John Colby


Posted by John Colby on 2/18/2018

If you intend to list your residence, you'll need to think about how you'll price your residence. However, what you initially paid for your home is unlikely to match its value today. And if you set an initial asking price that is too high, you risk alienating potential homebuyers.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you determine the ideal initial asking price for your residence to increase the likelihood of a fast home sale.

Now, let's take a look at three quick, easy ways to establish a competitive price for your house.

1. Look at Housing Market Data

Housing market data is easy to find and can show you how your residence stacks up against recently sold homes in your area.

Evaluate the prices of recently sold local residences that are comparable to your own. With this housing market data in hand, you can better understand pricing trends for houses in your city or town.

In addition, don't forget to check out the prices of available houses in your region. This housing market data will help you understand the current state of the real estate market.

2. Conduct a Home Appraisal

A home appraisal is valuable because it allows you to receive a property valuation from a home expert. When the appraisal is complete, you may be able to prioritize various home improvement projects as well.

During a home appraisal, a property expert will examine your home's interior and exterior. This property expert also will assess the prices of recently sold and available homes in your area, including the prices of residences in your neighborhood. Following the appraisal, you'll receive a property valuation.

If a property valuation falls below your initial expectations, there is no need to worry. Remember, you can always perform assorted home maintenance and upgrades to boost your house's value.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Work with a real estate agent throughout the home selling process Ė you'll be glad you did. A real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that you can get the best price for your residence, regardless of the housing market's conditions.

A real estate agent first will learn about you, your home and your home selling goals. Next, this housing market professional will list your residence, promote it to large groups of homebuyers and host home showings and open house events. If a homebuyer submits an offer on your residence, your real estate agent will help you analyze the proposal and determine whether to accept, reject or counter it.

Furthermore, a real estate agent is happy to respond to any home selling questions. This housing market professional knows exactly what it takes to sell a residence, and as such, is ready to respond to your home selling queries at all times.

Get the best price for your home Ė use the aforementioned tips, and you can price your house appropriately.





Posted by John Colby on 2/11/2018

Often times, certain cleaning rituals are saved for spring-cleaning, certain cleaning rituals that should occur more than once a year. One of those things that fall into this category is your refrigerator. You open your refrigerator, stare into it trying to find something to eat or drink, find that something or not, and then close the fridge. This happens multiple times a day, but how often do you go into your fridge with intentions of cleaning it out? And by, ďclean it out,Ē I donít just mean to toss the nearest thing to you that looks like it morphed into a creature inside of your tupperware. A refrigerator needs a good cleaning every couple of months to avoid any unwanted stenches, difficult clean ups from unknown spills, and expired food/drinks. Here are a few tips to keeping your refrigerator clean: Go Through Every 2-3 Months: Go through your fridge every two to three months. Itís so easy to lose track of what is in your fridge, from throwing leftovers in, to fruit and vegetables, and eggs and milk. And donít forget about your freezer. Check for food that is no longer any good or has past best buy dates and anything in your freezer that looks freezer burnt and throw it away. Wipe down Every 2-3 Months: When you are cleaning out old food from your fridge, take the time to wipe it out too. Spills can happen without you knowing and can leave your fridge sticky, slimy and even stinky. By wiping your fridge out every so often you can avoid those issues. Rotate: After going through the items in your refrigerator and freezer, make sure to rotate any duplicate items. Rotating means to put the oldest item in the front so that you use that one first. This will help ensure that you are eating foods and drinking drinks before they go back therefore causing less waste. This will also help you save money in the long run. It may sound tedious but the more often you do it the less work there will be each time. Happy cleaning!





Posted by John Colby on 2/4/2018

The kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in a home. Not just a place to cook meals itís also often the entrance to a home and where families gather together at the end of the day. Arguably, itís also the most important room in the home and the one home buyers should be most astute of.

The kitchen is one of the most expensive rooms to remodel ranging between $20,000 and $50,000. Whether youíre eager for some renovation projects or looking for a move-in ready home, youíll want to assess the level of work this room will need as your shop potential houses.

Start with perhaps the most obvious - is the room large enough for your daily needs? Is there plenty of counter space or room to expand cabinetry? Do you have a lot of kitchen tools that call for plenty of storage space or perhaps prefer an island to prep dinner at? Know what your ideal kitchen space ahead of time, especially if it is a priority, so your realtor can help you find the perfect fit.

Check that all appliances to ensure they are in working order as per the disclosure statement claims. Appliances are a big expense and youíll want to have a good idea of what will need replacing or to be installed. Consider if they are an easy color to match when it comes time for replacement and if any are under warranty.

Youíll also want to examine the cabinetry. Check to ensure all drawers and cabinets are properly aligned and open smoothly. If they are wooden cabinets you can easily swap out hardware or change the color if youíre not a fan of the current style. However, other materials are not as convenient so consider replacement costs if youíre unhappy with the current installation.

Countertops can be another major expense. Have the granite countertops been properly taken care of? If they are laminate are they scratched or chipped? If this isnít an upgrade youíre looking to make, be sure to look closely at what each home already has in place.

Kitchens are one of the busiest rooms in your home, especially if you love to cook. Check flooring for loose tiles, discoloration or poorly maintained wood flooring. This tells you a few things. Firstly, the quality of the materials used to build the home. And secondly, how well the house has been maintained over time.

Remodeling isnít on everyone's list when house shopping. And with kitchenís being one of the most expensive to renovate, this is one room you want to pay extra attention to as you view each potential home. Happy house hunting!




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by John Colby on 1/28/2018

Bonsai is a Japanese artform that originates from the ancient Chinese practice of potting trees. Although it is an art that has existed for centuries, bonsai neednít be inaccessible to the average person looking for a new household hobby.


To successfully grow and care for a bonsai, all you need are a few tools and a lot of patience. In this article, weíll cover bonsai basics to help you get started in this craft. Keep in mind, however, that there are thousands of resources and communities to help you out along the way.

To buy or to cultivate?

The two most common ways to start a bonsai tree are to buy a pre-cultivated tree online or at a greenhouse, or to cultivate one yourself with seeds or cuttings. Many beginners elect to buy a pre-cultivated tree to decide if they enjoy the hobby before devoting years to cultivating a tree from seed. If you enjoy caring for plants and think youíre up to the challenge, starting from seed or cuttings could be more rewarding.

A third option is to collect a tree from nature that has been stunted by natural conditions. These types of trees are called yamadori and can be difficult to collect because their roots may be in a precarious location. Also keep in mind that it is illegal to remove plants from some parks and forests.

How to shape your tree

Once you obtain a bonsai your work has only just begun. The real challenge of bonsai is caring for and shaping your tree. That means clipping off growth, repotting, watering, moving it indoors and outdoors, and shaping/training its branches to grow a certain way.

Every tree is different and will require different care. An important thing to remember about bonsai is that many of them will need to be brought outside to mimic their natural conditions. Trees survive winters because they have prepared for it through the process of dormancy. By bringing your tree outdoors, it will keep its internal clock on time to prepare for winter. In this way, cold-climate bonsai trees can handle the harsh temperatures and weather that comes with the winter time.

Aside from subjecting it to different temperatures and weather, your bonsai will also need to be pruned and wired. Pruning thick branches that grow high up on your tree will help you maintain the natural look of its larger counterparts out in nature. Similarly, wiring helps you transform your tiny tree to look fully-grown and weathered.

Tree care

Just like other plants, your tree will need water, sunlight, and fertilizer. The amount of each will depend on the type of the tree, so youíll want to do that research before you ever buy, cultivate, or collect a bonsai to make sure you can adequately care for the tree in your area.

Overwatering causes the death of countless bonsai trees. Root rot occurs when soil stays too damp for too long. Roots need air, and damp soil suffocates the roots causing them to rot. When it comes to fertilizer, follow the advice of others of have successfully grown the type of tree you have.




Tags: gardening   houseplants   plants   Trees   bonsai  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by John Colby on 1/21/2018

There are a lot of ways a real estate agent can help you find the best home for your needs. However, the final decision always rests squarely on your shoulders.

The challenge for many home buyers -- especially first-timers -- is to keep everything in perspective and avoid sacrificing features that are especially important to you.

Developing a carefully thought-out priority list, consisting of both necessities and "wish list" items, is an essential starting point for getting what you want in a new home. Even though house hunting can potentially wear you down, it's important to hang in there and stay true to your priorities.

While everyone has different expectations, lifestyle needs, and personal requirements, some things are bound to create issues down the road.

  • Being too close to neighbors: Depending on your need for privacy, this may or may not be a problem for you. However, if you don't want your life to feel like a reality show (with your neighbors being the audience), then it would probably pay to maintain a comfortable distance between houses. Unfortunately, that's not always possible. For example, if you're in the market for a home in an urban environment or a townhouse setting, then close proximity "comes with the territory". If living in suburbia is your objective, though, it's often feasible and desirable to keep some breathing room between neighbors.
  • Basement laundry: Having to go up and down an extra flight of stairs every time you do your laundry is not the worst thing in the world, but it can make laundry day more of a hassle. The inconvenience of a basement laundry is multiplied if you have to do several loads of laundry every week. To make that chore even more unpleasant, unfinished basements are often dank, musty smelling, and not much to look at! Regardless of the condition of the basement, though, having a first-floor laundry does make life a lot easier!
  • A tiny yard: A spacious yard is not a feature all house hunters require, but if you have dogs, kids, and the occasional backyard barbecue, then you'd probably find a good-sized yard to be more satisfying. On the other hand, if your short-term plan includes moving in a few years, then yard size might not be a major issue.
  • Being too far from conveniences: Do you have your heart set on a rural setting for your next home? If so, you may have to sacrifice being close to shopping, entertainment, friends, and work. It is a potential trade-off that you and your family will need to consider carefully. Reaching a consensus on what you must have versus what you'd like to have in a home will hopefully help ensure a decision you'll all be satisfied with.
There are literally dozens of other potential priorities to consider when searching for a new home, so it's wise to create a comprehensive list of the features, advantages, and amenities that are really important to you. Your real estate agent can work with you to pinpoint your house hunting requirements and help you find the house of your dreams... or at least a close facsimile!







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