Posted by Liberty Real Estate on 4/17/2019

A homebuyer is an interesting person, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

Each homebuyer is different, yet every property buyer shares a common goal: to acquire a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price. Furthermore, how a homebuyer approaches the property buying journey may dictate how long it takes this individual to accomplish his or her ultimate goal.

So what does it take for a homebuyer to become a homeowner? To find out, let's analyze the homebuyer's perspective and consider three steps that a homebuyer can take to speed up the property buying journey.

1. Know What You Want to Find in Your Dream Residence

No two homebuyers have the same definition of a "dream" residence. As such, it is up to you to define the criteria for your home search, and doing so may help you accelerate the homebuying cycle.

Differentiate between "must-haves" and "wants" before you kick off your home search – you'll be glad you did.

"Must-haves" refer to things that you absolutely need from your dream home. Some of the most common must-have home features include a fenced-in backyard or multiple bedrooms.

On the other hand, "wants" are things that you would like to have but can live without. These may include an indoor swimming pool, a spacious basement or other non-essentials.

After you define your dream home must-haves and wants, you can narrow your search for the ideal house. Then, you can move one step closer to transforming your homeownership dream into a reality.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Let's face it – every homebuyer wants to acquire an excellent residence, but no one wants to break their budget to purchase a house. Thankfully, you can meet with a variety of banks and credit unions to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you embark on your quest for the ideal house.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can be fast and simple. Meet with several lenders, and you can explore all of the mortgage options at your disposal.

Also, don't forget to ask questions about different types of mortgages. This will allow you to become a mortgage expert and select a mortgage that matches your finances perfectly.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

As a homebuyer, entering the real estate market can be overwhelming. But with a real estate agent at your side, you can get the support you need to secure a first-rate house at an affordable price, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.

A real estate agent is a housing market professional who will go above and beyond the duty to serve you in any way possible. He or she will set up home showings, keep you up to date about new residences as they become available and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. Plus, if you ever have homebuying concerns and questions, a real estate agent will be happy to respond to them at any time.

Ready to acquire your dream residence? Now that you understand the homebuyer's perspective, you can take the guesswork out of finding and buying a residence that matches or exceeds your expectations.




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Posted by Liberty Real Estate on 4/10/2019

Everyone had something ugly in their yard that they want to hide. For many, it’s the oversized trash bins that don’t really fit in the garage but are big and distracting when left out. Others may have utility boxes that mar your lovely landscaping. In some cases, it’s lawn equipment or gardening tools that don’t have a place you can tuck them away.

Here are some ideas of ways to hide your ugly stuff and beautify your home.

Trash Bins

If your oversized cans must be outdoors, create a trellis enclosure to surround them. Place pots with climbing plants such as ivy and trumpet vine along the sides so that they grow up and over the trash cans. However, remember to leave enough space for you to open the lids conveniently.

Another option for trash bins is to make a raised planter box that rises above the cans. Plant bright annuals, vegetables, or succulents in the box.

Utility boxes

To cover a utility box, vent pipe, or other smaller eyesore, purchase a faux stone or cluster of rocks to set on the street-side of it. Surround it with flowering plants or small bushes to give it a more pleasing look.

Disguise utility boxes with raised beds and fill them with taller perennials such as Iris or Agapanthus. The beautiful blooms distract from the ugly utility boxes and hide them in plain sight.

Tools

When a full toolshed is not an option, hide your tools in a patio chest. These chests double as extra seating for entertaining and can even hold a small lawnmower if necessary.Or, create a hideaway cabinet under the deck landing. Just wrap the area with siding to match the deck, add access doors and voila, your tools are hidden in an area that looks like it was meant to be there.

Fireplace Logs

When you have a wood-burning fireplace but don’t know where to store the logs, build a bench seat similar to a crate and stack the wood under it. Use the bench for extra seating or as a display shelf for your favorite potted plants.

Use two pillars of your patio cover to stack the logs between, but place lattice on the patio side to hide the wood. Hang planters from the trellis to create a walled garden to bring cheery greenery to your patio area while hiding the logs.

Hoses

Hide your hose in a lovely pot situated near to the faucet. Most garden centers and DIY hardware stores offer choices specially designed to keep unruly hoses in check.

Whatever the problem area, you can find a way to keep it hidden from view with a little ingenuity and effort. Doing so improves your home’s curb appeal and increases your enjoyment of your outdoor living space.




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Posted by Liberty Real Estate on 4/3/2019

If you enjoy eating a lot of chicken in your diet because it is easy on your budget, then it pays to have many ways to cook it. Chicken is an affordable meat that many people use in their daily meal planning. The problem with chicken is that creating new ways to prepare it could be difficult. Here are four ways to use the chicken thigh with the leg attached to make a tasty meal:

Roast Chicken

Roasted must be the easiest way to cook chicken. Just wash, pat dry, rub with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. You can cook with the lid on or off. Many people will cook and take the cover off three-quarters of the way to ensure that the skin gets brown and crisp. Add your one of favorite vegetables, and you have a meal prepared with little hassle.

BBQ Chicken

If you are new to using a BBQ grill, take the skin off the chicken before you start cooking. Removing skin will significantly reduce the chances of a fire starting and burning your meat. Add any style of sauce near the end of cooking. Having 3-4 different sauces will allow you to change the flavor of the meat by using a different sauce. It goes excellently well with steamed rice, veggies and as a side to most dishes.

Breaded Chicken

Breading is a quite fantastic way to cook your chicken. You can purchase different flavors at your local grocery store, or you can mix your own spices and add them to your coating. The best part of making your unique spice blend is that you can control how much sodium you use. Two popular coatings you can use are corn flakes and crackers. If you want to prepare a truly special meal, Japanese Panko bread crumbs will add a nice touch to your chicken.

The Slow Cooker

Another easy way to cook chicken is to add chicken pieces and bones to a slow cooker along with some water. Set it on low, add a couple of bay leaves, some salt, and then leave it to cook all day. An hour before cooking, take the chicken out of the slow cooker and let it cool. While the chicken is cooling, you can add noodles or rice. Pick all the meat off the bones and put it back into the slow cooker and you will have an amazing chicken noodle or rice soup.

Try out these super ways of cooking chicken and expand your cooking horizons today.




Tags: kitchen   Cooking   entertaining  
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Posted by Liberty Real Estate on 3/27/2019

No matter where you live, smart planning means landscaping for your climate. While magazines, websites and home and garden television shows display verdant English gardens dripping with wisteria and spritely fountains, responsible landscaping means ecologically sustainable plants and watering systems is the way to go.

If you’re in a newly built home, designing a low-maintenance yard from scratch is more straightforward than removing an existing water-guzzling lawn. In more arid climates, consider xeriscaping—also called desert-scaping or dry-scaping—lower water use protects natural resources and native wildlife, while seamlessly flowing with the natural environment. Even in moister climes, it's wise to utilize plants that grow naturally without excessive watering. Choosing native plants with the assistance of a local garden center can start you on your way.

Plan your site use

Consider how you’ll use the space before tearing up the existing landscaping. Are the flat areas better for play spaces or for entertaining? Is there a slope or terraced area? Does water flow downhill from another yard? How does the sun, shade, wind, or other weather patterns move through the yard? Determine the best use and how weather patterns affect the area to reduce the amount of effort you’ll need to spend maintaining your landscaping.

Consider your needs:

  • Hire a professional to test your soil to see if you need to add special fertilizers.
  • Review the drainage and correct elevation issues so that water flows away from your home. A flooded basement is avoidable with proper preparation.
  • If you're new to homeownership and landscaping, think about hiring a professional to get advice or to complete the project.
  • Where possible, utilize drip irrigation systems rather than sprinklers. These reduce water waste and soil erosion. Set timers on your irrigation system to avoid overwatering and waste.
  • Try to preserve any naturally existing trees, especially native ones, but replace high-maintenance trees when necessary.
  • Choose shade-tolerant plants for areas shaded by trees or buildings.
  • Install ground cover plants, or even lava rock, gravel, or river stones to reduce water consumption and run-off.

Make space functional

For play areas, use environmentally-friendly grasses, or replace turf with pea gravel, mulch, sand or specially design playground materials made from repurposed rubber tires and other recycled products. Entertainment spaces allow for artistic use of paver stones with gravel between for drainage, raised beds that double as sitting areas and decorative pathways through your landscaping.

Simplify maintenance

Whatever your landscaping needs, careful planning to reduce maintenance requirements gives you more time to enjoy your yard. Cover any bare soil with water-permeable fabric weed barriers and layer gravel or mulch over the fabric. Advanced planning means less weeding later. Reach out to a landscape professional or garden shop for information on ordinances and specifics on safe herbicides that protect your environment while simplifying your life.




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Posted by Liberty Real Estate on 3/20/2019

Life amongst the trees can be beneficial. You get plenty of shade, ample privacy, and can use some of the wood for heating, cooking, or camp fires with the kids. However, living in the woods can also present a few challenges that many aren’t prepared for when purchasing a home in a heavily wooded area.

In this article, we’re going to give you some advice on how to survive and thrive on a heavily wooded plot of land so that you can make the most of the trees you’ll grow to love.

Branch management

While all of those trees in your yard may be beautiful, they can be dangerous to you, your home, and your vehicles if you’re not careful. Storms, especially in colder climates where ice is likely to form, can bring down large branches and cause a lot of damage.

They can also be a minor annoyance when you have to move branches before you back out of your driveway in the morning.

The best way to avoid potential danger is to take inventory of the branches that are within striking distance of your home, garage, vehicles, and driveway. Healthy branches on younger trees might not pose a hazard. But, if you notice dying or large, heavy branches that could fall somewhere dangerous, it might be better to remove them now than pay for the damage they cause later.

This brings us to one of the most important tools you can have living in the woods: a chainsaw.

Since you have a wooded property, it’s most likely best to buy a gas-powered or battery-powered chainsaw to avoid having to use several extension cords throughout the woods.

When it comes to the high sitting branches, you can buy a pole saw in the $150 range that will handle small branches.

One of the benefits of cleaning out some trees is that you get free fuel for your fireplace (if you have one). However, you’ll need a dry place to season your wood before you burn it. Ideally, wait at least a year for your wood to dry out before using it in your wood stove.

Embracing nature -- the good and the bad

To get the most out of your tree-covered yard, you’ll have to learn to accept some of the things that come with it. If you’re the type of person who picks up every stick on their lawn, you’ll come to realize that it’s best just to pick them up before you mow.

When it comes to mosquitos and other insects, you’ll learn the times when they come out to feed and learn to avoid exposure at those times. However, when you live in the woods, bugs and critters are a part of life. So, it helps to learn about them. You might find that the spiders you hate help keep your home free of other undesirable insects.

When you get fed up with the sticks you have to pick up and the insects you have to avoid, just remember that you have privacy from passersby, that it’s more calm and quiet from the trees blocking the sounds of the road, and that the shade will give you a cool place to sit outside and save you some on your air conditioning bill in the summer.




Tags: Trees   woods   wooded lot  
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