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Real Estate Blog

Thursday, April 05, 2012

The CPSC has recalled 900,000 child safety cabinet locks that don’t do the job.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is recalling 900,000 child safety cabinet locks that don’t keep kids out of cabinets. Nearly 1 million child safety cabinet locks have been recalled because they don’t lock cabinets and won’t work for child-proofing your home.

Three children went to the emergency room after locks failed and they drank or handled toxic cleaners. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Dorel Juvenile Group, has recalled 900,000 Safety 1st Push ‘N Snap Cabinet Locks, which wrap around cabinet door knobs and handles.

The company has received 140 reports that children between ages 9 months and 5 years have been able to disengage the locks and gain access to the cabinet’s contents. In three of the incidents, children went to the emergency room after they opened cabinets and swallowed or handled dishwashing detergent, window cleaner, and oven cleaner. No fatalities were reported.

The CPSC says consumers should immediately remove the recalled locks from cabinets, store dangerous items out of reach of children, and contact DJG for a free replacement.

More tips for child-proofing your home contact the real estate professionals at Bristol Properties International. In Boca Raton, call 561-347-1303 or Naples call 239-352-6400.

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Thursday, April 05, 2012


Is your kitchen storage overwhelmed by gizmos you thought would change your life, but only take up space? You’re not alone. Famous foodies make mistakes, too.

If your kitchen is cluttered with gadgets and gizmos you never use, don’t feel bad. Even foodies who should know better overwhelm their kitchen cabinets with pots, pans, and utensils they never use. In a recent New York Times article, "Top Chef" judge Gail Simmons confesses that her professional-grade espresso maker merely takes up counter space, because she always orders coffee out.

Sara Moulton, host of PBS’s "Sara’s Weeknight Meals," never touches the pressure cooker she just had to have. And Meredith Smith, who edits the food blog Serious Eats, dries fresh pasta (on the rare occasion she makes fresh pasta) on the back of chairs, rather than the drying rack she owns.

What can you do with all these "skeletons in the kitchen closet," as Simmons calls them?

Here are some ways to squeeze in or free up more storage space.

- Hang a pegboard and artistically hook seldom used items there. You could title the wall sculpture, "Seemed like a good idea at the time."

- Upgrade base cabinets with pull-out shelves, which make it easier to see items you store.

- Add cabinets up high. It’s the perfect place for stuff you rarely — or never— use.

- Have a gadget swap with friends. One cook’s dud could be another’s go-to item.

What kitchen items do you regret buying? Where are they now? For more kitchen tips, contact the real estate experts from Bristol Properties International. Email or call 561-347-1303 in Boca Raton or 239-352-6400 in Naples, Florida.

Comments: 1

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Can an hour in the garden replace your antidepressant? Physicians across the pond believe so. Throw away your Prozac and plant some peonies to fight depression, says a British physician who believes that time spent in the garden can be as therapeutic as expensive pharmaceuticals.

Sir Richard Thompson, president of the UK’s Royal College of Physicians, says the country’s new healthcare reforms will allow doctors to embrace the healing powers of digging in dirt, pruning roses, and plucking weeds. Sir Richard is a patron of Thrive, an organization that promotes and provides gardening therapy.

"Drug therapy can be really expensive, but gardening costs little and anyone can do it," Sir Richard told the Fraser Coast Chronicle. "Gardening burns off calories; makes joints supple, and is fantastic exercise. It is a physical activity that has been shown to be helpful in the treatment of anxiety, depression, and dementia."

Time to start shoveling! Just how happy does gardening make you? For more information about how to improve the exterior of your house and boost its curb appeal, contact Bristol Properties International. In Boca Raton, call 561-347-1303 or in Naples, call 239-352-6400.

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon - April 03, 2012

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Thursday, April 05, 2012

The popularity of reality television has increasingly risen to extremes in recent years, and among the numerous reality T.V. shows that have become so hot these days are those pertaining to the real estate field. Not only do these real estate geared reality T.V. shows provide great entertainment, they also play an important role in educating and aspiring real estate agents, investors, buyers and sellers. The HGTV cable television network produces the most programming of real estate based television shows with high ratings and success. Other cable networks targeting this real estate trend in reality television are TLC, Bravo and A & E. Here's a list of a few of the most popular real estate reality t.v. shows:

"Property Virgins": Takes viewers inside the intense world of house hunting through the eyes of first- time home buyers. (HGTV) Tuesdays 9:30 pm/10:30 central

"Income Property": Real estate expert Scott McGillivray helps first-time home buyers turn their home into a moneymaker to help with their mortgage. (HGTV) Wednesdays 8 p.m/ 7 central

"Property Brothers": Real estate's twin brother duo, Jonathan and Drew Scott, help couples find, buy and transform extreme fixer-uppers into the ultimate dream home. (HGTV) Wednesdays 9 p.m./ 8 central

"House Hunters & House Hunters International": Takes viewers behind the scenes as individuals, couples and families learn what to look for and decide whether or not a home is meant for them. (HGTV) Every weeknight 10 p.m./ 9 central

"Bought & Sold": This series is all about the reality of real estate, focusing on the stories and high drama behind the sales and lengths brokers will to complete sales. (HGTV) Mondays 10:30 p.m/9:30 c

"Secrets that Sell" : This series features real estate pros that make sure their sellers leave no money at the table at closing. They use their expertise to size up homes that have trouble selling. They detail the short list of must-do's to maximize home value and generate offers. (HGTV) Tuesdays 9 p.m./ 8 c

"Get it Sold" : Helps people who haven't been able to sell their house in a softening real estate market. (HGTV) Wednesdays 8:30 pm/ 7:30 c

"Million Dollar Listings": This docu-series follows ambitious real estate agents as they give viewers an inside look into the aggressive, high stakes world of real estate's high end market as they close multimillion dollar deals at a face pace. (Bravo) 10 p.m./9 c




For more information on current real estate market trends or for assistance buying or selling a property, call Bristol Properties International. In Boca Raton, call 561-347-1303 or in Naples, call 239-352-6400 or email

Comments: 1

Thursday, March 15, 2012




A pair of Bristol Properties International top-producing agents, Miguel Serrano and Laura Corwin are pleased to announce their partnership to help newly wed couples and first time buyers find their perfect home. Miguel said, "I enjoy working with young couples because they are always happy and truly excited about starting their lives together. Finding their first home as newly weds, often their first home ever, is such a great accomplishment, and I look to take all the stress away from the process."

As first time home buyers, we recognize the sacrifices one makes in order to save enough money for a down payment or the bills that home ownership entails. Sometimes it seems like it will be impossible, but Miguel and Laura are saavy to the available first time home buyer programs, mortgage options and what really is important to couples just starting their family. Laura says, "together, our experience serving South Florida communities gives us the ability to efficiently and effectively guide our home buyers to the property options they have always wanted."

For more information and to receive a free market analysis and free criteria-based property search, call 561-347-1303 or email Miguel at or Laura at

Your Wedding Planning Just Got Easier!


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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Make spring cleaning less of a chore by following these smarter—and mostly greener—tips for this annual rite of homeownership.

Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition. After a long winter, you throw open the windows, let in fresh air, and scrub down the house. But modern spring cleaning presents challenges your grandmother never imagined. Today’s homes are bigger, and the choice of cleaning supplies seemingly endless.

While you’ll need to devote a day or two to this annual maintenance project, make it less of a chore by picking the right tools and methods. And by taking an environmentally friendly approach, you can also protect the well being of your family. Give this space-by-space cleaning guide a whirl this spring—or during any season, for that matter, when grime and clutter become unbearable.


When it’s time to get down and dirty, many people start with the bathroom. Allen Rathey, founder of The Housekeeping Channel, says removing mineral deposits, rust, and such from toilets doesn’t have to mean chemical warfare. Don rubber gloves and use a pumice stone to erase stubborn stains. If you want more scouring power, Rathey recommends mixing baking soda with acidic vinegar. The concoction is just as effective as conventional cleaners, and there are no toxic fumes to inhale. This approach works equally well on tub and shower stains.

Buy your supplies in bulk to save. A 64-ounce bottle of vinegar costs about $4; a 12-pound bag of baking soda, about $7. Both items can be used throughout the house. For just $1 you can mix equal parts vinegar and water in a 32-ounce spray bottle to make a terrific all-purpose surface cleaner. That’s about $4 cheaper than buying a spray cleaner at the store.

Spring cleaning is the perfect time to extract dirt from porous grouted surfaces. For tile floors use your usual cleaner, but don’t mop. Instead, run a wet/dry vac, which will suck contaminants out of the grout. Mopping drives the grime into the grout rather than removing it. According to Rathey, grout can harbor stinky bacteria that leave a bad odor in the bathroom. This technique is more time-consuming than mopping, but it’s worthwhile to do at least once a year.


The kitchen can be a tough room to clean because there’s usually so much stuff in it, says Justin Klosky, founder and creative director of The OCD Experience, an organizational service. Before you break out the broom, go through your cabinets and drawers, and put together a box of items to donate and a box of items to store somewhere besides the kitchen. Clear your countertops of everything except items you use nearly every day.

After you’ve de-cluttered, you can get to work cleaning. Cloud Conrad, vice president of marketing for cleaning company Maid Brigade, says one tool you shouldn’t overlook is an all-purpose microfiber cloth (about $5). These aren’t run-of-the-mill dusting rags. Microfiber is a densely woven synthetic fabric that picks up dirt and greasy deposits without chemicals thanks to its unique composition. You should be able to clean surfaces like countertops, sinks, and stoves with warm water, a microfiber cloth, and a bit of elbow grease, Conrad says.

Since you prepare your food in the kitchen, consider using green commercial products for surfaces, or make your own vinegar/water spray. Conventional cleaners may remove dirt, but they can also harbor some nasty substances you don’t want in your PB&J. Microfiber, vinegar, and baking soda will clean and disinfect almost every kitchen surface at a fraction of the price. Don’t neglect once-a-year chores like vacuuming refrigerator coils (unplug your fridge first), and tossing out expired food from the back of the pantry.


Since bedrooms are such individual spaces, there’s a lot of diversity in what needs to happen. Most homeowners should at least rotate and flip innerspring mattresses, and store out-of-season sheets and clothing. Also go through your closet, and donate or Freecycle items you haven’t worn in the last 12 months. For carpets and mattresses, consider using a professional cleaning service. Figure a typical mattress will cost about $70-$90 to clean, a bargain considering how much time you spend in bed.

Even if you’re getting your carpet professionally cleaned, you still need to break out the vacuum, says Leslie Reichert, owner of The Cleaning Coach. Use the hose attachment to get to the hidden particles along baseboards, under your bed, and in your curtains, favorite environments of dust mites. If you have a large-capacity dryer, throw curtains in on high heat for good measure to kill the little pests.

Living area

Another surface you should consider getting professionally cleaned is living room upholstery. It can be tricky to know exactly how to deep-clean different types of fabrics, says Rathey, especially if there are stains you can’t quite identify. Costs vary widely depending on the size of the furniture piece and the quality and state of its covering, but a typical sofa might run $70 to $90.

Microfiber cloths are great to use in the living area as well. Make sure you have cloths for each area of the house, though, so you’re not cross-contaminating bathroom, kitchen, and living areas. Use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe down windows, wood, mirrors, the tops of bookshelves, ceiling fan blades, and even the plastic housing of electronics for a quick, chemical-free clean.

For more information on Spring Cleaning ideas contact Bristol Properties International. With an in-house estate liquidation company, not only can they help with eco-friendly cleaning ideas to stay healthy, but properly stage your home for sale. By using Bristol Trading Company, you can sell your personal property valuables and receive top dollars! Call Bristol at 561-347-1303 today!

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