Wednesday, May 21, 2014

10 Cool Ideas for Backyard Retreats and Playhouses


10 Cool Ideas for Backyard Retreats and Playhouses

Summer is around the corner, and the outdoor world is beckoning. What better way to enhance outdoor living than with a cool new structure in the backyard? Whether you dream of lounging in a hammock in your own bugproof pavilion, hosting friends for the weekend in a revamped vintage Airstream or getting away from it all in a rustic writer’s cabin, these 10 ideas for outbuildings are here to get your creative wheels turning. Just imagine the possibilities.

Ron Goldstein,MBA
Certified Luxury Broker@KoenigRubloff-Berkshire Hathaway affiliate
Principal, Silver Professionals
(o)312-264-5846 (c)312-771-7190 (f)312-264-5746

Offices in Chicago and St. Petersburg
Connecting people w/ jobs & homes!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Spring rains..Test your sump pump

How to Test a Basement Sump Pump



A basement sump pump can serve as a good investment for a homeowner, and many homes--particularly those in low or wet areas--come standard with basement sump pumps. A sump pump removes water from the lowest level of a home and pumps it outside the house. Properly maintaining your sump pump lets you rest assured that it will function correctly if you should experience a flood of water from unforeseen leaks or weather conditions. If your home has a basement sump pump, you should test it regularly to ensure its proper operation.


    • 1
      Locate the exit pipe, also called an outlet pipe, on the exterior of your home through which your sump pump directs the water from your basement. Inspect the outlet pipe for damage. Verify that the pipe has no clogs made of debris or ice, depending upon the current weather conditions. Make sure that the outlet pipe is clear and will direct water away from the foundation of your house. Remove any clogs or move the outlet pipe if necessary.
    • 2
      Look over the sump pump in the basement of your home. You can usually find it near the interior walls of the foundation, typically in an unfinished area of the basement. Verify that the electrical cord for your sump pump is plugged into an outlet. Remove the lid to the sump pump, if your pump has a lid. Using a flashlight, inspect the interior of the basin for any clogs or debris. Remove any debris that you find.
    • 3
      Pour approximately 5 gallons of water into the basin of your sump pump. Pour slowly (at approximately the same speed that water might flow into the basin from the basement) until the sump pump turns on and begins to pump out water. Do not pour in more water than the basin will hold. Expect the sump pump to begin pumping out water when the water level reaches approximately 8 to 12 inches below the surface of the basement floor.
    • 4
      Look for a float on the sump pump. (Your sump pump may not include a float.) Verify that the float functions correctly and does not catch against the lid or basin, as its proper operation ensures that the sump pump turns on when the water level reaches the correct height.
    • 5
      Make any necessary repairs based on your test of your basement sump pump. Continue to test your sump pump regularly (every few months) and replace your pump if needed.

Planning summer Bashes? Light it up!

Backyard Parties: 7 Ways to Light It Up

Have a lush and inviting outdoor space that's gorgeous in the daytime, but loses that vibe after the sun goes down? Adding light to your backyard doesn't have to mean major rewiring or costly fixtures to create blinding results. For ideas, take a look at what we've rounded up from around the Web that will give your backyard a dazzling glow.

Tin Can Lanterns

Let your creativity shine through by crafting these customized tin can lanterns. Use a hammer and nail to punch your design or pattern, fill with a tea light and you’re set. For more intricate motifs, use a pen to sketch out your plan before punching.
Photo Credit:

Mason Jar Lights

Use pages from the newspaper, a back issue from a magazine or your favorite catalog to dress up basic canning jars. Here, these decoupaged Mason jar lights are vessels for flame tea lights, but can be filled with any small battery-powered light of your choosing. You can also use them to hold pencils, kitchen utensils or short-stemmed flowers.
Photo Credit: Melissa Baswell Williams,

Glowing Light Orbs

These glowing light orbs are proof that chic outdoor lighting doesn’t have to break the bank. The basic light shades can be found at hardware stores, second-hand stores and flea markets for the cost of a cup of coffee. Fill them with some of those mini-lights that only see action around the Christmas tree and voila – instant ambiance with little fuss.
Photo Credit: The Art of Doing Stuff

Wine Glass Lampshades

Instead of scattering boring plain tea lights on the table, put unused wine glasses to work at your next al fresco fiesta by topping them with homemade wine glass candle lampshades. Fill the glasses with tea lights, top with decorative vellum or designer card stock paper and you've got instant sophistication.
Photo Credit: iSaveA2Z

Pot Lighting

Give a clay or plastic pot, or even a woven basket from a dollar store, a new look by turning it into a hanging light fixture. Battery-powered light sources work best inside these sconces.
Photo Credit: The Art of Doing Stuff

Paper Bag Lanterns

Another use for a string of basic outdoor lights, these paper bag party lights are a fun family-friendly project that can be done in no time with a little supervision. Colorful bags provide visual pop in the daylight and after sunset. With one flip of a power switch, the inner glow takes over.
Photo Credit: Martha Stewart

Custom Signage

Impress guests with your own lighted custom signage that is both practical and whimsical. This piece was made by cutting plywood and stringing outdoor lights through holes in the letters.

Photo Credit: Nicole Reed

Friday, May 16, 2014

As featured on WGN..Jobs & Homes Guru..Base of our Economy! Check out the catalyst of change in Employment 2.0 (Flat fee/Interim-FT Hiring) and the Most trusted brand- Berkshire Hathaway


Your Jobs & Homes Guru presents...
Carpe Diem... Today is your day!
My motto in life and business. As an exclusive senior broker representing buyers, sellers, investors, developers and financial institutions, I am dedicated to providing high quality service in the Chicago suburbs and city as well as exposure on a global level for your property. I possess an intimate knowledge of the local market and specialize in residential and commercial properties of distinction.
I am a certified Eco-Broker and offer an educational based approach to my clients by delivering information on green products, services and market issues. I will educate them on energy, environmental, financial and green market issues.
Practicing the art of uniting extraordinary properties with extraordinary lives, I am ready to devote my attention to your particular real estate needs. I have the TRC designation which affords me the opportunity to conduct and facilitate transactions on an international level.
Over the last 15 years, I have professionally sold in the real estate,banking, legal and corporate environments throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. Utilizing the latest in marketing strategies,information technologies and business acumen, I welcome the opportunity to be a thought leader and trusted advisor throughout your real estate acquisition and disposition process.
I understand that real estate, regardless of its price range, reflects the incalculable value of the life lived within.

1. Information technology. When career site recently analyzed millions of job postings on its web site, researchers found that the fastest-growing category of keywords — including HTML5, Android, mobile app, and social media —were in IT, and a new survey by tech job site bears that out:About 65% of hiring managers said they hope to add tech staff in the first half of 2014. Roughly a quarter of those (27%) said they want to expand their IT headcount by more than 20%. Openings for software developers who specialize in applications will rise by more than one-third (34%) by 2018, says Best Jobs for the 21st Century,a new book by job market analyst Laurence Shatkin, while companies will hire 20% more computer systems analysts. Rising pay in these fields reflects the surge in demand: The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that developers of systems software, for instance, earn an averageof $94,180 per year.  Reinvigorate your ROI! Check out Silver Professionals IT offerings@ a fraction of the old school cost..

2. Health care professionals. Partly due to the aging of the U.S. population, health care has been hot for a while now, and the trend shows no sign of slowing. Shatkin's research says the U.S. will need 103,900 more registered nurses every year (average salary: $64,690) well into the next decade, along with 7,860 new physical therapists per annum (average pay: $76,310). Demandfor dental hygienists is up too, with a projected 36.1% growth in job openings between now and 2018 (average pay: $68,250). One of Silver Professionals fastest growing verticals..RN,NP,PA,Physician and Executive Professional Medical Hiring.
3. Health care management and support staff.Don't have the training or experience to work directly with patients?No worries. "People often overlook the fact that business people run health care companies," says Ron Goldstein , principal of recruiting firm Silver Professionals . "With all the change happening in the system now, there is churn as well as growth. We're constantly seeing new openings in general management, finance, marketing, human resources, you name it."...

Ron Goldstein

Broker Associate

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Jobs & Homes..Base of our Economy! Top 10 careers for 2014+
Home ownership expands personal liberty, builds communities,and helps Americans create wealth. “The American Dream” is not a stale slogan. It is the lived reality that expresses the aspirations of all our people. It means a decent place to live, a safe place to raise   kids, a welcoming place to retire. It bespeaks the quiet pride of those who work hard to shelter their family and, in the process, create caring neighborhoods. Home ownership is best fostered by a growing economy with low interest rates, as well as prudent regulation,financial education, and targeted assistance to responsible borrowers.
The S&P Case-Shiller index, which tracks the 20 largest markets in the nation, showed the biggest year-over-year gain in prices since June 2006.
"This marks the highest increase since the housing bubble burst," said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
"The market still has a long way to go nationally, but the healing process -- and a return to a normalized housing market -- is definitely well underway," said Jim Baird, chief investment officer for Plante Moran Financial Advisors.
Home prices have been helped in recent months by a number of factors, including tight inventory of homes available for sale, near record-low mortgage rates and a drop in homes in foreclosure. A decline in unemployment is also helping the housing recovery.
The housing recovery itself is helping support overall economic growth, as builders scramble to hire workers to meet the renewed demand. The lift goes beyond the impact of increased construction on the economy, as the rise in home prices lifts  household wealth.
Rising home prices also reduce the number of people owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. That, in turn, can help them to refinance those loans at a lower rate, freeing up money to spend on other goods and services.
Top 10 careers for 2014+
4. Engineers.Note to college students who want their pick of job offers when they graduate: Consider majoring in engineering. A whopping 88% of employers in a new poll by the Society for Human Resource Management bemoaned the difficulty of finding enough engineers to hire. Civil engineers are  in demand too: Shatkin's analysis of BLS data shows a 24.3% spike ahead in jobs for people who design roads, bridges, and other infrastructure projects (average annual pay: $77,560).
5. Industrial skills.Think U.S. manufacturing is moribund? Think again. More than two-thirds (68%) of employers in the SHRM survey pointed to a shortage of qualified new hires to replace people retiring from the skilled trades: electricians, carpenters, welders. Moreover, says Justin Hirsch, "We're seeing an increase in industrial hiring in logistics,supply-chain management, and plant management." As more companies go global, demand for expertise in logistics -- the art and science of moving stuff efficiently from one place to another -- will continue to heat up.

6. Life sciences and biotech. Medical innovators ranging in size from Big Pharma down to biotech startups are on a hiring binge: Shatkin sees a 40% jump in job openings for research scientists between now and 2018 (average salary: $76,700). As with health care companies in general, these employers will also need managers and support staff (see No. 3).
7. Salespeople. Selling has historically been the closest thing there is to a recession-proof career, and this economic downturn is no exception. Since they're the ones bringing the dough in the door, salespeople are often the first to be hired and last to get laid off. Almost three-quarters (72%) of employers in the SHRM survey said they can't get enough salespeople now.
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8. Accounting and finance. Demand for accountants and finance mavens (particularly forensic accountants and compliance specialists) has been climbing steadily for the past several years, and U.S. colleges are still not turning out enough grads in these fields to fill the available openings. The SHRM survey found that more than half (54%) of employers would hire more accountants and finance experts if they could find them. Silver Professionals just launched a new service Blend the tactical approach of a controller +The strategic thinking of a CFO + The Benefits of a CPA outsourced partner

9. Discount retailers. "Not to mention any specific company names -- everyone knows who they are, anyway -- but the big national discount store companies have flourished during this recession," notes Justin Hirsch. "And most of them are hiring managers as well as in-store personnel."
10. Private equity firms. Recruiters report that private equity firms are actively seeking management talent for their portfolio companies "across all industries and all functional areas," says Hirsch. "They're poaching already-employed, seasoned managers from big companies -- people who can step into either a turnaround situation or a pre-IPO company and make it work. These are challenging jobs, and could be a real feather in a manager's cap if he or she can bring it off successfully."
Silver Professionals.. Employment power  and opportunities for dependable and loyal professional job seekers. Employers..We have a reliable and repeatable process in the hiring of candidates from our pool of professional talent. We offer a flat fee schedule of permanent PT/FT (1495/4995) employment and several business service offerings to make your human resource capital as efficient as possible. We offer a comprehensive background/interview check, leveraging behavioral questioning to facilitate mutual success.We have recruiting available with our global reach .90 day guarantees..amazing talent from Interim Surgical RN,LPN,PhysicianAssistant, outside/inside sales/biz dev. gurus..Enterprise ITarchitects.IOS/Android/Mobile developers..nurses/nursepractitioners.bookkeepers..CEO to COO, CFO, CIO, audit CPAs,Dir of HR,Dir of Manufctg, CRM, ERP and EHR implementers/thoughtleaders/developers, research scientist, hematologist/oncologist,Concierge Dr… Come check out our 1200+ talent available..
Check out our latest Jobs for Spring.

Our deepest satisfaction comes from finding other companies to embrace our professional salespeople, scientists,health care,manufacturing, energy/green, legal, tax , financial, HR, IT professionals and veterans and help them put to work  some of the greatest minds, while increasing their ROI.

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© 2014 BHH Affiliates, LLC. Real Estate Brokerage Services are offered through the network member franchisees of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Most franchisees are independently owned and operated. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity. Information not verified or guaranteed. If your property is currently listed with a Broker, this is not intended as a solicitation.