One of the joys of the holidays is going out and about to see how others have decorated their homes. It not only adds an excitement to the air, but also may inspire you for how you’d like to decorate the exterior of your own home.
Perhaps the best place to start is the front porch, which is your home’s holiday greeting to all who visit or pass by. Whether your style is glam and glitz or traditional and country, these tips will make it easy to decorate your porch to celebrate fall, and then transition it seamlessly to winter holiday decor in no time!
GO FOR GOLD WITH GLAM DECOR
A simple, clean, elegant decor never goes out of style. And nothing says glamour quite like the color combination of black, white, and gold, which works quite well as a tool to show your style throughout the seasons.
Plus, you can add a striking focal point to your autumn decor by hanging a gold-painted harvest wreath on your door—this will maintain your glam theme while adding an extra touch of the season.
In the winter, switch out the autumn vegetables with more seasonal ornament-style decor, and forgo the usual pine wreath by opting for a clean gold straw wreath, to which you can add your own personalized touch of the season.
Cross-seasonal tip: Stringing pinecones around your door is an ideal transitioning tool—you won’t have to switch them out during the change of seasons!
KEEP IT COUNTRY WITH RUSTIC DECOR
The autumn and holiday seasons both evoke a sense of home and tradition, which is not only appealing to a lot of people, but also a hot design trend. You can reflect this style by implementing the tips below and bringing them all together in a bronze-colored tub.
In the fall, incorporate the colors of the season with fall vegetables, including mini gourds, autumn corn, and corn stalks; mix in some pinecones; and add a pop of white to contrast the oranges of autumn by including a white pumpkin in the mix.
In the winter, switch out your traditional autumn colors with all white items, and frost the pinecones from your fall decor to bring the holidays to your doorstep; add a touch of green with some pine branches, which will also welcome guests with the scent of the season.
Cross-seasonal tip: Fill your tub with plenty of newspaper to add lift to your items so they stand out more.
To get more holiday-themed decorating ideas that will help you add your personal style to the season, visit www.americanlifestylemag.com/holidays.
Many buyers hope to find a home in perfect condition so they can avoid dealing with maintenance issues. The problem is – no perfect home exists, so as a buyer, you should rely on home inspections to tell you what you need to know about the condition of the home you’re buying.
Be prepared to hire and schedule several types of inspectors to look at structural, pests, and environmental elements, depending on requirements in your state.
A structural home inspection should take several hours and cover all built-in appliances, all mechanical, electrical, gas and plumbing systems, the roof, foundation, gutters, exterior skins, windows and doors.
Home inspections may only cover the main house. This is significant for specialty inspections such as termites, because termites are more likely to be found in outbuildings. Make sure any inspection covers all buildings on the property including guest houses, detached garages, barns, stables and other buildings that will convey with the property, even if you have to pay more.
Attend every inspection and stay with the inspectors. Seeing problems for yourself will help you understand what’s serious, what needs replacement now or later, and what’s not significant. While home inspections point out problems, they also show you what’s working well so you can make your final decision about the home.
You can ask the seller to make repairs, or you can offer a little less. If you’re getting a VA or FHA-guaranteed loan, some items aren’t negotiable and the seller must address them, but otherwise ask your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices sales professional for advice.
White Bean Chicken Chili
Everyday chili? Bean there, done that. While everyone else whips up traditional tomato-and-beef-based chili for your cook-off, show them that you’re the host with the most flavor-filled chili! This chili recipe is a winner, with not only white beans and chicken but also a delicious blend of vegetables and spices to impress any palate.
Sweet & Spicy Pork Chili
Love spicy and sweet? Don’t settle for one when you can make both in one delicious dish! This recipe has many chili spices you’d expect—garlic, pepper, cayenne—but blends them with seasonal flavors like pumpkin and cocoa. Add tender pork to the mix, and you’ve got a recipe that’s sure to earn high scores at your cook-off!
To complete your chili cook-off checklist, print out these party accessories to set the mood to fever pitch at your get-together, and to remind everyone that it’s all about the fun.
– See more at: http://americanlifestylemag.com/belly-warming-chili-recipes-for-chilly-weather/#sthash.8nBmbUwW.dpuf
When you’re ready to list your home for sale, there’s a number of things to do. Here are the 3 most important. Find out more at www.PetersenPartners.com.
1. Stack them high: Make a pumpkin topiary.
2. Quick fix: Decorate a pumpkin in two minutes or less with a black stocking.
3. Drill down: Get out the handy power tools and drill patterns in the side of the pumpkin.
4. Try a little Bling: Create glitter covered pumpkins.
5. Painted Pumpkins: Paint a message like ‘boo’ on the side of a pumpkin.
6. Silly faces: Use a pumpkin kit to make silly faces.
7. Buttons: Glue buttons on a pumpkin.
8. Plant Pumpkins: Carve out your pumpkin and plant it!
9. Succulent succulents: Top your pumpkin with easy to care for succulents.
10. Flower power: Carve out your pumpkin. Line it with plastic and use it as a vase to hold fall cut flowers.
11. Entertaining: Hollow out a pumpkin and use it to hold ice and bottled water or dips for your fall parties.
12. Top Dressing: Add small pumpkins tucked into your container gardens.
13. Save the place: Use a small pumpkin at each place at the table with your guests name.
14. Pattern play: Paint stripes, dots, or chevron patterns.
15. Personalized Pumpkins: Add your monogram to pumpkins with buttons, push pins, or paint.
16. Go traditional: Carve out a spooky or silly face.
17. Mummified: Wrap gauze around a pumpkin and add googly eyes to create a pumpkin mummy
18. Centerpiece / Tablescape: Mix pumpkins, gourds and fall leaves for a festive centerpiece.
19. House numbers: Paint your house numbers on a pumpkin.
20. Decoupage. Use decoupage glue to adhere fall foliage or mosses to a pumpkin.
Here’s 3 reasons why you should hire an agent and not just list your home “for sale by owner”? Want to know more reasons? We have heard it stated there can be upwards of 100 people involved in coordinating efforts around one real estate transaction and an average of 17 hiccups in every real estate transaction. A typical sale involves well over 20 various steps and our Listing Process consists of a 180-point checklist. Petersen Partners’ goal is to coordinate all the moving parts and people in a transaction and eliminate the challenges as best we can on our clients’ behalf. We are there every step of the way to guide our clients through the matters that require special attention. Find out more by visiting www.PetersenPartners.com.
With mortgage interest rates near record lows, you may want to buy a home before rates go higher. Can you qualify for a purchase loan? Your FICO® scores may be the key.
Over 50 years ago, The Fair Isaac Company created credit scoring so that lenders can understand at a glance how much risk you pose as a borrower. “FICO” scores are determined by a software algorithm that analyzes your job, credit, income-to-debt ratios, spending habits and payment history. Base scores range between 300 and 850, and borrowers with the highest scores get the best credit terms.
Each credit reporting bureau, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, calculates its own score, so review all your credit reports for errors and get them resolved as quickly as possible. Visit www.annualcreditreport.comto get free one-time copies of your credit reports. Credit scores aren’t free, but you can get scores from all three bureaus at www.myfico.com for under $60.
FICO scores change with new information. Prevent lower scores by doing the following:
- Pay all bills on time.
- Pay more than the minimum payment required.
- Reduce credit card debt to improve income-to-debt ratios.
- Don’t open new accounts to consolidate debt or close credit card accounts.
- Use no more than 30% of your available credit on any card.
- Don’t change jobs immediately before applying for a mortgage loan.
Mortgage lenders are most interested in your ability to repay the loan. Long-term employment in the same field and on-time credit payments are the best ways to build and protect your credit scores.
According to the National Association of Realtors, when a home is properly staged, potential buyers can more easily visualize it as a future home and it often increases the dollar value buyers are willing to offer. Find out more tips for staging your home by visiting www.PetersenPartners.com and request your FREE Preparing Your Home For Sale brochure to be delivered right to your inbox!
While the days are still hot and muggy, it’s hard to think about winter, but with a little prep work now, your lawn will be ready for winter. The end of summer is the perfect time to lay the groundwork for a lush green lawn in the spring. We found these 6 easy tips from This Old House.
- Mow Low
Cut the grass down to 1 to 1½ inches, making it easier to aerate and to judge how much compost to add. If your grass is more than 3 inches tall, take it down incrementally over a few mowings—no more than a third of the grass blade at a time—to avoid stressing the plants.
On a day when the soil is moist, not soggy—the core aerator’s hollow tines can’t easily penetrate hard, dry ground—take a couple of passes around the lawn’s perimeter. This will provide a buffer zone for turning this heavy machine around as you run it back and forth over the rest of the lawn.
Where grass is sparse, prepare for seeding by spreading a half-inch layer of aged compost. I hold a snow-shovelful in the crook of my arm, fling it off with my free hand, as shown, then work it in with a leaf rake. Be sure your compost is cured: dry, crumbly, and cool to the touch. If it’s hot and smells, it’s more likely to harbor pathogens and burn your lawn.
Distribute fertilizer and pelletized lime (if needed) using a rotary spreader. I use a high-phosphorus fertilizer to stimulate root growth; but you should let the soil test determine the best mix for your conditions. To keep the spreader from dumping too much fertilizer in one spot, open or close the hopper only when the spreader is in motion.
Fill the spreader with seed, set its control to about two-thirds of the bag’s recommendation, to account for overlapping passes, and distribute the seed over the compost. As when fertilizing, keep the spreader in motion when opening or closing the hopper. For large areas, you can save time by renting a power overseeder, which slices the turf and drops in the seeds. It eliminates the need to rake in Step 6.
- Rake and Water
Mix the seeds into the compost with a leaf rake held tines up, as shown. Water lightly—5 minutes at a time, two to three times a day—until the seeds sprout. Then water once a day for 15 to 30 minutes. Mow the lawn again when the existing grass reaches 3 inches; bag the clippings. After leaves have fallen, cut the grass back to 1½ inches for its long winter’s nap.
Find out more at https://www.thisoldhouse.com/how-to/how-to-prep-your-lawn-winter.