Pet safety tips to follow during the holidays

Image credit McEnearney Associates

For pet lovers, the holidays aren’t complete without our furry friends. While we celebrate, we must ensure our pet’s safety is top of mind. What may seem safe to us might actually be harmful to them. We’ve found some useful tips to follow to keep them healthy and happy.

‘TIS THE SEASON
If you have a Christmas tree, keep it securely anchored so it doesn’t tip and fall—possibly onto your pet. This also prevents tree water, which could contain fertilizers that could upset your pet’s stomach, from dripping all over. You don’t need a sick and nauseous pet in the middle of a party. Holly, mistletoe, and poinsettias can also cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. Best bet? Stick with artificial plants, and keep tinsel and candles out of the picture as well to ensure pet safety.

SWEETS AND TREATS
This is your furry bestie we’re talking about here, so of course, he or she will be getting lots of treats during the holidays. For dogs, stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible. Kongs can be stuffed with healthy foods or find chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible. Watching your kitty play with a bit of ribbon or yarn is super cute, but if swallowed, you might wind up dealing with an expensive surgery bill if it gets stuck in your cat’s intestines. Try a new ball that’s too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy, or an interactive toy.

TOASTY AND TIPSY
Libations are also a natural part of the season for many, so it’s important to keep alcoholic drinks out of reach for pets. If ingested, your pet might get weak, ill or go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure. Keep human foods away from pets as well, especially chocolate or anything sweetened with xylitol. Also be sure that fatty, spicy food, garlic, onions, and bones are not given to your pets. These items can be especially harmful to your furry babies. For best pet safety practice, keep food and drinks out of reach and secure the lids on garbage and recycling cans.

JINGLE AND MINGLE
If you are hosting a holiday party, be conscious of your fur baby’s needs as your guests might not consider your pet’s safety and comfort. For example, make sure your pet has a quiet space to retreat to in case they feel shy or overwhelmed. Check on them occasionally and be sure there is plenty of fresh water and a place to snuggle while they hide out until all the loud humans have left. For a New Year’s party with confetti, fireworks or even poppers, keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in intestines, while the noise from poppers can scare pets and/or damage sensitive ears.

PAW-SITIVELY CLEAN
We love our furry little friends! But we don’t love it when others smell them. If you’re a proud pet parent, just know it’s easy to become immune to the distinctive smells they create. To your guest’s nose, it won’t take much to alert them that an animal lives there too. In addition, good hygiene habits are perfect for practicing pet safety year-round. We’ve put together an article with 5 simple tips to keep your four-legged friends and your home looking and smelling good throughout the season.

BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE
Remember, as the season moves more into winter, no one wants their pet to fur-reeze. Not all types of pets are suited for the winter weather, so be sure you check with your vet at what temperature they might need a sweater or a jacket and remember to take it off inside so they don’t overheat. For dogs especially, take extra good care of your dog’s paws; get them some winter booties, wipe their paws after walks, and be sure to try and avoid them stepping in salt or ice melt. If they do or it’s likely they did, be sure to rinse their paws as soon as possible to prevent ingestion of harmful chemicals or damage to their skin. (Sand is much more animal-friendly!) Be wary of areas your pet might be seeking warmth, certain heat sources pose serious burn risks. Most importantly, if you live in an area prone to power outages during storms or freezing temperatures, be sure you keep medications, food, clean water, and toys handy in case you need to evacuate or bunker down.

The holidays are sure to be happier when you know your pet’s safety is well taken care of!

—McEnearney Associates, “Pet safety tips to follow during the holidays”

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Why selling during the holidays can be beneficial

Inventory tends to drop off during the holiday season, which is all the more reason for you to get serious about putting your house on the market. What was once negative feedback – selling your home during the holidays – can actually be beneficial. When buyers start looking, they usually want to get into their new home at a time that avoids interfering with their busy lifestyle. Here are some great reasons why you should consider putting your home on the market during the holidays.

LESS INVENTORY
Sometimes buyers are in a pinch, and need a house right now. There are always serious buyers out there and the lower the inventory the more your home will stand out. It is possible for you to get more action in your home during the holidays than when the market is flooded with homes in the spring.

AVAILABILITY
Naturally, business will slow down for lenders, home inspectors, and appraisers during the holidays. This benefits you and the buyers, as these professionals will have more valuable time to get things in order for your settlement!

HOLIDAY BEAUTY
Don’t think that you can’t decorate for the holidays while your home is on the market. Deck the halls with all things jolly, and show off the beauty of your home. This is a great way to make potential buyers feel right at home.

SERIOUS BUYERS
When you think about selling, you want buyers who are serious, especially during the holidays. Chances are they might have a deadline, maybe a job transfer or the desire to close before the end of the year for tax purposes. Target these buyers – they are motivated!

If you are thinking of, or already are planning on selling your home during the holidays, use our Associates’ tips on home maintenance for the winter and inexpensive home improvement to help make sure your house is ready.

—McEnearney Associates, “Why selling during the holidays can be beneficial”

Home maintenance tips from McEnearney Associates

Now that summer is winding down and we are thinking of hunkering down for the cool weather, it is an opportune time to catch up on routine home maintenance — but where to start?

For many, a home is their largest investment. Keeping track of these items can seem more manageable and less daunting once you realize how simple some tasks can be.

Grab your tool belt, and check out these often-overlooked tips from our Associates.

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Absorption rates: D.C. metro area contract activity

Tipping Points

We’ve been fortunate to have a very healthy real estate market in the metro Washington D.C. area for several years, and as we head into the fall market, that’s still the case.

Last month, we looked at some of the hottest areas in the region, with absorptions rates over 60% – what we call an extreme seller’s market. This month, we’re looking at the other end of the spectrum, where there is plenty of available inventory but less contract activity – those areas and price ranges where the absorption rate is 15% or lower, a buyer’s market.

Generally, that characterizes the market for homes priced more than $1M – to be sure, there are some luxury markets that are hotter than others, but we’re focusing today on homes priced less than $1M because that’s the heart of the market.

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Absorption Rates (August 2018): What’s hot, what’s not

The metro D.C. market has softened a bit, and we think ultimately 2018 is going to look a lot like 2017. But there are plenty of hot spots where sellers have lots of leverage.

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Easy ways to keep water out of your basement

Before you spend thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on “fixing” a wet basement, be sure you are not inviting water in!  Follow these surprisingly easy steps to keep water from your roof and grounds from entering your house.

Most of our Home Inspectors say 95% of wet basement issues are fixable outdoors for just a few hundred dollars.  They say there are 3 easy steps:

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