Did you know that according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) most store-bought air fresheners contain formaldehyde, petrochemicals, p-dichlorobenzene and aerosol pollutants. There seems to be some kind of connection between air fresheners and Asthma problems. It is also thought that air fresheners containing these chemicals can accelerate respiratory diseases and reduce lung capacity. The EPA has not advised against purchasing these air fresheners, but suggests using them with care. If you have concerns about the health risks associated with these products, why not try a natural air freshening alternative.

If you have a musty basement or smelly closet, a tray of natural clay cat litter may be helpful. The main ingredient in cat litter is a natural occurring mineral that absorbs odors and moisture from the air. If you prefer an alternative to cat litter, try diatomaceous earth which you can purchase at a garden supply store. Place it in a bowl or other open container in foul smelling areas. Placing fresh or used (dried) coffee grounds in a bowl or stocking will help to cut the odor of winter mustiness.

Fill your home with subtle scents and refresh the air by simmering some sweet smelling ingredients in a little water on your stove. Try to keep your supply list simple and use items found at the grocery store or even in the yard. Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges make very fragrant scented waters. Herbs such as rosemary and thyme are good choices as well. Pine or cedar twigs and needles collected from the yard will give off a fresh, natural fragrance. Almond and vanilla extract and spices like cinnamon and cloves when simmered together add a wonderful fragrance to the air without the dangerous chemicals.

Garages aren’t just for parking cars and storing all of your stuff. The garage could just be the key to selling your home. Homeowners don’t typically think of putting much effort in the garage when preparing a home for sale. Investing a little time and effort into staging your garage could just be the difference from for sale to sold.

Follow these quick and easy steps to a garage home buyers dream of.

1. Get organized.

Everyone loves storage. Show off your garage and make it a selling point. One of the best ways to showcase your garage is an organized place where buyers can picture their things. Shelves, bins and storage closets are available at any local hardware store. When your garage looks spacious and organized it is more appealing and may even result in the buyer feeling like they are gaining square footage.

2. Light it Up

Lighting can make all the difference. Replace dangling, plain bulbs with fixtures or strip lighting. Adding an eight-foot fluorescent light strip can turn your garage from dark and dreary to open and inviting.

3. Finishing Touches

Garages that have appealing floors and walls go a long way in the buyer’s eyes. Concrete garage floors can be coated with an epoxy resin-based paint or rubber mats and tiles. This hides spills and makes cleaning a lot easier. Don’t forget the walls. Adding sheet rock makes a very clean surface and makes the garage feel more like a finished space. The sheet rock can also be painted to create a warmer atmosphere.

4. Properly working doors

There is nothing worse than a garage door in disrepair. Garage door openers should be quiet and have safety mechanisms in place. Have the garage doors evaluated by the garage door company that installed it or sometimes all it needs is a good oil job to lubricate it.

With all the emphasis on paint, staging and accessories when selling a home, there is one thing that is often overlooked. Windows can make a huge difference in the appeal of a home to buyers. The size and placement of windows affects everything from the character to the curb appeal of the home from the outside. On the inside, windows determine light, views, energy efficiency, and air flow.

If you are selling your home take a look at your windows. Make sure they are clean and adding value to your home. Remember windows are the way your home is connected to its surroundings. If the landscape outside of your home is pleasing to the eye, pull back the curtains and shades and show off the view. If privacy is an issue or the outside view is undesirable, you will need to enhance the view with shutters, shades, or window treatments.

View your home from both the inside and outside, and at various times of the day to be aware of what potential buyers will see. This will allow you to correct any issues and play up any benefits. Essentially look at your home in a whole new light.

With the tax deadline come and gone it is important to know that not paying your taxes can have significant repercussions. Tax laws and even worse the fallout from not paying your taxes can be a complicated mess. You could get stuck with a tax lien, if this happens to you here are tips on what can you do to remove a tax lien?

First, what is a tax lien? It is a legal way for the IRS to get an individual to pay tax debt. Liens can be placed on personal or real property when you fail to pay taxes within a given period of time. The lien is usually filed at a local County Clerk’s office and is a public document. It can also be filed with the Secretary of State.

Through the lien the IRS gains legal claim on property until the lienor can pay the tax that is owed. Tax liens are not only inconvenient but they can also affect your credit rating. The sale of any personal property will also be difficult or even impossible.

Your top priority should be to remove a tax lien as soon as possible. Here is what you need to know:

1. You have 30 days to respond to a tax lien after receiving a “Final Notice of Intent to Levy”.

2. Tax liens can expire but this may not be the best option. For tax liens more recent than November 6, 1990, the tax lien becomes unenforceable after 10 years. For all liens prior to November 6, 1990, the tax lien becomes unenforceable after six years.

3. A tax lien can show on your credit report forever. Even if it expires the lien will remain on your credit report, whether the IRS acts upon it or not.

4. Pay the tax that is owed. If you choose this option, your tax lien should be removed within 30 days. It can be removed from your credit report as well.

5. Prove a financial hardship. If you can prove to the IRS that levying money in your bank account will cause more harm than good and that it may cause you to never be able to pay them what you owe them.

6. Your best option is to consult with a tax professional to help you create a realistic tax payback plan or correspondence with the IRS.

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