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Easy Landscaping Ideas For Spring

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

An expert gardener/landscaper, I am not.  However, as a real estate agent, I AM a home connoisseur of sorts.  My many years in the business has afforded me the opportunity to witness plenty of dos and don’ts when it comes to landscaping and increasing curb appeal.  With spring weather {hopefully!} on the horizon soon, I thought I would share just a few easy ways to increase the aesthetic appeal of your yard.

Start with a plan. And don’t hesitate to dream big!  That’s where great ideas begin.  Think about how and who will be utilizing your yard.  Do you need a family space used for playing catch with the dog, BBQs, and watching outdoor movies?  Or a relaxing retreat that serves as your own personal sanctuary?  Be mindful of the amount of time you are willing to put into maintenance and upkeep.  Now is also the time to brainstorm bigger, long-term ideas, such as a bird bath/feeder, a garden, water features, flowers, or even a hammock, that could add function and fun to your space.

Grand plans are great, but big ideas aside, there are several smaller, simple landscaping concepts that can not only increase your curb appeal, but also serve as a cornerstone for the larger lawn dreams that you’ve been scheming.  Here are a few:

Focus On The Front (door and porch)

●Guide your guest’s eyes from the street to your front door with a manicured, shrub-lined walkway. 

●Consider placing containers of flowers near the front entry as an easy and inexpensive way to add some eye-catching color.  The brighter the color, the easier to see from the street! Porches appear especially welcoming with potted shrubs, trees, or flowers.

●Symmetry is pleasing to the eye, so use this to your advantage by placing pots on either side of the front door OR if you have a corner door, group 3 varying shaped large containers, filled with flowers or plants, along the wall near the door.

●Good landscape lighting is necessary for both convenience and safety.  Use low-voltage lights to illuminate walkways leading to the porch or door. 

Consider Container Gardens

Container gardens are one of the easiest and most popular types of landscaping. They add color and a homey feel to most any exterior -- without breaking bank.  Your local garden center carries pre-planted containers or you could create your own with an favorite flowers or plants.  An asymmetrical, staggered arrangements is almost always pleasing to the eye -- whether it be up against the house or in the corner of a concrete area. 

Lawn Maintenance

A green, well-maintained lawn, free of weeds and clutter speaks to the pride homeowners take in the presentation of their yard.  Consistency is the key when it comes to mowing and/or watering.  Fresh mulch is also an easy way to spruce up garden beds without spending much money.  The contrast between new mulch and plants makes everything pop and will draw attention to your well maintained yard.  Finally, take the time to trim overgrown trees and shrubs.  Nothing says neglect like dead branches and excessive shrubs.

Your home’s exterior is also it’s first impression.  With a little TLC and even less time, you can ensure that the pride in your home is evident AND that all passersby are overcome with that positive first impression it deserves!

Preparing Your Home For Spring, Part 1: The Interior

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Could it be?!  Is spring really finally here?  I can’t say for sure, but whether we’re ready or not, ball games are in full-swing, the birds have reemerged, and kids are counting down the days until summer vacation.  If you’re anything like me, as the days get longer and the temperatures get warmer, you get the itch to clean and freshen up your home – both inside and out.  Today we’re going to talk a little about what kinds of things you can do to prepare your home’s interior for the change in seasons.  Then, next week we’ll follow up with ideas for freshening up your home’s exterior in time for spring.

Maintaining your home’s interior and preparing it for spring may require a bit of time, some organization, and a little work, but follow these easy steps and you’ll be ready to enjoy the sunshine in no time!

Spring Interior To-Do List:

  • HVAC maintenance.  Call on a professional now while the days aren’t yet scorching to ensure that your AC unit is functioning properly AND without using more energy than necessary.  Now is also the time to replace filters and make note on the calendar to continue to do so monthly.
  • Inspect caulking around windows and doors.  Often times these openings can separate ever so slightly from their frames in harsh winter temperatures.  A quick application of external silicone caulking or sealant can remedy this without much hassle.
  • Change the direction of your ceiling fans.  During the summer months, it is ideal to have your fans blowing cool air down to give the room a nice breeze and to feel cooler.  And the opposite is true in the winter.
  • Inspect and clean your clothes dryer vent to make sure it is clear of lint and functions properly.  A clogged vent can result it warm air being blown back into the laundry room, which in turn, eventually raises the temperature of the entire house.
  • Spring clean!  Now is the time to dust, mop, vacuum, organize, and purge your home of unwanted and unused items.  Wash linens, shower curtains, children’s toys, blankets, and pillows.  And don’t forget the windows, blinds, air vents, fans, and the fireplace from winter!

Your home goes through many changes as it ages and endures seasonal changes.  Not only is it rewarding to prepare for spring, but NECESSARY as well!  So, what are you waiting for?  Get busy!  Warmer temperatures are on the way!

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