Make Better-Tasting Food On Your Grill

How to keep a clean grillLabor Day is nearing; the unofficial end of summer. If you’re among the many Americans planning an end-of-season barbecue, you’ll want to make sure your grill is clean.

A clean grill makes better tasting food.

There are several ways to clean a grill but, for owners of gas grills, the first step always is to disconnect the gas source.

Next, open your grill and remove its metal pieces. This includes grates, trays and flame guards. Take these pieces to your kitchen. If the oven has a self-cleaning mechanism, place the items in your oven and let it “self-clean”. As the temperature reaches 900 degrees or more, residue will literally fall off your grill parts.

Be sure to wipe clean your oven once the cycle completes.

If your oven is not self-cleaning, wash the grill parts in your sink using hot water and detergent. You’ll want to soak the parts in soapy water if they’re especially dirty. Once clean, allow the parts to air dry.

Then, return to your grill and using a wire brush, scrape the residue from the sides, top and bottom of the appliance. Again, using a soapy hot water mixture, wash and wipe down the inside of the grill. Rinse it clean once the residue is removed.

Re-assemble your grill. 

Lastly, reconnect the gas source (if applicable) and allow the grill to burn for 5 minutes. This will burn off any lingering residue from the cleaning process, including soap and detergent.

And that’s it!

Plan on cleaning your grill at least twice annually with heavy use.

Closing At The Start Of September? Watch Out For Labor Day.

Plan ahead for Labor Day closingsHome sales have heated up, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

More homes are going under contract this summer than went during the winter or spring seasons. Many of these homes are scheduled for late-August/early-September closings. 

If your home is among them, plan ahead. 

Like for the rest of the U.S. workforce, Labor Day is a popular vacation time in the real estate, title and mortgage industries. Closings come together more slowly when the parties involved are on holiday. In addition, when issues arise, they are often slower to resolve because not everyone is “present”. 

Therefore, if you’re under contract to buy or sell your home, or have a refinance in-process with a lender, get proactive with your home and your loan. Finalize your approval as quickly as possible.

Here are some tips to help your loan clear faster:

  1. Prepay your first year of homeowners insurance, effective your closing date. Provide proof of payment to your lender.
  2. Document and deposit all gifts and retirement withdrawals to be used at your closing as early in the process as possible.
  3. Get Power of Attorney forms signed by all parties, and lender-approved, if applicable.
  4. When your lender makes a paperwork request, fulfill the request within 24 hours.

There are steps you can take to make your closing go more smoothly, too.

First, if your transaction is purchase, don’t leave your walk-through for the last-minute. Schedule it for as early as reasonable. This way, if there’s an issue, there’s ample time to resolve it. Remember, it’s harder to solve problems when one or more parties to the transaction is away on vacation.

Second, if you have planned time off between now and your closing, make it known, and be reachable in the event of emergency by phone, email or both.

Lastly, if possible, avoid scheduling your closing for the Friday before Labor Day or the Tuesday after. Real estate, title and lender offices are notoriously short-staffed and overworked on these two days. Routine tasks take longer than usual.

You can’t stop people from going on vacation, but you can plan for it. It would be foolish not to.