real estate

4 Tips For Mobile Safety

The convenience of mobile devices also comes with risk. As you check-in, text, share photos, and increasingly run your life on the go, you may inadvertently expose private information or make yourself more likely to be a victim of a crime. Here are four things you should be aware of as you use new mobile and social technology that might spare you expensive or embarrassing lessons:

1. Beware of how often you "check in" through social media.

Apps like Foursquare and websites like Facebook allow you to "check in" when you're out and about in the world, effectively broadcasting where you are... and where you're not. Be especially sensitive to checking in from airports and locations far from home. Enterprising thieves can use this information to target your home or business.

2. Beware of the photos you're sharing.

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, what are your pictures on Facebook saying to friends, family, and co-workers? Just like checking in when you're out of town, vacation photos posted in real time can inadvertently let people know you're not home. 

3. Remember to log out of public computers

If you've ever checked your email in an internet cafe or hotel computer, did you remember to log out? Closing a browser window isn't usually enough. People who open the browser can often waltz right into your email account because your "session" is still active. Remember to click "log out" or "exit my account" any time you log into private accounts through public machines.

4. Protect your devices

Smartphones now carry the sort of data you used to keep under lock and key in your home office or closet safe. If your devices are lost or stolen, how much of your private information could be exposed through your device?

First and foremost, add password protection to your device in case it is lost. Most have a setting you can activate which forces someone enter a code before access the apps and data on the device.

Second, consider adding an app or service which will track your device via GPS if it is lost or stolen. Depending on your device, there are an array of options to help locate your smartphone if it disappears. To find an app specific to your device, try Googling (without quotation marks): "app tracks stolen [device name]" where [device name] is replaced with your brand of smartphone (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, etc.).

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Blog Archive - Realty Goddess

I have been blogging for years and I love sharing information with you. Please be sure to check out my old blog posts for some awesome information. Then come visit my NEW website for new posts! www.LauraKey.net

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5 Great Ways To Research Your Neighborhood

Whether you are buying or selling, it is best to know all you can about your neighborhood. Crime, school and events affect the values of your home. 

These great sites will help you keep on top of what is going on around you and will help educate you about what is going on in your neighborhood!

In the words of "Mister Rogers" Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Of course, it may also help if you have an idea of things to do in the area!

Understand Before Signing Contracts

Real Estate contracts are legally binding! Make sure you are able to read and understand them BEFORE you sign or are ready to proceed with buying or selling!  

Ask for a copy of the contracts ahead of time so you have plenty of time to sit and discuss them with your agent!

I give my clients copy of them before we begin, then we have a sit down and discuss them!

Real Estate is a huge transaction, isn't it worth your time to know what you are putting the pen to paper?

What The Heck Is FIRPTA?

HOW DOES THIS WORK?

Withholding of Tax on Dispositions of United States Real Property Interests. The disposition of a U.S. real property interest by a foreign person (the transferor) is subject to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (FIRPTA) income tax withholding.

For More Info From the Experts!  Contact...

Nena Mahlum
FIRPTA Supervisor

Harding Bell International, Inc.
Foreign & Domestic Investment Tax & Accounting Specialists

8687 W. Irlo Bronson Hwy. (192), Suite 206
Kissimmee, Florida. 34747, USA

113 Pontotoc Plaza
Auburndale, Florida. 33823-3439, USA

230 East Park Avenue, Suite 41
Lake Wales, Florida. 33859 USA

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Tel:       001 863 968 1010
Fax:      001 863 968 1020

Personal email:  nena.mahlum@HBItax.com
General email:   info@HBItax.com
Website:            www.HBItax.com

Credit Chat - Get Over Your Fears

When you mention the word "credit" most people shutter! But knowing the facts can help you conquer the fear and get on the path to homeownership!

Join Laura Key, Realtor and Sondra Meadows, Mortgage Loan Expert to get the scoop on credit and how you can fix the most common issues and get on the path to buying a new house or car!

To Reach Laura: laura@laurakey.net
To Reach Sondra: bit.ly/sondrameadows2

Painting Your Own Home: Tips to Make the Process Painless

Young family painting the wall

Painting Your Own Home: Tips to Make the Process Painless

While it’s might seem easier to hire professionals to paint the house, but with a little research you can find the job is not as intimidating as it seems. With a few free days set aside and some preparation, painting one room (or multiple) is easily doable for anyone. Here are a few things to consider before you start.

Apply a Primer Coat

Preparation entails most of the painting process. It’s easy to become frustrated during the preparation stage, because prepping to paint can take longer than the actual painting component of the project.

Interior walls aren’t always perfect, and painting the walls is a perfect opportunity to fix those imperfections. If you’re using a putty or a filler to patch holes, the paint will react differently to those substances than it will the wall itself. The solution here is to prime your walls, so the new paint color has a uniform surface to adhere to. It’s one simple step that doesn’t seem like much, but could end up saving you a whole lot of work at the end of the process.

Factor in taping time

Taping up the room is tedious work, but will be worth it when you don’t have to waste time being ultra-careful or nervous when getting close to edges. Instead of trying to take the tape off while the paint is still dry, wait at least 24 hours for the paint to dry, and use a knife to slice the tape off at the edge. If the paint is still even a little wet or gummy, don’t continue. Make sure the knife is sharp enough and pull the tape away at a 45-degree angle, making sure not to rip the paint.

Set up with clean-up in mind

To protect floors, a drop cloth is a necessity. In some cases, cotton or canvas drop clothes can work better than plastic. Plastic drop cloths can be slippery and don’t easily stay in place, especially when ladders are involved. Any splatters or drips of paint that fall onto a plastic drop cloth won’t dry or absorb right away and can be easily tracked throughout the rest of your house. A canvas or cotton drop cloth will be more stable and will protect the floors better. Tape the edges of the drop cloth to the tops of the trim to protect both the floor and the trims from any splattering or dripping paint.

Work top down

Not only does it prevent drips from ruining anything you’ve already painted, but it keeps the walls and baseboards free of any dust or debris from sticking to wet trim. Paint the ceiling first, move to the walls and possible crown moldings. Only then should you move to any trims around windows or doors and finish with the baseboards. Not only will this keep a system in place to ensure there’s no questioning what’s been painted and what hasn’t, but it’ll keep things clean.

Check thickness of previous paint layers

Cracks on an exterior paint job don’t reflect the owner’s best intentions and should be fixed before the damage is too much to fix. Too thick of a layer of paint means that the paint might just be too heavy to stay, and will start to crack and to peel off. It loses its grip and can’t attach to the other layers of paint. In older homes, it’s likely that some of those layers of paint have lead in them, in which case you’ll need to look into how to remove it safely. The EPA has guidelines here. This could be the one step that requires you to outsource, if the layer of paint is extremely thick, because removing it completely (and correctly) will ensure the next coat of paint will attach correctly. Hiring a home washing company can help you identify these cracks in exterior paint as well. If anything, have the exterior of your home professionally power washed, so the paint will have a clean surface to adhere to.

Using these tips, ideally the house-painting process will be doable for anyone. Prepare yourself to set aside time for set-up, knowing that it will help when you’re done painting and ready to clean up. Instead of hiring painting professionals, save some money for decorating and tackle the job yourself.

Curious to know how much your Southern California home is worth! Get an instant report now! www.CaliOnTheMove.com 

Bio: Matt Lawler is an Internet marketing specialist from Tempe, Arizona where he attended Arizona State University. Whenever he can step away from the computer, Matt enjoys playing sports, traveling and exploring the great outdoors. Follow him on Twitter.

Laura Key, REALTOR® Cal BRE 01908085 310-866-8422 Laura.A.Key@gmail.com www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.com

Types of Real Estate Sales - Coffee Time with the Realty Goddess

https://youtu.be/swxL643JKYw  

When you are purchasing a home you will come across many different "types" of sales. Short-Sales, Stand, HUD, Trust, REO...it can be confusing. This broadcast will look into the terms and untangle the mystery.

If you are in the Los Angeles area, I would love the opportunity to earn your business.

Laura Key, REALTOR Cal BRE 01908085 Laura.A.Key@gmail.com www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.com

Follow me on: Periscope & Twitter: @RealtyGoddess Snapchat: @RealtyGoddess Instagram: @realtygoddess1 Facebook: www.Facebook.com/RealtyGoddess

How To Find A Realtor (Buyer)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hf7vgVU_IGs&w=420&h=315] Did you know most people choose a Realtor by spinning the wheel of fortune? When you are buying a home, you really should take the time to interview agents to help your buying experience the most enjoyable as it can be.

Did you know not all agents work the same? Some don't work weekends, some don't want to work with buyers, some only work certain hours of the day, some are part time, etc.  But how will this benefit you when you are working hard to find the home of your dreams.

Interviewing agents is a extremely important part of successfully buying a home.

Enjoy the above Periscope broadcast to learn a few things when choosing a Realtor! (recorded March 19, 2016)

Please note I have a correction: If an agent tells you they will not let you out of a buyer's agency, please think long and hard before signing.

Follow me...

Snapchat: @realtygoddess Periscope & Twitter: @realtygoddess Instagram: realtygoddess1 Facebook: www.Facebook.com/RealtyGoddess Website: www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.com

The “KEY” to your real estate dreams!

Lots of Los Angeles Real Estate Agents want to be stars as big as the celebrities they cater to. Me? I just want to help people find the homes that make them happy and help them to create a sanctuary for future dreams and lasting memories.

Laura Key 310-866-8422 Laura.A.Key@gmail.com Cal BRE #01908085

Happier Hardwood Floors

Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors make for a beautiful, stunning addition to your home. However, they can bring new cleaning and maintenance challenges that aren’t present with carpet. Here are some tips for simple, efficient, and thorough hardwood floor cleaning.

Make the job easier Place mats on either side of your exterior doors and always remove your shoes before entering your home—and make sure your guests do the same. Protect the floors by placing felt (or similar) protectors on the feet of your furniture, and use area rugs to designate play areas for the kids. This will reduce extra dirt, dust, and floor scratches.

Weekly cleaning Sweeping with a standard broom will remove some dirt and dust, but not as much as a mop, wipe, or broom that’s been treated with a dusting agent such as a Swiffer. You could also invest in a vacuum that is designed for hardwood floors. Just be sure that the vacuum won’t leave scratches!

Deeper cleaning Regular sweeping will remove most dirt and dust, but occasionally you’ll need to give the floors a deeper cleaning to remove the dirt and grime that builds up in your floors’ seams. Use a wood-cleaning soap to thoroughly mop your floors, but make sure the mop isn’t sopping wet—you don’t want to leave standing water.

Spots and scuffs Most of the marks that occasionally show up on your floors, such as scuffs from rubber soles on boots and shoes—can be wiped away with a rag or very fine steel wool.

To find your next home: www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.com To find the value of your current home: www.CaliOnTheMove.com

The "KEY" to your real estate dreams!

Lots of Los Angeles Real Estate Agents want to be stars as big as the celebrities they cater to. Me? I just want to help people find the homes that make them happy and help them to create a sanctuary for future dreams and lasting memories.

Laura Key 310-866-8422 Laura.A.Key@gmail.com Cal BRE #01908085