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How to Feel More At-Home in a New House

Posted on January 9, 2018 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Moving into a new home can be a daunting task! For some, it may be their first time moving and for others they may have moved multiple times, but even if you had a good system, there is still lots to be done. However, there are a few things that you can implement to make yourself feel right at home when moving into a new house. Today, we'll break down five of those things.

Organize Your Closet First

When moving, items can get a little disorganized. The last thing you want is to wake up and have to find what you're going to wear for the day. By organizing your closet first, you can easily find exactly what you want to wear and start your day. This creates less hassle in the mornings, clearing your mind and letting you transition to other important things that need to be done in the house. Plus, organizing your closet can help make the house more personalized.

Create a Daily Routine

This step can be especially useful to hoeowners with more than one property because it is location-neutral which means it can be done anywhere at anytime. When moving into your new home, try to mimic the routine you had before you moved. This means you should try to wake up, eat breakfast, dress, shower, and so on around the same time each day. Having a specific routine that is the same regardless of where you are at will save you a lot of time, allowing you to use that time on other things that need to be done in the house.

Install a Home Security System

By installing a home security system, you'll ensure that your family is safe and secure in their new environment. Moving to a new neighborhood can be tough for families, especially if they don't know their surroundings. Installing a system will create less worry for your family and will ultimately be a good investment for the time you spend in your home and while you are away.

Unpack Favorites First

By unpacking your favorite items first, you'll instantly create a better bond with your new home. This is because your favorites give your home a more personal touch and will help you settle in more quickly. Prioritize unbreakable items, since you don't want to break your favorite decorative things later in the unpacking process.

Overall, these are four great tips to implement if you want to feel more at home in a new house. Some work better than others, but I would try all of them.

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5 Things to Remember When You Go on Vacation

Posted on January 3, 2018 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (1)

Going away for a vacation can be exciting, but, before letting the trip go to your head, there are some things you'll want to do to prepare. Beyond packing and making reservations, you want to make sure your home is safe, your travel documents are in order, and a long list of precautions have been taken. Here's a short list of the most important points to consider, before leaving town.

Take Pictures of Important Items

It's impossible to foresee everything and the chances are good that you'll either forget or lose something. If that something is important, you may find yourself in some very big legal or medical trouble. To avoid this, use your smartphone to take pictures of important documents like your passport, birth certificate, and driver's license. Additionally, take pictures of medication labels and other health-related documents that may be useful in the case of an emergency. Give a copy of these photos to someone at home just in case you lose or can't get access to your copy in an emergency.

Fortify Your Home

The key to keeping your home safe is to take steps to prevent others from knowing you're away. While having a custom alarm system is essential if you want to be fully protected, there are also things you can do to make it appear as though nothing is out of the ordinary. Stop your mail, so it doesn't pile up in front of your door and arrange a timer to turn lights on and off at uneven intervals. If you can’t do this, consider having someone come to your home to take care of these things. They can pick up your mail, keep your home up to date, and give the appearance that someone is currently living there, which will deter criminals. 

Contact Your Credit Card Companies

Credit card companies are more concerned than ever about safeguarding their customers from unauthorized access to their accounts. In addition to security features like the newly implemented RFID chip, they also monitor accounts for abnormal behavior. You are likely planning to use debit or credit cards on your vacation, so it may be wise to contact the card providers and let them know to expect this type of unusual activity. This way, they won't place a frustrating block on your account.

Unplug Electronics

Even when they are powered down, electronics can put a drain on your electricity. Unplugging everything can avoid this problem. It can also reduce the chances of an electrical fire while you are away and prevent damage in the case of a power outage.

Turn Off the Water

Here is another way to save on resources and reduce the risk of damage to your home.  It is highly recomended you shut off the water to your home to reduce the chances of a broken pipe or other leak.  If you elect to leave the main water shut off valve open because of pool or landscaping requirements, turning off water on the dishwasher, ice makers, washing machine, and toilet can eliminate the chances of water waste and water damage. Itncan also prevent any accidental flooding if plumbing problems develop while you are gone. If you will be gone for an extended period of time, be sure to cover your toilets and drains to reduce evaporation from the bowl and drain traps that can lead to sewer gas and possible pest intrusion.

These are just a few key points to consider when preparing for your vacation. By taking a handful of simple precautions, you'll be better able to relax and enjoy your time away from the daily grind. Follow these suggestions to be safe and secure, while away from your home.


Home Watch Services

Prep Your Home for Vacation

Protect Your Home

Vacation Home Prep Checklist

Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years

Posted on October 10, 2016 at 6:25 AM Comments comments (0)

The National Fire Prevention Association has announced that October 9 - 15, 2016 is Fire Prevention Week.  This year the focus is on educating people about their smoke detectors.  A recent study showed that "only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are, or how often they need to be replaced."


Here is a reminder for you:  

  • Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.
  • Make sure you know how old all the smoke alarms are in your home.
  • To find out how old a smoke alarm is, look at the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm; the alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date.

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To learn more from the NFPA, check out the NFPA Journal

To learn more about how J&M Home Management can help keep your home safe while you are away, Contact us today.

Proper Air Conditioner Settings & Mold Prevention

Posted on August 11, 2015 at 6:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Proper Air Conditioner Settings Mold Prevention while you are away

Earlier this week I was performing a bi-weekly Homewatch check for one of my clients when I immediately noticed that the house was extremely warm. Upon checking the thermostat I saw the display was out which can be a big problem. When the temperature is not being read by the thermostat, it does not triggering the air conditioner to kick on automatically. The fix was to simply replace the batteries, but had they not had someone checking on their home this could have easily turned into a much bigger problem.

Especially in Florida, a broken air conditioner means it cannot do its job of pulling the humidity from the air, which can quickly lead to mold in the home. If left unchecked this problem can grow and require professional abatement. This is a good reminder of why it is so important to have someone check on your house when you are gone.

Avoid Air Conditioner and Mold nightmares by following these tips:

1) Have your AC serviced before you leave.

Annual Maintenance ensures the system is running correctly and can catch any minor issues before they become a larger problem. Be sure that the tech cleans the coils, checks that the condensate drain line is working properly and that the drain pan has no mold.

2) Change your filter

A clean filter allows your AC unit to work more efficiently, saving you money and reducing the risk of breakdowns. If you plan to be gone for more than 3 months be sure to leave a spare filter for someone so they can change it out if the filter gets too dirty.

3) Set your thermostat between 77 - 82

This temperature is warm enough that it will keep your electric bill down, but still cool enough that the AC will kick on and pull the humidity from the air.

*FPL recommends setting your thermostat 72 degrees on a timer which kicks on during the early morning for a couple of hours and then at 88 degrees for the rest of the day. This will reduce your power bill and will effectively pull the humidity out of the air that causes mold. 

In my opinion this also increases the risk of failure because you have now added a timer to the mix that could potentially fail or not turn on if incorrectly set. This also means that the person checking on your house will experience warm temperatures and it may take longer for them to realize there is a problem if the air conditioner has failed.

4) Confirm your insurance policy still covers you while you are away

Be sure to check with your insurance carrier regarding vacant or unoccupied homeowner policies before you leave for an extended period of time. You may find that repairs for water intrusion/mold are not be covered by your insurance if you do not report them in a timely manner. Some policies also offer discount if you can prove you had regular home checks while you were away.

5) Enlist someone to check on your home regularly

This is important not just for air conditioner concerns, but also to make sure there are no leaks, pests, or home invasions. The last thing you want after an extended stay away from your home is to have to spend your first days or even weeks back fixing a problem. This can also get very expensive.

If you would like further information on any of the above or would like to enlist our home watch services, please contact us at 727-368-6589.

FPL Website: ;

Florida Home Care Resources

Posted on July 5, 2015 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Thanks for visiting the J&M Home Management Website.  We hope you will find these resources helpful in caring for your home and planning for your time away.

National Home Watch Association

Tampa Bay Hurricane Preparedness Guide - Tampa Bay Times - Your comprehensive guide to the Snowbird Lifestyle

Guide to Mold, Moistuer & your Home - EPA