6 Home Repairs You Can’t Afford to Put Off

The harsh reality of the current real estate market is prompting many homeowners to stay put and repair instead of relocate.

Even if a big-ticket remodeling project isn’t in the cards right now, you can still save money by staying on top of regular maintenance items and eliminate the need for costly home repairs down the road.

Here’s our top five list of what you can’t afford to put off this year.

1. Repair leaky roofs. A leak in your roof doesn’t necessarily mean you need to replace the whole thing, but a letting a small leak go can cost you big in the long-run. Call in a reliable roofer for a repair estimate and be clear from the beginning that it’s a repair problem, not a replacement.

2. Repair leaky faucets and running toilets. Doing so could save hundreds of dollars per year on your water bill. And don’t neglect your sump pump. Check the batteries and update the appliance every few years. A flooded basement will cause thousands of dollars in damages, not to mention the loss of personal possessions.

3. Check the caulking around your tub and shower for moisture penetration, which can lead to mold. Bath fixtures can avoid premature replacement if the tile surface is kept watertight, and the subsurface, usually drywall, remains dry.

4. Inspect electrical cords and outlets for signs of distortion, discoloration or cracks in the insulation, and hire an electrician to replace tired outlets that no longer hold a plug. A defective receptacle, light switch or fixture replaced during a scheduled visit will save you hundreds of dollars over an emergency repair.

5. Weatherproof windows and doors. These are the two areas with the largest amount of air transfer in both cold and hot weather. Use a digital thermometer to check the seal quality and inspect the caulking for areas that have cracked or shrunken, which will allow water to damage siding and floors. Once sealed, use a programmable thermostat to help regulate air temperature, which could save you up to 10 percent on your monthly energy bill. Check Angie’s List or Long & Foster’s Home Service Connections for a highly rated home inspector that can perform an energy audit.

6. Change your air filters. HVAC experts estimate that 60 percent of all service calls are the result of dirty filters. Changing air filters regularly (every month or so), especially if you have shedding pets or kids frequently running in and out, can save you up to $100 each year in energy costs.

Connect with Your Friends on Your Favorite Websites: Learn About the Different Ways You’ll See Facebook Across The Web

Like Anything, Anywhere

Look for the Facebook Like button across the web to connect with the things you care about and share them with your friends.


The Like Button

When you click the Like button, a link to that page is added to your Facebook profile and a story is shared with your friends.


Updates

The page that you liked can also keep you updated through your News Feed.

like on facebook, facebook like button, like across the web

Your Friends

Find out what your friends have liked, shared, and commented on through the Activity Feed and Recommendations social plugins.

What are Social Plugins?

Social plugins are simple and secure ways for third parties to include Facebook’s Like button and comment functionality on their websites. These features enable you to share the things you care about on Facebook and with other visitors to that website through the activity feed and recommendations plugins. When you click a Like button, you create a connection, which enables the website to keep you updated through your News Feed and is displayed publicly on your profile.

How does Facebook allow me to Like and Comment on other Sites?

Third party websites can embed Facebook’s social plugins, which enable you to Like and comment on their webpages. If you Like or comment on a webpage, the action will be shared on Facebook, added to your public profile information, and displayed to other visitors of the Facebook-enhanced website. No information is published or shared if you do not interact with social plugins.

How Can I Identify Social Plugins on Sites?

Facebook’s social plugins can be identified by a Facebook icon and will come in the following formats:

like buttonLike Button

The Like button lets users share pages from your site back to their Facebook profile with one click.


recommendationsRecommendations

The Recommendations plugin gives users personalized suggestions for pages on your site they might like.


login facesLogin with Faces

The Login with Faces plugin shows profile pictures of the user’s friends who have already signed up for your site in addition to a login button.


commentsComments

The Comments plugin lets users comment on any piece of content on your site.


Activity Feed

The Activity Feed plugin shows users what their friends are doing on your site through likes and comments.


like box

Like Box

The Like box enables users to like your Facebook Page and view its stream directly from your website.


facepileFacepile

The Facepile plugin shows profile pictures of the user’s friends who have already signed up for your site.



live streamLive Stream

The Live Stream plugin lets your users share activity and comments in real-time as they interact during a live event.


How can I add social plugins to my site?

http://developers.facebook.com/plugins


Note: None of your data is shared with the site when you view social plugins. Social plugins pull information directly from Facebook and the site has no access to the data being displayed to you.

Miracle for Megan – We need your help!!!

Miracles For Megan Foundation

Vision:

The Miracle for Megan Foundation was created to raise awareness, increase research, and develop optimal treatment methods for people with Genetic Disorders. We envision the ability to detect Genetic Disorders early and help to provide exceptional care to the patients and families with these disorders.

Basis:

Our foundation is based on Megan Miceli, an 18 month old little girl with a Gene Deletion 15Q13.3. After 13 months of evaluation the Doctors of Kennedy Krieger Institute finally found her diagnosis. The Gene Deletion is so rare that there has only been 6 reported cases since its discovery in 2008. The subjects who have been studied all have 4 symptoms in common, Hypotonia (low muscle tone), Seizures (mylonic), Intellectual Disability, and Schizophrenia. Megan is a beautiful child with no abnormal features. Her limitations are all physical in nature. She is developing physically and mentally at a rate of 50% of her age. Megan receives constant care from numerous doctors at multiple hospitals, and receives care at home from Central Infants and Toddlers Program. The majority of her life is spent in Therapy and the Doctors Office. It is because of her that we have developed a foundation of hope, inspiration, and great ambition to improve the lives of all that are effected by a genetic disorder. Her smile can heal and now her foundation can do the same.

Foundation goals

1. To provide funding to the therapeutic center of Kennedy Krieger Institute. With these funds the center may purchase new equipment and research new ways to provide therapy for its patients

2. To provide funding for the neurology unit of the Kennedy Krieger Institute, as well as other Neurological research facilities, to increase early detection, identification, treatment, and possible prevention methods for Genetic Disorders.

3. To fund a scholarship program for the families who have children with Genetic Disorders who require assistance in funding medical care and education.

Mission:

To empower the Team at Kennedy Krieger Institute to continue to provide the optimum health care for children in need. To discover new treatment methods, as well as therapeutic services for all of Kennedy Krieger’s patients. To increase funds for research in the identification of genetic disorders, and find potential cures for symptoms related to gene deletions. Finally to provide the funding required to give all of Kennedy Krieger’s Children and families the opportunity to live full and complete lives without regard for cost of care and ability to receive such care.

There will be a 5k in the fall and your help is needed as a sponsor to make this a successful event!!!

Become a fan on Facebook

Check out Blastoff Network

You should check out this great site I joined called Blastoff Network. It’s a customizable page that combines the best news, videos, music, and social networking with cash-back shopping from the biggest retailers such as Target, Best Buy, and Tiger Direct. Check out Blastoff Network at http://gotaf.socialtwist.com/redirect?l=-48616186732251084471 or visit my Blastoff Homepage at http://gotaf.socialtwist.com/redirect?l=-48616186732251084472

How To Gather Feedback With Social Media

How To Gather Feedback With Social Media

1. Add a survey to your website or blog: http://wufoo.com
2. Add a poll to your Facebook page: http://www.involver.com
3. Poll your Twitter followers: http://www.polldaddy.com or http://twtpoll.com
4. Post a YouTube video: YouTube now allows for “video responses,” so users who see your video can post a response in the same way they’d post a text comment.
5. LinkedIn Answers: LinkedIn Answers product is actually specifically designed for this purpose, letting you pose a question to your connections and get feedback.

Gather Feedback Responsibly

While the social web makes gathering feedback and conducting market research exceptionally efficient and low-cost, it’s important to remember that you’re also potentially broadcasting your next move to competitors. Thus, social media-based feedback programs should be designed to give you the information you need without telegraphing your strategy.

For Sale: 2BR/1BA Townhouse in Towson, MD, $159,000

Get 1st Time Home Buyer Tax Credit NOW!! End of Group, 2 BR, 1 BA, Hardwood Flrs Thru-out, HUGE Eat-in Kitchen, Extra large Back Yard w/New Patio, Natural Gas, Ample Parking, New H2O Heater & Washer, LL Family Room, Exceptionally close to 695 and all that Towson has to offer.

For Sale: 2BR/1BA Townhouse in Towson, MD, $159,000.

How to Add Your Business to Merchant Circle & Why You Should

Today,  I’ll share how to add your business to Merchant Circle (www.merchantcircle.com).

Merchant Circle is more expansive than many of the other options for listing your business in Local Search. Listings can include coupons, photos, videos, reviews of your business, and blog posts. If you already have a blog you could use posts in your Merchant Circle blog to drive traffic back to your own.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) perks! Because Merchant Circle is such a large site, meaning it has so many members and content, the search engines are very likely to be crawling the site for content. Therefore,  Merchant Circle listings tend to show up very high in organic (FREE) search engine rankings, helping to increase your business’ exposure.

− To get started, go to http://www.merchantcircle.com and click on “Sign Up” in the upper right hand corner.


                                
− Next, click on “Get Started” and follow the prompts to enter in the information for your business.

– For more tips and tricks and ways to enhance your listing, take a look at Merchant Circle’s “How-to Guides” found at http://www.merchantcircle.com/corporate/educenter/howto/index.html.

– You can also download the Getting Started Guide here: http://www.merchantcircle.com/corporate/getting_started.pdf.

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