Lawn Mowing Best Practices

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mowing

Whether you love mowing the lawn or hate it, it’s a job that needs to be done. As with most things, though, there’s a difference between doing it and doing it well. If you find yourself wondering why your neighbors have an amazing lawn while yours looks all the worse for wear, it could be more than just a matter of perspective; it’s possible that the grass really is greener on the other side.This doesn’t have to be the case, though. Part of the problem might be how you’re caring for your lawn. If you haven’t put much thought into the specifics of yard care, here are a few things to think about. Changing how you think about mowing the lawn can have a big impact on the lawn itself, and your grass will thank you for it.

Prep Your Mower

Too many people approach the beginning of the mowing season the same way that they do the entire rest of the season: they put some gas in the mower and go. This is a good way to damage your lawn and wear out your mower at the same time. Start each season with an oil change and fresh gas, and check your mower blades for cracks, dullness or other signs that they need to be sharpened or replaced. Keep an eye on your grass as you mow; if it’s becoming ragged, this is a sign that your blades are getting dull again. Even a little bit of mower maintenance will make the cut easier on your lawn and keep your mower running in tip-top condition.

Learn Your Lawn

A lot of people think that grass is grass, but there are actually a lot of differences between grass species. Take a little time to find out what sort of grass you have growing in your lawn. If necessary, you can take a sample to your local agricultural extension office to get the job done. Once you know what kind of grass you have, you can learn the seasons when it actively grows, what sort of water and fertilizer needs it has, and even details about how it should be cut. If you need to reseed part of your lawn, knowing the existing grass type will also ensure that you get the right type of seed so that everything matches.

Cut to the Right Height

If your lawn is going to flourish, the grass needs to have enough blade area to absorb sunlight to meet its growing needs. Cutting it too short can damage it, causing the grass to wilt or brown, in some cases even killing off patches. As a general rule you’ll often hear that you should leave around 3 inches of grass when you cut, but this can vary depending on the type of grass you have. If in doubt, you can set the blade height between the 3-inch to 3 ½-inch mark to be safe, but you’ll have much more control over your lawn if you learn the grass type and find the optimal cutting height based on that.

Mind Those Clippings

It’s usually best to leave your clippings on the ground, as they provide much-needed nutrients to the lawn as they decompose. If you don’t like the look of them, consider a mulching blade and guard for your mower to ensure that they get cut into smaller pieces, or make multiple passes over the same area. The main exceptions to this are the first and last cuts of the year; in those instances, your lawn will do better if you bag the clippings instead.

Adapt Throughout the Year

One important thing to keep in mind is that grass is a living thing and grows differently depending on the time of the year and the local weather conditions. During the heat of the summer, make your lawn more drought resistant by adjust your cut height up a little; this gives the grass more blade area to collect dew on. In early spring and into the fall, cut less often to avoid shocking the grass. Even the direction of your cuts is important, especially if it’s been raining a lot; to prevent damaging the grass or compacting the soil too much, change direction every two or three cuts, switching to a cutting pattern around 90 degrees off from what you’ve been doing.

Keep It Under Control

A well-manicured lawn can be a big job. Fortunately, there are professionals out there who can take that burden off your shoulders. If you need to find a lawn service that comes highly recommended, sign up for a free HomeKeepr account today. You’ll be able to find a service based on real recommendations for mowers and landscapers that best match your specific needs.

 

Great Lakes Home Team is here to help you with your real estate questions or needs. We have helped so many families sell their home or find their dream home. Do you want to know how much is your home worth is worth, Click here?
Get your FREE Booklet – 10 Things Every Homebuyer Needs to Know. Get started on the correct path to finding your Dream Home!

Protect Your Credit

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Planning to buy a home? Protect your credit score

credit score

Whether you’re thinking about buying your first home or your next home, your credit score will play a huge role in determining what kind of mortgage rates are at your disposal. That’s why it’s vital to keep your score as pristine as possible throughout these unprecedented economic times. If you’re having trouble paying your bills, follow these tactics to keep your credit score protected.

 Contact Your Lenders

There’s nothing wrong with asking your lenders for help in your time of need. In fact, some may already have programs in place to help individuals affected by the downturn. See how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends discussing these issues with various types of lenders.

Know ALL of Your Accounts

Between student loans, car loans, mortgages, credit cards, and all the other lines of credit at your disposal, it’s sometimes hard to remember all of your accounts, but nothing could be more important. Knowing your accounts, and their statuses, is the only way to know if someone opens or closes an account without your consent.

Monitor Your Scores

That’s right, “scores.” There are three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax), each with their own scoring system. Different lenders trust different bureaus, so it’s important to know where you stand with each of them.

Read Your Reports

While scores are a great gauge of your credit, reports are where you’ll see all the information each bureau uses for their calculations. By keeping a close eye on your reports, you’ll be able to address any suspicious activity before it gets out of hand.

Great Lakes Home Team is here to help you with your real estate questions or needs. We have helped so many families sell their home or find their dream home. Do you want to know how much is your home worth is worth, Click here?
Get your FREE Booklet – 10 Things Every Homebuyer Needs to Know. Get started on the correct path to finding your Dream Home!

 

Get Your House Ready Now, Sell Later

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Get your house ready now, sell later

Get Your Home Ready

  1. Embrace Spring Cleaning

Now is that special time of year when baseboards and ceiling fans finally get the attention they deserve. Details like these may seem tedious, but a pristine home is guaranteed to grab your buyer’s attention.

 

  1. Unleash the Power of Paint

Whether you redo an entire room, touch up some scuffs, or add some pizzazz to your outdoor planters, a paintbrush can revitalize your living space like a magic wand. Best of all, it’s fun for the whole family.

 

  1. Tile Around

From backsplashes to bathroom accents, tiling is a simple and affordable way to add value to your home. Just find a pattern you like and start putting the pieces together.

 

  1. Fix Your Fixtures

If you’ve been contemplating a new kitchen faucet or fresh set of shutters, give in to your impulses and install them yourself. In less than a weekend, you can add another upgrade for buyers to rave about.

 

  1. DIY Furniture

You don’t have to be a master carpenter to build some of your own furniture. The internet is loaded with tutorials for everything from headboards to closet shelves. All you need are a few easy-to-find materials.

 

List inspired by tips from KW Research and the National Association of REALTORSⓇ.
Good luck with your home improvements, and feel free to send us your before and after photos!

Great Lakes Home Team is here to help you with your real estate questions or needs. We have helped so many families sell their home or find their dream home. Do you want to know how much is your home worth is worth, Click here?
Get your FREE Booklet – 10 Things Every Homebuyer Needs to Know. Get started on the correct path to finding your Dream Home!

 

 

Your Financial Health

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How to look after your financial health in times of uncertainty

Financial Health

During these uncertain economic times, many people are having difficulty paying their monthly bills. Whether you fall into that group or not, it’s important that you take steps to protect your financial future. Here are some considerations to take today to save you from budgetary burdens tomorrow.

  1.  Prioritize Your Expenses

The first and most important step to safeguarding your savings is to decide which bills are most vital to your livelihood. This worksheet from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can help make those tough decisions a little easier.

  1. Cut the Excess

Once you’ve prioritized your expenses, you’ll have a good sense of what you need and what you don’t. Anything that falls into the latter category should be discontinued until a later date, and anything considered a necessity should be revisited each month to make sure it still belongs there.

  1. Know the CARES Act

The government’s $2 trillion emergency stimulus package is loaded with important information for US citizens. With benefits like eviction relief, a moratorium on foreclosures, and the opportunity to defer or reduce mortgage payments, the CARES Act has a lot to offer beyond a stimulus check.

  1. Try Negotiating

From landlords to cable providers, many bill collectors are showing extraordinary empathy during these unprecedented times. If they can’t defer or reduce your fees, they may be willing to add some other kind of incentive as a show of good faith. As the adage goes, “You’ll never know unless you ask.”

  1. Consider Your Credit Cards

Charges, whether recurring or one-off, can add up quickly on your credit card statement. Take the time every week to review your statements in detail and identify those one-off charges that are adding up. Then, consider which recurring bills are worth keeping and which should be cut. Lastly, consider calling up your credit card company to renegotiate annual fees or interest rates.

Additionally, don’t forget that refinancing your mortgage or shopping around for better rates on home insurance may lighten your financial burden. If you’d like to learn more about the low-cost, high-value options available through me – Keller Mortgage and Keller Covered – let me know.

These suggestions are only the beginning. If you’d like to discuss more ways to strengthen your bottom line, shoot us a text or phone call at any time. We may not have all the answers you’re looking for, but we will do whatever we can to find them.

Great Lakes Home Team is here to help you with your real estate questions or needs. We have helped so many families sell their home or find their dream home. Do you want to know how much is your home worth is worth, Click here?
Get your FREE Booklet – 10 Things Every Homebuyer Needs to Know. Get started on the correct path to finding your Dream Home!

 

Best Power Tools for DIYers

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Get Ready to DIY!

Tools

Now more than ever, DIY projects are everywhere you look. It seems like everyone is trying to be productive with the little extra free time on their hands, and hardware stores still have lines out the door. If you are just getting into the DIY world and are realizing some of the basic hand tools just aren’t cutting it anymore, it may be time to invest in some smaller power tools that work best for the do-it-yourself enthusiast.

 

1. 10” Sliding Miter Saw

With this tool, you can cut baseboards, frame out a door, and even more. Getting the saw with the slide allows you to cut more significant pieces.

2. Nail Gun

While a hammer and nail approach can work for most DIY projects, you will save yourself time and energy when you invest in a nail gun and air compressor. If you are into reupholstering, you may also want to consider a staple gun.

3. Rotary Sander

If you plan to strip any word surface, invest in a rotary sander. There are plenty of models available under $50 that will save you more time than you could have imagined.

4. Jigsaw

If you love making or updating wood furniture, a jigsaw may be a great addition to your tool bag. The jigsaw allows for cutting various shapes and detailed cutting.

5. Cordless Drill

The cordless drill should be one of your very first DIY tool purchases. You can use the drill for just about everything, from hanging shelves to drilling holes.

6. Air Wrench

The air or impact wrench is essentially a power socket wrench. This wrench is great when you are dealing with tight lug nuts and bolts or stripped screws. They give a high degree of torque without a lot of exertion on your end.

7. Circular Saw

If you need a fast and efficient way to make straight and bevel cuts, you will want to add the circular saw to your list of tools. They can be used by hand or mounted.

Pinterest is a great place to look for ideas to be creative. The time to start is now and have fun!
Great Lakes Home Team is here to help you with your real estate questions or needs. We have helped so many families sell their home or find their dream home. Do you want to know how much is your home worth is worth, Click here?
Get your FREE Booklet – 10 Things Every Homebuyer Needs to Know. Get started on the correct path to finding your Dream Home!

Home Entertainment For the Whole Family

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Homeentertainment

Home Entertainment For The Whole Family!!

One of the best things that we can do right now to protect both ourselves and our friends and neighbors is to stay home. Unfortunately, there are only so many times that you can watch Tiger King or listen to your kids sing along with Elsa on Disney+. You need something new to do, and it needs to be something that the whole family can enjoy while you’re all staying safe at home.

There are some unique opportunities available right now that may never be available again once this is all over. They provide experiences that the whole family can enjoy that aren’t just the same old TV shows. Though this is by no means an exhaustive list, here are a few activities that you might consider that would give your family some new things to do.

A Virtual Reunion

With record numbers of people working and doing schoolwork at home, more people are using video conferencing services like Zoom, GoToMeeting and Microsoft Teams than ever before. These services aren’t just for work, however. You can use them to get in touch with family from around the country, and even schedule a “virtual reunion” to catch up and check in with each other. This can be a recurring event, letting you stay connected with loved ones throughout the pandemic. You may even grow closer as a family despite the distance.

Museum and Zoo Tours

Even though museums and zoos are currently closed to the public, a number of high-profile museums and zoos have started offering virtual online tours for free. You can go online and view great works of art, watch animals relaxing during their downtime, and even see unique things like puppies getting to run wild in an aquarium. On top of these custom experiences, many zoos and similar facilities have webcams focused on specific exhibits that you can check out throughout the year.

Learn Something New

To help families pass the time, many online learning platforms are offering extended free trials so that people can pick up new skills or learn interesting things while in self-isolation. On top of that, some teachers and experts are streaming free courses on Zoom and other platforms as well. There is a wide range of content available for both kids and adults, meaning that there’s something for everyone to learn and enjoy.

Start (or Join) a Book Club

Reading is a great way to pass the time, and you can share that with the family by starting a family book club. The premise is simple: Everyone picks out a book, and once a week you get together and discuss what you’re reading. Even younger children can participate; let them pick out a book that they want you to read, and at the meet-up you can let them show off the book and tell everyone about it.

If you want a bit more social interaction with your book club, you can also look into online book clubs that are a bit closer to traditional book club offerings. These can have members from across the nation or around the world. Some of them operate on dedicated websites, and others use social media groups. Either way, there should be options available for most readers.

Listen to a Story

Even if you don’t feel like doing all of that reading, there are a good number of authors and celebrities doing podcasts and videos in which they read a variety of books or stories. Quite a few of these are aimed at children, but some of them are more tailored to adults as well. Levar Burton (of Reading Rainbow fame) has even recently launched a video version of his podcast Levar Burton Reads with a wide range of content.

A Night in at the Movies

Under ordinary circumstances, you’d be able to take the family out to see some of the many movies that would be in theaters right now. But that’s not possible now that all the theaters are closed. So instead, movie theaters are adapting. Special digital rentals are now available for recent box-office hits that ordinarily wouldn’t be available for rental yet, so that a wider audience can enjoy them. And some movies that were scheduled for early summer release, such as Trolls World Tour, are also making their debut via digital rental. So pop some popcorn and enjoy these new and recent blockbusters all from the privacy and safety of your own home.

Find out your Free No Obligation Home Value today – Get Now!

#greatlakeshometeam #KW1 #motherdaughterduo #homeentertainment

 

Six Tip to Staying Productive While Working At Home

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Creating A Productive Atmosphere While You #STAYHOME

workplace

In countless homes across the country and the world, there has been a major shift to working from home – even for students. If you are working from home and trying to manage your children being home and doing school work, you may be at a loss when it comes to ensuring productivity. With a television across the room and no boss or teacher hovering, distraction comes easily. Here are six tips to create a space that enables productivity!

1. Light up your space

Letting in as much natural light as possible to your at-home work space is the first step to making a better place to get things done. Your body works best with natural light because of circadian rhythms, which tell your brain to be awake and productive when natural light is around you. Natural light will help you feel alert and the vitamin D you will get from opening those windows will help boost your immune system.

2. Add minimalist decor

You don’t want to crowd your work space, but it is important to decorate your space in a way that you will enjoy. Having a clean, organized space with a few quirks that will make you smile – like a favorite photo. Make sure any items you will need, like pens and highlighters, are within reach, so you are more motivated to stay put!

3. Make your work space only a work space

It is important to train your brain to differentiate when it is time to work and when it is not. When we drive to work or school, it is natural for us to switch into ‘working’ mode, but when we work from home, it is hard to get into that mode. By only sitting in your work space when it is time to get things done, you will train your brain to be more productive when you are in that space. Keeping work related projects out of site will help reduce relax and recharge your batteries.

4. Manage your cell phone use

While you may need your phone to make work calls or check in with your teacher, it is important to set boundaries and stick to them. If you find yourself constantly wanting to scroll through social media instead of getting work done, try download an app that will limit your social media access each hour. If you don’t need your phone for work or school, try keeping it in a box across the room.

5. Manage your work hours

While you are working from home manage your work hours as you would at the office especially if you have a flexible schedule like us. Start you day at the same time, take a lunch at the same time and/or breaks and your end when you are supposed to. Go for a quick walk to stretch your legs.

6. Avoid feeling isolated

Utilize various communications to break up your day:

    • Phone
    • Zoom
    • Email,
    • Messenger
    • Facebook live
    • Bombbomb

This is different times with different rules, we all need to make sure we are staying positive, staying connected and we will get through this together!

We are here to help! If you have a real estate question or need…we are only a phone call away!

 

Mentor 4 Bedroom Ranch For Sale

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This renovated ranch home is much larger than it looks. Two newer Air Conditioners added and a newer furnace added as well. All new flooring Luxury Vinyl tile and carpet. The huge family room is open to the kitchen and adjoining enclosed patio. Newer windows and slider. All interior doors are new and most others as well. All the bedrooms have large closets. The master bedroom is huge with sitting area. Newer LED lighting and electrical panel. Large 2 car garage.

WHY CREDIT CHECKS DURING CLOSING ARE IMPORTANT

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credit check

You’ve found your dream home. After months of searching, you’re finally closing on the house that you’ve wanted for so long. The last thing you want to do is take any action that would interfere with the closing of your home. Since the start of your home search, your agent has probably told you time and time again not to do anything that would impact your credit score, like opening a new line of credit or making a large purchase. While this makes sense during the approval process, you may wonder why it is key to keep your credit in check until after closing. Here is an explanation of the 2 credit checks performed during the home-buying process and why it is important to maintain your credit from start to finish.

Pre-Approval Credit Check

To get a loan to purchase a home, you’ll go through a pre-qualification process. You’ll let your potential lender know a variety of financial information, from your credit score and employment to your marital status, as well as any number of factors that can impact your qualification. With this self-reported information, you can then be pre-approved. After that, lenders will verify the information you’ve provided and this is when they will pull your credit history. It is important that what you’ve reported matches the credit information pulled by the lender – which is why you shouldn’t miss any payments or open new cards during this time. Lenders offer approval based on a risk assessment, and you do not want them to think that you are a risk.

Credit Check at Closing

The main concern of the lender is the risk you pose to them. Because it can take time for an offer to be accepted, your lender may pull a second credit check while waiting for your loan to pass underwriting. This is to ensure your credit hasn’t changed since the initial credit check. If you took out a loan or created massive credit debt, you could change your debt to income ratio and your lender could decide you are too risky to loan to. This is why it is so very important to keep your credit in check before, during, and after the home-buying process!

We are here to help you through the process. Contact Jody or Danielle at Great Lakes Team – Keller Williams Greater Cleveland Northeast 440 299-5137 or greatlakeshometeam@gmail.com.