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There are few things more frustrating than finding out that the plants you’ve been tending to all summer have been overrun with insects and aren’t producing any fruit. Perhaps even worse is when you find a trail leading into your pantry where your food has been compromised by a tiny army of ants.

Keeping the pests out of your home and garden is a difficult task made even harder if you want to do it without using harsh chemicals and pesticides. However, there are ways you can effectively keep your food safe. In this article, we’ll show you how.

Protecting your garden from pests

The most important tool you have at your disposal when it comes to protecting your lawn, flowers, and garden from pests is your own vigilance.

In the garden, take note of the condition of your plants’ leaves. Look on the underside of them for small, yellow or brown dots. These are often insect eggs that will soon hatch and result in your plants being devoured before they can produce crops.

As a last-ditch effort to keep the bugs away, you can try spraying your plants with a homemade insecticidal soap spray. These sprays are usually 95% water and then a small amount of  pure castile soap or vinegar. Be sure not to use too much or this can harm your plants or soil.

Whether you live in the city, the suburbs, or in the country, there are likely to be some furry creatures who see your garden as a food source. One way to keep many away is by framing the garden with a simple metal wire fence.

If it’s flowers you’re worried about, try planting them in mulch and keeping the leaves dry when possible. This will avoid excess moisture which can cause plant-killing diseases. Using a watering can rather than a hose will help you target the base of the plant and keep the leaves dry.

Keeping the bugs outside

Regardless out whether your home is old or new, you’ll likely someday find yourself with an insect problem. Some are lured in by warmth in the cold seasons, others are seeking a food source.

Let’s begin on the exterior of your home. Check for cracks in your foundation and along doors and windows and seal these cracks up. Next, if there’s a space under your door, install an aluminum door threshold if there is a gap between your door and the floor. While you’re there, make sure the weather stripping on your door is in good condition.

Next, make sure all of the screens in your doors, windows, and other ventilation areas are in good condition. Even the tiniest tear can be enough to let in flies and other insects. 

The final step in keeping the bugs out of your home is to remove what’s luring them there in the first place. Store your food in airtight storage containers within your cabinets. Not only will this keep bugs away, but it can also make organizing food easier, especially things you might not use often, like flour or a large bag of sugar.


Ready to enjoy a successful homebuying experience? Ultimately, becoming a resourceful homebuyer will make it easy to transform your homeownership dream into a reality.

A resourceful homebuyer possesses the skills and know-how needed to streamline the property buying cycle. Plus, this homebuyer will be better equipped than others to maximize the time and resources at his or her disposal and speed up the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that you can use to become a resourceful homebuyer.

1. Know What You Want from a Home

You know that you'd like to own a house, but what are you looking for in your dream residence? As a resourceful homebuyer, you'll know exactly what you'd like to find in the perfect home. That way, you can narrow your home search.

Creating a checklist of dream home "must-haves" usually is a great starting point for a resourceful homebuyer. This checklist will enable you to determine what features you want in your ideal residence.

In addition, keep in mind that every house has its pros and cons. And if you set realistic homebuying expectations from the get-go, you'll be able to boost your chances of finding a home that can serve you well for years to come.

2. Take Advantage of Housing Market Data

There is no shortage of housing market data available. With this information in hand, you should have no trouble entering the housing market with the resources that you need to succeed.

Examine the prices of available houses in cities or towns where you'd like to live. By doing so, you can better understand how much it will cost to acquire your dream residence.

Also, check out the prices of recently sold houses in areas that you're considering. This housing market data will help you differentiate between a buyer's market and a seller's one and ensure you can map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Even a resourceful homebuyer knows his or her limitations. Luckily, real estate agents are available nationwide, and these housing market experts can help homebuyers fill in the gaps along the property buying journey.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of purchasing a great home at an affordable price. This housing market professional will set up home showings for you, keep you up to date about new residences as they become available and negotiate with property sellers on your behalf. Furthermore, he or she is happy to respond to any homebuying concerns and questions at any time.

Let's not forget about the confidence that a real estate agent provides to a homebuyer, either. A real estate agent will help you seamlessly navigate the property buying journey. Thus, he or she will simplify the process of acquiring a top-notch residence that matches or exceeds your expectations.

Start your homebuying journey today – use these tips, and you can become a resourceful property buyer.


You've found the home of your dreams, can afford the regular mortgage payments and even accounted for your closing costs, too. Clearly, you're in a great position to cover the costs associated with your home consistently, right? Even the most diligent homebuyer may encounter unforeseen costs along the way. Fortunately, we're here to help you prepare for these miscellaneous expenses. Here's a closer look at three miscellaneous homebuyer costs that you'll need to consider before you purchase a residence: 1. Homeowners Association Fees Planning to move into a condo? You'll want to find out what the homeowners association (HOA) fees are before you close on your residence, as these costs can add up quickly. HOA expenses usually cover the costs associated with keeping your lawn clean and looking great, clearing snow from roads and driveways in winter and other condo community costs. As such, these fees may wind up costing you several hundred dollars each month – a hefty sum that every condo owner needs to know about. To find out if HOA fees will affect your monthly budget, be sure to consult with your real estate agent. This professional should be able to get in touch with a HOA and determine exactly how much you'll need to add to your budget each month to account for these costs. 2. Unexpected Income Changes Your income may change over the life of your mortgage, and as such, you should try to plan accordingly. For example, consider what may happen if your full-time work schedule is reduced to part-time hours. This may prove to be exceedingly difficult, particularly if you don't have a Plan B in place to pay your mortgage. When it comes to potential income changes, it always is better to err on the side of caution. And a homeowner who has an emergency fund in place may be able to cover regular mortgage costs even if his or her everyday wages are reduced. 3. Emergency Medical Bills Unfortunately, medical emergencies can arise without notice and wreak havoc on a homeowner's budget. But even though these emergencies can put a financial strain on a homeowner, this homeowner still will be responsible for making regular mortgage payments. Emergency medical bills, like unexpected income changes, should be accounted for as part of an emergency fund. Furthermore, homeowners who contribute to this fund monthly can accumulate finances that will be readily available in even the worst-case scenarios. Buying a home requires a significant financial investment, but homebuyers who prepare accordingly will be able to ensure that they can manage any financial hardships that could come their way. No homebuyer wants to consider financial hardships, but working with a resourceful and intelligent real estate agent may help you prepare for the worst. This real estate professional may be able to offer guidance and tips to help you budget for your new residence and ensure that you'll be prepared for any emergencies as well. Plan for your new home purchase as much as you can, and ultimately, you'll be better equipped to make regular mortgage payments and manage any financial hardships along the way.

Renting is a great short-term housing solution for millions of Americans each year. And, for those who don’t want the responsibilities of homeownership, it can also serve as a longterm lifestyle for those uninterested in equity. However, if you do hope to someday purchase a home, there are several reasons it is one of the best financial decisions in the long run.

Finding out when is the right time to buy a home is a difficult question to ask yourself. You’ll have to consider your current budget and future financial goals, your employment situation, and personal lifestyle preferences.

In today’s post, I’m going to discuss several of these considerations to help you determine if now is the time to buy a home or if you should continue renting for the time being.

Mortgage rates through history

One of the features of homebuying that is largely out of your control is the historical average mortgage interest rates.


While your specific rate will be based on things like your income and credit score, as well as the type of mortgage you choose, real estate trends will also have an impact on the rate that lenders use.

Rates are, on average, lower in the last five years than they were throughout the 80s, 90s, and 00s. With rates under 4%, these levels are unprecedented in the last 3 decades. However, last year did see a slight increase to 4.1%.

What are your long and short-term plans?

Many people who are considering buying their first homes are more concerned with whether it’s  financially feasible than if it fits into their life and career goals.

Before you start shopping for houses and contacting lenders, it’s a good idea to sit down with your family or significant other and start thinking about a timeline.

First, are you prepared to live in your next home for 5-7 years? This a good baseline for the amount of time you need to stay in a home to make it worth the costs.

Next, would you have better career or education prospects if you were to move elsewhere in a few years?


Of course, these questions are not objective--you may never know for sure which is the best decision. However, having the conversation is vital to moving forward.

Are you prepared for the extra workload?

Homeownership is work. Aside from just having to mow the lawn and take out the garbage, you’ll also be responsible for repairs and maintenance that previously your landlord was required to do.

The good news is you can learn most things on YouTube. However, some repairs can be costly and require calling in a professional. Just like owning a car, homeownership has it’s associated upkeep expenses.

However, with that added responsibility comes independence. You can paint and change your home how you see fit without worrying about losing a security deposit.


Start considering these questions now and in due time you’ll have a better understanding of your current and future goals. This way, you’ll be able to choose the best possible time to buy a home.


Houseplants may seem like a strange thing to bring into your home. Plants belong outside, don’t they? Plants and people actually have a relationship where they need one another. Plants produce much-needed oxygen for humans. Humans release carbon dioxide, which plants need to perform photosynthesis. Plants should be placed throughout the home, especially in bedrooms, to release fresh air throughout the night when sleeping. Essentially, the right plants in your home can help to improve your overall health and well-being. 


Increases Humidity


Many people complain of having dry air in their homes. Plants actually release about 97 percent of the water that they take in. This moisture is released back into the air and increase the humidity in the air. This means that putting several plants together can really help to increase the moisture levels in a room. Having a more moist room helps to keep respiratory symptoms from flaring up as well as decreases the number of colds, dry skin flare ups, and other ailments associated with dry air.     


Natural Air Purifiers


Plants are natural air purifiers. They remove toxins from the air and even get rid of a large percentage of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These compounds can be found in everything from paint to newspapers and textbooks. VOCs are actually transformed into food for the plant. 


Just How Many Plants Should You Have?


To improve your health and the air quality in your home, you’ll want to place plants about every 129 square feet. For air purification purposes, you’ll want to place about 16-18 plants in an 1800 square foot space. This may sound like a lot, but if you consider spreading plants throughout your home, you'll fill the quota fairly quickly. Larger plants can also be used, placing one or two per room to fill this suggested requirement.  



Best Houseplant Choices:


  • Gerbera daisy
  • Spider plant
  • Boston fern
  • Philodendron
  • Snake plant
  • Peace lily


These plants all have different benefits but most are best known to purify the air, improve happiness, and increase well-being.

If you don’t have a green thumb, you should definitely get one. Most houseplants are not that hard to take care of. It’s easy and fairly inexpensive to equip your home with a good number of houseplants. The greenery will also add to the ambiance and decor of your home’s overall theme. Every room, including the bathroom, can benefit from these plants. Think of houseplants like another member of the family- one that gives you oxygen and clean air to breathe!       


 





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