6 Home Maintenance Chores We All Forget

If you’re like most people, your home maintenance to-do list is so long, plenty of chores regularly fall off it and into the abyss, never to be remembered. With so much house and so little time, that’s understandable. Hey, you’re only human!

Still, though: Out of sight and out of mind does not mean it’s OK. Ignore certain chores, and they can come back and haunt you in a variety of unpleasant ways, from bigger electric bills to foundation problems and beyond. And the truly silly part is that these duties don’t take that long to address … as long as you nip them in the bud before little chores become huge problems, after years of neglect.

Read the article on Realtor.com

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7 Ways to Make Your Life Easier During a Home Renovation

A home renovation is as exciting as it is hectic. Between coordinating contractors and choosing fixtures, your home is all out of sorts – which is overwhelming in and of itself.

Luckily, it doesn’t have to be a challenge. Keep these tips in mind if you’re struggling through a home renovation. When all is said and done, you’ll finish with a gorgeous addition to your home and a still maintain your sanity.

  1. Get Your Meals Delivered

On-demand food delivery services will become lifesavers when dinnertime comes along. This is especially true when renovating your kitchen, which leaves you cooking out of your living room or on the grill every night-all while dodging obstacles like your misplaced table and boxes of kitchenware.

  1. Delegate Your Laundry

Whether your laundry room is being remodeled, or you simply don’t have the extra time to get it done during the renovation, sending your laundry to a wash and fold service is a simple way to make your life easier. If there are a number of providers to choose from nearby, keep the following tips in mind:

  • What services do they offer?
  • What do the reviews say?
  • Is it easy to get a hold of customer service?
  • How affordable are they? (The key: avoiding hidden fees)
  1. Escape for the Weekend

Sometimes, you just need a break from the non-stop drilling and paint fumes. Take time to relax and get away from the chaos with a staycation, feeling all the benefits of a getaway without the costs or time away from work.

  1. Create a “Me Space”

The most difficult part about renovating your home is having to deal with the excess dust, dirt and clutter, not to mention being surrounded by the workers who are making it all happen. Create a “me” space within your home where you and your family can relax and enjoy quieter alone time.

  1. Tackle One Project at a Time

While it might be tempting to get a few home renovation projects done, it’s better to tackle one at a time. Planning to renovate more than one room will not only make it more stressful, but could also leave you with minimal working fixtures to use for everyday tasks like showering, cooking or cleaning. Don’t make your life harder than it needs to be during this time and focus on just one thing at a time.

  1. Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

A lot of things can (and will) go wrong during your home renovation. Budgets can be blown, contractors can unexpectedly quit, and pipes can break. To put your mind at ease, and be more prepared, Home Advisor shares a few common challenges you’ll likely face:

  • Cost and budgeting: “One of the biggest mistakes homeowners commit is not leaving cash in reserve in case anything goes wrong,” suggests Home Advisor.
  • Materials: Choosing materials on a whim that don’t fit with your home can be costly further down the road.
  • Contractors: Taking too long, charging unexpected fees, or not doing what is asked of them.
  1. Prioritize

When you’re being asked to make dozens of decisions in a short amount of time, your priorities have a way of getting lost in the mix. Stay focused on what is most important to you and avoid getting sidetracked or swayed into changing your original plan if you’re not one hundred percent certain. Keep your plans in front of you as you make changes or additions to what you’re doing so you never lose sight of what you originally wanted.

Stay Calm and Renovate

Home renovations take a lot of patience and planning, and these seven tips will help make your life easier and less stressful during that time. Delegate where you can-food and laundry-expect the unexpected, and keep your priorities front and center as options and ideas are brought to you from contractors. In the end, you’ll be able to say you survived your home renovation.

The Top Landscaping Trends for 2018

Native plants, outdoor yoga spaces, and charging stations are among the hottest landscaping trends growing in consumer demand for 2018, according to a new report released by the American Society of Landscape Architects. Landscape architects were asked to rate the popularity of several residential outdoor design elements. Landscape architects noted a growth in the use of native plants, low-maintenance landscapes, and flexible-use spaces, for yoga classes or movie night.

Overall, landscape architects ranked the following outdoor design elements as the overall most popular in 2018:

  1. Fire pits/fireplaces
  2. Lighting
  3. Seating/dining areas
  4. Outdoor furniture
  5. Outdoor kitchens
  6. Decking (i.e. rooftop decking)
  7. Grills
  8. Movie/TV/video theaters, wireless/internet, stereo systems
  9. Outdoor heaters
  10. Stereo systems
  11. Pools and spa features (hot tubs, Jacuzzis, whirlpools, indoor/outdoor saunas)
  12. Utility storage
  13. Hammocks
  14. Outdoor cooling systems (including fans)
  15. Showers/baths

Source: RealtorMag

3 Tips for the Ultimate Staycation

The temperature is warming up, the kids are finishing school and plans for what’s next this summer are being made. Are you dreaming of unplugging from work and other responsibilities and, at the same time, looking to save up to make your next home purchase? You can do it all with a well-planned staycation that allows you to relax, recharge and enjoy some down time in the comfort of your own home. Here are three tips to get you started.

  1. Determine Your Staycation Style

Would you prefer to stay in all week, or get out and about and rediscover your hometown? Like you would do with a destination vacation, make a list of things you want to do, eat and see. This is the time to explore the new museum exhibit, hike the trail you have been meaning to check out or binge watch your favorite TV show.

  1. Prep like you are leaving town

The best part of a vacation is getting away from the day-to-day tasks of everyday life. Do yourself a favor and run errands and complete chores the week before your staycation. Do the laundry, fill the car with gas and clean the house (or, better yet, have it professionally cleaned). This way you can really settle in during your week at home without worrying about the clean clothes that need to be put away or the rug that needs to be vacuumed.

  1. Splurge A Little

One reason you chose to vacation at home is to save money, but that doesn’t mean you can’t splurge a little on small luxuries. Stock the refrigerator with items for awesome homemade meals or budget for eating out at restaurants when the mood strikes. Even a nice bottle of wine or high quality bubble bath can make you feel luxurious and relaxed without breaking the bank.

4 Lawn Care Tips For a Lush Spring

Longer days and blossoming flowers of spring mean that it is time to prepare your lawn to spend more time outdoors! These lawn care tips can ensure that your lawn is lush and ready to go for the season and into the heat of summer.

1. Dethatch

Dethatch to rid your lawn of dying or dead grass. Lawns do well with less than a ½ inch of thatch, but will begin to suffocate if there’s too much. A sturdy rake is often all you need to get the job done, but if you have a large yard or a lot debris (more than 1 inch of thatch), consider using a power rake. Dethatching can be rough on your lawn so make sure to do it in early spring to allow the grass to recover properly.

2. Check for Bare Patches

Winters can be tough on lawns, and grass seeds don’t always survive the winter season. If you see thin or bare spots that were created by winter storms, you’ll need to replant. Simply loosen up the soil with a rake and sprinkle grass seed to the affected area. Be sure to water the area regularly to make sure that the seedlings take to the ground. Also, be sure to clear your lawn of any winter debris or fallen limbs that may hinder grass growth.

3. Mow Early

It’s time to break out the mower. Just don’t wait too long. Letting the grass grow too long can cause stress and potentially damage the grass seed. On the other hand, you shouldn’t cut the grass too short; grass seed does best when a mow takes no more than 1/3 of the total grass height off. If you aren’t sure what height to mow at, consider doing a first mow at a higher cut level to get a good feel for what length your lawn would do best at. Check the suggested mowing heights for the grass seed in your lawn as they differ.

4. Aerate In Late Spring

Grass grows better in soil that isn’t compacted down. Aerating your lawn loosens up the dirt and provides air and room for necessary nutrients to deeply penetrate the soil. There are many different tools on the market to help you aerate, the most popular one is the gas-powered aeration tool that leaves small tubes of soil all around the lawn. For smaller lawns, you can use manual push aerators or even aeration shoes that attach to your footwear. If you choose to aerate, be sure to do so in late spring so your lawn can heal before the arrival of summer.

Some of these measures, like aeration and dethatching take a bit of effort, but they’re well worth it in creating a lush, green lawn. Spring is the best time to prepare your lawn for a vibrant growing season. With a little bit of extra care this time of year your lush lawn will be ready for outdoor living.

4 Ways to Use Your Tax Return to Boost Your Home’s Exterior

Planning to receive a nice chunk of change with your tax return? Consider using it for home improvement projects that will increase your home’s curb appeal. The following upgrades are all under $3,000.

  1. Replace door No. 1

As one of the first things a prospective buyer sees, your front door is critical to your home’s curb appeal. Buy a new door and spruce it up with shiny new knobs, locks and knockers. An energy-efficient door can help you save money on bills and may make you eligible for federal tax credits next year.

  1. Refresh the garage

That dented garage door panel you no longer notice? Prospective buyers will. Two new garage doors will set you back just under $3,000 and do wonders for spiffing up your home’s exterior.

  1. Get lit

Illuminating your walkway, installing motion-sensor lights or adding lighting fixtures that highlight your home’s architectural features or landscaping help your property look as appealing at night as it does during the day. Added light also helps keep your property secure.

  1. Add outdoor living space

Decks and patios are among the top features buyers look for. Use your refund to install a stamped-concrete patio or a small deck, and it’s almost like adding another room to your home.

All spruced up and ready to sell? Or know someone else that’s considering a move? Contact me; I’ll be happy to help!

The 9 Hottest Interior Design and Decor Trends You’ll See in 2018

When it comes to home design and decor, we’ll be the first to tell you to stick with what you love, no matter what the pros say. But if you can’t escape that sinking feeling each time you walk through your front door that your decor is looking a little tired, well, don’t despair. We’ve got you covered! From splashy color palettes to bright yellow sofas and mixed metal everything, our stable of designers and tastemakers have given us the ultimate insiders’ scoop on what’ll be hot in 2018.

Read the Realtor.com article…