Real Estate Word -- Time to Spring Into Action May 2009   

Hi Paul,

Spring is traditionally the busiest season for home sales. Our first article discusses spring fever and reveals how we can use its natural beauty to enhance a home’s potential.

Cycling's a great way to stay fit but before you hit the road, you’ll want to give your bike a quick tune up to ensure it’s safe to ride.  Our second article offers some advice on how to keep your bike in tip top shape.

Finally, it’s always exciting to discover new ways to save money!  Last month we profiled a free computer office suite.  Our third article this month features a virus protection program that costs nothing.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read our newsletter.  Please let us know if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles or real estate in general -- we'd love to hear from you!

Your friends in Real Estate
Rudi & Trish W.

In this issue...
Some Home Selling Tips that Spring to Mind 
The birds are chirping and gardens are starting to bloom -- spring's finally here!  Similar to the nesting instincts of birds, our thoughts gravitate towards our habitat when spring arrives.  Read on to learn how you can naturally make your home more appealing to buyers during this time of year.

Spring signifies a new beginning.  It’s as if we’re programmed like other animals to emerge from hibernation and examine our surroundings from a new energized perspective.  The arrival of spring brings warmer weather and more light which in turn provides us with extra energy.

Spring cleaning is also instinctive as we yearn to fling open those windows and doors that have been tightly shut for months.  It's a process that’s steeped in tradition so it’s no surprise that cleaning suppliers start launching marketing campaigns to coincide with this time of year.  The accumulation of dust, dirt and clutter appears more noticeable and we long for everything to sparkle and glisten like the sun.

People also start storing bulky clothes and cleaning and restocking their closets.  All of these rituals go hand in hand with getting a home ready for the market.  Home sales go up during spring because the weather gets people interested both in viewing homes and fixing their own up to list.  Families also want to settle into their new home before summer ends so their children will be ready to start school.

Curb appeal is at its best when the grass is green and flowers are blooming.  Having great curb appeal is critical as most buyers will drive by your home first before deciding if it’s worth a closer look.  Potted flowers will help your front entry look inviting and because more people are entertaining at home, you’ll want to ensure your backyard looks like an extension of your indoor space.

Some simple decorating updates will help bring the vitality of spring inside your home.  Fresh cut flowers and flowering bulbs will add a natural fragrance instead of the artificial scents of air fresheners and candles.  You can also inject new energy into a room by swapping your usual throw cushions for ones with shades that reflect spring.

Spring provides a welcome opportunity to fling open the doors and windows and freshen up your home with a thorough clean and de-clutter.  If your home’s going on the market this spring, use the season to highlight its best features.  You only have one chance to make a great first impression so take advantage of this time of year by making your home spring fresh!

Tuning Up Your Bike for Spring 
The environmental, health and financial benefits of cycling encourage many of us to haul our bikes out of storage.  Whether you’re biking to work or hitting the trails with the kids, you’ll want to make sure your bike’s safe to ride.  Here’s some advice on how to give your bike a quick tune-up.

Regular maintenance will help your bike last longer so first off, give it a once over and check all the nuts and bolts.  If you have kids, make sure to adjust their seat and handlebar heights.  Once that's done, you'll want to focus on the following three areas:

  1. Tires - It’s much easier to pedal your bike when you’ve got the right amount of air in your tires so check the pressure with a tire gauge to ensure they’re properly inflated.  Make sure to also examine tires for rips or tears and check your wheels are securely fastened.

  2. Chain - Cycling's hard work with a worn or dirty chain so inspect it thoroughly.  Get to work cleaning it using a biodegradable cleaner and once all the dirt and grit's cleaned off, dry it and apply some lubricant.  You’ll also want to check that your gears are shifting smoothly.

  3. Brakes - Ensure the cables are securely fastened and check the brake pads for excessive wear.  If your brakes feel soft and unresponsive, you may need to tighten the brake cables up by adjusting the nut next to the brake lever.

Your bike needs a tune up every now and then in order to run at its best.  If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, take it to your local bike shop.  Regular maintenance will save major headaches down the road -- it's no fun having to walk your bike home.  It'll also give you the confidence to enjoy a season of smooth and safe riding!

Another Computer Freebie! 
Getting something for nothing is like finding money in the street – nothing beats it!  AVG Free Edition offers a basic anti-virus protection tool with many of the same features other paid versions offer including virus and spyware protection, automatic updates and system scanning.

Anti-virus software usually costs around $50 per year.  Not only is AVG free but it also automatically updates itself so you don’t have the hassle of having to install new versions every year.  Although customer support is only offered with the paid edition, it's very user friendly and there’s a comprehensive FAQ page and a forum to post questions.

Some may worry that they won't get the same protection with a freebie but user reviews are very positive and people are blown away by the fact that there’s no cost!  This service should provide enough protection for the average user but if you run a business or are looking for extra protection, you may want to check out their paid version.  Visit for more info.

PS Oh by the way, we always appreciate any of your introductions.  If you know of anyone that may benefit from our individualised help please contact us with their name and number and let them know that we will be in touch.  We would be privileged to assist them!
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