Getting Your Yard Ready for The Winter

We are moving closer to winter and, as each day ticks closer to our first snowfall, now is the time to prepare your yard for the cold months ago. To help you prepare, here are some steps to start taking today to ensure your yard survives (and thrives) over the winter. frost-on-grass-1358926_640

Lawn care. Even though the temperatures are cooling down, mowing your lawn is still important. While you’re at it, take a moment to aerate and fertilize your lawn to ensure it has the necessary nutrients to survive the winter ahead. In addition to making sure your lawn has the nutrients it needs, it’s equally important to rake up your leaves as they begin to fall. Unraked leaves will lead to fungus which can kill your lawn and may lead to health problems.

Winterize your sprinklers. Utah can have some serious cold months so it’s critical you winterize your sprinkler system so it doesn’t crack or burst. To do this, turn off the water and push the excess water out of your pipes with an air compressor.

Prepare your soil. As we move further into the autumn months, add some manure to your flower beds, especially around the plants that need a little extra protection, which can be absorbed throughout the winter.

Cover your air conditioner. While you’re preparing your yard, don’t forget to winterize your air conditioner. Use this time to wash out any dirt and debris from your unit, check pipes, and wrap your unit with visit a plastic or vinyl cover. As your close down your AC unit for the winter, this is also the perfect time to check your furnace and change your filters.

Have some tips to add? Tell us about it below in the comments.

Trimming Your Trees For The Fall

leaves-970188_640Right now, as we move into the cooler months, it’s tempting to want to prune your trees and bushes. However, the autumn months are not a good time to prune. Trimming your trees in the fall can lead fungi to spread in their spores, which slows down their ability to heal wounds caused by cuts. This is also a time when trees are starting to go dormant (preparing for the winter months ahead) and pruning them will result in a spurt of regrowth.

Instead, wait until the summer months to prune your trees and bushes. This will allow you to remove the old and dead branches without causing excess stress to your trees. When pruning your trees and shrubs, don’t make the cut too close to the trunk of the tree. Also, you don’t want to cut too far from the trunk which may leave an ugly stub and allow insects easy entry.

There are other important things you can do to help prepare your yard for winter. Apply some fertilizer, spread cool-weather grass seed, and aerate your lawn to protect it over the cold months. In addition, take some time to ensure the water in your sprinkler systems is pushed out and your air conditioner is properly stored.

The more you can do now to prepare your yard (and home) for the winter months the better. You never know when the snow will start flying and the more prepared you are the less surprises you’ll have.

Have something to add to the list? Tell us below in the comments about some of the things you do to help get your yard ready for the winter.

3 Simple Ways to Make Your Home Look More Expensive

Have you browsed through home design magazines and websites, created your dream home on Pinterest? While we are exploring pictures and creating our dream homes, the fact remains that sometimes our design dreams and our budget don’t match up. However, here are 3 simple things you can do to help give your home the luxury feel without breaking the bank. 4588573211_a0c25366fb_o

Declutter. Lots of knickknacks and clutter can put off the “my home isn’t worth much” feel. Take time to throw out stuff you no longer love or want, and get rid of anything that doesn’t mesh with your personal style.

Lighting. Add or rearrange the lighting in your home to illuminate areas and make the space look bigger. Proper lighting can also make a home more cozy and inviting which is a huge appeal to potential home buyers.

Repaint. One way to help give your home a fresh new look is to repaint, choosing warm, neutral colors. Walls are not the only thing you can repaint, add a vibrant color to your front door, windows, and trims to brighten up your home.

There are so many ideas and projects you can do to liven up your home. Learn about other things you can do to help improve your home here.

Pool and Spa Care: 101

Now is the season many people are spending time in their pools and spas. Both are excellent for exercise, relaxing after a long day and can be fun for the whole family. Although enjoyable, maintaining your pool and/or spa can be time-consuming if you don’t keep up with the care.

Here are some simple tips to keep your pool clean without wasting your time: small pool side

Invest in a cover. Leaves and all sort of debris can find their way into your spa or pool. Help keep your pool clean by putting your cover over your pool when it’s not in use.

Clean your filters. You should clean the filters in your hot tub regularly to keep them from getting too dirty and making your water foggy. With pools. check your pH levels regularly and shock (super chlorinate your pool to kill bacteria) your pool. Talk to a pool professional for exact tips on shocking your pool.

Vacuum your pool. Remove debris from the bottom of the pool floor by suctioning the stuff up with your own vacuum system. If you have a lot of debris on the bottom, consider hiring a professional to do a power vacuum to protect your equipment from getting damaged.

Understand Your Mortgage

When it comes to buying a home, do you know how much loan you can handle? For most people who are looking to buy a home, applying for a loanrow-of-homes-san-francisco is not new, but navigating the financial world can be kind of tricky.

Before you apply for a home loan, taking time to check your FICO score is important. Depending where your credit score is can have a huge impact on the kind of loan you get and if you
even qualify for one. Any credit score above 720 usually qualifies for good rates. Talk to your loan officer about what your credit score qualifies for you.

Another important term to understand is debt-to-income ratios.When it comes to mortgage loans, the general rule of thumb is avoid dedicating more than 28% of your monthly take-home income. In mathematical terms, if you are taking home $50,000, you should avoid paying more than $1,166 per month toward your home (i.e. $50,000 x 0.28 = around $1,166). Again, if you have any questions or concerns, talk to your mortgage lender who will be able to answer all your questions.

As you move forward with buying a home, remember to consider future expenses. Don’t spread yourself too thin where you can’t pay your bills or save for your retirement. Talking with your loan officer and real estate agent to help you find the right home for you at the right price.

Give me a call today and let me help you find your dream home today.

Things to Consider When Adding Luxury to Your Home

Landscaping isn’t what is used to be. Today, home buyers are interested in the luxury items of a home, like a fire pit or a fountain, spa or maybe an outdoor kitchen. The possibilities are endless but while you decide which outdoor features you want in your next home, here are some things to consider:

paper-boats-and-vase-1390044230gtWWhere will you place it? Do you have the space? It’s all about location. Where is the best spot for your fountain? Does your fire pit have a secure cement pad to sit on?

How much do you want to spend? Have a set budget about what you are willing to spend for these little niceties that can turn your home into your dream home.

How does it affect your homeowners insurance? Never hurts to touch basis with your insurance company to make sure you are covered if anything happens.

What are the local ordinances? Each city or state has regulations, this is especially worth checking out when looking to put a permanent fire pit in your backyard.

Do you have a fire pit or hot tub in your backyard? What is something you wish you’d known before putting them in?

Prepare Your Home for Autumn

fall-timeCan you believe autumn is only a few months away and you know what that means, cooler weather and the leaves changing colors. It is a beautiful time of year, but not if your home isn’t prepared.

Avoid any unexpected problems this year by making sure you stay on top of these:

1. Attend to the gutters. Before the rains start falling, get your gutters cleaned of any clutter that could clog your drains and cause damage to your home.

2. Love your roof. Do you have any leaks? Now is the time to make any repairs to your roof.

3. Furnace care. Have a professional come and inspect your system. While you are making sure your heating system works correctly, now is the time make sure you replace all your filters.

4. Drain and winterize outdoor faucets. Shut off water valves and drain the lines to protect your pipes from freezing and exploding.

5. Air quality. Humidifiers are a great addition to the home, especially during the winter months, to keep your skin from drying out, but have you checked your smoke and CO detectors? Change out those batteries to ensure everything is working properly.

What are some things you do to make sure your home is ready for autumn? What are some of your favorite things about the fall months? Share your stories with us.