Skip to content

Mice, Mice Everywhere

October 4, 2015

This is the time of year that those cute little furry friends try to take up residence in your home. As cute as they are, not many folks like the idea of sharing their homes with Mice and for good reason, their droppings carry diseases and Mice also harbor Dear Tics.
The first order of business is to try to keep them from coming in. This can be a tough task since Mice can squeeze through holes as small as a dime. Do an inspection around the perimeter of your home and repeat the process on the inside. A favorite access point for Mice are dryer vents that are low to the ground, make sure the vents are not clogged with lint that prevent them from closing properly.
If you want to try to get rid of the Mice yourself here are some tips:
1. Place traps in areas where you see mouse droppings.mice poop Don’t vacuum up droppings because you can get sick if you inhale the airborne urine and fecal matter.Mice have terrible eye site and tend to make paths along walls – place traps along walls instead of the middle of the floor.
2. If you are going to use bait stations with poison do not use the kind that has pellets. Mice don’t always eat the poison right away – they sometimes bring it back to the nest or hide it around your house (this can be dangerous for your Pets and kids). Instead use the poison that is a paste or a gel stick – they can’t transport this kind.mice poison
3. You can use many different kinds of foods to entice Mice – peanut butter works well and according to my neighbor the #1 thing to use is Tootsie Rolls. Mice have an incredible sense of smell so it is important to switch out the bait often no matter what kind you use so it doesn’t rot.
If this isn’t your cup of Tea just call a professional 🙂

Decks , Decks and Decks

September 6, 2015

Just because a deck has a C/O doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe. I came across this situation with a young couple buying their first home in Bedford. The first question any good Agent asks is ‘Does the Deck have a C/O’? In this case the answer was yes so I thought there wouldn’t be a problem – not so. This home was a weekend home for an older couple from Manhattan. They owned the home for over 30 years and when the deck was built it was built to code however, since that time building codes have changed and for good reason. Looking at the Deck you would never suspect the Deck was dangerous as it was well taken care of and the wood was in good shape (the couple rarely used the deck so there was not much wear and tear). On closer inspection things popped up like the railings. This Deck was built when horizontal railings and built-in deck seating was popular. This is a big no/no since kids can climb onto the built-in seats and over the rail. Handrails have to be at least 36’’ high (check with your local building codes) and the space in between spokes can be no larger than 4’’ (so kids and pets can’t get their heads stuck).
Here are some other things to look for:deck2
The deck should be ‘bolted’ to the house, not screwed with deck screws or nails. If it is not bolted it can separate and pull away from the house. You need to use ½ inch stainless Steel or Galvanized Lag Screws. If the Screws are not large enough they won’t be able to support the Deck. If they aren’t Stainless Steel or Galvanized they can rust and become weak.deck3 The Posts that support the deck need to be placed on footings and not buried beneath the ground. The posts should also never sit directly on top of the concrete footing (wood should never come in direct contact with concrete) it should be anchored to the footing with a metal anchor.deck4
deck5 Footings need to be larger than the post and the post should sit in the center of the footing – the footing in this picture is too small and the post is not anchored.
Another thing to look for is flashing,this can be overlooked but is important. Flashing is located between the deck and house.It protects the house from water.moisture and helps prevent rotting.Proper maintenance and yearly inspection of your deck will help it last a long,long time.

Little Drunken Chef #NameYourPoison

July 20, 2015

drunken9Well Bonnie Saran has hit another home run with the opening of her new restaurant Little Drunken Chef – Tapas & Oyster Bar # nameyourpoison. I was lucky to have received an invitation to a VIP event that was held on Saturday. Let me just say that my senses were on overload, the place was hopping.drunken3 The ambiance and decor are unlike anything else found in Kisco (reminiscent of something found in NYC or Boston) it’s unique, chic, eclectic and inviting all at the same time.
drunken7The Bar was buzzing with the sound of drinks being prepared. They were poured into cool shaped glassware (tilted like the leaning tower of Pisa) The Bartender was amazing and he had very interesting spins on classic drinks that seemed to please the crowed. Everyone seemed to be having a great time.
drunken1The Menu was so overwhelming with choices that I am definitely going to have to do a follow-up post. But for now it is safe to say that there is something for everyone and you won’t be disappointed. They have an array of Oysters and Shell Fish. For the Shrimp lover you will be given the entire Shrimp served in the most unusual way.drunken6 They have Salads, Tacos (these are unlike any other Taco you have had), Pulled Pork, Dumplings, Paella and the list goes on and on. The menu is fun and different and there is something for every palate to enjoy.drunken8
Do yourself a favor and when The Little Drunken Chef officially opens get on down to 36 East Main Street in Kisco.

Reclaimed Treasures and P.O.W’s

July 17, 2015

We all know that the best thing you can do to get your house ready to sell is to de-clutter . Very often I will help my clients clean out garages and basements in order to get the process moving along . I am also asked all the time if I want any of their stuff . I really have to resist the urge to take these things since I’m trying to de-clutter and sell my own house . This past weekend I did come across a table that I could use .table1 It was in really bad shape and was slated to go in the garbage . I can’t stand to see anything thrown out that could have another use . I figured it would be an easy weekend project to stain or paint it a funky cool color . It had a draw in the front that would not open and you could hear that there were items inside . My client told me I could have anything that was in the draw and of course my curiosity got the best of me . It took a bit of elbow grease but I managed to get the draw opened and this is what I found .table2 There were some old plastic eggs from an Easter long ago,some rubber balls and an interesting bracelet . I vaguely remember these bracelets; when I was a little kid I remember my older cousins having them . They were called P.O.W / MIA bracelets, It was a way to remember the prisoners of war in Vietnam . The bracelets cost about $2.50 and had the name of a P.O.W inscribed on them.table3 This particular bracelet had the name lieutenant Thomas Pilkington inscribed on the front with the date of when he went missing (September 19th 1966) . I decided to look Lt. Pilkington up to see if he was ever found. Unfortunately, he is still listed as being missing . With the recent Terror attacks both domestic and foreign it really brings home the sacrifices some people and their families make for our country.

Help Save a Piece of History

July 9, 2015

Please click on the link below and sign the petition to help save Washington’s headquarters in Westchester County

Gotta Go To Mo’s in Kisco

June 18, 2015

boarders2Mt Kisco might be welcoming a new tenant into the old Borders site which has remained vacant since the bookstore closed in 2011. Over the past three years there has been much debate (and tons of rumors floating around) about potential tenants for the site. A lot of people including me were hoping for something like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. The dream tenant was Barnes and Nobel but unfortunately that deal fell through.boarders1
So that takes us to today – Gotta Go To Moe’s (MODELLS) will be opening up in that location. It is unclear at this time if they will occupy the entire 20,000 square foot building. Rumor has it that they will lease out a small portion of the building (the old Seattle Best Café) to another businesses.

What do you think about Modells filling that space?

Radon Testing

May 28, 2015

house I have run into this situation once again so I decided to re-run this post.My buyers finally found their dream home. The offer was accepted and now it was time for the home inspection. The young couple had picked a great inspector who was very knowledgeable and patient
with their questions. He was careful how he answered, not wanting to overwhelm them with too much technical information but at the same time alerting them to potential safety/maintenance issues.

Everything was moving along smoothly until it came time for the Radon testing. The listing agent kept putting her two cents in and kept talking like she was the ‘expert”. “This is a new home, it doesn’t have radon” she said. This was obviously upsetting my clients and annoying the inspector. Well, he finally had enough and told her to be quiet. I asked her to please go upstairs and wait while the inspector did his job. It was then that the inspector handed my clients a card that had all the information you ever wanted to know about Radon (what a clever idea) on it. There was information I didn’t even know about Radon. I thought it would be a good idea to just mention some of the highlights.
1.Just because your neighbor doesn’t have radon doesn’t mean you won’t. Just like a real estate transaction each home is unique and comes with its own issues.
2.Things change over time and just because your initial test (when you bought the house) showed no/ or low levels of Radon, you should re- test every few years. You absolutely should re-test if you make any major renovations or additions to your home.
3.You don’t need to hire a professional to test for radon (you absolutely need a professional if radon is found to mitigate the problem). The test kits you can get on-line or at the home improvement stores work just fine.

While Radon can be a serious problem for homeowners it is one that can be solved rather easily and won’t break the bank to fix. If you would like additional information regarding Radon just drop me a line and I would be happy to provide you with an information pamphlet.

It’s A/C Time

May 25, 2015

We were hit with some warm weather in the past few weeks but it didn’t last long. So like most folks I am guessing you pushed off getting your A/C units serviced. Please take some advice and pay the $150 to get your A/C tune up before the $150 turns into thousands.This preventative maintenance can add life to your unit and diagnose any potential problems that might arise.Besides giving us comfort throughout the hot summer months Central Air conditioning adds value to your home. In fact it has become a must have on my clients wish lists for homes (next to updated baths and Kitchens).
Each year I do my own ‘mini’ tune up before the technicians come.

After I take the cover off the unit I look for anything that might have gotten into the unit like twigs or leaves. I then hose off the entire unit.condenser I then move inside and clean all the vents.I take off the covers and rinse them off in the vent I also clean the inside of the duct work by sticking my hand in as far as I can reach with a damp cloth. This helps remove any dust or dirt. The next step is to examine the Air Handler in the attic. I look to make sure all wires and vents are attached correctly – when the unit is turned on i look for leaks and make sure the condensation hose is not clogged.air handler The last thing I do is to replace the air filters and I turn the unit on Fan (with the windows wide open) for the first 10 minutes to help get rid of all that stale air and dust that had collected over the long winter. After that I close the windows, put the unit on cool, wait for the technician and just enjoy.

Realtors Have Feelings Too

May 24, 2015

cafe soldI recently found out that a friend and former colleague was moving back into the area after a job offer that took him away a few years ago was now bringing him back to Westchester. Aside from the thought that we would get to hang out again I was super pumped that I would be able to repay him for all the help he had given me in the past by finding him and his family the perfect home. Well, not so fast …. It seems he decided to use an online company to help him search. WOW did I get the air knocked out of me. I was immediately brought back to my Realtor class where my instructor warned us that we needed to have a tough skin because in real-estate there is no loyalty.
I don’t buy that – I always strive to give my clients what I call ‘The Human Touch’. I provide the best service and always go out of my way and do things for the client and not the DEAL. Case in point, this weekend I am Dog sitting because my client’s mother is ill and she had to fly out of state last minute to take care of her. I picked my real estate company based on this same philosophy – Personal Service, Complete Care, Flexibility and awesome Technology Tools.
I respect his decision to use a different company but I wished he had reached out to me first. This is what I would have said:
Online companies are cool, hip and exciting with their flashy web designs and graphs. But in reality the information that you find isn’t always accurate or complete. They are simply an aggregate of information compiled from various sources that spit out data. They don’t take into account property condition or location. They lack the ‘Human Touch’.
The online Agency salesperson isn’t going to know that the town you are interested in is going to have a ‘tax re-assessment soon’. They don’t know that school enrollment is down and they are going to be closing another elementary school – the one you thought you would be sending your kids to.
Sometimes we are lured by offers of low percentage rates or rebates but you know that in the back of your mind that little voice is saying “be careful you just might get what you pay for”
I also would have told him that I work for a very progressive company that creates and customizes individual plans for Buyers and Sellers. We have flexibility in our programs, so present what other companies may offer you and we will discuss to match and/or surpass. I place my customers best interest above all else!

Kathleen Feeney
Lic NYS Salesperson

Spring is Finally Here

May 5, 2015

I think it is safe to say that Spring has finally sprung. It is normally around this time of year I give tips on getting your house ready for sale. This year it’s more like – ‘How to repair the damage that the brutal winter left’. I plan on discussing the projects that I am currently working on around my home.I hope you will find them helpful.

The first area of business is your driveway – you have to fill in all the cracks (to prevent water from getting in) and then re-seal the entire driveway. There are many products to choose from at your locale home improvement store. I am going with an oil based product because it lasts longer than the acrylic ones.

If your driveway looks like this then you are out of luck.driveway1 This requires a professional to re-patch with asphalt and then apply a sealer. These repairs need to be done before next winter to prevent any further damage.