How to Avoid Landscape Blunders

Increase Property Value by Avoiding These Landscape Blunders
Everyone knows the importance of making a good first impression. It’s no different when it comes to your home’s curb appeal, which refers to your property’s overall appearance from the street.

To make your home’s “frosting” as appealing as possible, you’ll definitely want to think about planting stunning blooms and making sure your landscaping is well manicured and maintained. Implementing a long-term landscaping plan can help increase your property value when it comes time to sell.

When you go to plant, make sure to avoid the below common landscaping mistakes that homeowners make when planting trees and shrubs.

First, avoid planting invasive tree species. Some such species, like bamboo, grow quickly and actually push out native plants, which does tremendous damage to an area’s biodiversity.

Another no-no is planting too much and too close together. When too many trees and plants are crammed together, the greenery doesn’t have enough space to grow bigger, stronger, or healthier. While aesthetically this could look good for the first few years, the plants will eventually mature and fight each other for light and nutrients. So, unless you want a property covered in dead leaves and branches, it’s best to save your coins and plant less.

When planting anything, you’ll want to make sure you’re not too close to home. This, professionals warn, is a nightmare in the making. Trees planted too close to the home will, over time, get woody and grow too close, which will bring bugs and moisture inside. The resulting dampness could actually lead to rot inside your house, and the tree’s big roots could damage your property’s foundation or basement.

When it comes to planting and maintaining your home’s green exterior, do your research and exercise restraint. While trees and shrubs certainly boost your home’s value and curb appeal, some green mistakes could cost you.

Climbing the Branches of the Family Tree

Curious about your ancestry? Sorting out your family tree can require some tricky digging. Fortunately, resources are available to help you trace your roots. There are many online genealogy sites, although many of them charge for their services.

Still, it is entirely possible to build a family tree by investing nothing more than time – and help is close at hand. Family tree software and online chat rooms can help you get started. The website My Heritage offers a family tree template at Google also offers a family tree template at You can click on YouTube for easy how-to explanations.

Once you’ve decided to dig into your roots, begin with what you know – your family. Ask questions to discover names, spellings, and birth places. Go through family albums. Visit graves and scour religious records. If a relative has done any research, use this as a starting point. Trace your ancestry lines as far back as you can, adding relevant details such as birthdays, marriages, and death dates. Here are a few tips as you work your way up the family tree.

Begin with a direct route, starting with yourself; then add your parents and grandparents, and add branches from there. A simple web search may help with details.

Search the census records. Since names and their spellings may have changed along the way, be diligent. Find your most recent ancestors on each census, and then work your way into the past.

Use documents and physical records such as naturalization papers and marriage and birth certificates. And remember, if you get stuck, you can always try a genealogy service.

Is Good Health Part of Your Genetic Makeup?

The growing cultural interest in unearthing family histories could be good for your health. Your family’s medical history can help reveal what diseases you may be at risk for developing and help you plan a good lifestyle to prevent them.

Ailments including asthma, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes and cancer can run in families. To determine whether these might be in your genes, research your family’s medical history. Read death certificates and medical records, if available. Pay attention to the ages of death and the causes of death. Notice whether more than one close family member has the same disease and whether family members develop diseases at a younger-than-usual age. Some combinations of diseases in the same family can also be dangerous: heart disease and diabetes, or breast and ovarian cancer.

Genes can also impact your mental health. Bipolar disease can run in families. Researchers are investigating whether depression can also be hereditary. If a close family member has or had Alzheimer’s, your risk increases. Research into the genetic links of dementia and Alzheimer’s is fairly new, but it’s important information to know.

Genetics can be a factor in non-life-threatening diseases as well. Glaucoma, for example, can run in families. If you have a family history of glaucoma, make sure you get your eyes tested regularly, including for glaucoma.

Your family history can help you determine what genetic tests you want to pursue and can help guide a strategic healthy lifestyle. You can’t change your genes, but you can control your diet and exercise.

Wondering How Much Your Home Is Worth?
How has the price of your home changed in today’s market? How much are other homes in your neighborhood selling for?

If you’re wondering what’s happening to prices in your area, or you’re thinking about selling your house, I’ll be able to help.

Click the market report below or select San Antonio Real Estate Market and complete the requested information about your home!

Could Driverless Cars Drive Real Estate Values?
Imagine a world where humans never have to worry about wasted commute times. Imagine being able to use that time to work, spend quality time with your kids, plan dinner, or catch up on some much-needed z’s.

Sounds magical, doesn’t it? That magic could be coming to a street near you, as driverless cars are poised to become mainstream technology worldwide.

As Tesla, GM, and BMW clamber to get their fleets on the streets, these autonomous cars could have a far-reaching effect on industries other than auto.

When the human is removed from behind the wheel, the potential for error diminishes. Therefore, safety precautions such as auto insurance, parking tickets, speed traps, and law enforcement may no longer be needed.

These vehicles could also have a significant impact on the real estate market. When autonomous cars become the new norm, public transit will no longer be the go-to for those who are unable to drive.

The loss of public transit could have a domino effect on the real estate industry, since cities would no longer be built around transit systems. What was once considered less desirable residential real estate may become more popular because of the distance from transit hubs. According to an article in Forbes, these areas could offer a “greater appeal [that] could translate into increasing demand and rising property values.”

The long-reaching impact these cars will have on society is still being mapped, but it should make for an interesting ride.

SA Realty Watch Group
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Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad
Perfect for busy back-to-school days. It’s easy to throw together, and it keeps well, so it can be made in advance for a quick dinner.
Serves 4
1 large head broccoli, raw
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup cooked, crumbled bacon (optional)
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups halved green grapes
1 bunch of spring onions, green and white parts sliced
1 cup raisins
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup yogurt
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
Break raw broccoli into florets and place in a large bowl. Add almonds, bacon, celery, grapes, spring onion, and raisins.

For the dressing, combine remaining ingredients and pour over broccoli mixture. Toss, and serve at room temperature.

Add rotisserie chicken, cubed ham, or canned garbanzo beans for a delicious twist!

Ask the Agent: This Month’s Question
How Can I Quickly Boost My Home’s Curb Appeal?

Every seller wants a great offer ASAP, but some are in a bigger hurry than others. If you need to get your home on the market quickly, and you know it needs some exterior TLC, try these tips.

First, create an inviting entry. Your front door makes a first, and lasting, impression. If you don’t have time to repaint the entire house, at least paint the front door. If they’re worn, replace the kickplate and doorknob (or shine them to like-new condition). Replace tired welcome mats. Next, spruce up your landscaping. Keep your lawn well-manicured. Add seasonal flowers to your walkway and porch. Ensure all fixtures have working light bulbs and provide sufficient illumination.

To make sure you’ve covered the most important aspects, take the same stroll a buyer will make from your parking area to your front door. Does anything stand out (negatively)? If so, do what needs to be done to make it more appealing.

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.
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