Wild and Free: Bees in Your Back Garden

If you grow top fruit, beans, almonds, coppiced hazel or willow, flowering crops of any kind, or just have plenty of wild flowers in your garden, you will already have bees as visitors, so keeping a hive or two of honeybees would seem like a great idea. However, while my own main interest is in honeybees, my first piece of advice to gardeners thinking of taking up beekeeping is first to spend some time addressing the needs of other wild pollinators, especially bumblebees and solitary bees.

It may seem romantic to have thousands of honeybees buzzing round your flower beds, but the reality is that they are not entirely without problems. If your garden is small and urban, you may need to think carefully before placing a box of fifty thousand insects equipped with stings close to a neighbor's territory. There may be pets, children and elderly people to consider. You may want to think about how you use the space in your garden and how your activities – such as sunbathing, eating al fresco or simply hanging out the washing – may interfere with their flight-path, which at times may make Heathrow look like a quiet backwater.

I say these things not to put you off, but to encourage you to think carefully about what your real reasons for wanting to 'keep' bees may be.

The chances are that flowering plants you grow are already being pollinated quite effectively by wild bees and other insects and unless you grow such crops on a large scale, adding honeybees to the mix will have only a marginal effect on yields. Exceptions to this might include areas where neighbours routinely spray with insecticides – with the result that wild insect numbers have been drastically reduced – or places where wild bee populations have suffered for other reasons, such as heavy pollution or habitat loss. Unfortunately, in these cases, you are probably in the wrong place to keep honeybees.

Compared to most livestock, honeybees need little attention, and so can be added to a garden, homestead or smallholding without fear of creating a serious drain on your time. However, as with any other creature that comes within our care, someone must give them the right kind of attention at the right times, if only to ensure that they are comfortable, replete with stores and disease-free. Honeybees are – and will always remain – wild creatures, unimpressed by our attempts to domesticate them, so 'keeping' them is really a matter of providing suitable accommodation and allowing them freedom to roam. Beyond that – especially if you have honey in mind – you have to consider the degree and style of 'management' you will endeavor to apply.

Addressing the needs of other native bees first will help ensure that you do not cause an imbalance by flooding the area with honeybees while the local bumble population is less than optimal. Exactly how this can be assessed is yet to be fully established, but if bumblebees are currently rare visitors to your garden, it may be too soon to add a beehive.

One of the most important considerations is the availability of food throughout the bees' flying season, and this is where the gardener can apply their particular skills to ensuring diversity and appropriate variety of species. There is considerable overlap in the flower varieties visited by different types of pollinating insect and they each have particular preferences. For example, comfrey, red clover and foxglove tend to be preferred by bumblebees, while honeybees are more likely to be found on heathers, white clover and apple blossoms. Of the 'imported' species, Buddleja is famously attractive to butterflies, moths and many bee species, and Himalayan balsam provides a welcome late-season boost, especially to bees and hoverflies.

Of course, many – if not most – putative beekeepers are tempted in that direction by the prospect of having their own honey 'on tap'. Honey yields are dependent on three main factors: the number of colonies kept, the extent and variety of available food and – more than anything – the weather. Of these, only the first is fully under your control, as bees may forage over a three mile (5 km) radius from their hive. If most of that territory is flower-rich meadows and hedgerows, organic farmland or verdant, uncultivated wild countryside, you are probably well placed to keep at least half a dozen hives if you so choose. Increasingly, beekeepers in towns and cities are finding their bees are healthier and more productive than those kept near arable farmland, and the explanation for this seems specifically clear: our agricultural system is a massive consumer of pesticides, fundicides and herbicides, which are known to be dangerous to pollinators. Much attention has lately been focused on the insidious destructive power of systemic neonicotinoids, including Imidacloprid, Clothianidin and Thiamethoxam, which are known to be highly toxic to bees in laboratory conditions, yet have been licensed for use in the field. They are typically applied as seed coatings, finding their way into the cellular structure of the plants as they grow and rendering the entire plant – from its roots to its pollen and nectar – toxic to anything that comes too close. Concern has widely been expressed about their potential for toxicity to humans, too.

If you decide that you do want to bring honeybees into your life, an early choice you have to make is between 'conventional' beekeeping, using variations of the Langstroth-style frames-and-foundation hive, and so-called 'natural' beekeeping , which is mostly based on variants of the top bar hive. The route you follow will depend on your philosophy, your specifically and your pocket. The conventional approach requires a substantial initial investment in equipment, an ongoing dependence on bought-in supplies and the possibility of higher honey yields; While the natural path can be followed at a minimal cost, with generally lower but more sustainable yields and a minimal carbon footprint. Before choosing between them, you should first seek out opportunities to have some direct, hands-on encounters with live honeybees en masse .

It should also be noted that not everyone is temperamentally suited to working with bees, and it is as well to establish this one way or the other before you find yourself with tens of thousands of them in your back yard.

There are some things all gardeners can do to help all bees and other pollinators, short of taking up bee keeping.

The most important thing anyone can do is to learn how to control pests using biological methods that do not require the use of toxic chemicals. Around 98% of all insects are beneficial to us in some way, but most insecticides do not discriminate between 'friend' and 'foe'.

The next most important thing you can do is to improve habitat for bees by planting native, wild flowers – the kind that bees evolved with over one hundred million years. There are lists of bee-friendly plants available online and there are some plant nurseries that specialize in them.

If you have space in your garden, letting some of it go wild to create a safe haven for bees and other insects is a great idea. Gardens that are too tidy are not so wildlife-friendly. Small piles of twigs and leaves and heaps of rock are useful to many species.

Aside from the practical reasons why you may be considering keeping honeybees, they are an engaging species from which we have much to learn. Beekeeping is a fascinating and absorbing activity that has the potential to enrich your relationship with the landscape and its untamed inhabitants.

And simply having more bees of all kinds around can add greatly to your enjoyment of your garden.

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What Factors Should You Consider When Buying Bathroom Sinks?

Many of us have been in that situation when you are moving into a new home, or perhaps renovating an existing home, and you need to buy a new bathroom sink. You might not be sure about the types of bathroom sinks available, or what is important to consider when buying bathroom sinks. In this article, we will consider some of the factors you should take into consideration, as well as briefly discussing some of the other factors you should think about before buying a sink.

One of the most important factors to consider is space – what are your special restrictions when buying and fitting a new sink. There is no point choosing your dream bathroom sink, only to find that it does not fit in, or alternatively that it looks too small within your bathroom. Think about the design of the room – will the bathroom sink go in the corner of the room, or do you want it to be the centrepiece of the room.

You should also consider the style of the bathroom, and the style of the sink which you would like to put in. Many people are fans of a glass sink, which can look extremely classy in the right bathroom, but look out of place in a differently styled bathroom. Do you wish to go for a contemporary look, versus a functional look? Perhaps you are less concerned about style, and more about the cheapest, viable option. All of these factors are important, and you should pick the right choice for your bathroom.

Nowadays, there are lots of different types of materials for bathroom sinks to be made out of. We briefly mentioned glass sinks above, but you can also buy your sink in a number of other different materials. Other different types of materials include marble or metal sinks, although by far the most popular material for sinks is vitreous china. The main reason for this is that these bathroom sinks tend to be the most durable, as well as being much easier to clean. When you consider how many times a day that a bathroom sink is used, this is one of the primary reasons for the popularity of vitreous china.

In terms of the different types or styles, of bathroom sinks that you can purchase, there are a wide variety of sinks. These include pedestal, countertop, wall mounted, corner, inset, semi-recessed, space saving / en-suite or undercounter basins. Always remember that your choice is a personal decision, based on your tastes and the space in which you have to work with.

Before you make the decision which sink to buy, you should also consider other factors such as installation. Whether you will be able to install your own sink will depend on your own DIY skills. Some bathroom sink companies will include installation in their prices, whereas others will not. In this case, if you are not experienced at DIY, you may be best advised to hire a plumber to come and fit the sink for you. This should not be an overly expensive investment, however, it is obviously important that your sink and water pressure is properly fixed.

When you have made the decision which sink to buy, you need to decide where to buy the sink from. One of the deciding factors can sometimes be what warrantee each company is willing to provide. Always do your research to find a reputable company, and try to make sure that the company has a good reputation within the industry and that they have positive reviews.

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Match the Interior Decor to the Exterior Architecture of Your Home For A Quicker Sale

A while back my husband and I decided to move to our favorite vacation destination in the mountains. But in order to make this dream of ours happen we had to sell our city home. We put our house on the market and started to make plans to move as quickly as possible.

Sadly, things did not go as we hoped. Our house didn’t sell and according to our realtor the problem was our kitchen. It didn’t match the exterior of our house. Our house was a Cape Cod style with rock around the front door and dormers on the second floor. It was very traditional and pretty cute.

Buyers who saw the exterior expected to see something similar inside and they did to a point. The interior included a fancy trim package, two fireplaces with over mantels and a beautiful dining room with even more fancy trim. The dormers upstairs had window seats with storage underneath. All in all it was in fact a very traditional house with an excellent location and a good market price.

There was just one problem and it was a big one for people who liked the character of the exterior.

The kitchen was very modern with flat cabinet doors made of melamine with oak trim. The cabinets were nice custom cabinets and well organized but they did not go with the rest of the house. People who liked the house hated the kitchen. Because of this one problem the house didn’t sell.

We were determined to make our plans come true so we took the house off the market, refaced the kitchen with raised panel doors, over 40 doors and drawers. We painted them to match the creamy trim color of the whole house. It cost us about $1,200 and lots of work over one weekend work marathon.

After we were finished we put the house back on the market. It sold immediately for the asking price and it closed within a month.

We knew when we bought the house that the kitchen wasn’t right for the house, but it was a nice kitchen for me, a dedicated cook. The style of the doors didn’t work, but we thought most people could look past the doors.

Well, we were wrong. The doors were a deal breaker.

We learned a hard lesson.

There are many examples of this same problem. Imagine a house that is a hard modernist structure with clerestory windows and lots of angles having country kitchen with flowered wallpaper.

Another possibility could be a Georgian or colonial style with modern decorating inside. The décor does not meet peoples’ expectations.

Potential buyers who look at homes generally have styles in mind when they are shopping. It’s wise to make sure they see whatever they are likely to expect.

To make your home feel more comfortable and work better at resale, decorate it to blend harmoniously with the exterior architecture of your home. Keep finishes and décor consistent throughout the house, both inside and outside.

Whether your house is a Victorian, a craftsman bungalow, a classic farmhouse, a mid century modern, an adobe or any other identifiable architectural style, it’s advantageous for resale to match your interior design to the architectural character of the exterior.

It insures that buyers who like the exterior of your home enough to view it will also approve of the interior. It’s about fulfilling their expectations.

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Tips For Keeping Cool in an Uninsulated House During the Summer

A few years ago, my husband and I, along with our two young daughters spent some time living in Africa and Latin America. Both countries were hot, hot, hot in the summer time. Not only was it hot, but it was humid as well.

I remember one night in Africa we were sleeping (or should I say, trying to sleep) in an upstairs motel room. There was no cross ventilation, and I dare say the temperature was close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It was humid as well. By some miracle, the girls went to sleep fine. My husband and I on the other hand were desperately tossing and turning in sheer sweaty exhaustion. We couldn’t sleep for anything, we were so freaking hot!

Finally, our desperation bred a plan. We got a pair of socks and soaked them dripping wet in the sink. We then proceeded to put those sopping wet socks on our feet. Amazingly, our bodies cooled down considerably and we were able to sleep for a couple hours–until the socks were dry. We got up, wet them again, and repeated the process the rest of the night. Our desperation had certainly turned into a mother of invention.

We now live back in the good ole’ US of A. However, we don’t have one of those nice comfortable new air-conditioned houses. Ours is an old farmhouse with just enough insulation to keep the mice happy in the walls. So how do we keep cool here? Let me share some of our tips. Maybe it’ll save you some horrible hot sleepless nights.

1. We have trees shading our house. Now I know that’s kind-of a long-term solution, but planting a tree is a whole lot cheaper than tearing out walls and re-insulating.

2. We open the windows AFTER dark and put box fans in them blowing the cool air into the house all night long. In the morning, right when we get up, we remove the fans and close the windows up tight to keep the hot air out.

3. We keep the windows covered. It’s amazing how much heat a window can let in. We keep dark curtains pulled over the windows that let in most of the sun–even during the day.

4. We put window air conditioner units in the bedrooms. It’s too expensive for us to air condition the entire house, but we do find running a couple units at night is affordable and makes sleep much more comfortable.

5. We move most of our activities during the day to the coolest part of the house. Our master bedroom happens to be on the east side and is therefore not heated up by the hot afternoon sun as much. We moved the TV and even my office into the master bedroom and find ourselves spending a lot of time in there. If it gets too hot, we shut the bedroom door and turn on the window A/C unit for a little while to cool it down.

While we’d love to have a nicely air conditioned and insulated house, it just isn’t feasible at this time. However, using these little tips has really made a difference in being able to enjoy the summer, sleep well, and be comfortable.

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Organizing Your Kitchen With Style

Regardless of how large or small your kitchen is, it should not be difficult to maintain a sense of style to it. The key to having a good looking kitchen is, of course, organization. You can do no wrong with colors and accessories if you are working with a well organized kitchen. Maintaining an organized kitchen does not simply mean getting rid of messes, it also means having everything conveniently organized to be in place and ready at hand. There are several different kitchen accessories at affordable prices that can help you achieve this goal. Changes as simple as adding utility drawer inserts to keep flatware in this place and pull out trays for cabinets can work wonders in the kitchen and have the added benefit of making your kitchen look better.

What kinds of colors, backgrounds, or themes are you partial to? It is important to have a certain theme in mind when decorating or accessorizing your kitchen. Creating a theme does not have to be too complicated-for example, you could go with a simple black and white theme. You can also be more adventurous and try a French bistro theme or a Spanish kitchen theme. It is really up to you and there are thousands of options to choose from. The main thing to remember after choosing a theme is to be consistent. Whatever the theme is, make sure everything in the kitchen adheres to it. For example, if you go with a black and white theme you must make sure that kitchen appliances, flatware, utensils and accessories match the theme. Fortunately, many kitchen appliances and accessories are available in a wide variety of colors to choose from.

What if the theme of your kitchen just “happens to be whatever we put in it?” There is nothing wrong with having a mix and match look in the kitchen and having a variety of colors, textures and patterns. Again, the key to a stylish look is consistency. A good way to maintain consistency in your kitchen, even with eclectic looks, is to keep kitchen accessories looking the same, especially visible ones. If you are using metal accessories, such as chrome pull out trays with aluminum standards, keep the rest of the accessories the same. Do not attach wooden trays to aluminum standards, or vice versa. If you prefer the look of real wood, that’s fine—but keep the rest of the accessories wood or with a wood look as well. Any other accessories or kitchen appliances should also aim to match each other. Subtle details like that are great ways to keep your kitchen not only looking organized but also stylish and elegant.

It shouldn’t be a complicated task to maintain a stylish and organized look in your kitchen. It also does not have to be needlessly expensive. Simple touches and organizational accessories, such as wooden pull out shelves that match with the wooden pantry units can go a long way towards making a stylish kitchen look yours.

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Evolution of Commercial Interior Design

What is Commercial Interior Design

Commercial design, sometimes known as contract or non-residential interior design, can be described as a challenging and complex process of creating and managing the construction or renovation of the commercial spaces.

Even though some people use the “commercial” interior design term interchangeably with the “office” interior design. However, the work encompasses a much larger variety then the office spaces. The commercial design projects also involves the design and specification of public spaces, such as hotels, restaurants, and similar buildings beyond the “office” space. In other words, designing commercial design involves designing the interior of any facility that serves business purposes.

It usually demands a significant amount of attention to detail and it involves much more than just the decoration of the interior of the spaces. The design projects address much wider issues including:

  • design and maximisation of space,
  • eco friendly build and renovation,
  • ceiling and lighting options,
  • power and plumbing systems,
  • and even commissioning data and voice communications systems to meet demand.

This work requires the experts to have a good grasp of architecture, as well as an artistic sense for creating attractive settings within the space.

In today’s extremely commercialised world, we take a lot of things for granted. Compare today’s TV advertising to that of 50 years ago. Think of the current visual merchandising with the visual merchandising in the early 20th Century.

How about the commercial interior design? As you think cast your mind over the evolution of the commercial public spaces, you will realise the enormous amount of change it has gone through. In the following section, I will take you through a brief history of commercial interior design.

Evolution of Commercial Interiors

Many historians agree that the profession of commercial interior design is said to have its roots in 19th Century. It used to be known as the interior decoration initially. One of the key influences was the development of new techniques and technologies that were born out of the Industrial Revolution. They made the mass produced furnishings and materials much cheaper and accessible for all.

Initially most of the early commercial interior work was carried out by the architects. The start of the 20th Century saw the emergence of decorators and designers that were focusing on the commercial interiors.

In Conclusion

The commercial design work has lots of fascinating aspects; not least due to its variety of the projects. And, it will continue to evolve as the businesses aim to maximise the commercial space while reducing the cost.

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Water Garden Ideas and Advice

Water Garden Ideas

Many beautiful and unusual plants can be grown in a water garden, and the making of such a garden is an adventure within the reach of everyone. Almost any receptacle capable of holding water is a potential pool, and there are water-lilies small enough to live and flower in an ordinary sized washing-up bowl.

If a pool is well constructed, if care is taken with the planting, and if the right planting compost material and aquatics (water plants) are chosen, water is easier to manage than grass. But with no other feature in the garden is the margin between success and failure so delicately poised. Great care is needed to hold the balance between clear water and a well-managed pool on the one hand, and smell, slime, green water and rank aquatics on the other.

Ideas for Siting a Water Garden

The position of a water garden is very important, for water-lilies and most aquatics love the sun. The warmer the water, the more luxuriant the growth and the greater the number of blooms will be. The best position for a pool, therefore, is in the open, as far as possible.

The shelter of trees or a hedge to the north or north-east of the water garden can break the force of driving winds and will considerably extend the flowering season, but be sure to build the pool some distance from the trees or hedge, so that dead leaves do not fall into the pool and foul the water. Alternatively, if your water garden is close to trees or a hedge, you can spread wire-netting over the surface of the pool during the few weeks of the autumnal leaf fall.

A very deep pool can be a disadvantage since depth controls the temperature of the water, but the water must not be too shallow or it will freeze up in winter. Fifteen to 18 inches of water above the crowns of plants is shallow enough to induce free-flowering and yet sufficiently deep to safeguard the roots in winter. Rock garden pools are often only 1 foot or even less in depth, and should be protected during very bad weather, but such precautions are impracticable for larger pools.

Water gardens are either formal or informal, and should fit in with their surroundings. The formal water garden is usually the dominant feature of a garden – in a central position or perhaps the key point of an area to which all paths-lead. It is regular in shape (a circle, square, oblong or some geometric form) and its outline is defined with a raised kerb or flat, paved surround. Fountains can be placed in the water garden, but as a general rule running water is not desirable, especially if the water supply comes from a natural spring or similar low-lying source, because it will constantly lower the temperature and also destroy the calm on which water-lilies thrive.

Formal pools look better in conventional surrounds and do not blend with natural features such as wild or rock gardens or alpine meadows. Keep the vegetation in them low, using water-lilies and submerged and floating aquatics rather than marginals and bog plants.

An informal pool should not disclose its origin. The concrete or other material of which it is made can be hidden by keeping the outer edges below the level of the surrounding ground, and by the skilful use of marginal plants – bog and marginal aquatics being used to bridge the gap between the water and dry land. The informal pool blends with any natural setting, and is not, therefore, the best type of pool for a formal rose garden or similar tailored feature.

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Increase Value of Your House by Upgrading Your Bathroom and Kitchen

Is it time to sell your home? Whether flipping a house or trying to get a good price before a move, there are a few ways to gain value through a kitchen or bathroom refurbishment. Outdated kitchen and the bathroom styles are the quickest way to make a house feel older and more rundown. Here are a few ideas to get you started on your renovations.

Custom design

A made to order design makes the most sense when trying to get the most money for your home. Bespoke bathrooms are noticeable and make a difference in price. A real estate agent or home buyer will be able to tell if tiling and fixtures were simply placed in the space or made for the space. Avoid outrageous designs that might make classic homebuyers feel uncomfortable. You never want a space to only appeal to a particular type of style. Exquisite stonework with classics such as natural stone, granite, slate, and travertine are always a good idea.

Flooring

Flooring is important in a bathroom and linoleum is out. Linoleum in the bathroom or kitchen can make an entire house seem outdated, ugly and dirty. Hard wood can take a real beating in these spaces and look old and worn quickly, even after refurbishing it. The best idea is to put down ceramic or porcelain tiles or natural stone flooring instead. These will sustain heavy amounts of foot traffic, clean well, and always look nice. They appeal to a modern home design and can go with almost anything a home buyer may want to decorate with.

Bathtub

Bathrooms can be purely conventional, or they can be home spas and relaxation areas. One way to create a more elegant and expensive feel is to create a separate bathtub and wetroom. A spa tub can be a place to relax and separate from the conventional use of a shower. Travertine or marble make great custom tiling jobs for a bespoke bathroom bathtub. Mosaic tiles work well to add a decorative flair to the wetroom wall. IF the home buyer finds your space relaxing, they will feel excited about buying it. Make the bathroom, especially the master bathroom, somewhere they want to be.

Kitchen Counter Tops

Just like with the floors, linoleum is out. A granite kitchen worktop is your best bet. It looks nice and is extremely practical. Choose a neutral color that can go with any style your home buyer may have. Make sure it matches the cabinets, hardware, and floor. Replace old cupboard hardware to match your new counters. The kitchen is the most-used room in the house. Make as modern, comfortable, and conventional as possible.

Selling your home can be an overwhelming process. Start with these tips in the bathroom and kitchen to increase the value of your home. You can always add some of your own personal flair and ideas. With the right plans, rocks, and fixtures, you can easily gain the most for your dollar.

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Fancy Lighting – Home Decor Enlightenment

Light is one of those basic necessities we take for granted, without it we couldn't see a thing! Lately however, lighting has been lifted into the spotlight of home improvement circles. The art of interior design can be taken to a whole new level, by employing various lighting solutions that will help in giving a certain space a totally unique atmosphere.

The art of employing lights and fixtures for accomplishing dramatic effects, designed to achieve a specific mood, have become a hot trend among home decor designers nowadays.

Ideally the lighting system should be great from both a functional and viewpoint and information show that pendant lights and similar products are taking up more and more space in stores committed to home planning.

Various styles of recessed lighting are not exactly a new innovation, but nowadays they are turning up in scenarios you might not have encountered them before – such as out on a patio, for example.

Seeing a subtle yet, effectual recessed patio lighting, working in part by solar power for the first time is indeed a model that get's the inspiration going for getting into decorate up the outside of your home as well.

From the purely practical / economical point of view, the solar powered alternatives are of course most interesting. But, in many cases, combining appealing design and some sort of solar panels are not always easy or affordable. Once in place though, you can get literally unlimited energy without paying a cent for it, provided that you live in a location that provide enough sun that is.

Among other widespread lighting trends right now are innumerable forms of accent lighting that may, for instance, be aimed onto a wall in order to complement the light directed by the fixtures in the ceiling or from a selection of recessed lighting.

Accent lighting is great for drawing awareness to precise features in the room, and as a rule can add amazing amounts of dimension and depth to the space. For those who want to go really cutting-edge, there is also the option to install the lighting system in such a way that it can be "programmed" for several scenarios.

Depending on the time of day, the mood you want to set, and which architectural features or things in the room you want to highlight, all can be effectively accomplished by a well designed lighting arrangement.

Particularly elaborate and expensive lighting systems are of course typically installed in official buildings like hotels, big company headquarters etc. But stylish lighting can definitely be employed in decorating privately owned homes as well. And, compared to other forms of home improvement or re-decorating, it does actually not have to be terribly expensive either.

The simple act of changing the lighting can breathe new life into your home, so why not give it a try.

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FSBO – How to Prepare Your House to Sell

Did you hear that? Prices of houses in Phoenix have been jumping 5% each month for 2005 according to market experts! Some even predict that the price of housing could jump an additional 10% for the upcoming year. The shortage of houses for sales and the still relatively low interest prices are causing the price of homes not just here in Phoenix but nationwide to escalate. What does this mean? If you are thinking about selling your home, there is no better time than the present. Jump on the bandwagon!

Okay, great, you say. I'll buy a for-sale-by-owner sign, set it out in the front yard, host an open-house this weekend. I should have my house sold by the end of next week! Well, two months later, that for-sale-by-owner sign is still in the front and you don't have a buyer. Do not think that just because there is a shortage of houses for sale, selling a house is a piece of cake. It may not as easy as you think. Instead of using a Realtor, you are determined to sell the house yourself. That's fine and it's possible. People do it all the time; However, what are some tips to help you prepare your house to sell. I have done the research and found four minimal-cost tips in preparing your sell:

1. Clean-up. The first impression is always the lasting one. You want potential buyers to be impressed the moment that they spot your house from the street. Everything from the yard, to the windows, to every room inside should be squeaky clean. And if you have a collection of, well, several collections of … stuff, it's distracting to the buyer and really takes away the beauty of your home. If you can't part with those items, pack them away in boxes. A potential buyer won't be offended by a few packed boxes in the house. They most likely are expecting you to be preparing to move anyway.

2. Deodorize. This goes hand-in-hand with cleaning your house and removing the clutter. If your house smells, it won't sell. If the house has been vacant for a while, there is nothing more offensive to a potential buyer than the smell of mildew. Please take care of the mildew before showing the house. And you petowners, understand that your precious little pets that you keep indoors are not odor-less. You just have become accustomed to the smell. A potential buyer will pick up the pet order immediately. The same is true for cigarettes.

3. Re-paint the house. Okay, you may have enjoyed a blue kitchen, an orange living room, and a red bathroom. But your potential buyer may not be as cutting-edge. Experts agree that neutral colors are best in showcasing your house. Also take a second look at the decorations on the wall. Remove anything that could be offensive to your potential buyer.

4. Embrace the sun. I don't particularly care for the Phoenix heat, but I love the sun. It symbolizes laughter, happiness, brightness, things that are upbeat and positive. Open the blinds and curtain in your house and let the sunshine in!

Remember, you want to impress the potential buyer. By following these four simple tips, you can be a step-ahead of the game in reducing the time it takes to sell your house. However, if you don't have the time it requires to sell the house yourself and don't want the expensive of hiring a Realtor, please visit my website to read the free report, Sell Your House in Seven (7) Days at [ http://www.adpropertyconsultants.com].

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