I’m not gonna lie….

….using power tools makes me feel like a bad @$$.

This past week and I got my fill of using them.

First, I helped the Mister finish up the deck.

We’d worked out quite the system. He’d put in the first row of screws to make sure everything was square or level, and I’d come along later to put in the extra ones.

Saturday, after the storms blew through, we put up our corrugated metal ceiling on the covered patio.



I’m totally jealous of the outdoor living space for this home!

Here’s how it looked before the work began. Not a space I’d want to spend any time in.

The Mister had to cut some of the pieces so they’d go around the support posts. It made pretty sparks. 🙂 And, for the record, he doesn’t let me us that power tool. 🙁

Before we started he had this genius idea to put a brace up to rest the panels on as we slid them into place. I couldn’t get a picture of that in action because there were only two of us. But, in the one below you can see the piece of wood he used. This made it so much easier!





Here’s a closeup of the metal.

Once we finish this covered porch and get the landscaping finished I’ll post new pictures.

I also got to use the reciprocating saw to try to remove some flooring from the laundry room. That wasn’t a fun job, it was much harder than using the little cordless drill.

Gotta run, time to ice my shoulder.



Look at what I can do!

Regular readers of this blog know that I like to do things fast and I don’t go near the edges. If you’re new to the blog, you can click here or here to see what I’m talking about.

So, what I’m about to say is going to blow your mind!

Are you ready?




That’s my hand, pictured at the top! Trimming! With actual paint and without tape or an edger!

I know, right!??!!

And I’m good at it.

Here’s the even weirder part:
I like it!
It’s fun!
It relaxes me!
I’m an edging maniac!

How did that happen?

Has anyone else experienced such a huge change in a work habit, almost over night? I’d love to hear about it!



Landscape tips to get the most out of selling your home

Editor’s note: We’re excited to have expert guest writer for this post!

By Joe Turpin, Fralich’s Landscape

For most homeowners, selling a home requires touching up the paint and minor cosmetic work inside the house.  What most homeowners don’t think about however is that the first thing any potential homebuyer sees is the exterior entrance to the house.

Here are some tips to help make your curb appeal, more appealing.

Clean-up

The easiest way to tidy up your curb appeal and maximize your dollars is by cleaning up the existing landscape.

Tidy up all plant material by pruning and cutting out any dead branches.

Power-wash decks and walks (just be careful that you don’t strip paint or gouge hardscape surfaces).

Putting down pre-emergent in early spring will help control weeds. Pre-emergent stops weeds from germinating.  Note: DO NOT USE IT if you’re trying to re-seed your lawn.

Remove any dead or overgrown plants. These will make the property look like it has been neglected.



Mulch, mulch, mulch. Fresh mulch has the same effect as new paint. It will liven and clean up your landscape beds.

Make sure you look up while cleaning, messy gutters and chipping paint can ruin the cleanest of landscapes.

Remove Yard Art

Keep your landscape as simple as possible.  Try to remove any yard decorations and novelties.  Buyers tend to go off of their first impression, what may be cute or chic to you may make your landscape look cluttered.

Draw the eye to the entry way

Having had several years in design, the first thing I think about when working on a front yard landscape is the direction of movement your eye takes to the front door.   Subconsciously, when the eye is drawn to the front door, the house seems more inviting.

The easiest method to achieve this is by using the plants from tall to short and repetitive plantings or hedges to move the eye to the door.  You can also use landscape lighting to highlight the front door at night. Yes, potential buyers will drive by your home at night. (See Landscape Lighting Below).

Add color and interest

Adding decorative pots with colorful annuals can really make an impact in the front yard without breaking the bank.  Be sure to give yourself enough time to allow plants to grow before listing.  Add a slow release fertilizer to the soil to increase plant size and remember to water regularly.

Lawn Maintenance

Make sure you keep the lawn mowed and somewhat weed free.  An unkempt lawn will give the appearance of a poorly maintained home.  The easiest method to remove weeds is to use a hose attachment pre-mixed lawn spray.  Most big box stores carry this and it is fairly simple to use.  Expect the weeds to start to disappear after a week.

If your yard is mostly weeds, be ready to grow grass.  Start by killing the weeds first.  You will want to wait at least a week to let the residual weed killer to wear off.



If you are near a rental store, a slice seeder is the best method to reseed your yard.  The slice seeder will put grooves into the yard and drop the seed.  This will keep you from needing to use straw.  Apply a turf starting fertilizer to push the new growth.

Pro-tip:  Most landscape companies use a mixture of bluegrass and rye grass.  Bluegrass takes 2 weeks to germinate so the rye grass is mixed in to establish a lawn faster until the bluegrass takes over.

Landscape Lighting

Adding exterior lighting to the landscape will give a sense of a security to your for potential buyers.  You can also use the lights to highlight the front door and draw buyers to the door at night.  Be sure to use low voltage lighting or led rather than bright fixtures.  The ultimate goal is to highlight the landscape not showcase it like a billboard.

Use landscape lights to highlight areas of interest such as ornamental trees, line pathways for visibility at night and add security by lighting dark areas around windows and back yard access.



Joseph R. Turpin is a student of Landscape Architecture with 10 years of design experience, 15 years of landscape experience and is a current designer for Fralich’s Landscape of Greenfield, Indiana.

Aaron Fralich is the owner of Fralich’s Landscape with 10 years experience in the landscape industry with a background in Agriculture

Connect with Fralich’s Landscape: www.fralichlandscape.com,  317-477-0405, www.facebook.com/fralichs

Connect with 317MulchIt: www.317mulchit.com, 317-685-2448, www.facebook.com/317mulchit

 

Picture Credits:  all pictures are free to use from the Pixabay website or stock photos from Fralich’s Landscape.




What classic 80s song is perfect for remodeling a home?

You gotta have great tunes when doing home improvement!  Everybody knows, hard work, like remodeling your home is just no fun without music.

So, what 80s rocker is perfect for playing when you go into demo mode?

I’ll give you a hint, he’s a Hoosier native. Give up? Watch this!

You get extra points if you can tell me what song opens and interrupts this video.

Comment below for a gold star.

 




5 Tips for Buying a Home

Editors note: We asked our friend and realtor Jill Collins to share some tips on home buying with our readers.

In today’s market homes are moving faster than ever! With the average home showing a pending status in 24-48 hours after listing, there is no time to waste. Here I’ll share 5 tips for buying a home.

Tip 1. Find an agent that you can mesh with and who makes you comfortable. You should never feel like you are inconveniencing them or asking dumb questions. We have all or will be first time home buyers.

Once you’ve found the right agent be sure to use only that agent. In our field, loyalty means a lot and we want to be your go-to for any future transactions. Most of us even get emotionally invested in our clients and therefore work even harder to get them to where they want to be.

Tip 2. If you want to search for home listings in Indiana go to MIBOR.com. While some apps and websites like Zillow and Trulia are easy to use, they aren’t always accurate. Listing agents update MIBOR.com and then the other sites are updated later. So to keep up on status changes or price changes stick with MIBOR.com and you won’t be at the mercy of a slow server. If you’re outside of Indiana, ask your realtor which site they recommend.




Tip 3. It may take you one showing, it may take you 50. But when you find “the one,” sit down and work out the details of your offer with your agent. Keep in mind, your agent is the professional and will guide you along the way with this big step in life. You may be nervous but they do it every day. Part of the offer process is deciding if you will be reserving the right to an independent inspection. This inspection is for the buyer’s information only and does not have anything to do with the loan process.

Tip 4. Once an agreement is reached between the buyer and seller the buyer will start to work with their lender to gather all the documents needed to finalize the loan on their new home.  Time is of the essence!  When a lender says they need a document, they mean they needed it yesterday.  Remember, the longer it takes you to get them the necessary paperwork, the longer it takes you to get to the closing table.




Tip 5. The day you close on your home is an exciting one! It can be overwhelming! Take a deep breath, enjoy the moment and remember everyone who helped you get there whether it be family, friends, or the professionals.

And, take a stress ball to the closing table for when your hand cramps while you sign your life away 🙂

Jill Collins
(317)586-0121
w/ Re/Max Realty Group
jillshome4u.com




7 Tips to buying a home without a realtor

I’m just going to say it, buying a home without a realtor is risky business. But if you must, here’s some tips that I found helped with the process.

Top 7 tips to buying a FSBO property:

1. Get it in writing. I can’t stress this enough. Your lender should be able to provide you with a purchase agreement. Go over it closely, fill out every field, leave nothing blank and spell out everything (i.e. it must appraise, it must pass inspection, etc.). This is your opportunity to negotiate everything. If you have questions about an area on the agreement, ask your lender or consult a real estate attorney.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. The great thing about a realtor is they can do all the negotiating for you. They can offer a lower price, they can tell the buyer you don’t like their carpet or wallpaper and ask for replacement money, they can address that weird smell coming from the back bedroom. When you’re FSBO, you must do all of that yourself. Put on your big girl or boy pants and just address it. The worst that can happen is they’ll say no.

3. Keep excellent records. Save a folder of all the communication and paperwork between you and the seller, you and the lender, you and the title company, etc. You will likely need to refer to one or more of them again. I saved one on my desktop so when my lender said, “I need the insurance document.” I could send it again. Yes, I said again. Expect to send them documents more than once. There are so many, I’m not surprised they get lost. If you’re old school and are faxing the documents, get a pocket folder to keep them in.




4. Don’t skip the inspection. This is vital. You need to know what you’re getting into. You may find the most beautiful home, in your price range, but you may not want it if the foundation is crumbling, if it’s infested by termites or the electrical is bad. Don’t trust Uncle Ralph to give it “a good once-over,” hire a professional.

5. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Stay in touch with your lender and your seller. You may need to help coordinate the inspection, the appraisal and any contractor quotes you want done. Texting may be fine, others may prefer a phone call. This is not the time to be shy. See number 2.




6. Use a reputable title company. If you’re getting a mortgage your lender will be able to recommend someone one. If you’re paying cash call a local realtor and ask who they recommend. Title work is something you don’t want to mess around with, it can wreak havoc if not done right. Hire someone local if possible.

7. Make sure you have an “out” if the property doesn’t appraise. A lender won’t lend over the appraised value. To protect yourself, include an out in your purchase agreement if the property doesn’t appraise.

I’d love to hear from you. What tips do you have when buying a FSBO property?