Kathy Portway - SUCCESS! Real Estate



Posted by Kathy Portway on 12/11/2017

No matter how much experience you have as a gardener, mistakes happen to everyone. Some gardening mistakes are actually avoidable. Below, youíll find some of the most common gardening mistakes and how to stay clear of them. Next time around that you decide to plant, youíll have an even greener thumb than you did the season before. 


You Planted Too Early


When the springtime hits, itís easy to feel eager to plant and get your crops going. Planting too early without proper grow cloths or warm enough temperatures can be completely detrimental to anything that is trying to grow. 


Watering Too Much Or Two Little


There is a finite amount of water thatís required for plants to thrive. The general rule is for plants to receive about an inch of water per week. Plants that have not been watered enough will show certain signs including yellowing leaves and wilting leaves. Any fruits that are produced will be deformed. Be sure that you make up for the deficit of water during dry spells that occur by watering accordingly.   


Plants that have been overwatered can also cause yellowing leaves. You donít want your water to pool or cause puddles in the garden. If this happens, youíll need to add a bit more organic matter to the soil itself. 


Not Planting In A Bright Enough Place


Itís a basic scientific principle that plants need sunlight to grow properly. If you have planted things in the shade, they may not thrive. If you donít have a sunny spot to plant your garden, try using portable gardening containers that you can move around. Shoot for at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day for your plants.       


Not Weeding


Weeds can obviously choke your crops, sucking moisture and food away from the plants. If you donít actively work to eliminate weeds, your plants will suffer greatly. Eliminate weeds as soon as you spot them. Allowing one weed to flourish is to allow them all to take over! Mulching can be a great start in helping to keep weeds away. If any weeds are found after the mulch has been put down, be sure to move them promptly. 


Planting Too Much


If you plant too much, space can become a problem. Focus on planting what you and your family like to eat and will actually use. This problem comes down to a matter of preference and taste. You donít want to spend a ton of time gardening just to realize that  youíve completely wasted your efforts. 


Keep in mind that thereís always something new to learn when it comes to gardening. Know that no matter what level of gardener you are mistakes are inevitable but not completely unavoidable.         





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Posted by Kathy Portway on 12/4/2017

If you intend to buy a house, you probably will check out a lot of home listings over the next few days and weeks. However, it is important to note that not all home listings are created equal, and how you analyze home listings may dictate your homebuying success.

Ultimately, there are several factors that homebuyers need to consider as they assess home listings, and these factors include:

1. Price

The price of a home is one of the key factors Ė if not the most important factor Ė that a homebuyer needs to consider in a home listing. Because if you ignore a home's price, you risk wasting precious time and resources as you pursue a home that falls outside your price range.

When it comes to buying a home, it pays to develop a budget ahead of time. That way, you'll know how much you can spend on a residence and can tailor your home search to fit your budget.

You may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage prior to looking at home listings as well. By doing so, you can enter the housing market with a budget in hand and explore available residences that won't force you to spend beyond your means.

2. Condition

Are you looking for a fixer-upper or a brand-new residence? Take a look at a home's condition, and you can determine whether a particular residence is right for you.

Oftentimes, a decades-old residence may require myriad upgrades. This means you may need to allocate significant time and resources to enhance the condition of an old house after you finalize your home purchase.

On the other hand, it is essential to remember that a new house may prove to be more expensive than an old residence. And if you're on the lookout for a bargain, you may want to shy away from listings for brand-new houses.

3. Features

Creating a list of must-have home features is ideal, as this will enable you to narrow your search for your dream residence.

For instance, if you want a home that has a big swimming pool, you can browse home listings accordingly. Or, if you would like to buy a house that is located near some of the nation's best schools, you can focus on home listings in cities and towns that feature top-rated schools.

If you want to streamline your home search, it usually helps to look beyond home listings. Fortunately, real estate agents are available to help you accelerate your search for the perfect residence.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the housing market. He or she will learn about your homebuying goals and provide you with the latest home listings. Then, a real estate agent will work with you to simplify your home search and ensure that you can discover a terrific residence at an unbeatable price.

Take the guesswork out of reviewing home listings Ė use the aforementioned tips, and you can quickly evaluate a wide range of home listings and find your dream house.




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Posted by Kathy Portway on 11/27/2017

You may have a rough idea of what your home is worth. Maybe you have recently been given an assessed value on the home, or have peeked on an online search as to what comes up for your home. Do you really understand all of the things that affect the value of your home? There are many things that may not be obvious but are important to the number that youíll come to when you decide to sell your home. 


The Number Of Your House


Do you live at 13 Elm Street or 7 Winnerís Way? Buyers have superstitions that surround numbers and street names. Donít be surprised if the number of your house or even the name of your street brings buyers in or sends them running. Thereís not much you can do to change the house number or street name, but itís something to keep in mind. Sometimes the reason that certain buyers are turned off from your house is truly out of your control. If you do live on a desirable street, that can help bring up the value of your home due to the demand in the area. Remember that what some consider ďunluckyĒ others consider a blessing (like the number 13!) 


The Neighborhood


While your home may be perfectly pristine, you donít have much control over what your neighbors do. If there are neighbors nearby that have strange items in their yards, strange colored homes, or other eccentric tastes, buyers may be turned off from your home. This could actually cause the price of your home to drop slightly. You should be prepared for this to affect the sale of your home, but donít be discouraged. If buyers enjoy your home enough, theyíll be able to turn off that all too bright paint color next door.


Greenery


Trees and greenery increase the value of a home. Donít think of cutting down those trees on your property unless you have to! Trees that have grown up on your property will add a lot of value to the home in the future. If youíve been living at your residence for 20 years or so, think of the value that those first seeds and bushes you planted have added! 


Interests Are Not Universal


If you have displays, shrines, or rooms dedicated to a certain hobby, it could either be beneficial or detrimental to your home sale. This all depends on who comes walking through the door for a home showing. If youíre a Veteran and have some Marine Corps things around the houses, it could attract the attention of other Vets. However, that strange Marilyn Monroe room you have might actually deter from the pool of people available to buy your home. Buyers like to be able to see themselves living in the home. Some circumstances make it easier than others for buyers to have a vision for themselves in your home.    





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Posted by Kathy Portway on 11/20/2017

When youíre looking to sell your home for a great price, there are a few things that you can do to give the sale an edge. All of the ideas youíll find below are inexpensive yet effective for sprucing your home up fast.


Hide And Brighten What You Can


Do you have an old, lumpy sofa, an old, unsightly lamp, or a scratch on the wall? You can easily cover these things up without making any major changes. Use a slip cover, some touch-up paint, or even new bedding to help brighten any room or furnishing. You could even consider adding new window treatments or additional lighting to assist in giving your home a refreshed look. As a rule of thumb: If it looks old and you canít remember when you last replaced the item, you should probably replace it.    



Use Paint Strategically


With the right paint, you can accentuate or downplay the features of a room including fireplaces and windows. Portions of the room that would otherwise be lost can be highlighted with the right use of color. 


Make The Room Seem Larger


Do you have low ceilings or small rooms? You can make the room seem larger just by making use of vertical lines or using the higher spaces in the rooms of your home. Easily mount shelves on your walls in order to store things to give the room the illusion of having more space.


Deep Clean


Your home can look like a new place when you take the time to deep clean the area. Donít miss out on any part of any room. Use a little elbow grease and pay attention to neglected areas like the pantry, laundry room, and refrigerator. Get rid of any odors in the home. Potential buyers will definitely notice if things donít smell right upon entering the house. You can use natural cleaners made of baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice in order to freshen up everything from rugs to toilets. This stage of the makeover process may take you some time, but itís definitely worth it. 


Donít Forget The Little Touches


Adding in little things before an open house can also make a big difference. Put some fresh flowers on the table. Light some candles. Fluff the pillows. Take the time to remove unnecessary items from the counters and tables as well. The less cluttered the home looks, the better. Buyers like open spaces, but they also like to be able to see themselves in the space and you can help them to do just that.              

    





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Posted by Kathy Portway on 11/13/2017

The average person doesnít need to know much about the different architectural styles to determine whether or not they like a home. Weíve all heard likely heard of ranch and colonial style homes, and could probably identify them without much help.

However, America is filled with homes that are inspired by numerous cultures, their styles spanning centuries of innovation. America is a melting pot and its houses are no exception. As a result, many homes are a blend of styles.

The McMansion

Some style blends are more successful than others. The term ďMcMansionĒ has been used to describe a type of large house that is being developed across the country. These houses typically are an assortment of features that canít really be called a cohesive style. Another way to think of a McMansion is like choosing items off of a dollar menu--they might not fit together in a particularly tasteful way, but theyíre all things you crave.

That being said, there are many styles that share similarities with McMansions that architects consider to be postmodern or ďNew American.Ē These homes are often a combination of Traditional style homes and other styles such as Greek Revival and cottage style.

Style isnít just for looks

The style of early American architecture was heavily inspired by factors like climate and available resources. New England colonial houses were and still are built with steep roofs to shed the heavy load of snow in the winter time.

In the southwest, homes were built with adobe, or sun-dried bricks, due to the lack of other building materials. But also, adobe stays cool even on the scorching summer days faced by the southwest region of the country.

In architecture, as in all sciences, form follows function. So, itís a good idea to keep these factors in mind when youíre shopping for your next home.

The most common styles

Weíve only just scratched the surface of the hundreds of home styles that are to be found across the country. Building such a list would require a full-length book. So here, weíre just going to mention some of the most common house architectural styles throughout the United States.

  • Cape Cod. This early colonial home style has changed a bit over the years, becoming bigger and incorporating additions and garages. However, one aspect that most Cape Cod houses have in common is the symmetry between the doors and windows. Cape style houses have two windows on the left, a front door in the center, and two windows on the right. The siding was traditionally made from wooden shingles, but in modern day they can be made from a number of materials, including stone, brick, and vinyl.

  • Revival. Revival houses attempt to bring back certain characteristics of historical buildings. Greek revival is common in affluent suburbs of the United States. They are typically painted white, include large white columns at the entry way, and are at least two floors. Gothic Revival omits the columns and adds ornate trim along its steep roof edges. They are typically made from brick, especially dark red in color.

  • Dutch Colonial. The most obvious indicator that you might be looking at a Dutch style house is the roof which usually has two different pitch angles and flared eaves. These homes originated in New York and New Jersey but have since spread across the Mid-Atlantic and New England areas of the United States.

  • Craftsman. Originating in Southern California, the craftsman style home is a bit trickier to identify than more traditional styles. However, theyíre making a big comeback due to their notable interior designs. This includes exposed roof rafters, detailed interior woodwork, and large, single-paned windows that let in lots of natural light.




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