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Articles Tagged "Home Care"

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May
29

5 Tips for Beginning Gardeners

With the warm weather comes perfect timing to tackle outdoor projects. If you have recently moved into a new house, gardening is the perfect way to ground yourself and make the space feel like home. The beauty of gardening is that there is always something new to learn. It takes trial and error, but with the right guidance you can have a green thumb in no time. These 5 tips for beginning gardeners are perfect to start this new adventure with!

Don't Go Overboard

When beginning to garden, it's important to start small and not take on more than you can handle. Gardening is a hobby that takes a certain amount of devoted time. If you run a busy schedule, don't feel down about starting with a small garden! It is suggested to start with containers or a raised bed to manage your seeds. Over time, you can slowly expand your garden and add more plants as you please.  

Purchase High Quality Gardening Tools

Most plants are sensitive and require a level of care, from both you and your gardening tools. Purchasing a hose that won't kink will save you time and worries, but be sure to pair it with a gentle watering faucet. Consider investing in stainless stool tools as they can handle weather elements not rust.

Incorporate Mulch in the Garden

Spreading mulch is one of the best things you can do for your garden. Mulch helps limit time spent watering since it is able to hold moisture. Adding 2-4 inches of mulch on your garden beds will help plants thrive.

Add Compost

Not only is composting a sustainable way of life, but it adds great value to gardens. The secret to a healthy garden is the quality of soil, and compost is a great way to boost the nutrients. Start composting with grass clippings or fallen leaves, while incorporating kitchen waste. This includes:

  • Egg shells
  • Fruit and veggies scraps
  • Coffee grounds
  • Houseplant trimmings
  • Tea leaves/bags





Choice Properties offers you a chance to find the home of your dreams. We work with your budget and ideas in mind to support your ultimate vision. Call us if you are ready to check out the available inventory or to speak with a reputable agent who can assist you with your home buying needs.

May
15

Why Home Buyers Should Have a Home Inspection

For those experienced in the home buying process, you may understand the importance of having a home inspection. Buying a home is one of the largest investments we make in life, making it crucial that you are not hit with costly surprises. Making assumptions that the home is has no issues can make you pay for it later on. There are many reasons why home buyers should have a home inspection.

Receive a Professional Report on the Home's Condition

Taking time to hire a professional home inspector will ensure you receive a professional report on the structural condition of the home. The home inspector will have a checklist of items to inspect, and a standardized format to provide you with the results. You can expect a full written report with details and photos of the home.

Home Inspectors Help Avoid Future Issues

The main duty of a home inspector is to make sure the home is structurally sound. Unfortunately, structural issues are not always easily recognized by the average person and can take longer and cost more to repair. A skilled inspector knows exactly what to look for and inspects the craftsmanship and safety of the home. A caring home inspector will work with buyers to avoid a major issue in the future if the home is not up-to-code. If the home inspection report comes back with red flags, now is the perfect time to negotiate the price if still interested.

Help Plan for Future Projects

One of the benefits about hiring a home inspector is to gain an idea on future projects the home may need. This includes information on roofing conditions, gutters, windows, and siding. Knowing if and when the home will need a new roof could greatly influence your negotiation price. An inspector will also check the garage, steps, and porches for safety concerns. It's important to get an educated opinion on the lifespan of the roof or siding, as these are big investments that should be considered.

Hiring a professional home inspector offers a list of benefits, putting your mind at ease when purchasing a home. Although a home may look brand new and secure, there is a still a risk of issues occurring.




Choice Properties offers you a chance to find the home of your dreams. We work with your budget and ideas in mind to support your ultimate vision. Call us if you are ready to check out the available inventory or to speak with a reputable agent who can assist you with your home buying needs.

November
8

5 Home Selling Hacks for Fast Results

Selling your home may feel like a stressful time, but it doesn't have to be! The award-winning agents at Choice Properties are ready to help you sell and prepare for the next adventure in life. However, there are a few tips and tricks that will help boost the perceived value of a home to a prospective buyer. Consider trying these 5 home selling hacks when staging a home for fast results, and leave your agent to handle the hard work.

 

Express Statement Pieces

 

Potential buyers viewing your home should be welcomed to a clean, open space. Avoid clutter by packing up small nick-nacks around the house and only leave statement pieces behind, such as a couch and dining room table. This gives the buyer a chance to envision the space with their own personal items, making them more inclined to be interested.

Maximize Space With A Mirror

Perhaps the easiest trick to making a room look bigger is to hang a mirror. Place the mirror on the opposite wall you want it to reflect. For example, hanging a mirror on the opposite wall of a window will bring more greenery and natural light into the space. This hack is perfect for smaller rooms you wish to feel bigger.

Lighting Matters

Introducing proper lighting to a room can turn any space into a dreamy vision. Poor lighting instantly displeases buyers and is not worth the risk! Taking time to research the best lighting for poorly lit bathrooms and bedrooms is a simple way to bring a warm-feel to the room.

Make the Space Cozy

Be sure those viewing your home feel comfortable by leaving the thermostat on an appropriate setting for the temperature. The environment of the home is crucial, as most families enjoy a sense of feeling cozy in their space. The key is to bring a sense of coziness without being overbearing. Consider baking fresh cookies for guests to enjoy during open house, leaving buyers to feel welcomed and content.






Choice Properties understands your needs and desires when it comes to the home search. We are here to help you define what you want, seek the best property and move forward feeling educated and able to make good decisions throughout the process. You can trust us to help you navigate it with the best real estate agents working for you.

Call us to get started on your dream home search today.

October
30

Renovations That Will Increase Your Home's Value

If you have considered renovating your home with the intention to sell in the near future, or just for your family, there are a few things you may want to consider. If you are looking for a renovation that will increase your home's value, there are two ways to go about the process. Getting one or two major renovations completed, such as finishing a basement or adding an extra living space to the existing home is one tactic. Opting to tackle a handful of small projects and fixes is the second option. Whichever you decide to do, here are some remodeling projects than can add more value to your home.

Kitchen Upgrades

These days, potential buyers typically seek a spacious, updated kitchen. Simple upgrades like replacing old appliances and adding new countertops or cabinets can easily add up in cost. Consider these bigger renovations that are worth the investment:

  • Adding an island
  • Adding a breakfast nook
  • Adding new ceramic flooring
  • Adding accent lighting

Removing Walls

Open floor plans are the first to catch the eye of many. Knocking down unnecessary walls is a great way to open up any space with little hassle. Be sure to use a professional contractor for a safe and completed job!

Room Additions

Contrary to popular belief, adding a new room to your existing home is not as expensive as one may assume and is a great way to increase your home's value. Think about converting your attic to a study area or adding another room addition to your house. This will increase your square footage while pushing up your asking price.   

Outdoor Living Space

People crave an outdoor space for relaxation during the warmer months. This could mean building a back deck or slate patio. Make your outdoor space a mini oasis by adding path lights, plants, shrubs, and trees.




Choice Properties understands your needs and desires when it comes to the home search. We are here to help you define what you want, seek the best property and move forward feeling educated and able to make good decisions throughout the process. You can trust us to help you navigate it with the best real estate agents working for you. Call us to get started on your dream home search today.

 

June
20

What You Can Do if you Get Bad Home Inspection Results

Home inspections come with a nervous feeling of "what if," with the results potentially scaring away an interested buyer. Although home inspections are required, they should not be a step in the process you stress over. Remind yourself to stay relaxed and calm during the inspection, knowing you are equipped to tackle any results. At Choice Properties, we know the anxious feeling associated with the process, so we created a list of what you can do if you get bad home inspection results.

Be Prepared

Although you should not always expect the worse, being prepared for shocking news allows you to mentally process in a healthy way. Going into the inspection knowing you have physically and mentally prepared will let you welcome the results in a breeze. It can be hard to stay patient during this process as you are one step closer to selling to a potential buyer, but repairing any damages or concerns without rushing will ensure a promising reward.

Repair As Needed

When receiving a bad report, your mind is probably running circles wondering where to start. Take each project with a grain of salt, and remember to discuss with your trusted realtor and interested home buyer to develop a plan of action. If you agree to help the buyer with repairs, it is common to have them waive liability for later problems in exchange.

Even if you are surprised by the inspection findings, it's best to keep quiet until the buyer has presented you with a request of repairs or price reduction. The potential home buyers may not interpret the report as negativity as you do, saving you the stress and effort. If the buyer is interested in resolving the issues, schedule a chat with your realtor to review and discuss standard negotiating.

Selling your home the easiest way possible comes with learning to accept what you cannot control. Don't get ahead of any repairs before speaking to your realtor and determining a logical solution.




Choice Properties understands your needs and desires when it comes to the home search. We are here to help you define what you want, seek the best property and move forward feeling educated and able to make good decisions throughout the process. You can trust us to help you navigate it with the best real estate agents working for you. Call us to get started on your dream home search today.

May
17

Things to Consider about Buying a Fixer Upper

Older homes hold true characteristic in both their interior and exterior, making them great for fixer uppers. Updating an older space allows you to treasure the unique statements, such as discovering hidden shiplap or restoring old hardwood floors and bring out the raw beauty within the home. Not only are historic homes beautiful for fixer uppers, but can also come with a cheaper price. Your Choice Properties real estate agent can help find your dream fixer upper within your price range and desired features. In the meantime, we have created a list of things to consider about buying a fixer upper, ensuring you are fully prepared for the flip.

Talk to an Inspector

When buying an older home, it's common of the home to come with both cosmetic and design updates. It's important to speak with an inspector to fully understand the condition and safety of the home, ranging from plumbing, electrical, to foundation. Having a complete understanding of the home's risks will prepare you for updates needed, allowing you to adjust your budget on the renovation.

Break Down Investments

Upon making a plan based on the inspectors findings, your next step should be to go through investments with your contractor. Sorting through different options for repairs while staying in budget gives you the chance to see where your money can go. Selecting a contractor that cares enough on your project will be patient as you decide your best options.

Ask Yourself How You Feel

When taking on the project of a fixer upper, it definitely comes with a commitment! The investment of time and money comes with patience needed. Several months are required during renovation, leaving you to be completely sure you are ready for this adventure. Don't be afraid to change your preferences in the middle of house hunting! Your Choice Properties real estate agent is here to offer patience as we help find the home of your dreams.

Fixer uppers can be great investments in the long run, but require a promised commitment. Ask yourself if you are truly ready for a big project and tackle it head on, creating the home of your dreams!



Choice Properties understands your needs and desires when it comes to the home search. We are here to help you define what you want, seek the best property and move forward feeling educated and able to make good decisions throughout the process. You can trust us to help you navigate it with the best real estate agents working for you. Call us to get started on your dream home search today.

April
5

Going Green: 6 Tips for Planting Your Spring Garden

Spring fever has come with the arrival of some warmer days and longer hours of daylight. This is the time people start to dream about rejuvenating the outdoor garden and picturing beautiful landscapes. Mulch, weeds and other things can get in the way of the dream garden. Learn more about how to choose the right plants to boost the appeal of a home garden that everyone can enjoy.

Plant a Spring Garden in Indian Lake

Dirt Matters

A soil test is the best way to see what is going on underneath the dirt in the yard. The local agricultural extension office can provide helpful information such as what will grow and how to improve the soil quality. Some of the follow are tips to help get started:

  • Add organic matter to the soil
  • Start a compost pile or add bags of composted manure
  • If soil is drained, plants that tolerate wetness are recommended or a dry creek bed can be installed to prevent standing water

 

Tree Challenges

The trees planted in a person's yard can make a huge difference to the health of a garden. Some trees drop seeds all over and others can dwarf a person's house over time. It is important to select a shrub or tree for the garden with the following considerations in mind:

  • Size
  • Form
  • Habit
  • Avoid planting trees with weak limbs or susceptible to pests

 

Know the Garden

There is more to a garden than 'full sun' and 'partial shade.' Too much sunlight can burn foliage and compromise plant health. Too little sun can make plants weak. Selecting plants that thrive for a person's specific conditions is key to making the whole thing work properly.

  • Eight or more hours of direct sun is a perfect spot for vegetables, fruit trees and most flowers
  • Partial to full shade is most ideal for growing perennials, ferns and small trees typically found in the understory of a forest

 

Have Confidence

Look for healthy plants. Inspect foliage at the place of purchase and check the plant for firmness along with healthy roots. The best place to buy is a local garden center or online from reputable nurseries.

 

Four Seasons

Choose a variety of plants to start that offer interest at different times of the year. Summer-blooming plants like canna, coneflowers and guara keep showing until fall while others can take over as fall foliage. Winter plants like trees can add architectural beauty through the colder months.

 

Divide and Conquer

Some of the best plants are perennials or ornamental grasses that can be divided up to grow across a garden over the years. Digging up and dividing plants help keep them actively growing. A healthy amount of water helps keep the plants establish in the ground and grow healthy. This is best done every two years to support a cohesive look to a person's garden.

 

Spring gardening has endless possibilities. Be sure to try the above tips to find the best ways to help grow a sustainable, interesting garden for years to come.


August
10

Purchasing a second home can be a big step. Whether seeking a cabin in the woods, a getaway beach home or modern condo in the city, buying another property is a big decision. Here's how to know if now is the time to buy.

 

Affordability

Assessment of personal finances is critical in determining whether to purchase a second home. Beyond the cost of a second mortgage are other financial issues such as what interest is charged on a second mortgage. It may also depend if the home will be rented out as lenders consider rental properties a higher risk than those listed as primary residences. Other factors may include:

  • Insurance

  • Property taxes

  • Ongoing costs such as utilities (water, electric, gas, trash removal, etc)

  • Unexpected maintenance charges such as landscaping

  • Cost to hire a property manage to check on the property while away

 

Location

Having a property by the beach may sound great but it may not be a great investment. Some things to consider include:

  • Ability to visit the second home as often as desired

  • If not used as a rental, will home get used enough to make it worth the investment

  • Decide where is the ideal location before buying and whether it is affordable versus the time that will be spent using the property before purchase

 

Investigate

Chat with the insurance company to see what is next after finding the general area in which to buy a second home. Begin by speaking with the current insurer with whom a relationship is already established. A better rate may be available for multiple lines (existing home, cars, etc). Better rates may not necessarily be more inexpensive. If potential new property is prone to flooding, insurance rates may be higher. Homes with swimming pools also have higher rates as do pools with no fence or gate which may not have coverage available at all.

 

Find the Home

After all possible expenses are accounted for and a neighborhood is identified, contact a real estate agent to get started. Once settled, soak in the benefits of the new home. A vacation in the comfort of one's own home is a true luxury. When time is spent with family and friends in the new home, the cost savings will become apparent compared to vacation rentals. Privacy and no crowds (like in hotels) are another added bonus of having one's own property. Financial benefits may exist in the long term even if the property is not rented out. Tax benefits may help lessen the financial burden. A vacation home is a space to unwind, relax and enjoy time with loved ones. Soak it in and enjoy the new home.

 

Get more advice on the steps that you need to take to owning a second home.

Contact one of our agents today.

July
13

Taking an outdoor space from drab to fab does not have to cost a fortune. Any space can be made over with some simple tips for creating the look and feel of a brand new space which is easy on the wallet and freshens things up a bit.

 

Shape Matters

Tables and chairs can make a space wonderful for hosting friends and family outside. Consider a circular or oval-shaped table rather than square or rectilinear. Rounded tables make for easy access around the space and accommodate additional guests without a fuss without putting anyone into a corner.

 

Garden Walls

Most people focus energy on improving the ground space in a garden. Fences and walls can offer a wonderful design opportunity for the right space. Repurposing what already exists into planters, for example, can spruce up a patio and add a different look and feel. Small patios especially benefit from creating the perception of more space.

 

Top to Bottom

The top of a garden wall can be just as important as the ground space or erected walls. Planters can create a new look while providing a screen for any less-than-desirable views or privacy curtain from neighbors. The idea also works for someone who wants to plant more than available ground space provides. Utilizing more space can create flow and balance in the garden while putting some carpentry skills to use in the process.

 

Noise

Depending on where a person lives, the sounds in one's backyard may incorporate elements of nature such as chirping birds and buzzing bees. If this is not the case, including sounds from nature can help nurture the mind and soul. Including a fountain with running water which provides relaxation, masks traffic and other unwanted noise from the outside world. A free-standing fountain can provide just the right atmosphere with do-it-yourself kits available at many nurseries.

 

Draperies

Curtains or draperies can add softness and sun protection while also providing privacy. Cozy up a space with outdoor fabric for areas exposed to the elements. Panels with weighted bottoms don't blow around in a breeze and sheers provide nice protection from sun and rain while keeping bugs at bay.

 

Lights

A string of lights is an inexpensive way to transform an outdoor space. Design options are many from small to large, round to decorative. Paper lanterns are also an option in a covered area with less exposure to the elements for a fun, decorative patio.

 

Personalize

Take creative license to express personal taste with vintage finds or spruce it up with some artwork such as a mural. Friends and family will cherish the personal touch and style.

 

Reuse

The attic, basement and garage may hold underused pieces to make the outdoor patio shine. Hanging baskets can be made from old colanders or old crates can be made into a planter. The sky really is the limit on making a patio shine with just a few personal touches.

 

Get more advice on simple and inexpensive ways to give life to your patio!

Contact one of our agents today.

July
6

People are visual when looking at homes. Curb appeal begins with most homes by looking at garage doors and spaces. If a garage door is in poor shape or is not well maintained, a home's appeal can go up rather quickly with a few adjustments and updates to suit any budget and style.

 

Timing

Replace garage doors during warm, dry weather. Hire a pro to help get the job done within a few hours.

 

Hiring

A garage door professional will have the most experience and expertise to fit and install the garage door and do the work needed to make it look nice.

 

Permits

A reputable pro will be able to say whether a permit is needed or not for the work. Contact the city or county government agency in the home's area to find out regulations and requirements before starting work.

 

Materials

The following are some materials which will be needed to get the job done:

  • Wood offers the widest range of options for design and works well in all climates. Cost is higher for wood than other materials.

  • Steel is less expensive than wood but can also rust and is not recommended in coastal areas.

  • Aluminum costs more than steel but does not rust. Coastal homes often benefit from the use of this material.

  • Tempered glass in an aluminum or wood frame can be well suited to modern and contemporary homes.

  • Fiberglass and vinyl are budget-friendly options which do not rust but may offer limited design options. Materials may also crack in colder weather.

 

Door Types

Several types of doors exist to fit any style or budget:

  • Sectional doors are the most common type. The doors typically roll up and down on tracks

  • Sliding doors are also known as barn-style doors that require a wider garage wall to accommodate the door once open

  • Swing-out doors are double doors that swing out when open. This style is not a good fit for cold climates with snow drifts that may block the doors from closing.

 

Expect doors to run anywhere from $300-$10,000 depending on the type of material and installation costs associated with having a professional remove, dispose of and install the new doors.

 

Design

Match the style of the new doors with the home, keeping in mind architectural features, materials and colors. Some tips to follow include:

  • Update Spanish colonial with a wooden garage door with iron hinges

  • Add rustic barn-style door to the farmhouse

  • Add a wooden garage door with rectilinear windows and trim to a Craftsman home

  • Match a modern home with a glass-paneled garage door

 

Getting Started

Follow these tips to get started on revamping the garage:

  • Browse photos online for ideas

  • Ask for recommendations from friends, neighbors and professionals

  • Have a professional measurement done, especially if custom doors may be needed

 

Get more advice on all the creative ways that you can revamp your garage.

Contact one of our agents today.

June
7

The entryway is a high traffic area in most any home. Coats, backpacks, shoes and accessories tend to be dumped as soon as people enter the door which leads to an accumulation of stuff which makes it difficult to wade through. Learn some practical tips and ideas to help manage a high traffic hallway with minimal effort.

 

Display accessories. Outdoor clothing is usually stored near the exit but does not have to be hidden from view. Find attractive hooks to hang coats, hats and scarves to avoid a messy pile up. Swap out the winter accessories for sun hats, beach bags and blankets in the summer.

 

Add furniture. Create more surfaces to place items such as an upholstered bench, basket and coat rack for the hallway to provide spots for outerwear. The space will also look more cozy and welcoming with a personal touch.

 

See through a child's eyes. Kids need dedicated pegs to hang coats and hats easily without throwing items in a heap on the floor. Let kids choose a hook and give lessons on how to install safely for a fun learning opportunity which can motivate kids to use the hooks.

 

Repurpose dishes. A small dish or plate on a table can create order with minimal effort. Creating a small space to drop items quicklysuch as keys or loose change keep things orderly.

 

Use ledges or shelving to elevate items. Install a small shelf or ledge to place bags or purses on the wall. Not only will this save space but makes it easier on the body by not lifting heavy objects off the floor.

 

Opt for open. Rather than hiding the family's items from sight, create a system of open storage that makes it easy to grab and go. Separate pieces can add character to the hallway.

 

Line up baskets. Crates, baskets and salvaged drawers are an affordable yet visibly appealing way to create extra storage. Make the most of a series of containers against the hallway wall.

 

Make a feature. Get creative by making a beautiful backdrop for coats and bags and other bobbles which accumulate around the hallway. Frame the space with antiques such as a dressmaker's mannequin to hold coats or hats and similar pieces which add a bit of fun and flair to any space.

 

Stay hidden. Large pegs and shoe racks help keep items hidden with minimal fuss behind doors. Install shelves and hooks where needed and work out where the family will place individual shoes, gloves, helmets and other items to keep the space clutter free.


Upgrade the umbrella stand. The messiest item in the house (aside from muddy boots, children coming in from outside and pets) is a dripping wet umbrella. Leave it by the door in a fancy stand which keeps water from the floor, avoiding a potential slipping hazard.

 

Get more advice on unique ways to keep your hallways tidy!

Contact one of our agents today.

May
31

Indian Lake Properties For Sale

A veggie box on stilts can make it easier to plant and harvest crops and is portable to move as needed around the yard for prime growing conditions. Learn how to start a veggie box in the garden with seeds and a small container to grow the plants.

 

Getting Started

The first step to getting started with a veggie box is the seed tray. Tomatoes, peppers and greens are best planted in seed trays or small plastic pots. Fill each pot or tray with soil, tamp down and lightly water. Make an indentation to put seedlings in. Cover up the hole with a little bit of soil and pat gently into place. Label each tray with the plant name and date. Label by row if planting many kinds of plants. Use a tray to place the seedling containers into for a better way of keeping soil moist.

 

Transplanting

When leaves first emerge are actually cotyledons, which provide food for seedlings. True leaves have a different appearance than cotyledons. Once the actual leaves come in, it is fine to transfer plants to temporary 4-inch pots, directly to a planting box or container.

 

Making the Box

Lettuces, greens, radishes, beets, strawberries and herbs are best suited to a 16-by-24 inch planting box. Beginners should work with an experienced woodworker the first few times to ensure safety while using equipment such as saws and drills. The following will be needed to get started:

  • 1-by-4-inch redwood, cedar or other untreated wood planks cut into various sizes

  • Six planks 16 inches long (to make short sides of the box)

  • Six planks 24 inches long (to make long sides of the box)

  • Five planks 23 inches long (to make base of the box)

  • 2-by-2-inch redwood, cedar, other untreated wood cut into various sizes

  • Four pieces 24 inches long (for the legs)

  • Two pieces 12 inches long (to reinforce base of the box)

 

Tools

Having some tools of the trade will help in construction of the boxes. It may be helpful to work with a friend who already has the tools to save money and have fun making the boxes together.

  • Tape measure

  • Carpenter's Square

  • Pencil

  • Saw

  • Power drill

  • ⅛ inch drill bit

  • Screwdriver

  • 1 ⅝ inch outdoor deck screws (24-30)

  • Work gloves and eye safety goggles

  • Clamps, power screwdriver, jigsaw and chop saw are optional

 

Constructing the box can take some skill and practice but once it is done, the box will be a great way to get the veggie garden started.

 

Planting

Buy six-packs of seedlings or grow at home. Either way, the best way to begin is filling the box with potting soil. Water until damp, then lift baby plant from seed tray using a fork or spoon. Hold the plant carefully by the root ball and avoid mishandling the leaves or stem. Place plants in a new container, press soil firmly around. Watch the veggies grow before harvesting!

 

Get more advice on veggie planting this summer!

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March
10

One of the reasons people search for investment property in Ohio is to gain financial freedom. Financial independence is possible with an investment property if a person knows how to go about finding the right home and the ins and outs of putting money into an additional place. There are many benefits to purchasing such an investment in Ohio, especially Indian Lake, as prices are low and demand is going up for homes by the water. To increase cash flow, an investment property can be leased or rented out and eventually sold for profit. The appeal of injecting cash into a property which can build equity and profit later is possible. Follow these steps to   get started.

 

Establish a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)

An LLC is a private limited company which is a designated business structure. This is ideal for smaller businesses because it limits and shield's an entrepreneur's personal liability risk by the enterprise's liabilities. Any individual who uses an LLC does so to protect their rights as business owner against legal issues.

 

Find a Good, Reputable Real Estate Agent

A good real estate agent can find out immediately if a property will be a worthwhile investment. They will know the area and market values to help make the best choice. When a property is selected, cash will need to be available on hand for a 20% deposit. A good lender is key to help process the loans in a timely fashion. Choice Properties has excellent trained, qualified real estate agents available to help in the selection of an investment property in Indian Lake, Ohio and beyond.

 

Property Rehab

Homes are prone to wear and tear and investment properties are no exception. As years go by, a property will need upkeep as it may not be well taken care of by tenants. Damage is an inevitable part of owning a home so keeping a fund available for leaky roofs, new heating units and more is a consideration.

 

Contracts

Be selective when choosing renters for a property. Rent arrangements need to be covered in a contract. Failure to outline this in a written agreement may result in difficulties later if the need to evict a tenant arises or if other issues come up.

 

Patience

Patience is important when searching for investment property in Ohio. Indian Lake is an area with lots to offer but it will take time to locate the best property. It is time consuming to search for contractors and good renters. Taking time now will save a headache later so be patient, take time and do it right from the start.

 

Business First

Do not let renters get away with anything. After all, an investment is part of one's financial portfolio which can affect the quality of life. It is better to kick out a poor tenant for non payment or other issues than let the issue linger and risk losing money.

 

Choice Properties has agents ready to speak with you about investment properties in Indian Lake, Ohio.                                      Don't wait, call today at 937-842-2244 to discuss the options and get started!

 

Get more advice on steps it takes to own an investment property.

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November
10

Want to give your home a face lift but don't have a magically refilling wallet? With a budget of about $5,000 and a solid game plan, you can get a fresh new feel for your home this winter!

Home Improvements on a Budget

When working with limited funds, it's best to focus on the kitchen and bathrooms. These are the areas which are used the most, and if there's a chance you'll be selling your home anytime in the future, these are also the areas that buyers will show the most scrutiny over. With some finesse, you can even look at adding living space by enhancing your available outdoor areas.

Kitchens

A functional kitchen is a beautiful kitchen so start by assessing your cabinet situation. How practical are they? Could you use deeper cupboards? Taller? Wine-racks and spice storage might be beneficial, as well as a walk-in pantry to not only make better use of the space, but give you better control over your food supplies. Knowing what you have on hand will ultimately help out your grocery bill!

If you're happy with the cabinetry, other areas you can consider upgrading/updating are lighting and plumbing fixtures. Again, look for replacements that are not only 'pretty' but have 'green' benefits. These will eventually pay you back in utility bill savings, not to mention you can claim eco upgrades on your taxes. Win-win: help the environment AND put money in your pocket.

Bathrooms

Carry the green theme into your bathrooms. Update lighting and plumbing. While you're at it, consider giving the outdated tub/shower a facelift. Nothing says luxury like a tiled shower area, complete with a bench and a shelf area to house your assorted soaps and shampoos.

Outdoor Improvements

Create an outdoor living area to give your usable living space a boost. Actually building on new rooms can get quite costly, but a few dollars can go a long way toward turning a bland patio into an oasis. Things you'll want to keep in mind when creating your outdoor escape:

  • granite, pavers, or flagstone for the 'floor'

  • mulch landscape beds for visual appeal (if you don't have landscaping, consider a few potted plants)

  • provide shade by building a pergola or installing a retractable awning

  • if in a hot climate, consider installing outdoor fans and/or a misting system

  • water features will help with temperature as well, and can provide an audible escape


If you're looking to bring some life and energy to your home, a $5,000 budget can add quite a bit of flair and improvement to your house. Homes in Logan County are always beautiful but the upgrades keep them fresh. If you've recently updated your home, let us know!  Send us a picture and we'll feature it on our blog!

 

For more tips on how to upgrade your home with the buyer in mind.

Contact one of our agents for special advice.

 

November
6

As time marches on we tend to collect, some might even say hoard, so many "things." They might be personal mementos such as letters or various and sundry memorabilia from our school years, they might be "fangirl" collections from a book series, shot glasses from every state in the country, or baseball cards. Regardless of what is collected, humans like to gather.  It's in our nature.

Effects of a Cluttered Living Space

The problem with this is that eventually all this gathering leads to clutter, and clutter can lead to mental unease or distress. We're all very sensitive to our surroundings and the state of our living space often has a dramatic impact on our own emotional and mental state.  Cluttered closets and messy houses make for a lot of pent up anxiety and emotional baggage.  It might not seem obvious but the subtle effects of your surroundings have been studied and observed in cultures around the world for centuries, from Asian Feng Shui to modern Western Architectural Design principles. However, it's not always easy to part with our treasured collections of stuff.

 

Some of the most common reasons people refuse to get rid of these "things" are:

1. This is a family heirloom, so it would be wrong to let it go.

2. But it was a gift.

3. What if I need it someday?

4. I paid a lot of money for it.

 

Chances are, if you find yourself having to make excuses to yourself to keep the item(s), then you probably don't need them in your life or home. It's perfectly okay to have special mementos, but you don't need to hold onto every last thing you encounter in your life. Nor do you have to just throw away those relics.

Choose a few key pieces and create a shadowbox or a scrapbook. Consider donating your great-grandparents clothes to a local theatre organization where they can be used and appreciated by helping to bring the past to life . . . on stage. Perhaps you have some valuable china or crystal, or even art pieces, but they don't fit the style of your home and you never really liked the piece anyway . . . check with museum curators. You might have something that would be perfect for one of their displays (and this way you can go visit the stuff anytime you feel the urge to lay eyes on it again). Schools are always happy to take donations of gently loved books, toys, and clothes.

Minimizing, and thereby decluttering, your home will make you feel better. Don't keep things out of guilt or feelings of obligation. This is YOUR home, YOUR life, so make it a sanctuary. A happy place to be. You'll thank yourself for it.

 

Get more advice on ways to declutter your home and life.

Contact one of our agents today.

October
27

A home is a place that belongs to the entire family and the entire family belongs to the home. In an effort to build familial relationships, joining forces to care for and maintain your house can be an excellent source of inspiration and bonding. Whether you like the cliche or not, "clean up and do your share" can go a long way toward turning family chore day into something more akin to bonding time than a war zone. You just have to get everyone on the same page and set realistic expectations. Determine what your general goal for the day is, set everyone their tasks, and then dive in.

Doing Household Chores as a Family

First and foremost, don't expect perfection. As long as everyone's chipping in you can consider it a win. Allow for breaks, don't criticize, and be willing to offer praise and encouragement . . . especially if you have younger kids trying their best.

Do expect some whining. Nobody likes getting sweaty and dirty, so it's normal that there will be the passing comments of, "This isn't fun," or "I hate yardwork." Laugh it off, agree that it can suck, but keep going. Keeping your resolve to get the job done will reap rewards and satisfaction at the end of the day.

Don't omit anyone in the family. Everyone who is physically capable should have a job to do—you'd be surprised how much fun youngsters will have gathering leaves and bagging them (after a few rolls in the piles, of course!). Something as simple as bringing glasses of water to the older folk can make them feel useful and included. By the way, did you take advantage of the photo op when your kiddos were frolicking and laughing?

Bring the Family Together

If you know the day is going to be spent clearing the chaos and clutter, plan on something special as a reward at the end, like dinner. Order pizza in, or maybe head out to your favorite restaurant. Mom and Dad deserve a break, too; especially after a day of backbreaking labor and fielding potential emotional breakdowns amongst the children. Another option is to set aside the day after as a 'lazy day' … board games, movies in the living room, anything that brings you all together without expectation to work, just have fun.

October
7

 

 

wabi-sabi

"wisdom in natural simplicity"

"flawed beauty"

 

You can create your own Zen-like garden by understanding and utilizing simplicity in positioning and materials. At first glance, things may look askew or odd when you enter a Zen garden, but understand that nothing is left to chance in these special places. Every shape, plant, boulder, piece of art, and water feature has been chosen, and placed, with care.

A traditional Zen garden is enclosed and has a defined point of entry and exit, so in creating your garden, start with the gate. Both practical and symbolic, the gate allows those who enter a clear line to leave their stress and troubles behind. The gate also keeps out the unwanted, both physical and spiritual.

Extending from either side of the gate will be an enclosure; a fence.  Choosing natural materials such as wood or a living hedge, will give visitors the illusion of being 'hugged' while their eye is drawn by the continuity and rhythm of the enclosure. This elicits feelings of safety and security, and of being welcomed.

Throughout any garden you will find pathways. This is especially true in Zen gardens where the paths are not only functional, but chosen with purpose. A straight-lined path will get you there quickly, where a curved or zig-zagged path encourages the visitor to slow down, take their time . . . reflect. For this reason, Zen paths are often narrower, allowing for one person to pass, thus making the garden experience singular and unique. Common considerations for Zen paths: width, gravel (aesthetic and auditory), shape/direction of pathways, simple lines and angles.

Incorporate rhythm into your garden through repetition—patterns, plants, paths, and structures. For most people, an easygoing rhythm translates into moments of blissful tranquility.  

Boulders, in every size, color, and shape are instrumental to the antiquated feel of a Zen garden. They speak of nature and the passing millennia, while adding visual points of interest. A variety of textures and the freedom to "plant" them as deep and wherever you want, makes them a fun addition to your garden as well. Investing in a few extra large boulders, professionally delivered and installed, will be well-appreciated by your visitors to your garden. TIP: Odd numbers are more natural, so go with groupings of three or five boulders as opposed to two or four.

Provide simple, unadorned seating in your Zen garden. Let your visitors focus on the fresh air, the sounds of nature, and the other carefully chosen aesthetics of the garden.

Simple, organic art is perfect for a Zen garden. In fact, the more simple, the better. Abstract sculptures and wind chimes are great examples of artistic items you can incorporate into the landscape for the enjoyment and mental awakening of those who will wander your pathways. Stick to natural hues.

Carefully placed lighting will make your pathways safe to traverse in the evening hours, and will allow you to highlight the more special features of your garden, like prized specimen plants or a handcrafted sculpture.

Choose plants for the scents they'll emit when in bloom, the sounds they'll make when being rustled by the wind, and by how they'll feel beneath your feet or under the pads of your fingertips.

The sound, movement, and peace that water can bring to a garden is priceless. Again, go with simple and natural . . . and understated. Whether a small bird bath, a rain catcher, or even a full blown water feature with falls, you want this element to not be forced or contrived.

 

Continuity is the key to being Zen.

 

October
7

Before you take on any kind of major redecorating, you're going to want to take some preliminary steps. Like determining what your working budget for the project is, and taking a good long look at not only your likes and dislikes, but those of the other people living in the space with you, especially your significant other. If you aren't both on board, one of you could end up miserable in your home—the place that is supposed to be a sanctuary.  Discuss these home decorating tips with your family and see what ways you can spruce up your living environment.

 

"Spend an hour or two on the computer and look at some things together and talk about them. Ask your partner: 'What do you like about it? What don't you like about it?'"~Alana Homesley, interior designer (Woodland Hills, CA)

 

Having a plan in place before you begin will help make the process smooth and painless. 

That being said, there is no reason not to go after your 'dream space'. Have fun collecting pictures and ideas of what you would do if money and time were no object; create a wish list of sorts. Investing time—months, if necessary—in this step will give you a jumping point and allow you to really figure out what appeals to you, and what doesn't. This can also be an insightful tool in the event that you hire a professional home decorator.

 

"If you don't have that master list, it's hard to prioritize." ~Amy Luff, interior designer (Viva Luxe Studios in Bristol, VA)

 

Good questions to ask yourself when creating your vision:

  • What colors are comforting, welcoming, and relaxing?

  • Do you have pets that need to be accommodated?

  • What building materials 'speak' to you? Sterile and clean (marble, travertine, silk), warm and inviting (wood, bamboo, cotton and linen), et cetera.

  • What era, or style, are you most at home in? Victorian, French Country, Museum Chic . . . the choices are endless.

 

With the ideas flowing, now you need to start narrowing down your home decor ideas in order to achieve a realistic budget. Review what you have in terms of furniture and large décor pieces, and decide what can stay and what absolutely has to go. A whole new room can be created around existing pieces. Maybe you adore the design of your sectional couch, but the upholstery doesn't fit the new color palette you're considering . . . it may be cheaper to have that couch re-covered than it would be to go buy a brand new one. Love the frame on your mantle artwork, but the image itself isn't going to work with your new theme? Reuse the frame by replacing the print.

Think outside the box and be open to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Your pocketbook will appreciate it, as will mother Earth.

 

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October
7

Fall is in the air and the days are getting cooler. Time to pack up summer, then pull out the winter gear. This is also the perfect time to give your closets a good tidying. Here are some suggestions from professional organizers for organizing your closet space.

 

Sort 

The chief design officer for California Closets, Ginny Snook Scott, suggests the first step you need to take on is pulling everything out of your closets and then sorting the stuff into four distinct piles.

  • Now Pile—often used and worn

  • Someday Pile—special occasion clothes that still fit

  • Never Pile—face it, you're never going to put these items on again (Geralin Thomas, who is the president of Metropolitan Organizing in Raleigh, North Carolina, recommends that any "trophy garments," those that do not fit or you're keeping only because you paid a small fortune for it but are honestly never going to wear again, need to go. The money isn't coming back and all these items are doing are cluttering your space.)

  • Seasonal Pile—self-explanatory

Ms. Scott recommends going through your Someday Pile once again, see how much you can move to the Never Pile.

 

Sort Again

The first step is always the easiest, but now comes the hard part. Eliminating. For real.

Most people find that their Never Pile is often much larger than they anticipated it would be—up to 40% or more of the closet content. With this discovery usually comes motivation to keep going, to do more. Use this mindset to revisit the Now Pile; see just how much of it you can shift to the Someday and Never Piles.

 

Keep Up Your Resolve

Get that Never Pile boxed and bagged, ready for repurposing by either donating them to a goodwill store, passing them on to friends or family who can and will use them, or setting aside for a garage sale. DO NOT STORE these bags where you will be tempted to sift through or have 'one last peek'.

 

Organize the Seasonal Pile

  • Wash (or have dry cleaned) anything that is getting packed up. You don't want any lingering toiletry products on the clothes as this will draw insects. **Make sure all items are completely dry before they get stored. Unpacking your clothes to discover them threaded with mildew is nobody's idea of fun.

  • Use air tight, clear plastic containers which have been clearly labeled with what is inside.

  • Store the bins out of sight, but in an easily accessible place.

 

"Never store clothes in plastic bags like those from dry cleaners. Store them in cotton zip-up bags. No mothballs. No exceptions."  ~ Geralin Thomas

 

You're Almost Done!

 

Take advantage of the fact that the closets are empty by getting in there with the vacuum. You want to suck up all those lingering dust mites which destroy fabric and play havoc with people's allergies.

This is also a good time to evaluate your hangers. Wire hangers should go back to the dry cleaners or get recycled; these are meant for temporary use, using them long-term will stretch and ruin the shape of your clothes.

As you return the Now Pile items to your freshly cleaned closet, professional organizers suggest you "group" like items, i.e. shirts, dresses, pants, et cetera. If you want to go all out, you can do each group by color or style.

 

Enjoy the fruits of your labor. It's okay to go treat yourself to one or two new items, just don't go too crazy.

 

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