Friday, March 27, 2015

New Home? Don't you do this

Break out the bottle of champagne that you saved for buying your new home. Everyone is excited to move in and start getting settled. Now what? Well here are some classic mistakes that new homeowners make that could cost you a lot more money than you expected.
  • Do you know what and where the main water shutoff valve is? Being one of the most claimed accidents on home insurance policies, water damage can be costly. Broken pipes or burst plumbing can cascade through the home soaking into walls, carpets, cabinets and even wood flooring. Minimize your cost by knowing where the shutoff valve is located. Usually where the main water pipe enters the house. Keep it moving with a few drops of penetrating oil once a month.
  • Warmer weather is on the way. Time to do some planting. call before you digWAIT! Don't go digging around in your new yard until you have dialed 811. A national hotline number which will connect you with local utilities to come out and mark your yard. Less costly than hitting something. In some places calling before you dig is the law. So don't get fined.
  • Does your yard slope away from your foundation? We don't often think about this but it makes sense. The water and snow should flow away from your home and foundation. Accumulated soaking of the foundation can cause very costly repairs. Also, if you have gutters with downspouts make sure they extend away from the foundation also.
  • Can you get into your attic? Know where the access point is? You better find it. And once you find it, check the depth of your insulation. If you can see the joists, you need more. Also think about your access panel, is it insulated too. Gluing a thick foam backing to it can help.
  • Time to hang your pictures but watch where you drill.
    check your walls before hanging pictures
    Wiring, pipes and ductwork all run in-between your walls. You can use a stud finder to alert you to items behind the wall board but remember to try to only go into the wall about 1 ¼ inches. Wiring runs horizontal about 8" to 2 feet from your floor outlet to outlet. Also vertically around your wall switches.
  • Hate that tree in your yard? Before you cut think about the value of the tree. Shade in summer, adds value to your property. But if it must go because of disease or just needs to be replace, call a tree professional. You don't want it landing on your house. $$
planting a tree
I hope some of these tips help out you new homeowners out there. Heck I learned a couple things myself. You're never too old to learn. Enjoy your new home!

If you need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring is March 21st Is Your Home Ready?

spring is march 21st is your home ready
Remember back to that weekend in March or April where Mom would declare it Spring Cleaning? Yeah, me too! Our spring cleaning task these days is a bit more daunting. Our houses are typically larger and the choices of cleaning supplies seem endless. So here is some help on doing modern day spring cleaning that is environmentally friendly for your family.

Let's start with bathrooms. Mineral deposits and rust can be removed using a pumice stone. If you need some scrubbing power, mix baking soda and white vinegar. White vinegar contains acetic acid which makes it perfect for cleaning alkaline stains and grime. This works great on hard water stains around the toilet, tub and tile without the toxic fumes. It is also great for soap scum and detergent buildup. Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar in an inexpensive spray bottle to make an all-purpose surface cleaner. Don't mop your tile, use a wet/dry vac to pull up the excess water and dirt. Mopping will push it further into the grout which can build up a stinky bacteria. This task might take a bit longer but it is worth it at least once a year.

Then we have our Kitchens
. The first part of cleaning is organization. Go through your cabinets and drawers and removed items you don't use or haven't used in the past year. A good rule of thumb is "If you haven't touched it over the past year, you don't need it." Once you have the cabinets and drawers whittled down, attack your counter tops. Put away any items not being used on a daily basis. Once every surface is cleared of clutter, take your all-purpose surface cleaner you made for the bathroom and clean all your kitchen surfaces. White vinegar is a general disinfectant. It deodorizes and cuts grease and helps to reduce the germs found around the kitchen. For attacking E. coli use a vinegar/table salt or vinegar/hydrogen peroxide mixture. When cleaning your kitchen focus on removing organic materials left behind by food preparation by using hot soapy water, or vinegar mixture and elbow grease.

Bedrooms are as individual as the people who inhabit them so cleaning will be too. A lot of us with kids tell them to go "clean your room" but how good a job do they really do? Is it time to flip the mattress? Rent a carpet cleaner and do the rug? How about cleaning out closets and making tax saving donations? Clean up your baseboards. Vacuum up those spider webs hanging in the corner. Dust!

Back to the main area of the home where we all spend family time the Living Room. Consider professional upholstery cleaning since its only once a year. Use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe down mirrors, pictures, doors, wood, windows and your all-purpose surface cleaner. If you decide to use microfiber cloths keep a separate one for each room. Helps avoid any cross-contamination. I always wash mine in the washing machine after cleaning. Dust here also!

Year round you can vacuum with an allergen reducing vacuum bag. This helps prevent the blow by that happens with other cheaper bags. Time to change the bag? Take it outside so that dirt stays out of your home. With regular cleaning, we can all keep our families healthy and happy. If you need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Bring the proper color to your yard

bring the proper color to your yard

Now is the time to start thinking about color. Plant your summer flowers in the spring to ensure lots of color this summer. Here are some ideas on what to plant.
  • Lilies. Perennials that grown out of fleshy bulbs. Plant them in well-drained soil, not clay or in raised beds. They will provide fragrance and color.
  • Caldiums. These like more tropical areas and grow best in temps above 80° F. You will get combo colors of red, pink and white out of two-foot tall plants. They love morning sun and afternoon shade. Fast growers so you can wait a bit to plant. Bring in before first frost. They also do well in containers.
    bring the proper color to your yard
  • Dahlias. Grown from tuberous roots these bushy wonders love sun. Prep the ground with compost, manure or bone meal before planting. They tend to be heavy up top, so stake them as needed. Will bloom through summer to first frost.
  • Canna. These scene stealers are lush and multicolored. Plant one foot deep and cover with mulch. Stake stems if needed.
  • Gladiolus. Brilliant flower that grows on tall stalks. Colors range from deep scarlet, purple, yellow, and variegated options like pink with red, white or yellow. These flowers are perfect for use in vases. Likes well-drained soil, full sun or partial shade. Work in some plant food to keep them happy.
    bring the proper color to your yard
Shopping Tips

When shopping for your summer bulbs take note of these tips for spotting healthy versions. The bulb should be plump not withered, firm, no mold, no sprouts or shoots. Roots need to be pliable, not rubbery or brittle.

If you need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.

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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Spring Along with These Upcoming Events

March is certainly roaring in like a Lion in most parts of the U.S. We are suffering through record cold and getting teased by snow and icy rain. As I am writing this, snow is passing by North of us and we are socked in with rain. Guess the groundhog was right this year. And on to brighter topics. Here are some upcoming activities for St. Patrick's Day and the month of March. Let's hope it goes out like a lamb.
    main street fridays in downtown greenville sc
  • Return to the Green Irish Cultural Festival on Sunday March 8th. Festival starts at 1pm with the main street parade starting at 1:30 pm destination Flour Field. Admission: FREE
  • Visit Connolly’s Irish Pub in downtown Greenville for a night of good Irish fun and maybe some Shepard’s pie.
  • Saturday March 7th at the Moe Joe Coffee and Music House catch 6 String Drag. Time 8:30pm. Admission $5 in advance, $7 at the door. Check out the link above for more acts appearing at this new venue.
  • World renown Latin Jazz legend Arturo Sandoval appearing at the Younts Center for Performing Arts in downtown Fountain Inn on March 21 at 7:30pm. Admission $55/$50/$45.
  • The Forever Charlie Tour with Charlie Wilson makes a stop at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena on March 11th at 7pm. Admission $85/$65/$49.50.
  • Greenville Heritage Main Street Fridays will be starting on March 20th and running weekly to September. Happening in NOMA Square come out for FREE music. Kids zone. Times are 5:30-9:30pm.
  • Elton John comes to town at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena on March 13th as part of his "All The Hits" tour. Time 7pm.
  • Starting March 19th Piedmont Natural Gas Downtown Alive at NOMA Square weekly on Thursday evenings at 5:30pm. Outdoor street party with live music. Admission is FREE.
  • There are so many more events than what I could possible list here for the month of March so check out this calendar link I grabbed for you to see what else is in store.
Brief News Tidbits
  • Developers working to redo The Greenville News site have expanded to the entire city block.
    downtown greenville sc ranked no 4 by
    The nearly four acre parcel is right across from the Peace Center. They were able to buy out the owners of two buildings in the area to get the whole block.
  • Street renaming in the cards. The west side of Camperdown Way may be renamed to Falls Park Drive.
  • Downtown Greenville is ranked No. 4 on's "Top 10 Best Downtowns 2015."
If you need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.