A lush spot for outdoor entertaining? Great. Perfect. A constant swarm of insects that invade your patio and home? No, thank you. Here's how to keep bugs away from your patio and yard, and from getting inside your house.
#1 Install Patio Fans
Mosquitos may have a tough sting, but they're wimps when it comes to standing up to a breeze. Patio fans can keep your outdoor entertaining space free from mosquitoes (and other little flyers) with the flip of a switch.
And you'll get the benefit of a cool breeze.
#2 Don't Mulch Too Much (or Too Little)
While mulching is generally a good thing for curb appeal, overdoing it can cause problems.
It could give cockroaches and ants the ideal environment to nest and find their way into your home, says Brittany Campbell, an entomologist with the National Pest Management Association. As mulch decomposes, it generates heat while providing cover for brooding pests. It can even help mice tunnel into your home.
So keep mulch at least 12 inches away from the foundation — or use inorganic mulch, such as rock or gravel.
But don't go in the opposite direction and forgo mulching altogether, leaving the ground essentially bare. Yellow jackets make their nests by tunneling into bare dirt.
#3 Get Rid of Standing Water
You probably know this one already. But did you know your gutters and downspouts may harbor multiple mosquito maternity wards?
Clean out gutters and downspouts regularly to prevent clogs that can trap water and give those nasty stingers a place to breed.
Also make sure to keep kiddie pools, buckets, and watering cans empty when not in use.
Even your beloved birdbath can be an issue. "Make sure you get one with running water, so you don't inadvertently create a mosquito breeding ground," says Kevin Esperitu, home landscaping expert and author.
#4 Keep Your Yard Trimmed, Mowed, and Tidy
Pull out that lawnmower regularly, and keep your garden shears sharpened.
"Ticks like to hide in tall grass and wait for a passing human or animal, while bushes or tree limbs touching the home can provide easy access for pests to get indoors," says Campbell.
Plus having a tidy yard makes for good curb appeal.
#5 Add Landscaping Plants That Bugs Hate
Bugs hate strong scents of mint or citrus. Mix plants with those scents into your landscaping, especially near the porch, patio, or deck for added beauty and functionality.
Here are some pest-repelling plants and the bugs that hate them:
Studies show that bugs see dark and bright colors more easily, which is why people are often advised to wear light-colored clothing to repel them. The same principle may work for your home.
Choose lighter shades of paint color for your home's siding, doors, trim, and other features such as fencing, patio, and decking to make it less attractive to mosquitoes.
And if pesky birds are a problem, avoid paint that is the same color as their favorite foods.
Just be sure the paint job fits into the neighborhood and enhances your home's beauty. Bugs are a pain, but hurting your home's value is more painful.
#7 Build a Bat House
If you live in an area where bats are local, lucky you. Really. Harness their appetite for insects to control pests in your yard. You can invite them to be your permanent guests by building a bat house. According to Bat Conservation International, one small bat can consume up to 1,000 mosquitoes per hour!
Real Estate Market Snapshot for Chicagoland • July 2020
(Published on - 7/7/2020 2:16:31 PM)
Closings see third week of increases, still lag 2019 numbers
MRED's Weekly market Snapshot from across the MLS's service areas shows home sales for the final full week of June built on previous-week gains, posting a seven-percent increase. Despite upward movement, sales were still substantially off of 2019's home sale numbers. Find out more in this week's report, including continued strong showings for homes going under contract.
Among the findings:
New listings entered into MRED's connectMLS for the week of June 29 were off just three percent from 2019.
Median prices for the week showed continued modest gains, posting a 1.2 percent increase over 2019 numbers.
Open houses, a measure of consumer market interest, doubled over the course of the month.
Learn more in the Weekly market Snapshot, released each Tuesday by MRED.
This data shows that with the necessary precautions taken, buyers and sellers can navigate their way through the process. Our Executives are equipped with all of the necessary tools to help clients buy/sell real estate...even under current conditions! If you're thinking of entering the real estate market, call us at 630-969-8880 to get started.
A Historic Rebound for the Housing Market
(Published on - 7/3/2020 6:40:19 PM)
Pending Home Sales increased by 44.3% in May, registering the highest month-over-month gain in the index since the National Association of Realtors (NAR) started tracking this metric in January 2001. So, what exactly are pending home sales, and why is this rebound so important?
According to NAR, the Pending Home Sales Index (PHS) is:
“A leading indicator of housing activity, measures housing contract activity, and is based on signed real estate contracts for existing single-family homes, condos, and co-ops. Because a home goes under contract a month or two before it is sold, the Pending Home Sales Index generally leads Existing-Home Sales by a month or two.”
In real estate, pending home sales is a key indicator in determining the strength of the housing market. As mentioned before, it measures how many existing homes went into contract in a specific month. When a buyer goes through the steps to purchase a home, the final one is the closing. On average, that happens about two months after the contract is signed, depending on how fast or slow the process takes in each state.
Why is this rebound important?
With the COVID-19 pandemic and a shutdown of the economy, we saw a steep two-month decline in the number of houses that went into contract. In May, however, that number increased dramatically (See graph below):
This jump means buyers are back in the market and purchasing homes right now. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR mentioned:
“This has been a spectacular recovery for contract signings and goes to show the resiliency of American consumers and their evergreen desire for homeownership…This bounce back also speaks to how the housing sector could lead the way for a broader economic recovery.”
But in order to continue with this trend, we need more houses for sale on the market. Yun continues to say:
“More listings are continuously appearing as the economy reopens, helping with inventory choices…Still, more home construction is needed to counter the persistent underproduction of homes over the past decade.”
As we move through the year, we’ll see an increase in the number of houses being built. This will help combat a small portion of the inventory deficit. The lack of overall inventory, however, is still a challenge, and it is creating an opportunity for homeowners who are ready to sell. As the graph below shows, during the last 12 months, the supply of homes for sale has been decreasing year-over-year and is not keeping up with the demand from homebuyers.
If you decided not to sell this spring due to the health crisis, maybe it’s time to jump back into the market while buyers are actively looking for homes. Reach out to a local real estate professional to determine your best move forward.
Buying a lake house can be a great investment, regardless of whether you intend to use it as a vacation property or a year-round residence. With that said, you shouldn’t rush into buying a lakefront property just because it’s available. As with any house, there are some things that you should think about before you sign on the dotted line. Here are a few specific considerations you should keep in mind when looking at a lake property that’s for sale.
Higher Moisture Levels
One of the first things that you’ll notice is that there’s more moisture in the air close to the lake. Higher humidity can be unpleasant during the summer, but it also can have a negative effect on your property as a whole. Mold, mildew and other humidity-related damage can occur over time, so it’s important to make sure that properties you consider were built and furnished with this in mind.
High Water Table
Because the property sits close to the lake, you’re going to have a higher water table than you would with more landlocked properties. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if the property has a basement or other underground area then you need to see what effects the water table has on those areas. Keep an eye out for leaks, flooding, cracks or mold that might be a result of the water table being higher than usual
Having a home close to the lake is nice, but it becomes significantly less nice if it doesn’t offer you lake access that meets your needs. If you have a boat, see if you’ll have easy lake access from your property or if you’ll have to get on the water somewhere else. Likewise, if you just want peaceful evenings to watch the sun set over the water, make sure that there isn’t a busy lake access point or marina close to your property.
Inspect the Water Line
There’s more to consider when buying a lakefront property than just the view. Take the time to walk along the water line and see what sort of shape the shore and the nearby water are in. Look for signs of erosion in the shoreline and yard and see whether the water itself is choked with weeds or other plant life. You should also look for signs of debris or other indicators of how high the water tends to get when the lake is swollen from rain.
Take a Deep Breath
A lake house can be a feast for the eyes, but those aren’t the only senses you’ll experience your lake property with. Lakes often have a distinctive smell, and in some cases, it can be pretty strong. A little bit of lake odor is usually pretty easy to overlook, especially if your house is set back from the water a bit. For some lakes, though, it can be almost overpowering, especially during the summer months when you’re most likely to want to be out on the lake. Before you buy, make sure that any odors from the lake are tolerable not only for you but also any guests that you might want to invite out.
Check on Your Insurance
If you’re buying a lakefront home, you may find that it costs more to insure than a property that’s more inland. In some cases, the insurance can cost substantially more. That’s not even counting flood insurance or other disaster-related policies that you’ll likely want to take out. Just make sure that the cost of insuring your new lake property isn’t going to be more than you can really afford to take out.
Find the Perfect Lake Property
It can take a lot of searching to find a lakefront property that checks all of your boxes. Fortunately, HomeKeepr is here to help. Sign up for a free account today to find the experts you need to inspect and customize the lake home of your dreams.
Median home prices in Chicagoland increase 3%; contracts still strong
(Published on - 6/26/2020 3:20:10 PM)
According to Midwest Real Estate Data, the median selling price of a home in our markets statewide for the week ending June 22 was $250,000, up three percent from the same period in 2019. The lift in prices is one of many statistics in the MRED Weekly Market Snapshot, which shows that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, buyers are still willing to pay a premium for the right home.
Other highlights from this week's report include:
Homes under contract continued to outpace previous-year numbers. There were 4,993 homes going under contract in the week ending June 22, a 49 percent increase over the same period in 2019.
Rental prices saw a 2.8 percent increase over 2019 levels. The average rent in MRED's markets was $1,850 last week.
The inventory of homes actively being marketed in MRED's system declined 3 percent to 70,992 properties.
Realty Executives agents are real estate experts. They have the education and expertise you need to navigate through the process of buying or selling a home. From listing at the right price to making the best offer, our Executives have witnessed the best - and most regrettable - decisions homeowners and homebuyers can make. Every day, they are immersed in every aspect of real estate that includes comparable home price analysis, property surveys, credit reports, open houses, HOA agreements, lenders, title companies, homeowners’ insurance, walk-throughs, terms of sale or purchase, repairs, concessions and closing documents. Let our accomplished Executives help navigate you through the process of buying or selling a home.
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