No Comments

June Newsletter

Hello!

With Father’s Day just around the corner, now is the perfect time to start thinking about transforming your man cave into the ultimate relaxation and entertainment space. Read on for easy to implement man cave upgrades as well as information about how comps affect your home’s value and how to convert your space into a smart home!

9 Epic Man Cave Upgrades That Won’t Break the Bank

Whether you’re trying to spiff up your man cave or thinking about gift ideas for Father’s Day, here are some high impact options that won’t break the bank.

Bar Upgrades

Bottle openers – You can rifle through a drawer every time you want to crack open a bottle or you can just install a wall-mounted bottle opener. Wall mounted bottle openers come in a wide variety of styles, so it should be easy to find one that complements your existing decor.

Kegerator – Adding a beer tap to your man cave doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars. As a cheaper alternative, use an old fridge and this online kit to create your own DIY version.

Liquor dispenser – Liquor dispensers aren’t just cool they also make it easier to access your alcohol. Buy a liquor dispenser online or find inspiration for your own DIY version on Pinterest.

Supercharge the Entertainment System

Television – The TV is the centerpiece of many man caves, and these days you don’t have to spend a lot to get a bigger, higher-quality screen. If your man cave doesn’t have a lot of windows or has good blinds, consider switching to a projector/screen for an even better viewing experience.

Sound – Have you ever considered adding surround sound to your man cave? Now’s a great time to invest in some audio equipment. Just make sure your setup will work with your TV, computer, and radio so you have the best audio experience no matter the occasion.

Internet – Having a dependable internet connection in your man cave is essential for online gaming and video streaming services. You can hardwire your set top box to your modem to ensure you’re covered if there is a network connection hiccup while you’re watching sports.

Manly Decor

DIY Decor – The cool thing about man caves is that if you don’t have a huge budget, you can work in all sorts of repurposed items and they’ll still look right at home. A couple of cinder block end tables or a few old suitcases hung on the wall for shelving will make your man cave even cozier.

Lighting – Lamps and other light sources are a quick, easy, cost-effective way to add a personalized touch to your man cave. You can find or make lamps out of antlers, liquor bottles, musical instruments, or a variety of other materials. Whatever suits your style!

Video Games – An old school video game cabinet is one of the coolest features a man cave can have – and they’re not that hard to find. You can buy a video game cabinet for anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars or even build your own for a fraction of the price. Find out how here.

 

How Comps Affect Your Home’s Value

The comparable houses (comps) in your area can have a significant impact on your home’s value. Whenever someone sells a home in your area, the listing agent pulls a list of comps and puts them into a document known as a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) for the seller. A CMA is a list of homes sold in the area over the past 3-6 months. It is used to figure out the current value of your home based on comparable homes. A home may be considered similar based on size, number of beds and baths, quality, location, condition, etc.

When home prices are on the rise or investors renovate other homes in your area, increasing that home’s value, your home’s value will likely rise as a result. However, if the market is in decline, sellers do short sells, or banks start foreclosing in your area, it can have a negative impact on your home’s value.

If you’re interested in finding out how the comps in your area are impacting your home’s value, I can help! Not all the houses in your area are the same and it takes a trained real estate agent like myself to find properties that are a reliable representation of homes like yours. Once I’ve done that, I can create a CMA showing you how much your home could be worth. You may be surprised at how much homes like yours are selling for!

 

How to Choose a Voice-Activated Assistant

Smart home technology is becoming more accessible and more helpful than ever before. With the right technology in place, you can control anything from your slow cooker to your home security system via smartphone. To get started, you need to choose a voice activated home assistant.

Each home assistant has its own pros and cons, so figure out what’s most important to you. For example, Apple’s Siri is designed with privacy in mind. The data on your Siri devices will always be encrypted. That’s great, but it means that fewer smart home devices will be compatible with Siri.

Amazon’s Alexa is easy to set up and compatible with most smart home devices, but there are some issues with voice activation and may pose more of a privacy risk compared to other voice activated assistants.

Google’s assistant is probably the cheapest name brand option in the voice-activated assistant market, but it has fewer compatible accessories than other big brand options. There are also dozens of smaller brands available that are even more affordable than Google’s assistant.

Creating a smart home is great, but finding the perfect home is priceless. If you or someone you know is thinking about making a move, I’m here to help!

No Comments

Eco-Friendly Garden

Gardens aren’t just about petunias, they can also help animals and
encourage native plants.
This year when you are planning the family garden patch, you can
make a sustainable wildlife garden.
Animals, birds, bees, and butterflies need food, water, cover and a place
to rear young. Your garden can be a place where they thrive.
First, plant at least three native flowering plants. Some typical choices,
according to nwf.org: Buffalo grass, Prairie Dropseed, Black-eyed
Susan, and Common Ninebark.
Install a water feature. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Wet rocks are
good for butterflies. Hummingbirds like to take showers in a gentle
mist. And all birds need a drink in the summer.
Put up nesting boxes. The sparrows will move in quickly, but you
might one day be surprised to find nesting bluebirds, too.
To encourage butterflies, especially monarchs, find a place for nectar
plants and milkweed. Milkweed has a bad reputation because it
becomes pretty shabby looking by late summer. But it has some things
going for it. In late spring and early summer, milkweed delights with a
delicious fragrance as the big pink flower clusters bloom. Even when it
is looking shabby, that’s an important time for butterflies who use it as a
host plant.
Take the long-view of your garden site. Trees are essential for a good
wildlife area. Even a small yard can host a dwarf evergreen or
deciduous tree.

Your Monthly Maintenance Minute
Usually you think about your gutters in fall. But plenty of debris can
accumulate there in the six months since you last cleaned them.
It’s easy to miss leaves from trees that don’t go bare until late fall.
They’re probably still up there. Storm-blown sticks aren’t going
anywhere by themselves. Many trees drop spring buds and flowers, and
then there are the clouds of white cottony stuff blowing from the
cottonwoods. By the middle of May, it’s time to clean the gutters again.
Here are a few safety tips.
* You’ll be climbing a ladder, so don’t wear loose clothes that could trip
you up or catch on the ladder or the gutter. Wear shoes that easily grip
each rung of the ladder.
* Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes and wear work gloves so you
won’t be cut by something sharp, which could also startle you and make
you fall.
* Always work with a partner who can hold the ladder and help to
move it to the next work spot, and who can call for help if you fall or
are injured.
* Use a trowel instead of your hands, even if you are wearing gloves.
* Dump debris into a garbage can below. If you miss it, you can sweep
up when you’re finished. Never carry a trash bucket up the ladder.
You may not look forward to the project, but gutters are needed to carry
water away the foundation and basement. And they can prevent wall
damage on the inside of a home.
Put safety at the top of your list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Comments

May

Hello,

As the school year wraps up, many families get serious about buying a home. If that’s where your head is at, be sure you find a good loan officer before you get too far into your home search. If you’re planning to stay in your home for a while still, why not take a few minutes to make your home safer or to plan a vegetable garden? Find tips for all this below!

 

3 THINGS A GOOD LOAN OFFICER WILL DO FOR YOU

There are many different loan options out there for aspiring homeowners. Choosing the right one is important, but so is choosing the right loan officer. Your loan officer will be responsible for helping you through any mortgage-related roadblocks you encounter so you need to make sure your loan officer is prepared to help you.

1. The title of a home is a very important piece of your home purchase. A good loan officer will order a title search to make sure the homeowner is the only person with a claim on the property you’re interested in. They’ll also order an appraisal to make sure the home is worth what the seller is asking for.

2. When you buy a home, you have to meet certain deadlines or your deal could fall through. A good loan officer will stay in touch with you about important deadlines and paperwork requirements throughout the home buying process to make sure everything goes smoothly.

3. When you do get to the finish line, a good loan officer will attend your closing so they can answer any last-minute questions you have as you work your way through the paperwork involved in buying a home.

 

5 HOUSEHOLD HAZARDS HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT

Your health and the health of your loved ones is one of the most important factors you have to account for each day. However, even the most conscientious person can overlook some of these potentially lethal household hazards.

Carbon Monoxide
An odorless, colorless gas, carbon monoxide is almost impossible to detect without a carbon monoxide alarm. Prevent headaches, dizziness, weakness, shortness of breath, and even death from carbon monoxide poisoning by investing in an alarm for your home.

Radon
Like carbon monoxide, radon is a colorless, odorless gas. This naturally occurring gas is the second most common cause of lung cancer deaths in the U.S., second only to smoking. The only way to know if your home has dangerous amounts of radon is by using a radon test kit. Luckily, you can pick up radon test kits at most hardware stores.

Asbestos
Everyone knows that asbestos is bad for you, but many don’t realize they may have asbestos in their homes. Asbestos can still be found in ceiling tiles, floor tiles, and insulation in many homes across the U.S. When they start to degrade, asbestos fibers can get into the air and, if inhaled enough, cause you and your family to develop lung disease. If you think your home may have asbestos, have an asbestos professional inspect your home.

Lead
Lead is most notorious for its presence in paint, but it can also be in your plumbing and other building materials. Lead is typically safe unless it’s digested, making it a more dangerous hazard for young children since they’re more likely to stick potentially contaminated items in their mouths.

Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors are only effective if they’re in working order and near the fire. Be sure to check your smoke detector’s batteries each month and replace the batteries each year. You should also make sure you have smoke alarms throughout your whole home, not just in the kitchen.

 

EASY PRODUCE TO GROW IN YOUR GARDEN

Growing your own fruits and vegetables in a backyard garden is a fulfilling way to spend free time and eat healthier. Choosing easy items like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and melons can help ensure your time toiling outdoors is worth the effort. Here are tips to successfully grow each type of produce.

Lettuce
If you want almost instant gardening gratification, try planting some lettuce. Lettuce is an easy, fast-growing plant that comes in several varieties. Try planting some romaine, iceberg, and arugula for a good variety of lettuce types for your salads, burgers, and other summer recipes. Also, consider planting your lettuce in intervals so you’ll have fresh lettuce ready to harvest all season long.

Tomatoes
A vine-ripe tomato from your backyard is almost unrecognizable as the same fruit you get from a grocery store. Purchasing tomato starters is a good way to make sure you’re ready to harvest before the end of growing season. Plant your tomatoes in a spot that isn’t too windy and purchase tomato cages to help the plants grow strong.

Cucumbers
Cucumbers are great because they produce a lot without requiring much tending. Make a mound to plant your cucumber seeds in to encourage sprouting and use several seeds for each group. Just remember that cucumbers need a good amount of space to grow and spread, so plant according to the directions on your seed package.

Squash
Another easy-to-grow garden staple is squash. Like cucumbers, squash need room to grow. Be sure to leave enough room between your squash plants and other vegetables. Once you harvest, squash is great on the grill, in casseroles, and in salads.

Melons
Melons take a while to grow and ripen, but they’re worth the wait. Plant a few different varieties to see what grows best in your yard. Just remember that melons need plenty of sunshine and should be ready to harvest in late summer.

If your family needs more room to grow, whether it be vegetables or more kids, give me a call! I can help you find a home to suit your growing needs!