Author Archive: Jorge Torres

How To Hire The Right Person For Lawn Care

How To Hire The Right Person For Lawn Care (1)

A lot of people do not have the time to care for their lawn themselves. If you are one of these people, you might be considering hiring someone to take care of your lawn for you. Fortunately, there are a lot of people who offer this service, but this can create a problem when it comes to hiring the right person. It is important that you know what to look for in a lawn care professional and that you check this before you hire anyone.

Look At Their Reputation

One of the first things that you need to do when looking for someone to care for your lawn is to check their reputation. There is no point in contacting someone if they have a reputation for poor work or never turning up when they are meant to. With the advent of the internet, it has become easier for us to find out about someone reputation as all you need to do is a quick Google search.

If the person you want to hire has a lot of negative reviews, you should reconsider using them. However, it is important to read through the reviews if there is a mixture of good and bad. Ideally, you will want to hire a lawn care professional that has a good reputation in your local area.

Check Their License And Insurance

Licensing is something that you have to look at. It is important to note that not all areas will require lawn care companies and professionals to be licensed. It is recommended that you check this before you start looking for someone to hire. If you are in an area that requires this, you should never work with an unlicensed provider.

Insurance is also important and you should never hire a lawn care provider that does not have insurance. This is important because the tools that they use can cause injury and you do not want to be liable for this. If they do not have insurance and are injured while caring for your lawn, you will be liable for their medical costs and any additional costs due to the fact that they cannot work.

When checking this, you should never simply take their word for it. You need to actually get a copy of their insurance and contact the insurer to check that it is valid. The insurance they have should not only cover injury, but it should also cover any damage that they potentially do to your property.

How Is The Customer Service?

Good customer service is something that you need to look out for. The problem is that many lawn care providers and companies tend to have poor customer service because they are disorganized. This does not mean that you should compromise on this and you always need to look for a provider that responds in a prompt and reasonable manner.

You can determine the customer service on offer when you initially contact the provider for an estimate. If they take a long time to answer the phone or a long time to get back to you, this is a clear sign of things to come. You should also consider how you are able to contact the provider as those with numerous contact methods often have better overall support. The support that you get at the start of your relationship with the provider will be a clear sign of how you will be treated once you hire them.

How They Maintain Their Equipment

You need to meet with the lawn care provider before you hire them to better understand their business and to get an estimate of the costs. While you are meeting with them, you need to find out more about how they maintain their equipment. The first question you should ask about this is how often they sharpen the blades on their equipment.

A good provider will change or sharpen their blades every 1 to 2 days. This is important because lawn cut with dull blades will brown at the top and have a tattered appearance. Ideally, the lawn care provider should never use a blade for more than 10 hours before sharpening or replacing it.

Getting the right person to care for your lawn is important if you want it to look its best. This is why you need to know what to look for and what questions to ask when you meet with them. And investing in your landscaping can go a long way to improving the look and feel of the home as well as its value. Check out our other article on How Landscaping Can Seamlessly Integrate Into Your Home Architecture.

How to Get Started Landscaping Your Yard

How to Get Started Landscaping

You live in a home you own on a block with many other houses. What makes one home stand out from others? There are lots of factors, but one of them is landscaping. Your yard makes up part of the first impression people will have of your home. How will they think of it? Will they think your home is beautiful or will they think your house is shabby? Landscaping can turn your yard into a paradise for not only yourself but for those who gaze upon it. Bottom line? Landscaping raises the curb appeal of your home. So here’s how to get started landscaping your yard.

1. Create a Diagram of Your Yard

The first step you’ll want to take is to draw a diagram of your yard indicating how you would like it to be. Where would you like your flowers, your shrubs, your trees, your walking paths, etc.? You never want to begin landscaping without having a “map.” Without a “map” you can get lost rather quickly, and, you can end up spending more money than you desire. So draw a diagram of your yard. It’s your “map” of where everything should go so that you’ll purchase and acquire only what you need to turn your landscaping dream into a reality. With that said, diagramming your yard will be one of the most challenging jobs when it comes to landscaping. Therefore, it’s highly advised to consult a landscaper or a gardener.

2. Consult a Landscaper or Gardener to Assist You in Mapping Out Your Ideas

Unless you’ve landscaped before, or unless you’re a highly skilled gardener, you may want to hire a landscaper or a gardener to help you map out your ideas. A professional gardener or landscaper knows what plants and other life would look good in what areas. They are aware of what needs sun and what requires shade. They understand plant height and how to position plants to take advantage of height difference. They know which plants are easy-care and which ones are high-maintenance. In short, this kind of professional can save you time and money.

3. Consider Your Space and Climate

In what climate is your home located? The environment where your home is located will dictate what kinds of plants you should consider. A garden in the Midwest will look much different than a garden in the Southeast. Also, once you have the classification of plants you need, based on what zone, you will know which plants will work and which won’t. Plants in Illinois, for example, fall in Zones 5 and 6. Plants for Florida would be in Zones 8, 9, and 10.

4. Choose Native Plants

The best way to have a successful landscaping effort is to choose native or easy to grow plants. So if you live in the Midwest, you may select Purple Cone flower or Black-Eyed Susan. If you live in the Southeast, you may choose something like Southern Magnolia or the Saw Palmetto. If you’re not hiring a professional to help you, make sure you research what plants are native to your area.

5. Add a Bench and a Water Fountain, Bird Bath, or Water Fall

When it comes to landscaping there’s more to it than just plants. Beautiful landscaping is something that people admire, and often times it is a place where people enjoy sitting and reflecting. A bench, as well as a water feature, are two favorite items to include in a landscaping design, depending on your budget.

6. Choose a Wide Variety

One thing a professional landscaper will tell you is that you should choose plants that will bloom at different times of the year. You don’t want to have a garden where everything blooms and dies at the same time. You want to have your blooming spread out throughout the year.

7. Keep it Simple

Remember that the more maintenance the plants are that you choose, the more work for you. Consider keeping your garden easy with easy maintenance. It’s very possible to acquire beautiful plants that don’t require a lot of work. Keeping it simple can also help improve the overall appearance and synergy between the landscaping and the home structure itself. Check out our other article on How Landscaping Can Seamlessly Integrate Into Your Home Architecture to learn more about that.

Once you have your landscaping plan, creating it will be enjoyable and fun. Follow these tips to achieve the yard of your dreams.

How Landscaping Can Seamlessly Integrate Into Your Home Architecture

LANDSCAPING with your home's architecture

Your home isn’t only the interior space but the building and its surroundings as a whole. If you want to raise the curb appeal of your property, you need to take into consideration improving your landscaping and making it look like part of your home architecture. This article shows you a few methods to do just that.

Why even bother with landscaping?

Living in a house or in a detached villa is a great opportunity to create a beautiful scenery around your home. By planting the right trees and by painting your house in colors that match the natural surroundings, you’ll create an oasis of beauty, a welcoming dwelling your guests are going to be impressed with at first sight. This means you shouldn’t overlook the importance of creating and maintaining a vividly colored garden. The simple addition of a water feature can curb the appeal of your home. Water attracts birds, and that can be another opportunity to surround yourself with natural beauty. A pond could also be the perfect focal point for the eye of the viewer, a place where you’ll enjoy to relax and to think about life and about all those things that matter to you.

Understanding the costs of landscaping

Good landscaping should resonate with your own values and with your personal preferences. Of course, it should also fit into your available budget. Rather than dreaming about building something spectacular but never achieving it, you should consider how much money you can spend and then figure out what kind of improvements you can afford. If you can’t afford to create a pond and to populate it with fish, you can choose a smaller water fountain and install some bird feeders around it to attract some of these lovely creatures. Even mowing the grass regularly can make a huge difference to the overall impression people get when they see your house.

A neat courtyard speaks volumes about your personality and about your most important values in life. If you neglect taking care of the exterior of your home, everything is going to look dull and run down, and that’s nothing to look forward to. If you are on a budget, make the mots out of what you already have. Paint the walls of your home, repair the roof, and clean the fence every year. Cut the grass, plant some flowers and perhaps start a small vegetable garden. All these require vert little money, so you won’t be breaking the bank by doing them. If, on the contrary, you can spend something to make your home look better, it’s time to think big and to take action.

Considering a professional

For best results, consider hiring an expert in landscaping, like the guys over at Frontier Landscaping & Lawn Care (who have generously contributed this article). These professionals know how to bring your ideas and your dreams to life by creating a unitary landscape in which each element plays its own role. One this you need to keep in mind if you live in a climate with seasons is that not all plants are green or blossoming all year round. You need to make sure that once tulips are gone, there’s going to be something else blossoming to add some color to your garden. If you want to enjoy greenery even during winter, you may want to plant some coniferous trees.

Nonetheless, if you also love the warmth and the color palette of the fall, you should mix and match multiple types of trees. Oak and maple are only two examples of trees you can plant around your house to curb the appeal of your landscape during summer and fall. Blossoming trees are also beautiful. Magnolias, for instance, are awesome in spring. Pair them with some pine trees and with palm trees, and you’ll be amazed by the look you’ll achieve. You’ll only need to spend a big chunk of money in the beginning, to make everything look like you want. Maintaining the landscape will be less expensive, as you’ll only need to cater to your plants to make sure they are always in good health.

These are only a few ideas to help you understand how landscaping can be part of your home architecture. You don’t need a huge budget to make all these things happen. However, you should have a well-defined strategy and an action plan, in order to make sure you communicate the feelings and emotions you want, regardless the weather and the time of the year.

The Savvy Homeowner: Plumbing Pipes

 

As a homeowner, things are going to break and you’ll either be able to fix it yourself or you need to hire someone to take care of it for you.

In either case, if you don’t know what you’re getting into, then you’re either going to botch the repair or get swindled by someone who takes advantage of you.

That’s why it’s important to learn about the different handy-man techniques as a homeowner.

We’re going to call this The Savvy Homeowner series, and we’ll start with learning and understanding the different pipes used in plumbing.

Just click through to start learning and check back for more homeowner information!

Marche Country For Vacation Homes

marche italy

In Marche, Italy, there’s a lot of incredible stuff that attracts tourists from around the world.

When it comes to vacationing, Marche is growing on the list of destinations that people want to visit and enjoy when touring Europe.

With that, many real estate investors have taken to attempting to set up vacation homes for people using VRBO or AirBnB, similar to much of the rest of the world.

Since there’s a lot of beach town vibe in Marche, it’s becoming increasingly popular with people involved in real estate.

Beach homes are generally one of the most sought after spots for people vacationing for the summer or traveling through multiple countries.

Because of that, the occupancy rate for vacation homes like that are really very high.

Sometimes booked for months in advance.

With Marche’s popularity climbing (it used to be considered a poorer area), the development or rehabilitation of local homes are on the rise as well.

The factors to consider when looking to acquire a vacation home

 

There are some things to consider when looking to purchase or set up a vacation home.

First of all, if you don’t already own a home, one option you can look into is a master-lease, where you lease a property with the intention and permission of turning it into a short-term rental property.

Then, realistically, how popular will the location be?

Generally, the occupancy rates will be quite high, but there are certain areas that are less than ideal and the bookings may suffer from it.

Additionally, are there certain times of the year or seasons where the home may not be booked as much?

Now, looking into the actual operating costs, it’s important to factor in things like consistent cleaning, property management, repairs and maintenance, electrical, internet, and other utilities or services that may be in use in the home.

All these things add to the monthly overall cost of the property, and they’re a factor when identifying what the profit margin or cash flow will be long-term.

The last thing to think about is, what kind of audience are you going to housing in your vacation property?

Depending on the location, you might get younger people that are more likely to enjoy the night life and return afterwards, or you may get families that are on summer trips out to the beach.

With that market research, you’ll know how to handle the fees and expectations.

More alcohol-frenzy audiences will require a buffer for repairs and maintenance, and more thorough check-ups after bookings are complete.

it’s something that you don’t really consider until it’s too late and you’ve incurred some costs that you weren’t expecting.

That’s not fun.

And in that case you may seriously consider getting homeowners insurance as well as liability insurance to protect your home and your venture.

One more piece of advice…

…If at all possible, you might want to check into seeing if you can find houses at a discount.

Since the economy was once a bit poorer than it is now, you might even look into finding properties that you can buy with cash in order to get a discount on retail market value.

if you can achieve that, then you’re already one step ahead in creating positive cash flow and maximizing the profit margins.

Identifying the right place to advertise

Next up is figuring out where you want your audience to come from.

There is VRBO, which in a lot of cases is more suitable for longer term stays.

Something like 1 – 2 weeks or longer, you’l find that VRBO provides the right kind of audience.

But anything other than that, AirBnB is more well-known for shorter terms stays and even by nightly stays.

In general, for vacation homes, especially in destination areas, most visitors are going to stay weeks at a time, so it might be best to set up on VRBO.

It’s important to make sure that you take really well-lit professional pictures of the exterior, interior, and surrounding areas when setting up your listing.

And when you do have visitors, making sure they have all the information they need from being able to operate inside the property to knowing where are the closest and easiest grocery stores or points of interest to get to.

These are all things that affect the experience of vacation homes, and they’re immensely important in increasing the quality of the stay.

This all affects your brand as a rental home, and it’s something that can be repeatable in many homes should you choose to set up multiple vacation home spots.

With that, you can establish a very profitable business with just vacation homes, and the first start can definitely be in Marche, where you get a beautiful view with a small town feel.

Many people enjoy environments like that, and no doubt it will be extremely successful.

For more info on Marche and vacation related homes, check back for more info on our homepage.

Understanding The Importance of Homeowners Insurance

home insurance

If you’re like me, you have a home (or maybe multiple homes) that you purchased and customized to exactly your preferences.

It was the easy decision to make because why pay so much money for rent when you can have something that you totally own for possibly even half of the cost?

You spent time looking at many houses, picked out the right one, then you painted the walls, decorated it, changed the landscape, and completely made it your own.

Well, what if I were to tell you that suddenly tomorrow the entire thing gets destroyed in a flood, gas explosion, or even a truck runs off the road and drives right into your house?

What then?

These scenarios are exactly what most homeowners don’t think about when they buy a house, but then it comes back to bite them in the ass when disaster does occur.

That’s why I’m here to tell you how important insurance is to your home and why you shouldn’t fall into the “insurance is a scam” trap.

Insurance can save the day when you least expect it

Consider this:

When we’re buying insurance for anything, whether it’s for your health, car, phone, or house, we aren’t buying it so that we can get frequent check ups or for maintenance.

Insurance is primarily for catastrophic events.

Your health insurance isn’t for reduces co-pays, it’s for when you get hit by a car, suffer a heart attack, or suddenly get diagnosed with some terrible disease that the hospitals love charging hundreds of thousands of dollars for.

Would you pay a few hundred a month so that the several hundred thousand dollar bill would get covered?

Well if you just purchased a home for $200,000 and something catastrophic happens, would that be worth paying $700 a year?

That’s where insurance comes in for your home.

Now, it’s also important to realize what home insurance won’t cover.

It’s great to have, but there are other types of insurances needed for some of the issues your home might run into.

One more important fact is to learn that there are many different insurance companies — some are better than others.

When people don’t do their research, that’s when they find that they get ‘scam’ insurance.

Some basic research can help reveal the best insurances available.

Protect your investment with homeowners insurance

Here’s what happens:

When something happens to a house, homeowners insurance covers the structure up to a certain dollar amount.

Generally that dollar amount is going to be equivalent to the value of the home, unless it’s in an area where the value is actually primarily lot value, like downtown.

The value of the building itself will be less than the lot, so the insurance coverage will primarily cover the building.

That means if something catastrophic happens, the insurance company will payout the what you need to either repair or rebuild the home entirely.

For many, this is something that would have saved them a LOT of money as well as stress.

Every year hundreds of thousands of homes are lost due to different circumstances and the homeowners have lost the use of that house.

If these houses were not covered, then they would have a property that is uninhabitable and they are still responsible for the loan on it.

With coverage, they can either pay off the mortgage and get out from under it or they would be able to at least rebuild the property so that they can maintain their lifestyle there.

Don’t forget about home warranty

In some areas, when summer comes around, the a/c never fails to, well, fail.

That’s where home warranty comes in.

Home warranty will cover appliances in the home that eventually breakdown.

This includes air conditioners, heaters, water heaters, dishwashers, stove/ranges, and so on.

When these appliances inevitable break down, you either have to pay the amounts out of pocket or you carry a home warranty from around $50-70 per month that will send someone out there to repair or replace the appliance for you.

This is especially important for air conditioning units.

HVAC systems can cost anywhere from $2000-6000 to repair or replace.

That’s not something that you want to suddenly deal with if you don’t have an extra savings account or planned maintenance budget.

Home warranties can save your ass in cases like that, and believe me, you don’t want to be stuck without an a/c during the summer in some place like Houston.

Protect your home’s value

When it comes to maintaining the value of your home, you definitely want to make sure that everything is as it should be.

When certain parts of your home degrade, so does the value of the property.

By keeping your home covered, you ensure that the value of the home remains up to market value because anything that would damage the home enough to drop its value would be covered by insurance and warranty.

An additional benefit is that when a buyer comes to check out your home, they will see that you kept it in good shape because you took the extra steps to cover its integrity.

This will most certainly come in handy when it comes to selling your home.

Keep your home covered, and your family will stay happy and safe

The last thing any homeowner wants to do is put their family at risk.

That’s what you’re doing when you don’t have backup plans for your home.

When something goes wrong and your family no longer has a roof over their heads, it’s on you for not having them covered from the beginning.

Don’t let that happen.

Take care of your family and take care of your home, something that you’ve paid a steep price for.

You want to protect your asset.

Understanding the importance of home insurance is one of the best things you can do when it comes to preserving your assets.

Check out more form our homepage on real estate related topics (http://www.marchecountryhouses.com).

Finding Real Estate in Le Marche

Le Marche region is pretty as a picture with its breathtaking countryside with artistic towns and quaint villages. Marche Country has some of the most beautiful country homes, cottages, villas, and farmhouses. It would be an utter joy to be a part of this fascinating piece of land.
Buying a house in Marche Country is not easy and sometimes the price for your dream home can be well above your budget. Hammering out a deal that is acceptable to all parties can become very stressful. Here are a few tips on how to get a good price for a home in Marche Country.

Do Your Homework Before Purchasing A Home

You have a lot of beautiful homes to choose from. It is a buyer’s market and you need to do thorough market research before attempting to buy a property. You can do a comparable search and find out the true value of the property. Find out at what prices similar homes have been sold for.
Looking at the list to sales ratio will help you understand the ratio between what a property was initially listed for and what it ultimately sold for. It will help you to decide on how to negotiate.

Negotiate Like A Pro

Once you decide on what type of home you want and do the necessary research, you can negotiate like a professional.
Many of the homes in Le Marche are restored and has great historic and architectural value. Do a thorough home inspection. If you find any damages, you can ask the seller to fix it or offer less than the asking price.

Hire Good Real Estate Broker

If you feel that you are not experienced enough to do this on your own, it is always advisable to hire a good real estate broker. They will know the lay of the land better than you and can help you make a good deal.
There are many legalities associated with buying a home in Le Marche. Having a real estate broker will help you to finish the processes without any hiccups. Many real estate brokerages such as Tier 1 Real Estate, a real estate brokerage in Bristol, CT – mentions that you should shop multiple homes before deciding on one.
Le Marche is a paradise for those who seek the sun and a better lifestyle. It is truly one of the best places to live.

Nation’s Top Real Estate Market: Houston

Image result for real estate investing

While we’re investing in our own neighborhoods and towns, there’s one huge boom happening across the way: Houston. Even before Hurricane Harvey’s influence on the market due to flooded homes, because of the sheer size of the city and land surrounding it, real estate investment has always been prime as homes and neighborhoods constantly go through waves of revitalization.

Even after 2008’s market crash, the Houston market was quick to recover, as was pretty much the entirety of Texas’s economy. The market has been booming with an uptrend and real estate investment has been a pivotal part of renovating different neighborhoods within the city and its suburbs. More and more residents are moving into real estate investment as a means of building long-term wealth, which also ends up helping many homeowners in dire situations because they’re able to get out from under a mortgage that is drowning their finances.

After Hurricane Harvey, an influx of investors and contractors further increased the market’s trend as there were many homes being bought and sold due to flood damage or were otherwise uninhabitable. Other situations like fire damage or simple long-term vacancies are very prominent in a large city such as Houston with almost 3 million in population living there. Because of the age of the city, there’s also a lot of probate/inheritance or aging out of a home that requires a quick sell to liquidate for cash. All-in-all, there’s a huge market for real estate, which means Houston’s real estate economy a “blue ocean”.

Aside from the existing neighborhoods, there’s constant new development happening in the west and north of the city. The Woodlands and Conroe areas are expanding and building more as residents move from the inner city into these new development areas. Richmond and Sugar Land are also hugely popular in the southeast of the city, which have new master plan developments happening every year and homes are consistently pre-sold for residents that are looking to move out into the suburbs for family life or are moving in from other surrounding cities. The oil & gas industry promotes a lot of long-term residents to relocate in from other states, and most of the time these industry workers stay with a corporation for a large number of years. This means that they look to find a place the settle in for the long haul.

Houston’s market is great not only for trade workers and house flippers, but for those that are looking to rebuild neighborhoods, develop new areas, or deal in commercial. Both resident and commercial real estate presents a lot of opportunities in several areas of the city. The Third Ward district is already going through a gentrification as many of the old homes and warehouses are being bought up and redeveloped into new residential housing, which was in the works before Harvey. Post-Harvey, housing demands have significantly increased and there’s simply not enough housing to handle the displaced families from flooded homes. As such, there’s a reliance upon real estate investors who have the capital to actual take a damaged home and restore it so that these families can get back in them. Many individuals or families do not have bank loans as an option to restore a damaged home. That’s why real estate investors who use private funds are able to restore them to a point where families can get approved mortgages to purchase them.

This shows how the real estate investment market is not only just a means for building wealth, but it helps homeowners in need and helps housing needs that otherwise would go unmet due to how bank mortgages operate. Without investors, families would not be able to find new homes when they go through a disaster that a bank or insurance company tries to dodge when it comes to claims or restoring a property.

Information in this article was provided by Home Buyer Houston (https://www.homebuyerhouston.net).

Second Home Ownership – Investing Tips and Benefits

 

Clarington Homes

If you are planning to go for second home ownership, don’t think twice since you are definitely not alone. Although many people usually worry about double mortgages and property taxes, two-fold utility bills, and twice the price of heating systems, plumbing, fixtures, and roof maintenance, still, many homeowners find second home as extremely lucrative investments. 

Second homes could be a retirement home, a permanent getaway spot, or something that can give you profit through lease and rentals. Depending on the location, a second home can also be a great venue to escape the buzz and hustles of the city. Here, you can simply sit back, relax, and spend more time with family or friends. 

Unlike renting vacation homes, you will be able to revamp your second home based on your personal interests and tastes in such a way that you, your loved ones, and other occupants feel the most comfortable. Aside from that, as far as marketing is concerned, the value of homes has lesser risks of depreciation, or they don’t often depreciate at all. 

However, before plunging into second home ownership and buying that second home, it is a must to consider all of your needs to reach a good decision. How should the home look like? Where should it be located? Do you have to get someone who is an expert on real estate to help you in your decision making? How about property taxes?

Below is a quick guide to help you kick start in making one of your life’s biggest investments:

Decide About Its Look – This basically depends on your lifestyle and your location. If you do not want to keep your lawn in your second home each time you go there and you want to rest on weekends, select the options that are low maintenance. You also have to be sure about its size. Consider the second homes that are bigger sizes if you like your relatives and family to be in it.

Where Must It Be? – Search for an area that suits best your hobbies, personality, and interests. If you’re a party person and you like to be located with the bars conveniently, best diners, and clubs, look for a second home in a city. Nevertheless, if you do not want to travel to far distances yet wants a closer and peaceful place closer to nature space, find a second home that’s an hour or two drive from your first home. Typically, second home owners prefer the locations near the vacation areas where they could play golf, kayak or surf depending on their preferences.

Take some time to ponder and decide before buying a home for sale in your chosen location. Keep those tips in mind for you to ensure success when buying your second home. There are tons of homes for sale out there. Start searching in real estate sites online and know what you want in a house and where you want it. Settle your finances and get the assistance of a real estate agent.

By newhomesinbowmanville.com