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When it comes to landscape care, fall and early winter are prime time for professionals to use pesticides – a broad term that includes products that eradicate insect pests and herbicides that kill weeds. As a homeowner, it’s important to evaluate if the use of these pesticides is practical.

“Many people might not have to use pesticides at all,” says Tchukki Andersen, staff arborist for the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). “For example, an infestation last year may only require all the old plant material be cut out. Often, cultural practices (pruning, raking leaves, etc.) will go a long way toward solving pest problems.”

If you decide to use pesticides to care for the trees and other plantings on your property, Andersen recommends purchasing the least toxic application. Most chemicals available to homeowners have the words “caution,” “warning,” or “danger” on their labels – try to avoid those with “warning” and “danger” labels, as they are more hazardous. Don’t be tempted to use agricultural chemicals, which are not designed for use by homeowners.

Keep in mind that if used improperly, herbicides can kill valuable mature trees and shrubs, along with sprouting weeds.

“Herbicides should not be applied on or near desirable trees, or on areas where their roots may extend or in locations where the herbicide may be washed or move into contact with their roots,” Andersen explains. “Even properly applied chemical applications may be affected by rainfall. Some herbicides can be washed off paved surfaces or soak into the ground through the cracked joints – the very place with the greatest concentration of fine tree roots.”

Remember to never use the same equipment to spray herbicides and other pesticides, and avoid mixing herbicides with other kinds of pesticides. Don’t mix or store pesticides in food containers, and don’t measure pesticides with measuring cups or spoons. Always store pesticides in the original container, and keep the label intact.

Most importantly, consult with a professional who can diagnose the pest problem ahead of time – he or she can recommend the best solutions that will save you time and money.

Source: TCIA

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia.©2015. All rights reserved.


By Chan Plett
It’s finally yours. The paperwork’s all signed and you’ve secured one of the most important investments of your life: your dream home! What happens next? Most new homeowners often find it difficult to transition into their new house or home, but the next five steps are key to a seamless move into the home you’ve been coveting.

Step 1: Moving Out and Moving In
Is there anything more stressful than buying a home? Try prepping and packing your current home! It’s usually the most dreaded aspect of moving for most, so it’s best to determine the type of move you’re making and choose the right moving service to help you get your stuff from your old house to your new home without added stress. It’s important to consider your move size (is it a large or small move?), if you can afford to hire movers (check out Free Moving Quote for general rates and pricing), or if you want hands-on control of every aspect of the moving process. This should help you determine what type of moving company to choose.

Step 2: Make Sure the Deed is Done
Make sure to check with your county registrar-recorder and confirm that your home deed was recorded. You’ll want it on public record that your dream is now a reality, right? Along with confirming the proper filing of your deed, take extra care in ensuring the proper filing of your own documents related to the home sale. Prepare special folders in your filing cabinet to safely store the information for taxes and other occasions that may arise.

Step 3: Protect Your Assets
Investing in home security is huge. You’ll want to protect your home from any disasters and theft. You can check Angie’s List for top-rated local home security companies. Research home insurance providers to set up protection for your dream home, as well.

Step 4: Meet the Neighbors
You’re not only moving into your perfect place, but you’re also joining a new community of homeowners, and possibly an entirely new location. Get to know your neighbors, make yourself familiar with your new town or city, or just cross your fingers and wait for the welcoming committee.

Step 5: Live Your Dream
Welcome home. Enjoy your new sanctuary by spending time rewarding yourself after all the hard work you’ve done, including home hunting, moving, and getting settled.

Chan Plett is a professional content writer for the Web and self-proclaimed moving expert, after having moved nearly once or twice every year for the past eight years. She’s written for Nordstrom, Eventbrite, and several online blogs.

View this original blog post on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for winning real estate tips and trends for you and your clients.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia.©2015. All rights reserved


Now that autumn is in full swing, there are less house hunters hitting the pavement looking for their dream home, driving competition among sellers to a whole new level. If your home is currently on the market, taking advantage of all that comes with the fall season can go a long way toward attracting those who are seriously looking for a home they can settle into before the holidays.

Start by adding a lovely wreath to your home’s front door, as this is the first thing prospective buyers will see. Wreaths made out of pinecones are not only popular for decorating during the fall season, they’ll also exude a fresh aroma that screams fall anytime someone walks through the front door.

When it comes to the inside of the house, the dining room and kitchen are perfect areas for incorporating fall colors by way of freshly picked flowers or even a bowl of bright red apples. You can even mix berries or colorful leaves in a planter to bring some nature into the space. Corn is another popular decorating item that can be incorporated into many areas of the home. Not only can it be placed in a bowl, it can be hung up in a tasteful design or used as the centerpiece of a display.

If you’re looking for a more subtle touch, the addition of plaid or fall-colored fabric is a great way to liven up a living room or family room. From table runners to pillows and even simple throws, the options are endless. Something as simple as placing a plant in the corner of a room will also go a long way toward livening up the space.

It’s also important that you don’t neglect the exterior of your home. With a plethora of fall offerings available at your local gardening store, including mums, pumpkins and gourds, creating an eye-catching fall garden out front is an easy way to incorporate a festive atmosphere into your landscape.

If your lawn is flush with trees, take the time to rake regularly and clean up any branches or debris that might litter the ground after heavy rains and wind whip through the area.
As Halloween approaches, take care not to go overboard with decorations. While spider webs and animatronics are festive, the last thing you want is for Halloween decorations to become the focal point of your home when prospective buyers drop in to visit.

There’s no reason that the autumn season can’t be an important one for sellers. By taking advantage of fall decor and colors, you’ll hopefully be seeing plenty of green in the future.
For more fall-inspired decorating tips, contact our office today.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia.©2015. All rights reserved.


If you’re in the process of preparing your home to be listed on the market, adding a game room where friends and family can gather for a little fun is one way to help your home stand out from the competition.

While it’s not necessary to turn your extra bedrooms into game rooms, decking out a basement, family room or study as a room for fun and entertainment could be an enticement among today’s prospective buyers.

No matter what you plan on incorporating into the space—from a pool table to a ping pong table or even foosball—make sure it’s clean and devoid of any junk. You’ll also want to be sure that any gaming equipment is staged to play. Not only will this allow prospective buyers the chance to play around a bit when viewing your home, it’ll also go a long way toward helping them envision entertaining friends and family in the space in the future.

One thing sellers should be wary of, however, is the fact that prospective buyers may expect gaming tables to be included in the sale. Before refusing a buyer’s request, consider the cost of a new table vs. how much it would cost to move the equipment into your new space. In the end, selling your home may be worth the extra money it costs to buy a new table.

If you really want the room to pop, incorporate eye-catching furniture, top-of-the-line gadgets and accessories such as bar stools, overhead lighting and even beanbag chairs into the space. You can also create a fun atmosphere by hanging movie posters or vintage bar signs around the room.

Having a dedicated game room will not only appeal to buyers, it’ll also get the wheels turning when it comes to envisioning the space being used for entertainment among family and friends. And last but not least, a game room could be the thing that puts your home over the top.
To learn more about incorporating a game room into your home, contact our office today.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia.©2015. All rights reserved.


A well-designed kitchen should offer minimum clutter and maximum efficiency. Whether you are redecorating or totally remodeling, check out these space-saving ideas shared by noted kitchen designers with House Beautiful editors:

Re-think the design – If your kitchen is not wide enough to add an island, rethink your existing counter. Jutting a small counter piece out from the wall to form an L-shape can up the available workspace by a lot.

Smart cabinets – For more accessible pantry space, think about slide-out shelves in upper kitchen cabinets that can slide out over countertops.

Tucked-away seating – When not in use, backless stools can be slipped under the breakfast counter or even under a kitchen island to save space, while offering seating when you need it.

Open shelving – Think about replacing upper cabinets with open shelving, which can hold more and make a small kitchen look larger than it really is.

Go lighter – a small kitchen can look larger just by replacing or refinishing dark wood cabinets and/or backsplash tiles in a much lighter color.

Hang pots and pans – An antique pot rack on one wall keeps pots and pans within easy reach and frees up lots of cupboard space.

Hanging knife rack – A knife block is nice, but it takes up lots of space. Free that counter space by hanging a knife rack on the wall.

Add mirrors – It’s a trick of the eye, but using antiqued mirrored glass in place if regular glass in your cabinet doors will enlarge the look of a small kitchen.

Roll with it – If you have someplace to tuck it away when not in use, a moveable rolling cart – even a folding cart – offers a great way to gain needed counter space while you are working in the kitchen.

Conquer the corners – Try a lazy Susan solution to turn that smidgen of unusable cabinet space in the corner of your kitchen into a useful bit of extra storage space.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia.©2015. All rights reserved.

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