5 Home Maintenance Tasks for November

5 Home Maintenance Tasks for November

5 Maintenance Tips for November

Now that we’re well into November and the cold weather appears to be here for good, you will need to perform some basic home maintenance tasks to keep your home in tip-top shape. Parties and gatherings are very popular this time of year. Aside from making sure your home is safe and sound, these maintenance steps will get your home ready to host friends and family as well!

 

Clean Your Garbage Disposal

While this might not initially seem like a vital step, cleaning your garbage disposal should be near the top of any November maintenance checklist – just think of everything you put through your garbage disposal! It is incredibly easy to do and will make a noticeable difference around your kitchen!

chrome sink with faucet and handle

The best way to clean your garbage disposal is by pouring a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar down the drain which will cause foam and bubbles to form. Once the bubbles have dissipated, you will need to pour a medium sized pot of boiling water down the drain to rinse the drain and leave your garbage disposal refreshed and smelling great!

 

Test Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms are a vital component of any home and should always be in working condition. If you are planning a large gathering for Thanksgiving or any other event that involves lots of cooking then you need to especially make sure your smoke alarms are in working order.

standard white circular smoke alarm

Smoke alarms come equipped with a “test” function that allows you to make sure it is fully operational at any time. If the alarm doesn’t sound when you test a smoke alarm, you should immediately replace the batteries and try it again. It’s a good idea to keep track of when you replace smoke detector batteries; you should never leave batteries in one for over a year.

 

Treat Indoor Pipes

One of the worst surprises a homeowner can wake up to is a busted pipe. Extreme temperatures will cause water inside of pipes to freeze and expand, which can eventually lead to a busted pipe in your home. Luckily for homeowners, the process of protecting your pipes is very easy and inexpensive. The best way to prevent this unfortunate situation is to wrap any exposed pipes with blankets, insulation or other warm material.

Inspect Your Fireplace

A fireplace can prove to be an invaluable aspect of a Middle Tennessee home in the winter. Unfortunately, they also present a threat to your home if not thoroughly inspected before extensive use. This is an instance where a professional might be the best option unless you have any experience cleaning / inspecting a chimney.

roaring wood fire inside of a fireplace

Using your fireplace before it is inspected and deemed safe can result in a devastating and potentially deadly house fire. Prevent catastrophic damage and never use your fireplace without having it inspected first.

Put Up Holiday Lights

two story house decorated with red holiday lights

Image Credit: http://bestandworstever.blogspot.com/2012/12/best-your-whole-house-with-christmas.html

 

While some would argue that November is too early to put up holiday lights, it is simply much easier to decorate your home before the extreme cold of December arrives. Getting decorative lights hung up now will save you the headache of climbing a ladder in freezing temperatures. You don’t have to put out all of your Christmas decorations in November, though. Any yard signs or decorations can wait until closer to the holidays, as they are much less intensive and difficult to set up.

 

What are you doing to get your home ready for winter?

How to Experience Fall In Middle Tennessee

How to Experience Fall In Middle Tennessee

 

As we settle in for another gorgeous fall in Middle Tennessee, you might be looking for ways to get outside and take advantage of the comfortable temperatures with friends and family. Middle Tennessee is not lacking in fall activities; there is truly something for everyone!

 

How to Experience Fall In Middle Tennessee

Attend a Sporting Event

 

Fall in the South means one thing: football! But it’s not the only options for those looking to take in a competitive and energetic affair this fall.

 

daytime football game between the university of alabama and vanderbilt university

Image Credit: By Latics (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

If you are a football fanatic, you will have plenty of options to choose from to satisfy you pigskin musts. Fans of the college game can spend a Saturday in Murfreesboro cheering on the Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders or in Nashville to watch the Vanderbilt Commodores. There are few better ways to spend a Saturday in the fall than tailgating for a college football game.

 

If the professional game is more fitting for your tastes, you can spend a Sunday in Downtown Nashville to watch the Tennessee Titans take on some of the biggest names in the NFL at Nissan Stadium.

 

hockey game being played at the bridgestone area

By Stephen Yeargin from Nashville, Tenn., United States [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Football isn’t the only fall sport you can take in, however. The Nashville Predators are emerging as one of the top franchises in the National Hockey League and provide fast-paced excitement throughout the fall season. Don’t forget to wear a jacket!

 

Visit a Historic Park

If you are looking to spend some time out in nature this fall, you might have a tough time choosing which of Middle Tennessee’s various parks to visit.

 

Fall Creek Falls is always a popular destination for those looking to take in the changing colors of autumn. Just an hour and a half drive from Murfreesboro, the beauty and grandeur of the park’s 256-foot waterfall is always an option.

old black cannon with broken large wooden wheels at stones river battlefield

Image Credit: By Hal Jespersen (User:Hlj) at en.wikipedia (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

History buffs will be happy to take a trip to one of Middle Tennessee’s many historic battlefields, such as Stones River Battlefield in Murfreesboro. This historic Civil War battlefield is steeped in history and offers attendees a chance to take a guided tour to learn all about the Battle at Stones River.

 

The Battle of Franklin was fought in various locations around Franklin, TN. Luckily for history aficionados this means plenty of opportunities to visit notable sites that will live in America’s history forever.

 

For more information on Middle Tennessee’s historic battlefields, make sure to visit the Civil War Traveler.

 

Experience Music City

 

Aside from the countless concerts that happen year round in Middle Tennessee, there are some much quieter ways to get your fix of musical history in the Music City.

 

the entrance of the ryman auditorium with s blue sky background

Image credit: Flickr user Debaird, source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/debaird/1383814045

 

The Ryman Auditorium, nicknamed the “Mother Church,” is the original home of the Grand Ole Opry and one of the most iconic musical venues in America. Guided backstage tours are offered every day with tickets going for $27.50 for adults and $22.50 for children age 4-11. You will be taken backstage at the famed venue and learn all about what makes it such a special place to some of the most famous performers out there.

shot of the country music hall of fame in downtown nashville, tn

Image credit: By Sean Russell from Knoxville, TN, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Country music die-hards can also spend a day at the Country Music Hall of Fame for a one-of-a-kind tour experience. Fans will take a trip back in time to see how country music grew to be one of the most popular genres on the planet, and how the city of Nashville and Middle Tennessee is a major part of its success.

 

When it comes to fall activities, Middle Tennessee has something for everyone. How will you be spending your free time this fall?

 

 

The 7 Best Places to See Fall Foliage in Tennessee

PARKS - The Best 7 Places to See Fall Foliage in Tennessee

The 7 Best Places to See Fall Foliage in Tennessee

The autumn season is upon us, and now it the perfect time to go and see the beautiful fall foliage across the state. Tennessee is full of state parks and other places to see stunning autumn leaves. Find time this fall to take a tour of the gorgeous nature that our beautiful state has to offer!
PARKS - The Best 7 Places to See Fall Foliage in Tennessee

 

Cade’s Cove

If you’ve ever been to the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area, chances are that you’ve had the opportunity to visit Cade’s Cove. For those who haven’t had the chance to see this National Park during the fall, get in your car and take a day trip with your friends and family. With this 11-mile loop, you’ll see jaw-dropping autumn scenery every step of the way. The National Park Service recommends that you allow a two to four hour trip to this Tennessee location in order to take in all that is available on the grounds! From the scenery along the hiking trail to the smokehouse and corn crib, you’ll want to make time to see it all at Cade’s Cove during the fall season!

 

Cade's Cove in the Tennessee

Image credit: By Billy Hathorn (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Great Smokey Mountains National Park

While Cade’s Cove is part of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, there is so much more to see throughout the park! Seeing the fall foliage in this particular park is worth a full weekend (or longer) vacation. From touring the insane amount of hiking trails, to learning about the area’s history, you have endless options for some autumn fun in this national park. Be sure to plan your visit to the park ahead of time — the fall colors draw spectators from around the world!

 

See the fall foliage at the Great Smokey Mountain National Park

Chattanooga River Boat Fall Foliage Cruise

Looking for a great little get away this fall? Why not take some friends and family members on the popular Fall Foliage cruise on the Chattanooga River Boat? In addition to seeing the splendid autumn leaves, you’ll sit back and relax during this three hour cruise filled with music, food, and most importantly, fun! You’ll have a great time touring the “Grand Canyon of the South” this fall.

 

Radnor Lake State Park

Located right here in Middle Tennessee, Radnor Lake State Park is the perfect place for a quick fall foliage stroll. From hiking to wildlife spotting, there is tons to do in your neighborhood  1,332-acre state park. Be sure to take advantage of the many hiking trails available, as many of them are perfect for those simply looking for a simple wander through the stunning fall scenery.

 

Since this is a popular destination for folks in Middle Tennessee during the fall season, plan to get there during the early hours to secure a parking spot!

 

Radnor Lake is a great place to see the autumn scenery

Montgomery Bell State Park

Right in Dickson County, you’ll find the jaw-dropping Montgomery Bell State Park. If you’re looking for a fall foliage day trip that’s close to home, you’ve found your answer. With available activities including golfing, hiking, biking, and boating, you’ll find that you have a lot to do at this Tennessee state park. On top of seeing the stunning natural landscape during the fall season, make time to hike along one of the many available trails or bike down the many paths. You won’t regret your decision to see the autumn leaves at Montgomery Bell State Park!

 

See the fall foliage at Montgomery Bell State Park

Fall Creek Falls

Did you know that Fall Creek Falls is Tennessee’s largest state park? It is also the most visited! This state park boasts 26,000 acres of hiking trails, streams, waterfalls, cascades and so much more. Families looking for a weekend long trip will find Fall Creek Falls to be the perfect opportunity. The park offers an inn, campsites, and cabins for visitors to stay and relax in while they browse the beautiful foliage and enjoy all that the sprawling park has to offer.

 

On top of classic activities such as hiking and fishing, park guests have the opportunity to go zip lining, biking, practice a round of golf, and so much more.

 

While you’re at the park, be sure to find time to gaze at the magnificent falls against the fall foliage. You’ll be amazed at how stunning the natural landscape of Tennessee is!

 

Visit Fall Creek Falls during this autumn

Natchez Trace

With over 48,000 acres of hiking trails and wonderful autumn landscapes, Natchez Trace is a popular destination for those looking to take in all that the fall season has to offer. In addition to hiking, biking, and fishing, you can also go horseback riding through the beautiful state park.

 

This historic and legendary Tennessee state park is one not to miss this fall!

 

Look at the autumn leaves at Natchez Trace in Tennessee

 

Tennessee has so much to offer during the fall season. Where do you plan on going to view the autumn leaves and landscapes?

 

 

 

8 Home Maintenance Tasks You Need to Complete in October

8 Home Maintenance Tasks You Need to Complete in October

8 Home Maintenance Tasks You Need to Complete in October

8 Home Maintenance Tasks You Need to Complete in October
As autumn finally arrives in Middle Tennessee, it’s time to start thinking about your home maintenance task list for the month of October. Each month you should be completing one or more of these tasks to ensure the stability and longevity of your Middle Tennessee home. Before November comes along, complete these home maintenance tasks ASAP!

Check Your Heating System

While Middle Tennessee doesn’t experience extremely frigid temperatures often during the fall, we still rely on our heating systems to help us stay cozy during the autumn season. However, if the first chilly night arrives and your heating system conveniently is broken, you and your family will be far from thrilled.

 

Instead, take time out of the month of October to have your HVAC (specifically heating) system inspected and repaired, if necessary, by a professional HVAC technician. Middle Tennessee has plenty of reputable and reliable heating and cooling companies ready to assist you this month!

Seal All Windows

Speaking of heating, you don’t want your precious heat to leak out of your windows and into the great outdoors. Think of the expensive energy bill you will receive in November if you fail to seal your windows in October!

 

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Sealing your windows helps keep all of the heat produced by your HVAC system inside your home where it belongs! There are multiple ways to seal your windows for the fall and winter seasons. Common methods include caulk, window insulation film, and rubber weather sealing.

Inspect Your Roof For Damage

During the fall and winter seasons, leaves, twigs, and other environmental debris land on your roof. Some of this natural debris can cause serious damage to your roof. If left unattended, damage to your roof can become costly and cause more harm to your home. The winter season can bring strong ice storms to our area, which have the potential to cause significant damage to your roof. If you already have a damaged roof and an ice storm comes along, you may be in for more than you can manage!

 

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Take 5 minutes this October to look for visible roofing damage (from the ground) including missing shingles, clear holes, and dents. If you need assistance inspecting your roof, trust one of the many residential roofing experts located around the greater Middle Tennessee area.

Completely Clean Your Gutters

While you’re inspecting your roof, be sure to clear out your gutters. With the leaves continuing to fall, a clogged gutter is a homeowner’s worst nightmare. By having a clear gutter, you allow rain water to properly flow without obstruction. It doesn’t take too long to take leaves, twigs, and other natural elements out of your gutters, so what are you waiting for?

 

Word of advice: when you climb up the ladder to your gutters, make sure you have a friend or family member available to spot you. Safety first at all times!

Clean Deck and/or Patio

During the spring and summer seasons, everyone gathers on the deck or patio for quality time together. From barbecues to late night sunsets, your deck or patio is trafficked quite frequently during these seasons. However, during the fall and winter seasons decks and patios across Middle Tennessee do not see as much foot traffic. With this in mind, you need to clean your deck and/or patio and get it ready for cooler weather.

 

Tasks include thoroughly cleaning the deck/patio floor, emptying potted plants that won’t survive the winter, looking for and completing any necessary repairs, and covering or storing deck and patio furniture including grills.

Seal Your Driveway

During the colder seasons, driveways (especially asphalt driveways) should be repaired and sealed to avoid any cracks or additional damage during the winter. Remember, our area is still affected by snow, ice, sleet, and hail! These natural elements can severely damage a driveway that is not properly sealed.

 

Start by cleaning your driveway and getting rid of any leaves or other debris. Then fill any cracks, holes, or imperfect areas with your choice of driveway filler. After, simply seal/coat your driveway with the product of your choice (or at the recommendation of the professional who installed your driveway).

Close Your Pool

If you haven’t already, get your pool ready for the winter by treating it with the proper chemicals and covering it up. The worst thing for a pool is to not be treated or covered and experience significant damage to the structure and/or lining.

 

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Stock Up On Winter Supplies

While our area does not experience a mass amount of snow, you should still be prepared! Take a day in October to go to your local hardware and garden center and stock up on any winter supplies you may need. From ice scrapers, to shovels, to salt for your driveway and sidewalks, you can never be too prepared for the frigid winter seasons.

 

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Do you plan to complete any additional home maintenance tasks in October?

 

 

 

 

5 Family Friendly Middle Tennessee Halloween Events You Can’t Miss

5 Family Friendly Middle Tennessee Halloween Events You Can’t Miss

5-friendly-middle-tennessee-halloween-events-you-cant-miss-Bob-Parks

Halloween is known for spooky haunts roaming the streets on the 31st, endless candy, and frightening haunted houses aimed at grown ups. Aside from trick or treating and cute DIY crafts, what is there for small children and those easily frightened to do during the autumn holiday? Middle Tennessee is full of exciting family friendly Halloween events that have just the right amount of “spook” for children of all ages!

Lucky Ladd Farms — Eagleville, Tennessee

Located in scenic Eagleville, Tennessee, Lucky Ladd Farms has everything you’re looking for in a Halloween attraction. First, stop at the pumpkin patch and select the perfect pumpkin for your Halloween carving activities. You’ll find all shapes and sizes of pumpkins at Lucky Ladd Farms! Get your kids excited by asking them to think about what they’d like to carve in their pumpkin.

 

Image credit: Lucky Ladd Farms

Image credit: Lucky Ladd Farms

 

Next, take a trip through the corn maze with the whole family! This year’s corn maze design is “flower power”. Think you can conquer the maze? If you’re up for the challenge, try completing the corn maze after dark with your family and a few flashlights. But don’t worry! No zombies or ghosts are lurking in this corn maze.

 

While at Lucky Ladd Farms, don’t forget to stop by the petting zoo or take a ride on one of their friendly ponies!

 

Booville at Nashville Shores

Every Saturday and Sunday in October, your whole family can head over to Nashville Shores for some family friendly Halloween fun! There’s so much for you and the children to do. Booville boasts attractions and activities including:

 

  • Hay Bale Maze
  • Costume Contest
  • Trick or Treating
  • Monster Mash Dance Party
  • Tennessee’s Tallest Frankenstein
  • Enchanted Woods
  • Arts and Crafts
  • And So Much More

 

This Halloween event occurs every Saturday and Sunday during the month of October from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

 

Boo at the Zoo — Nashville Zoo at Grassmere

Hosted by The Children’s Hospital at Centennial, the Boo at the Zoo event at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is perfect for children of all ages. From 5:00pm – 9:00pm on select Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays throughout the month of October, children can explore the zoo and participate in activities including:

 

  • Trick or Treating
  • Carousel Rides
  • Hayrides
  • Fall Festival Field
  • Enchanted Village
  • Frightful Farm (for those brave enough!)

 

All of this is included right in your ticket price so you don’t have to purchase more than one ticket, activity, or event for your children and family! Be sure to spend the night at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere for fun, animals, Halloween activities, and so much more. While you’re there, don’t forget to meet the talking pumpkin!

 

Image credit: Nashville Zoo at Grassmere

Image credit: Nashville Zoo at Grassmere

Barfield Bash – Murfreesboro, TN

In addition to all of the fun activities already available at the Barfield Crescent Park in Murfreesboro, TN, the Barfield Bash is a local Halloween event you do not want to miss. On October 23, 2015 from 5:00pm – 9:00pm, Murfreesboro and Rutherford County residents can participate in Halloween related games, activities, contests, listen to spooky music, and so much more. Kids are encouraged to dress up in their Halloween costumes and enjoy the fun!

 

Featured at this year’s event is the Not So Haunted Trail. The beloved book, “The Ghost of Donley Farm” comes to life when Rebecca, a red-tailed hawk, proudly announces she’s not afraid of ghosts. One night, she bravely goes to meet the Ghost of Donley Farm! While riding on a hayride, kids and adults can discover what happens next!

 

Pumpkinfest – Franklin, TN

On October 24, 2015 from 10:00am – 6:00pm, Pumpkinfest returns to Franklin, Tennessee. Complete with a costume contest, chili cook off, arts and crafts vendors, music performances, and so much more, this event presented by Hyundai of Cool Springs is not one to miss! Year after year, this event grows in attendance and in attractions so be sure to mark your calendars for the Pumpkinfest.

 

Kids can enjoy a variety of activities including:

 

  • Bouncy Houses
  • Face Painting
  • Costume Contests
  • Circus Entertainment
  • And More!

 

If you want to get the family pet involved in the fun too, sign Fluffy and Fido up for the HomeTown Pet Costume Contest! Trust us, Pumpkinfest is a great kid and family friendly Halloween event to attend this year.

 

Image credit: Pumpkinfest

Image credit: Pumpkinfest

 

What kid friendly Halloween event in Middle Tennessee do you plan on attending this autumn?

 

 

 

 

 

Middle Tennessee’s Scariest Haunted Attractions You Must Visit This October

Middle Tennessee’s Scariest Haunted Attractions You Must Visit This October

Mid-Tenn-scariest-haunted-attractions-you-must-visit-this-October-Bob-Parks

The month of goblins, zombies, vampires, and other frights is upon us! October is known for cooler temperatures, pumpkin patches, and of course, visits to the greater Middle Tennessee area’s best haunted houses and attractions.

 

Whether you prefer to shoot zombies or walk through terrifying scenarios, we’ve got your guide to the best haunted houses across the Middle Tennessee region.

 

Miller’s Thrillers — Columbia, TN

Calling all “Walking Dead” fans — this is the Halloween attraction for you!

 

Located in Columbia, Tennessee, Miller’s Thrillers features two haunting attractions along with spooky entertainment. First, be sure to try the Zombie Paintball Hayride. The Miller’s Thrillers property is infested with rage-filled zombies, and it’s up to you and 19 others to hop on the hayride and destroy them all with paintball guns. Act fast before you become one of them!

 

If you dare, trek into the Haunted Woods. Legend has it that several decades ago, miners went out to work and were never to be seen again. That is, as a normal human! These mutated miners and other frightening haunts now roam the woods. Are you brave enough to walk the woods? 2015 brings new scares, monsters, and other terrifying tricks to Miller’s Thrillers.

 

Miller’s Thrillers also offers “daylight hayrides” on select dates for those too frightened for a hayride in the dark. It is highly advised that you purchase tickets ahead of time in order to avoid waiting in long, long lines filled with zombies and other horrifying haunts!

 

Devil’s Dungeon — Nashville, TN  

Known as THE most intense haunted house in the greater Nashville area, Devil’s Dungeon isn’t for the faint of heart. This haunted house is known to horrify you and your friends long after you escape the clutches of the infamous Devil himself.

 

With every turn of a corner, a new fright awaits you. This 20,000+ square foot attraction is one you do NOT want to miss. As a fair warning, many of the scenes and scenarios are quite heart stopping. Only the bravest of the brave should attend the Devil’s Dungeon. Of course, you’ll just have to find out for yourself if you can really handle the scares awaiting you inside the Devil’s Dungeon.

 

It is advised that you purchase your tickets online to avoid long wait times and to secure your spot in the dungeon.

 

Image credit: Devil’s Dungeon

Image credit: Devil’s Dungeon

Dead Land Haunted Woods — Lebanon, TN

It seems as though most of the woods in Tennessee are haunted! This terrifying Lebanon attraction, open Friday and Saturday nights throughout the fall season, offers daring souls three horrifying attractions — The Curse, The Portal, and The Maze. Each attraction is equally scream-worthy and will keep you on the edge the entire time!

 

The Curse attraction has a particularly blood-curdling tale that occurs during the Civil War era. Let’s just say this story (and haunted attraction) is more than a few zombies and monsters — it involves so much more. Beware Sarai’s curse…

 

Open until Halloween, this Lebanon, TN haunted woods attraction is yet another “do not miss” Halloween visit. Purchase your tickets today!

 

Image Credit: Dead Land Haunted Woods

Image Credit: Dead Land Haunted Woods

Nashville Nightmare — Nashville, TN

Voted as one of the top 31 haunted houses in the nation by Attraction Magazine, Nashville Nightmare truly captures what nightmares are made of. For 2015, the attraction has completely renovated waiting areas and other parts of the experience to make it much more terrifying for guests!

 

Nashville Nightmare boasts two creepy attractions known as Night Terrors and Horror High, which opened in 2014. Night Terrors captures the essence of true terror with 13 nightmare experiences including a mortuary, an asylum, and a meat packing plant. Wondering what these have to do with a nightmare? You’ll just have to experience the horror for yourself!

 

In 1970, a fire on the lower floor of the Madison Square School House claimed the lives of several students and teachers. It is said that to this day, you can still hear their screams and some have claimed to see the deceased lurking around. Do you have what it takes to enroll at Horror High?

 

Purchase your tickets for Nashville Nightmare in advance. You don’t want to miss one of Nashville’s renowned haunted houses!

 

Image Credit: Nashville Nightmare

Image Credit: Nashville Nightmare

Death Row — Nashville, TN

As one of the longest running haunted house attractions in the greater Middle Tennessee area, you cannot pass up an opportunity to attend Death Row. For over 20 years, this Nashville attraction has been terrifying those who dare to enter their halls. The attraction is recently under new ownership so expect bigger, bolder, and ultimately, scarier horrors!

 

This self-guided journey is complete with fear-inducing scenarios from Nashville’s past, including prisons, funeral homes, cemeteries, and so much more. Each room is scarier than the last!

 

Considering this attraction has garnered a lasting reputation over the past 20 years, it is certainly in your best interest to purchase your tickets far in advance.

 

Image credit: Death Row Haunted House

Image credit: Death Row Haunted House

Meyers Creek Haunted Woods — Murfreesboro, TN

Are you looking for a fright in the greater Murfreesboro area? If so, look no further than Meyers Creek Haunted Woods. You never know what you’ll find in this haunted Murfreesboro attraction. From clowns, to ghosts, to scared souls running past bloody zombies, there’s everything you could ever imagine (possibly in a nightmare…) at Meyers Creek Haunted Woods.

 

Image Credit: Meyers Creek Haunted Woods

Image Credit: Meyers Creek Haunted Woods

 

Which Middle Tennessee haunted Halloween attraction will you attend in 2015? No matter which venue you choose, be prepared to have nightmares for weeks upon weeks!

 

 

 

 

Start Your Career in Real Estate in 6 Steps

Start Your Career in Real Estate in 6 Steps

start-your-career-in-real-estate-in-6-steps-Bob-Parks

If you are just starting out or looking to transition into a fast-paced, rewarding career path, have you considered becoming a real estate agent? Real estate agents assist individuals and families find the perfect home and/or sell their current house. To become a real estate agent, one must follow a specific path in order to meet all of the required certifications and licensing.

Step 1: Understand the Requirements in Your State

Each state in the United States of America has different rules and regulations for becoming a licensed real estate agent. In order to get started on your new career, reach out to the Tennessee Real Estate Commission to learn more about the necessary steps for licensing.

Step 2: Enroll in Pre-License Courses and Seminars

In order to begin the licensing process, the state of Tennessee requires interested individuals to participate in a pre-license educational unit. These classes will provide you with the knowledge you need to understand the real estate industry and pass your real estate exam with flying colors.

Step 3: Take Your Test and Get Ready for Post-Licensing Courses

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The pre-licensing courses should have prepared you for your real estate exam. This exam will determine whether or not you are ready to take the next step in your real estate career.

 

Upon completing and passing your exam, you have more learning to do! Post-licensing classes are in place to ensure that you retain all the necessary information for a lucrative career in real estate. Between your pre- and post-licensing you will learn about:

 

  • State real estate regulations
  • The home buying and selling process
  • Real estate principles
  • All real estate laws
  • And more

Step 4: Apply to be a PARKS Agent

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At PARKS, we are always looking for eager, new professionals to join our team across the greater Middle Tennessee area.

 

We boast 11 offices around Middle Tennessee and have been named the #1 Residential Real Estate Firm in Middle Tennessee by sales volume. New PARKS employees are thoroughly trained and given an abundance of tools designed to help them succeed. Some of these tools include:

 

  • Dotloop — a web-based real estate transaction management service
  • Print advertising in various local newspapers at the best rates available
  • Corporate relocation department
  • Customizable agent websites
  • Free Agent Branded App with Augmented Reality for iPad, iPhone & Android phones — Exclusive to Bob Parks Realty

Step 5: Apply to the Tennessee Real Estate Commission for Your License

In order to begin your career and receive your license, you need to send your certification, evidence of E&O coverage, and all required documents and funds. Your PARKS office and team can answer any questions you may have about this process.

Step 6: Enjoy Your Successful Career as a PARKS Real Estate Agent!

Once you understand the ins and outs of life as a real estate agent, you can get started helping our community through your solid real estate skills.

 

Is a Career in Real Estate Right For You?

It takes a special type of person to be an accomplished real estate agent. Think you have what it takes? A great real estate agent has the following characteristics and traits:

 

  • Is an honest and respectful individual
  • Cares about the client and will do everything to assist him or her
  • Is a reliable individual
  • Boasts elite attention to detail skills
  • Engaging, outgoing personality

 

Interested in a brand new career as a real estate agent at PARKS? Get started today by visiting our website.

 

 

 

 

Everything Homebuyers Need to Know and More About the TRID Changes

Everything Homebuyers Need to Know and More About the TRID Changes

trid-changes-october-3rd-parks-middle-tennessee
Did you know that on October 3rd, 2015, the closing process will significantly change for the first time in many years? The TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rules will go into effect on October 3rd, and drastically change the mortgage disclosure experience.

 

Here at PARKS, we want our homebuyers to be fully informed and aware of the changes taking place as these changes may affect your current home buying process.

Why The Change?

Some homeowners and home buying prospects might tell you that the mortgage disclosure and closing process is a bit complicated. The new changes, also known as the “Know Before You Own” rule, is being put into place to make the entire process easier to understand. The new documents and processes will streamline the experience and provide future homeowners with everything they need to know about the costs involved with closing on their new home.

 

Your PARKS agent is fully aware of the soon-to-be changes and will help you through the entire process.

Document Changes

For the past 30 years, the Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and the Truth in Lending (TIL) forms were used in the closing process. With the instituted changes, home buyers will receive a 3-page Loan Estimate form (LE) that outlines all loan information including the estimated cash to close.

 

In addition, a 5-page document known as the Closing Disclosure (CD) form will be used in

place of the HUD-1 Settlement Statement.

What do these document changes mean for you? Fewer forms to fill out and review! Previously, the documents piled up and became more of a hassle than a benefit. The document changes outlined in the TRID rules are put in place to assist in the entire process.

What Homebuyers Need to Know

The home buying process, specifically with regards to mortgage disclosures, will change once October 3rd rolls around. The top changes include the following “need to know” bits of information:

  • The Lender is now responsible for preparing and delivering the Loan Estimate (LE) and Closing Disclosure (CD) forms to the consumer.
  • The borrowers now have a 3-day holding period upon receiving the CD form to review and understand the costs involved, term, and more. The CD must be delivered at least 3 days prior to the scheduled closing date in order to align with the TRID changes. The CD form delivery is left up to the discretion of the lender.  Each lender will be able to decide how to deliver the CD either by mail, electronic or hand delivery.
  • The CD form is confidential to the consumer, and unless otherwise agreed upon, will not be seen by the realtor prior to closing day.
  • If changes to the Closing Disclosure form need to be made, this will require action from the Lender and also activate additional holding and review periods. Changes can include adjustments to the annual percentage rate, prepayment penalty additions, or other alterations to the document.

Tips and Recommendations for the TRID Changes

First, make sure you are 100% familiar with the new process and the home buying process in general. The PARKS team is here to walk you through the experience and explain areas you might not understand.

 

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) also suggests that Final Walk-Throughs be completed at least seven (7) days prior to the closing day. This action will avoid the occurrence of last minute delays, changes, or questions.

 

To cut down the amount of time necessary in the review period, it is recommended that you have the Closing Disclosure form hand delivered to you. With this in mind, remember that any changes you make to the document can push back the closing date and process.

 

All of the TRID changes are expected to add an average of 15 more days to the closing period. Be sure you are prepared for that time length of time and have everything prepared.

Ask Your PARKS Agent About the Upcoming Changes

Do you have any questions or concerns about the upcoming TRID changes? Your PARKS agent is there for everything you need throughout the buying process, which includes elaborating on the entire home buying procedure — step by step!

 

Should you have any concerns regarding the changes to the TRID rules, simply contact your PARKS agent and you’ll be on your way to a brand new home in no time!

 

 

 

5 Tips for Making Your New Home Safe and Kid Friendly

Make your home kid friendly with these 5 tips from PARKS.

5 Tips for Making Your New Home Safe and Kid Friendly

Moving into a brand new home is a thrilling time for you and your family. Upon moving into your new home, all your children will want to do is run around, find their new room, and explore their new living space. However, one of the first thoughts on your mind will be, “How can I make this new home safe for my children?”

 

Follow these guidelines from PARKS to ensure that your new home is kid friendly and safe.

1) Lay Down the Law

There is a significant chance that your new home has a completely different floor plan and layout than your previous house. Naturally, your children will want to explore the new space. These adventures can potentially lead your children somewhere dangerous such as an attic, the electricity, HVAC system, and other areas.

Make your home kid friendly with these 5 tips from PARKS.

 

During the first few days in your new home, show your children which areas are out of bounds. Explain to them why they are not allowed in these areas and the consequences that will arise if they are found there. Remember, these rules are in place for your child’s safety so don’t feel bad implementing them!

2) Keep All Valuables Hidden and Far Out of Reach

From tiny, swallowable jewelry to dangerous tools, you need to keep all valuables and harmful items far out of your child’s reach. Make sure your new home is furnished with sturdy shelving that can hold and retain all of your items, whether valuable or dangerous. You can also leave these items in rooms and areas that you have clearly marked as “out of bounds” for your kids.

 

This rule also applies to hazardous materials such as certain cleaning supplies, bleach, motor oil, alcohol, specific medicines, and more. If you keep these items in an open area, consider buying a safe with a strong lock to keep your children and store these materials properly.

3) Use Safe Furniture Choices

As much as that sharp, jagged decoration for your living room might look absolutely stunning, it’s definitely not your smartest choice when it comes to having a kid friendly home. Instead, opt for softer materials, rounded corners, and install the furniture bumpers where applicable.

Use these 5 tips to make your new home safe for kids.

If you do your research, you can find furniture options that are both stylish and safe for your home — especially for a nursery or child’s room.

4) Install Trusted Baby Gates

When your child is around the crawling/walking stages of their life, you need to install trusted and sturdy baby gates around stairs or other areas of your new home. The last thing you want is to deal with an injury and a new home at the same time.

 

You can use these gates as an added safety component to your home until you are confident that your children are capable of navigating the stairs properly and carefully.

5) Avoid Glass Out In the Open

From picture frames, to furniture, to kitchen ware, glass is everywhere in a home. A curious child may find these items and decide to play with them or discover what they are, only for the glass item to come crashing down and cause an accident.

Use these quick 5 tips to make your home kid friendly

Avoid this situation at all costs by keeping glass items far out of reach. Try opting for different decor styles, specifically ones that cannot pose a threat to your child.

 

What other safety tips would you add for a kid friendly house?

 

 

 

6 Home Maintenance Tasks for September

6 Home Maintenance Tasks for September

Guess what? The autumn weather is on its way! Whether you’re a fan of the crisp fall weather or not, the season is almost upon us. The changing of the seasons means it’s once again time to take care of your Middle Tennessee home. Remember to schedule time between football games and the last of the backyard barbecues for these September home maintenance tasks.

Start Saving on Your Monthly Energy Bills

For some, the introduction of colder weather signals the switch to indoor heating. While it may be all too tempting to turn on your heating system during September, it’s in your best interest to put on a sweatshirt instead. The switch from cool air to warm air requires your HVAC system to work harder. If you’re looking to save money throughout the year, wait a bit before turning the heat on.

 

Also, start identifying other ways you can save money on your monthly energy bills. Ideas can include:

  • Limiting the amount of electricity used throughout the house.
  • Replacing old windows that allow air to leak outside.
  • Space out your use of the laundry machines and dish washer.
  • Use a programmable thermostat to regulate your home temperature.

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What do you do each fall to reduce your monthly energy bills?

Check On Your HVAC System

With energy bills and heating in mind, are you 100% sure that your HVAC system is working properly? If it’s old, broken, or simply worn out, you could actually be losing money by having your heating system work far too hard. Be sure to spend time this September to thoroughly inspect your HVAC system.

 

It is in your best interest to schedule a routine inspection with your local HVAC technician. The greater Middle Tennessee area has numerous trustworthy heating and cooling technicians to choose from, so schedule your HVAC appointment today!

Inspect Your Fireplace and Chimney

When the cool fall weather finally arrives in a few weeks, you’ll want to immediately cozy up to your fireplace. But before you do, thoroughly clean and inspect your fireplace and chimney. The last thing you want to happen is an accidental emergency due to an unclean fireplace and chimney space.

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Remember to clear any flammable material far away from your fireplace. The last thing you want is for your treasured family pictures or items to catch fire accidentally! If you are not comfortable inspecting your fireplace and chimney on your own, contact your local specialist and book an inspection and cleaning appointment this September.

Say “See You Later!” to Your Pool

As much as it may pain you to close the pool for the year, it must be done. Luckily, Middle Tennessee has a few weeks of pool weather left! During the month of September, try to gather all of the chemicals and materials you will need to effectively and efficiently close up your pool when the cold weather swoops in.

 

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By having all of your materials close by, you’ll be able to quickly close up your pool and get on with all of your autumn activities!

Fall Landscaping Tasks

Just like you have to water your lawn during the scorching hot summer months, you need to take good care of your landscaping and yard throughout the month of September and into the fall. Common fall landscaping tasks include:

  • Trimming back all tree limbs and bushes for safety and aesthetics.
  • Mowing your lawn and raking any leaves, twigs, or other natural debris.
  • Fertilizing your lawn and garden.
  • Removing any sign of weeds, dead plants or foliage, and other unwanted items.
  • Planting any fall plants you want for your garden.

 

However, with school starting back up and sports seasons in gear, you might not have time to take care of your lawn. Fortunately, Middle Tennessee is full of high quality landscaping teams. Make your fall lawn care appointment before the local companies get booked up!

Routine Roof Inspection

No matter how old or how sturdy your roof may be, it is always in your best interest to check for damage in the month of September (and any month throughout the year). You should look for the following signs of damage and areas in need of repair:

  • Missing shingles
  • Leaky gutters (remember to clean them out!)
  • Obvious patches of tears, holes, or splitting
  • Stains
  • Signs of decay
Fixing damaged roof shingles. A section was blown off after a storm with high winds causing a potential leak.

Fixing damaged roof shingles. A section was blown off after a storm with high winds causing a potential leak.

Once you’ve completed these home maintenance tasks, you’re off to enjoy the rest of September!