Published June 21, 2017

METRO DETROIT — Vacation season has arrived, and the suitcases have finally been packed after a long winter. 

But before you walk out that door, is your largest investment as secure as your travel schedule? 

Lt. Eric Reincke, of the Clinton Township Police Department, said that one of law enforcement’s biggest concerns during the vacation season is breaking and entering. 

“There’s a pattern, and people take advantage of that,” he said.  

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Published June 14, 2017

METRO DETROIT — With summer heating up, local experts have weighed in on ways to stay cool while slashing utility bills and reducing your carbon footprint.

Teri VanSumeren, executive director of Consumers Energy’s energy efficiency program, offered seven tips to help reduce summer energy use.

If you have central air conditioning, she said to clean leaves and debris off the unit and away from the compressor, because they can block airflow. Dusty filters make air conditioners work harder, so she recommended cleaning the filter regularly.

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Published June 7, 2017

METRO DETROIT — You can either stay or go. Sue, compromise, or get political by campaigning to join a condominium association board. 

These are the pared-down options for a condominium co-owner unhappy with how things are operated, Kevin Hirzel, a Michigan condominium attorney with Livonia-based Cummings, McClorey, Davis & Acho PLC, said recently.

He added that co-owners can resolve their issues by joining the board to enforce rules that they feel are being broken or ignored.

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Published May 31, 2017

METRO DETROIT — As the weather is beginning to heat up, local experts say that serious homebuyers are waiting to pounce on the best deals.

“We’re still limited on our listings,” said Kathy Coon, broker owner of Real Living Great Lakes Real Estate in Rochester Hills, West Bloomfield and Clarkston. “We’re seeing a few more with the summertime and the kids getting out of school.”

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Published May 24, 2017

METRO DETROIT — Preparing to sell a home can often seem like a daunting task. Many might balk at the thought. Where to even begin?

Local experts offered several easy and inexpensive tips to get the ball rolling that also could help homeowners sell their homes faster and at a higher price.

Corie Conroy, president of First Impression Home Staging, said the first things she notices as she walks up to a home are the walkways and landscaping, and whether or not they are well-maintained.

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Published May 17, 2017

METRO DETROIT — Looking to replace your driveway pavement, get new windows or install a new roof?

Before tackling any home improvement projects, local experts have some tips to protect your home — and your bank account.

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Published May 10, 2017

METRO DETROIT — When Brian Peterson first planted a vegetable garden, he saw modest success. 

“I got some cucumbers and zucchini and tomatoes,” Peterson said. “But once I got bees, it was unbelievable. I had to pawn off vegetables on the neighbors and make a bunch of pickles. 

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Published May 3, 2017

METRO DETROIT — It’s time to put away your winter jacket, throw on a T-shirt and relax in your backyard.

The patio market is thriving this time of year, especially in Michigan. Following months of hot and cold temperatures, massive rain events and dreaded hailstorms, the days are lasting longer and the sun is calling everyone to go outside.

Corie Conroy, an interior decorator and president of First Impression Home Staging & Interior Design in Bloomfield Hills, said being a Michigander has its perks — notably when the temperature heats up.

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Published April 26, 2017

METRO DETROIT — Anything goes — eclectic is the name of the game when it comes to decorating your walls these days.

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Published April 14, 2017

DETROIT — For 37 years, “This Old House” on PBS has been showcasing how to take run-down or dilapidated houses and turn them into fresh, livable homes. This spring, the show is featuring Detroit.

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Published April 12, 2017

METRO DETROIT — When outdoors this spring and summer, you don’t have to be in the dark when the sun goes down.

There are plenty of outdoor lighting options for your backyard, front yard, patio, driveway, walkway, deck or flagpole.

The national chain of Lowe’s Home Improvement offers several options.

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Published April 5, 2017

METRO DETROIT — Nicole Parlor, program director for the Boys & Girls Club of Troy, couldn’t remember the last time a large Christmas wreath, stowed in the storage area, had been used. 

Since it had been at least two years, volunteers from the National Association of Professional Organizers, Michigan Chapter — who donated their time, expertise and sweat equity to organize the storage area at the club March 28 — put it onto the donate pile. 

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Published April 3, 2017

BIRMINGHAM — Thirty percent of all millennials are renting, Detroit is on the move with an upcoming 50-block entertainment and sports district, and the housing market is on the upswing in Michigan.

Those were a few ideas presented at the Real Estate Forecast Breakfast, put on by the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce at The Reserve in Birmingham March 23.

Real estate powerhouses spoke on topics from millennial buying trends to how homeowners are living in their homes longer. And Gen Xers are in the prime of their lives when it comes to home buying.

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Published March 29, 2017

NOVI — In preparation for the end of hibernation and the awakening of growing things, the Novi Home & Garden Show will return to the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi March 31-April 2.

The 20,000-square-foot showroom will transform into a living space complete with 30-foot trees, the smell of mulch and all types of home appliances on display. Vendors will share the newest landscaping ideas, materials and products.

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Published March 22, 2017

METRO DETROIT — Get ready. It’s time to get to work if you’re looking to grow this summer’s veggies from seed this winter.

Whether you’re starting seeds with a grow kit at home or in a fully functional greenhouse, March and April are busy months for from-seed farmers. If you’re serious about growing seeds, you’ve probably whiled away the winter months by browsing handy seed catalogs and wandering websites to narrow the search for your favorite garden varieties. 

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Published March 15, 2017

METRO DETROIT — Spring and summer is the time when homeowners begin to prepare for big updates, additions and projects.

Whether it’s about pools, spas, patios, hot tubs or big landscaping projects, vendors for all will be at the 22nd annual Novi Backyard, Pool & Spa Show March 24-26 at the Suburban Collection Showplace.

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Published March 8, 2017

METRO DETROIT — While tornado season doesn’t usually get off the ground until April, unstable weather has already been spotted this year and more could be on the way.

Experts say it’s never too late to start thinking about an emergency preparedness plan and what you should do should a tornado strike.

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Published March 1, 2017

METRO DETROIT — Two local real estate agents agree that, with a drop in inventory and an increase in the number of educated buyers, now is the time to list homes for the spring market.

Kathy Broock, of Max Broock Realtors, said the low supply is not necessarily inflating home values because buyers are sitting and waiting for something better to come along.

“I think people are optimistic,” said Linda Rea, of Real Estate One.

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Published February 22, 2017

METRO DETROIT — Neutrals are a sophisticated, timeless option for those who may want to create a classic look and not redecorate every season. But personalized color can be a winner in private homes.

“I think 2017 was kind of the year of the neutral,” First Impressions Home Staging President Corie Conroy said. “If you decide you need some kind of vibrant hue, you can do florals or inexpensive pillows. You don’t need to have buyer’s remorse when you want to change your interior.”

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Published February 15, 2017

METRO DETROIT — For Peck Elementary School first-grade teacher Nicole Pelczarski, the workday isn’t over when the final school bell rings.

While the married mother of two leaves the school building for the day to attend her children’s sporting events and spend time with her family, Pelczarski is back to work later in the evening not at school, but at home. 

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