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Weekends are meant for coaching a youth soccer team to victory, chopping your way through “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” or training for a 5K to help save the pandas — not working your way through a tedious, 30-item maintenance checklist. But then, taking care of the home you love is important, too.
So how do you have your fun and keep a well-maintained home?
It’s simple: Just be mindful of your home. You don’t need a rigid maintenance list. (They work best for Type A people anyway.) Instead, train your senses to warn you of these problems, and then act ASAP:
Your Dryer Seems Hotter Than Usual
If your clothes and your dryer are super, super hot or, conversely, your dryer is taking longer to dry, you could have a clogged lint vent, a leading cause of house fires. “Sometimes the dryer connection will wiggle loose going to the outside, causing all sorts of issues with lint,” says Jeff Devlin, licensed contractor and host of DIY Network’s “Stone House Revival” and “I Hate My Bath.” Heat and packed lint make the perfect recipe for fire. To defuse that combination:
Pull out the dryer connection — this is the tube or pipe that connects the dryer to the window vent.
Suck out all the lint from the pipe and pipe connection with a vacuum attachment.
Re-attach, making sure it’s not loose or bent.
You can also hire a pro to do it.
You Smell Something Musty
Your nose knows what’s normal in your home. “If you go into a room and it smells musty, there’s something going on,” says Frank Lesh, executive director of American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). When you smell that mildew-y smell, you know you’ve got a problem, he says. What kind of problem? Read on.
You Can See Mold or Mildew
Mold and mildew are the banners for moisture, your home’s No. 1 enemy. If you see them, you know moisture has broken through your home’s defenses and is bringing reinforcements. Find out where the water source is and eradicate it ASAP. Moisture is like cancer to a home. If you don’t catch it early, it will eat away at your home’s very structure, causing major damage to its foundation, walls, floors, and ceilings.
Related:How to Never Ever Have to Clean Bathroom Mold Again
You Spot a Water Stain
You get it now. Water = bad. So even a faint water stain should light a fire under you. Zero in on the source before moisture can settle into your home’s bones. A water stain on the ceiling could signal a leak in your roof, or if it’s under a bathroom it could be a pipe that’s leaking. Stain under a window? Your window may need caulking.
Your Drain Is Really Slow (and It Gurgles)
Showering in water up to your ankles defeats the purpose. “A clean drain is a healthy drain,” says Devlin. If your drain makes odd noises and takes foreeeeeeever, you could be at risk of a sewer backup, which is not only a moisture issue, but one that ranks high on the stinky scale. If you’re lucky, it could be a simple clog, but either way it might be a good idea to put your plumber’s number in your cellphone’s favorites list.
You Hear Something That's Alive
The pitter-patter of tiny rodent footsteps is enough to send shivers down your spine — and can quickly multiply into a mini stampede. One couple found out the hard way.
“We found that a squirrel had taken up residence in the attic and was chewing through electrical wires,” says David Bowers. By the time he and his partner, Sharon Bowers, (BTW, they co-authored “The Useful Book: 201 Life Skills They Used to Teach in Home Ec and Shop”) got around to calling a pro, an entire squirrel family (with more on the way!) had settled in to dine on those wires — a costly fix that was also a fire hazard.
If you hear unwanted visitors, evict them quickly, then block the entry they used. With squirrels, it might be an overgrown tree limb, which they use to jump onto your roof and then slip through a hole under roof flashing or rotting fascia, or an open window. For smaller pests, keep in mind they can come in through the tiniest of holes. (Mice can squeeze through a dime-sized opening.)
Your Gutters Create Waterfalls
You may love the smell and sound of rain, but when it’s cascading off your gutters in torrents instead of traveling neatly through them … well, remember those warnings about moisture? Cleaning the gutters is home maintenance 101 for good reason. “It can lead to exterior damage, as well as water damaging the foundations,” says Bowers. If you spot a gutter clog, clear it. You’ll be happier for it. It’s probably the best thing you can do to protect your home.
Related:
How to Get Rid of Your Home’s Ickiest Bugs
How to Plan a Remodel When You Don’t Have the Time
This home maintenance list is for people with better things to do than a honey-do list. Know how to maintain your home with the least amount of hassle.
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Morning fog of Garden
by Etsuro Takihara
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Summer brings out the creepy-crawlies: Ants marching one-by-one toward your kitchen, fruit flies swarming your ripe farmers’ market peaches, and wasps sending you and your guests scrambling from the barbecue.
Don’t panic. You can get rid of these irritating bugs without expending too much effort, as long as you follow these expert-approved do’s and don’ts.
Ants
These pesky crawlers form a beeline — or an antline, if you will — to any “sugary, sweet substances, crumbs on your countertop, and food spillage on the floors,” says Nancy Troyano, Ph.D., a board-certified entomologist and director of technical education and training at Rentokil North America Pest Control. “That’s exactly what they’re going after.”
Do:Follow their trail to spot and seal any sneaky entrances.
Don’t:Spray ants with cleaners or combine borax and powdered sugar to poison their food source.
Foraging ants lay a trail of pheromones to food their family can follow. Cut off their food supply by keeping your space spotless — wipe up spilled apple juice on your countertops, and clear the crumbs from the bottom of your trash bin.
If you do spot their tiny parade, Troyano says to grab a tube of sealant and follow the ants until you find their itty-bitty entrance.
Attacking them head on rarely works — and can even make it worse! Who hasn’t picked up a spray bottle of cleaner and led an all-out assault on those pesky buggers? Turns out spraying them with household cleaners might kick-start the “budding” process, where surviving ants break away to form new colonies — and breed lots of new ant babies.
Combining sugar and borax is another DIY method that hurts more than helps. While borax will kill the ants —though it’s also an irritant that can be toxic to pets — the sugar “may end up attracting ants that wouldn’t have been there in the first place,” Troyano says.
Roaches
These nasty crawlers are “nocturnal and secretive in nature,” says Troyano. Even worse? They travel in groups. “If you spot one, it’s searching for food because the other roaches are eating all the rest,” she says.
Do:Scrub your space and lay out commercial-grade roach traps as soon as you spot one.
Don’t:Try to handle an infestation solo. Call a professional exterminator if you’ve spotted more than a roach or two.
When it comes to cockroaches, pros know best.
“Roaches hide so well in such tiny cracks and crevices and niches,” Troyano says. “Unless you’re trained to think like the roach, it’s very difficult to be able to get them all.”
While store-bought roach traps and bait can help, two steps are mandatory to truly kill an infestation:
Remove any food sources, like hamburger grease and crumbs.
Then hire an exterminator.
If you’ve got an infestation on your hands, or you can’t tell if the one roach you caught has friends lurking somewhere, “you absolutely need to call pest management,” Troyano says. “Roaches aren’t something home remedies will fix.”
Wasps
The worst of the worst when it comes to warm weather pests, wasps are difficult to prevent and a pain to kill — literally, as you might suffer a sting or two in the process.
Do:Kill the queens early and stock up on aerosol insecticide spray if you and your environment can handle the toxins. Wasp traps are a safer alternative, but the buggers will keep coming back if you don’t remove their home.
Don’t:Destroy nests during the day or plug the entrance to a yellow jacket nest.
Residential backyards are most commonly home to either yellow jackets or paper wasps. Queens of both species tuck away in your yard, wood piles, or any other small holes during the winter and emerge in search of a home for their next colony when the weather warms. If you spot a single, solitary wasp wandering your yard, don’t feel any shame in cold-blooded insect murder.
Troyano found two wintering yellow jacket queens in her picnic table umbrella, both ready to start hunting for a new nest.
“I didn’t give them the chance to do that,” she says. “I prevented two colonies from forming.”
To kill a single wasp or an entire nest, Troyano recommends aerosol insecticide. If you’re concerned about toxicity — these sprays typically include pyrethrins, which can cause respiratory problems if used incorrectly — hire an exterminator. If you’re brave enough to tackle a nest yourself, only do it at night when all wasps are back and sleeping. Stand as far away as the spray allows (most work from 20-plus feet) and wear thick, full-coverage clothing. Plan your escape route before spraying.
Of course, hiring an exterminator is safer — and necessary in some cases. Yellow jacket wasps like to build nests underneath siding. Some homeowners might be tempted to starve them out by plugging the entrance, a terrible, terrible, horrendous mistake.
“Yellow jackets are chewers,” she says. They’ll chew through the other side of their nest to get insideyour house. “Every year, we get calls from frantic people because they see a soft, wet hole in their drywall, and they’ll poke it, and yellow jackets come spilling out,” Troyano says.
Mosquitoes
Not only can these summertime snipers ruin your barbecue and session-beer tasting with their incessant biting, they can also dose you with Zika or West Nile.
Do: Get rid of any standing water, which is their breeding ground, or treat the water with a larvicide.
Don’t: Don’t use any pesticide with methoprene, which can harm fish and pets, and never apply pesticides to drinking water.
Don’t let mosquitoes make babies on your watch. That’s your No. 1 defense against them. Check birdbaths, storm drains, potted plants, any place water can collect, then dump any you find. Mosquitoes only need one or two weeks to breed, so hurry!
Can’t dump it out? Treat standing water with mosquito-fighting granules or briquets, larvicides that kill bugs before they start biting. Look for products containing Bti, not methoprene, which is toxic to fish, causes vomiting in some dogs, and can irritate your skin.
To keep them from attacking you when you’re relaxing on your back porch, simply blow them away. Literally. Their tiny, evil bodies can’t fight even the slightest breeze. A simple fan will do the trick (but a ceiling fan would be way cooler!).
Fruit Flies
Summer brings these frequent fliers in droves, and nothing seems to keep them away. They might even be catching a ride inside with you: Grocery store produce can be tiny Trojan horses stuffed with fruit fly eggs ready to hatch.
Do:Clean your kitchen and use vinegar traps to snag stragglers.
Don’t:Bother trying to seal them out.
The best way to keep your home fly-free is by cleaning up what Troyano calls “secondary environments,” like your garbage disposal or trash can and putting all of your food in the refrigerator immediately.
That may be a tough call for foodies who are loathe to ruin their heirloom tomatoes in a chilly fridge. Cleaning the produce bowl daily and removing any food with broken skin can stave off flies, but Troyano says putting everything away is the only fail-safe.
Even after a thorough scrubbing, you still might find a few little guys hovering in your kitchen. A homemade trap, created by placing a small amount of cider vinegar in a jar and covering it with plastic wrap punched with a few holes, can help eliminate the flies’ last stand.
Unlike ants, you can’t seal your home from fruit flies. Because they’re only a few millimeters long, they can even squeeze through screened windows.
Related:How to Stop the Smells and General Funk That Invade Your Home
TOPICImprove, Organize & Maintain, Home Maintenance Tips, Get Rid Of Pests
There’s tons of advice on how to get rid of bugs, but entomologists know the real tricks. Here’s how they zap bugs, including ants and wasp nests.
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After many months of planning, the joint city of Wilmington and New Hanover County committee on workforce and affordable housing will be holding its first meeting Tuesday at the New Hanover County Executive Development Center.
One item the committee may use to help guide it is a community survey, which was conducted a few months ago by University of North Carolina – Wilmington professors Kristen DeVall and Christina Lanier. The two professors, both part of the university’s Department of Sociology and Criminology, put the survey together in conjunction with the Cape Fear Housing Coalition, a group for which the mission is to increase access to affordable and safe housing in the region.
The results of the survey were distributed online as well as via hard copy. They showed that 92.1 percent of the 659 respondents believe that there is a need for affordable housing in New Hanover County. According to the results, 36.1 percent of participants believe “affordable housing” in the area means a monthly payment of $500 to $799 for a single family home. Overall, 79 percent of respondents believe affordable monthly rent or mortgage payments should be less than $1,000.
These numbers, along with the other results of the survey, could be used in several ways, such as to set out a definition for “affordable housing” and to gauge people’s opinions on how and where to build low-cost units (which can also include homes and apartments built for senior citizens and retirees.)
For example, the results showed that people were willing to support various housing initiatives, such as governmental subsidies and incentives. But respondents had mixed reactions to how having low-cost housing near them would affect property values, as well as the attractiveness and character of their neighborhoods.
The survey results, as well as other studies, statistics and the expertise of the various members, will all be considered by the committee to help address the issue.
The ad-hoc committee is a direct result of last fall’s Mayor’s Roundtable on Affordable Housing, during which a panel of several community leaders from government, higher education, construction, banking, community non-profits and others gathered to inform people about the need for more quality, inexpensive housing in Wilmington and New Hanover County.
Made up of 14 members (seven appointed by Wilmington City Council and seven by the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners), the first meeting will likely involve introductions and a first look at the ways the complex issue can be tackled, according to officials.
The committee’s overall goal is to comprehensively examine the need for affordable housing and come up with best practices for addressing it, which they will then present to both City Council and the Board of Commissioners.
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There is a light at the end of every tunnel
Some tunnels just happen to be longer than others

-
#quotes   #light   #nature  
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4002 Oleander Dr #1a Wilmington, NC 28403
4002 Oleander Drive #1aUSNorth CarolinaWilmington28403
Property Management Company, Apartment Rental Agency
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"I highly recommend Victory Property Management when renting homes in Wilmington."
"In that time, I have experienced nothing but quality customer service."
"Everyone in the office is always gung ho and quick to jump on things."
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All reviews
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Mary Ann Kannan
3 months ago
I have been very happy with Victory Property Management. They manage my home in Wilmington which is really comforting since I don't live in town. Jamie and the rest of the staff are always willing to assist me with any concerns. I also appreciate the fact that they always contact me before any decisions are made on work at the townhouse. I would suggest them to anyone looking for assistance in rentals or home management.
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Kenny L
5 months ago
Victory Property Management has been great to work with. They were very helpful in finding a rental property that fit the needs of my family. The property itself has been fantastic and we've been very comfortable here. The few times we've needed repairs the response has always been prompt. I would absolutely recommend VPM to anyone in need of their services.
Response from the owner - 4 months ago
Very much appreciated Kenny!
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Amil Abdallah
5 months ago
I highly recommend Victory Property Management when renting homes in Wilmington. Jamie Johnson has especially been a great help as she's been there to assist me with any questions or concerns I have had in the past!
Response from the owner - 4 months ago
Thanks a ton for the kind words!
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Cynthia Prince
a year ago
Our experience with Victory could not have been better. Always professional; good communication; quick to respond to any issue or concern. I highly recommend Victory for your property management needs.
Response from the owner - 6 months ago
Thank you so much for the kind words Cynthia!
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Nicholas Rosenthal
6 months ago
My wife and I have had Victory managing our house in Wilmington for nearly 5 years now, and we wanted to drop a line to say how extremely happy we have been with their service. Everyone in the office is always gung ho and quick to jump on things. We recently had a pipe burst and it flooded the house. While we were scared to death at first, we were really impressed with how well Victory handled the whole thing. It seemed like everyone in the company was involved in getting us back up and running again. They explained that despite an awful lot of damage, insurance usually covers nearly everything. Then they helped to make that a reality. They really went over and above to say the least, and got great results too. While we had been happy all along, things went so smoothly we didn't give much thought to why. When the flood occurred, we thought we had finally hit that point so many others tell us about where a rental becomes a total nightmare, but it wasn't! Not even close. We were going to sell soon, but with very little effort or stress and pretty decent monthly income, we've decided we're just going to leave it on the Victory rental program and keep this place as a retirement account. Nicholas
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Response from the owner - 4 months ago
Thank you Nicholas!
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Daniel Wortman
4 months ago
GREAT SERVICE!!! I have had nothing but a great experience with Victory. They were able to get my condo rented with a long term person, they take care of issues if they arise without any work from me! Must have for property management in my opinion!!!
Response from the owner - 6 months ago
Thanks a ton for the kind words!
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Danny elopat
2 years ago
I currently live in Raleigh and have a rental property on Carolina Beach, NC. I went through a cycle of 3 nightmare tenants in a time frame of less than a year! I considered selling but quickly realized I would lose everything I had invested in my condo. At wits end with renters, I came across Victory Real Estate, and they have been great. I have had a solid renter in my unit for about 14 months and have no complaints. I was very pleased at how they advertised my unit and how hard they qualified the applications. After waiting with a vacant unit for a few months, I was ready to accept just about anyone. But with Danielle's help I was able to find a great renter and I'm finally seeing some income from this place.
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Response from the owner - 2 years ago
Thank you Danny!
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Justin Welan
3 years ago
Victory has managed my Wilmington, NC property for almost two full years. In that time, I have experienced nothing but quality customer service. The majority of my interaction has been with Danielle. She has proven herself to be professional and competent in all of our dealings. I have had more limited interaction with Ralph, however, like Danielle, he has been quick to respond to my questions and/or concerns. Our house has been occupied every month since we hired Victory. During that time they have seamlessly handled multiple maintenance issues, keeping both me and the tenant updated and informed. I have recommended Victory to multiple friends in the Wilmington area, and have yet to hear a complaint from any of them. Instead, I received thanks for introducing them to Victory.
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Response from the owner - 2 years ago
Thanks a ton Justin!