Posted by Amanda Bruen on 11/14/2017

Live in an apartment with a small balcony, patio or deck? A home in a thickly settled area with little backyard or space between other homes? Or just a home that has a small, raised deck? Small spaces may seem like a tough makeover/renovation tackle. You want the space to be functional but you also want it to be unique to your style. Check out the tips below for creating an outdoor oasis where you enjoy spending time, regardless of itís small size. Furniture First things first: furniture. The type of furniture you will want in your outdoor space will depend its size and your lifestyle. Table and Chairs: If you enjoy eating meals outdoors, it is best to go with a table and chairs set. The size of your set with depend on the size of your outdoor space. A deck or patio that is only 5x5 would have room for a two-person table and chairs. Consider looking into collapsible table and chair sets that transform your space as needed. A 10x10 area could have space for a four-person set and some room to spare. Adding extra collapsible chairs is also a great way to create additional seating when itís needed, but allowing for them to be folded up and placed out of site when not in use. Outdoor Couch & Coffee Table: This idea will fair well better with a space that is larger than 5x5. It is great for a lifestyle that includes entertaining and also relaxing. Outdoor couches are very trendy and come in many sizes and styles. Porch Swing/Swinging Chair: A porch swing or swinging chair is a great option for a compact front porch, balcony or patio. Typical porch swings need to attach to something above so are best suited for porches. However, swinging chairs are more mobile and are generally smaller. Depending on your space, either of these are great additions! Privacy Screen: Creating a bit of privacy can help create the ideal outdoor retreat. There are so many options for different shapes, sizes and materials for privacy screens to help accomplish the exact atmosphere youíre looking for. Landscaping & Garden Adding life to your small space will enhance its appeal and your likeliness to enjoy it. Landscaping: Regardless of the size of your outdoor area, landscaping is essential. This is easier to achieve if your space is on ground level, but not impossible for balconies and decks. And a little landscaping goes a long way from small areas of grass to stone and mulch to plants and flowers. Garden: Adding a small garden into your outdoor space isnít out of reach even if you only have a balcony. Use planting buckets or rail-mounted baskets for growing things like herbs and small vegetables. As long as you have sun, water and soil, you can create a garden that suits you. A green thumb always helps, too. Accessories Homey touches are important components to your outdoor sanctuary. Of course, these pieces will need to be weather resistant. Try these simple pieces to add another level of personality to your space. Outdoor Rug & Accent Pillows: Add an outdoor rug and pillows to bring coziness and color to your outdoor space. Small Accent Pieces: Add accent pieces like decorative candleholders and candles and hanging lights and/or lantern type lights to give the space ambient lighting. Water feature: Add a serene water feature such as a fountain or waterfall feature to create a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere. There are a myriad of ways to add something special to your outdoor space, regardless of itís size with water features, pops of color with area rugs and pillows, unique seating, herb gardens and so much more. Choose a budget that works for you to update this space and get to work on your outdoor oasis.





Posted by Amanda Bruen on 11/7/2017

Thereís many different myths about buying a home that may have been presented to you as fact. All of these rumors could have you believing that being a home owner is a dream. Here, weíll debunk some of the most common misconceptions about home buying and give you the tools to solve any issues that you may come across in the process of securing a home loan.


If You Donít Have 20% To Put Down On A Home, You Canít Buy


Many conventional loans do require a 20% down payment on a home. Thereís also many different loans available that may suit your needs. From Federal Housing Administration loans to Veteranís programs to down payment assistance programs, thereís many different things that can be done to help you buy a home. Keep in mind that any time you put less than 20% down, youíll need to provide additional mortgage insurance, also known as PMI or private mortgage insurance.  


If Your Credit Score Is Terrible Youíre Out Of Luck

If you want really good mortgage rates, having great credit is very important. If your credit score is low, your rates tend to be much higher. A really low credit score could keep you from getting a loan completely. FHA loans allow you to still qualify for a loan with a credit score as low as 580.


You Need To Make Bank To Get Money From The Bank


Monthly annual income is just one of the factors thatís considered when it comes to getting a loan to purchase a home. Your debts matter just as much if not more. People with significant credit card debt and other loans may be denied a home loan even if they have a substantial income. 


Youíre In The Clear If Youíre Pre-Qualified


Pre-qualification is much different than pre-approval. Pre-qualification involves giving your lender basic information about your finances in order to estimate how much of a loan you can get. This will give you a ballpark figure of about how much youíll be able to borrow. Of course, this is very helpful in the home search process, but youíre not done. To get pre-approved, youíll need a complete mortgage application in order to have your complete financial background check and credit rating.  


If Youíve Met One Real Estate Agent, Youíve Met Them All


This couldnít be further from the truth. Your relationship with your real estate agent is going to be quite close. Youíll need to share somewhat personal information in order to secure a house youíll love. Agents are involved in one of the biggest decisions that youíll ever make. Each agent has his or her specialties and knows different neighborhoods better than others. Definitely go with a real estate agent that you feel comfortable with and knows their stuff.  


Closing Costs Arenít Your Responsibility


Sometimes, sellers do pay the closing costs in the sale of a home. It all depends upon how the negotiations go with the home. Youíll need to be prepared for upfront costs in buying a home. These include a credit check, attorney fees and property insurance. As a buyer, youíll be paying anywhere between 2 and 5 percent of the purchase price of the home.  


Itís important to be prepared and to stay informed in order to make sound financial decisions throughout the process of purchasing a home. Everything will be that much more exciting when you have all of the pertinent information that youíll need.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Amanda Bruen on 10/31/2017

There are few things more frustrating than finding out that the plants youíve been tending to all summer have been overrun with insects and arenít producing any fruit. Perhaps even worse is when you find a trail leading into your pantry where your food has been compromised by a tiny army of ants.

Keeping the pests out of your home and garden is a difficult task made even harder if you want to do it without using harsh chemicals and pesticides. However, there are ways you can effectively keep your food safe. In this article, weíll show you how.

Protecting your garden from pests

The most important tool you have at your disposal when it comes to protecting your lawn, flowers, and garden from pests is your own vigilance.

In the garden, take note of the condition of your plantsí leaves. Look on the underside of them for small, yellow or brown dots. These are often insect eggs that will soon hatch and result in your plants being devoured before they can produce crops.

As a last-ditch effort to keep the bugs away, you can try spraying your plants with a homemade insecticidal soap spray. These sprays are usually 95% water and then a small amount of  pure castile soap or vinegar. Be sure not to use too much or this can harm your plants or soil.

Whether you live in the city, the suburbs, or in the country, there are likely to be some furry creatures who see your garden as a food source. One way to keep many away is by framing the garden with a simple metal wire fence.

If itís flowers youíre worried about, try planting them in mulch and keeping the leaves dry when possible. This will avoid excess moisture which can cause plant-killing diseases. Using a watering can rather than a hose will help you target the base of the plant and keep the leaves dry.

Keeping the bugs outside

Regardless out whether your home is old or new, youíll likely someday find yourself with an insect problem. Some are lured in by warmth in the cold seasons, others are seeking a food source.

Letís begin on the exterior of your home. Check for cracks in your foundation and along doors and windows and seal these cracks up. Next, if thereís a space under your door, install an aluminum door threshold if there is a gap between your door and the floor. While youíre there, make sure the weather stripping on your door is in good condition.

Next, make sure all of the screens in your doors, windows, and other ventilation areas are in good condition. Even the tiniest tear can be enough to let in flies and other insects. 

The final step in keeping the bugs out of your home is to remove whatís luring them there in the first place. Store your food in airtight storage containers within your cabinets. Not only will this keep bugs away, but it can also make organizing food easier, especially things you might not use often, like flour or a large bag of sugar.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Amanda Bruen on 10/29/2017

Nice colonial three bedroom with master on first floor with its own bathroom. Living and dining room has hardwood floors with a lot of natural light. Convenient laundry on first floor. You will enjoy and want to entertain in the spacious back yard. Private driveway with plenty of parking.Conveniently located near route 495, public transportation and shopping.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts





Posted by Amanda Bruen on 10/24/2017

Have you ever watched a home television show and found yourself admiring the size of a kitchen? Itís easy to get drawn to tall, wide cherry wood kitchen cabinets, the type of cabinets that go from just below the ceiling to a foot above the kitchen sink. Before you know it, youíre actually counting the cabinets. You may also start to wish that your home had those very same kitchen cabinets.

Then, thereís the trendy kitchen island, stylish marble designs adding a welcomed dťcor to a kitchen. Wide bay windows bring in lots of natural sunlight. Rare ceramic or tile floor colors and designs truly set a kitchen apart, as do spacious pantries that are hidden behind a simple kitchen door.

These habits could make you hate your kitchen

Keep watching those home television shows and you might miss a lot of good in your house. You might start creating a mental list of ďwhat I wish I had in my houseĒ items. One of those items could quickly become the wish for a larger kitchen. But, a larger kitchen may not solve your space and design wants.

Certain personal habits could make a large kitchen too small for you. What you do regularly in your kitchen could also tarnish the appeal of the room. Among those habits are:

  • Not taking full advantage of the existing storage space in your kitchen Ė Loosely stack pots, pans, kitchen utensils and food boxes in your kitchen and you could lose a quarter of the space in your kitchen cabinets.
  • Using your kitchen pantry as a place to store your washer and dryer Ė In addition to making your kitchen feel too small, if you put your washer and dryer in your pantry, your kitchen could feel too hot and stuffy during spring and summer months.
  • Leaving expired or outdated canned foods in cabinets and cupboards
  • Using your kitchen counters as a storage area for automotive, household cleaning and reading products
  • Piling dirty or recently washed laundry on kitchen counters or on the floor in kitchen corners
  • Allowing pets to turn your kitchen into a play area
  • Limiting your dining room to a place that you only use during major holidays

Wide, open kitchen floor space gives you more room to cook, especially if you love to cook from scratch, using plenty of earth grown seasonings, spices and grains. This space can seem hard to come by if your house has a small kitchen. Yet, moving may not completely solve your kitchen space challenges, especially if you fill empty space at your house with decorations, boxes and clutter.

Do this and even a bigger kitchen may feel too small. Similar to how people who live in small homes learn to make the most of each square foot of space at their residence, train yourself to value and get the most from your entire kitchen. Make smart kitchen storage decisions. Prepare meals in your dining room and cook them in the kitchen. By not limiting cooking to your kitchen, you can see how your current kitchen can meet all of your food preparation needs.




Tags: kitchen   bigger   bigger kitchen  
Categories: Uncategorized  




Tags