6 Ways to Turn Your Backyard into a Summer Oasis


SA Realty Watch Group
Keller Williams Realty
210-232-2310 Cell
License # 525639

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Ask the Agent
What Is a Promissory Note? In real estate, a promissory note is used to purchase real property. If there is a loan being obtained as part of the purchase, then a promissory note will be created. It is a legal, financial, and debt instrument as a note payable. If properly constructed, the written note enforces a borrower’s promise to pay back a lender. The payor agrees to pay a certain amount of money to a payee in the future on a specified date. The note must spell out the name of the payor and the payee, and it must be signed by the payor. It does not have to be notarized.

To be enforceable, a promissory note must contain an unconditional promise to pay a sum of money under specified terms and conditions of repayment. The note must also include an absolute date for payment.

A concise promissory note will also include an interest rate and describe the collateral being used to secure the note.

6 Ways to Turn Your Backyard into a Summer Oasis
At last! Summertime is around the corner, and you can make the most of it by enhancing your outdoor living spaces. With a little thought and planning, you can create your own personal backyard oasis. Here are some ideas.

1. If you don’t have a deck or patio, build one. Not only does this addition give you a great place for gatherings and grilling, in Remodeling Magazine‘s Cost vs. Value report, the statistics show that such an improvement yields a return on your investment of more than 75 percent.

2. Creating attractive privacy screens can easily be accomplished by incorporating fences, trellises, and shrubbery around your outdoor deck or patio.

3. Pests can ruin a great time outdoors, so use preventive measures such as citronella candles and employ a pest control company that can spray your yard for unwanted crawling and flying insects.

4. Create a living space with comfortable outdoor furniture for lounging and dining. Be sure to include area rugs for color and for defining spaces.

5. Well-placed lighting will extend your outdoor experience well into the evening and create a great mood. Tiki torches, string lights, and landscape lighting all contribute to ambiance.

6. Keep it fun and include a fire pit, hot tub, or game set for the kids.

Creating the perfect summer oasis will add value to your home and attract more buyers. When you start planning your project, contact us if you would like our professional input. We are here to assist you in your decision-making.

Are You a First-Time Buyer? Get My Free Guide

Buying your first home is a big step, and one that is likely to impact your financial future for years to come.

Make it easier by requesting my free guide, “How First-Timers Can Make a Wise Buy.”

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Pioneering Neuroscientist Still Exploring the
Brain 70 Years Later
“I’m still nosy, you know. Curious.” These are the wise words of Dr. Brenda Milner, one of Canada’s leading lights in the field of neuropsychology. For over 70 years, she’s continuously broken ground at Montreal’s McGill University; the origins of the modern cognitive neuroscience of memory can be traced directly back to her work there. At the age of 102, she’s showing no signs of slowing down.

Inquisitive from a young age, she began her higher education studies with a master’s degree in experimental psychology at Cambridge, which had a direct impact on the British war efforts at the time. After relocating to Canada with her husband, Peter, she settled in McGill’s Department of Psychology in 1950.

Just two years later, she earned a PhD investigating the intellectual effects of temporal lobe damage in humans. This paved the way for her neuropsychology work at the Montreal Neurological Institute shortly after.

Described by Nobel Prize winner Eric Kandle as creating the field of cognitive neuroscience, her fusion of neurology and psychology led to many important landmark discoveries, including hemispheric function in language and the role of frontal lobes in problem-solving.

Milner ascribes her success partly to her natural state as “a noticer.” In an interview with
Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News, she said, “The thing that has driven me my whole life is curiosity. I am incredibly curious about the little things I see around me.” Perhaps it is this innate sense of wonder and love of learning that is the key to a long and active life.

Let’s Connect

Wondering What’s Happening in
How has the price of your home changed in today’s market? How much are other homes in your neighborhood selling for? Do I need a house inspection? These are all critical questions that shouldn’t be overlooked when thinking about buying or selling your home.

Whether you’re curious about prices in your area, whether it’s an excellent time to sell, or just need an expert to answer your questions, I can give you the tools and offer guidance through the entire buying or selling process.

Let me know how I can help by simply calling or emailing to set up a time to connect. I won’t waste your time – I’ll just give you the honest facts about your home, its value, and what’s happening in your neighborhood.

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Baked Pineapple Chicken
Serves 4


• 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
• 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
• 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
• kosher salt
• freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
• 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
• 4 thin pineapple rounds
• 1/4 cup diced red onion
• 2 teaspoons freshly chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Combine Italian seasoning and garlic powder in a small bowl. Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken 5 minutes on top side until golden. Remove from heat. Sprinkle seasoning mixture all over.

Sprinkle tops of chicken with one cup mozzarella and most of Parmesan. Place a pineapple round on top of each piece of chicken. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake about 10 minutes until cheese is melted and chicken is cooked through.

Garnish with onion and cilantro and serve.

Know Your Must-Haves and Nice-to-Haves to
Avoid Overspending
Shopping for a home is an exciting adventure! With all the excitement, clear decision-making can become murky and lead to unexpected costs.

Coming back to the ABCs, your wants and needs will lead you to the right home at the right price that will give you the best life with functional room for growth. The key: you don’t have to have “everything” to “have it all.” Here’s an exercise to keep you aligned with your goals prior to the journey ahead.

Create your list. Take time to get clear with yourself about this big decision. Make a list of everything you could possibly want in your home. Big or small. Long or short. If coupled, your counterpart is included in this exercise.

Order of importance. Next, force yourself to rate each of these facets on your list in numerical order. Ideally, limit these to your top 10.

Divvy it up. There are two types of items on your current list: those that are “heavyweights” and those that are aesthetic. Keep reading for more.

Heavyweights. Anything that includes number of bedrooms, windows, “open floor plan,” “dedicated space for …” and the like are the staples that can’t change without a major investment. These are the items that take priority in your search for a home to avoid costly renovations.

Aesthetic. Subway tile, shiplap, paint colors, lighting … these things can be easily upgraded or changed to suit your style (or even DIYed). Remove these items entirely from your list(s).

Prisoner’s dilemma. This might sound harsh, but it’s the last and final step in getting very clear with your wants and needs moving forward. What can you absolutely not live without? And on the same note, what aspects of your new home will help you thrive best? We know it’s hard, but do another forced reranking of these “must-haves.”

Trust your list. Excellent job! You’ve done the prep work. Now, remember to trust yourselves. Share this list with us so we can better assist you in finding your perfect match. As long as you’ve honestly invested yourself in this exercise, you’ll know exactly when you’ve met “the one.”

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Ways to Honor Military, Veterans and First Responders
On the last Monday in May, the American public remembers men and women who bravely gave their lives while serving in the military. Memorial days like this are common across the world, and many people visit cemeteries and hold ceremonies to remember those they’ve lost as well as those they never knew. In the spirit of such patriotism and remembrance, here are a few ways you can honor your country’s serving military members, veterans, and the fighters on everyday front lines – first responders.

Say thank you. It may seem obvious, but how rarely do you think these often-unsung heroes hear words of appreciation? Politely share your thanks when the opportunity arises. It’s a simple way to express your gratitude and acknowledge their sacrifices.

Listen. When directly engaging with military personnel or first responders, listen to their experiences and learn what their jobs entail. It’s a meaningful way to engage and gain a better understanding of what you’re grateful for.

Send a care package. Veterans are often some of the most vulnerable members of society, so get in touch with a local veterans’ charity and arrange to send a thoughtful care package filled with small gifts or snacks. Add in a handwritten note they can treasure for years to come.

Organize a hometown fundraiser. Recognize your public safety heroes with a virtual event, such as an online concert, game night, or virtual marathon. For more virtual fundraising ideas and how to pull them off, visit https://tinyurl.com/ideas0521. Link up with a local first responders’ charity and donate the proceeds to help at a grassroots level.

Vote! One of the best ways to honor service members is to stay informed on the issues that affect them and use your democratic vote to support those issues.

This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.