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House plants can add color and texture to your home and allow you to bring a touch of nature indoors, but some can also help improve the air quality in your home. According to a study from NASA, choosing one of these plants allows you to enjoy the added beauty and breathe easier at home, too.
5 Plants that Improve Indoor Air Quality
Plants improve indoor air quality by removing or neutralizing chemicals that may be present in the air. Building materials, cleaning products, home furnishings and other items can all release fumes into the home; even if you don’t smell them, you are breathing them in. The following plants are top air purifiers and neutralize a surprising amount of these harmful substances.
- Boston Fern: Fast growing and easy to care for, this textural beauty is also one of the top air purifiers; Boston Fern removes more formaldehyde from the air than any other plant studied. Formaldehyde can appear in upholstery foam, paints, rugs and more.
- Rubber Plants: These potent air cleansers also make wonderful plants for rooms without direct sunlight. If you’re having a tough time finding sunny spots for plants, choose a rubber plant – they can’t bear direct sun, instead preferring the cool comfort of a dimmer room.
- English Ivy: Cultivate this easy care plant if you want to improve your home’s air quality, but don’t have the world’s greenest thumb. Ivy grows quickly and climbs, making it ideal for training to a frame or topiary – it also won’t mind if you forget to water it for a day or more.
- Peace Lily: While most of the potent air purifiers are pure greenery, peace lily has striking white flowers that can help accent your home. This delicate looking purifier is a favorite for bridal bouquets and decorations, and is surprisingly robust for growing in the home, too. Peace lilies do require some attention, but if you are willing to water daily, it could make an elegant and striking air purifier for your home. Skip this one if you have curious pets, though; the leaves can cause stomach upset if eaten.
- Spider Plant: This hearty variety also reproduces swiftly; the babies can be potted and create even more natural purifying power for your home. Spider plants are pet safe, easy to care for and add both color and texture to their décor, making them a natural choice for any home.
Choosing a few plants from the list can help you breathe easy and feel more comfortable at home. Incorporating these easy care plants into your home décor will help have a more natural, greener environment in more ways than one.
The lawn is trimmed, the house is spotless and you're ready for a real estate agent to show off your home to a prospective buyer -- but what about your pets? Pets and showings don't always mix; the potential buyers may be afraid of or allergic to your animals -- or your pets could slip right past them and end up roaming the neighborhood. For the safety and comfort of all, confine or remove your pets during a showing in one of the following ways.
What to do with Pets When you Show your Home
Contain them: This works best with smaller animals, like cats, petite, quiet dogs and even exotic animals like house rabbits. When they are present, but not roaming around, your pet will be safe and won't be much of a distraction. Ideally, a pet carrier or crate can be used for this purpose -- and allows your home to be shown at a moment's notice.
Take a walk or drive: If you know when a showing is happening and will be home, then put on a leash and head to the sidewalk or car. Even a very friendly large breed dog can be alarming to some prospective buyers and any dog is a distraction. Showings don't take long, so if you can conveniently do so, taking a walk or drive gets you both out of the house and out of the way -- and ensures your home is the true focus of the visit.
Rely on a neighbor: If you have a neighbor, friend or family member nearby that can pet sit for an afternoon, this is a good time to visit. Your pet will benefit from the attention and fresh environment and you won't have to worry about them getting out or alarming a buyer.
Consider boarding: If your agent is holding an open house, consider boarding your pet on the big day. You won't have to worry about finding a place for them to stay and you'll be able to show the home with confidence. If you do have many people walking through the house, even a friendly pet can be overwhelmed, so this is often the best solution for all.
Securing your pets while your home is shown will give you peace of mind about their safety and will also allow the viewers to envision themselves living there without distraction. It also gives you a chance to check all latches, doors and gates before returning your pet to their normal space -- prospective buyers could leave a door, gate or window open, allowing for an easy escape route for a curious pet. Take these simple steps before a showing and you will benefit in several key ways -- and your pets will, too.
68 Cote road, Monson, MA 01057
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Selling a vacation home is a lot like selling any other property, but for a few key differences. One, most vacation homes are far from the people who want to purchase them. Two, most vacation homes are far away from their owners, as well. This distance between owners, sellers, and the property can lead to some marketing challenges.
Working with a team of dedicated professionals can help. If you're a vacation home owner who would like to sell your property sometime in the next few months, working with a capable real estate professional can help the selling process go smoothly and quickly. Here's what you need to know.
1. Maintain the Property
Before listing your property for sale, address your deferred maintenance. Is the air conditioner old or in disrepair? Get a tune up or replace the unit. Does the chimney need a new liner? Replace it. Disclose these new repairs to your real estate professional, so they can mention recent repairs in your home's description.
If you choose not to make these repairs before listing your home for sale, assume you'll have to disclose maintenance problems and (probably) reduce your price. Work with a real estate professional who can help you negotiate a good deal, while keeping in mind that you won't be able to fetch the best price for your property.
Buyers love new features, especially new kitchens, bathrooms and decks. If you're trying to collect the maximum amount for your vacation home, talk to your real estate agent about upgrading parts of the property that are out of date.
Not all home buyers expect the latest and greatest from their vacation home. If your property is a cabin in the woods, buyers may expect the facilities to be rustic and basic. If you're selling a beach house, buyers may have greater expectations. Your real estate professional will be able to tell you if a home upgrade will do you good, and if so, what kind of home upgrade.
3. Improve Curb Appeal
Views, scenery and natural surroundings tend to be very important for vacation properties. Work with a landscaping professional or a contractor to improve your vacation home's curb appeal. This may mean planting flowers, installing a pathway, replacing overgrown or unhealthy shrubs and even clearing away trees that block the view. Do this before listing your home for sale, so the house will be ready when the photographer takes pictures.
4. Get Professional Photographs & a Virtual Tour
Hire a photographer or media specialist to take professional photographs of your property and make a virtual tour. Photographs are very important because buyers may not be local and must rely on pictures to decide which homes are of interest. Virtual tours also make it easier for home buyers to decide which properties are most enticing. The easier it is for your home to be seen from a distance, the more attention it will attract from potential buyers.
5. Find the Right Real Estate Professional
Work with a real estate professional who is experienced working with remote buyers and sellers. Interview several real estate professionals and ask them which strategies they recommend for selling a home remotely. Choose the real estate professional who has the most experience working with vacation home buyers and sellers, as this will be very important for the successful sale of your property.