Internet at Home Extremely Slow? Try These Steps Before Upgrading

The internet in homes is now being over-used with most people working from home and their children getting schooled via the internet.  If you’ve had a business videoconference stutter while your teenagers play Call of Duty online, or found yourself unable to stream the news while your spouse uploads huge data files for work, you’ll have a good idea of the problem.

According to experts the internet’s core is managing the spike in traffic just fine. It has massive capacity to handle Netflix, YouTube, Zoom and other streaming services. True, Netflix recently throttled down its video quality in Europe at the request of authorities there. But the company already stores its programs on servers close to users’ homes already, and there’s no evidence that it’s clogging networks.

Some people are wondering – if the internet is so sturdy why does my home connection stutter? The problem partly lies in the so-called “last mile,” the link that connects your home to the ultra-high speed internet backbone. Most homes in the United States get their internet from cable companies and thus connect to the broader network via coaxial cable, a legacy of the cable TV era. These connections provide faster “downstream” speeds to your home than “upstream” speeds back to the internet. Since videoconferencing sends equal amounts of data both ways, simultaneous sessions can clog the upstream channel and disrupt service for the entire household.

If this situation is happening to you, one quick solution is to have some family members switch to audio-only, which conserves bandwidth. This also applies to anyone in multiplayer online games, where — per a wag on Twitter — the banter between players often resembles conference calls with occasional shooting.

You might want to consider ordering a service upgrade, although that might not be strictly necessary. Some providers are temporarily offering more bandwidth, particularly for families with school-age children, in response to the current situation. Others have dropped service caps that charge extra when data usage passes a certain threshold. I tested my speed today to see that my provider has almost doubled my speed… and I didn’t even ask.

The relatively few U.S. households with their own direct fiber-optic connections have the same bandwidth in both directions and shouldn’t experience serious hiccups.

Does your home network need an upgrade?  It might. Start with your internet modem, the device that most likely has a coax cable connecting it to your wall. Your internet provider often rents the modem to you.

If your modem is several years old, it’s probably time to ask your provider if upgrading the modem’s internal software, or replacing the modem entirely, will help. Also, some older modems often can’t deliver the full bandwidth you’re paying each month for to your household.

Next look at your Wi-Fi router. If you have cable, it may be built into your modem. If you haven’t already, try moving it to a more central location in your home or apartment; that will ensure bandwidth is distributed more equally.  Another possibility you can connect some devices directly to the router with ethernet cables instead of using Wi-Fi. This may improve the performance of videoconferencing.

Or you can add more access points and distribute Wi-Fi with a “mesh” network. Newer routers let you add several satellite stations that boost your signal throughout the house, though you might have to arrange that with your provider.

Want to test your internet speed? Click this link, then click “GO”;

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Great decorating ideas for renters and homeowners alike….

Most of the time there are strict guidelines renters have to follow in order to get their security deposit back, so rental homes might not look like what the renter wants to express.

Well that might have been so at one time, however I have some great decorating tips that are “low impact” which means changes are easy to do and undo when renters leave without causing harm to the home.  And by the way for owners of homes that like to change things around often, you may want to pay attention as well.

The first thing you should know about is removable hooks (they stick to the wall with removable adhesive) – I’m sure you have seen them advertised on TV.  Then there are removable wallpapers, tile decals and easy to install light fixtures.

You can create your own artwork on a canvas and display it on your wall with removable hooks and not harm the walls or paint job.  Your own artwork makes the home your space and shows your personality.  You can also show off a collection of posters from your favorite concerts or favorite parts of the world you have traveled to.

For the more adventurous there is removable wallpaper – I know it sounds complicated however it is not and very doable for renters and homeowners alike.  Hygge & West is one of the sellers of removable wallpaper.  It’s a great way to bring pattern and color into a room and break up the white walls.

Do you have boring tile in your kitchen or bathroom? Well now you can perk that up with waterproof decals in all sorts of patterns and colors – go to  You can create an interesting backsplash or add something to a bland bathroom.  StickPretty also sells removable window film which adds privacy and a wow factor to your otherwise plain windows.

Also get fun and colorful area rugs – they can go with you to your next rental or when you purchase your first home.

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Do you have a Phantom Light in Your Home?

Phantom light in your home? – I’m not kidding.  Have you ever encountered a recessed light in your home that has a mind of its own and turns on and off by itself?  That is referred to as a phantom light.

I know it’s crazy however they are more common than you think.  The one location where it most often happens is in the recessed light over the master shower.  If you want to learn how to correct this read on – and by the way it is easily fixed and no tools required.

Back in the 1970’s there was an extremely high rate of home fires that occurred due to over- heating recessed light fixtures.  As we know incandescent light bulbs put off a considerable amount of heat (Remember Easy Bake ovens – the heat source for them was a light bulb!)  The recessed light fixtures of the 70’s were supposed to be installed with a cone that was in the attic over the fixture that would keep insulation from covering the fixture and allowing heat to escape.  If this was not done it could cause house fires.

In the 1980’s manufacturers of light fixtures began to incorporate a safety device called a SHTP – Self Heating Thermal Protector.  A really simple component that would cut power to a fixture if the fixture became over- heated.  Today SHTP’s are required in all recessed lighting fixtures and consumers should not exceed the manufacturer’s recommendation for bulb size – in most cases that would be 60 watts. That’s because a larger wattage bulb puts out more heat. If a 75w or 100w light bulb is used in a fixture rated for 60w, chances are great it will cause the SHTP to actuate causing the light to turn off. .  If the light switch is left in the “on” position, the light will re-illuminate once the fixture cools off. And that is the Phantom light!

Today with advances in technology, this is a simple problem to correct. LED lighting is here! LED is an acronym for Light Emitting Diode. LED’s consumer much less energy to put out the same amount of light (lumens) as a much larger wattage incandescent light bulb. An 8w LED light bulb puts out the same lumens as a 60w incandescent light bulb! 8 watts puts out so little heat that it’s almost indiscernible. A 9w LED is equivalent to a 75w light bulb.

LED light bulbs are more expensive than incandescent light bulbs. However, because they consume a lot less power, they pay for themselves with lower electrical utility costs over time. Also, many LED lights have a life expectancy of 15 – 20 years! Chances are very high that once you install an LED light bulb, you will never replace that bulb again as long as you own the home!  

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Local Theatre Highlight – The Spitfire Grill

The Spitfire Grill is an American musical with music and book by James Valcq and lyrics and book by Rachel Sheinkin. It is based on the 1996 film of the same name by Lee David Zlotoff. The Off-Broadway production by Playwrights Horizons began previews at the Duke Theatre on 42nd Street on September 7, 2001 and concluded its scheduled run on October 14, 2001. It won the Richard Rodgers Production Award, administered by The American Academy of Arts and Letters

A feisty parolee named Percy Talbott follows her dreams, based on a page from an old travel book, to a small (fictional) town in Wisconsin that one of its inhabitants calls “a place for leaving, not for coming to.”  Arriving in Gilead, Percy reports to the local Sheriff, Joe Sutter, who leads her through the deserted streets to a ramshackle diner called the Spitfire Grill, run by a crusty old widow, Hannah Ferguson, who has a bad hip and sharp tongue. Joe persuades Hannah to take Percy on board and give her work as a waitress.

In the face of all the gossip and Hannah’s constant haranguing, Percy begins to wonder whether she made a mistake in coming to Gilead, and soon finds herself, helping out the Spitfire. She is joined at the Spitfire by Caleb’s wife Shelby, an excellent cook. In the heat of the kitchen the two women are drawn together.

The Spitfire Grill has been for sale for ten years with no takers. Percy proposes a way for Hannah to get rid of the Spitfire and make some money at the same time. At first Hannah resists, but slowly, something about the craziness of the idea convinces her that it just might work.

The play is at the Las Vegas Little Theatre, 3920 Schiff Drive , 702-362-7996  and runs from now through  March 22, 2020  to purchase tickets go to

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Love Vintage? Go to Vin’tique – a new store in the West Valley

After renting booths in antique malls, Julie Henderson, Mary Jo Putman (White & Weathered) and Mary Apple are proud to open a store that will connect with their fellow vintage lovers.

The store is located at 7871 W Charleston suite 150, Las Vegas, NV 89117 (just west of Buffalo). This store is different than any other antique store in the area; the owners felt a distinct need to come together as vendors and display their products alongside each other’s in order for the pieces to be complimentary and cohesive. Shopping here is a lovely experience – from the music played in the store to the coffee and goodies for shoppers to enjoy.

The goal of the store is that antique and vintage shoppers from the Las Vegas area will visit the shop and notice the quality of pieces that are on display. Shoppers should feel at home and spend time in the relaxing space that has been created looking at all the pieces of quality vintage they offer. Hopefully you will find at least one item you desire to bring back to your home.

Vin’tique sells a variety of types of items – Home Décor, Vintage Clothing and Antique Furnishings.  Your style may range from Eclectic to Mid Century Modern to Farmhouse to Granny Chic and anything in between, and you most likely will find at least one item that you will fall in love with.  The inventory changes daily as they are constantly bringing in latest finds, which means you are always welcome to stop by regularly and see what is new!

They offer very eclectic pieces in every category, and there’s just something fun about spending time in a great vintage shop, so drop by and check it out!

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Outdoor Kitchens Trends

It’s March and the family can’t wait to eat outdoors and enjoy the outdoor kitchen.  Wait – you don’t have one??  Well now is a great time to have one added to your backyard.  They come in all shapes and sizes and what once were thought as a fad has become more popular every year (and can add value to your home!!!)

So now you want to add this feature – you might be interested in making sure that your new kitchen fits with the current trends in outdoor kitchen design. You also might want to make sure you include essential elements of a great outdoor kitchen.  The following are a few hot trends to help you form the design of your new outdoor kitchen.

Rustic Looks Are King – Not so long ago outdoor kitchens were little more than blocks of brick and mortar with an oven or grill built in. In today’s world they have grown into as much as a full kitchen – plus their overall look has grown as well. One of the really popular trends in outdoor cooking spaces is to give them a rustic or even semi-rustic look; brick and stone still play a part, but so do aged wood and similar accents like corrugated metal. Brick flooring and rustic whitewashing are also fairly popular, as they give the whole kitchen area a very part-of-the-home feel.

Semi-Outdoor Chic – There are some outdoor kitchens that are completely separate from the home, however one growing trend is to build them into a covered deck area or other space that connects to the home. Adding a bit of roofing and a few partial walls or supports capitalizes on the outdoor feel of the space while still giving you a bit of privacy and control over the space you’ll be cooking in.

Accessible Food Prep – When outdoor kitchens first started becoming popular the usual step was to do all the food prep inside and then bring things out to cook. Over the course of time homeowners have shifted toward wanting to do some (if not all) of their prep outdoors as well. This means that modern outdoor kitchens provide access to counter-space, butcher block cutting boards that are built in to the surface, and other prep-area essentials. They also offer up sinks and other sources of water, and many include mini-fridges to keep fresh ingredients cool until they’re needed as well. Some outdoor kitchens even come equipped with dishwashers to provide beginning-to-end cooking solutions!  Don’t you love this idea?  No mess to drag back into your home.

Pizza Ovens Remain Popular – A lot of outdoor kitchens got their start as an excuse to install brick pizza ovens, and these outdoor ovens remain popular today. The types of pizza ovens that people want have evolved a bit, however. While you’ll still see plenty of very basic brick pizza ovens, clay ovens and more traditional gas or electric ovens are also gaining popularity. The type of pizza oven you choose depends largely on personal preference, just so long as there’s a place for you to cook a pizza out there somewhere.

Outdoor Storage – One other major trend in outdoor kitchens is an increase in available storage space for various tools and other kitchen implements. Some of these spaces are simple, with shelves or reclaimed crates as a place to hold items temporarily. Others are much fancier, including “windows” attached to the house that open to reveal service settings and everything else you need to enjoy a good meal outdoors. There are lockable storage solutions, open-air storage solutions and just about everything else that you can think of available. Some people like to include all the storage that you would want in your regular kitchen when building a kitchen outdoors.

Bar – Many outdoor kitchens will include a bar area. Some will even go so far as to install a kegerator with beer taps. Many of your favorite brews are available from your local liquor stores in kegs or half-kegs. You can also have an icemaker installed so you don’t have to lug bags of ice to the party.

Are you loving the idea of an outdoor kitchen but aren’t really sure where to start? Just contact me – Jeff Howard – your realtor for life –I have a list of licensed professional contractors that can deal with all the aspects of building an outdoor kitchen for you.

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Events in Las Vegas for March 2020

March 3–8, The Mint 400  See the oldest and most prestigious off-road race in America. Over 550 race teams in 80+ classes will compete for two days on a grueling 400-mile course in the desolate foothills of Las Vegas. Location:  The Mint400, 100S. 6th Street, Las Vegas – Time refer to website

March 6, First Friday Hunt for unique treasures, chow down on tasty food, and enjoy live music and art at this monthly festival of creativity. The First Friday Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to supporting local arts and culture.  Location 1025 S. 1st Street  Time: 5–11 pm

March 13–15, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Carnival, Festival & Entertainment Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a parade, carnival, car show, and festival. This is a free event.  Location : Water Street District, Henderson  Time: refer to website

March 13–15, Toycon Explore an amazing collection of vendors, see celebrityguests, and enjoy entertainment. Fans of Hot Wheels Pop! Vinyl figures, action figures, cards, comics, and cosplay will not be disappointed!Location:  Eastside Cannery Casino Hotel, 5255 Boulder Hwy., Las Vegas   Time:Refer to website

March 14, Kids Community Day Bring the whole family for a day full of interactive demonstrations and activities, as well as a Stroller Strides pop-up class, raffles, food, music, story time, crafts, a bounce castle, face-painting, a balloon artist, and more! Time:11 am–2 pm Location:Tivoli Village, 400 S. Rampart Blvd., Las Vegas

March 14, New Vista Brew’s Best Craft Beer Festival  Enjoy an afternoon of unlimited samplings from both local and national breweries, entertainment, activities, and games. Participants will receive a souvenir tasting glass and tasting guide Time:1–6 pm VIP, 2–6 pm General Admission   Location:The Lawn at Downtown Summerlin 1980 Festival Plaza Dr., Las Vegas

March 17, St. Patrick’s Day in Las Vegas Reconnect with your Irish roots or become an honorary Irishman this St. Patrick’s Day! Check out the parties, pubs, restaurants, entertainment, and other things to do on Saint Patrick’s Day in Las Vegas. Location:Refer to website Time:Refer to website

March 19–22, The Nevada Women’s Film Festival -Support creative and courageous women from all over the globe at this 6th Annual Festival, with 64 films from 21 countries in genres including comedy, drama, doc, experimental, and horror.  Location:University of Nevada 4505 S. Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas Time:Refer to website

March 21, The Annual PurpleStride  Las Vegas- Join in a 5K Run/Walk to fight pancreatic cancer with a vibrant community of survivors, impacted families, loved ones, researchers, and advocates. Time: 8:15 am Opening Ceremonies, 9 am Walk Location: The Green at Town Square6587 North St. Las Vegas

March 21–22, The Yearly Spring Plant Sale at Springs Preserve Browse hundreds of native and desert-adapted plant varieties available for purchase! Gardening experts will also be on hand to provide free planting advice and answer customer questions.  Location: Springs Preserve 333 S. Valley View Blvd., Las Vegas Time: 8 am–1 pm

March 28, Neighborhood Block Party Support and celebrate 26 years of creating affordable housing and building better neighborhoods block by block at this event with food, drinks, and fun. There will also be a silent and live auction along with some awesome entertainment. Location:Blind Center of Nevada 1001 North Bruce St., Las Vegas  Time:5–8 pm

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff