Debbie Glynn's Blog
Making a compost binThere are endless ways to make a compost bin. In fact, a bin isn't even necessary to make good compost, and some people choose to just keep a pile that they turn throughout the year. Making a bin has many advantages, however: it keeps the compost pile warm and moist (two essential elements that speed up decomposition), it keeps pests out of your compost, and it keeps your neighbors happy who might not want to smell decomposing food when they go outside. Compost bins are commonly made from wood, chicken wire or plastic. Some towns even subsidize compost bins to encourage people to compost rather than throwing their compostable waste in the trash. Old wooden pallets are a great product to build compost bins from.
Adding compost to your binPeople who are new to composting often worry about what can be composted. Once you get started, though, you'll soon realize that almost any organic matter will break down in a compost bin. Beginners often stick to vegetables, coffee grounds, grains, and materials from your yard. Greens and Browns Compostable materials are often broken down into greens (nitrogen-based materials) and browns (carbon-based materials). Your compost bin doesn't need a perfect balance to be effective, but using some of each type of organic matter will produce the best results. Too much brown matter in your bin will be hard to decompose. Too much green matter will make the compost slimy. Here are some examples of great carbon and nitrogenous materials to put in your bin: Brown:
- dry leaves
- wood chips
- fruits and vegetables
- weeds from the yard
- fresh grass clippings
- coffee grounds
Maintaining the compost pileTo create a good environment for decomposition you'll need three things: heat, moisture, and air. This makes compost bins relatively low-maintenance, but here are some tips to speed up the decomposition process: Heat In the spring and summer, nature will provide this for you, but having an enclosed bin that receives plenty of sunlight will help you out. Moisture The bacteria that are doing the composting in your bin require water to live. But too much water will make your bin a slimy mess. Shoot for moist, not wet. Air A compost bin needs to be aerated to blend the ingredients together. You don't need to turn it often; once every two to three weeks is fine. Now that you know all you need to about making great compost for the lawn and garden, it's just a matter of mixing it in and reaping the rewards. Mix compost into garden soil and lawns early in the spring and in the fall after harvest to keep the soil healthy year-round.
Finding the right house that meets your family's needs is an important decision; it's one that can affect the quality of your life for years to come. That's why it's especially important to be in a focused, resourceful state of mind when house hunting. It's also helpful to have a clear idea of what you're looking for and have a system in mind for comparing the strengths and weaknesses of every house you visit.
Knowing What You Want
Chances are, you're going to approach your house search with some preconceived notions about features like the floorplan, bedrooms, and number of bathrooms. You may also have strong preferences for a particular school district, the size of the back yard, and proximity to neighbors. One thing's for sure: There are a lot of details on which you'll need to concentrate as you meet with your real estate agent and visit different homes for sale. While conditions are not always ideal for taking it all in, here are a few tips which may help you get the most from the experience.
Believe it or not, fall may prove to be an ideal time to add your home to the real estate market. In fact, there are many great reasons to sell your home in autumn, including:
1. You may be able to capitalize on a seller's market.
The housing market frequently slows down as the summer reaches its conclusion. Meanwhile, for home sellers who list their residences in fall, there may be a shortage of quality houses available to homebuyers. This means that your home may stand out in a seller's market, and ultimately, you may be better equipped to optimize the value of your home.
Although fall may represent a seller's market, it is important to note that you'll still want to do whatever you can to help your property stand out from others. For example, mowing the front lawn, removing leaves from your driveway and walkways and performing other home exterior maintenance is essential to boost your home's curb appeal.
In addition, you should be willing to listen to any homebuyer's offer on your home in autumn. Remember, homebuyers may be looking for a deal and submit offers that fall below your initial expectations. But if you don't feel comfortable with an offer, you can always counter a homebuyer's proposal, which could lead to an agreement that works well for all parties.
2. Many homebuyers may be looking to take advantage of tax breaks.
Homeowners can take advantage of various tax deductions, including tax breaks related to mortgage loan interest and property taxes. Thus, homebuyers may search for properties in fall so that they can capitalize on these tax breaks before the year ends.
If you take care of your residence and explore ways to revamp your property's interior and exterior, you should have no trouble generating plenty of interest in your property in fall. Furthermore, home sellers who spend time preparing their houses in summer can add their residences to the real estate market in fall and may be able to reap the benefits of a quick home sale.
3. You're sure to find many experienced real estate agents to help you sell your home.
Real estate agents are happy to assist you in any way possible in fall. These real estate professionals will be able to offer insights into the autumn housing market that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.
Your real estate agent can serve as a guide throughout the home selling process, helping you overcome any potential roadblocks along the way. If you ever have concerns or questions about selling your residence in fall, your real estate agent will be available to respond to your queries. Plus, your real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you up to date about offers on your residence and do everything he or she can to help you get the best price for your property.
Work with a real estate agent to sell your home in fall. By doing so, you can take the guesswork out of selling your residence.
Moving day is likely the most stressful day of the home-buying process. With so many items to keep track of, not to mention kids and pets, it can be easy to get overwhelmed during the process. To make matters worse, sometimes the items to so carefully pack are damaged during the move, or while unpacking at your new home.
In this article, we’re going to attempt to alleviate some of that moving day stress by giving you expert advice on how to avoid damaging your belongings during a move, and what to do if damage does occur.
What items are prone to damage?
Some items need to be handled with extra care while packing and while moving. Those items include:
Glasses, plates, and other fragile kitchenware
Electronics, especially those with display screens like televisions, tablets, or digital photo frames
Mirrors and glass decoratives
Anything containing liquid--this could be shampoo, cleaning supplies, wine or alcohol bottles, and so on. These are of particular importance because if they leak they can damage other items, not to mention require a cleanup that you don’t have time for
Packing to avoid damage
There are a few things you can do while packing and securing your boxes to avoid damage during a move. We’ve outlined some important packing tips below:
Buy bright red fragile stickers and use them appropriately. Putting a fragile sticker on every box is no use, because you’ll need to know while ones shouldn’t be stacked high or left in insecure places in the moving van.
For fragile items like glasses and plates, wrap them several times in packing paper, and put them in a double-thick packing box. When you fill the box, avoid leaving too much empty space but also be careful not to pack too much inside. This will put excessive pressure on the fragile items inside.
For liquid items, check that caps are all screwed on tightly. Then place them inside of ziploc bags if you’re able. If not, putting them inside a plastic grocery bag and typing the top should be sufficient enough if a small leak occurs from one of the bottles.
Securing items in the moving truck
When it comes to stacking your boxes in the moving truck, put the heaviest, largest, and least-fragile boxes in the truck first. Use straps and bungee cords to keep items grouped together and avoid having boxes or other items tip over. Think of filling the truck like a game of Tetris- the better the items fit together, the less likely they are of falling.
What to do if your items are damaged
First of all, make sure to read the contract with your moving company and to purchase insurance. Then, take photos of your fragile and valuable items to that you can prove they weren’t damaged before the move.
If something is damaged, take a photo of it right away and request the paperwork required to file a complaint with the moving company. If they ignore your request, you may choose to file a formal complaint with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on their website
Entering the housing market may be difficult for a buyer. In many instances, buyers worry about paying too much for a house. On the other hand, the temptation to overspend on a house sometimes can be overwhelming for a homebuyer who is concerned about losing his or her dream residence to a rival buyer.
Fortunately, we're here to help you determine exactly what you can afford to pay for a house, thereby reducing the risk of spending too much on a residence.
Let's take a look at three tips to ensure a buyer can purchase a great house at the right price.
1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
A mortgage generally is a must-have for a homebuyer. If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can start searching for houses that fall within your financial limits.
To learn about your mortgage options, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who can teach you about myriad mortgage options.
Also, don't hesitate to ask questions as you search for a mortgage. If you understand all of the mortgage options at your disposal, you can make an informed mortgage decision. Then, you'll be able to start pursuing houses with a budget in hand.
2. Assess the Housing Market
The real estate market frequently fluctuates. As such, you should look closely at housing market data to find out whether you're preparing to search for a house in a buyer's or seller's market.
Oftentimes, it helps to look at the prices of recently sold houses in your area. This will allow you to see how much sellers received for their homes, as well as how long these houses were available before they sold. That way, you can use this housing market data to narrow your price range and establish realistic expectations for your home search.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a housing market expert. Therefore, a real estate agent can make it simple for you to pay the right price for your ideal house.
Typically, a real estate agent will want to meet with you before you start your home search. He or she then can learn about you and your homebuying goals and help you craft a homebuying budget. As a result, a real estate agent will allow you to refine your home search, ensuring you can check out high-quality houses at budget-friendly prices.
Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent delivers throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent will set up home showings and keep you up to date about new houses that fall within your price range. And if you'd like to submit an offer on a house, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive proposal as well.
Pay the right price for your dream house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of discovering the right home, at the right price.