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!

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8 Curb Appeal Ideas to Attract Homebuyers

A modern custom built luxury home in a residential neighborhood.  This upper class home is a very nicely landscaped property.

Perhaps the most important question you need to ask yourself right now if you’re selling your home is, “What will be the first thing that potential homebuyers will see?” Quickly after you ask that question, you should additionally ask yourself if the things that will attract or deter them from your home.

Usually, the first thing that homebuyers will notice when looking for homes is your front yard, the color of your home, the landscaping, and if the home has an attractive exterior. They won’t be able to see the new kitchen appliances you have or the gorgeous, original hardwood floors that are throughout your home. If your curb appeal is subpar, the homebuyers won’t even bother coming through your front door to check out the inside of your home.

But what’s a homeowner to do? Well, don’t fret and continue reading – we have 8 tips that will help you improve your curb appeal and attract homebuyers to your lovely abode pronto!

Reevaluate Your Exterior Paint – Before you even begin on your yard work, look up and check out your home’s exterior. Is the pain cracking, dingy, or old? Is it incongruent with the colors that are present in the neighborhood, or does it not matchup with the style of the home itself? If so, you might want to reevaluate your home’s paint color. If nothing else, do consider pressure washing your siding or brick; it’ll look just like new after you do so!

Keep Your Accents Fresh – Whether your house is adorned with shutters, columns, or planters, be sure that all the accents are in good condition. If there is any damage to your planters, driveway, fences, or exterior lighting, be sure to address them and repair the damaged areas.

Take Note of Walkways – Next on the list are your walkways and entryways. Are the sidewalks cracked and old? Are the stepping stone paths broken? Are weeds sprouting up in the cracks in your driveway? Consider giving extra attention to these areas. Pull the weeds, and fix any broken areas. Additionally, power wash these areas to make them look just like new once more. You’ll notice a difference right away!

Pick Up Your Toys – Curb appeal is associated with how you and your family live your lives day in and day out. Make sure that you don’t leave any objects out on the lawn, or your potential homebuyers could draw up opinions about you and how you care for your home. When you’re finished with gardening tools, put them away immediately. The same goes for your children’s toys – be sure to teach them to put them away when they’re done playing with them. This will help prevent your lawn from appearing unkempt.

Love Your Lawn – Now it’s time to look at your lawn. How do your plants, grass, and surrounding areas look? Does your lawn look beautifully-kept or like a scraggly eyesore to the unbiased eye? Be sure to pull weeds where you can and fix unsightly areas in your yard, and consider employing new landscaping in your yard if it looks a little, well, sad in the landscaping department.

Out With the Old – This may seem kind of crazy, but even the simplest things like your mailbox or house numbers can turn a buyer off. If you’ve lived in your home for a while now (or if your mailbox has seen better days), replace your old mailbox and house numbers with new, more inviting ones!

Add a Pop of Color – Does your home need some extra color? Add an instant pop of color with planters filled with seasonal plants at your front door, in your yard, or at the sides of your garage. The plants will make future homebuyers happy to see what else is inside!

When trying to revamp your curb appeal, remember that it doesn’t have to be difficult or cost you al lot of money. If you’re having trouble attracting homebuyers, try the 8 tips above to help, or go ahead and give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298! You can also visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see how we can help you sell your home and get the dream home you’ve always wanted!

The 6 Vital Tips to Prepare Your Home for the Fall Season

 

Fall is finally here, and people across the nation are preparing their homes for the new season with fall decorations and are saying adios to their flip flops and swim suits for the year and breaking out the sweaters and boots.

While it’s important to ready the look of your home and yourself for the season, it’s much more imperative to take care of your home and make sure that the house itself is ready for the change in season and the (somewhat) steady decline in temperatures.

Do you tend to forget to prepare your home for the colder months? No problem! We have six vital tips to help ensure that you, your family, and your house are all ready for the change in season!

Out With the Old, In With the New (Filter, That Is) – What’s the top reason that heating and cooling systems in homes fail? Changing the filter! Some experts feel that filters should be changed every single month, but you’re probably better off inspecting it each month and switching it out every three months, that is, once every season.

Why do this? Well, not only will you help ensure that your system will run nice and smoothly, but you will also improve the air quality in your home, reduce energy usage, and save a little extra money on your electric bill!

Give Your Thermostat Some Love – That’s right. You should really give your thermostat some extra TLC when the seasons change. Be sure to clean its heat sensor, contacts, and contact points; it will ensure that it’s running the best it can. Additionally, if you’d like to save some money on your energy bill, do your best to keep your thermostat between 68 and 72 degrees during the day and a smidgen lower at night. If that’s a bit too cold for you, you can always cuddle up with your favorite blankets and sip some hot chocolate!

The Vacuum IS Your Best Friend – If you really dread cleaning and the very thought of dragging out that big ol’ vacuum already has you searching for an excuse to avoid cleaning, then you might want to keep reading. Cleaning similarly to how you did during spring cleaning can prove to be beneficial for your health AND your wallet! Vacuum your ceiling fans, vents, baseboard heaters, ducts, and cold-air returns to not only keep your heating and cooling system in tip-top shape but to also rid yourself of a great deal of dust (which can cause respiratory problems and further aggravate allergies, by the way!). Trust us, you’ll be glad you did it.

Pay Attention to Your Windows and Doorframes – Are you enjoying that autumn breeze you feel in your home? Well, if you ARE and you don’t have your windows open, that you might really want to fix that on the double! Inspect your doorframes and windows to ensure that they are tight and in good condition. Make sure that you cannot feel any drafts coming through your windows or doors. If you do, you might want to spend some time fixing the leaks with some caulking or weather-stripping before it gets too cold. Remember, the draft may not bother you now, but it’ll be much worse on you (and your wallet) come wintertime!

Pretty Your Home Up! All work and no play makes your house awfully dull! After you clean and ready your house for the season, go ahead and take some time to make it reflect the season in artwork, fabrics, and design. Add a colorful wreath to your front door and some fun gourds and mini-pumpkins inside and outside your home. Display pieces of art that reflect the fall season, display a cornucopia on your dining room table, or simply change the slipcovers off your couch to reflect the colors and vibe of the fall season! Don’t forget the spice or pumpkin-scented candles!

Need more tips ‘n’ tricks to help your ready yourself and your home for the fall season? Why not give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298? We can give you tips to ready your home for the season or even for a sale. Don’t forget that we’re online! Visit us at www.dianamasseyhomes.com for dream homes near you!

The 9 Things That Might Be Scaring Home Buyers Away From Your Home

 

Are you having trouble getting people interested in your for-sale home? Have people already walked through your home but showed zero interest in buying it, let alone putting down an offer for it?

You may not realize it, but there may be some things about your home or that you’re doing (or failing to do) to your home that might be scaring away any potential home buyers. Are you guilty of committing one of these nine crimes?

1. Your Curb Appeal is UGLY – And we mean ugly with a capital “U!” If you have shingles falling off your roof, junk scattered in your yard, or weeds taking over your sidewalks and driveway, you may be stopping any potential buyers cold in their tracks. When home buyers see that the outside of a prospective home is unkempt or just plain frightening, they figure that the inside of the home will look the same (or even worse). Be sure to enhance your curb appeal by planting some beautiful flowers, caring for your lawn, putting out a new and inviting welcome mat, and so much more!

2. Your House Stinks (Literally) – Odors can kill the mood and dismantle the enchantment of house hunting in a quick second. If you happen to smoke inside your home, that stench will permeate your entire home from your furniture and carpet to the drapes and even the walls! Pets and mold can also leave horrible stenches that can turn potential buyers off, sometimes permanently. If you’re not sure if your home smells, ask a neighbor or a friend to come over to offer their opinion.

3. Your Bathroom is Filthy – No one likes gross, dirty bathrooms, especially potential home buyers. Make sure that you clean the bathroom thoroughly before you have home buyers in your home. Replace any old fixtures and gross shower curtains, and be sure that your bathroom is presentable and squeaky clean.

4. You’re a Fan of Wallpaper  – Wallpaper is a personal taste, and most of the time it repels buyers, especially if the wallpaper is in every single room of the house. If you really want your home to sell, take the time to remove the wallpaper and put on a coat of neutral paint. DO NOT paint over the wallpaper! It will be obvious that you painted over the wallpaper AND it will be more difficult to remove.

5. You Have Pets – Dogs may be cute, but some people don’t like them or are simply afraid of them. Many people don’t enjoy being jumped up or licked profusely by dogs when entering homes. If you can, remove your pets during showings to show respect to the potential home buyers.

6. You Have a Love of Bold or Dark Wall Paint Colors – Some people love dark or bold paint colors. That’s perfectly fine… that is, unless you’re selling your home! Buyers try to picture their own stuff in your home, and it’s very difficult to envision if your bold wall colors overpower their senses. For the best results, paint your walls neutral colors (which, by the way, doesn’t mean just white or beige!). Remember, you want your potential buyer to focus on the square footage and other positive attributes of your home, not be distracted by the wall colors!

7. Your Home is Overpriced – No matter how much you love your home, if you have it overpriced it will be a rare occurrence if someone serious wants to come take a look. The smart thing to do is to price it correctly the first time and stick with it. If you overprice it but keep dropping the price over time, home buyers may see you as desperate to sell your home.

8. BUGS – Want a guaranteed way to shoe buyers right out of your home? INSECTS. If you have any insect problems, mice, or cockroaches, don’t count on any home buyers stopping by or sticking around if they do come in. If you can’t get rid of these pests yourself, do yourself a favor and call a professional.

9. You NEVER Leave The Buyer Alone – Can you say, “AWKWARD?!” Give your buyers some space and freedom to check out your home unescorted. If you hang around them all the time, they won’t feel free to explore and will feel as if they are unwelcomed guests.

Looking to sell your home? Need some more tips to make your house look the best it can look? Give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9898 or check out our website at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see how we can help you. Stop committing these nine crimes and start selling your home today!

Want To Sell Your Home? Turn Your Yard From Boring To Beautiful!

What is the first thing that buyers see when they see your property? Why, the outside, of course!

Landscaping can greatly influence how a potential buyer may feel about your home; sometimes it can be the end-all point that makes them buy the house or quickly turn around to look for another home. Luckily, a few simple changes can improve the curb appeal of your property and change the “For Sale” sign in your yard to a “Sold” sign!

Put That Power Washer to Good Use! Some areas of our home (including the outside) tend to remain perpetually “clean” in our minds, but we should really try to break that misconception trying to sell! Believe it or not, your deck, driveway, and home exterior can get pretty dirty over time, dulling your home’s colors and liveliness slowly but surely.

The best way to brighten these spaces of your home is by using a power washer. When the first wave of water hits, you’ll be shocked at how much brighter you’re deck, driveway, and exterior look! While a power washer is a great tool, it needs to be used with care – it admits extremely high pressure that can harm skin and housing materials if used unwisely.

Make Your Home “Inviting! – Nothing says “home” like a wreath and a welcome mat! Wreaths and welcome mats are an inexpensive touch to add to your home to draw any potential buyers in. Feel free to get creative by making your own wreath or find an inviting wreath at your favorite store. Already have your own mats and wreaths and don’t want to part with them? No problem! Simply clean them up so that they look like new again!

Give Your Home the Green Treatment – Who doesn’t love greenery and flowers? Not very many people! Done correctly and artfully, greenery may be the trick to landscaping your home to sell. Don’t have a green thumb? Don’t worry! You can easily make it look like you do! When you go to purchase your greenery ask the staff member which plants and flowers are the easiest to maintain. All you need to worry about is picking out the right color of pots to complement your home and watering them to their specifications! Now THAT was easy!

Flowers are a Home’s Best Friend – Picking where to place the plants and flowers you have bought can be difficult to do sometimes! When you’re setting them out, put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Lining the walkway to the house with pretty flowers can be really inviting to anyone – potential buyer and visitors alike. If you love gardening, then feel free to plant more flowers! Don’t panic if gardening isn’t up your alley – a little really DOES go a long way! (Oh, and here’s a fun tip from us – Place the brightest flowers closest to your entryway to make both the color of your home AND the flowers stand out!)

Make Your Yard into a Work of Art – Greenery is all good and dandy, but don’t feel like you need to turn your yard into a jungle! Try using some landscaping stone as a way to make your yard look even more beautiful! Create inviting walkways with irregularly shaped stones. Frame your flowerbeds with the stones acting as a border. If you feel like stepping a bit out of the box, try creating a mini-waterfall in your yard and fill the basin with koi! If you’re unsure of how to do this, you might want to either read up on the details or call a professional to help make your yard look beautiful.

Say Good-Bye to Overgrown Lawns! – Finally, be sure to tame any wild shrubberies and trees. Greenery is good, but a mess of it can be counterproductive and a huge turn-off to your potential buyers! When your house is on the market, take a couple extra hours to trim and shape any bushes and trees around your home. Make sure that they complement all the hard work you have put into making your home sellable!

If you are looking for your dream home The Massey Team can help you! Contact us today at 618-791-5024. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter or visit our website at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see how we can help you!

Ten Ways To Add Curb Appeal to Your Humble Abode!

 

You know how a house has great curb appeal? Every time you walk or drive by it, you just can’t help staring at it. You might even find yourself stopped in front of it, jaw agape and drooling at its beauty. In fact, you might even find yourself driving by that house more and more, simply to look at it and lament that your house is nowhere near as awesome as “that house.”

Luckily for you, there are quite a few easy and relatively cheap ways you can increase your own home’s curb appeal and make a great first impression on others! Check out these ten improvements you can do in a day, a week, or a month below!

CURB APPEAL IN A DAY:

Focus On the Front Door – Your front door is the focal point of your home and reflects your home’s interior, so be sure that it looks the way you want it to! Clean off all dirty spots around the knob, polish the fixtures, and paint your door a bold or zippy new color!

Makeover Your Mailbox – Is your mailbox sad-looking? Does it just scream, “Hey, kids, come hit me with a bat!”? If so, you need to do some serious work! Your mailbox isn’t just for receiving mail – it’s also there to complement your home and express your personality. Spring for a new mailbox or give it a facelift with paint and new house numbers.

Install Outdoor Lighting – Low voltage landscape lighting will make a huge impact on your home and can also provide you with added security. Light fixtures can add accent lighting on plants, trees, or the house, and they can also illuminate a walking path for visitors to see. Can’t use wired lights? Try out solar fixtures! Just be aware that the light levels won’t be as bright as wired lights.

Add Some Plant Life to the Scene – Plants add a punch of color to your curb appeal quickly and affordably. You can buy ready-made containers from a nearby garden center or grow your own favorite plants. Try to incorporate leafy plants with flowering plants in an asymmetrical arrangement to create a dynamic ambiance.

CURB APPEAL IN A WEEKEND:

Add Outdoor Art – You don’t need to become Van Gogh to make your yard look beautiful! Simply choose weather-resistant pieces of art that complement your home. Find a birdbath or sculptures that you love to set outside, and add music to the air by tacking on a wind chime! You can even add water sculptures – just e sure that they’re out of any leaf-dropping range!

Replace Gutters and Downspouts – Are your gutters peeling paint or have rust spots? Are your downspouts nearing non-function? Time to fix them up! Replace your old gutter system with newer, snap-fit vinyl gutters. You can put them together with few tools and no painting! You will boost your curb appeal and help prevent basement flooding when you replace those old gutters of yours!

Create New Planting Beds – If you don’t have a planting bed in place, you should get to it right away! The best places to have a planting bed include in front of the house, along driveways and walkways, and in the front corner of the yard. Choose features for the bed that will frame your home, not block it off. Edge the bed with stone and include a different arrangement of plants in size, color, and texture.

IN A MONTH

Renew Painting, Trim, and Siding – Give that house of yours a well-needed facelift with new paint, siding, and trim! Any cracked or rotting material will automatically downgrade a home’s curb appeal and chase away potential buyers, so do your best to maintain your home’s exterior. You’ll be amazed how your home’s look will be transformed with just a fresh coat of paint and trim!

Make Your Walkway More Inviting – There are several ways you can make your walkways better. You can dress them up with brick and stone borders (and maybe plant a few small flowers on the side), or you can replace your straight, boring concrete path with a dynamic, contoured one made out of brick or stone!

Show Love to Your Driveway – Give your driveway an upgrade without breaking the bank! Repair any cracks and stains and pull weeds out of the driveway. You can then stain the driveway’s concrete, place flagstones nearby, or plant more flora on the sides.

Remember, by adding more curb appeal to your home, you are not only upgrading its price but also enticing potential buyers to come by and check out your home!

If you’re ready to sell your home or maybe want a few ideas for adding more curb appeal, call us here at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298. You can even visit us at our website at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see what we can do for you!