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How To Make Your Home A Safer Place

by Mary Ann Sawyers

How To Make Your Neighborhood A Safer Place

   Whether you’ve just moved in or you’ve been living in your home for years, you want your neighborhood to be safe from crime for you and your family.  Take these actions to make it even safer.  


• Safety is a team effort, so get to know your neighbors.  Who works during the day?  Who has kids?  Who is retired?  Maintain a list of home/cell/work numbers so you can call each other if you see something suspicious.  For example, some thieves pose as movers.  If you see someone at your neighbor’s house putting flat screen TVs and computers in a truck, don’t assume it’s a legitimate activity.  Call your neighbors to check, especially if they aren’t home.


• Work with your police or sheriff’s office to launch a Neighborhood Watch Program.  It unites law enforcement and citizens to reduce residential crime.  To find an existing program or learn how to start one of your own, go to www.nnw.org. 


• Improve your neighborhood lighting.  If you don’t have adequate street lighting, join with your neighbors in turning on your outside lights every night.  An effective and inexpensive idea is to place sensor-activated lighting around the outside of your home, especially entry doors
and garage ($20 – $80 at Home Depot or Amazon).  Decorative string lighting or lanterns are also very fun and festive.


• Talk to your neighbors about home security systems.  Visit a site such as www.safewise.com for information on a variety of systems.You can get basic ADT monitoring, for example, for $37 a month plus $99 for installation.  Some insurance providers offer a discount if you purchase a complete security system.  The site also offers an excellent Home Security Checklist (click on Learn and Home Security Resources).

 


Save Thousands When Buying A Home

Did you know there’s a free consumer report revealing ways to save time and money when buying a home?  It’s called 
8 Secrets For Saving Thousands When Finding and Buying Your Next Home,” and it’s great even if you’re not planning to buy soon.  Get your free copy by calling me at…361-550-4304.

209 Belmoor, Victoria, Texas

by Mary Ann Sawyers

Click here to view a video of this Denison Built home located in North Victoria. Home has 3 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths. Owner has loved living here and states even though the house has a large backyard and an over sized garage, he sends most of his time in the kitchen.  Notice the pot rack loaded with cooking pots. This man can cook! He said he really has loved cooking with his convection oven. The home is bright and airy with tall ceilings and a lot of windows. Call me today to see this great house! 361-550-4304

5 Easy Ways To Ruin Your Car

by Mary Ann Sawyers

So I thought the M-Package purchase for my new BMW that I ordered was very cool looking.  Let me say I should have gotten help from my husband or someone else who really knows cars.  Little did I know the "run flat" (i.e. cool looking) tires cost a fortune to replace.  I just replaced the 2 back tires to a tune of over $900.00.  This lead me to do research to find out what else I might not know about cars.  Here are what I call 5 Easy Ways to Ruin Your Car.

1.Running too low on gas. Some auto mechanics say the sediments in your gas tank will be pulled into your system and ruin your fuel injector! The truth is you should fuel up before hitting empty even if those mechanics are wrong.  You’ll prolong the life of your fuel pump because the pump gets overheated easily when it’s pumping from an empty tank.  Average fuel pump repair cost: $450 to $680.

2.Not using the parking brakeParking on even a slight incline without a parking brake will stress your transmission.  There’s a tiny pin in the transmission that holds your car still, so stopping the transmission from moving with your parking brake takes the pressure off that delicate part.  Make sure you disengage the brake before you drive away! Future transmission replacement cost: $1,300 to $3,500.

3.Not coming to a complete stop before shiftingYour transmission is a set of gears.  When you shift between “reverse” to “drive” without stopping, the transmission acts as a brake, stressing those gears.  Transmissions are not cheap repairs so it’s worth it to take the few extra seconds to come to a stop.  See #2 for transmission cost.

4.Riding the brakes driving downhillYou can wear your brakes out quickly by keeping that brake pedal pressed to the floor.  Too much of this can even make your brake pads and brake fluid so hot that you’ll lose your brakes completely.  Downshift instead to slow your car down hills.  Average brake pad and rotor replacement cost: $300 to $400.

5.“Warm up the car” by revvingRevving your car when you start it doesn’t help your car warm up, but it can harm your engine.  Let your car sit and idle for up to 30 seconds to allow the oil time to recirculate and lubricate your engine’s moving parts.  Potential repair cost: $2,500 to $7,000 or more depending on labor charges to install a new engine

I'll feel a lot better about my $900.00 if this information saves someone a repair bill or two!

503 Chimney Rock, Victoria, Texas

by Mary Ann Sawyers

Click here to view this Executive Home located in the beautiful neighborhood of Woodway. Woodway is an established, highly desirable neighborhood with majestic trees, walking trails and tennis courts.  The owners have loved living here and have a special attachment to the home since their granddaughter was a regular visitor! The home is very open with tall ceilings and a large master retreat. Call today to set up your private viewing 361-550-4304 

4 Ways To Save Green By Being Green

by Mary Ann Sawyers

Save green by going green

These tips have dual benefits – helping the Earth and your pocketbook at the same time.  Here are some things you can do right now and how much they can save you:


Carpooling:  The average commute to work in the U.S. is 25 minutes, and up to 20 miles each way.  Combined with the savings on the costs of maintaining your vehicle when you’re driving to work every day, you can cut your current gas costs in half if you share the ride.  Check sites like www.CarPoolWorld.com or Craigslist.org to help you plan a carpool (see the Rideshare forum under Community.)


Energy Audit:  Most households spend around $1,300 annually on energy bills.  You can save up to 30% on these costs by making your home more efficient, and many of those upgrades are inexpensive and easy to do – replacing your thermostat with a programmable one, sealing cracks with caulk, and sealing around windows can make a big difference.  Conduct a home energy audit yourself or hire a contractor to do it for you (search energy.gov for “Home Energy Audit.”)  You may even be eligible for a tax credit (check energy.gov/savings).


Water Heaters: The Department of Energy says the average annual water heating bill is $400 to $600.  Turning down the water heater and washing clothes in cold water can save you 6%.  A tankless water heater can save up to 30% annually.


Re-use (everything):  Check Freecycle.org before you buy supplies for that one-time project.  It’s free to join, and people give away everything from tools and building supplies to appliances they no longer need.  You might also want to rent power tools if you won’t use them regularly (search HomeDepot.com or Lowes.com for “Tool Rental.”)



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209 Cobble Stone Court, Victoria, Texas

by Mary Ann Sawyers

209 Cobble Stone Court, Victoria, Texas  Video Tour - Home For Sale

Click Here to view this stunning home for sale - only 5 months old!

Owner's transfer is your gain!  

4 bedroom “Wingate” floor plan was voted People’s Choice in the 2015 Parade of Homes.  Elegant entry, tall ceilings and open floor plan.  Beautiful tile & hand scraped wood floors.  Formal dining and lots of light in this home! King sized master retreat has 8 ft. European walk-in shower and large master closet.  Gorgeous kitchen with granite, marble backsplash & stainless appliances, opens to the over-sized living room. 2” wood blinds throughout.  Owner added $18,000 of upgrades to home after purchase including the hand scraped wood floors, water treatment system, extended patio, sprinkler system, upgraded security system and backyard landscaping.  This is a great value and a "MUST SEE”!  Call me to set up a showing 361-550-4304.

Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6

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Photo of Mary Ann Sawyers Real Estate
Mary Ann Sawyers
Coldwell Banker The Ron Brown Co.
2505 N Navarro
Victoria TX 77901
361-550-4304

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