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Benefits of a Backyard Wedding

August 16th, 2017 · No Comments

Getting married to the love of your life is an exciting time no matter where the location.   If you and your soon to be spouse are looking for a nice place to become one, consider all of the benefits of a backyard wedding.  Below is a list of the many reasons why sharing your nuptials behind your home or your parents place may be a good idea.   

  1.  The number one reason you might want to consider wedding your soul mate in the backyard  is because you can save a ton of money.  No need to book a church or a venue because you will just need to step outside into whatever type of wedding oasis you choose to create.  You can get as elaborate as you want or keep it scaled down to save even more.  

  2. Choosing the date of your special day can sometimes be an issue if you are looking to book a certain venue.  During the summer months it can sometimes be difficult to find a place in which to wed because others have already booked them in advance.  If you are one that waits until the last minute to get things done, holding your ceremony on the lawn is a perfect answer!  

  3. Decorating your outdoor wedding  will be a snap because you won’t have to abide by anyone’s rules and regulations, only yours and/ or your parents.  Let your creative juices flow as you turn the outdoors into all you have ever dreamed of.  

  4. The reception will be easy to set up with a few tables and chairs. You can have everything catered if you choose or if you would rather keep it simple, the kitchen will be close by so that you can have someone cook and deliver it right to the tables.  Easy enough!

  5. Your friends and family can be super involved in your celebration of marriage if you decide to go this route as well.  Perhaps you have some young kids in the family that would like to be ushers or help to serve the meal after the service. 

  6. Committing your lives to one another is a sacred thing.  Doing so either in your parent’s backyard or your own is a great way to hold those memories very close.   

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Just For Fun

Smart Gadget Ideas for the Home

August 9th, 2017 · No Comments

Smart Gadgets are quite fun to look at and try out but have you ever considered purchasing a few for your home?  Why not take the plunge to make your home a more interesting place to be by purchasing a few or all of the gadgets mentioned below. 

  1.  Many of you may have already seen or perhaps even tried the smart vacuum.  If you haven’t tried it you need to do so.  Just imagine pushing a few buttons and sitting down to relax while your vacuum cleaner does all the work for you.  What a revolution!  Be prepared to dish out $700 to $900, but it will likely be quite worth it in the end. 

  2. Smart trash cans have perhaps not been as heard of as the vacuum cleaners but they are just as cool none the less.  If you are the type of person that cannot stand to touch the top of the trashcan due to the fact that it is loaded with germs, this may be just the thing for you!  Not only will you not have to touch the lid but some of these gadgets even tell you when the trash is full and needs to be taken out!  How do you like that for smart?! $150 to $200 will buy you this luxury item! 

  3. Washers and dryers have had intelligent features for years but are beginning to add more and more as each year passes.  Some of them now have phone apps that let you remotely control them.  Some will sense when you are home and instantly begin using their quiet mode so as not to disturb you.  These types of machines will run you $1400-$1800 each but are well worth the money if you have it to spare. 

  4. Even air purifiers have been added to the list of smart gadgets folks are buying these days.  These items puts your homes air through different filters, then analyzes the data and sends it to your phone to tell you what types of things are prevalent in your air such as pollen, dust, pet dander, etc.  These cost from $200 to $750.   

You may have thought that your home couldn’t be this smart but it can if you have the money to make it happen.  These items are so amazing that if you don’t currently have the money to buy them, you may want to consider saving up for one at a time.   

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership · Seller Info

Small Ways to Save Money At Home

August 2nd, 2017 · No Comments

Just because your home doesn’t have any major issues such as a leaky basement or a floor that is about to cave in doesn’t mean you don’t have a lot of little ways you are losing cash each month.  Below are a few small tips to help you save money at home that may eventually add up big.

  1.  If you have yet to change your lights over to energy efficient ones you should do that right away.   This is an easy way to save a little bit each month that doesn’t take long at all to accomplish.  LED lights are going to cost you a bit more than regular light bulbs but in the long run they will be a big help to your budget.
  2. Big ticket items such as air conditioning systems can cost you and your family a lot each year if you don’t do your part to make sure they work to the best of their ability.  Make sure to change your air filters on a regular basis and clean all the vents as well.  This type of maintenance should be done before the heat of the summer begins so that all will work correctly when it is needed most.
  3. Another small way to save money at home  is to make sure you eat what you put in your refrigerator.  Wasting food is a big money pit that affects many Americans today.   If you buy a lot of produce and other perishables you need to be sure to put them at eye level so that they don’t get lost in your fridge only to have to be thrown out later.  If you have a small family you might want to purchase smaller amounts of foods that don’t have a long shelf live to avoid wasting each week.
  4. If you haven’t already done so, get rid of your landline phone.  Most everyone these days has a cell phone and the need for a landline phone has almost become obsolete.  Save that $40 per month and put it towards something of better use.  You may be surprised at just how quickly $40 each month can add up.
  5. Before you decide to bring a furry family member into your home, realize that they are quite expensive.   If you are trying your best to save money perhaps buying a pet might need to go on the back burner for a while.

These are just a few ways in which your pocketbook can get a bit of rest  on a regular basis.  Use the ideas you like and see what a difference they can make.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home ownership · Money matters · Seller Info

Items to Throw Out Before You Move

July 19th, 2017 · No Comments

Although moving from an old house into a new house can be an exciting time it can also be a very stressful time for those folks who don’t like to throw anything out.  Don’t worry you can keep most of your items but there are a few that should most definitely be thrown out before you move and those are listed for you below.

  1.  If you have a lot of old towels and rags lying around your house, whether you use them or not, you might want to get rid of those before you move  into another home.  These types of things can carry bacteria on them and you don’t want to start out in your new place with dirty items when you can purchase new ones once you arrive.
  2. Make-up is good to have but it does have a shelf life and once that has passed it isn’t really good to keep it around.  Avoid the compulsion to throw all of your old makeup into a box and take it with you.  Although you might perhaps use it once or twice there really is no need for it because it won’t look as nice as a new pallet of makeup.
  3. Soaps, deodorants, nail polish,  and sunscreen maybe things you use on a regular basis but you really don’t need to take up space in your moving boxes for these types of items.  These things don’t cost a lot of money and can easily be purchased anywhere.
  4. Once you start packing and you find a ton of USB cables, realize that you don’t need them all and get rid of a few of them.   You may have a friend in need of a USB cable that you can bless with one or two.
  5. Don’t pack paperwork unless it is absolutely necessary.  Of course you will have to keep important contracts and tax information but most of the paperwork you’ve collected over the years is likely now obsolete and can be thrown out before you head out.
  6. Last but not least, go ahead and let go of all of the clothes you can no longer fit into.  Donating these types of items can many times be a big blessing to others.

These are just a few ideas of things you might want to get rid of before you move.  By doing this you will avoid having to unpack all sorts of unnecessary items and will save yourself a ton of time in the process.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: home ownership · Seller Info

Fung Shui Ideas for Your New Home

July 12th, 2017 · No Comments

Decorating a new home is a fun process.  Whether or not you are an experienced decorator,  you can look and feel like a pro with the aid of some fung shui.  Below are a few ideas on how to make it work for your new home.

  1.  Many folks like to hang mirrors at their entrance way to make the space look larger and more inviting as well.  Be sure to place your mirror on a side wall as you walk in instead of directly across from the door.  This will help with the flow of things as guests enter your house.  They will be able to see themselves and feel welcomed as they arrive as opposed to feeling like they are being pushed out with their own reflection.
  2. Another way to make fung shui work for you  is to keep clutter to a minimum.  This is especially true in the bedroom because a bedroom is a place of rest.  If there is a lot of junk all around the room those who spend time there will likely feel a bit disheveled.  If you feel as if you don’t know enough about this topic to do the job right, you can always higher an expert to help get you started in the right direction.
  3. Make sure that if you want to have live plants in your home that you place them in areas where folks will be hanging out and spending quality time together.  Try not  to place live plants in areas where sleep takes place such as the bedroom because you need items that give off restfulness.
  4. Leaving the toilet lid closed is a great, easy little trick that will help to make everyone who enters your bathroom feel good about the space.
  5. Keeping the flooring all one type in the home helps the energy to flow freely.  Try not to use two different types of flooring butted up against one another if you can help it as this will weaken the energy of the home.
  6. Be sure to place your bed across from the door to the bedroom or at least at a spot where the door can be easily seen.  This will enhance the comfort level of the room as opposed to putting the bed on the same wall as the door.

Fung Shui is fun and interesting and it really does work to help the energy of the home   feel comfortable and welcoming.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership

How to Make Your Outdoor Space More Inviting and Fun

June 28th, 2017 · No Comments

This time of year folks begin to get outdoors to do more around their homes because it is nice and warm outside.   It’s also a good time to do a bit of work outside the house and make your outdoor space more inviting and fun for family and friends.   Below is a list of ways in which you can accomplish this.

  1.  If you already have landscape lighting, why not purchase a few fun colored lights to use in them for different holidays.  This will defiantly make your outdoor space a lot more fun.
  2. If you are getting tired of mowing your grass then you may want to replace your grass with a garden.  You might want to add a garden of flowers or a garden of vegetables or even put in a koi pond.  Any of these ideas will help to keep you from spending your summer evenings mowing the grass all the time, therefore making your outdoor space more fun.
  3. If your patio furniture is old and outdated, now is the time to go out to purchase some that allows you to show your style more effectively.  Outdoor furniture always makes outdoor spaces more inviting and fun.
  4. Adding a new doorbell to the outside of your home may seem like a small thing, however if you find a nice one that lights up the front door area it can do wonders towards making your home seem more inviting at night.
  5. If you don’t already have a swimming pool, summertime is a great time to add one.  Not much can make your outdoor space more fun than a swimming pool for all to enjoy.
  6. If you do add a swimming pool why not go out and make it really fun and cool by adding an outdoor shower to the mix.  This type of thing is pretty rare unless your home is at the beach, therefore your outdoor shower may quickly become the talk of the neighborhood.

There are so many ways in which to make your outdoor space more inviting and fun; these are just a few of them that you may want to try.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership · Seller Info

Tips for Creating a Perfect Kitchen Pantry

June 21st, 2017 · No Comments

The typical household kitchen pantry is full of items that are needed and some items that may have been in there way too long that are no longer needed or good for that matter.  Perhaps you have tried in the past to clean out your pantry to make it more efficient to no avail.  Below are a few tips for a perfect kitchen pantry that may help you clean and organize yours once and for all.

  1.  The best way to start organizing your pantry is to clean everything out of it and start from the beginning.  It may make a mess at first when you begin taking all of the items out of your pantry but sometimes you have to make a mess in order to get rid of a mess.   Be sure to look through all of your items throwing out anything that is outdated or spoiled.
  2.  Another tip for a creating a perfect kitchen pantry is to install shelving that makes it more efficient.  You can purchase shelving for your pantry at most local hardware stores or you can build them yourself out of wood, whichever works best for you.   You can make the shelves stationary or you can choose to make them where they will pull out so that you can get things out a bit easier.
  3. Putting all your staples such as flower and sugar into air tight containers then labeling them is a great way to organize your pantry and make it more user friendly.  Once you get all of your staple items into containers you can then more easily organize them.
  4. Another good tip for creating a perfect kitchen pantry is to use one shelf for each type of food.  For example you can put cereals together all on one shelf,  spices on one shelf and  items that you use daily on a shelf that is eye level.
  5. If your pantry is dull and dreary, you can always paint it a light color to brighten it up after you organize it all.

Once you get your kitchen pantry all organized exactly like you want it you will likely want to spend more time in the kitchen creating fantastic meals for your friends and family.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership · Seller Info

Selecting Plants and Flowers for Your Home Garden

June 7th, 2017 · No Comments

Many of us select plants for the garden at our Gainesville FL home based on their visual effect—color, height, size of blooms, etc. And so we should, as the sight of our plantings should be pleasing to our sense of sight. As we plan our garden, however, we should also be aware of the other four senses—and include plants which appeal to each of them.

SMELL: Aromatherapy is a powerful practice. With nothing more than a simple scent, the brain can be triggered to remember long forgotten memories, emotions, and feelings. With that being said, it is important to carefully select the flowers you want in the garden of your Gainesville FL home. With a few simple choices, you can create your own “memory lane’ or relaxing oasis. In terms of fragrance, it’s hard to beat roses or lavender. Wisteria and jasmine are scented climbers which can really enhance the sensory pleasure of a garden, and amaryllis belladonna and spirea both add pleasant scents.

SOUND: Few of us associate the sense of sound with our garden, but the rustling of long grasses and the chirping of birds add a much-appreciated dimension. To attract songbirds, use fruit-bearing understory trees like dogwoods and service berries and shrubs such as viburnums and hollies and introduce low growing perennials and dwarf shrubs like creeping juniper and cotoneaster. You can also plant vines, ground covers, and sunflowers to increase chirping and tweeting.

TOUCH: Texture in garden design refers to the surface quality of the plant. Plant textures range from delicate and fine to coarse and bold. The feel of the foliage in your Gainesville FL home’s garden is not the only element of texture, however, as the texture can change with the play of light and shadow and even with viewing distance. Plants with thread-like leaves call out to be touched, so consider adding cosmos, baby’s breath, asters, and grasses. In addition, iris and lamb’s ear will each provide softer tactile experiences.

TASTE: The world of herbs is nearly without limits. Think about basil, chives, rosemary, chamomile, cilantro, mint, and parsley, to name just a few tasty garden additions. Consider, too low bush blueberries or ligonberries. Lesser known, but equally valuable as salad additions are the flowers of the hibiscus shrub, columbine, and daylilies.

Some of the plants you have selected for your garden will serve more than one purpose and will appeal to more than one sense, so be sure to sniff, feel, taste, listen to, and view each of them!

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership · Seller Info

Fun Rainy Day Things to Do Inside Your Home

May 24th, 2017 · No Comments

If you have small children you know all too well how easily they can get bored when they are stuck inside due to bad weather. Below is a list of a few rainy day things you can do inside your home so that you and your family don’t get bored being stuck inside.  Get them and read this list together to get started on some fun!

  1.  One fun indoor activity you can do with your small children is to have an indoor scavenger hunt.  Write down some clues to where you have hidden items in your house and set your children out on an indoor hunt to find them!  This can be fun for you as well as you watch your kids trying their best to find what you have hidden.
  1. Another fun rainy day thing to-do inside your home  with your family is to go camping inside!  Get your tent out and set it up right in the middle of your family room.  You and your family can sleep in the tent together all night long!  If everyone doesn’t fit you can use sleeping bags to make it a full fledge family event.  A super fun way to make your indoor camping event even more real is to make smores in the microwave!
  1. Yet another fun rainy day thing to do inside is to gather all of your board games and get the entire family involved in playing them together!  If you don’t have any board games you can likely find some type of game for all to play online.
  1. If you don’t want to have to create something fun to do with your family, why not bake some cookies together!  It is always fun to get your little ones together in the kitchen to bake.  Have each child create their own cookie with the ingredients you have available, then let the rest of the family be judges to give the best cookie award!

These are a few fun rainy day things you can do inside your home that is sure to make everyone have an enjoyable time even if they can’t go outside!

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home ownership · Just For Fun · Seller Info · Things To Do

How to Go Green This Spring

May 3rd, 2017 · No Comments

These days it seems everyone is all about going green.  Have you ever given any thought on taking part in going green?  If so you have come to the right place.  Below are a few tips on how you and your family can go green this spring!   Why not add going green to your spring cleaning list!

  1.  One way that you and your family can go green this spring is to simply take your shoes off before you enter your house!  You read that right; you can go green by simply taking off your shoes. 40% of all indoor contaminants actually come from the bottom of our shoes so do your part to keep this from happening to you and your family by taking those shoes off!
  2. Learn what ingredients are considered to be green so that when you go to the store to purchase all of your new green cleaners you can be confident that you are actually doing some good for the environment.  Some companies that claim to be green actually have some ingredients that are not green once they are mixed together.   Just read up on what ingredients are green and what ingredients are not and are typically passed off as green and you should be heading in the right direction on what to buy and what not to buy.
  3. Don’t forget the outside of your home when you are going green.  Many grasses are able to grow and thrive without the help of any type of pesticides and /or fertilizers.  The best way to start going green with the outside of your home is to replace the grass you currently have with native grasses to your particular area.  One perk of this switch is that you may find that you have a lot less upkeep of your lawn once you do this!  Who wouldn’t enjoy having more time with their family and less time doing yard work on a weekly basis!

These are just a few ways in which you can help to make your home a bit more green this spring.  Once you get started going green it is likely that you will find more and more ways in which to do so.  It can become addicting once you make the decision to go green in and around your home!

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership · Seller Info