TIP OF THE WEEK

Dealing with snow

Are you ready if a blizzard hit tomorrow? Beyond securing the necessities and winterizing your home, there are a number of tools that work even when your power doesn’t. Below are the tools that can make dealing with a large accumulation of snowfall much more pleasant, according to Greenworks.

* A battery-powered snow thrower cleans off the driveway and will get the job done and eliminate the noise and hassles of dealing with fossil-fuel options.

* A generator that provides portable power can be of great use in charging cell phones or other essentials.

* A cordless, battery-powered snow shovel helps clear a path without the back-breaking work.

* A cordless, portable heater helps prevent frostbite in the absence of electricity or a fireplace.

With a little preparation, you will be ready for anything Jack Frost throws at you this winter.

YOU BETTER WATCH OUT

Home security tips

Be prepared and protect your home before you travel with the following tips from USAA.com/ADT:

Set the system: It may sound simple, but it is important for people to remember to set their home security systems to the appropriate settings before leaving for travel.

Smart doorbell: Invest in a smart doorbell, which automatically sends a text or email to you each time the bell is triggered.

Remote locks: These locks are useful if you are planning on going away for the holidays, but still need to allow certain visitors into your home while you’re gone.

Video: With video surveillance, you’ll be able see live video of your home from your smartphone, tablet or computer.

PESTS

Keep the bugs out

The experts at Terminix have a few tips for protecting your kitchen from insects, so that you can spend your time enjoying the holidays rather than combating pests.

Start with a deep clean: Clean your kitchen and pantry top to bottom, removing food spillage and stains that could attract pests.

Don’t try to salvage contaminated food: If you find a food item that’s been contaminated, simply throw it out.

Store supplies carefully: Seal the plethora of holiday leftovers and open packages in airtight containers.

Inspect new purchases for signs of damage: Be sure to examine each new food product for signs that it could already be infested.

Call in a professional: Trained technicians can help determine what kind of pest is trying to invite itself to your classy dinner, and how best to get rid of them.

REAL ESTATE

Buying in a seller’s market

Here are some tips from the pros at RE/MAX for buying a home in a seller’s market. Prequalification vs. preapproval. They’re not created equal. In a mortgage pre approval, you do all of the paperwork upfront.

An experienced Realtor. Don’t even think about starting the process of buying a home in a seller’s market without an experienced Realtor in your corner.

Interest rates. Experts predict we’ll see a few more increases in 2019.

Speed. Be flexible enough to get to showings quickly.Your best offer. Figure out the best offer you can afford and go with it up front.