Traveling? Take Care of Your Home First With These 9 Tips!

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If you’re planning on taking a trip sometime this summer for business or for pleasure, you’ve probably thought about which hotel to check in, which restaurants to try out, and which attractions to see along the way. You might also have your bag packed and ready to go. But what about your home? You’ll need to take steps to secure your home before you take a trip – otherwise, you could have a possible break-in on your hands.

Don’t worry – there are plenty of easy steps you can take to deter would-be thieves! Here are 9 simple steps you can take to keep your home safe while you’re out, whether it’s for 2 days, 2 weeks, or somewhere in between.

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6 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Sunroom This Summer

maximize your sunroomThere’s no doubt about it – summer is here to stay for a while! While it’s fun to spend time with your friends and family outdoors during the summer months, but it’s also plenty of fun to spend time indoors in your sunroom as well. Your sunroom doesn’t just provide you with hours of enjoyment, but it also shields you from bug bites, pollen, and sunburns.

Whether you’ve had your sunroom for years or it’s brand-new, here are 6 ways you can get the most out of your sunroom this summer!

Get Comfortable – Although many sunroom owners feel like they need to have nothing but wicker furniture in their sunrooms, we totally advocate comfort first and foremost. Remember, this space will function like a second living room in the warmer months, so make sure you have furniture that is both comfortable and inviting. We’re thinking plush seating, plenty of pillows, some throw blankets, and maybe a rug or two.

Put In a Small Dining Area – What’s better than enjoying a delicious meal or fun tea party in the sunlight? If you can, try putting a small dining table and chairs somewhere in your sunroom for those summertime get-togethers with your friends or for the times you want to enjoy dinner while watching the sunset.

Keep It Cool – More than likely, your sunroom doesn’t have air conditioning. If not, make sure to keep the temperature comfortable with a ceiling fan. It can make a big difference in temperature and allow you to enjoy the room in comfort as you read a book, watch TV, play a game, or simply admire the view.

Don’t Forget the Shades – The best part about sunrooms is those big, generous windows that really let the sunshine in. If you want some privacy or want to regulate the temperature more effectively, it’s best to install some sturdy shades to keep the room cool during those sweltering summer days.

Plants, Plants, Plants – You know what else likes your sunroom, aside from you and your family and friends? Plants! Bring some potted plants and cute flowers into your sunroom to make the space even more enjoyable. These plants won’t just give you clean air to breathe, but they will also add a splash of color to the space!

Keep It Simple – As you’re adding all of these furnishings into your sunroom, try to keep it as streamlined and simple as possible. A simple atmosphere makes for a calming retreat that you’ll want to spend all of your time in every day!

There’s so much you can do to make your sunroom the most enjoyable it’s ever been this summer! If you don’t have a sunroom and are looking for a home that has the sunroom of your dreams, then call the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298. You can also view our current listings on our website at www.dianamasseyhomes.com.

8 Inviting Paint Color Ideas You Should Try on Your Front Door

blue doorWhat’s the first thing that people notice about your home? The front door! The color of your front door gives guests and passers-by an idea of the type of atmosphere within and they type of people who inhabit the home. But wait! Before you make a mad dash to get a quart of paint in your favorite color, step outside and consider your door’s style, the trim, and the siding. What color are they? Which hues would be the most complementary and the most inviting? Which colors will give you the formal or friendly feel you’re looking for?

If you’re not too sure which paint color is right for your front door, read up on 8 different color ideas below to help you get started!

Yellow – If you want to really welcome your visitors into a happy, warm home, yellow might be your color of choice. This color can brighten any exterior and pairs well with white and gray tones.

Cherry Red – Speaking of bright, cherry red is a great way to bring some life to your front door. Pair it with brick, with white siding, grays – the sky is practically the limit! It’s an easy way to make an even easier, universal message: welcome!

Deep Red – Not ready to make the commitment to a bright color but still want to convey a sense of welcoming? Deep, rich tones of red will do the trick. From crimson to raspberry to brick, a darker red will give your exterior that refined, sophisticated look you want. Better yet, it will look sleek and stunning with just about any exterior!

Orange – Feeling bold? A punch of orange might be right for you! With the right tones, orange can look incredibly modern, hip, and welcoming. We recommend it with white, off-white, and even blue siding!

Green – Bring an ounce of nature to your curb appeal by painting your front door a vivid shade of green. You have a plethora of hues to choose from as well. For a more reserved, stately look, choose hunter green or olive. Mint, lime, or neon green can bring a zesty pop of color, especially when you have white siding!

Blue – Who says that blue isn’t a great color for the front door? Welcome guests to your home with a sublime royal blue or navy hue, or add a pop of personality by choosing a teal or electric blue. It can look clean-cut and sharp against white siding and can also pair well with yellow and grays.

Purple – While it is a bit unconventional, purple can look absolutely beautiful on your front door! Want a light, happy feel to your home? Lavender can work great, especially if you have white siding. For a more formal feel, rich hues of plum or orchid can get the job done. Surprisingly enough, purple can complement just about any exterior palette!

Black – Classic, chic, and stately – a black front door’s got it all! Painting your door black is an easy way for you to make an elegant statement. Don’t be afraid to use other exterior accents to tie the black door into the rest of your home’s design as well!

Which color is your go-to color for the front door? Do you have an unconventional color you like to use that just works, no matter what? Tell us in the comments below! If you’re looking for a home to call your home, we can open all sorts of doors for you. Just call (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 and talk to the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties today!

Want a Little Home Office? Turn Your Closet Into an Office in a Snap!

Blue closet officeThere’s nothing quite like having your own little home office to retreat to so that you can do your bills in peace, continue some work from the office in the comfort of your own home, or write or create something beautiful. Sometimes, though, space just isn’t an option. You might not have that extra room to dedicate as your own personal home office. You might not even have room for a desk in your home or apartment.

So how can you have your own little home office without having to move, renovate, or build on to your home? It’s easy! Just turn a closet of yours into your own little compact office!

When you begin making your closet office, so to speak, start by maximizing every square inch of the space with smart storage solutions so that your new space will be worth showing off! You will need to keep in mind that this new “room” is also not like any other in your home; you will need to be very wise about how you implement pieces of furniture and space-saving devices.

See below how you can start making your compact office now!

Choose a Great Wallpaper – Since this is an interior segment of your room, you will want to make it pop and stand out from the rest of the room instead of blending in with boring paint or, worse even still, leaving it that nasty white, beige, or off-white color that has been on the wall since the home was built, a wall that has been shrouded in darkness and covered with dust. We humbly suggest using wallpaper instead! Find a really gorgeous piece of wallpaper that speaks to you or makes you feel more creative or productive. A great wallpaper will take your space from closet to a destination

closet office- my home ideasTry Floating Planks – Shelves are a great way to help conserve space, but clunky hardware and the visual clutter of brackets can really put a cramp on your compact office space’s style! Instead, try using floating planks! The won’t overwhelm a tiny room, but they will still have all the space you need to store all those things you need for your office! As a bonus, they will hardly obscure your gorgeous wallpaper!

Select Fun Organizers – With this small space, think outside the box a bit! You don’t have to be tied down to boring office supplies and organizers, especially when office supplies and boxes come in so many great prints, colors, and designs these days! Choose files and boxes that spark your interest. Instead of using a boring old cup for your pencils and paper clips, opt for something more fun like a trophy or a nice vase!

closet3Light It Up – If you’re familiar at all with design, then you probably know that the right lighting can make a space come alive and that poor lighting can negate any positive effect that any paint choice or piece of furniture could provide. To make this closet office a bright, inviting space, choose overhead lighting or even a dainty chandelier to provide the right light while giving your small space an ambiance of elegance. You may also wish to use a desk lamp for practical task lighting as well.

Make Your Own Desk – If you want to place a small desk in your closet space, that’s fine by us, but did you know that you can easily make your own custom desk! You really can! Just start with two standard file cabinets and attach a wheeled stand to the base of each cabinet (to make moving it a cinch!)! You can brighten up the boring cabinets with a bit of indoor/outdoor spray paint as well. Finally, position a ready-made melamine desktop on top of the two cabinets, and you’re ready to use your very own easily-movable desk!

Choose Your Final Furnishings – When you’re done creating your own closet office, select your final furnishings to finish the job! We suggest picking a nice, soft rug that has a big of a personality to make a soft spot for your bare feet and also a small, versatile chair that can easily move elsewhere within the room or underneath the desk if at all possible.

Want more tips? Searching for a home of your own that has enough room for a home office (or at least a big enough closet) and your other must-haves on your list? You’ve come to the right place! We can find you that perfect place just for you in no time. Just call us at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298 or visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see how we can best assist you!

7 Quick and Easy Ways to Brighten Up Your Home for Spring

Colorful plants in a pretty vaseIt’s springtime, which is a wonderful time to throw open the curtains and windows, put away the heavy draperies, and let the sunshine pour in! It is also a fantastic time to brighten up your home just a little bit!

Don’t worry, you don’t have to go overboard or spend a ton of money in order to reinvent your home! There many things you can do to brighten up your home that takes very little time, effort, and money! In fact, we have 7 quick and easy ways for you to spruce up your home today! Check them out below!

Purchase Cheap Houseplants – Want a really easy way to perk up your home and bring some it some life? Buy some cheap but beautiful houseplants! They will not only bring a pop of color to your home, but they will also provide you with free, clean air and make your space seem more cheerful! You can easily find very cheap houseplants both big and small at your local nurseries, grocery stores, and in large stores like Lowes and The Home Depot!

Switch Out the Pillows – As the weather gets warmer outside, you know it’s time to switch out your pillows to match the nicer ones! Put away the warm winter pillows and opt for plain and patterned pillows in pastel or bold shades of pink, blue, green, and yellow. Feel free to mix and match pillows to match your rooms’ different feels and styles!

Bring Out the Candles – Instead of going to the beach and the outdoors, bring the beach and the outdoors inside to you! A scented candle can change the atmosphere of your home very easily, so choose scents that remind you of spring weather! Opt for citrus-flavored or floral scents, or you could even choose to begin pining for summer by selecting a “beach” scented candle!

Spruce Up Your Dining Table – Give your dining table a pop of spring color with a beautiful and simple tablecloth! Select a tablecloth that blends well with your dining room’s décor and curtains. Opt for shades of pastel and material that is easy to clean and maintain.

Grab Some Fresh Flowers – What’s more spring-like than fresh flowers? Add a touch of color and calmness in your kitchen, living room, hallway, or any other room by selecting colorful spring flowers! For ideas, try using yellow daffodils, purple tulips, or maybe even a bright carnation or two. Be sure to display these gorgeous flowers in attractive vases painted in bright or pastel colors! Remember, you don’t have to have a huge bouquet of flowers to make this work – even one or two fresh stems can look just as beautiful!

Springtime BeddingSwitch the Bedding – That’s right, it’s time to put away those heavy, warm comforters and blankets and switch for light-weight bedding and throws! If you can, select bedding in fresh spring colors like blue, pink, green, or yellow to help make your room pop and bring life back into it!

Break Out the Paint – One of the most inexpensive ways to reinvent and revive your home is with a simple bucket of paint! Find a color that lifts your spirits and makes you think spring, and get to work! You can opt to paint just an accent wall or paint an entire room one color, or you can turn that paint on cabinets, vases, or other small decorations!

Remember, springtime is a time of renewal, so let the warm weather and sunshine energize and inspire you to help you brighten your home this spring! If you’re looking for a new home to brighten up your life, then you’ve come to the right place! Just give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or check us out online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com! You’ll be glad you did!

9 Easy Ways to Make Your Patio Pop!

Nice porchSpring is finally here, and several people around the nation will begin working on their yard and garden. But what about your patio? It’s time to start thinking about what you want your patio to look like and what function you want it to play!

There are so many things you can do to make your patio accent your yard and garden instead of the other way around. Make your patio work for your yard this year instead of always feeling like you are working for it!

Here are 9 quick and easy things to do to make your patio this pop this year!

Tone It Down– If your yard has a good variety of plant types and textures, then you want your patio to be a little more toned down. You don’t want to try to add too many additional types of patterns to an already diverse setting because it can become very overwhelming and too jarring to be relaxing.

Say Hello To Your Biggest Fan! If you have a structure overhead to help shield you from the elements you may also be shielded from the refreshing summer breeze. This could warm you up during the summer months rather than help cool you down. One way to counter this is by installing a ceiling fan if possible. This will not only help get the air moving and help keep you cool but it is also an added light source!

Light Up Your Life – When creating a beautiful patio, why not consider using exterior lighting? It not only helps keep you safe at night and illuminates your pathway, but it can also help create gorgeous ambience!  It’ll help cast light on your dinner plates after the sun has set as well as make the light source decorative and fun looking.

Potted plantsBring Nature to Your Patio– Tie your patio together with the rest of your yard! You don’t want your patio to come to an abrupt end when it hits your yard and garden. By placing decorative potted plants on the patio you can make your patio and yard flow together nicely despite how large or small your patio is. Try putting your favorite plants and succulents in beautiful pots of all shapes and sizes to give your patio life and a chic look!

Over the Garden Wall – Trellises are a simple and easy way to soften the edges of your patio. By choosing the height, spacing, and type you can easily find a design that fits the needs you have. They also provide a nice way to add a flowering vine to your yard!

Consider Using Your Front Yard – Front yard patios are not all that common, but that doesn’t mean you have to let all that space go to waste! Instead, move your patio to the front! It will give you a place to easily entertain your guests and neighbors and can accent your home beautifully. Using mid-height flower planters will provide you with an elegant and beautiful privacy wall and will also give you more space to plant!

Get Creative – If you have a partially enclosed patio or a patio that is protected from the elements then it’s time to decorate it! Accent it with cushions, pillows, accent rugs, decorative pots, and more so that it has the feel you want. Add in favorite pieces of art – just make sure they are properly shielded from the elements! Add a photo frame or two of your latest vacation. Make your patio a space that you’ll never want to leave!

Make Your Patio Multi-Functional – Make your patio have more then just the typical use. Make your prep station work as a breakfast bar as well. Allow one side for seating so that you can eat your breakfast or lunch out there while having a larger table for dinner and dinner parties! Not only will you have a prep-table and a serving area but also a great place for you and your closest friends to gather for small get-togethers!

Introduce the Element of Water – Water features, even a small one, provide a soothing sound and a calm environment. Birds and butterflies also find themselves attracted to these water features to drink from and bathe in. Allow these beautiful water elements to become a focal point in your yard to help you attract and appreciate the beauty of nature!

You don’t have to take part in all 9 of these ideas in order to create a vibrant, welcoming patio that will be the envy of all your neighbors! Feel free to employ one, two, several, or all of the tips to get that patio you’ve always dreamed of!

Speaking of dreaming, now is the time to find that dream home you’ve always wanted! We can help! Just call us at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298 or visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com today to find that home you’ve been dreaming of living in!

Selling Your Home? Here’s What Your Home Inspector Will Be Looking For

field_inspectorAre you thinking about selling your home?

If you’re at that stage of homeownership, you are probably busy contacting the right people, straightening up your rooms, and de-cluttering your home from piles that you might otherwise not have ever touched.

But do you really know what’s necessary to help your home get a passing grade for potential homebuyers?

If you’re unsure of what your home needs to look like in order to sell (or to sell for the amount you would like), don’t fret! Just look at our checklist below to see what your home inspector will be looking for during your home inspection!

Your Yard

One of the very first things that potential buyers will notice about your home is your yard, so be sure that you ready it properly! The inspector will check for proper grading drainage and for any evidence of standing water or leaks. Your trees and bushes should be in good condition, and your landscaping should be well-kept. Remember to double-check that your driveways, sidewalks, patios, and railings on your stairs are in good condition as well!

Exterior Surfaces

Next move to your surfaces outside! Make sure that your paint or stain on your home has no stains or flaking and that your vinyl or aluminum siding has no dents or damage. Your professional inspector will be able to locate any large cracks in your stucco or masonry veneers as well.

Windows and Doors

When it comes to your doors and windows, you will want to make sure you did your seasonal homework! Doors and windows will need to be secured, have no cracks or decay, and be caulked and weather-stripped. Remember, damaged screens, broken windows, and visibly neglected features are a major turnoff to potential buyers!

Your Roof

Take a look at your roof! Do you see any broken, damaged, or missing shingles? Does your roof have any cracks or splits? That could be evidence that you need to get it repaired! Your inspector will also check for decay and stains on your soffits and fascia, your gutters, and much more! Don’t forget to check your chimney, if you have one, for any damaged bricks or cracked joints!

The Attic

When your inspector checks out your attic, he or she will be looking for evidence of decay or damage to the structure and stains on the underside of your roofing. He or she will also be checking for sufficient insulation that is functional and properly installed, along with proper ventilation, and any plumbing, exhaust, or appliance vents ending in the attic.

Interior Rooms

To make sure that you’re the bedrooms, offices, and family rooms of your home are ready for potential buyers to see, make sure that you don’t have any stains or significant cracks in your walls and ceilings and that your doors latch properly and easily. Check your paint for cracks and that your flooring is in good condition, too. Your inspector will also check for adequate heating and cooling in each room and that all electrical outlets work properly.

The Kitchen

When it comes to your kitchen, your inspector will check that there are no leaks in the pipes under the sink, that your water flow in the sink is adequate, and that your cabinets are in good condition and that the doors and drawers open and close properly. You will also need to ensure that your dishwasher drains properly, has no leaks, and that it operates correctly.

Your Bathroom(s)

Whether you have one or multiple bathrooms, you will need to be prepared to impress your inspector. He or she will be looking for a working exhaust fan that doesn’t end in your attic space, adequate water flow and pressure in all of your fixtures, proper drainage in your shower, tub, and sink, and that your toilet operates properly, too. Be aware of any and all leaks; if there are any leaks present, please contact a plumber beforehand to correct the issue.

The Basement

If you’re not a fan of basements or not in your basement often, you will need to take extra care of it before the inspector comes! Make sure that your basement shows no evidence of moisture, has no exposed foundation or stains or major cracks, and has no damage from insects. Your insulation and rim and band joints will be checked as well.

Please remember that this checklist shouldn’t be solely relied upon as a home inspection report and that you shouldn’t consider it as a substitute for a professional home inspection. This list is also not a complete list, so please be sure to contact a professional home inspector for a proper inspection!

If you’re ready to sell your home in search of your dream home, then what are you waiting for? Pick up the phone right now and call us at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com. We will find you your dream home and help you sell the home you have now!

Springtime Is Here! The 11 Tips You Will Need to Make Your Yard Beautiful!

flowersIt’s that time again – it’s time to start your springtime gardening! There is always a lot of basic gardening and clean up required to start off with, but all your hard work will pay off.

 Just like any other project you want to start off with a set out plan before you go shopping for plants for your yard. This can help ensure you save money as well as get the yard that best fits what you want.

You always want to start with what you have before you move to what you need! Here are 11 great tips to help you with all your gardening endeavors!

Fruit Trees (Late Winter, Early Spring) – If you currently have fruit trees, then late winter and early spring is the time to trim them. Fruit trees need to be thinned every year to help keep the tree healthy and to make harvesting easier. Make sure you trim your tree before any new growths start to develop for the best results!

Winter Mulch (Early Spring) – If you used mulch to protect your plants during winter then now is the time to remove it! Only remove it if the danger of extreme temperature changes is over. If you remove it too early then your plants could be hurt from the cold temperatures. Remember to keep some mulch handy just in case an unseasonably late cold front comes through.

Roses (Early Spring) – Now is the time to put your gardening gloves on and start pruning your rose bushes! In most regions you will want to do this before or just as new sprouts are starting to emerge. Trimming them gives them stronger, healthier shoots that will produce more roses. This will also help them resist diseases better. Careful not to prick yourself!

Trees and Shrubs (Early, Mid-, Late Spring) – The cool, moist spring time conditions are ideal for adding shrubs and trees to your yard. There are many advantages to adding trees and shrubs to your yard. Trees and shrubs can actually add value as well as beauty to your property and they can shade your house during the hot summer months! This helps bring down your summer’s energy bill. Plus, if you select fruit bearing trees, they will also provide food to you and your family!

Cool-Season Annuals (Early or Mid-Spring) – There are two kinds of annuals: annuals that like it warm and those that like it cool. For a little pre-spring color try planting some of the cool-season annuals like pansies, snapdragons, calendula and sweet alyssum. These plants can take a little frost! One thing to keep in mind is that cool-season annuals will fade with the summer heat. When this happens you can simply replace them with the heat-loving annuals like petunias or nasturtiums.

Ornamental Grasses (Early Spring) –Like the other plants you will want to trim back your ornamental grasses before or just as new growths are starting. This is also the time to divide your ornamental grass, if you want to. By dividing the grass this will give you more plants to work with if you want to use it in another place.  Make sure to leave the cut grass readily available as birds will love to use this for their nests!

Overgrown Perennials (Early or Mid-Spring) – Older perennials thrive if you divide them! Make sure the perennial you have can do this before digging yours up. Splitting some perennials like bleeding hearts or peonies can actual set the plant back rather than help them thrive. Splitting the Perennials you can will help the plant grow because it will no longer be over crowded. This will also give you more plants to work with or to share with your neighbors.

Seeds (Early Spring) – If you start growing the seeds indoors then it can help speed the process up by a couple weeks versus growing them outdoors. If this isn’t an option then follow when your seeds tell you to plant them but make sure you sprinkle the seeds in moist, loose soil. Most unused seeds can be stored in the freezer until next spring!

Vegetables (Early or Mid-Spring) – Check to see what kind of temperatures your vegetables like. Cool-season kinds can withstand a bit of frost but make sure if the temperature drops too much to cover them to keep them from dying. 

Mulch (Mid-spring) – When the soil has dried out it is time to break out the mulch. Spread the mulch about 2 inches deep over the soil. Mulch helps protect your plants by holding in moisture during the hot summer while helping to prevent weeds from growing.

Make Records (Early, Mid-, Late Spring)- When you notice that there are holes in your garden or perhaps not enough color variation then the best way to fix this is with a photo! A photo will help you remember where and what color you need to add. Even if you think you have a good enough memory to remember where to plant it a photo will ensure that no mistakes are made. You can take this photo with you when you go to buy more flowers to fill in your garden as well as how to know where the new plants go in your garden.  Add these new additions in autumn so they are ready for the next year.

Now you are ready to make your yard shine but make sure to stop weeds while they’re small!  This prevents them from developing stronger roots as well as prevents them from seeding which means fewer weeds for you in the long run. This will keep your yard looking beautiful even longer and without unnecessary work.

Still looking for that home that’s perfect for you? Let us help. Call us at (618) 791-9298 or at (618) 791-5024 or visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com and let us help you get that perfect home you’ve always dreamed of!

Your Dream Home Is Right Within Reach – See It Here!

Allen house frontImagine this – you’re looking for the house of your dreams, and you’ve been relentlessly searching for longer than you’d like. You’re about to give up all hope when something catches your eye. You turn to see what caught your attention, and you gasp in amazement, eyes dilated to let in all the radiance.

Before you stands your dream home, a place of infinite beauty and wonder that is guarded behind a robust but ornate and welcoming gate. It’s as if the house of your dreams simply plucked itself out of your mind and presented itself to you in your time in need, as if to say, “I’ve been here for you all along.”

If this sounds like your dream home, then you’re in luck! We have such a house for you for sale right now, and we know you’re going to love it!

allen house 2Located on 5502 State Route 159 in Edwardsville, Illinois and built in 2004, this gorgeous home boasts 7 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms in 14,632 square feet. But don’t feel daunted by its large size! Despite how large the home might be, it has truly retained that warm home feel that makes a house a home.

When you see the house for the first time, you will be greeted by a large driveway surrounded by lush green grass, a gorgeous lake, and ornately beautiful bronze doors.

allen house pic 3You will be delighted to entertain family and friends alike in this home’s spacious yet cozy features. Take guests in to chit-chat in the home’s warm living room. Cook a meal to remember together in the well-equipped, sparklingly clean kitchen and serve them in the marble-floored dining room, lit by a radiant chandelier.

You can also enjoy a stunning walkout basement complete with 6 basement rooms, 7 luxurious and spacious bedrooms, and several appliances such as a built in microwave and oven, dishwasher, refrigerator, and many more!

allen house pic 4Don’t forget to take the fun outside with your friends and family (or by yourself, even)! This custom-crafted brick and stone chateau also comes complete with a heated outdoor pool, spa, and a boat lift! You can also host parties and get-togethers on the stately patios that encircle the estate.

allen house pic 5Oh, and horse lovers – if you have a horse or wish that you could have one prancing and racing about majestically near your home, this home is definitely for you. Horses are welcomed here!

With this home, there are simply too many fantastic amenities to list! The possibilities are unlimited.

If you’re ready to check out this dream home, just give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298. You can even view this listing online here!

Keep Pests at Bay With These 7 Essential Tips!

eastern-chipmunk-sweet-best-viewed-large_lDo you know what the top three home invading pests are? No, it’s not your third cousin, twice removed. These pests take the form of mice, rats, and squirrels. Never make the mistake of thinking you have nothing to fear from these pests. Mice, rats and squirrels carry many diseases and can ruin your home.

They have the potential to take over your house before you even know they’re there. Rats can have up to 12 pups every 23 days! In only 90 days 6 mice can breed and multiply into 60 and squirrels can have almost 6 babies a year! This means that in less than 6 months your house could be overrun by these stealthy guests.

Protect your home and your family from these pests before they become a problem. Here are 7 tips to keeping your house pest-free!

1. Don’t Leave Pet Food Out – Larger pests like raccoons and rats can be deterred by pets, but make sure you don’t leave their food out over night. Leaving pet food out is an open invitation for pests. Keep your pet’s food stored in a tight container so that the food stays safe and the pests stay away!

2. Put a Lid On It! Open compost bins attract unwanted pests, so make sure you keep them covered. It also helps to put a layer of mulch over any new compost you add. You should also make sure that any foods that are non-compostable are properly sealed and disposed of. This ensures that the food is not made available to unwanted guests.

5517076735_464832e7703. Properly Seal Your Attic and Crawl Space- If your attic and crawl space is not properly sealed then it can let in all kinds of unwanted insects. Many pests eat various kinds of insects so where you have an abundance of insects, pests are sure to follow.

4. Keep the Woodpiles Away – Remember, woodpiles should be 20 ft away from your house. Not only do woodpiles attract pests and termites, but they are also a fire hazard!

5. Mow Your Lawn- Tall grass and untrimmed plants give pests exactly what they need to get into your home. Keeping your yard mowed, plants trimmed back away from the house, and removing any debris from your yard can help keep pests including rodents from gaining access into your home.

6. Fill in the Gaps –Gaps between your walls or the pipes in your house can allow easy access into your house from the outside. Pests can squeeze into the tiniest of holes so it’s important that you don’t underestimate them. A mouse can squeeze through a hole that is the size of a dime. If its nose can go through it then its body can, too. Caulking up holes also helps save energy!

7. Fix Leaky Pipes – Any water build up from leaky pipes or a leak in the roof can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.  As if that isn’t enough, these same water sources can attract other insects that bigger pests like to eat. Be sure to fix any leaky pipes or weak spots in your roof that your home might have to keep these pests at bay!

Once these pests get inside, they make themselves right at home. If you’re not careful these unwanted guests will start to take over your house and they will eat anything. They will eat aluminum siding, feast on your electrical wires, and gnaw on your trim and insulation. Normally by the time you realize you have a pest problem they have already had a chance to multiply, and having someone come in to remove these unwelcome guests can become very expensive. Save yourself the hassle and the money by preventing them from getting inside your home from the start.

Do you have an experience you wish to share? Let us know below in the comments or on our Facebook page! If you’re in search of your dream home call us at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298 or you can check us out online at http://www.dianamasseyhomes.com!