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Friday, August 31, 2012

Additional uses for coffee

Like an overwhelming amount of other Americans most mornings, I like to start my day with a cup of coffee. Whether you take yours black, like me, or with cream and sugar, Coffee-Statistics.com reports that coffee represents 75% of all caffeine consumption in the United States. With this kind of consumption, there must be an enormous amount of coffee grounds that are thrown out every day. What many people don't know is there are several ways that used coffee grounds can be put to good use.

Stylelist Home posted an article by Chris Barnes that out lines some interesting uses for coffee that I had never thought of.  5 New Uses For Coffee offers some unconventional, but helpful, uses for those extra coffee grounds that you're planning on throwing out.  Take a look at the article, and let me know which use you think is best, or any other ideas that you have, in the comments below.  As always, feel free to share this information with your friends and family and follow my blog to keep up with all my posts.  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Planting grass for a better looking yard

This summer has been especially hot and dry, not only in Southwestern Indiana, but throughout much of the United States.  Droughts have caused low crops for farmers, and taken their toll on landscaping and yards around the country.  Keeping your yard looking good through the summer can be a costly endeavor due to the need of plenty of watering.  In some areas, water shortages led to many people's inability to utilize lawn irrigation systems due to regulations on water usage.

Luckily, we are coming to the end of the summer season.  Temperatures are beginning to lower, and we have had more rain in the past few weeks.  In order to make sure your yard looks its best next year, its important to properly plant and fertilize new grass.  Many people are unaware of the best time of year to plant new grass seed to ensure a plush yard.  According to This Old House magazine's Roger Cook, a landscape contractor, early fall, just after the summer's heat, is the best time to plant grass seed.  Warm soil and moderate temperatures help reduce the need for watering, and weeds aren't as likely to grow at this time.  Proper fertilization is also key at this time, but planting near the end of August, and continuing to fertilize and feed through October should grow plush, hearty grass that will last through the winter.

Check out the full article for step by step instructions on the proper way to plant, and share with your friends and family!  Let me know your favorite tips and tricks for keeping your yard looking its best in the comments below. Follow my blog, friend me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Items you need to check but might not think of

The responsibility for your home's maintenance is a major part of home ownership.  Keeping your house clean, making sure the yard is mowed, and monitoring the roof and windows is an important aspect to extending the life of a house, and improving efficiency.  For the most part, home maintenance is a pretty straight forward endeavor and it's easy to identify areas that warrant additional attention.  Unfortunately, there are other aspects that might require attention that many of us don't consider when going over our home maintenance checklists.

MSN Real Estate posted a gallery of 7 places you should be checking around your home that points important areas many of us often overlook, as well as tips on maintaining them.  Take a look through the gallery and let me know which area you are guilty of overlooking in the comments below.  Remember to share this information with your friends and family, and follow my blog to keep up with my posts!  Friend me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Getting a good night's sleep

Getting a good night's sleep is an important part of staying healthy both physically and mentally.  Studies show that at least 7 hours of sleep each night is the best way for most of us to keep healthy, and sleep deprivation is linked to several health problems.  According to WebMD's Gina Shaw, getting at least 7 hours of sleep could help improve at least 5 key health problems. The Healing Power of Sleep has information on some surprising health issues that getting enough sleep can help improve.

Unfortunately, getting a good night's sleep isn't always that easy, especially if you live in an area where there is a lot of environmental noise.  Luckily, there are ways to help block out noise and help ensure your ability to fall asleep, and stay asleep! Stylelist Home posted a gallery with 9 Ways To Block Out Noise And Get a Good Night's Sleep for Once that offers some tips that you might not have thought of to help you drift off to sleep.

Check out the gallery, and let me know your favorite tip, or one of your own, in the comments below.  Share this information with your friends and family, and follow my blog to keep up with all of my posts.  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Why use primer?

I'm getting ready to put my personal home on the market, and I'm going to do some sprucing up around the house to get everything ready.  I'm fortunate to have a job where I can move around my appointments so I can do some of my own work to save some money.  One of the easiest things to do when getting ready to sell a home is to freshen up the paint!  It's a cheap way to either change the look of a house, and helps everything look new.


One question that a lot of people have when they are preparing to paint a room is whether or not to use a primer.  According to National Inspection Service of Indiana, a trusted home inspector in the Evansville Area, there are several benefits to using a primer before painting.


Feel free to share this information with your family, friends, or anyone you know who  may be thinking of doing some painting.  Let me know of any other quick tips around the house you'd like to know about to help around the house in the comments below. Remember to follow my blog for more information.  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Man Cave

After a long day at work, there are plenty of times when I look forward to heading home and crashing on the couch to watch a movie or read a book.   As a single guy, my home is my own personal space where I can do what I want, how I want, when I want to do it!  I'm not always afforded a lot of free time, so it's great to have a space all my own, to do with what I want!  Since I live alone, my entire house is my own personal man cave!

According to the most recent publication of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate dictionary, a man cave is defined as "a room or space (as in a basement) designed according to the taste of the man of the house to be used as his personal area for hobbies and leisure activities".  While I consider my home my personal sanctuary, many men don't live alone like I do, so they have to find a space to make their own.  As a real estate agent, I have heard and used this term several times when discussing properties with both buyers and sellers.  The inclusion of a new definition in the Merriam-Webster dictionary signifies just how much popularity the man cave has gained during the 21st century!  As the definition states, a man cave is designed to the specific tastes of the man of the house, offering possibilities limited only by the imagination of the man creating the space. 

HGTV's website posted a gallery of some of the coolest man caves I've ever seen. Check out 8 Dude-tastic Man Caves for some great ideas that show just how diverse different man caves are.  No matter what your hobbies or interests, designing a personal space that suits you is what having a man cave is all about!

Choose your favorite man cave from the gallery, or tell me about your man cave in the comments below.  Feel free to share this information with your friends and family, and follow my blog to keep up with all of my posts!  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Recent stats showing good news

Once people find out I am a real estate agent, the first question that I usually get is, "How is the real estate market?"  Luckily, our local markets never experienced the down turns that other areas of the country faced, and our market has already begun to turn around.  Recent statistics are showing that the national average of home prices has also increased in the past year, which is a strong indicator that the market has turned the corner on the road to recovery.

MSN Real Estate's article CoreLogic: Home prices up 2.5% in year gives specific statistics on increases in the average sales prices in homes across the nation.  Taking out sales of distressed properties shows an even higher increase is home prices!  These statistics are promising figures, showing promising signs of future growth.

Let me know your thoughts on your real estate market in the comments below, and remember to share this information with your family and friends.  Follow my blog, friend me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Reduce the term on your mortgage and save money through bi-weekly mortgage payments?

Sitting at the closing table is the culmination of the transaction for the buyer.  At the closing, the funds are transferred, papers are signed, and the ownership passes from the Seller.  One of the documents the Buyer receives at the closing is a copy of the amortization schedule, a sheet that outlines every payment that will be made over the life of the loan an categorizes what portion will be spent on principal and what portion is allocated to interest.  Another bit of information is the total amount that will be paid over the life of the loan if no extra payments are made, and no other terms are changed.  Several people are shocked to see just how much extra money is spent on interest over the life of their loan and I am often asked if there is any way to save some of those costs.

MSN Real Estate, posted an article by Keith Gumbinger of HSH.com that outlines one simple way that people can save some of that interest. Will biweekly mortgage payments save you money? answers that question with a simple answer: YES! This post offers a more in depth explanation, but the basic principle is this, if you make monthly payments, you will make 12 payments a year; however, biweekly payments every two weeks equates to 13 payments a year.  This extra payment helps reduce the principal amount of the loan faster, which helps you reduce the term of the loan and saves you lots of money in interest!  Check out the article for tips on how to calculate just how much interest you could save if you started making biweekly payments!

If you have other interest saving tips, let me know in the comments section below, and remember to share this information with your friends and family!  Follow my blog, friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Saying the right thing for the right results!

No matter who you are, it is impossible to deny the power of words.  The correct combination of words can be used to paint a picture in the mind of the reader, elicit specific emotions, or provide a detailed description.  Words hold the power to captivate the reader, and transport them to places they've never been, but, on the other hand, if used improperly, a simple string of words can destroy the credibility of the user through improper spelling or grammar.

As a Realtor®, I know just how important choosing the proper words is.  When describing a listing, it is crucial to properly describe the property in a way that makes it appealing, but also to ensure that specific details that may not be readily apparent are brought to light.  MSN Real Estate, posted a great article on just how important choosing the right words is to helping your listing sell as quickly as possible, for the highest price!  Say the right thing: 6 things your home listing should include offers some great information on specific descriptors that a great listing should include.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and share this information with your family and friends.  Follow my blog, friend me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!