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Matthew Faul
Commercial & Residential Real Estate
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Date Archives: May 2020

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Now is the Time to Prepare for Hurricane Season

Hurricane Prep

The 2020 hurricane system is off to an early start thanks to the appearance of a tropical disturbance in mid-May. There is no time like the present to start preparing your family and your home for hurricane season. Check out these must-do tasks to add to your hurricane prep list.

  1. Gather Your Hurricane Emergency Kit
    Hurricane preparedness requires some shopping to create your emergency kit. Find retailers who are selling the items you need, or you may order them online if the brick and mortar stores are a little bare. Here's what a basic hurricane emergency kit should have:
    • A gallon of water per person per day for three days (if your family has four people, this would equal 12 gallons)
    • A three day supply of non-perishable food
    • A manual can opener
    • Batteries for your flashlights and radio
    • Flashlights
    • A hand-crank radio
    • Food and water for your pets
    • Leashes or crates to transport your pets
    • Prescription or over-the-counter medication
    • Dust masks
    • Plastic bags
    • Plastic ties
    • Wet wipes
    • An emergency whistle
    • A small tool kit

    Consider stowing your emergency kit in plastic tubs. These tubs are easy to transport, and they'll prevent your essentials from getting wet. 
  1. Check Your Insurance Coverage
    Insurance is essential to ensure you're protected against hurricane-related damage. Otherwise, financial complications can prevent you from adding your home to the inventory of Bradenton and Sarasota homes for sale. See that your policy levels are high enough to replace your belongings and rebuild your home. Since the cost to rebuild or repair a property fluctuates, it's important to take these changes into account when reviewing your policy limits. Take a few moments to photograph your possessions (especially items of significant value). Store these pictures on a cloud-storage website. If flood damage from a hurricane is a potential risk, you'll need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. 
  1. Complete Any Overdue Home Maintenance or Repairs
    A properly maintained property is more likely to withstand hurricane-force winds and rain than one that's been neglected. Our real estate agents also find that maintained properties usually generate more buyer interest when they're on the market. Does your roof have a few loose shingles? Have these shingles replaced so that rain doesn't cause moisture damage? Caulk, seal or repair any cracks or holes in your home to keep moisture out and to prevent animals searching for a dry space from entering your home. Want to bolster your home against wind damage? See if storm windows are right for your home. Storm windows are additional windows that you add to the exterior of your home for additional protection.
  1. Research When a Hurricane is Coming
    When a hurricane is officially on the way, you need to know what additional things you should do. Make sure that your cars are filled with gasoline, as gas stations may have low supplies and high demand due to the impending storm. Secure any loose items on your deck or patio that can turn into projectiles. This includes things like deck furniture, fire pits, outdoor toys, and planters. Make sure that you have a little cash-on-hand. If the power is out, retailers won't be able to process credit or debit cards. 

Our team hopes these tips help your family prepare for this year's hurricane season. Have more questions about life in Southwest Florida and real estate opportunities? Contact us today!


Pro Tips to Organize Your Home

Organize Your Home

Spring cleaning isn't something we all look forward to, but while we're sticking close to home, this is an excellent opportunity to organize and clean house. To make it more manageable, we advise creating a five-day plan, focusing on a section of the house each day. Set some goals, write them down and check them off. Here are some suggestions that you can adapt as needed.

  1. Monday -- Clean appliances and cabinets under sinks.
    Let's get some of the most challenging tasks done first. Start by deep cleaning your kitchen appliances until they sparkle, but first remember to check cleaning recommendations for appliance surfaces, particularly stainless steel. Clean out cabinets under bathroom and kitchen sinks, throwing away whatever you no longer use, disposing of any cleaning products according to local regulations. Vacuum the coils under your refrigerator to keep it running efficiently.
  2. Tuesday -- Clean closets, cupboards and the pantry.
    This is another task you may be putting off, but don't,  in fact, be merciless. Go through clothes, shoes, toys, household items, and if you haven't worn or used something in a year, it's time to say goodbye to it. If possible, box and save these items to donate them to charity. Throw away out-of-date food in the pantry. Clean shelves and redo shelf paper if you use it. 
  3. Wednesday -- Perform outdoor tasks.
    Sweep the sidewalks, porch, and patio. Make your own glass cleaner with 2 cups of water (distilled or filtered is best so it doesn't leave residue), 2 tablespoons vinegar and 10 drops essential oil of choice to cut the vinegar smell) and clean exterior windows and door glass, light fixtures, and patio furniture. Take a look around the HVAC condenser and trim back bushes so the unit can maintain proper airflow. Clear grass, leaves, and weeds away from the base of the unit.
  4. Thursday -- Clean interior glass.
    Grab an old t-shirt (they're pretty much lint-free), and continuing your window cleaning from the inside, along with door glass, and mirrors. Work top to bottom, wiping the water away with a squeegee to avoid streaks.
  5. Friday – Clean the garage.
    Start by separating everything you absolutely need from items you can, want or should donate, sell or throw away. If you don't have shelving, cabinets or other types of storage units, now is a good time to consider them. Everything needs to have a place to avoid piles of clutter.
  6. Saturday – Relax and take the day off.
    Time for a break! If you are thinking of moving, we recommend taking a virtual tour of Bradenton homes for sale and Sarasota homes for sale to see what's available in the area, and of course our real estate agents are happy to help. Contact us today!

Grocery Store Delivery Options in Sarasota and Manatee

Sarasota Grocery Delivery

Our real estate agents agree that online shopping and doorstep delivery have made our lives much easier. The convenience of ordering what we need from a computer or mobile phone and having it delivered promptly to our homes is a significant service for many, especially those who may be unable to leave their homes to visit the store. These grocery delivery options in Sarasota and Bradenton can check this item off of your to-do list quickly and easily.

  • Shipt
    The Shipt Shoppers are ready to take your shopping experience to the next level. They'll gladly walk the aisles of a number of stores — grocery and traditional retail alike — and get the goods to your door in as little as one hour. Best of all, you can be in constant contact with your Shipt Shopper and get up-to-the-minute updates on their trip. If an item you want is out of stock, they can let you know right away so you can choose a replacement.

  • Walmart Online Grocery Delivery
    For many families, Walmart is their one-stop-shop for everything. Now, they're ready to help you put dinner on the table with a grocery delivery service from your local Walmart Neighborhood Market. Their certified personal shoppers will tackle your entire shopping list, including everyday essentials like pet, infant, and cleaning supplies. All items are the same Every Day Low Prices found in-store, so you'll receive the same great savings without ever leaving home!

  • Instacart
    Another popular grocery delivery service, Instacart is ready to handpick the products you love from your favorite stores and deliver them right to your home. Their website also features exclusive coupons on hundreds of items to help you knock down your total purchase bill. They also offer same-day delivery in as quickly as 60 minutes. When you shop with Instacart, you can purchase items from most of your go-to grocery retailers, including:
    • Sam's Club
    • Costco
    • BJ's
    • Publix
    • Target
    • CVS Pharmacy
    • Petco
  • Amazon
    You already trust Amazon for your retail purchases, why not use their fresh services to get your groceries delivered to your door as well? Teaming up with Whole Foods Market, Amazon allows you to order fresh groceries that are then delivered from your local Whole Foods Market location. There are also exclusive deals for Amazon Prime members, saving you time and money!

An affordable, convenient way to get your weekly grocery trip completed, these easy-to-order services allow you to devote more time to your family.

To browse our Sarasota homes for sale and Bradenton homes for sale virtually from the comfort of your own home, contact us today!


7 Apps to Help You Stay Connected While Social Distancing

Apps to Stay Connected

Staying connected in a time of social distancing is no easy task. Yet, with all the new challenges our world is facing, we continue to find ways of maintaining our ties to one another. We think staying connected with loved ones is more important than ever, and our real estate agents are thrilled to share some of the apps we've been using to stay in touch. 

  1. Zoom
    Over the last couple of months, Zoom's popularity has skyrocketed, and not just for virtual business conferences, but social gatherings as well. The app can host up to 1,000 video participants in a session, making it great for getting large groups of friends together. Sessions under 40 minutes are free, but beyond that, you'll need a subscription. 
  2. Netflix Party
    Chances are you've been watching more TV than ever in 2020, but you're not alone if you miss having friends to binge your favorite shows with. Luckily, there's a solution for anyone who has a Netflix account and a Google Chrome web browser. Netflix Party is a Chrome extension that makes it possible to sync up your Netflix account with your friends' accounts, so you can watch TV in tandem, and even communicate back and forth. 
  3. WhatsApp
    A longtime favorite for folks who need to send text messages to international friends and family, WhatsApp has a lot of other features that are making it a popular app in the social distancing age. WhatsApp offers text messaging, audio, and video call functions and is compatible with Apple and Android devices, as well as Windows PCs. 
  4. Google Duo
    Chances are you know what Google is, but do you know what Google Duo is and how it can help you stay connected? Compatible with Apple and Android devices this helpful app lets you make video calls with those you love. Plus, you can make groups of up to 12 people and chat and make video calls within the group. 
  5. FaceTime
    Anyone with an iPhone has probably been using FaceTime since long before the pandemic struck, but this classic app is now more useful than ever. You can use it to video chat with friends and family around the world (as long as they also have an Apple device), and it even works over regular cellular service if you're not connected to the internet. 
  6. HouseParty
    One of the things we miss the most about how the world used to be is just hanging out and chatting with a few friends. HouseParty is a great option for fostering the easygoing vibe of a small get-together. It's a fun app that lets up to 8 people hang out in a virtual space. It also has screen sharing options and the ability to play virtual games. 
  7. Facebook Live
    Facebook has always provided a wide range of tools for staying connected, from sharing photos and videos to messaging with friends. But Facebook Live has become more useful than ever in recent times. It's been used to stream meetings, live music, stand-up comedy, even weddings! Our team has even found Facebook Live to be a great real estate tool for creating "virtual tours" of Bradenton homes for sale and Sarasota homes for sale.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can all stay connected while social distancing. At Wagner Realty, we still believe in the importance of human connection, and we're here to help you keep in touch while you're finding your dream home. 

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 03/21/2023. The listing information on this page last changed on 03/21/2023. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of Stellar MLS (last updated Tue 03/21/2023 4:04:08 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Wagner Realty may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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