4 Nifty Tricks To Make Your Extra Bedroom A ‘Home Away From Home’ For Summer Guests

4 Nifty Tricks To Make Your Extra Bedroom A ‘Home Away From Home’ For Summer Guests

Sprucing up your guest bedroom doesn’t have be a chore: even just a few minor and budget-friendly additions can make the room feel more inviting, even like a ‘home away from home’ for guests. They’ll know you prepared for their arrival and considered their needs, even with just a few of these items in the room. Follow these four tips to make your extra bedroom a place your guests will never want to leave. These small gestures can go a long way!

Tip #1: Add Fresh Flowers

Adding fresh flowers to any room can make it feel more lively and inviting. When your guests notice the pop of color, they’ll likely feel more welcome. It’s a nice gesture that shows that you care about their comfort!

Tip #2: Leave A Basket Of Summer Essentials: Sunscreen, Lotion, Bottled Water, Magazines

You never know what your guests forgot at home. You don’t have to go out of your way to get them an extra toothbrush (after all, you’re not running a hotel) but a few summer essentials won’t hurt. Include sunscreen and lotion just in case your guests end up spending a lot of time in the sun. Provide some light reading material that they can pick up in during their downtime. Leaving them some bottled water also shows special consideration for guests who may feel uncomfortable getting a glass of water in your kitchen in the middle of the night.  

Tip #3: Throw In Some Snacks

If you feel like spoiling your guests this summer, you can leave them a small basket of goodies, too! Fresh fruit is a good choice for the season, but small treats like chocolate are also an option. Your guests may want to indulge their sweet tooth or get a snack, but may feel embarrassed going through your fridge.

Tip #4: Have A Fan And Extra Blankets In The Room

The temperature of your extra room can affect your guests’ comfort. Some may be more comfortable at colder temperatures while others prefer warmer ones. Be prepared for every type of guest by leaving both a fan and extra blankets in the room. This way, those who want to cool down even more can use the fan, while those who may be uncomfortable with the air conditioner running during the summer months can stay warm with the blankets.

Of course, these aren’t the only ways you can make your guests feel welcome in your home this summer. Don’t be afraid to ask them what they need or would like to have at their disposal in the room before they arrive!

Want to know more about your neighborhood? Plug an address into NeighborWho’s property finder and see what you can find!

Keep Your Garden Looking Fresh This Summer With 10 Flowers That May Beat The Heat

Keep Your Garden Looking Fresh This Summer With 10 Flowers That May Beat The Heat

No matter where you live, chances are you’re preparing your garden for the summer months. Not all plants are made for the sweltering temperatures, and in areas where water shortages are frequent, this can mean that your garden won’t look as lush and colorful as you’d like. While some of your flowers may not survive, we’ve compiled a list of 10 plants to keep your garden looking fresh — despite the summer heat.

Madagascar Periwinkle

Also known as the rose periwinkle, the Madagascar periwinkle is a perennial that thrives in both humidity and dry heat. The flowers may be found in white, pink and rosy-purple. These should be planted in a dry garden bed, preferably with some sand or other grit. The key is providing poor soil for the plant: excessively fertile soil can actually reduce the number of blooms. So remember: water sparingly!

Lantana

These beautiful, delicate clusters of flowers are particularly fragrant, and manifest as a mix of red, orange, yellow, or blue and white florets. They’re easy to add to any garden: choose a sunny location and plant them in well-draining, slightly acidic soil. Soaking them about once a week should suffice, but too much watering puts them at risk for developing root rot. These flowers do a particularly good job at attracting butterflies, too!

Zinnia

These annuals make a great addition to your garden, especially if you’re looking to add bright color. Mature plants are somewhat drought-tolerant, but younger plants require moist soil, so watering at the base of the plant is needed. Experts recommend that zinnias be planted in a sunny flower bed.

Petunia

Caring for petunias is easy: plant them in sun-drenched areas and water them about once a week. These plants don’t tolerate high humidity or frequent rains very well, but with the proper care and conditions, they will provide abundant blooms all summer.

Black-eyed Susan

These perky flowers grow all summer long, and are a heat and drought tolerant specimen. They thrive in a full sun to light shade location and attract all kinds of wildlife, such as deer, butterflies, rabbits, and other critters. To avoid this, plant them near lavender, rosemary, or other repellant plants and keep them at bay.

Reflexed Stonecrop

The reflexed stonecrop is a succulent, which means that it thrives in dry, hot conditions. It also means that it’s a popular choice for homeowners who have rock gardens because the weather causes their grass and other plants to turn brown.

Blanket Flower

These bright blooms thrive on neglect, so the less they’re watered and the more they’re exposed to the sun, the healthier they’ll be. However, newly planted blanket flower seeds need to be kept moist until the plants mature.

Penstemon

These tubular flowers are popular in the Western United States and tolerate drought conditions and low-nutrient soil. As young plants in your garden, they need to be watered about once a week. You can reduce the frequency of watering as the plant matures.

California Poppy

As its name suggests, this flower blooms in a drier, hotter climate and does not fare well in wet soil or in shade. Plant in full sun locations with highly fertile but well-drained soil for the best results! This perennial wildflower is California’s state flower because of its bright color, but is considered a possible pest plant in some areas.

Mexican feather grass

These ornamental grasses are native to the south-western United States, northern Mexico, and Argentina, and thus are accustomed to drier climates. Adding these grasses in your garden is quite simple: during its first growing season, water a few times a week to help it grow healthy roots. After that, the plant only needs a deep watering once or twice a month.

Your garden is your haven: regardless of which plants you choose to add to your yard, we’re sure they brighten your day, every day!

Want to know more about your neighborhood? Plug an address into NeighborWho’s property finder and see what you can find!

10 Small Ways You Can Make Your Garage Sale Even More Successful

10 Small Ways You Can Make Your Garage Sale Even More Successful

The boxes of belongings are ready, you’ve got all the supplies and manpower you need, and you finally decided to take the leap: you’re ready for your garage sale.

Every year, families across the country decide to give their old and used items a new home by selling them to neighbors and passersby. Whether they’re toys, old furniture, out-of-fashion clothes, or just some dusty books, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Let’s consider the basics of putting together a garage sale. First you need to find a space and in some cases the appropriate permits. Then you’ll create some basic advertising and street signs. Finally, you’ll keep your eyes locked on the weather reports for the big day (or days). All that considered, here are all the things you forgot to think about that can help make your garage sale the talk of the town!

1 – Even If You Have A Lot Of Stuff, Don’t Put Everything Out

It may seem counterintuitive, as you maybe looking to get rid of as many belongings as possible. After all, that is why you’re organizing a garage sale to begin with. If you have a lot of items, they will likely pile on top of one another, so it’s important to remember that aesthetics are key. You don’t want people to walk or drive past your garage sale and get turned off by the sheer amount that’s put in front of them. It can look disorganized and unappealing. Next, even if you neatly organize all of your items, a passerby with limited time to spare may decide not to check out your sale because there’s too much to peruse. Removing that extra bookshelf or rack of clothes can be enough to entice someone to stop and check out your goods!

2 – Put All The Good Stuff In Plain View

All the “good stuff” doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive stuff. Sure, you should put the big-ticket items in plain view, but it’s just as important to put the more colorful items closest to the street so that they can easily catch the eye of anyone passing by.

3 – Be Prepared To Accept Credit And Debit Cards

Traditionally, homeowners are more inclined to only accept cash in exchange for their garage sale items. And although some may consider it a hassle to accept credit and debit cards, the process is getting easier and easier. Of course, you can get a card reader to attach to your smartphone, but be open to online payments through mobile payment apps or digital wallets. If someone who isn’t carrying cash stops by your garage sale, you want them to be able to pay for the items that they want!

4 – Have Plastic Bags And Newspaper On Hand

Not everyone who shows up to your garage sale will have planned for a shopping trip. This is when it would be handy to have plastic bags and newspaper handy. The newspaper can be used to wrap the more fragile items, while the plastic bags can be reserved for those who came without their own means to transport items back home.

5 – Have A Mirror, Extension Cord, And Batteries On Hand, Too

If you’re selling electronics that are normally powered by batteries or by an electrical cord, it’s smart to have the means to demonstrate that these items work during your garage sale. Some customers may want to test out or turn on the item before making a purchase, and you don’t want to lose a sale because of someone’s doubt. Similarly, have a mirror propped up if you’re selling clothes or jewelry — folks may want to see how they look with those items on before buying them.

6 – Have Treats And Beverages Ready

Chances are, your garage sale will take place outside, and in the summer heat, you can lose customers who don’t want to spend too much time outdoors. Have a cooler of soft drinks, lemonade, and water to sell while folks browse your sale, and they may be less likely to leave early. Go the extra mile and have some homemade treats there, too!

7 – Offer Deals And Be Prepared To Negotiate

You’ve priced all your items, but chances are you’re not going to get the amount you ask for on every item. Some savvy buyers know that the point of a garage sale is to get rid of as many items as possible, so they won’t be afraid to ask you to slash prices. Be prepared to negotiate, but you can also offer deals on some of your belongings. For example, offer small bundles of books for one price instead of pricing them individually, and people will be more inclined to think they are getting a good deal.

8 – Go Through All Items To Avoid Selling Your Personal Info

It seems obvious to go through all of your items before throwing them in the ‘to sell’ pile before your garage sale, but sometimes sellers don’t do it thoroughly enough. Old credit card receipts in books, personal notes in pockets, and other identifying information can allow others to steal your personal sensitive information. Avoid this by being particularly thorough when going through all the items you’re selling.

9 – Make An ‘All Sales Final’ Sign

If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of people coming back to return items, be clear that all sales are final. Some buyers won’t hesitate to come back to your garage sale later in the day or the next day to return an item they aren’t happy with. Without the sign, you’re wasting their time if they come back, and your own time by having to tell them the bad news.

10 – Cut The Grass

Finally, appearances are everything: mow your lawn, tidy up the hedges, and generally make the outside area where your garage sale will be nice to look at. People are likely to associate the outdoor area with the quality of the items sold, so you want them to think the best of both!

Want to know more about your neighborhood? Plug an address into NeighborWho’s property finder and see what you can find!

What Is Neighbor Spoofing? Recognize The Signs And Know How To Stop Robocallers

What Is Neighbor Spoofing? Recognize The Signs And Know How To Stop Robocallers

Disclaimer: The below is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.

What Is Neighbor Spoofing?

If you own a phone, chances are you’ve experienced this scenario: you get a call or text from an unknown caller I.D., but you notice that both the area code and the first three digits of the unfamiliar number match yours. Your intuition tells you to answer: if the number is local, it must be someone you know — but when you do, it’s a telemarketer, scammer, or robocaller.

This is what has come to be known as ‘neighbor spoofing.’

Why You’re Getting Calls From Numbers That Look Like Yours

There are two types of neighbor spoofing, otherwise known as NPA-NXX spoofing, to look out for:

  1. When robocallers use a number with the same area code and exchange as your own, a.k.a., the first six numbers.
  2. When scammers impersonate and modify phone numbers from neighbors, friends, and local business to entice you to pick up the phone.

Neighbor spoofing isn’t just a threat to the security of your personal information, but it’s also illegal. Despite this, 2.4 billion robocalls were made in the U.S. in September 2015 alone — nearly twice the amount made that time the year before, according to Consumer Reports.    

How Does Neighbor Spoofing Work?

The people behind these calls prey upon your instinct to pick up the phone if the number trying to reach you looks like a local one. It’s tempting to believe that a number that looks almost exactly like yours really is that of a someone in your community but this usually isn’t the case. The targets who are the most likely to respond to such calls and give away their information are more vulnerable populations, such as the elderly. These tricks and mind games rely on one assumption: that people would prefer to risk answering a scammer’s call rather than missing an important call.

How Can I Stop Neighbor Spoofing?

Use Call Blocking Services Or Apps

Mobile apps, features built into your phone, cloud-based services, call-blocking devices, or services provided by your phone service carrier can help when trying to weed out unwanted spam calls and neighbor spoofing. Some of these services may cost money, but can help enormously when trying to protect yourself against scammers.   

Register Your Number With The Do Not Call Registry

It’s not a foolproof method for blocking neighbor spoofing, but adding your phone number to the Do Not Call Registry can prevent telemarketers from trying to reach you. However, only sales calls from legitimate companies can be stopped.

Don’t Answer Unfamiliar Calls

It may be frustrating to continuously get calls from unknown numbers, and then try to determine if they’re being made by people you actually know. But it’s generally wise to avoid answering calls and texts from numbers you don’t recognize. If you miss an important call from your doctor’s office, your child’s school, or a local business, the caller will likely leave you a voicemail so you can get back to them in a timely manner. If you do pick up a call made by a telemarketer, scammer, or robocaller, promptly hang up.

Report Unwanted Calls

You can easily check out who is calling you by using a reverse phone search. Plug in the number and see if others are reporting that the same one is being used in neighbor spoofing. You can even be the first to report the number and help others avoid traps set by scammers. Whether it’s stealing your time, your money, your identity, or your information, neighbor spoofing can be dangerous and invasive. Any measures taken to protect yourself are worth it.

Are you a NeighborWho subscriber? Try our Phone Search to lookup those suspicious numbers and protect yourself against telemarketers, scammers, and robocallers.

Corporal Kennedy St., Bayside, New York: The perfect balance of cozy Queens neighborhood and New York City nightlife.

Corporal Kennedy St., Bayside, New York: The perfect balance of cozy Queens neighborhood and New York City nightlife.

With our sights set on areas like Long Island City and Ridgewood, we had a general idea for the type of neighborhood that we were looking for; the type of street we were looking for. Most important to us, we were looking for a pet friendly home that was also near mass transit and the highway so I could get to Midtown and my other half could get to Long Island for work.

Corporal Kennedy St. in Bayside, New York, beat out everything else that we looked at. On the eastern side of Flushing, Bayside remains one of the safest neighborhoods in Queens. The apartments were bigger, the streets were cleaner, and there were plenty of necessities steps away from where we settled in.

Corporal Kennedy is a small stretch from just before 26th Avenue through to Northern Boulevard. On the 26th Avenue end sits Bay Terrace Shopping Mall where you will find a newly renovated and Peapod delivery service equipped Stop N’ Shop grocery store, an AMC Loews movie theater with seats you can reserve ahead of time, restaurants like the freshly added Allora Italian Kitchen & Bar, and just about every style of clothing under the sun (Aldo, American Eagle, Gap, Express, New York & Company, you name it.) Best of all, there’s a brand new Home Goods that makes it much easier to cozy up your home to fit the vibe of the area.

Moving south on Corporal Kennedy, you’ll find an architectural masterpiece, Bayside High School. Bringing a youthful life to the area, teens from all over the borough can be found school also offers a variety of community activities. One added benefit of such a large public high school is that there are plenty of buses that make their way up Corporal Kennedy to accommodate the students and faculty.

The majority of Corporal Kennedy is a divided two-lane road featuring some of the most beautiful houses in Bayside. The area leans toward middle to middle-upper class with a diverse demographic of languages and cultures represented. This diversity is brought to life just steps away on Bell Boulevard. Bell Boulevard was featured in The New York Times as a nightlife hotspot. Restaurants and bars make up the majority of the main thoroughfare and just about all of Bayside takes advantage of the amazing food and drinks (not to mention there is a pizzeria on just about every block.) Living on Corporal Kennedy, you get the benefits of the nightlife without the bustle of living on the boulevard. On top of the great drinks and music, you can find  a taste of just about every cuisine from Italian to Indian and everything in between.

Corporal Kennedy St. is also all about proximity and convenience. The Bayside Train Station (an express stop on the Long Island Rail Road) will get you to and from New York City in less than 30 minutes. Easy access to the Clearview Expressway (the direct line up to the Throgs Neck Bridge the Bronx and beyond, the Cross Island Parkway, the Long Island Expressway, and the Northern State are all reachable just minutes from your home. You can get just about anywhere, in any which way, from Corporal Kennedy St.