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Start Composting With These Easy Tips

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Compost is one of the easiest and most important things you can add to your garden soil to supplement it.  It will provide you with larger produce, healthy colorful flowers, a beautiful lawn, and all of that at no cost to you.  To get started composting here are a few easy tips.

1.Create a place for your pile or bin

Begin by choosing a place outside where you can begin your compositing. Hint - a sunny spot will help the soil reach optimal levels faster. Water your pile only enough to keep it moist without being oversaturated.  Create a way to protect your pile from animals. Usually a fence will do the trick. If you‘re concerned with the look of a compost pile then consider using a bin that is closed. Choose a bin that is at least 3 feet in diameter and no taller than waist height.

2. Start adding to your pile

Now that you have established a place for your compost pile or bin, it’s time to start adding stuff to it. Add waste products from your kitchen, garden, and lawn. Fall is the perfect time to add downed leaves to your compost pile. The idea is to have equal parts brown waste and green waste.  Green waste is made of vegetables and fruit, while brown waste is made of things such as dried leaves, wood shavings, and even your old daily newspaper.

 On top of brown and green waste, your compost pile will need moisture and oxygen.  If there is no oxygen, the pile will have an awful odor and will rot. Adding moisture to your compost pile helps it break down. This should be done every few days.  If you have the right mix of green and brown waste, oxygen, and moisture your compost pile should not produce an obnoxious odor, but instead should smell like dirt.

3. Let it process

It should take a few weeks after you add leftover waste to your pile before it turns to soil.  While it’s in the process of composting, turn it over using a garden fork every week or two.  If after a few weeks your compost does not resemble soil, add more green waste to it and be sure that the pile is staying moist. If the compost pile has an odor and is wet and not resembling soil, then it’s time to add more brown waste and start turning the compost pile more frequently.

4. Use your new soil

Your compost pile is ready when it resembles and smells like soil. Begin using it in your garden beds by sprinkling it right on top. Compost should not be replaced by soil altogether, as its job is to act as a fertilizer for your soil.  Adding compost to your soil a few times throughout the year will help your lawn or garden produce its best results.

Good luck with composting. If you are looking for a new coastside home this fall don’t hesitate to contact us. The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in the San MateoCounty, including areas such as Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach,Montara, and Pacifica. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority.

 

 

 

 

Rid Your Coastside Home Of Odors Naturally With These Tips

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

There are many options available to consumers today when it comes to removing odors in the home. When it comes down to it, how often do things that are clean have an odor?   Focus on cleaning and freshening up instead of just covering up odors.  Many commercial products strictly work by covering up odors and are usually full of chemicals that are dangerous. They are known to not only negatively impact the environment, but also can be harmful to humans and pets. The good news is that there are ways you can rid your coastside home of odors the natural way.

To rid your home of odors, first begin by knowing what causes them.  Odors are a result of bacteria and in order for bacteria to grow it needs dark places.  A large step in freeing your home of odors is to break any habit that is causing them. This means if you are not hanging damp towels on the towel bar to dry and instead throwing them on the floor - stop.  Allowing wet items to dry before placing them in the hamper and frequently taking out the trash are a few easy ways to prevent odors.

Here are a few other tips to help combat odors in your home naturally.

  • Baking soda is known for being a natural deodorizer. Place a bowl of baking soda in your refrigerator to combat odors, sprinkle it in stinky shoes, and while cleaning your trash can, you can add it to the warm soapy water.  To clean odors in your carpet sprinkle it with baking soda and allow to set for an hour. Then remove by vacuuming. Don’t worry; it won’t ruin your carpet.
  • Vinegar is another natural deodorizer that works by neutralizing bacteria that is causing the odor.  When cleaning add vinegar to your cleaning routine.
  • Add houseplants in your home. Plants work to naturally clean the air and remove odors as well.  The addition of fragrant herbs in your home such as lavender or mint makes for a great addition also.
  • Natural fragrances can bring pleasant aromas into your coastside home. Good quality essential oils are the perfect thing to use when it comes to making your own air freshener.  Place a few drops of your favorite essential oil into a spray bottle with water and spritz throughout the home.

A few changes in your everyday habits can help remove foul odors from your coastside home eliminating the need for commercial spray deodorizers that are full of harmful chemicals.

The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in the San Mateo County, including areas such as Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach, Montara, and Pacifica. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority.

Solar Energy Myths

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

As a responsible coastside resident, we are sure you do your part to help make our environment a better place.  Residents today are more knowledgeable about the impact we have on our environment than ever before.  However, there are a few myths you may have heard about when it comes to solar energy and we are here to share the truth.

There won’t be solar power on cloudy days.

You may be under the impression that on a day when it’s not sunny your solar panels will not work.  The good news is that solar panels absorb all kinds of light from UV, direct sunlight, and infrared rays which are still able to reach panels on those cloudy days.  The panels then store energy in battery cells for use in the future. This is why your house can still have power on a cloudy day.

They only work when it’s warm

Don’t fall for the myth that solar panels work their best only when it’s warm. In fact, they thrive in cooler weather as they function by trapping light and not heat.  Along the coast we don’t have to worry about snow, but we do have occasional rain.  Rain is also beneficial to your system as it helps to clean out the system.

They are a lot of maintenance

You may be under the impression that owning solar panels require a lot of maintenance.  In the past, they were known to break which required multiple visits from trained professionals. However, today’s systems don’t have moving parts and are very dependable.  You should have them routinely inspected to keep them in good working order. If for some reason they would fail to work, you will find it is usually covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

They are costly

A decade ago, installing solar panels on your coastside home could have broken the bank.  Today however, prices continue to drop each year.  On top of reduced costs, there are many rebates available to homeowners from both the federal government and state. 

After installing solar panels you can expect to save substantially on your energy bill.  Many homeowners see a savings up to 15% annually.  Not only will it save you on your energy bill, it will also increase the value of your home.

The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in the San Mateo County, including areas such as Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach, Montara, and Pacifica. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority.

5 Pollution Causing Things You May Be Doing You Are Unaware Of

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Curbing pollution is something all coastside residents should be working together to improve. There are ways we potentially harm our environment and use unnecessary energy that we may not even be aware of.  Here are five pollution/energy-sucking activities that we can easily change to help make our world around us a little greener.

Liquid Soaps

The use of liquid soaps, such as body wash, require five times the amount of energy for the production of raw materials and almost 20 times the amount of energy for packaging than that of bar soaps. When it comes to staying clean, use bar soaps instead of liquid soaps to reduce pollution in our environment.

Electronics

For some, it’s hard to imagine a life without electronics.  On average, a home in this nation has 24 devices that are using energy. Reduce energy and pollution by setting the device’s automatic brightness feature on them, and you could be cutting energy use by nearly 50 percent. Unplugging devices while not in use is another way to reduce energy use.

Home Appliances

Both your dishwasher and clothes dryer use a lot of energy along with producing a great deal of humidity and heat. If you are using an air conditioner, heat and humidity cause it to work harder resulting in more energy use. Save energy by running these home appliances in non-peak hours.  Hanging your clothes out to dry is another way of saving energy.

Coffee Pods

The Keurig machine has revolutionized the coffee industry, but it has also brought with it pollution.  The pods from the K-cup are not able to be recycled at many plants, and as a result, they end up in our landfills.  If you are stuck on using your machine, search for recycling facilities that will accept “number 7” plastic.

Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil will take centuries to biodegrade and yet many of us still use it. Replace it with unbleached parchment paper.  Not only is unbleached parchment paper biodegradable, it is also compostable.

Let’s all do our part to reduce pollution. Little changes can make big impacts.

If you are looking to buy or sell your coastal home, we’d love to hear how we can help you with your real estate goals. We can also offer you a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) of your home to advise you what it is worth. Contact us today via email or give us a call at (650) 888-6903.

The Top Germ Ridden Places In Your Coastside Home And How To Tackle Them

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

We all know germs are everywhere but many times we don’t think about all the places in our home that are harboring them.  Beyond causing illness, germs can also cause allergies to trigger. Below is a list of the most common germ ridden places in your coastside home and what you can do to get rid of them.

According to The Public Health and Safety Organization NSF, who tested 30 of the most common items in a home, the number one items to be ridden with germs by more than 75% was that of dish sponges and rags.  To kill those unwanted bugs, heat your sponges in the microwave daily for two minutes and discard after two weeks of use.

The second place in the home with the most germs is that of the kitchen sink.  The NSF study showed that 27% of sinks they tested had mold and yeast and 45% had coliform growing. Prevent germs by disinfecting not only the bottom but the sides of your sink as well at least once a week, but ideally twice a week.  The sink drains should be sanitized monthly.

The third most germ ridden place in the homes surveyed was the toothbrush holder. 64% of toothbrush holders were growing mold and yeast, 27% had coliform and 14% had staph.  The last thing you need is a toothbrush going into your mouth after it has been in contact with a germ infested holder.  Clean the holder weekly with hot soapy water.

Coming in fourth was pet bowls. They were found to have 45% mold and yeast growing and 18% had coliform.  Keep your pet healthy by thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting your pet’s bowl at least once a week.

The fifth most germ ridden place in the home may come as a surprise and a place you never considered - the reservoir of your coffee machine. 50% of machines tested had mold and yeast and 9% had coliform. To keep them clean use 4 cups of vinegar that is not diluted and allow it to sit for 30 minutes in the machine before running it. Rinse with fresh water until the aroma from the vinegar is gone.  This should be done monthly.

If you are looking to buy or sell your coastal home, we’d love to hear how we can help you with your real estate goals. If you are contemplating selling your home, find out how much it is worth with our online guide available here. Contact us today via email or give us a call at (650) 888-6903.

 

The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in the San Mateo County, including areas such as Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach,Montara, and Pacifica. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority.

 

How To Save On Your Coastside Home’s Electric Bill

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Is your monthly electric bill continuing to creep up each month even when you are consciously making an effort to turn off lights and unplug appliances?  Here are some tips to save you money on your coastside home’s electric bill.

  1. Energy Hogs - Start by identifying those things in your home that are sucking energy that you may not be aware of.  If your home has appliances that have a continuous display, or electronics in your home that are able to be operated via remote control or have an external power supply, they will continue to hog energy even when they are not on.  What that means is that even if your TV is off it is still sucking energy.   Purchase a smart power strip to plug in your devices and this will ensure that the power is truly shut off to the device.

  2. Usage Times - When there is less demand on the power grid the energy rates are lower in many areas. This is the time you want to optimize usage. With the help of a power monitor you can easily figure out the exact amount of energy your home is using throughout the day and use this information to make changes.  For instance, it may be beneficial to wait till later in the evening to do that load of laundry.

  3. Laundry - The average home owner does 4 loads of laundry or more a week.  To save energy, wash your clothes in cold water as much as possible and hang them on the line to dry.

  4. Appliance Appropriate For Cooking - If you have a small meal that needs to be cooked or heated up, consider skipping the oven and using a toaster oven to save electricity.

  5. Motion Activated - If you find that you are habitually forgetting to turn off or unplug hair styling appliances before you leave the house then a motion-activated outlet is perfect for you. These outlet adapters will turn off your device when it picks up that no one is in the room.

  6. LED Bulbs - To save money on energy, invest a little and buy LED light bulbs. An LED light bulb costs slightly more but outlasts an incandescent bulb by years.  Not only will it last longer it will use less energy.

  7. Water Heater - Your home’s water heater is responsible for up to 15 percent of your home’s energy consumption according to U.S. Department of Energy.  Save money by lowering the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees.

These are just a few of the many ways you can save energy and money in your coastside home. If you are looking to buy or sell your coastal home this spring, we’d love to hear how we can help you with your real estate goals. If you are contemplating selling your home find out how much it is worth with our online guide available here. Contact us today via email or give us a call at (650) 888-6903.

 

The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in the San Mateo County, including areas such as Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach,Montara, and Pacifica. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority.

 

5 Ingenious Ideas For Your Coastside Home’s Small Yard

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

If your home along the coast has a small yard it can be problematic at times when it comes to landscaping.   When it comes to finding a landscape solution for your petite yard here are a few ideas.

  1. Stepping Stones - Create a path using stepping stones nestled neatly through a flower bed in your front yard. Have the path of stepping stones lead to a set destination such as a birdbath, a nice chair, or even small tree.

  2. Overflowing Blooming Flowers - Consider planting a copious row of hydrangeas or aromatic roses along the street in front of your home. The addition of a small white picket fence not only provides support for the blooming flowers to drape over it also provides great curb appeal.

  3. Front Patio - If space is limited in your tiny yard a solution that is easy to upkeep is creating a front patio by using large irregular shaped stones.  Add some color around the stones by planting a few small planting beds or by placing a few potted plants along the stones.

  4. Green Square - Flagstone pavers are common in many small urban front yards, but using these pavers to create a square filled with greenery can make a small yard feel lively. Inside the square plant trees and shrubs by their height with smaller plants in the front and the larger in the back.  

  5. Planter Boxes -   Place raised planter boxes full of vibrant plants along the street in front of your home.  If you are looking for a low maintenance option plant grasses and other low-maintenance type plants. Raised planter boxes also are a great addition along the front of your home if you don’t want to have them along the curb.

These are just a few of the many options available to you if your coastside home’s yard is small.  Your home only gets one chance to make a great first impression so make it count.

If you are looking to buy or sell your coastal home, we’d love to hear how we can help you with your real estate goals. If you are contemplating selling your home find out how much it is worth with our online guide available here. Contact us today via email or give us a call at (650) 888-6903.

The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in the San Mateo County, including areas such as Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach,Montara, and Pacifica. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority.

 

The Benefits Of Raised Bed Gardening At Your Coastside Home

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

If you are interested in growing your own food and your coastside home does not offer the perfect yard space, then I highly suggest you consider raised bed gardening.  Don’t let the idea of it overwhelm you. There are kits readily available to purchase to make the task easier.

The benefits of utilizing raised bed gardening:

Drainage:  One of the top benefits of raised bed gardening is that your garden can maintain better water levels. The raised bed allows excess water to drain faster, which is great if your soil is too moist, and it prevents the plant’s roots from rotting. However, if your soil is too dry the water could drain too quickly. To maximize your water usage use small spaced raised garden beds.

Soil: Having a raised bed garden allows you the control over the quality of the soil. Don’t hesitate to bring in new soil and be sure to incorporate an organic mixture to strengthen your growing condition.  

Time:  Raised bed gardens tend to warm fast during the day compared to the surrounding soil of your yard. This allows your plants to bloom earlier. The same applies to the fall; your plants will live longer.

Pests: Depending on what type of raised bed method you choose to use, this gardening method typically provides for better pest control.  However, if you’re using logs to build up your garden bed be prepared to battle insects and all different kinds of critters.  A raised bed that is off the ground (many ready to make garden kits are) means you are more than likely going to have less pests.

Versatility:  No matter how much yard space your coastside home has, a raised garden bed is doable - making it very versatile. If you are short on space consider starting with container gardening or even vertical gardening.

Seeds: When it comes to raised bed gardening you only need to use the amount of seeds that you actually need. Whereas traditional gardens typically require you to plant more seeds in hope that at least a few will grow.

Growing your own plants and herbs can be very rewarding and relaxing. Enjoy your time outdoors.

If you are looking to buy or sell your coastal home this spring, we’d love to hear how we can help you with your real estate goals. If you are contemplating selling your home find out how much it is worth with our online guide available here. Contact us today via email or give us a call at (650) 888-6903.

 

The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in the San Mateo County, including areas such as Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach,Montara, and Pacifica. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority.

 

Allergy-proof Your Coastside Home By Avoiding These Cleaning Mistakes

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

April showers may bring May flowers, but along with the blooming environment around us comes allergies. If you want to allergy-proof your coastside home avoid these cleaning mistakes.

  1. Not cleaning in the right order - While cleaning your home, don’t ignore the things above you. We tend to start cleaning at our eye level, but this is a big mistake. Your ceiling fan can quickly become covered in a fine coat of dust and when you clean it off the dust particles spread throughout your home. This means if you had previously cleaned below it, you will have to clean again.  Start your cleaning by looking up and dusting what is above you before cleaning the rest of the room.

  2. Vacuum mistakes - Many vacuums come with numerous attachments that many owners never use.  To properly clean and remove all the dust from your home’s floor, break out those attachments. These are great for getting in between your wall and refrigerator and other tight places. They are also a great tool for cleaning off the dust that accumulates along the baseboards of your home.

  3. Mattress - When it comes to cleaning, many people forget about their mattress.  Your mattress can be home to millions of dust mites which can cause your allergies to flare up.  A green way to clean your mattress is by sprinkling it with baking soda. Allow it to sit for an hour and then vacuum it up.

  4. Commercial Cleaners - There are many abrasive cleaners on the market full of chemicals that may cause you to have respiratory problems after using.  Try making your own less harmful cleaners with natural items that you may have in your own home.  Click here for a list of ways to make your own cleaning products.

  5. Clutter - Spring cleaning is a waste of time if you don’t declutter your home first.  When cleaning, it’s only natural that many of us develop the habit of cleaning around all the clutter. However, by avoiding it you are leaving dust in your home.  Prior to cleaning pick up items left out, clean off spaces, and thoroughly remove dust everywhere.

Now is the time to start your spring cleaning.  If you are looking to sell your coastal home, we’d love to hear how we can help you with your real estate goals. We can also offer you a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) of your home to advise you what it is worth. Contact us today via email or give at (650) 888-6903.

The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL us a call clients in the San Mateo County, including areas such as Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach, Montara, and Pacifica. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority.

 

How To Maintain A Chemical-Free Garden

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

A garden that is healthy is the number one best defense against pesky weeds and menacing pests. There are an abundance of products on the market today to help your garden stay healthy by decreasing pests and weeds, but many of these products contact chemicals that could be toxic.  The good news is there are natural alternatives available that are affordable and will do the job just as well.

Oil Spray -  An oil spray pesticide that is combined of 1 cup of white mineral oil or vegetable oil mixed with ¼ cup of liquid dish soap makes a great  pesticide concentrate. Then use 1 tablespoon of the mixture combined with 4 cups of water to apply to the plants with a spray bottle. This diluted mixture should be applied to your garden liberally. Pay special attention to the backside of the leaves of your plants as this is where many pests tend to hide and lay their eggs.  The concentrate you make should be stored in an air tight jar and will keep for three months.

Peppermint - Peppermint oil is a wonderful natural alternative to keep pests at bay, particularly mice, rabbits, flies, lice, moths, aphids, ants, and caterpillars.  Create a minty solution by first filling a spray bottle with warm water and then add 1 tablespoon of pure peppermint oil. Next, shake vigorously so that the oil is evenly distrusted throughout the mixture and then lightly mist your garden plants.

Garlic - Garlic is a powerful tool in keeping away rodents, deer, raccoons, dogs, cats, rabbits, and even bears.  To create a garlic pepper spray pesticide begin by combining ½ cup of red chili peppers, 12 cloves of garlic, and 2 cups of water in a blender. Once blended strain the mixture, and add 1 cup of cooking oil. Allow the mixture to sit for two days then using a spray bottle apply to your garden.

Vinegar - Vinegar is a household product that is very versatile. Vinegar is great for making a natural weed killer. Take one gallon of vinegar and combine with 1 ounce of liquid dish soap in a spray bottle and apply it to the weeds in your garden.  This should be done on a sunny day with little to no wind to prevent it from blowing onto your plants as it will kill the plants. Use with caution.

Gardening season is right around the corner and the coast provides the perfect climate for gardening.

If you have decided it’s your time to buy a coastside home, our goal is to guide you through the process from the beginning to the purchase of your new home and beyond. Contact us today via email or give us a call at (650) 888-6903.

 

The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in the San Mateo County, including areas such as Half Moon BayEl GranadaMoss Beach,Montara, and PacificaYour complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority.

 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 35

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The Rain Team
CA# 01169588 | CA# 01125976 | CA# 01908304
248 Main Street, Suite 200
Half Moon Bay CA 94019
Michael: 650-888-6361
Kathy: 650-888-6903
Fax: 866-396-0207

Kathy and Michael Rain of Coldwell Banker provides real estate services in the San Mateo County, California area including the surrounding communities: El Granda, Half Moon Bay, Montara, Moss Beach, Pacifica and San Mateo. Search for homes in San Mateo County. We list and sell residential real estate, investment properties, vacant land, lots for sale in the San Mateo County, California area.

Licensed in the State of California

Kathy Rain - CA BRE# 01169588 | Michael Rain - CA BRE# 01125976 | Coldwell Banker - CA BRE# 01908304  

Email: therainteam@coastal-realestate.com
Cell Phone: (650) 888-6903 * Direct Phone: (650) 712-0411
San Mateo County Real Estate and Homes for Sale

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