Lisa Coughlin's Blog
If you're getting ready to put your home on the market, every little detail can make a huge difference in its marketability. Not only is it vitally important to make a great first impression on prospective buyers, but you also want those good feelings to linger after they walk out the door. Although homeowners generally don't need to concern themselves with the marketing aspects of selling their property, there is one sales principle which is well worth keeping in mind: More often than not, people make buying decisions based on their emotions and subconscious feelings, rather than on concrete facts and rational thought. It's only after they've made their emotion-based buying decision that they attempt to justify it with facts and logic. So "gut feelings," intuition, and emotions can play a central role in how and why people choose to buy one home over another. Easy Home Staging Tips That's why it can be beneficial to have the fragrance of freshly brewed coffee, cookies, cinnamon buns, or homemade bread wafting through the air when prospective home buyers visit. It can help put your visitors in a positive state of mind, and cause them to associate your home with those enticing aromas and good feelings. Unfortunately, the opposite effect can also come into play during a house showing. For example, offensive odors in the air could raise questions about the cleanliness or desirability of your house. If pet smells, stale tobacco smoke, or dirty laundry odors are among the recollections that linger in the minds (and noses) of would-be buyers, you can be sure they'll be less likely to make an offer. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to counteract unpleasant odors and keep your home smelling fresh and inviting for real estate showings. Two other key things to consider when preparing your home for potential buyers are lighting and clutter. When one or more rooms look cluttered, it creates two negative impressions in the minds of prospects:
- It makes the living space look small and confining, which detracts from the perceived value of your home.
- It also creates an impression of chaos and disorganization. Whether that's a description of your family's lifestyle or not, you definitely don't want to convey that to prospective buyers.
What in the world is home automation? Almost everyone knows what a timer on an outside lamp post is for, you can program your outside lights to turn on when the sun goes down and back off in the morning. There are lots of ways to setup lighting to prevent waste and still maximize the benefit. So what if you whole house could be managed and from one place or even when you aren't at home? The kids left some lights on when they left for school, and you can turn them off from your phone, with some systems. A product known as X10 has been around for quite some time now, now there are other options. Home depot has their own products and even Google is making contributions these days. The whole idea is convince, for example there are products that work with the X10 system that allow you to change the lighting in your home from an iPhone or Android device, you can use this from anywhere you phone works. Setting up a system like this can start to prove costly. The more devices you want to control, the more expensive the project ends up, naturally. You should also be aware some products require a moderate level of know-how in the electrical sense. One of the most useful products is a replacement switch; changing one should always be done with care and proper precautions of course. Spend some time and figure out what your goals are with your project, it can be as simple as putting a few outdoor lights on timers to being able to control and monitor everything in your house no matter where you are. It's a fun idea at the very least.
We all want our yard to look perfect, or at least better than the neighbor's. But taking care of the yard takes a lot of work and many of us come to depend on harsh weedkillers or insect deterrents to keep the yard looking pristine. What many don't know is that there are other, more eco-friendly options that will keep the pests at bay. Better yet, many of these solutions are easily made from household items. Follow these tips to keep your yard looking great without filling the ground and air with chemicals.
Killing weedsWhat is a weed? Ralph Waldo Emerson lovingly describes a weed as "a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." While this may be true, it doesn't mean we have to let them take over our grass each year. Weeds are invasive because they spread--quickly--and kill off the plants and grasses we want in their place. To combat weeds there's no need for harsh chemicals that harm your yard and break your wallet. Instead, try diluting some white vinegar with water and pouring it on the weeds. This should take care of most of the weeds. However, the vinegar will drastically change the pH of your soil, so you don't want to rely on this for the rest of the season. The next time you see a weed popping up, pour some boiling water directly on it. It will kill the weed but keep your soil healthy so your grass or flowers can keep growing normally.
Insect deterrentHaving bugs in your yard is a good thing. They're part of the natural ecosystem that helps maintain your soil and pollenate your plants. Sometimes, however, insects can become invasive and destructive to the vegetation in your yard. If you notice beetles eating all of your plants' leaves, dilute some plain Dawn dish soap with water and spray it onto the infected leaves. The soap won't harm your plants but it will drive the beetles crazy, sending them off to someone else's yard. Nature has its own insecticides that few of us take advantage of. Plant marigolds, for example, around the perimeter of your property to deter scores of insects and other pests from ever entering your yard. See this helpful list for many other pest controlling plants.
Bug RepellantWe've talked a lot about protecting your yard from invasive pests. But what about protecting yourself? Whether it's pesky flies or biting mosquitos, there are many natural ways to keep the bugs away when you're out in the yard. Most effective commercial insect repellants contain DEET, a strong smelling chemical insecticide. We've all heard about the dangers of DEET, which was developed by the U.S. Army in the 1940s for use in warfare. The chemical compound has been approved and re-approved for use by the EPA since then, but studies have raised questions of its safety. Many people object to using DEET based on its potent smell alone. So, what are the alternatives? Many have taken the bug spray conundrum into their own hands, mixing various herbs and essential oils to keep the bugs away. Check out these recipes and let us know which one works for you!
This Single-Family in Ashland, MA recently sold for $751,000. This Colonial,Contemporary style home was sold by Lisa Coughlin - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.
4 Royal Colony Circle, Ashland, MA 01721
Welcome to your new home the "Harbor Lights". First floor features expansive open floor plan with oversized country kitchen, dining, living and library. Second floor master suite with sitting room, walk in closet and master bath, three additional large bedrooms, open foyer and second floor laundry. Lots of extras hardwood cabinets, granite counters, stainless appliances, hardwood floors and more. Energy efficient 2x6 construction, gas heat and low-e, tilt in windows. Royal Colony is a 6 lot wooded subdivision on the Holliston line located close to the highway and schools. Sales office open daily.
If you seek flowering plants that flourish in a full-sun location, there are a wide range of annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees that tolerate full noonday sun. However, growing plants in full sun can be a bit of a challenge, especially those planted in pots or containers. Providing adequate water may prove to be difficult, but if you do the research you can select plants native to your area that are drought tolerant. Sunny borders showcasing a sidewalk or garden pathway are popular locations for sun loving plants. While native plants are acclimated to local growing conditions, any full-sun plant tolerant of heat and drought and rated for your United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant hardiness zone can be grown in the home garden. Full Sun Border Plants Yarrow, Shasta daisy, purple cornflower, lavender, day lilies, and asters are hardy plants that grow well in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 through 7. Other good candidates include Russian sage, butterfly weed and verbena. Happy and Hardy Perennials Several perennials flourish in a fun-sun location. Drought tolerant garden favorites include hen and chicks, miniature roses, hibiscus, all varieties of daisies, coneflowers, buttercups and lamb’s ear. Succulents do especially well in patio pots, hanging baskets and garden containers. Succulents sensitive to freezing may be brought indoors where they make an attractive houseplant during the colder months of winter. Colorful Full-Sun Annuals The majority of summer annuals are an excellent choice for a sunny, rather dry location in the garden. Use shorter varieties as a bold and bright flower to edge flowerbeds and garden pathways. Zinnias, marigolds and daisies will self-seed and come back in the spring with vigor. Along a fence or in the back of the flowerbed, stately hollyhocks, iris, sunflowers, geraniums, and coleus make an attractive backdrop to smaller full-sun garden plantings. Full-Sun Plants For Hanging Baskets Moss rose, petunias, salvia, marigolds, baby’s breath and ageratum are attractive when grouped in hanging baskets. A drip irrigation system is a simple solution for keeping hanging baskets well watered, lush and green. Provide Full-Sun Plants With Adequate Water While many varieties of full-sun plants tolerate a dry spell, they will thrive and produce the most abundant showing of flowers if provided with adequate moisture. Most garden plants require at least 1 to 2 inches of water a week. It is best to water early in the morning or late in the day, when water is not so quickly evaporated away by the noonday sun. A Continual Burst Of Blooms With a bit of research and study, it is easy to find full-sun plants that will provide brilliant bursts of color in your home garden from early spring to late fall. You are only limited by your imagination; be creative then sit back and enjoy watching your garden grow.