Diane Kelly's Blog
A potting bench can provide you with a place to work on your garden, from starting seeds to grafting and transplanting. Ideally, your bench should be at a comfortable height for you to work at, be sturdy enough to support plants and tools and enhance the look of your yard. You have several options when it comes to creating a potting bench; choose the one that works best for you:
Reinvent an existing piece: Think outside the box and update an existing piece to make it into a potting bench. A fresh coat of exterior paint, some hooks for tools and a few other extras are all you need to convert a piece of furniture to meet your needs. Sideboards, dressers, desks and other pieces of furniture that are sturdy but that have gone out of style are ideal candidates.
Build it yourself: A potting bench is an ideal beginner's building project; a drill, wood screws, hammer and nails are usually enough to make your own potting bench. You do not need to have a saw-- most big box stores will cut lumber to your specifications when asked. A potting bench made from construction 2x4's is sturdy and affordable to make and free plans can be found online from a wide range of sources. If you have some tools, want to develop your skills and make something that is uniquely yours, then this approach will do.
Use a kit: Love DIY, but not sure where to start? You can purchase a kit to make your own potting bench from a variety of sources. Kits come with pre-cut lumber, fasteners and other items to create your own piece; you'll need to decide what finish to use when you are done. A kit combines the ease of repurposing another piece with the customization of a true DIY build.
Before you begin, list out how you'll use the potting bench and what you want it to do. You should also measure the space you want the bench to go and determine the right height for you -- the height will vary depending on your own physical stature and how you like to work. Once you have these details, you can look for peices to repurpose or plans to build from. Give yourself a weekend to complete this project, then expect to enjoy it for years to come.
Moving to a new home can be a stressful time for a new homeowner. Packing up a house-full of belongings is a strenuous process that can take up a lot of time and energy. And, if you’re working with movers, you’re going to have to pay for everything you want to move.
One way to make the process of moving easier and to save some money is by listing some of your unwanted belongings for sale online.
There are a number of places to list your unwanted items, but some are better than others when it comes to heavy and bulk items.
When to start listing and selling
The best time to begin the process of listing and selling some of your bulk items is at least two months before your move.
Why so long?
The answer lies in how much time it takes to list items, field responses, and ship the items or meet up with the buyer for pickup.
To list your items, you’ll want to do some research on them to find out the brand name, year, condition, and model number for things like large televisions. You’ll then want to see what the items are selling for used online.
Once you have a price in mind, you’ll want to take some high quality photos of the items. Good lighting and a decent camera (a newer smartphone camera should suffice).
Next comes the process of listing. Regardless of where you list your items, you’ll want to make sure you provide as many details as possible. This will help provide the site you’re using with enough keywords to make your items show up in popular searches. It will also help reduce the number of questions you receive from buyers who want to know more about the item--the listing should tell them everything they need to know to make a purchase.
Where to list
For large items that would be costly to ship, it’s best to use local listing services like Craigslist and Facebook groups. However, don’t give out too many details (like your address or date of moving); you don’t want to tip off would-be scammers or thieves to the fact that you’re moving.
For smaller items that still carry some value, a site like eBay or Amazon can produce top value for your belongings. Just factor in shipping costs and the chance of returns into the price.
Tips for success
One of the reasons I recommend listing your items months in advance of your move is because it can take time to list your items, field inquiries, then finally ship them and receive your payment.
One way to ensure that you successfully sell your items is to stay on top of inquiries. That means making yourself available whenever possible to take phone calls and answering email questions.
If you follow these steps, you should be able to turn a profit off of the items you would have otherwise had to pay to move. Happy moving, and good luck!
Buying a house should be a worry-free experience. Yet problems may come up that prevent a property buyer from achieving the optimal results. Lucky for you, we're here to help you quickly identify and address various homebuying hurdles.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you minimize stress as you navigate the homebuying journey.
1. Plan for the Best- and Worst-Case Scenarios
An informed homebuyer should have no trouble enjoying a worry-free property buying experience. In fact, this buyer will understand the best- and worst-case scenarios and know exactly what to do – even in a stressful homebuying situation.
In the best-case scenario, a homebuyer will instantly find his or her dream house, submit an offer to purchase this residence and receive an immediate "Yes" from a seller. Then, this buyer can finalize a home purchase and move into his or her new residence.
On the other hand, the worst-case scenario likely will force a homebuyer to miss out on the opportunity to acquire his or her ideal residence. This scenario may involve a failure to agree to terms with a seller due to many potential homebuying problems.
Homebuyers will want to do everything they can to avoid the worst-case scenario. Fortunately, if you learn about the housing market, you can gain the insights you need to plan ahead for the property buying journey. And as a result, you can increase the likelihood of finding and buying your dream house in no time at all.
2. Get a Mortgage
Let's face it – purchasing a home is your dream, but you probably don't have the necessary finances to buy a house on your own. Therefore, you may need to get home financing before you can make your homeownership dream come true.
Applying for a mortgage may seem stressful, but lenders are happy to help you in any way they can. If you consult with multiple banks and credit unions, you can review a variety of home financing options.
Don't hesitate to ask questions as you complete a mortgage application too. If you address your mortgage concerns and questions with a home financing professional, you can alleviate the stress commonly associated with applying for a mortgage.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a homebuying expert who can respond to any concerns or questions that you may have. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can get the help you need to minimize stress at each stage of the property buying journey.
Typically, a real estate agent will learn about you and your homebuying goals and help you plan accordingly. He or she will keep you up to date about available houses in your preferred cities and towns and set up home showings. And if you find a house that you want to purchase, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive property buying proposal.
Remove stress from the homebuying journey – use the aforementioned tips, and you can reap the benefits of a worry-free homebuying experience.
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