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April 28, 2017

Companion Planting

Companion planting is a highly effective strategy of growing two or more plants near each other to improve outcomes generated by the interaction of those plants. Companion gardening has been a part of history since humans first embraced an agricultural lifestyle, as our earliest ancestors quickly realized the value of certain plant pairings and shared that information with others. One famous example is the use of the three sisters by some Native American groups, which combined different varieties of climbing beans, maize (corn), and squash. When done correctly, companion planting can reduce the need for herbicides, insecticides, and even fertilizer. It can let you make the most out [...]

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April 26, 2017

Things Your Parents Didn’t Tell You About Taking Care of Your Home: Routine Cleaning

What Should Your Routine Cleaning Consist Of?

While most home maintenance tasks need to be completed only yearly or as-needed, keeping your house clean and tidy is an ongoing battle, especially when you have kids or pets. As the chores pile up, they can quickly start to feel overwhelmingly difficult. One of the best things you can do to keep tidying from becoming a Herculean task is to establish a routine early on and stick to it. If you get behind and feel overwhelmed, take a breath and follow the advice of General Abrams: take one bite by doing just one thing, then take another, then another. Over time, those small accomplishments will add up to significant progress on the overall [...]

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April 19, 2017

Trending Interior Colors for 2017

Eager to freshen up your home’s look and feel? New colors can be one of the most impactful changes that you can make inside your home, setting the mood for how your family uses and enjoys each room, and conveying your own sense of style and spirit. Interior colors can be described as bold, comfortable, or composed, with separate associated characteristics and emotions, which can be played off one another to define each area in your home as a unique space with its own tone and personality. As always when considering painting a room or whole house, be sure to ask for and use a paint sample on the walls, to get a better feel for how the colors will actually look given your [...]

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April 13, 2017

Neither Snow nor Rain… Unique Post Offices Across the U.S.

The delivery of mail is a time-honored service in busy urban metropolitan areas, small cities, suburban neighborhoods and quiet rural communities across the U.S. Nearly every town in America has a post office, and in some towns these centers serve as a focal point for local residents – dispensing mail, packages, news, and neighborly spirit. But not all post offices are created equal. Do you happen to live in one of these towns whose post office has a unique claim to fame? The post office in Alma, Colorado (zip code 80420), has the distinction of being the highest elevation post office at a whopping 10,578 feet above sea level. Death Valley, California (zip code 92328), on the [...]

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March 31, 2017

City Spotlight: Manhattan, New York City, New York

As one of New York City’s most iconic boroughs, Manhattan is truly a world of its own. Located on the southern half of Manhattan Island, this neighborhood is bordered by the Hudson, Harlem, and East rivers. Some of New York’s most famous landmarks are within its boundaries, including Times Square, Central Park, the Empire State Building, the One World Observatory and the majority of Broadway. Manhattan also boasts of a wide array of world-renowned restaurants, exotic museums, concert halls, natural spaces, and charming neighborhoods.

Key Facts State: New York County: New York County City: New York City Settled: 1624 Elevation: 33 ft Area (total): 33.6 sq mi Area [...]
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March 30, 2017

Guide to Down Payments

What is a down payment exactly, anyways? In simple terms, the down payment is the percent of the cost of your new home that you pay out of pocket when you purchase the home. The rest of the cost is typically covered with a loan called a mortgage.

Lenders offer a wide variety of different mortgage plans, with different minimum down payments required. Minimum down payments traditionally range from 10% to as much as 25% of the total home purchase price. Generally, higher down payments equal lower mortgage rates, and the more you put towards the down payment, the less you’ll have to pay interest on when repaying the loan, so you’ll save money in the long term even [...]

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March 27, 2017

Trending Home Exterior Paint Colors

Good first impressions matter most when looking to sell, but are also of tremendous value when going about everyday life in your home as you welcome guests, family, and neighbors to visit. When thinking about what color to paint your exterior, you’ll want to keep in mind personal preference, curb appeal, any neighborhood rules or regulations, and sell-ability. Checking with your neighborhood’s homeowner’s association (if you have one) regarding allowable colors and exterior renovations is extremely important as they often will set guidelines that may restrict your choices and options.

Tying the color scheme into existing fixed colors in and around your home [...]

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March 17, 2017

Planting an Herb Garden

Growing your own herbs can be a fun, educational, eco-friendly, and delicious way for families to augment their own cooking and embrace a healthier way of living. Herb gardens are not only a wonderful way for a novice gardener to develop their own green thumb, but can also be a valuable learning tool for young children, introducing them into the worlds of botany, nutrition, and self-reliance. Herb gardens can be as simple as 1-3 small containers of your most favorite herbs, to more complex and more involved terraces offering nearly everything a professional chef would want or need. As with all gardens, planning ahead is critical. Decide on how much time you have, what you want to get [...]

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