants. Or, take the opportunity to wash your tub with this water.
  • Only run the dishwasher when it's full. Many people don't want to wait to wash the dishes, but doing so will conserve a lot of water in the long run.
  • Turn off the faucet while brushing teeth and washing hands. These are habits that might take some time to break, but they're well worth the effort. Keeping the water running while washing your hands and brushing your teeth uses exponentially more water than is needed.
  • Go to the car wash. Instead of washing your car at home where the water you use runs off into the ground, head to a car wash that utilizes recycled water to wash cars.
  • Wash dishes by hand efficiently. If you don't own a dishwasher or only have a few dishes that need to be washed, do so efficiently. Don't keep the water running while you're scrubbing the dishes, or fill the sink with a couple inches of water and use this for washing all the dishes you have.