Spring Into Action

Siding Me Up

Homes are like relationships. Ha! Seriously though, they kind of are! Our homes require upkeep and care year-round to keep them in tip-top shape. As homeowners, if we ignore the general maintenance and repairs needed, we are going to be in for costly repairs and extra time down the line to fix what should have been maintained in the first place. Here are a few things to add to your spring to-do list to keep your home happy.

Siding is a yearly job as a homeowner. You can use a garden hose and long handled scrub brush to clean the outside of your house, but a pressure washer can make the job go faster. Just be careful to not over do it and damage wood siding and trim. A mixture of bleach, detergent, and water can be used to remove mildew and clean vinyl siding. After the exterior of your house has been cleaned, make any needed repairs to the siding and trim, then patch and paint bare spots. Scrape away peeling paint, and lightly sand to soften the edges so it will blend in with the old paint. Caulk any cracks, and apply two coats of quality exterior paint, being careful to feather the edges with the paintbrush so the patch won’t show.

No Roofing Around

Before it becomes too hot this spring, now is the time to clean your roof. Begin by sweeping or blowing off any leaves and branches on the roof, paying particular attention around chimneys and in valleys.

Once clean, start by inspecting your roof and replacing damaged shingles. Next, examine the chimney flashing and mortar joints on brick or stone chimneys. Use masonry caulk to repair any gaps or cracks in the flashing. If the flashing is in bad condition, make a quick fix with caulk, then call a roofing contractor for a more permanent repair.

It’s All Gutters From Here

Gutters are an integral piece of your home’s well being. They serve to control the flow of rainwater to protect your roof, walls, foundation and landscape. A gutter clogged with leaves, sticks and other debris can cause a leaky roof or water damage to the interior or exterior of your home.

In preparation for spring rains, clean gutters and unclog downspouts. To make cleaning gutters easier, cut the bottom and sides off a plastic jug that’s the same width as your gutters, and use it to scoop out the debris. Then use a garden hose to rinse out the gutter and downspouts. This is the perfect time to check gutters for leaks. Repair any loose gutter hangers or spikes and use a level to make sure the gutters slant slightly down toward the downspouts. To repair leaks in gutter seams, let the gutters dry thoroughly, then seal the crack using gutter sealer, exterior caulk, or roofing cement.

There are your top 3 tips for getting your home spring ready! More tips coming next month.

New Year, New Home

A Moment of Reflection For The New Year

A New Year has a way of breathing new life into us. The thought of being able to leave everything in the past and begin anew is invigorating. We set resolutions and goals. We talk about what we want to accomplish in the upcoming year for business and personal. The end of one year and start to another gives us time to reflect on what we would like to see different or maybe just reaffirm the path that we are already on. My resolution in my business is to continue to serve my clients on a personal level. To consistently exceed expectations and earn their trust and confidence. Such trust that they are thrilled to tell friends and family! Thank you for your continued trust in me as your Realtor® and cheers to a prosperous and successful 2020!

Mortgage Minute

Mortgage Predications for 2020

Mortgage interest rates have been going down in 2019—steadily dropping below 4% for common types of loans. In 2020, economist geeks ha! think interest rates will stay around 3.7% for a 30-year mortgage and 3.2% for a 15-year mortgage. But this is never a guarantee because things like tariffs and trade wars might gradually shift the economy, which could result in the Federal Reserve slowly increasing interest rates to balance things out. What Lower Rates Mean for Sellers– If interest rates stay low, buyers will be more motivated to buy your home sooner than later. But if interest rates do start to increase later in the year, just plan for your house to be on the market a little longer. What Lower Rates Mean for Buyers-More buying power! Simple as that. You live in the payment, not the purchase price and lower interest rates allow for more home.

What To Expect In 2020

What’s Ahead For The Housing Market

When closing out another year, it’s normal to wonder what’s ahead for the housing market. Though there will be future inventory issues, we expect interest rates to stay low and appreciation to continue. According to Skylar Olsen, Director of Economic Research at Zillow “If current trends hold, then slower means healthier and smaller means more affordable. Yes, we expect a slower market than we’ve become accustomed to the last few years…consumers will continue to absorb available inventory and the market will remain competitive in much of the country.” As we can see, we’re still going to have a healthy market. It is forecasted to be a more moderate (or normal) market than the last few years, but strong enough for Americans to continue to believe in homeownership and to capitalize on the opportunities that come with low interest rates.

Have any additional questions on what to expect in 2020? Give me a call! 616-588-3625

5 Things You Must Do With Your Garden NOW

Summer Is In Full Bloom

Marigolds

Summer will be here before you know it (you may be feeling it already) and this means long, hot days and bright, cheery flower gardens. You may think you should have already done this during our spring months BUT no need to worry, there are still flowers you can plant that will withstand the heat and thrive during this time of year. Read on for my favorite list of the best flowers to plant during the summer and how to keep them going all season long.

Garden Genius

Michigan often has a cool spring, with June being the real start of the gardening season. Here is what to do in your garden in June:

• Add tender annual wildflowers and bulbs to the garden once the danger of frost has passed.

Tulips

• Give your houseplants a much-needed dose of sunlight and bring them outdoors for the summer.

• Prune spring-flowering trees and shrubs as they finish blooming.

• Weed and add mulch to garden beds as needed.

• Deadhead any spent spring-flowering bulbs like Daffodils and Tulips, leaving most of the foliage in tact until they die back

Top Flower Picks

It’s hard to find a flower that’s more cheerful than the classic Marigold. Available in bright, warm yellows and oranges, Marigolds are a must for your summer garden. These flowers require lots of sunshine and very little maintenance. Second on the list is the Lantana. These low-maintenance flowers come in a wide array of colors, including red, yellow, orange, pink, and purple. They’ll bloom all season long and are extremely drought tolerant, making them the ideal summer flower to really make your garden pop. My personal favorite is the Black-Eyed Susan.These flowers are usually bright yellow with brown, fuzzy centers. They are especially fragrant and attract butterflies and birds, including hummingbirds. Growing up to 3.5 feet tall and being drought-tolerant, these are the perfect summer flower to plant in any garden.

Home Inspector Words of Wisdom

Landscaping Done Right

We can get caught up in beautifying our outdoor space, but there are some things we can’t forget when it comes to the exterior of our homes. In a nutshell, no vegetation should be allowed to touch the exterior cladding or foundation or to obstruct a window view. Ideally, a minimum of twelve inches of clearance should be maintained between shrubs and exterior cladding and windows to prevent moisture from being trapped against the building structure, which may promote rot on and beneath vulnerable exterior components.

The more you know.

Top 3 Vegetable Garden Tips For May

Finally warm temperatures are here to stay and you don’t have to worry about that frost. You may think it’s too late to grow all your favorite vegetables from seeds, but warm May temperatures have made the soil perfect for sowing seeds. Warm soil will allow for fast germination and growing plants!

Good choices are summertime kitchen garden staples like squash, beans, cucumbers and melons. Fresh, crisp peppers are a garden favorite. Peppers take up little space and can produce high yields when planted close together. May is not too late to plant as many different varieties as possible! They come small, big, hot, mild, and an array of different colors. Throw one in your next homemade guacamole recipe.

Nothing to Guac About

Heavenly Guac

2 avocados, peeled and pitted – 1 cup chopped tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped onion – 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

salt and ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Mash avocados in a bowl until creamy.

Mix tomatoes, onion, cilantro, lemon juice, and jalapeno pepper into mashed avocado until well combined; season with salt and black pepper.

Top Tricks for the Best Tomatoes

Fresh tomatoes from the garden are the perfect compliment to salads, sandwiches, burgers and well, pretty much anything! May is the time to transplant your tomatoes if you haven’t already. Make sure to transplant to an area that gets full sun. To encourage a strong plant, bury at least two-thirds of the stem when planting. Tomatoes like full sun and plenty of water,

at least 1 inch per week. Always water the base of the plant and not the leaves. Tomato plants do best in a crumbly, loamy soil with a pH of 6.2 to 6.8. To retain moisture and deter weeds, add 2 to 4 inches of mulch around the tomato plants. Tomato plants need to be staked, so use a stake, cage or trellis when you transplant the seedlings so not to damage the plants later on.