Sheryl Simon | Weston Real Estate, Wellesley Real Estate, Needham Real Estate, Wayland Real Estate


If you have ever seen where a controllable fire incidence brings down a house, then you will know the importance of fire alarms. One type of fire alarm system is the smoke detector, a standard safety device that should be in every home. Unlike the heat detector which relies on heat to reach a defined threshold before triggering the alarm, smoke detectors rely on the smoke to turn off the signal.

It is no news that many fires in the home start with smoldering smoke. This puts smoke detectors at the forefront of fire alarm systems. The traditional smoke detector relies on an acoustic alarm to raise a signal, so it defeats the purpose of smoke detectors if the homeowners are not around. It is important to note that full-fledged smart smoke detectors exist. However, they are quite expensive. Check out four inexpensive ways to make your smoke detector smart: 

Use a Wyze Cam

One way to make smoke detectors smarter is by using the Wyze Cam. This device is a trendy budget-friendly surveillance camera used in the house. This surveillance camera comes packed with a lot of features. Two useful features this camera comes with are the smoke and CO alarm monitoring. This device serves as both a surveillance camera and a safety gadget. 

The way this device works is simple. It listens to the sound produced in the room waiting for any that matches the smoke alarm pattern. When the device detects such sounds, it gets triggered and pushes a notification to your device.

Roost Smart Battery

Just like the Wyze Cam, the Roost Smart Battery also listens to sound around. If the smart battery picks any sound with a pattern like that of a smoke alarm, it gets triggered and sends a push notification to your device.

How this differs from the Wyze Cam is in the place where positioned. Unlike the Wyze Cam, this battery serves as a replacement of the smoke detector battery and lives inside the smoke detector making it more reliable. It, however, does not have other functionality and unlike the Wyze Cam where a single battery will be sufficient, you need one battery per detector. 

Install the Amazon Alexa Guard

The Amazon Alexa Guard is a device still in the making. This device, according to Alexa, listens and upon picking any suspicious sound like smoke alarm sounds and glass breaking, sends a push notification to your device.

DIY Approach

The Do-It-Yourself is for the tech-savvy readers who have experience with micro-controllers and Arduino. There are different ways to do this yourself. You can find the procedures on YouTube.

Having a full-fledged smart smoke detector in your home is important. However, if you have a little budget, you can follow the steps above to turn your smoke detectors into smart ones that send a push notification to your phone even when you are away from home.


The homebuying journey should be fast and seamless, but problems may arise that prevent you from accomplishing your desired goals. For example, if a buyer with a poor credit score fails to get financing before submitting an offer to purchase a house, this individual may struggle to acquire his or her dream residence. Or, if a buyer fails to evaluate various housing market data, he or she may miss out on opportunities to purchase the right house at an affordable price.

There is no need to worry about homebuying crises. Lucky for you, we're here to guide you along the homebuying journey and ensure you can mitigate problems that otherwise may make it difficult for you to buy your dream house.

Avoid homebuying crises – here are three tips to help you minimize the risk of encountering problems during the homebuying journey.

1. Learn About the Local Housing Market

The housing market is complex, regardless of whether you are pursuing residences in small towns or big cities. Fortunately, plenty of housing market data is available to help you understand real estate patterns and trends. This information can help you map out your homebuying journey based on the current housing market's conditions.

Typically, it helps to look at the prices of recently sold houses in your preferred cities and towns. This information highlights whether house sellers are receiving offers at or above their initial asking prices and may help you differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's one.

You also should examine the prices of available houses that match your homebuying criteria. That way, you can hone your home search and accelerate the homebuying journey.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Believe it or not, it usually does not take long for a homebuyer to get pre-approved for a mortgage. In fact, banks and credit unions can quickly teach you about different home financing options and ensure you can make an informed mortgage decision.

If you receive pre-approval for a mortgage, you can enter the housing market with a budget. Then, when you discover your dream house, you can submit an offer to purchase with home financing in hand.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a must-hire, especially if you want to limit the risk of potential crises during the homebuying journey. With a real estate agent at your side, you can identify homebuying problems and resolve these issues before they escalate.

Generally, a real estate agent will support you at each stage of the homebuying journey. He or she first will learn about you and your homebuying goals. Then, a real estate agent will create a personalized homebuying strategy to help you accomplish the optimal results. And if you have concerns or questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them.

Prevent homebuying crises – use the aforementioned tips, and you can increase the likelihood of a successful homebuying experience.


Your credit score can be a vast unknown when you are starting out in life. When you are just beginning you may not know what factors the financial world considers to calculate your creditworthiness. At this point, you are what the credit reporting agencies call credit invisible. To create a credit score, you will need to take your time and remain intentional. Websites like Nerdwallet.com and Annuity.org have information to build your credit score and financial health. Take your financial health seriously and be proactive about getting the information you need to create a stable future.

Annual Credit Reports 

A good starting point is to order your credit reports from all three reporting agencies. You get a free one from each of them every twelve months. An easy way to remember to check on your report yearly would be to order them on or near your birthday. If you find errors on any of the reports take the time to have the reporting agency, make corrections; then follow up. Next step in creating a credit score would be to open a secured credit card. This type of card is a credit card where the credit limit is equal to the amount of money you deposit. Your neighborhood bank or nearby credit union that you have your current accounts with can help you. 

Another way to build your credit is to take out a small credit builder loan. These credit-builder types of loans are designed to help you start developing a credit history. You can find them at credit unions and smaller community banks. When you take out this kind of loan, the money sits in an account, not accessible until paid in full. Make your payments on time and the financial institute reports those on-time payments to the credit reporting agencies. Once paid off the funds plus any interest is released to you. You now have the start of a credit score and perhaps a small emergency fund or start to a down payment.

Keep These in Mind

The essentials of building your credit score are:

- Making timely payments

- Keep your balance 30% or less of your available credit

- Monitor your credit reports

- Be patient

Time is your friend when you are just starting. By being patient and diligent, you will see a steady climb in your numbers. Like diet and exercise, financial health is only achieved by ongoing healthy habits. 

 If you have not ordered your credit reports in the last 12 months, order them this week and see where you stand.


Selling a home sometimes can be a hassle, particularly if a homebuyer wants to negotiate. Fortunately, expert real estate agents are happy to help you take the guesswork out of a home selling negotiation.

Ultimately, there are several reasons why you should consider hiring a real estate agent to handle a home selling negotiation, including:

1. A real estate agent boasts comprehensive experience with home selling negotiations.

Let's face it – a home selling negotiation can be stressful. But with a real estate agent at your disposal, you can receive plenty of guidance as you make the final push to sell your residence.

A real estate agent is a master of the art of negotiation. As such, he or she will help you seamlessly navigate a home selling negotiation.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can help you up to date as a home selling negotiation approaches its conclusion. This housing market professional will even provide honest, unbiased recommendations, ensuring you can make informed decisions at each stage of a negotiation.

2. A real estate agent will ensure both you and a homebuyer get the best results possible.

As a home seller, your goal is to get the best price for your residence. Meanwhile, a homebuyer likely wants to purchase your residence at a price that suits his or her budget perfectly.

Finding common ground with a homebuyer may prove to be difficult. Lucky for you, a real estate agent will work with both a home seller and a homebuyer to guarantee both parties are satisfied with the end results of a negotiation.

A real estate agent will allocate the necessary time and resources to understand your home selling goals and help you plan accordingly.

Furthermore, this housing market professional will serve as a liaison between you and a homebuyer. He or she will work directly with you and a homebuyer to finalize a home sale agreement that meets the needs of both property seller and buyer.

3. A real estate agent will help you overcome any challenges during a home selling negotiation.

There is no need to let challenges arise during a home selling negotiation. Conversely, a real estate agent will help you identify any potential problems and mitigate such issues before they escalate.

For example, a homebuyer may make a variety of home improvement demands after a property inspection. And if a home seller refuses to complete these property improvements, a homebuyer may walk away from a home sale.

A real estate agent will help a home seller prep his or her house for a property inspection. Plus, he or she can provide details about a homebuyer's demands after a property inspection and help a home seller determine the best way to proceed.

Ready to finalize a home sale? Collaborate with a real estate agent – you'll be glad you did. A real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist you during a home selling negotiation and ensure you can optimize the value of your house.


The modern human doesn’t always follow the natural order of things. For example, we often eat by the clock. We eat in the morning before work or school whether we are hungry or not. We snack at our morning coffee break. Then our lunchtime schedule again must coincide with our workplace or school day schedule. In the evenings, however, it seems we have more control over our appetite. Sometimes, though, even our evening meals don’t follow the plan we intend. We have after school or after work activities, homework, projects, social times. All sorts of things dictate our meal times. But the thing we rarely pay attention to is our natural rhythm.

Circadian rhythm: eating with the day

According to recent research, healthy eating may be less about what is on our plate as it is about when it’s on our plate. In fact, the latest science reveals that when we eat may be a more significant factor than what we eat. The truth is that our three-square meals may not jive with the rhythm of our metabolism.

Your metabolism is your body’s energy usage. Your circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock that tells your body what it needs when it needs it. And a more natural way to align your body’s internal clock is not with your smartwatch. It’s with the sun.

So, if your job dictates that you rise before the sun is up most of the year, forcing your body to digest food that early might be preventing you from losing weight. The research shows that eating outside your body’s circadian rhythm might increase being overweight, metabolic syndrome and diabetes, and even up your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Aligning your eating times with your natural daily cycle improves weight loss, increase energy, and improve your general health. How do you do it?

- Follow the sun. Don’t eat before the sun rises in the morning. But once the sun is up, break your fast with something. Morning calories seem to burn more quickly than calories consumed later in the day since your body is replenishing what is used up overnight.

- Stop eating in the afternoon. The studies showed that eating past mid-afternoon (about 3 PM) hindered weight loss in the study participants; while those that stopped eating by the middle of the afternoon tended to lose more weight than their cohorts. 

- Additionally, better results came from eating the highest caloric meal at breakfast with a smaller lunch and even smaller dinner.

- Keep your eating inside an eight-hour window. That means starting your first meal and ending your last meal within the window and not eating or fasting for the remaining 16 hours of the evening and overnight.

Consider trying this eating cycle for 30 days and enlist family members to join you. You may just love you’re your new rhythm of life.




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