Category Archives: Gardening

How to Choose a Healthy Plant

With spring in the area it’s time to start planting, so thought I’d share these helpful tips when picking out plants. Just a note, I found out that if you see spider webs on your plants, get rid of them quickly as they can cause plants to suffocate and take their nutrients!

How to Choose a Healthy Plant

You can’t judge a plant by its good looks. To pick the healthiest plant, take time to do a two-part visual inspection of the leaves and roots. It’s easy to slip a plant out of a pot. Press gently on the sides of the pot, or squeeze it in your hands. Invert the pot while holding one hand over the top of the soil and cradling the stems. Don’t pull the plant out by the stems.

Healthy Roots Healthy roots are white, ivory,or tan and should reach to the edge of the pot. (Pictured) The soil should smell moist.

Root-Bound Roots that are circling the bottom of the pot are a clue that the plant has been in the pot a long time. Before planting, tease out those circling roots and cut them off.
Sick Leaves or Roots Damaged leaves might indicate disease—don’t buy that plant. Roots that are slimy or mushy might be rotting. A foul sewer-gas smell is a sign of root rot.

Weeds Weeds growing on the soil surface around the perennial are a clue that the plant might have been carried over from the previous year. The plant might be healthy — check the roots to be sure.

Source Better Homes and GardensBuying Healthy Plants

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Bring On Spring

Your home has weathered a vicious winter this year with winter lasting so long and being so harsh. As the cold retreats and the snow melts, your home deserves some well-earned TLC.

Even though you still might want to hibernate, there’s no better time to prepare your home to Bring On Spring! If you plan and prepare now, you can avoid costly repairs later.

Roof: Inspect the roof for thehe harsh winter weather has been beating on your roof all season. Make sure you inspect your roof for weather-damaged shingles.

Clean the Gutters: Clogged gutters can lead to water damage.

Clean/Replace HVAC Filters: Clean filters keep your system running efficiently and energy costs in check.

Clean Refrigerator Coils: Dirty fridge coils can also increase the electric bill.

Clean and Repair Driveways, Fences, Decks, and Patios: Remove salt, sand, and deicers. Repair cracks, holes, and gaps.

Check Window and Door Seals: Extreme cold can cause weather sealants to crack leaving these areas vulnerable to water damage.

Plan to Paint: Inspect indoor and outdoor areas for paint repair. Choose eco-friendly paints. Try a new color in a room or two for a fresh new look.

Check AC System: Hire a qualified heating and cooling professional to clean and service your AC system.

Replace Batteries in Smoke Detectors: Don’t neglect this lifesaving tip!

Clean and Repair Windows: Now is the time to hire a professional to get the inside and outside of your windows clean and check for any damaged seals.

Chimney Care: Check the exterior of the chimney for damage. Hire a certified chimney sweep to clean and inspect the flue.

Check Lawn Equipment: Make sure lawn mowers are ready for the first spring cut.

My favorite part of spring is the birds chirping and flowers blooming. How about you…What’s your favorite part of spring?

Are you ready for spring?

Are you ready for spring?

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How your Texas REALTOR® can keep you from making rookie homebuyer mistakes

Coldwell Banker Sold Sign - Copy

Picture a home with a shady backyard overflowing with blooming flowers, chirping birds, and a spacious deck to enjoy it all. That was the scene my husband and I stepped into during our first property tour with our Texas REALTOR®. We were smitten first-time buyers – until our Texas REALTOR® pointed out just how much water this meticulously landscaped backyard would need … during a drought.

“Do you like gardening?” she asked. Dozens of plants that had wilted on my watch came to mind as she estimated the (expensive) investment the homeowners had made in their gorgeous garden.

The benefit of having an expert on our side

Home tours with our Texas REALTOR® were a stark contrast to our solo open-house visits just a weekend before. That landscaped charmer would’ve stayed on our favorites list because no one was asking us the tough questions. Or at least in this instance, the logical one.

This is just one of the many ways our Texas REALTOR® keeps us first-time homebuyers focused as we look at potential properties. We felt totally clueless when it was just the two of us visiting open houses. Now that we’re working with an experienced Texas REALTOR®, we’re much more at ease with the process. And we like it when she makes us think hard about what we’re looking for.

Don’t waste your time on a solo home search

I like to think I’m pretty good at research, and maybe you are, too. But when it comes to being a first-time homebuyer, the best resource you can have is a Texas REALTOR®. She can point out aspects of homeownership that you won’t find online. And in my case, a gentle reminder that a black thumb can be very expensive.

Source:

Summer Mandell | Consumer columnist

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Great news if you’re thinking of selling your home: Almost every area in Texas is a seller’s market right now.

That’s certainly the case on my street, where a house recently attracted six offers within 24 hours of the For Sale sign going up. (Four of the offers were above asking price.)

Another house on my street that hit the market last week took all of three days to garner a successful offer.

If you’re lucky enough to live in a similar selling environment, finding a buyer may not be too difficult. Does that mean you should try to sell your home on your own? I wouldn’t. Here are three reasons why:

Setting the right price is crucial. Do you know how much to ask for your home? Making a pricing mistake can cost you a lot of money. But a Texas REALTOR® knows what’s going in your market. He or she can help you analyze the latest data and the specifics of your house to arrive at a price that maximizes your profit.

There’s more to consider than money. How should you handle the termination option? Is the buyer’s earnest money enough? What if the buyer wants to make buying your home contingent on selling her existing home? And if you do get multiple offers, how do you respond to make sure you obtain the highest price possible and the most attractive overall deal?

Getting a buyer is not the same as selling your house. Accepting an offer is only the beginning. Real estate transactions can fall apart for a variety of reasons: financing difficulty, problems discovered during inspections, missed deadlines, contentious follow-up negotiations … even hurt feelings or cold feet. A Texas REALTOR® has experience dealing with potential pitfalls, though, and knows how to minimize problems on the way to a successful closing.

Source:

Marty Kramer | Consumer columnist http://www.texasrealestate.com

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Amazing Toll Brothers Home For Sale In Flower Mound, Texas!


Amazing Toll Brothers Home For Sale In Flower Mound, Texas!


Overview
Maps
Photos
Description
Neighborhood
Market Stats

$474,000
Single Family Home
Main Features
3 Bedrooms
4 Bathrooms
1 Unit
Interior: 4,304 sqft
Lot: 0.49 acre(s)
Location
5317 Townsend Drive
Flower Mound, TX 75028
USA
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Jim Striegel

Jim Striegel

(972) 899.0634
JStriegel@Realtor.com
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Dallas-area real estate regains momentum in 2012

Dallas Home Prices

The recession is in the rearview mirror, and North Texas real estate developers are moving forward with new deals.
Office and warehouse construction is picking up. Apartment building shows no sign of a slowdown. Even the housing market, which has recovered by fits and starts, has turned the corner in Dallas-Fort Worth.
The combination of solid job growth and an increasing population fueled strong demand for all types of real estate in 2012.
And the outlook for next year is just as sanguine — assuming the folks in Washington don’t put the economy in reverse.
Biggest game changer:
Three blocks of bushes, trees and lawns erased the canyon dividing downtown Dallas from Uptown.
And by blurring the line between Dallas’ hottest real estate market and the older central business district, the park over Woodall Rodgers Freeway should be a big boost for downtown’s renaissance.
The public-private sector project will spur real estate development and investment in the area for decades to come.
Biggest turnaround:
Since stumbling out of the starting gates, Dallas’ Victory Park project is getting its second wind.
Construction of hundreds of apartments and more office and retail tenants should bring a flood of folks into the development on the northwest corner of downtown.
After years of making headlines because of store closings, foreclosures and loan defaults, Victory Park is set to generate some good news in the year ahead.
Highest sales price:
The recent sale of the 12-story Encana Oil & Gas tower in West Plano set a record for office building transactions.
The new high-rise sold for $120 million, an eye-popping $376 per square foot — head and shoulders above other recent first-class office sales in North Texas.
Cole Real Estate Investments paid top price for the building because of its prime tenant and high-profile location on the Dallas North Tollway.
Biggest building boom:
You’d be wrong if you thought the apartment building binge was running out of gas.
More than 20,000 apartments are under construction in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, more than in any other U.S. market.
And developers show no sign of easing up when it comes to new deals.
Current apartment building totals still come nowhere close to what they were in the 1980s, when more than 45,000 units were completed in just one year.
Greatest market comeback:
After several false starts, the Dallas-Fort Worth home market took off in 2012 with higher prices and a double-digit increase in sales.
The number of houses on the market in North Texas has fallen to its lowest point in more than a decade.
And home foreclosures are down substantially.
Homebuilders are having a hard time keeping up with demand because of a pinch on building lots and labor.
Brightest addition to skyline:
This rapier-thin, pearlescent high-rise is one of the most striking additions in decades to the downtown skyline.
The deluxe condo is just the kind of development Arts District planners envisioned when they planned the neighborhood.
But a nasty catfight over reflections cast by the tower has clouded Museum Tower’s impact on the market.
Biggest office tenant:
Illinois-based State Farm Insurance has gobbled up enough office space in the Dallas area this year to fill a good-size downtown high-rise.
State Farm leased an entire office building in Richardson, then rented two more in Las Colinas.
Now the insurance giant has signed on to be the anchor office tenant in a $1.5 billion mixed-use project in the Telecom Corridor.
Biggest loss: Downtown’s Thomas Building
Dallas’ grand old Thomas Building was built as a palace for a cotton tycoon.
The 88-year-old building on Wood Street was prized by preservationists for its decorative stone-and-brick exterior and storied past. But after sitting empty for years, the landmark was imploded in November to make more room for parking cars.
Biggest boost for southern Dallas County:
After several years of almost no building, North Texas industrial development is surging back with new deals.
And most of them are along the Interstate 20 corridor in southern Dallas County.
Major distribution centers have been announced for Quaker Oats and cosmetics maker L’Oreal Group.
And more projects are pending for companies including automaker BMW.
Greatest potential for 2013:
After a long drought, office developers are poised to crank out new buildings starting next year.
Most of the construction starts will be in Dallas’ Uptown district and along the Dallas North Tollway in Collin County. Less than half of what’s being talked about will probably get built. But with the local economy heating up, prime office space will soon be in short supply in some business districts.
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Source: Steve Brown stevebrown@dallasnews.com
Published: 27 December 2012 09:48 PM

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