Gayle Caughey | Westlake Village Real Estate, Thousand Oaks Real Estate, Agoura Hills Real Estate


Moving to a new home is both an exciting and stressful time. There’s nothing quite like a fresh start in a new place. It’s a blank canvas just waiting for you to make your mark. It’s just that there is also a lot of stuff to move! And for fish owners there comes the added complexity of how to move the carefully acclimated ecosystem of their aquatic pets.

While moving fish is not as simple as loading them into a carrier with their favorite blanket or toy it’s not an impossible task. And I’m sure you don’t need reminding how temperamental fish are to their environment. Because they are so easily upset I highly recommend setting a day aside dedicated solely to moving your aquarium. Ideally, your fish will spend as little time as possible outside of their familiar habitat.  

Before you begin disassembling your tank you’ll want to have the place you would like it to be located in your new home already picked out. This way you can have a plan of action to put into place as soon as you pull into the driveway. You’ll also want to make sure you have the proper supplies for moving your tank. 

Check in your local aquarium shop for advice on how to move your specific type of fish. You’ll also want to pick up some bags like those your fish are placed in when you first bring them home, a battery operated pump, a fish net, a few 5-gallon buckets with lids and a siphon hose if you don’t already own one. Be sure to bring home as many bags as fish you own. You’ll also want to pick up or borrow a cooler that would fit your bagged fish if you don’t have one. 

To preserve as much of the vital bacteria in your tank’s ecosystem you will want to siphon as most of your tank water into your new buckets along with your aquarium’s rocks and filter. Pumps, heaters and other tank accessories can be packed separately as normal. 

Your fish will be much easier to catch with less water and nowhere to hide. Gently catch your fish and place each one in its own individual bag filled ⅓ of the way with water from the tank. You’ll want to place all of your fish in the cooler as the dark reduces stress and the insulation helps to prevent extreme temperature changes.  

When setting up your tank in your new home remember that you want to get your fish back in their familiar habitat as soon as possible. Start by adding the water and rocks from your buckets. You’ll want to hold off on setting up any complex decorations until your fish are in the tank and a few days to settle down. You’ll just want to add any live plants you may have and a place or two for your fish to hide.

Top off your tank with the appropriate type of water your fish and consider using a bacterial additive to support your fish's ecosystem as they adjust to the big move. Watch the readings on your water closely for the next month and do not add new fish until acclimated. You will also want to hold off on feeding until your water reaches proper levels. 

I'll be honest t’s not the simplest process to move with fish but it’s also not the most difficult. And if you’re a fish enthusiast it’s well worth the effort to keep your beautiful friends happy. With some proper planning and some help from your partner or a friend moving your fish can be a smooth, stress-free experience.


Family members and friends are loved ones who play important roles in your life. However, when it comes to sharing the news that you've decided to sell your home, it sometimes can be difficult to prevent these loved from sabotaging your home sale.

Lucky for you, there are many simple ways to reduce the risk that loved ones can hinder your ability to sell your residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to keep family members and friends involved in the home selling process.

1. Meet with Family Members and Friends

Don't wait to inform family members and friends about your decision to sell your house. Instead, meet with loved ones so you can discuss your home selling plans with them.

Face-to-face meetings with family members and friends are ideal. These meetings will allow you to explain why you decided to sell your home, where you plan to move and much more.

In addition, meeting with family members and friends shows loved ones that you care about their thoughts and feelings. It also sets the stage to involve your loved ones in the home selling process – something that may help you get the best results possible.

2. Respond to Loved Ones' Home Selling Questions

In all likelihood, family members and friends will have lots of questions about your decision to sell your home. If you plan ahead for potential questions, you should have no trouble responding to loved ones' queries accordingly.

It may be tough to move further away from loved ones. But if you prepare before you meet with family members and friends, you can improve your chances of remaining calm, cool and collected as you share your home selling news.

Furthermore, it is important to remember that loved ones might not always agree with your home selling decision.

On the other hand, family members and friends should be ready to stick with you and support your decision, regardless of whether they agree with it. By doing so, your loved ones can provide you with the assistance you need to streamline the home selling process.

3. Discuss Your Options with a Real Estate Agent

For those who want to get their loved ones involved the home selling cycle, meeting with a real estate agent may prove to be a great first step.

A real estate agent can provide recommendations and suggestions about how to share your home selling news with family members and friends. Plus, this housing market professional can respond to your home selling concerns and queries at any time.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will serve as a great guide throughout the home selling process. He or she will help you add your residence to the real estate market, promote your house to potential property buyers and negotiate with homebuyers on your behalf.

Don't worry about telling family members and friends about your decision to sell your house. Conversely, use these tips, and you can prevent your loved ones from sabotaging your home sale.


The home selling journey may prove to be long and arduous, particularly for those who fail to plan ahead. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to expedite the house selling cycle and quickly achieve your desired results.

Let's take a look at three tips to help you accelerate the home selling journey.

1. Understand Your Target Audience

You know you have a great home. Now, you just need to figure out who may want to purchase it. If you analyze the buyer's perspective, you can determine your target audience and map out the home selling journey accordingly.

Think about why you decided to buy your house in the first place. Also, consider any unique features that may make your home an attractive option to potential buyers.

If you assess the buyer's perspective, you may discover innovative ways to stir up interest in your home. As a result, you could reap the benefits of a fast, profitable house selling experience.

2. Craft an Engaging Home Listing

A home listing is important, as it enables you to introduce your residence to prospective buyers. Therefore, it is crucial to create an engaging home listing that captures a buyer's interest.

As you craft a home listing, it usually is a good idea to provide clear, concise details about your house. Furthermore, you may want to include pictures of your residence's interior and exterior to help buyers see the true beauty of your house.

In addition, you should include accurate information about your home in your listing. Because if you educate buyers about your home's features, you can help them make an informed decision about whether to pursue your residence.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

For those who want to speed up the home selling journey, there is no reason to work alone. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available around the country, and these housing market experts can help you seamlessly navigate the house selling cycle.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to sell a home, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. He or she will teach you about all aspects of the housing market and help you create an effective property selling strategy. Plus, if you have concerns or questions throughout the home selling journey, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them right away.

Let's not forget about the assistance a real estate agent provides as you review an offer to purchase your house, either. Deciding whether to accept, reject or counter an offer to purchase your home sometimes can be difficult, but a real estate agent can help take guesswork out of this decision. In fact, a real estate agent can provide honest, unbiased recommendations to help you make the best-possible decision regarding a home sale.

Want to expedite the home selling journey? Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble selling your home without delay.


For home sellers, staging a house can help you transform an ordinary residence into a stellar one. And even though it may seem like an expensive process to stage your property, there are many cost-effective ways to do just that.

Here are three cheap house staging ideas that every home seller needs to know.

1. Put Away Your Personal Belongings

Although you may display many treasured antiques and photographs throughout your home, you'll want to put these items in storage before you show your property to potential homebuyers.

Remember, your goal as a home seller is stir up significant interest in your residence. If you keep personal mementos on display in your house, it may be tough for homebuyers to envision what life would be like if they purchased your home.

When it comes to home staging, putting away your personal belongings is a must. Lucky for you, if you place your personal items in storage, you can boost your chances of a quick home sale. Plus, you may even be able to speed up the process of relocating to a new address, as many of your personal belongings will already be packed up and ready to go.

2. Remove Clutter

Let's face it – clutter is an eyesore that most homeowners can live without. However, many home sellers may have large book, CD or toy collections that can take up a lot of space.

Removing clutter is essential for home sellers who want to stage their residences properly. Fortunately, there are many simple ways to eliminate clutter with ease.

For example, you may want to host a yard sale before you add your house to the real estate market. A yard sale enables you to get rid of excess items as well as earn extra cash.

Or, if you are desperate to get rid of clutter quickly, you may be able to donate various items to local charities or dispose of these items altogether.

3. Clean and Deodorize Your Home

Pet odors and other unpleasant smells won't do you any favors, especially if you want your home to make a positive first impression on prospective homebuyers.

Cleaning and deodorizing your residence usually requires hard work and patience. On the other hand, you likely won't have to worry about breaking your budget to keep your property neat and tidy.

With a fresh, clean home, your residence may stand out from others in a crowded real estate market. The pleasant aromas that fill your house also can bolster your house's chances of making a positive first impression on potential homebuyers.

Staging your home may seem difficult at first, but expert real estate agents are able to help you prepare your residence for the housing market. Real estate agents can offer recommendations about how you can enhance your property quickly and effortlessly and ensure that you can stir up plenty of interest in your home as soon as it hits the real estate market.

Collaborate with a real estate agent, and ultimately, you should have no trouble staging and selling your house.


If your house is already on the market, you're probably familiar with the hectic process of getting it in presentable condition for the next showing.

Since there are so many things to remember, it can be helpful to create a "pre-showing checklist" you can refer to whenever you need it. Your reliance on the list will probably diminish over time, but it can be a good way to become more organized, focused, and efficient.

Even the simple action of writing down your priorities will make an impression on your mind and help reinforce your memory of what needs to be done prior to a showing or open house. Here are a few tips for staying on track, simplifying the process, and remembering important tasks that are all-too-easy to forget.

Stay One Step Ahead of Dust

Ideally, every room in your house should be dusted at least once a week, but that chore often tends to get postponed, overlooked, or just plain avoided! The problem with not dusting on a regular basis is that it tends to accumulate and get worse. What often occurs to home sellers is the sudden realization -- typically, just before walking out the door prior to a scheduled house showing -- that there's a thick layer of dust on your window blinds, baseboards, or book shelves.

If you're literally minutes away from a real estate agent showing up at your front door with clients, it's generally too late to do anything about the dust accumulations. However, if you've tackled those issues a day or two before they're walking up your front pathway, you can put your mind at ease that you've conquered the "grunge factor"! If you happen to have a housekeeper handling those details, it might pay to casually remind them to do an extra-thorough job on those dusty, grungy areas.

If you have kids (and even if you don't), dirt, finger prints, and hand smudges can often be found around light switches, cabinets, and door areas. While that might be the last thing you think about when preparing your home for a showing, it could be one of the first things potential buyers notice. Although perfection is an unrealistic standard to aspire to, "the devil is in the details!" In other words, it can be the small, easily overlooked details that undermine your chances for making a great impression on prospective buyers.

A Word About Mouse Traps

Whether you live in a mansion or a bungalow, nearly all homeowners occasionally have problems with mice sneaking into their basement, garage, or attic. Sometimes the little critters even find their way into your main living area (eek!). That's why it makes sense to set up a few mouse traps in areas where mice are most likely to enter. Mouse traps come in a variety of designs, some of which are better for homes with pets, children, or squeamish adults!

When it comes to preparing for a house showing, it's always a good idea to check mousetraps for "victims" that may have sprung your devices. Ideally, mousetraps shouldn't be placed in conspicuous spots, but you definitely don't want buyers to see dead mice anywhere in your house. Granted, live ones are worse, but -- in either case -- any infestation (or the perception of one) could be a deal breaker!




Loading