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Posts Tagged Curb Appeal

For Your Client: Do’s & Don’ts of Home Selling

moneycrashers.com

moneycrashers.com

First impressions are everything when it comes to selling a home.

“Most people make up their mind whether or not they like a house within mere minutes of stepping foot inside,” explains Don Frommeyer, mortgage expert and CEO of The National Association of Mortgage Brokers. “That is why it is crucial to make sure that you (and your home) are putting your best foot forward.”

Here are the top Do’s and Don’ts for getting your home ready for the market:

Don’t overdo it on the heat.

“People tend to overcompensate when they know that potential buyers are coming to look at their home in the winter time. They crank up the heat to make the place warm and welcoming,” says Frommeyer. “But that can backfire. The air will be dry and stale, plus the buyers will probably be too warm as they will be bundled up in coats. So keep the heat at a reasonable setting and have your humidifier set between 40-60 percent.”

Do consider curb appeal.

“Curb appeal is a huge draw for buyers, even in February,” says Frommeyer, “If you live in a cold state, consider creating a winter planter with cold-weather plants like winter berry holly or noble fir. At the very least, invest in a new doormat and keep the driveway clear of ice and snow. Warm lights glowing in the window will also be welcoming.”

Don’t expect people to use their imagination.

“If you have a crazy color choice in one (or more) of your rooms, you might think that people will look past that,” says Frommeyer. “But that can prove difficult for buyers. Garish paint and wacky décor choices will make them uneasy, no matter how beautiful your home is underneath your collection of animal heads. Paint over those wild colors and put away any crazy items that might garner a laugh or a raised brow.”

Do invest in updates that matter.

“People will pay top-dollar for homes with updated kitchens and bathrooms. If you can make even the barest improvements to these rooms, you will see a huge return. Update the yellowing tile in the bathroom or invest in new cabinetry. At the very least, purchase new shower curtains, bath rugs, and the like.”

Do keep it bright.

“Open all the curtains,” says Frommeyer, “Turn on all the lights, even if it is the afternoon. Replace all dead light bulbs. Crack open doors to the pantry or laundry room so people won’t be afraid to peek inside. And tidy up in forgotten places like inside the fridge or oven…people will be looking in there, and if they see mold or burnt food, they will be very turned off.”

For more information, visit www.namb.org.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

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Your Spring Garden Planner

By Courtney Soinski

With the spring season right around the corner, now is the perfect time to start planning your garden and the perfect pallet of colorful flowers. Color coordinating your plants takes some planning, so, we’ve put together some fun and creative tools to help you visualize your new garden.

Here are great ways to spruce up your yard this spring.

Plan your garden’s layout.

When it comes to planning the layout of your spring garden, you may not know where to start. Thankfully, there are plenty of online tools you can use without having to download anything. With this garden-planning tool, you can have a picture of which flowers go here and which shrubs go there. Personally, I am very visual, so being able to SEE the layout makes designing my yard much easier than trying to imagine it my head.

Here’s an example of what your layout will look like in the program:

smallblueprinter.com

Start planning your layout here

Shear Miracles

Shear Miracles

 

Choose a Color Scheme

Different species of flowers come in tons of colors, so choosing which colors to mix may feel overwhelming. Here are a few different color schemes to consider:

Here are a few different color schemes to consider:

 

Monochromatic Colors 

The easiest solution would be to create a monochromatic color scheme, which means choosing flowers with all different shades of one color.

If one color sounds too boring for your taste, try mixing colors. To demonstrate this, take a look at the color wheel on the right.

Analogous Colors

For a simple color-mixing method, you can use analogous colors. You’ll find them next to each other on the color wheel. These colors tend to blend together very well.

Marie Flint

Marie Flint

Complementary Colors

Using this color scheme in your garden can add a “pop” to your flowerbed. They are the colors across from each other on the color wheel.

 

 

Color Triad

Drawing an equilateral triangle creates the color triad, which connects 3 colors in the color wheel.

peppermintcreative.com

peppermintcreative.com

Pick a flower, any flower.

The types of flowers that you plant hold just as much importance as the color scheme.

Here are our favorite flowers to plant in early spring:

flowers

When it comes to planning your spring garden, there are many useful tools out there to make the process easier and stress-free. You can start by using the garden planner, where you can organize all your flowerbeds, shrubs, and overall landscaping. Once you’re finished, you’ll have the best outdoor curb appeal on the block!

Happy gardening!!

Source: Basic Design Principles – Using Color in the Garden; LoveToKnow

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Your Fall Lawn Care To-Do List

Taking time in the fall to prepare your lawn for the colder months ahead will offer a huge pay off when spring comes around, and you’ll be able to enjoy lusher, greener grass when temperatures rise again.

Fertilizing

soilProviding nutrients to your lawn before cold weather strikes is good for strengthening roots and increasing the nutrients stored for an earlier spring green. While the top growth of grass stops, grass plants are storing nutrients and energy for the following season.

To determine the best ratio of fertilizer for the soil in your yard, you should utilize a soil test. Otherwise, look for fertilizer with a nitrogen-phosphate-potassium (NPK) ratio of 3:1:2 or 4:1:2.

When applying the fertilizer, make sure that you follow the application instructions and rate information on the package and use a calibrated spreader to apply the correct amount. It is also a good rule to apply the fertilizer about 2-3 weeks before the ground freezes so the plant can start to take up some of the nutrients.

Instead of pacing the yard with a push spreader, consider a tow-behind spreader attached to your riding lawn mower or garden tractor. An attachment can quickly distribute fertilizer evenly across your yard.

Aerating

aeratorAerating, the process of removing plugs of soil and thatch from the lawn, is ideal in cooler months. It encourages deep rooting, improves water and nutrient penetration, and promotes growth of beneficial soil microorganisms. There are a variety of techniques you can use to penetrate the soil, such as spiked shoes or spray-on liquids, but to most effectively aerate soil, attach a dethatcher, or a plug aerator behind a riding mower or tractor to remove plugs of soil from 2-3 inches deep.

Mulching

lawn_tip_mulchingIf you prefer not to rake or bag grass or leaves, mulching with a mower is an ideal alternative. Be sure to mulch leaves only when they are dry to avoid damp and wet leaves clumping or building up under mower decks.

Remember that grass needs sunlight in the fall to help store food for winter, so don’t wait until your lawn is completely matted down with leaves to mulch. A thin layer of mulched leaves is ideal and helps add nutrients to the soil, reducing the need for fertilizer.

Composting

Creating a compost pile allows you to turn organic material into rich soil. The fall season is a good time to create a compost pile with decaying yard matter, such as vegetables, grass clippings and leaves, which can provide nutrient-rich soil for spring planting. For best results, alternate layers of “brown,” or high carbon materials, with grass clippings.

baggerUsing a rear bagger with your lawn mower or tractor will help make collecting grass clippings a breeze, and adding to your compost pile is as simple as backing up to the spot and unloading. Another optional mower attachment, the lawn sweeper, brushes leaves into a hamper, much like a broom and dustpan.

Taking these steps will prepare your lawn for the winter and help it come back strong, healthy and beautiful in the spring.

Source: John Deere

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

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