Ryan Seward - RE/MAX Select Realty



Posted by Ryan Seward on 8/16/2018

Many of us grew up with the chore of mowing the lawn or pulling weeds at our parentsí house. It can seem like common sense that grass mostly just takes care of itself.

However, thereís a lot more to growing a healthy green lawn than just mowing every two weeks. In this article, weíll talk about some lawn care techniques that you might be forgetting that will help you maintain a healthy lawn that will be the envy of your neighborhood.

Cut length

Many people try to prolong the time between cuts by setting their mower to a short height. Others just like the look of their lawn when it is cut very short. The downside of this practice is that it isnít healthy for the grass for a number of reasons.

First, tall grass is able to develop stronger roots, which youíll need if you have kids, pets, or plan on using your lawn for anything other than looking at.

Another reason is that grass shades the soil beneath it from the sun. This helps the soil maintain moisture longer which, in turn, helps your grass grow better.

So, how much grass should you cut off? Experts recommend that you remove only the top third of the grass as a general rule. However, different types of grasses have a preferred height, so be sure to find out which type of grass you have if you plan on cutting it shorter than two inches.

Fertilizer is not optional

Soil nutrients are depleted over time. If youíve noticed what was once a healthy lawn slowly deteriorating over the years, thereís a good chance you need to fertilize.

To determine the exact type of fertilizer youíll need, itís a good idea to test the pH of your soil. You can purchase a soil testing kit online and from some lawn care retailers, or you can send your sample to a lab to be tested.

Once you know the pH, you can buy the right fertilizer to help balance the quality of your soil and promote the growth of your lawn.

Aerate your lawn

Lawns take a beating over the years. Whether itís from the stomping feet of children, the pressure of rain, or just the force of gravity, the topsoil of your yard will become compacted.

This makes it difficult for nutrients to reach the roots of your grass and it makes your lawn work harder to build its root network.

There are a few ways to aerate your lawn. You can buy a hand tool at a hardware store designed for putting small spikes into the ground. But, if you have a large yard you might want to consider renting an aerating machine that will save you time and blisters.  

Reuse your clippings

Most people collect the clippings from their lawn in a big pile and eventually haul it away. However, those clippings are filled with nutrients that your lawn could use to grow.

Grass clippings decompose quickly and if you disperse them evenly on the lawn they arenít noticeable for long.




Tags: lawn care   grass   homeownership  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Ryan Seward on 8/9/2018

If you work from home part or all of the time, chances are you have a specific place in your house where you go to work to be free from distraction.

Many people spend a lot of time thinking about the decor of their home office. They decide how much light they want to let in, what they need on their desk, and which distractions to keep out of the room entirely.

Surprisingly few people, however, consider the ergonomics of their home office.

What is ergonomics?

Simply stated, ergonomics is the study of peopleís efficiency in the workplace. When it comes to office work or working at home, that means studying things like posture, desk height, eye strain, and much more.

In this article, weíll talk about some ways you can improve the ergonomics of your home office to prevent injury and to make your office a more productive and less stressful place to work.

Choosing a desk chair

Letís begin with one of the most common complaints in offices and home offices around the world: chairs.

You could spend several hundred dollars on an ergonomic office chair. But in reality it only needs to meet a few criteria that you can often find in inexpensive computer chairs. When buying a chair, look for the following:

  • Lower back support what will help you keep a straight spine

  • Adjustable heights for the chair, the backrest, and the arm rests

  • A firm, but comfortable cushion that you wonít slide down on

Picking the right desk

The most important ergonomic factor of a desk is that you can easily fit your legs under it and donít have to crane over it to write.

Regardless of where you keep your keyboard, it will help if your arms can fall on it naturally and at a close to ninety-degree angle.

Screen height and distance

The vast majority of work performed at home is done with the use of a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet.

Ideally, the height of your screen should be adjusted so that you can view it straight on, and not have to look down or up at it. This will help protect your neck from strain.

For eye strain, itís a good idea to keep the monitor a couple feet from your eyes and to adjust the brightness so that itís easy to read but not too bright.

The best thing you can do to avoid headaches and eye strain is to set reminders for yourself to look away from the screen every twenty minutes or so or get up and go for a walk.

Take more breaks

Speaking of taking breaks; sitting in one position for too long can contribute to muscle and joint pain. If youíre working at home, it should be easy to get up and stretch or move around every half hour or so.

You donít have to take a long break; even a minute or two is sufficient enough to help take the strain off of your tired eyes and stiff back and neck.




Tags: home office   ergonomics  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Ryan Seward on 8/2/2018

If you want to purchase your dream house at a great price, you should monitor the real estate sector closely. That way, you can identify housing market patterns and trends and map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you track the housing market so you can speed up your home search.

1. Analyze the Prices of Recently Sold Houses

Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your preferred cities and towns. Then, you can use this housing market data to understand the average price range for houses in areas where you want to live.

As you review the prices of recently sold houses, you may want to narrow your homebuying criteria as well. With homebuying criteria in hand, you'll be better equipped than other buyers to seamlessly navigate the property buying journey.

2. Find Out How Quickly Houses Are Selling

Differentiating a buyer's market from a seller's market is key, particularly for a buyer who wants to achieve the best-possible results. If you find out how quickly residences are selling in your preferred cities and towns, you can distinguish a buyer's market from a seller's one.

In a buyer's market, there is an abundance of sellers and a shortage of buyers. This means buyers will find lots of outstanding houses at their disposal.

Comparatively, in a seller's market, there is an abundance of buyers and a shortage of sellers. If you're a buyer operating in a seller's market, you likely will need to bid competitively to acquire your ideal residence.

Once you determine whether you're preparing to enter a buyer's or seller's market, it generally is a good idea to plan ahead for the property buying journey as much as possible. If you know exactly what you want to find in your dream house and where you want to live, you can quickly and effortlessly discover your ideal residence in any housing market, at any time.

3. Assess Houses That Fall Within Your Price Range

Many houses are available in cities and towns nationwide, but it is important to determine exactly how much you can spend on a residence prior to entering the real estate market. If you establish a homebuying budget, you can review the prices of houses that fall within your price range. Perhaps most important, you can avoid the risk of spending too much to acquire your ideal house.

As you kick off a home search, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent too. A real estate agent is happy to help you pursue houses in your preferred cities and towns and find one that matches your expectations. Plus, a real estate agent will help you submit an offer to purchase your dream home that hits the mark with a seller.

Ready to conduct a home search? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can perform an extensive analysis of the real estate market and boost the likelihood of a successful property buying experience.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Ryan Seward on 7/26/2018

If youíre thinking about buying a home, youíve probably heard a lot about closing costs. Closing costs can come at a hefty price- up to 5% of your homeís purchase price. When that amount must be paid up front, you need to make sure you have a sizable amount of cash on hand.  


Thereís many different kinds of fees included in the closing costs. Your lender will give you an estimate of what your closing costs will be, but you may not know what any of the terms that are included actually mean.  


The Loan Origination Fee


This is the fee charged by your lender that covers the administrative costs that are associated with creating and processing a mortgage. This could also be called an underwriting fee.   


Title Search Fee


This is how much the title insurance company charges to perform research on the title of the home. In some cases, the title may have some issues associated with it, so this research is to protect you. Thereís also title fees known as lenderís title insurance and ownerís title insurance. You need to have lenderís title insurance, but ownerís title insurance is completely optional.


Credit Report Fee


This covers the obtaining and review of your credit report. 


Application Fee


Thereís also a fee when it comes to reviewing your mortgage loan application. 


Home Appraisal


This fee covers the appraiser who is chosen by your mortgage company in order to assess an accurate value of the home.  


Tax Monitoring Fee


This fee supports tax research on the home to determine if property taxes have been paid. 


Survey


The property survey covers all aspects of the property bounds including gas lines, roads, walls, easements, property improvements, and encroachments. 


Attorney Fees


The attorney fees will cover all of the document reviews, the agreements, and the escrow fees.


Insurance Payments


When you close on a home, your entire first year of home insurance payments must be made at the time of closing. If you have bought your home with an FHA loan, youíll need to pay mortgage insurance premiums at closing as well. Youíll also need mortgage insurance payments if you put less than a 20% down payment on the home.  


Escrow Property Taxes


The lender requires that you pay your property taxes up front. This money will be held in escrow and the taxes paid from there.  


As you can see, thereís a lot that goes on during the closing of a home. Make sure you have some water handy, itís going to be a long process! Understanding what will happen at closing when you buy a home can help you to avoid any surprise fees or financial burdens.





Posted by Ryan Seward on 7/19/2018

One of the biggest hurdles in becoming a homeowner is that of saving for a down payment. In todayís world, itís hard for anyone to save sizable amounts of money due to the extreme cost of living in most areas. With less income and higher expenses, many people have less of an opportunity to save money.


Saving Isnít Impossible


Many homebuyers are first-time homebuyers. While many simply dream of owning a home, others work to make it happen. Saving money is a goal. Once you save the money, you have made a real accomplishment. Youíll have a huge reward waiting for you once you reach your goal. How can you save effectively? Thereís a few simple steps that will allow you to start saving for a down payment on a home. Remember that no matter how slow you go, every step is one step closer to hitting your goals. 


Get A Savings Account


Preferably, the savings account that you open should be dedicated to your house expenses. Most of the time, your bank will allow you to set up automatic transfers from your checking account. See how much you can afford to save and set up these transfers. Each time you get a paycheck from work, have a certain amount put right into the savings account. Youíll be saving without even thinking about it.


Be Budget Friendly


Budgeting sounds complicated, but really, itís quite simple. First, put your monthly gross income on a spreadsheet. Then subtract things like taxes and fees that come out of your paycheck. Next, subtract all of your necessary monthly costs. These can include student loan debt, car loans, rent, and how much money you spend on food and entertainment. There's so many little things that we spend our money on everyday, you may be surprised to see how much youíre spending and what youíre spending it on. Some categories are important and others are not.       


See Where You Can Cut Costs


After you have made a concrete budget, see where you can cut some costs. If you need to cut out going to dinner and the movies, then do that. Thereís bound to be something that you can cut out of your budget thatís not a necessity that can help you to save some cash. The sacrifice will be worth it in the end!       


Indulge For Your House


Every time that you get a small bonus, a gift, or a tax refund, put it away. It can be tempting to want to go buy a brand new TV or spend your money on entertainment, but saving that money for your house fund will be a lot more rewarding. 

The bottom line is that it wonít be a huge task saving your money for a down payment once you put your mind to it. Happy saving!