curb appeal

Cozy Curb Appeal that Sells: How to Use Luxurious Landscaping to Close the Deal

If you are considering increasing your curb appeal, then you might want to have a few things on your list to consider.

First make sure that the paint and exterior of the home does not look tired or worn.

 -Also if you decide to redo Landscaping make sure that there are no dead areas or dead zones.  You can find a local company like WWW.STCLOUDTREE.COM to help you understand the fastest way to make the best improvements fast if you don’t want to do it yourself.

One of the easiest ways to fix that is to add new mulch or ground covering and also get some fresh flowers and plants in place.

  If you’ve ever looked at the price of flowers and plants at your local do it yourself/home-improvement store, you may have noticed that the price can be pretty high.

  One way to get around this is to search for local nurseries in your area.

Sometimes there are a couple of layers of plant and flower nurseries.

  If you visit a couple you might find that you can really bring your price down when compared to the big box stores.


What’s even funnier is that sometimes they are wholesalers to the big box stores. 

I recommend adding lots of color to the front of the house. Even if people don’t really noticed the flowers, subconsciously they are aware of life and vitality for the home.  

Make sure that there are clean pathways leading up to the house.

Entry Way Wows

If you have not pressure washed in a long time this would be a good time to do it. Also should you have bricks or pavers leading up to the home make sure that they are level and also that they don’t have any major gaps or holes.

If they do, you need to make sure that use fill them with the appropriate filler which is often times sand

. Make sure that mold and mildew stains have been kept in check.

If they haven’t make sure that you say cleaner that can resolve it.

 Stand back and look at the home and ask yourself these questions.

  • Does it look fresh?
  • Does it look clean?
  • Does it look alive?
  • Does it look modern?

Often times we will have a certain blindness due to the fact that we have lived in the property for so long. Sometimes it helps to recruit neighbors or others in this process. They will often see things that you don’t see.

For example one of the biggest things that detracts is pet odors in the home.

-You can get so used to your pet smell that you don’t notice it anymore.  This is where a new set of nostrils will help.

Make sure that you trim back all of the hedges. If you don’t have the proper landscaping equipment keep in mind that there are often landscape equipment rentals available.

Usually stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s as well as places like rental world offer equipment for temporary rent.

 This comes in handy because of ease of access and relatively low-cost for one use.

 The other reason this makes sense is that if you buy the equipment out-right then you have to store it.

-I have often rented things like tile cutters and saws in order to streamline and speed up a job without the necessary loss of space in my garage.

If you’re worried about the cost, bear in mind that if you were to buy the equipment and then later sell it in a garage sale you would take a bath on it anyway. 

Getting the right tools for the job is key. Not only will it make things go faster, but it will lower your stress and frustration in the process.

I don’t know about you, but that’s worth it’s weight in gold for me.

outdoor fireplace

Adding fire features to make your home beautiful.

I have never met a person that says that they absolutely hate sitting by a fire on a quiet evening.

  A friend of mine says that it’s some type of archetypal pattern in our heads.

As humans we are just simply drawn to it.

Fire features at your home can increase the value of your property.

  Did you know that?

For example if you have an outdoor fire pit, it can be a luxurious addition that you can market with your home. Did you know that there are many companies that will actually build you a stone fireplace outside?

 An outdoor fireplace is simply an amazing addition to any home. It invites people from the inside to the outside. It expands the overall feel of your home because it incorporates the outdoors.

Outdoor fireplaces don’t have to be expensive either.

  Typically if you talk to a paver company, you can find out who in the area builds these types of fire pits.

 Armed with that information, you can request some bids. I always recommend that you get at least three bids before you settle on any projects. 

I take that back. If the project is small and simple and it’s less than $200, then I would be tempted to just have the job done.

Additional time that you spent looking for the right partner and the potential savings of that other person, will be eaten up by your involvement in the project of soliciting all these bids.

But for larger items like outdoor fire pits and fireplaces, make sure you get at least three bids.

  Another fantastic feature is to incorporate the grill into a stone housing.

You often see this concept modeled in summer kitchens.

 Currently some of the Home-improvement stores offer outdoor concepts that really work. For example there are propane based stone fire rings that basically look like a coffee table with a bunch of lava rocks in the middle with a firing.

One of the things that I’ve noticed is that if you go to specialty stores in different areas you may find that the prices for these items are horrendous. I highly recommend that you do your research online and look for the best price. It is funny but I’ve actually seen the same product available for $500 on display at specialty stores for $4,399.

Granted it was a beach community and they probably assume that people were just going to drop their cash without thinking about it twice, but I was pretty shocked when I saw that one.  I remember grabbing my wife to show her the craziness.

Pick up some magazines at your local home building store to review how people have used fire to enhance their backyards and living style.

 I believe that it gives the outdoors a whole new feel.  

And let’s face it outdoor living can be one of the most amazing parts of our lives.

  There is nothing quite like sipping your favorite beverage by the fire feature with friends enjoying a good time.

One last thought. If you can integrate a pergola with a fireplace, you can really make an outdoor area feel like an indoor living room.

 You can see this on the picture above.

 Thanks for dropping by my blog, I hope that it give you some insight and thoughts about what you can do to enhance your living style for minimal amounts of money.

Tips on Dealing with Disorganized Clutter:

I get it. You’re busy, right? I know, I know.
But the deal is the more disorganization that you have around you the less settled you’re going to feel. It is actually a proven fact that lots of people especially those that have dealt with traumatic situations growing up often resort to feeling a loss of control if they do not have an organized area around them.
It’s pretty easy to figure out. Have you ever cleaned your house and then sat down on the couch and felt like there was a major burden lifted? Have you ever gotten all of your to do items at least on the piece of paper so you knew what you’re going to be doing for the next couple of days? If those events were followed by a significant feeling of ease, then Yep, that’s you.
Well you’re in good company because you know what? That’s me too. No sense in denying. LOL
I grew up in a household that was pretty chaotic. When I was a young boy, dad was dealing with PTSD and tons of issues. They tried to hide most of that stuff from me, but as a kid you know what’s going on.
I take that back. You don’t know what’s going on, but you know when things are kind of screwed up.
Back to the concept of cleaning up.
The only way to do this well is really to chunk it. What is chunking? Basically you have to create categories and then sift through everything based on those categories.
What I like to do is grab a pile of papers for example, and sort them based on advertising, bills, reference, and the all important someday maybe category.
This allows me to make sure that I pay my bills,  archive and keep the important information that I need, while getting rid of the junk that I don’t need.
What I found helpful when I do bigger projects that aren’t necessarily small pieces of paper or smaller items, is to lay out blankets.
Then, I designate each Blanket as a category.  For example if I’m doing a garage or something, I’d designate one blanket as donate, one blanket as keep, one blanket as sell, one blanket as throwaway.
Whatever you do just make it super easy to visualize. Even if you’re doing bills on your countertop. Set up areas, physical locations where you put certain items.
Remember to take the item into your hands only one time. This is crucial. So often as we are working through a stack of papers or even a stack of junk in our garage, we pick up an item and then end up putting it down because we don’t know what to do with it in that moment. Then we pick it up again and still don’t know what to do with it. After 10 minutes of dealing with this item all we have done is moving back-and-forth to different areas.
Make a decision then and there when the item is in your hands. Be bold and courageous. Shift your mindset from scarcity to abundance.  If you doubt you will need it, you probably won’t. If you haven’t needed it in the last 6 months, you probably will never need it.
I had a friend that I knew while I was in college. He was the opposite of a pack rat.
By the way that’s me. I keep everything. I came across a cast that I had when I was in high school. Seriously what was I doing with that 20 years later?
So my point is my friend told me he gets off on throwing things away. I remember thinking if I can just shift my mindset to the same thing and associate more pleasure and fun with having a decluttered, clean organized space, then I could probably shift my mindset to such that I would get off on getting rid of stuff too.
So I encourage you today go tackle that project that you’ve been putting off. Grab it by the horns. Change the way you think about it. Throw away a bunch of stuff and feel really good about it.  Oh and use storage boxes to keep things. If you haven’t ever been to a container store, go. It’s pretty cool.

Hi My name is Mark. You found my blog. Thanks for dropping in. I work from home.

If you want to work from home, there are a few things that are really help you out.

Just so you know I know little bit about what I’m talking about here because I work from home every single day. As a matter fact I’m sitting in my office right now. I can see out the front windows to the street and see if any cars drive by.
A lot of people ask me how I stay disciplined to actually work while I’m sitting at home. I figured I would share a couple of those tips with you here.
A friend of mine recently asked me if I got up showered and got ready for work out just as I did when I used to commute to an office.
I told him that I’d like to say yes and that I had in my life completely disciplined and organized. But, that wouldn’t be true.
The truth is is that I have realized that if you can get to your work very early in the morning before people can reach you by phone, you can get a whole lot done. So I don’t bother with the semantics of getting dressed in the morning.
My schedule is basically I wake up at five or 6 o’clock and head straight to my office.
I don’t open email or Facebook or any of those types of things. This allows me to spend my time being in creative mode.
It really doesn’t matter what I work on as long as it is creative nature.
One of the things that really helps you out is if you can make sure that the area that you’re approaching or going into is completely organized.
My concept behind this is that you wouldn’t want to go to a hotel that is disorganized right?
If you walked into a hotel room and there is little paper confetti strips and whatnot on the floor, it would definitely detract from your stay.
So the image that I always use when making sure that the things around me are organized is the image of a hotel room.
I simply asked the question, with this pass for a hotel room if I didn’t own it. Think about a hotel room. Usually it’s inviting because of the following reasons. First most everything is up off the floor. The only things I found on the floor or maybe a refrigerator, bed, dresser and desk.
Everything else is up off the floor. There are no loose items laying on tables or chairs or the floor.
It’s clean and it smells nice. Yes, that’s right. You should make sure that your office smells good. You should want to walk into it.
Years ago one of my mentors taught me a very important lesson. He said that you should make sure that everything on your desk is cleared off when you walk into your office. Then, when you sit down take everything out that you need. Use it for a designated amount of time.
I like to set my timer for 50 minutes. That way, I can work for 50 minutes and then take  a 10 minute break.
My mentor taught me to close everything down after 50 minutes and clear everything off the desk. Then when I sit down for my next task for 50 minutes I open the necessary things for that.
Leaving unnecessary things open and scattered reduces your effectivity and creativity.
Stay tune for my next post to find out more information about how you can maximize your efforts from working at home.