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How to get Your Lawn Looking Percfect

Are you ready to make your lawn look perfect? Think of grass. Now think of well-kept grass. Now think even more well-kept grass. If you think hard enough, your thoughts will turn to the best kept grass there is; a baseball diamond. We’re not talking about a local little league field. A major league baseball diamond is grass perfection. What makes it look so great? It must be the razor-sharp stripes mowed into a flawless pattern.

 

As humans, we typically take the best care of the things that we own. Apartment dwellers and condo renters are rarely in charge of lawn work. It’s the home owners that take meticulous care of their lawn. What does it take to make a lawn look like Chase Stadium or Wrigley Field? Follow these instructions, and learn the secret behind the major league lawn.

 

  1. Pick a Pattern: Stripes are the simplest. The simple back and forth pattern is the most commonly used in residential areas. Slightly more advanced are the diamond and checkerboard patterns. There are limitless options for complex patterns. Make sure when you pick a pattern that you can keep track of it, and not miss any spots.
  2. Practice: It can be surprisingly difficult to walk in a straight line for the length of a lawn. Unless you own the latest and greatest lawn mower that drives itself, you may have to overcome a rickety old mower that always pulls to the right. Perhaps your lawn might not be level. Your conditions may never be as ideal as a baseball field, but you can perfect the art over time.
  3. Details: Here is the secret technique to set your lawn apart from your neighbors. Use a lawn roller. This is how baseball diamonds look so crisp. After you are done mowing, go over your lawn with a lawn roller in the same directions that you mowed. This might sound like mowing the lawn twice, but lawn rolling goes much faster, requires no gas-guzzling motor, and is quiet and relaxing in comparison. This is what will give your pattern that professional pop. Of course, it goes without saying that you should use a grass trimmer to reach the corners and edges of the lawn.
  4. Extra Tips: You’re almost a professional. Make sure you mow the grass on a high setting. Short grass doesn’t create a high contrast pattern. It is also better for the grass during hot summer months.

 

Why Parks are Important to Neighborhoods

When people look for homes, they are not only looking for square footage, functionality and price, but also the right neighborhood for their family. A lot of that has to do with neighbors, but a big factor is the parks nearby. Why are parks so important to a neighborhood?

Economic Development

Besides being a safe place for kids to play and get exercise, having parks nearby increase the value of homes. A study done more than a hundred years ago by Frederick Law Olmstead showed that there was a connection between parks and the value of homes nearby. In addition, parks attract older, affluent retirees to a neighborhood.

Community Engagement

Parks are a central gathering place for community events, parties, potlucks, fishing, swimming, picnics and many other activities. It can also be a place where public officials can interact with their communities and they can talk about issues that are important to people. Community engagement allows neighbors to get to know each other in an open environment.

Help Children Learn

Parks are a way that children can learn and interact with each other and the environment. Though much of learning happens in classrooms, an outdoor space can provide children with lessons not able to be learned in a more structured setting. A park provides hands on learning in a more holistic way.

Create Safer Neighborhoods

The open space of a park fosters a place of protection and safety. A park can bring together a neighborhood and allow open and free discussion about the activities of neighbors. These connections bring about need to be watchful as neighbors support one another.

Promote Health

Parks are outdoor spaces that often provide many amenities the promote exercise and fresh air that are vital to health of the residents. Many parks have playgrounds, basketball courts and big fields where other recreations and sports can be played. Frisbee, football, and other sports are common there. Also parks are often near trails where running, walking and biking can take place.

Tourism

Parks are often a way that a city or town can promote tourism. Pristine parks are often a place where visitors want to be, and interact with local residents. It is often a fun place to see new people, different attractions, and are often near hotels and campgrounds, so it is a simple, fun and easy way to see a new place.

Revitalization

When a city or town is looking to revitalize its area, it often looks to parks to start the process. It is parks that bring a community together, so parks can kickstart a movement towards a closer community.

Creating a Healthier Home

With all the things dirt and grime that can be produced by the humans and animals in your house, a home can get dirty fast. Not only is the mess an eyesore, but the germs can make people sick. Nobody has time for that. What can you do to make sure you are preventing those germs from killing your productivity? You need to kill them first. What are the best ways to create a healthier home?

Technology

Technology can be your friend, especially when it comes to keeping a home clean and more sanitary. Instead of flushing your toilet with all those germs on your hands, try a touchless flusher. It works just by waving your hand over the device. Having this tool will help you avoid spreading all those unsafe germs in your bathrooms.

Take care of the busy zones

Every house has several hubs of business. A place where people gather, where all the paperwork, backpacks and homework gathers. Take just a few minutes each day to clear the clutter from all the busy zones and put everything in its rightful place. Doing this simple chore will help maintain the clean atmosphere in the home.

The Air Up There

When you are cleaning, it is pretty easy to focus on the things near you, on your level or below. The dirty floors, the messy island, but what about all the dust up above you? When was the last time you cleaned your ceilings and fans? Make sure you take the time to look at the surfaces up high every once in a while. Clean the ceiling fans, make sure the tops of fridges and cabinets get their due. While guests don’t normally see that dust, it could be the cause of all those health problems.

Fresh Air

Creating a cleaner, more healthy home is about getting good air in your home. All the chemicals you are using could be the reason why the air in your home isn’t as healthy as the outdoors. Lots of the sprays and liquids you are using to clean surfaces may kill germs, but they are also filling the air with chemicals. Consider using cleaners that are healthier for the environment. Also, the fabrics on your couches and chairs may be toxic as well. Using materials like organic cotton, wool, and furniture that uses water-based glue.

Water

Water is an essential part of the household. We use water for everything from drinking to cooking, cleaning, and showering. Have safe drinking water is vital for the health of everyone in the house. To make sure everyone stays healthy they should be drinking the healthiest water possible. Investigate some options to filter your water, such as water directly from your fridge, water filter pitchers or filters you can attach to your taps.

When you take the measured steps to creating a cleaner home, your family will thank you for helping them prevent sickness and keep them productive, both in and out of the house.

 

https://www.motherearthliving.com/healthy-home/green-living/healthy-happy-home-zmfz14mjzpit

http://www.hgtv.com/remodel/products/easy-tips-to-a-healthier-home

 

Essentials you’ll need to know on Moving Day!

Moving day can be an exciting and stressful time. There are friends left behind, and place you will miss, but also the prospect of an exciting new beginning to look forward to. You will have a lot of things on your mind, wondering if you packed everything, how the new job and schools will be and what the neighborhood will be like. One of the things you might not think about are all the essential things you will need when you move. What are the vital things you will need?

Toiletries

An easy way to remember what to pack is if you are going on a vacation for a week to somewhere that won’t have everything for you. Bringing the necessities like a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, brush, and mouthwash would be essential on vacation. It will be as crucial to bring those items with you on your first few days of the move as well. Also, remember to bring any medications you take daily.

Important documents

When you move to a new location, you will need to set up a lot of things in your new home, like utilities, and other essentials. When you sign up, they might need necessary paperwork, so make sure you have all that handy for quick set up in your new home.

Valuables

Anything that is valuable like cash, jewelry, and other useful items should go with you. Don’t leave your treasures in a moving van where they can be crushed or stolen.

Cleaning Supplies

Your new home will be hopefully empty and clean when you get there, but it won’t take long for a family to make a mess. Make sure to have some necessary cleaning supplies on hand for the mess your son “promised” he wouldn’t make in the new house.

Shower Curtain

A shower curtain is something you wouldn’t necessarily think about when you move into a new house, but if the showers don’t have doors, you will be surprised how weird it feels without one. You will want a curtain to keep the shower from getting all over the bathroom. Since most people moving out take those, make sure you have some with you.

Utility Knife

You are going to do a lot of unpacking when you first move into your new home, especially in the first few days. As fun as it is to unpack your boxes and find the things finally you missed having, it is a much more comfortable task with a knife to get those boxes open.

Chargers

Most people these days can’t go a whole day without their phones, tablets, and laptops. Chargers are essential for any trip, and they will be as necessary for your move into the new home.

Paper Plates and disposable cutlery and cups

In the first few days, you will want something to eat on and cups to drink from. You will want to start to establish a way to eat in your new home, so get something for your family to eat on.

Moving can be hard and stressful. Make things a little easier by having the essentials on hand to get you through your first few days until you can get your house in livable shape.

 

https://www.realtor.com/advice/move/dont-pack-things-need-moving-day/

 

 

Making your Small Outdoor Space Bigger

Let’s face it; not everyone has a lot of outdoor living space in their homes. Whether you have a few feet on both sides of your home, a small backyard, or only a patio or balcony, the outdoor living may seem like just a dream for you. It doesn’t have to be that way. With just a little know-how and some small touches, you can create a bigger outdoor living space for you and your family. What are some ideas, you ask? Try some of these natural tips.

Built-In Bench

For those of you who own your homes, and have a little bit of a budget to work with, consider some built-in benches. These benches can give you some outdoor seating and mixed with a table can be an excellent way to bring people outdoors. Add in a small barbecue, and you could be entertaining the summer away.

Hidden Storage

Do you need someplace to put all your outdoor furnishings? How about creating some hidden storage like inside a bench, or under the stairs of a patio? It wouldn’t take a lot of work to add some space to an ottoman or side table, and it could fit in comfortably in your outdoor space.

Double use Furniture

To create more space, be more efficient with the furniture you have already. For instance, make an ottoman, coffee table, or end table that can double as a chair. You can use weatherproof pillows as some floor cushions as well.

Fake Grass

Don’t have a lawn? That doesn’t mean you can’t bring a little of the outdoor feel by putting down some faux grass. Put a bit fake grass on your concrete slab or balcony. You can even cover a larger space and put up a plant and some chairs to create your urban oasis.

Garden Space

To add even more green to your outdoors, start a little garden. Even with limited space, you can add some potted plants. While this isn’t like a permanent garden, it gives you the flexibility to move things around and mix things up when you feel like it, or when some are getting less attention. It is even possible to grow some different kinds of plants that will bring fruits and vegetables.

Outdoor Drapes

What is wrong will bring a little bit of the indoors outside? Curtains can serve several purposes in your outdoor space. They can add a pop of color to a mostly green or a grey area. They can also be used to create shade and privacy for you and your guests. It isn’t too hard to develop drapes for your outdoor space, and they can add a lot.

Fire Pit

Who wouldn’t love a cold fall night outside next to a fire? With a fire pit, you can create a campout atmosphere in your backyard. Grab some hot dogs, hamburgers, or marshmallows to add to the atmosphere.

Your space outside may be limited, but it doesn’t have to limit your options for making it an excellent place to be.

http://www.hgtv.com/design-blog/outdoors/10-solutions-for-a-tiny-patio

 

How to get Your Home Rent Ready Through Your Kitchen

 

 

When selling a home, it is always important that your house looks appealing to prospective home buyers. When someone looks at your house for the first time, they usually see the kitchen. For most home buyers this will be the central area for entertaining guests.

When you put your home up for sale there are some great ways you can help make your kitchen a great seller for your house. Here are some tips and tricks for sprucing up your kitchen and making it a second salesman for your house.

Clear the kitchen of Clutter

When you have lived for a while in your current home, you have probably accumulated a lot of things that show your personality. Things like plants, magnets, and other things that mean a lot to you. However, when selling your home, you have to remember that prospective buyers won’t always agree with your same style. It is important for the kitchen area to be clean and clear so a buyer can imagine their style in your kitchen. If there is too much personal style in your kitchen, a buyer may see too much work going into getting their way and may be turned off.

 

Put a Thorough Cleaning into the Kitchen

As a current home owner, you may have neglected a lot of areas in the kitchen that need some TLC. While you may not have used the oven a lot, get in there and give it a rigorous scrubbing and it can make a huge impression. Sweep and mop the floors to give a brighter shine on the floors. Clean out cabinets that make have been neglected for a while. Most importantly, cleaning out the refrigerator can give a buyer some fresh perspective of the house.

 

Take Care of any Maintenance Issues:

If there are any lights out, get them changed. When looking at the refrigerator, check out the refrigerator for any leaks, and get the ice machine fixed or filters changed. Check below the sink for any leaks or plumbing issues. Find out if any doors or windows need repair or fixing.

 

Lighten Up the Kitchen

The warmth that any buyer will feel toward the house will be in the lighting. Not only is it bright, but is warm and inviting. A family will see themselves being in a well-lit kitchen as opposed to dark, dreary place. Just by putting lots of light it will make your kitchen seem larger and a more attractive place to be with guests.

 

Use Fragrance to Entice

Kitchens are used for baking and sometimes smells can hang around. If the scent is enticing, people will be more likely to go to that place. Don’t overpower with fragrances. Subtle smells are the best. A great tip is to cook something with a great smell before inviting people to look at your home.

Your kitchen is often the key to selling your home. Make sure that buyers have a positive, memorable experience that will entice them to buy your home and the house will sell itself.

 

How to get Your Home Rent Ready

As a homeowner, you should know that there will always be projects for your house. Whether it is a new kitchen sink, a squeaky door, or a toilet that needs replacing there will still be something falling into disrepair. It is tempting to try to fix those things, especially if you are handy and can make the time to save yourself money. However, there are some projects that even the handiest people should allow professionals to handle.

Electrical Wiring

Electrical wiring is an essential part of the home, and you need to treat it with extreme care. Not only is it a sensitive thing because working with electricity can be dangerous, but there are many codes that you need to know that an electrician will be aware of that you may not be.

Plumbing

A homeowner can usually handle simple plumbing like unclogging a sink or a toilet. A professional should handle any plumbing needs more complicated than that. Plumbing deals with a network of pipes that could take going to your house or other tight spots. Also, if the ducts aren’t entirely leak-free, they can cause more significant problems down the line that could cost thousands of dollars in damage.

Gas-Fueled Appliances

Any appliance that deals with gas need to be installed by a professional. Loose connections or leaks could cause a dangerous build-up of gas that can be unsafe for your home or start a fire. Make sure you leave the installation of gas-fueled appliances to the professionals, so they get it installed correctly.

Tree Removal

When we lived in Seattle, it was often rainy and windy, and with so many trees, there were often trees downed that would hit homes or get close to them. Trees can be deceivingly heavy, slippery and hard to handle. Avoid trying to cut them or move them without the help of professional.

Home additions

Home additions require many things, including permits and the intricate care of many of the additions of the items above. It is better to leave this kind of thing to professionals.

Installing a Water heater

Water heaters are a tricky installation. Not only are they heavy, but they need to be level. Also, they need to be installed correctly so that carbon monoxide doesn’t leak out and cause carbon monoxide to get into the house.

Swimming Pool Installation

Swimming pools can be reasonably easy to maintain once they are set up, but avoid trying to install one yourself. Swimming pools require specific tools just for the job, as well as some people to do the project. It is better to get a pool installation professional to handle the permits, inspections, and installation to avoid the shifting and settling that a pool can cause.

Your home is your investment. Part of that investment is doing some of the work yourself, but when it comes to some more significant projects, leave that to the professionals.

https://www.homes.com/blog/2016/05/dont-10-diy-home-projects-better-left-pros/

Moving into a New Home

Now that you have secured your new home, you actually have to move in. With so many things to do to get your home ready, you have a lot of work ahead of you. A lot of that is for the future though. To survive your first few days in the home, you will need a few things to make the transition from new home owner to “moved in”. Here are a few things you will need to survive in the first few days.

Water

This seems like a simple thing, but a necessary thing to figure out for the first few days. You will need to figure out if your kitchen sink or refrigerator is working, and if not, plan to have enough drinking water to last until you are secure in that department.

Food

Obviously, food is also an important thing to think of. If you don’t have a refrigerator, think of food items that don’t need refrigeration. Also, make sure there are food items that don’t need utensils.

Utensils

If you are going to need utensils for your food, make sure you pack enough for a few weeks, in case things don’t get set up as quickly as you had hoped. It is best to get plates that don’t break, like paper or plastic plates etc.

Paper Towels

While I’m sure you will be careful when first moving into a home, nobody is perfect. Having some paper towels or napkins around to clean up the messes are really helpful.

Flashlight and Batteries

Be ready for anything that might happen while you are in your new house. Whether it be a power outage or you just need help navigating your way to the bathroom late at night in an unfamiliar new house, having flashlights are an essential item to have around the new house.

Toilet Paper

New homes don’t always come with toilet paper! Make sure you have enough for the bathrooms for the first week.

Cash

Having a little cash on hand, just in case of an emergency is always a good idea.

Cleaning Supplies

Accidents happen in your home and you just want to be prepared in case of an accident.

Clothes

When it comes to moving, there is a lot of chaos involved. Boxes may not show up for a while, but you life must go on. Be prepared with clothes for a week or so, for work, school or other activities you may be involved with.

Bedding

In your first few days living in a house, you might not have all the beds set up. While sleeping on the floor, make sure you have at least some blankets and pillows enough to keep you warm, especially in the cold winter months.

Toiletries

Life will continue, even if you don’t have all your things in your house. Make sure you have enough items to keep all your hygiene up. Toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap and shampoo.

You have made the exciting step to move into a new home. Be prepared for all the little things you will need as you move into your new space.

 

https://www.homes.com/blog/2011/02/moving-checklist/

3 Things to Look for When Finding an Efficient Property Management Company

When looking into a Property Management Company to rent out a property or to become a tenant, knowing who you’ll be interacting with is a huge factor.

Looking for a good Management Company is like the process of hiring the right employee for your business. You’re looking for someone to be the face to what people are going to see, interact with, and hopefully come to like throughout your day to day routines.

Below are a few things to look for when looking into a Property Management Company to fulfill your needs.

How diverse is their background?

When interviewing your potential employees, one of the major qualities you look for is experience within the field which they are applying for. How well have they performed within these past experiences in similar fields? This is where you rely on Letters of Recommendations, references, and in our case reviews. When looking into the team you’re wanting to work with look at their reviews to see how they have helped others enjoy their experiences. See if their tenants had any worries when it came to paying rent, or owners with communication. Reviews play a huge role in learning about the team you’re looking into.

How reliable are they?

You want a management that you as a tenant can look forward to interacting with and feel that you can rely on them when it comes to maintenance and getting things done in a timely manner. Nothing is more stressful than having to pay someone rent when they aren’t doing their part in helping make your stay enjoyable. When you must constantly remind them about problems taking place throughout your home on top of your daily agenda with work, family, renting can grow irritating. So be sure that they are people you can rely on.

Do they have good work ethic?

There are many businesses out there who one thing on paper and in person another. If becoming an owner of a home that you want to turn over to them to rent out, don’t be afraid to ask and observe the team you’ll be working with. They may be seeing if you’re a good fit to be an owner for them, but you also have the right to be sure that you aren’t getting yourself into a situation you wish you hadn’t. Work ethic and persistence says a lot about people. You don’t want to be turning your home over to a team who are lazy and unwilling.

These 3 things are key qualities to always keep an eye out for when it comes to finding the perfect fit. When you do find what you’re looking for the search will be worth it. If you are looking to become a tenant or owner contact us, and we would be more than happy to get you started!

Finding the perfect tenant

Do you have an empty basement or separated suite in your home? If you have a suite sitting empty, you are missing out on collecting some extra monthly income in the form of rent. Let’s take a look at a quick four-step process that will help you find the perfect tenant to rent out your basement suite.

Step 1: Play by The Rules

Is this your first-time renting out a home or suite to a tenant? If so, you will want to do a bit of research first. Read up on Fair Housing Rules and other regulations as these will inform you of your responsibilities as a landlord. Keep in mind that you cannot discriminate in any way when it comes to race, religion, gender, family status or disability. Anyone who applies must be given a fair chance.

Step 2: Be Specific in Your Advertising

When you place a rental listing, be as specific as possible in what you are looking for in a tenant. If you are a single, quiet person, you may want someone similar as you will be compatible. Conversely, if you are a young couple, you may clash with a retired senior or someone older. Be as specific as possible but remember that you cannot be discriminatory.

Step 3: Meet Potential Tenants in Person

Be sure to take the time to meet with every short-listed applicant in person. If you are not comfortable with having so many strangers over to your home, consider attending at a local coffee shop. An in-person meeting will allow you to visually assess the person and determine if your personalities are a fit for living in the same home.

Step 4: Don’t Skip the Checks

Finally, don’t take any shortcuts when performing background, credit and other checks. Ask your tenant for at least one or two references that you can call to verify their rental history. Investing in a credit check will help to assess their risk of missing monthly rent payments. And if necessary, a criminal records check can let you know if they have been in trouble with the law.

As long as you are well-prepared and diligent, finding a suitable tenant for your basement suite can be a painless process. To learn more about mortgage products are perfect for rentals, contact us today. Our mortgage team will be happy to help you!

 

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