You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!
Even the most seasoned gardeners and houseplant lovers learn new things. While we might thoroughly understand the basics of plant care, every plant is different. It can get overwhelming trying to keep track of each plant’s specific needs, but luckily there are some tricks for making your life easier in caring for them.
Here are some of the best plant care hacks for you to try.
Watering cans are the classic tool to hydrate your houseplants, but they don’t work for everyone. Long-necked watering cans with large spouts can be awkward both for small plants and in small spaces, leading to spillage or worse. One great alternative is to make your own watering vessel out of an old gallon milk jug. By heating a needle and piercing holes in the plastic cap, you can make a gentle shower of water rather than a single powerful stream. What’s even better is that milk jugs are smaller, making them easier to maneuver and store when you’re finished.
Pots with drainage holes are crucial to healthy houseplants. However, one common issue with drainage holes is that they can become blocked by compacted soil or small pieces of organic matter. This prevents drainage and can lead to problems for the soil and the plant. The opposite may also occur: soil may fall out of the bottom of the pot when you water your plants and make a muddy mess. The best way to solve both problems is to place a coffee filter in the pot's bottom before you add soil. Coffee filters will allow moisture to pass through but keep any soil from blocking or falling through the drainage hole.
If you encounter a pest or other problem with a houseplant, check your own cupboards before rushing off to buy expensive chemical products. You can fix many common plant issues with products you may already have in your home. One example is using a hydrogen peroxide solution to disinfect and treat root rot. You can also mix up a weaker solution to drench the soil and kill any fungus or pests that might be hiding. Another example of a common household item you can use to help your plants is in your spice cabinet. Sprinkling cinnamon on the soil will kill fungus and deter ants. In your outdoor garden, it will keep even more pests away including rodents and slugs.
It’s important to remember that plants are stationary in their natural environment. Once rooted, a plant is going to stay in one spot unless an outside force removes it. This is one major reason you should avoid moving your houseplants around. It may be tempting to move plants around for decorative purposes or even based on the weather, but doing so can cause stress and stunt growth among other problems. Find a suitable spot for your plant and leave it there, giving it a chance to acclimate to the environment. However, one thing you should do is rotate your plants to help them grow evenly. Leaves and stems will grow towards a light source, so if your plant is next to a window you may find it leaning in that direction. To prevent this, and keep them growing evenly, give your plants a one-quarter turn once every two weeks to disperse the light.
These are just a few gardening hacks to help you care for your plants. It’s common to learn best practices through trial and error, but these tips will give you the advantage.
Prospective homebuyers and current homeowners know that a mortgage is likely to go hand-in-hand with your home, unless another arrangement has been made. However, there are many options available for those monthly mortgage payments, most commonly through 30-year fixed rate mortgages and 15-year fixed rate mortgages.
Most know about the 30-year option, but what about the 15-year fixed mortgage?
Here’s a quick guide to three of the top questions surrounding a 15-year mortgage:
Most homeowners and potential homebuyers can be eligible for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage. The qualifications will follow those set forth by your mortgage lender and can vary based on the property you find or your personal financial situation.
For those who have a secure investment and savings future and proven income stability, you may be more likely to gain a mortgage with a 15-year payoff. Likewise, you may have a limited pool of housing options available, since the loan is likely to be a bit smaller than your average 30-year mortgage.
Interest rates for a 15-year fixed mortgage may be lower than those of a standard 30-year mortgage. This is typically because you’re voluntarily paying higher monthly payments and have signed off on paying your loan in full within the 15-year period.
Because the loan term is shorter, your monthly mortgage payment may be larger by up to 50% (or more, depending on the loan) of what it would have originally been in a 30-year fixed mortgage. However, larger doesn’t have to be scary.
For those with a secure financial future, excellent financial health and who may not need as much property for their plans or lifestyle, a 15-year mortgage is more than an adequate option. Like a 30-year mortgage, you’ll want to ensure you’re ready for the larger monthly payments, applicable interest rate and quick-building equity that a 15-year fixed mortgage provides.
Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!
You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.
We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.