Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Keeping Pests Out

Fighting off insects is part of the homeownership package. This can become even more evident in the Spring when everything begins to bloom and come alive.

There are natural ways to fight pests and make your home less inviting to unwanted bugs or creepy crawlies.

Here are a few home remedies you may want to try out this Spring.The first line of defense is a clean home – no crumbs, dirty dishes or running water that might attract area bugs.

Ants dislike lemon juice, coffee grounds, mint and cucumber. Keep a night light on for a few nights to disrupt the ants typical hunting patterns.

Spray roaches with soapy water. Roaches are not a fan of bay leaves – try crumpling some up around baseboards or leaving whole leaves on the windowsill.

Spiders hate peppermint oil. Put some in a spray bottle and spray along the outside of your home or put a few drops on a cosmetic puff and leave them behind furniture or cabinets in your house.

To keep mosquitoes away – plant rosemary, catnip or marigolds.

Of course this remedies are only a first step. For real pest problems it's a good idea to talk to a professional

What home remedies do you have to keep pests from bugging you?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

More Reasons to Buy New

Did you know that the home you purchase can have a positive or negative effect on the environment? In honor of Earth Day, this week’s post explores the ways a new home can help the environment and your cost of ownership.

New homes are built to the most recent set of regulations according to the International Builders Code. The Code is regularly updated and requires strict adherence to better, more efficient construction methods.

New homes are free from many of the health and environmental concerns leftover from previous methods of construction including asbestos and lead paint. 

Buying a new home relieves concerns over mold and mildew. Today’s homes are built with a layer of house wrap which increases insulation and prevents the intrusion of wind and moisture.

Construction materials in new homes are more efficient – from Low-E windows to more effective insulation – you’ll find today’s best products in new homes.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Considering a fence?

Thinking about making some improvements to your new home such as adding a fence?  Fences can provide privacy and security. Before you make the decision to fence in your yard, here are a few points to consider.

Why Do You Want a Fence?
Adding a fence will dramatically change the way your home looks and lives. A fence is a great way to create a more defined outdoor living space. It provides security for pets or children and a sense of privacy from next door neighbors. A fence can also be a way to create curb appeal and added value to your home.

What Type of Fence Do You Want?
It’s important to first find out what type of neighborhood covenants your community may have. There may be restrictions on the style of fence or type of materials that can be used. Consult your community Homeowners Association before moving forward.

Once you have determined if there are restrictions on the type of fence you can have, it’s time to research the available fencing options.  The main fencing materials are wood, metal and vinyl. Each material comes in a variety of styles and looks.  Some fences offer more privacy than others.  Take a look at fences in your neighborhood to get an idea of what style you may like.

What Is Your Budget?
Most fencing companies charge by the foot – a cost that includes materials and labor. Understanding your budget before you begin planning your fence will help determine the size and materials that fall within your price range. Get estimates from several contractors before moving forward.

Find a Contractor
Get references from neighbors who already have fences. Research online for local fence companies and have them come see your property before providing an estimate.  Once you find a contractor you like, get your agreement down in writing. Verify that your contractor will pull any necessary permits or paperwork to keep the project within any legal limits.

Even though a fence is on your property, as a courtesy you may want to let your neighbors know what you are doing.

What questions do you have about installing a fence?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

New Homeowner Gift Ideas

Looking for the perfect gift idea for a new homeowner? We’ve got some unique takes on traditional gifts that might just fit the bill.

Housewarming parties and gifts are an old tradition thought to have originated in France. The term 
“housewarming” comes from the old custom of providing firewood to heat a new home. These days there are many takes on the idea of a housewarming gift – meant instead to warm the hearts of those receiving.

1. Board Games – A fun way to prepare new homeowners for hosting friends in their new home.
2. Wreath – To add curb appeal to a new home, gift the homeowners with a seasonal wreath, door mat or porch d├ęcor.
3. Something personal – Considering personalizing a household item with the homeowners name or initials – examples are a cutting board, dish towels or photo frame.
4. Theme baskets – If you like to be a little more creative in your gift assembly, consider a theme basket. Put together a grouping of like items such as cleaning supplies, pasta night dinner kit, cookie ingredients, or a movie night basket.
5. Stationary – A fun way to celebrate the new home is with stationary and a custom return address stamp – complete with the homeowners name and new address!

What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate a housewarming?