Internet Marketing for Sellers

Is your real estate agent an expert marketer? Today, buyers use the internet more than any other source to find a home. It is vital that your real estate agent use a fully, integrated marketing plan to sell your home.

Here are just a few things you will want to make sure your agent has:

  • A website
  • An IDX property search
  • A way for buyers to search for homes from a mobile device
  • A blog
  • A Facebook business page
  • A Twitter account
  • A You Tube channel and video marketing

Because there are so many ways that buyers look for homes, it is important that your home is advertised where people are looking online (Facebook and Twitter). A blog will typically get your home high visibility in search engines. Speaking of search engines, You Tube, is a part of Google and buyers love videos.

Check out this website to see how all of these features work together to help the seller.

Compost For The Garden

Having access to an endless supply of well-aged organic compost is any gardener’s dream come true. Organic compost adds substance and texture while providing nutrition and garden-friendly micro-organisms to the soil. When used to enhance the garden or growing medium of plants, shrubs and trees, organic compost produces bigger and healthier crops than soil not enhanced: all without the use of noxious chemical or toxins that could be harmful to pets and people.

You can go online or visit your local lumberyard to find construction plans for just about any size and type of composting bin. One of the easiest methods is to sink 4” x 4” posts in the ground and make three sides out of 2” x 4” boards spaced 2” apart to allow for ventilation. The 2” x 4”s are strong enough not to bend outward as you fill the bin. The front of the bin is left open to allow easy access for filling and unloading the bin. Because the bin can get a little “ripe” with odor from manure and other decomposing organic materials, it is wise to place it away from the patio and downwind from areas where the yard is used for social purposes.

Experienced gardeners advise that once the bin is full, you will want to turn the bin every couple of weeks, while keeping the materials moist. While composting can seem like a lot of work, the effort is more than repaid in knowing that you are recycling all your garden and lawn waste, produce trimmings, kitchen, and paper waste while creating your unique blend of “garden magic.”

Composting Is A Family Affair
Encourage everyone in the family to be eco-friendly and recycle everything they can. Newspapers, coffee grounds, apple cores, and potato peels are all fodder for the bin. Add grass clippings, shrub trimmings and dried leaves. Encourage children to put fruit peels and cores in the compost jar, not the garbage can. Banana peels are especially high in potassium, a great addition to any compost mixture.

Layer Compost Materials For Fastest Decomposition
Experience gardeners that make their garden compost suggest that you layer green and brown materials, such as lawn clippings and manure, green trimmings with sand or dried leaves. It is best to keep layers to a maximum of six inches thick to facilitate easy mixing of materials. If you have two feet of grass on top of kitchen waste, it is pretty hard to mix them together well.

If you live in a rural area, ask a neighbor for a load of herbivore manure to add to your compost bin. He or she will probably be happy for you to haul it away. Cow, goat, horse, sheep or lama or any combination can be used.

Once the bin is full, cover with brown material such as topsoil, dry leaves or a layer of untreated wood sawdust. Place a small sprinkler on top of your composting pile and allow the water to gently penetrate the pile for approximately two hours a day during the summer months. Keeping the composting material wet causes the material to heat up which in turns speeds up the composting action.

Savvy gardeners establish multiple composting bins, each in a different stage of decomposition. As the materials break down the pile in the bin will shrink. Turn it as often as you can or you can just leave it alone, watering it when you remember. It isn’t that complicated. Remember that materials that are at the center of the compost heap will break down faster than that which is around the outer edges, that is why it is important to stir things up once in a while. A three tonged pitchfork and a bit of muscle are the best tools for turning the bin.
When compost is dark and mealy, it is well-aged and ready to be applied to the garden.

The Home Goods You Should Always Buy in Bulk

It’s no surprise that buying in bulk is cheaper. Manufacturers can offer you the same items with less packaging and fewer processing steps. Then, at the store, less time is required for employees to stock these items onto the shelves. Basically, bulk buying is a win-win for everybody.

Knowing which items to buy in bulk, however, is a bit trickier. We would all buy everything in bulk if we had the storage space in our homes or a cart big enough at Walmart.

There are certain home goods you can count on for always being smarter to buy in bulk. In this list, we’ll cover the top bulk items that are worth the space in your closet and where to find them.

1. Toilet paper, paper towels, and napkins

The trinity of paper items. These three purchases are always worth buying in bulk. Running out of them can range from an inconvenience to an emergency, so it’s good to have plenty stocked up. The undisputed champion when it comes to buying toilet paper is Costco. However, most warehouse clubs also have good deals. If you’d rather spend a bit more and not have to carry a huge box to your car, Amazon also has some good deals on these three paper goods.

2. Liquid hand soap and body wash

Those tiny bottles of liquid hand soap won’t get you very far and can be quite pricey. If you have a favorite, odds are you can find a large jug of it on Amazon to refill your smaller bottles as needed.

3. Tupperware

One good set of tupperware will outlast 5 cheap plastic sets. That said, you can still get a good deal on a large set of tupperware and it’s worth it if you pack lunches in advance or have a large family. Amazon is also the price to beat when it comes to plasticware.

4. Batteries

One item that typically isn’t cheaper online is batteries. Walmart is the place to buy large packs of batteries. If you really need to have a lot of them on hand, however, it will probably save you much more money in the long run to buy some good rechargeable batteries, especially AAs.

5. Diapers

If you’re a parent, you’ve most likely noticed the magical disappearing properties of diapers. A full box of diapers seems to vanish into thin air within a couple days time. Frugal parents have found that off-brand diapers, such as Target’s Up & Up diapers, are high quality and much more affordable than name brand options. Alternatively, Amazon Mom will help you save on gas and on diapers, and offers many other baby-related goods as well.

6. Over the counter medications

First, go generic–it will save you a ton of money on non-prescription meds. As to where the best place to buy medications, consumer reports show that Costco and Sam’s Club are the cheapest, whereas drug stores like CVS, Rite Aid are the most expensive.

Maintaining Your Septic System

If your home has a septic system, or you are thinking of buying a home with a septic system, you should know that septic systems need regular maintenance. Owning a septic system means getting on a schedule of checkups and clean-outs.

Septic tanks should be inspected a minimum of once every two years, however, once a year is ideal.  An inspection will check sludge and scum levels and tell you how rapidly solids are accumulating in the tank. This will give you the opportunity to remediate any problems before they happen. Make sure to hire a licensed septic-field inspector.

You may not need your septic pumped every year but pump it often. How often it needs to be pumped depends on several factors: tank size, size of household, volume of solids in the wastewater and how much you use the garbage disposal. Always use a licensed septic pumper and hauler to pump your tank.

Keep a maintenance record on your septic system. Make note of things like the date the system was serviced, who serviced it, what work was done, and a description of the system’s health.