Summer House Owner Tip: Trees need room to grow

HouseLogic is one of our favorite publications. They offer great tips for finding, buying, owning and then selling your home. Over the summer, we’re going to try to post easy, breezy tips for you to consider. Nothing too taxing – just ideas to take on or small tasks to do while you enjoy the sun or an open window. All of the tips are from HouseLogic.

Today’s tip – Trees need room to grow

Kind of like adopting an adorable, tiny piglet on a whim, you’ve got to remember how a baby tree is going to grow, and what it’s going to require at maturity.

You probably don’t want a 70-pound pig digging up your daisies, and you definitely don’t want a tree root pushing through your driveway, sidewalk or — so much worse! — your foundation.

And watch out for evergreens. If planted too close to the house, they cast too much shade, encouraging mold growth, Binetti says.

Position trees according to its maximum height, crown size, and root spread. For perspective, even a small tree reaching less than 30 feet tall needs at least 6 feet of clearance from any exterior wall, according to the Arbor Day Foundation.

Posted in Home Owner Tips | Comments Off on Summer House Owner Tip: Trees need room to grow

Five tips to winning a real estate bidding war

Here are some great tips from our friends at Trulia

How To Win A Bidding War With Multiple Offers On a House

  1. Know what you can really afford
  2. Talk with the listing agent
  3. Propose a shorter closing
  4. Rent the house back to the sellers
  5. Submit an as is offer
Posted in Home Buyer Tips | Comments Off on Five tips to winning a real estate bidding war

Summer House Owner Tip: Mirrors are not windows so don’t wash with window cleaner

HouseLogic is one of our favorite publications. They offer great tips for finding, buying, owning and then selling your home. Over the summer, we’re going to try to post easy, breezy tips for you to consider. Nothing too taxing – just ideas to take on or small tasks to do while you enjoy the sun or an open window. All of the tips are from HouseLogic.

Today’s tip – Mirrors are not windows

Your newfound house crush has you scrubbing and spritzing everything. Look at you being so lovingly domestic!

But be cautious with your mirrors. Spraying can lead to what’s ominously called “black edge” — created when a liquid seeps beneath the reflective backing and lifts it.

Instead, clean mirrors with a lint-free microfiber cloth, dampened with warm water — especially mirrors in expensive, installed items like vanities and closet doors.

Avoid the edges and dry immediately with a second cloth.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Summer House Owner Tip: Mirrors are not windows so don’t wash with window cleaner

Summer House Owner Tip: Ivy is poison

HouseLogic is one of our favorite publications. They offer great tips for finding, buying, owning and then selling your home. Over the summer, we’re going to try to post easy, breezy tips for you to consider. Nothing too taxing – just ideas to take on or small tasks to do while you enjoy the sun or an open window. All of the tips are from HouseLogic.

Today’s tip – Ivy will damage your walls

You’ve dreamed of living in an ivy-covered English cottage since childhood. Well, sorry for this, then:

“Anything that climbs on the house will damage it,” says Marianne Binetti, a speaker and author who leads garden tours around the world.

The horticulture expert made the mistake herself.

“It looked cool for a while, but it dug into the siding so even when we pulled it off, it left damage. And it climbed up the drain pipe and tore the gutter off the house,” she says.

By sending roots beneath siding and shingles, ivy enlarges tiny cracks in brick and wood, introducing entrances for moisture and insects, says Jay Markanich, a certified home inspector based in Bristow, Va.

Posted in Home Owner Tips | Comments Off on Summer House Owner Tip: Ivy is poison

Summer House Owner Tip: Bleach is not for everything!

HouseLogic is one of our favorite publications. They offer great tips for finding, buying, owning and then selling your home. Over the summer, we’re going to try to post easy, breezy tips for you to consider. Nothing too taxing – just ideas to take on or small tasks to do while you enjoy the sun or an open window. All of the tips are from HouseLogic.

Today’s tip – Bleach is not a cure-all!

Bleach can:

  • Eat through the sealant on stone surfaces like granite
  • Discolor laminate and colored grout
  • Fade enamel and acrylic tubs
  • Dissolve vinyl and linseed-based flooring like linoleum
  • Corrode seals within the disposal

In addition, bleach kills mold on non-porous surfaces, but can feed future mold growth on absorbent and porous materials, like grout. Yep, whitening grout with bleach creates a mold feeding ground. Whoops.

Better options? Water and vinegar are all you need for most cleaning jobs. If you’ve got a heftier mold or mildew issue, apply a commercial anti-fungal product.

And to clean your disposal, just dump cold water and ice cubes down the hatch.

Posted in Home Owner Tips | Comments Off on Summer House Owner Tip: Bleach is not for everything!

What are you doing for the 4th of July? Here are some great place to see fireworks

grillThe July Fourth Holiday is here. Time for picnics and family. For many of us in Minnesota we’re out on the boat. Others are taking advantage of the many parks in the Twin Cities. The weather is just about perfect. This is what we shovel for in the winter – to fully appreciate the joy of summer and a few days off of work.

How do we all come together? Through the oohs and ahhs of fireworks! MinnPost posted a list of places and times to see fireworks throughout the Twin Cities. Check it out to find the one closest to you!

Posted in Twin Cities Area | Comments Off on What are you doing for the 4th of July? Here are some great place to see fireworks

Hate yard work? We have 7 ideas for you!

House Logic has tips for those of us who would rather enjoy a drink in the backyard than groom the lawn or raise award winning roses:

  1. Use Rocks for Interesting Landscape Features – no mowing required!
  2. Add a Rain Garden if You’ve Got a Soggy Spot – – let nature make the call
  3. DIY the Easiest Deck Ever – again no mowing
  4. Switch to Tall Grass That Never Needs Mowing – see a theme?
  5. Create Pathways to Reduce High-Maintenance Grass
  6. Plant Your Own Mini Forest if You Get Lots of Rain
  7. Use Objects to Add Color — Instead of Flowers – a red chair can do wonders
Posted in Home Owner Tips | Comments Off on Hate yard work? We have 7 ideas for you!

Enjoy the Cities – Baseball, music arts in Lowertown St Paul

saintsAre you looking at relocating to the Twin Cities? Or maybe you have some friends you would like to entice to the area? We’re going to feature some of our summer highlights to help you show off our community.

St Paul has an amazing minor league baseball team with a brand new stadium – the St Paul Saints! Games are played outdoors. There are tickets for every budget – from $6 to $130. They have games all summer long.

They are located in Lowertown St Paul. There are several restaurants nearby – and plenty of options once you get into the ballpark.

While you’re there check out the nearby condos. Lowertown is booming. People move to be close to their work. People move for the community with regular events, such as art crawls and music and movies in the park.

Check it out!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Enjoy the Cities – Baseball, music arts in Lowertown St Paul

Summer is here – get outside and make your home’s exterior shine!

flowersSummer in Minnesota has been slow to arrive but it’s Memorial weekend and the weather predictions are pretty good. The trouble is how to balance being outside with being productive. We have some suggestions based on recent articles from HouseLogic…

  • Think about a coat of paint to make your home pop! Painting a door wouldn’t be too taxing. Or add an accent such as a bright porch swing or big flower pots. Just don’t paint brick! (You may regret that – as it can destroy the brick.)
  • Get out and garden! Pull those weeds, mow that lawn – then stop to think about what you want your garden to look like next year, five years from now, at your kid’s graduation open house. Taking the time to plan will save you headaches and give you time for a lemonade while you bask in the doneness of your maintenance.
  • Run among the daisies. OK, not daisies but if you’re thinking about flowers – check out HouseLogic’s list of curb-appeal flowers.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Summer is here – get outside and make your home’s exterior shine!

What do you look for at an Open House? Wear and tear

Claire BREG professional imageWe’ve asked our home buyer agents what they look for at an open house. Today’s response comes from Claire Bastien –

“When viewing a home, I look for signs to see if the seller either maintained or neglected items on the exterior when approaching the home. I review the roof, shingles, gutters and downspouts, drainage, sidewalks, steps and foundation, siding and I look for areas where there might be a potential for water to be draining toward the home, and for any potential structural issues. Inside the home I look beyond the staging and cosmetics to see if the seller has cared for the home, or, if it is showing signs of wear and tear. I also look for foundation issues, level or slanting floors, and things that might indicate a potential issue that might cost my buyer money down the road if not fixed by the seller.”

Looking for more tips – contact us for more!

Posted in How to Buy a Home | Comments Off on What do you look for at an Open House? Wear and tear