Latest Real Estate News

    • 5 Plants Your Garden Needs This Fall

      15 October 2021

      Leaves are changing and begging to trickle down in the breeze; there’s no doubt, fall is here and winter is on its way. Thankfully, the chilly weather won’t prevent you from keeping your yard vibrant and colorful; you just have to know what to plant. These 5 plants are just what your garden needs this autumn.

      Pansies
      Beautiful in spring or fall, these tiny flowers pack a punch of color and are inexpensive to purchase. Pansies are frost-resistant and cold-tolerant, meaning they can last until winter with ease. Pansies prefer a full sun location in the garden (at least five hours per day), so plant them accordingly. They will provide you with lasting vibrance even after the last leaf has fallen from the trees.

      Garden Mums
      Garden Mums (or Chrysanthemums) are a perfect addition to any fall garden. With bold hues in classic autumn colors such as orange, gold, and red there is no doubt that these flowers will brighten your yard and put you in the fall spirit. Mums prefer full sun and plenty of water, and they can succumb to winter freezes. To prevent against this, keep their roots covered with insulating mulch as temperatures drop.

      Beautyberry Shrubs
      These shrubs (native to North America and found in the southeastern United States) can add much-needed texture to your garden. Their striking bright purple berries add a pop of color in any landscape. Place a row of them together to border your yard, and watch as the color livens up the space even on dull grey days. If you’re a bird lover, you are in luck as these berries will attract flying friends in search of food throughout the fall and winter seasons.

      Cornflowers
      You are sure to love the pop of color these beautiful flowers bring. These true blue flowers’ peak bloom time is summer, but they can grow through the fall if you deadhead frequently. Keep in mind, however, young cornflower’s delicate stems can be damaged by excess rain or wind. To mitigate this, stake them or allow them to grow next to a heardier taller plant that can support them and provide shelter from winds.

      It’s easier than you think to keep your garden looking fresh and vibrant during the chilly season. These 5 fall plants will have your yard looking fall-ready in no time.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Pop Up a Celebratory Snack

      15 October 2021

      (Family Features) Popcorn lovers rejoice: October is National Popcorn Poppin’ Month, a seasonal celebration of one of America’s oldest and most beloved snack foods.

      As farmers head into the fields to harvest crops, families and friends gather to enjoy this ever-popular treat. Whether it’s prepared on the stovetop, in the microwave or ready to eat from the bag, Americans consume 15 billion quarts of this whole grain each year.

      Celebrated for its seed-to-snack simplicity, popcorn is also non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free and naturally low in fat and calories, which makes it an easy fit for dietary preferences – and it’s budget-friendly. 

      Add in popcorn’s irresistible smell, taste and versatility, and it’s easy to understand its popularity. With so many different ways to eat it – plain, buttery or loaded with goodies like these Toffee Almond Chocolate Popcorn or Churro Popcorn versions – popcorn fits many moods and occasions.

      Pop up a bowl and join the Popcorn Poppin’ Month celebration with more recipes at popcorn.org. 

      Toffee Almond Chocolate Popcorn
      Total time: 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes chilling time 
      Servings: 4

      4 cups popped popcorn
      3/4 cup chopped toasted almonds, divided
      6 tablespoons toffee bits, divided
      6 ounces milk chocolate, melted 
      1 ounce dark chocolate, melted

      In a large bowl, toss popcorn, 1/2 cup almonds and 4 tablespoons of toffee bits. Drizzle with melted milk chocolate; toss until well coated.

      Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with dark chocolate; sprinkle with remaining almonds and toffee bits. Refrigerate about 30 minutes, or until set; break into clusters. 

      Substitution: Use dark chocolate for milk chocolate, if preferred. 

      Churro Popcorn
      Servings: 2-3

      2 tablespoons granulated sugar
      1 tablespoon powdered sugar
      1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      2 tablespoons butter
      6 cups popped popcorn

      In a small bowl, mix granulated sugar, powdered sugar and cinnamon.

      In a small saucepan, melt butter; stir in 1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar.

      In a large bowl, toss popcorn with cinnamon butter until well coated. Sprinkle evenly with remaining cinnamon sugar; toss to coat well.

      Tips: For spicy variation, add 1 teaspoon spicy chipotle seasoning. Serve with hot chocolate.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Clean Your Gutters in 5 Steps

      15 October 2021

      It might not be anyone’s favorite chore, but cleaning your home’s gutters is an essential maintenance task not to be overlooked. When leaves, sticks and other gunk clog your gutters, it can lead to serious and costly issues, such as foundation problems, leaky basements and attic damage.

      To help keep your home in good shape and save money, you should clean your gutters at least two times a year, depending on where you live, which types of trees you have on your property and other factors.

      HomeAdvisor suggests following these five steps to debris-free gutters:

      Step 1: Get Prepared. Put on a long-sleeved shirt and heavy rubber gloves to protect yourself from sharp edges on your gutters. Also, be sure to wear non-slip shoes to ensure a good grip on your ladder.

      Step 2: Set Yourself Up. Secure your ladder to the roof, and use standoff stabilizers to avoid damaging your gutters. Put a bucket or drop cloth on the ground below your work area to catch any falling debris.

      Step 3: Remove Your Gutter Covers. Unscrew your gutter covers, and set them aside. Be sure to place your covers in a safe location away from your work area so they don’t get damaged.

      Step 4: Clean Out Large Debris. Now you’re ready for the fun part! Begin at the drain outlet, and use your hands or a trowel to remove any leaves, sticks or other clutter from your gutters. It’s best to scoop out debris when it’s damp, not dry and stuck to the inside of your gutter.

      Step 5: Flush Your Gutters. Use a hose with a high-pressure nozzle to flush smaller materials out of your gutters. If the water isn’t draining, it could be a sign that your downspout is clogged. To clear downspout buildup, install a nozzle onto your hose and set it to full pressure. Insert the hose from the bottom of your spout and snake it upwards. You can also use a plumber’s snake to clear difficult blockage.

      If you’re pressed for time, afraid of heights or unable to clean your gutters for some other reason, HomeAdvisor suggests hiring a professional to tackle the job. The money spent on this important home maintenance task would be well worth it in the long run.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 6 Security Tips for Your New Home

      14 October 2021

      .Buying and moving into a new home is exciting, but it also requires a lot of attention to detail, from closing the deal to figuring out the logistics of getting all your belongings from point A to point B. Amid all the excitement, planning and unpacking, many new homeowners overlook one essential factor: the security of their new house.

      If you’re moving, consider these six tips from the home security experts at ADT to help keep your family and your property safe and secure:

      Change the Locks. You never know who lived in your property before you moved in. Do yourself a favor and change the locks regardless of the situation.

      Transfer or Invest in a Security System. There’s no better way to ensure your home is secure 24/7 than installing a home security system. Burglar-proof your house by adding video surveillance and motion sensors for complete security. If there’s already a security system in the house, have it properly looked over and reactivated. If you’d like to bring the security system that you're currently using to your new house, consider relocation services.

      Install Indoor and Outdoor Lighting. Don’t stand out as the “new neighbor” by being the only dim house on the street at night. Keep your family protected by making your house look occupied at all times using light automation.

      Keep Your Outside Area in Excellent Condition. Did you know burglars see the exterior of your property as a bullseye? If your lawn is unkempt or you have large shrubbery, burglars will see that as an invitation to break in.

      Talk With the Neighbors. Having trusted neighbors can immediately make living in a new place much safer. They may be able to help keep your house look occupied while you’re away by simply picking up the newspaper, shoveling your walkway, etc.

      Remind Your Kids to Be Cautious. Moving to a new neighborhood means a lot of unfamiliar faces for you and your family. Make sure your children are aware that they should never let a stranger into the house, leave the garage door up when they come in or go exploring too far until you’re more familiar with the area.

      By taking care of these security measures when moving, you can turn your focus to truly enjoying your new, safe home.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • If You’re Tired of Fighting the Squirrels, Feed ’Em

      14 October 2021

      (Family Features) Countless backyards are battlegrounds between die-hard homeowners and squirrels fighting over bird feed. Squirrels need not be an inevitable element of bird feeding; even though keeping squirrels out of bird feeders is an age-old problem, there are ways to thwart these thieves.

      One common tactic is stocking feeders with seed squirrels dislike, such as safflower, nyjer, white proso millet and seed infused with capsaicin, a compound derived from hot peppers that makes mammals’ tongues smart. An option like Cole’s Hot Meats features nutritious sunflower meats infused with fiery habanero chili peppers. They’re a no waste, no mess feed, birds enjoy but squirrels’ dislike.

      Some people find squirrels adorable, fascinating to watch and have nothing against them, even allowing them to share seed with birds. The real problem begins when squirrels take their share and then some.

      To combat this, consider adding a baffle to your bird feeder on a pole about 5 feet high so squirrels don’t jump over it. Bird feeders on poles can be set in open spaces where there’s no trees or structures where squirrels can jump from onto feeders. Try a “squirrel-proof” feeder that employs cages, or spring-loaded doors, keeping squirrels at bay. You can then offer food specific to squirrels’ taste preferences away from bird feeders.

      Because squirrels are territorial, they’re less likely to go to other locations once they’re accustomed to eating in a designated place. Establishing a feeding space just for squirrels can satisfy their appetites and keep them out of bird feeders.

      You can use an open feeder or scatter feed on the ground for easy access. Try 100% whole peanuts or Cole’s Critter Munchies, which includes ingredients squirrels love. Another way to help squirrels thrive is to provide access to fresh, clean water.

      • Squirrels are interesting creatures and worth the watch. Consider these facts:
      • Squirrels can find food buried beneath 1 foot of snow.
      • Squirrels’ front teeth never stop growing.
      • Squirrels run zigzag patterns to escape predators.
      • Squirrels “fake out” other squirrels and pretend to bury nuts to throw off potential thieves from their hiding places.
      • When falling, squirrels use their tails both for balance and as parachutes. Plus, they can jump up to 20 feet and run 20 miles per hour.
      • Squirrels can see behind them, but they’re blind at birth.
      • When given a mixture of nuts, squirrels sort them by type before burying each variety in a different area.
      • Squirrels can rotate their hind feet 180 degrees when descending trees and poles.
      • Squirrels are one of the most important animals for helping spread oak trees. They store acorns in the ground but only recover about 70% of them, allowing forgotten acorns to grow into healthy trees.
      As for the birds: In cold weather, it’s important to provide high-quality choices that offer the most fat, nutrients and energy. Look for black oil sunflower, which is rich in oil, attracting birds and providing energy.

      Birds also love suet, the solid fat rendered from beef, venison or vegetables, which provides concentrated energy, helping them make it through freezing weather.

      Some suet cakes are formulated to attract the largest variety and number of birds as well as specific bird species. Birds are greatly attracted to the taste of hot and spicy suet cakes, and some even prefer them over non-spicy suet cakes. To attract seed-, fruit- and insect-loving songbirds try Nutberry Suet, a unique mix of premium fruits, preferred nuts, nutritious suet kibbles and whole-kernel sunflower meats.

      By following squirrel proofing tips and offering food birds and squirrels prefer in separate locations, you’ll see for yourself birds and squirrels can live harmoniously in your backyard while you enjoy watching both species’ entertaining antics. For more information, visit coleswildbird.com.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.