Cold Weather Blues

Here in San Antonio, we have dealing with the summer heat down to a science. It’s when the first chill of winter comes, we scurry around getting ready for the next drop under 75°; rushing out to purchase new jackets, long sleeved shirts, and those comfy socks with the grips on the bottom.

Keeping yourself warm isn’t the only think you need to do to get ready for Jack Frost. Your rental home can also do with a little preventative maintenance to keep your property in tip-top shape, and keep renters cozy.

These are just a few tips for winterizing your home for our Texas Snow Days.

Preventative Maintenance on the Heater
By scheduling a yearly check on your heater, including a filter change, you save yourself the risk of much higher repair costs in the future. You can hire a company to come out and check out the system to make sure everything is in working order for the winter months.

Mind the Gaps
Not only do gaps in window frames, door jambs, and vents make for a chilly draft through the home, it’s also the perfect entry point for vermin and pests seeking food and warmth from the cold. Adding a strip of caulking, or weather stripping to these areas will keep the tenants happy with a warm home, and low energy bills, as well as preventing possibly costly pest repairs.

Checking to make sure the insulation in the home is still up to par is a good idea at any time of the year. All it takes is getting up in the attic, and checking for any missing or damaged pieces of insulation. Insulation is a key part of keeping any home’s temperature regulated.

Give Your Foliage a Trim
We may not get enough snow in San Antonio to weigh down trees, but we do get ice. With tree limbs and shrubbery close to the home, it’s a good idea to give these a trim to prevent any ice causing existing stress on the branches to break, possibly damaging the home, or even worse, a tenant.

By doing a the simple steps, you can keep your tenants happy, as well as your pocketbook.

Veteran’s Day

Today is Veteran’s day, so remember to thank a Veteran for their service.

It was Woodrow Wilson who announced Armistice day in 1919, when one year prior, fighting officially ended. This was known as the end of the war to end all wars. Seven months later, on June 28th, 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed, bringing and end to “The Great War.”

Armistice Day was approved May 13, 1938 as a legal holiday. It wasn’t until World War II and subsequent wars, that it was changed to Veteran’s Day, during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower, to memorialize all those that have served this country.

“In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible.”
-President Eisenhower, October 8, 1938

These men and women have given themselves to defend this country, and they deserve our thanks.

From all of us here at All County Alamo, we say thank you.

Tips for Moving With Children

Moving can be hard, especially for children. They’ve grown accustomed to a routine; they know where everything is in their old home.

It makes sense to you for a move; better job, closer to family, a change in lifestyle, but to a child, it’s taking away something that is theirs. Kids have meltdowns for everything and anything. The ice cream is too cold, or a favorite toy gets misplaced so the world must be ending.
To prepare (at least for moving) yourself and your family, there are a few things you can do to alleviate that aspect of stress.

1. Get Them Set
Make sure your children are well-informed about what is going to happen. This is best to do at least a month in advance as to give them a chance to fully understand this big change. “Make sure you explain that the important things will stay the same, including that everything in the house, especially what’s in the child’s room, will come with you,” says child-development and behavior specialist Betsy Brown Braun, author of Just Tell Me What to Say: Sensible Tips and Scripts for Perplexed Parents.

2. Let ‘em Break Down
“Even if your children are excited about the move, don’t underestimate how difficult some of the losses may be — especially if the relocation means separating from someone they love and depend on, like a caregiver or a grandparent,” says Burgan. Most child psychologists say to allow for 6 months for children to completely adapt to a new life, in a new home. The tears and tantrums will be frequent, and difficult at first, but over time they will start to become familiar to the new life.

3. Build a “Moving Box”
Allow your child to pack a ‘treasure chest’ as a moving box. Let them decorate it as they want, and put their most valuable items in the box. This will allow them to help, without hindering the move too much. When you reach your new home, let them unpack the box, and place the items in their room as they see fit. This helps them a connection with the different home, and the different room. With their old items in the new area, it brings a sense of familiarity to a new situation, like staying the night at a grandparents house with their favorite stuffed animal or blanket. Object permanency is very important to small children.

4. Stick the Regular Schedule
With the change of a move, it’s easy to get off track and push bedtime routines around to compensate for the expected fits the little one with inevitably throw. It’s important to continue the same routines, keeping with the normalcy of life before in a new environment.

5. Expect the Unexpected
With every change in life, there are going to be hiccups along the way, and it’s best to expect these in advance.

Fitting these in your plans will help significantly in making your new move and your new home, making it a somewhat seamless transition.

Importance of Regular Home Inspections

One of the great services offered to tenants, owners and property managers is the On Site PROS Inspection. This is a company who goes out and inspects every inch of the home and gives a very detailed report with photos on every repair that is needed at the home.

How this helps a tenant:
This helps the tenant moving in by listing the exact condition of the home at the time of move in so that at time of move out you are not reliable for any of the repairs that were possibly needed before you moved in. Protect yourself and have one of these done each time you move into a new rental home.

How this helps an owner:
This helps the owner of the home by helping determine what is a tenant responsibility and what is owner responsibility. If a tenant moves out of a home and there is damage caused, you can possibly back charge that tenant’s security deposit for those repairs!

How this helps a property manager:
This helps the property manager by telling you the exact condition of the home and relaying it to either the tenant or the owner with great clarity. You will have the pictures and report to help assign for repairs. It will also help you determine who to bill for those repairs!

Be sure to protect yourself, whether you are the tenant, owner, or property manager, and have an On Site PROS Inspection done of your home regularly.

Simple Fall Savings!

It’s finally fall in Texas! You know what that means? Slightly less hot days and slightly cooler nights! It isn’t time to break out our jackets yet unfortunately, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy it! Here are some easy ways to save this fall:

This is the perfect time of year to save on your electricity bill by opening a window! You would be amazed at the amount of money you would save by turning off your ac for a few hours a day.

Don’t you love when all of your favorite groceries go on sale? Well, since it is fall you are almost guaranteed to have a sale on your favorite produce!

Since it is cooler out, you are actually able to enjoy walking in the park or riding your bike on a trail. No need to waste money on that gym membership!

Family Time:
Speaking of parks, you’re able to actually enjoy one now without getting heat stroke! You don’t need to spend money on expensive tickets to the movies, just take a picnic to your favorite park or fly a kite!

One of the best parts of fall is you are able to utilize your whole closet! No wasting money on new clothes, now you have a whole new area of your closet to “shop” from!

These are just some of the ways to save during the fall, but there are always the basic ways to save as well. Be sure to enjoy the nice weather here in Texas, it doesn’t happen often!