Claire Rainville, Broker Associate, REMAX

Want to list your house in the not-too-distant future? Ultimately, your house's curb appeal may have far-flung effects on your ability to sell your residence.

In most instances, a house with a dazzling front lawn is likely to make a distinct impression on potential buyers. This home may prove to be more popular than similar residences that are available, and as such, sell at or above its initial asking price.

On the other hand, a home with a messy, cluttered front lawn is unlikely to impress potential buyers. In fact, the front lawn may detract from the home's value, making it tough for a seller to maximize his or her earnings.

When it comes to enhancing your house's front lawn, it may be a good idea to hire a professional landscaper. Because if you have a professional landscaper at your disposal, you can get the assistance that you need to rejuvenate the front lawn of your home and enhance your residence's curb appeal.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you find the ideal professional landscaper before you list your house.

1. Shop Around

Many top-notch professional landscapers are available in cities and towns nationwide. If you evaluate assorted professional landscapers in your area, you may be better equipped than ever before to make an informed hiring decision.

Remember, as a home seller, it is important to do everything possible to enhance your house's curb appeal. And if you dedicate the necessary time and resources to find the right professional landscaper before you list your residence, you can improve your house's curb appeal and boost the likelihood of a fast, profitable home selling experience.

2. Ask Questions

A professional landscaper typically is happy to respond to your questions. Thus, you should not hesitate to ask lots of questions to a variety of local professional landscapers to ensure that you can find the right landscaper to fulfill your requests.

Don't forget to discuss your home improvement goals with various professional landscapers too. That way, you can compare and contrast myriad professional landscapers and hire a landscaper who can help you achieve the best-possible home improvement results.

3. Review Client Feedback

Client feedback about professional landscapers usually is readily available, particularly for landscapers who have completed a wide range of successful projects in the past. Therefore, you should search far and wide for client feedback to find a professional landscaper who can match or exceed your expectations.

A simple web search of a professional landscaper may provide you with access to client feedback. You also can request client referrals directly from a professional landscaper to learn what it's like to work with a particular landscaper before you finalize your hiring decision.

Lastly, if you need extra assistance as you search for a professional landscaper, you may want to consult with a real estate agent as well. A real estate agent can put you in touch with first-rate professional landscapers in your area and ensure that you can bolster your house's curb appeal before you list your residence.

When you’re ready to buy a home, there’s an anxious excitement that’s within you, making you feel like a small child on Christmas night. One question that is probably burned in your mind throughout the home search process is, “How long is this going to take?” 

If you’re a first-time home buyer, you’ll likely be using some programs through the Federal Housing Administration, also known as the FHA. With any kind of home loan, there’s many variables that can affect how long the process will take. This can be due to many factors including the seller’s circumstances and the nature of your loan. 

When you’re securing a home loan backed by the FHA, you may wonder how long it’s going to take for the entire process to finish from beginning to end. 

Variables That Affect The Loan Process


This is one of the variables that can fluctuate the most in the home loan process. Once you have found the home that you love, the lending process can take a few weeks beyond the point where you sign a contract. This part could entail many different steps that may become hurdles for you as a borrower. Your loan officer can also have an impact on the length of the process. Some loan people are just faster than others! 

Keep in mind that you can’t close on an FHA loan until you get through the underwriting process. In the underwriting process for an FHA loan, it will be assured that you meet all of the criteria necessary for securing the loan, such as the standards that have been established by the HUD (Department Of Housing and Urban Development).      

Closing On An FHA Loan

While it’s difficult to say the exact amount of time that it will take for a loan to process, there’s some things you can do ahead of time to prepare. If you apply for an FHA loan before you have even found a home, you’ll expedite the process a bit. If you have been pre-approved prior to making an offer on a home, you’ll likely be in a better position than if you haven’t yet met with a lender. This will also make the underwriting process move a bit faster for you, provided there aren’t any major red flags on your paperwork.  

FHA Appraisals

FHA appraisals do differ a bit from appraisals for a home with a more conventional loan. With an FHA appraisal, the appraiser must look for things in two main areas including any health and safety issues and determine the market value of the property as well. This process will most likely only take a few days. Part of the appraisal process may include the appraiser looking at similar properties in the area in order to get a bit of a comparison on the value of the property. 

Can You Speed It Up?

If you have everything in order before you even decide that you’re ready to go on the house hunt, you’ll discover that the process of securing an FHA loan will be a bit smoother. Talk to a lender before you start the process so you can familiarize yourself with the requirements. Once you can present the lender with the right documents, they’ll be able to do their job with little intervention on your part.

Let's face it – your home's exterior needs a serious makeover. Lucky for you, there are many quick, easy ways to transform your home's exterior before you add your residence to the real estate market.

Here are three tips to help home sellers revamp their home's exterior.

1. Choose the Right Color.

Painting your home's exterior serves as a fast, affordable way to enhance your house's curb appeal. However, you'll want to determine the right paint color before you embark on an exterior renovation project. By doing so, you can find a color that is both attractive and practical.

Your home's exterior should help your residence stand out for all the right reasons. Thus, you should try to find a color that complements your home's style. This will enable you to select a color that will draw homebuyers' interest immediately.

For example, using neon pink paint for the exterior of a mid-century modern ranch house may prove to be too dramatic. On the other hand, selecting warm or cool hues may boost your home's visual appeal and improve your chances of generating interest from a wide range of homebuyers.

2. Consider the Benefits of Using Multiple Paint Shades.

Your home's exterior will consist of three color components: the field color, accent color and trim color. Together, these colors can help you transform your ordinary residence into a stunning one, especially if you understand how to use multiple paint shades in conjunction with one another.

Selecting multiple shades from the same color palette may give your home a streamlined look and feel. Or, if you want to go bold with your home's exterior, you can always select vibrant colors for your home's trim or accent color.

Be careful not to choose contrasting shades as you evaluate your home exterior options. If you select colors that fail to complement one another, your home's exterior may become an eyesore. And in this scenario, your home's exterior could do more harm than good as you try to garner attention from homebuyers.

3. Select the Right Kind of Paint.

When it comes to painting your home's exterior, you'll need to choose between oil and latex varieties. Both oil and latex paints offer various advantages and disadvantages, so you'll want to conduct an in-depth evaluation of each type of paint to make the right selection for your home's exterior.

Oil paint typically provides exceptional durability and stain resistance, making it a great long-term option. Comparatively, latex paint usually dries faster than its oil counterpart and is easy to clean up with soap and water. If you devote the necessary time and resources to compare and contrast both types of paint, you're sure to make a great choice for your home's exterior.

Painting your home's exterior can be difficult, particularly for those who have never completed this task in the past. Therefore, if you ever have concerns or questions about painting your home's exterior, be sure to consult with a professional painter.

Spend some time revamping your home's exterior, and you can improve your chances of a quick home sale.

If it’s time for a deep clean of your home, you may want to grab the duster and just go at it. Dusting is a task that should be done on a regular basis, but it’s not always the case. There’s a right way and a wrong way to dust. Read on for a few simple tips to make your dusting tasks a breeze.

Should You Vacuum First? 

When you dust, all of the dirt and particles will fall on the floor. It only makes sense to dust first, then vacuum. You may want to get right to vacuuming, remember that dusting first is always the best approach.

Where To Start

When you're trying to tackle cleaning the entire house, it can be difficult to decide where to start. The best strategy is to start at the doorway of any room and work your way inward. You should also start at the ceiling and work your way down to the floor. It can be easy to forget ceiling lights, fans, and other fixtures that are high up but it’s important to get at these areas because dust often collects thickly there. Some other places to be sure you dust are:






Door frames

The deeper of a clean that you’re looking to achieve the more areas you’ll need to focus. For routine dusting, you can do more of a once-over approach. This way, you won’t need to spend hours on dusting each time you go to clean your home if you keep up with it. 

Frequent Dusting Will Keep Your Home In Better Condition

The more often you dust, the better condition the things in your home will be. Dust can place undue wear and tear on furniture and break down electronic items. Dusting will prevent scratches and blemishes because dirt won’t be on the issues to scratch them. Your furniture will look like new after a deep clean. You’ll appreciate the shine!                 

Other Areas To Focus On 

Don’t forget to dust these other key areas in your home when you’re doing a deep clean:


Corners of rooms



Picture frames


There are even a few ways that you can prevent dust from collecting in your home. Try using area rugs and pull up wall-to-wall carpeting. Use doormats at each entrance to your home to help keep the dust from collecting there. Keeping the windows in your home closed is also a great way to prevent dust and pollen from collecting in your house. 


In the U.S. twenty pounds of food per person is wasted each month. That’s a lot of food. And when you’re trying to save money and stick to a budget that number can be disheartening. No one wants to throw their hard earned money away in the trash. Below are a few ways you can prevent food waste each week and save money in the process! Be prepared - Planning out meals ahead of time is key to avoid food waste. It not only helps prevent last-minute impulse purchases but it also helps you save money each time you take a trip. When you buy only what you need each item you purchase is guaranteed to be used up and avoid the trash bin. Take meal planning an extra step by choosing recipes that call for similar ingredients so you can buy in bulk and save. You can also create a list of go-to meals and their ingredients to have on hand for busy nights when you don’t have time to plan ahead. Include slots in your meal plan for leftovers throughout the week to make sure they are eaten before going to waste. In the store - Buy only what you need by including the amounts of each ingredient your recipes call for on your shopping list. If possible buy loose produce and from bulk bins to ensure you are only taking home what you really need. Buying in bulk is tempting and can seem like you are saving money, however, if you don’t use all of it up you are actually wasting money. Frozen veggies and fruits are a great option for those who never seem to be able to cook fresh produce before they start to go bad. Fill your cart with less and make more frequent trips to guarantee you only buy what you will truly need and use throughout the week. Before the store - Use up what is sitting in your cupboards and fridge before shopping. Look for recipes that include what you already have on hand and add them to your meal plan. Another great habit is to go through your pantry and take note of what needs to be tossed. By taking note of what ends up in the trash you will know when to buy smaller portions or to keep an item off your list. Be smart about use by and sell by dates before tossing something into the trash. Usually, these dates are a loose guideline that the manufacturer has decided upon. Do you research on best by and sell by dates to decide how long an item is really good for. During the week - Freeze portions of items you don’t use all at once of and can’t find in smaller portions. Make the most out of leftovers by having a weekly buffet night or using your creativity and repurposing them into a new meal. Fruit and vegetables that are on their way out can be frozen to be used for smoothies and juices or tossed into casseroles and soups. Practice smart fridge and freezer storage, drawers and shelves are labeled with their intended purpose for a reason! Preparing foods ahead of time for cooking and snacking will make them easier to reach for and more likely to move off of your fridge shelf before going bad. Keeping your fridge organized will also be more likely to be eaten. After all, out of sight out of mind and if something is pushed to the back it is more likely to be forgotten. Food waste is a big problem in our culture but it doesn’t have to be in your household. With some planning and organization, you can significantly cut back on how much food you throw away and save yourself money in the process. Happy saving!