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Dennis Evans' Blog

By Dennis Evans | Agent in Clifton Park, NY
  • Back to Basics

    Posted Under: Quality of Life  |  November 13, 2013 12:34 PM  |  186 views  |  No comments

    Getting Back to Basics during the Holidays

    Many people are feeling the pinch of tough economic times and are overwhelmed by the idea of spending more money on gifts for friends and family for the holiday season.  Try spending more time and not more money.  Instead of buying high tech expensive games for your kids, try playing a card game with them.  Bake and decorate holiday cookies, build a fire in the fireplace and look at old photos.  Remember days gone by and share a laugh or two.  Get out the guitar, sit around a piano and sing all your favorite Holiday songs.  The truth is we all probably have too much "stuff" already.   Before you run out a buy more stuff, remember that what we don't have is time.   This is the precious gift that you can give to your loved ones.  Share a moment...get back to the basics, relax and enjoy and it won't cost you a penny....it an investment worth pursuing!

  • What Does Your Door Say About You?

    Posted Under: Design & Decor  |  November 13, 2013 12:30 PM  |  203 views  |  1 comment

    What Does Your Door Say about You?

     

     

    From: RISMEDIA

    I’ve been asked the color of my eyes, my mood and even my parachute. But no one’s ever asked the color of my front door.

     

    Red, for the record. Apparently that means I’m passionate, according to Debbie Zimmer of the Paint Quality Institute.



    Zimmer says in a news release that the colors we choose for our doors often communicate our emotions and personalities. A front door is the focal point of a home, she says, much like a necktie is the focal point of a suit.



    Here’s what a color psychologist might say about the most common front door colors:



    Blue:

    Studies often show blue is the most popular color. A blue front door indicates the homeowner sees his or her home as a place of refuge.



    Green: This color connotes health, safety, tranquility and harmony.



    Black: A black front door projects strength, sophistication, power and authority.



    Red: This powerful color says a home is vibrant and exciting.



    Brown: A brown front door conveys warmth, stability and reliability, but some darker shades of brown signal a desire for privacy, even isolation.
  • Holiday Stress

    Posted Under: Quality of Life  |  November 13, 2013 12:17 PM  |  185 views  |  No comments

    Three Morning Tips to Ease Stress- good to follow at this time of year when STRESS SOARS due to the Holidays

     

     

    RISMEDIA 


    Between work, bills, pets, kids and a social schedule, some of us find our stress levels soaring higher than Anna Chicherova’s Olympic High Jump. If you find yourself dragging your feet in the morning or waking up in a funk, make a little time for yourself to boost your spirits. Here are a few morning tips to help you take on the day with less stress and more smiles.



    Make time to stretch.

    Stretching reduces anxiety and tension and slows down your heart rate. It can also improve your energy, and clear your head. And don’t forget that your body will feel better—there’s no harm in that! A few simple yoga poses first thing in the morning can also reduce stress. In a study published in the journal of Complementary Therapies in Medicine, participants who did a few simple yoga stretches every morning reported less stress and an overall improved quality of life than those who didn’t.



    Create a sacred ritual.

    Creating a little ritual you do each morning “just for you” carves out some quality you-time first thing. Giving yourself attention first will allow you to look forward to waking up, and help you take on the day with a positive outlook. This ritual can be something as simple as reading a book for half an hour, or something more complex like working on a novel or learning a new language. Whatever it is you choose, it should be as essential to your well-being as your daily shower. My ritual? I spend 20 minutes savoring a cup of coffee and getting some quality snuggle time with my cat—both of us are better for it.



    Create a secret smile stash.

    Come up with a few go-to smile-inducers to fall back on if you wake up in a down mood. I call these “happy-makers.” Stash a collection of photos from vacation with friends and family, love letters from your sweetie, or music that always lifts your spirits.

  • "Green" Holiday Decor

    Posted Under: Design & Decor  |  November 13, 2013 12:16 PM  |  200 views  |  No comments

    Do Your Part: Green Holiday Decor on a Dime

     

    RISMEDIA

    These days, there is inspiration for holiday decor and decoration nearly everywhere. You can find extravagant displays at craft and holiday shops. You can search out elaborate designs on places such as Pinterest and Facebook. You can also find elegant inspiration right outside your front door. This season, Do Your Part to bring the outdoors in as you decorate. Not only is it inexpensive and attractive, it’s a whole lot easier on the environment.



    My friend tells a story that each December when she was a little girl, her mother made her sneak into her neighbor’s yard and steal magnolia leaves to display on their fireplace mantel. Now, I’m not advising you to steal any, but my friend’s mother was certainly right on one front -- those magnolia leaves are a beautiful way to decorate for the holidays. I use the ones from my tree as the base of my centerpiece for holiday meals. But any pretty leaves will do and it’s super simple. You can use your backyard greenery in flower arrangements, wreaths and garlands.



    Another easy and pretty idea this time of year is to use natural branches to help decorate your home. These branches can be tied in bundles to your banisters or used as part of your centerpieces. Add some color to your arrangements with a few winterberries such as Nandina, Holly, or Pyracantha. Fruits on tables, shelves and mantels are also perfect for fall and winter. Lining them with pumpkins, gourds, pears, or shiny apples is both beautiful and budget friendly.



    Something I do to decorate throughout the year can be special at holiday time. I fill a large glass hurricane vase with natural items that symbolize the season. Filling them with pinecones, beautiful branches, along with the berries I mentioned above, can be breathtaking. Dangle a few ornaments from the sturdier branches for extra impact. Along with the hurricane vase, baskets are another year round vessel. You can swap out the ribbons and what you fill the baskets with as the seasons change.



    Then, there are a few nature inspired finishing touches you can create this time of year. Consider creating napkin rings with twine and cinnamon sticks. Fresh cranberries are also a nice ornamental touch for table decorations.



    This season, there’s no need to splurge on expensive holiday decor. By bringing some of nature’s finest and freshest ingredients inside, you’ll Do Your Part to create the perfect feel without spending even more money this holiday season

  • Decorating Ideas

    Posted Under: Design & Decor  |  November 13, 2013 12:13 PM  |  192 views  |  No comments

    DISPLAY SHELVES AND ARTFUL GROUPING- decoration ideas



    If you have a room in your home with open shelves for displaying books or favorite objects, there are some key principles of design you should keep in mind.

    First of all, you may want to display family photos (limited in number) in a grouping of interesting frames.  Like objects should be grouped together-vary the sizes and choice of frames on your favorite photos, and group them in batches of 3 or five.  It is an unwritten visual rule that groups of uneven numbers are more pleasing to the eye.

    Baskets are another popular collectible item, and baskets may do "double duty" in adding interest and in storing items to reduce clutter and organize other collections. If they are on the higher shelves they can store little used items and simplify, while freeing up drawers and cupboards for other things.

    Collections of ALL types show better and have higher and more attractive impact when they are grouped.

    Pottery vases , glass art objects or sculpture should be gathered and shown together with an eye to a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and surface textures.

    Books can be contained with bookends or stacked by size with their bindings showing.

    If you subscribe to magazines, and you want to keep past issues to reference later, they are best saved encased in good looking leather or fabric cases which are readily and widely available.

     

    PARE DOWN AND LIMIT PERSONAL FAMILY PHOTOS

    NEATEN UP

    GROUP LIKE WITH LIKE

    ODD NUMBERS

    VARY COLOR, SHAPE, SIZE, TEXTURE

  • FALL PROJECTS

    Posted Under: Home Ownership  |  November 13, 2013 12:12 PM  |  182 views  |  No comments

    It's that time of year again for more FALL PROJECTS...get it done before the cold of winter sets in

    Excerpts from Daily E. News

     

    Don’t fall down on the job of keeping your gutters and downspouts clear and in good repair. They may be an “out of sight, out of mind” aspect of your home exterior, but neglecting them can lead to costly repairs.

    Here’s a basic guide to gutter maintenance, compiled by our researchers and based on the expertise of gutter pros:


    WHEN TO CHECK, CLEAN GUTTERS
    Fall is a good time to think about gutters, since leaves dropping from trees are a main cause of clogging. But gutters and downspouts can be blocked by other things, too, including pine needles, twigs, “helicopter” maple seeds and even tennis balls.



    Experts recommend checking your gutter system at least twice a year, Spring and Fall after trees have shed most of their leaves and needles.



    Depending on how many trees you have, you may need to clear gutters and downspouts as often as every three months. If you have few trees or your gutters are covered by a screen or other guard-type product, they may need to be cleaned only once a year or every few years.



    THE COST OF NEGLECT
    You could pay a price if you ignore periodic inspection and cleaning. As one top-rated gutter professional told our researcher: “Gutter prevention is measured in pennies; repairs are measured in dollars.”

    Clogged downspouts and gutters cause water to overflow the gutter, which can damage fascia or soffit boards, erode landscaping, or cause a roof leak, which in turn may create additional exterior or interior damage. Fixing these problems can cost you thousands of dollars. Clogged gutters can also be related to pest and rodent infestation.



    HIRE OR DIY?
    If you clean your gutters, be careful when working from a ladder and don’t forget to clear downspouts, too.

    Even if you have gutter guards, you may want to hire a professional. Experts say up to 20 percent of leaves and other material can get through a gutter cover, and that experienced workers may be better at removing and reinstalling the guards.



    A professional gutter cleaning should include removal of all leaves and other material from the roof, gutters and downspouts, as well as a check of overall gutter condition and repair of any loose gutter spikes. In addition, the person who does the work should leave your yard clear of debris.



    PRICING AND HIRING TIPS


    The cost of gutter cleaning depends on the size and height of your home. Special equipment may be required to clean gutters of a three-story home, for example. Prices range from $75 to $225 for an average home, depending on the length of gutters and height of the house. Most companies charge a flat fee per foot of gutter, but the cost can rise, depending on the complexity of the work. If you’re thinking about having gutter covers installed, be aware that the price usually starts at around $1,500.



    To find a reliable gutter expert, get recommendations from reliable sources such as your friendly Concierge or your Sales Associate. Get several estimates and confirm that the company you hire is properly insured.

  • Real Estate Markets are Heating up!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Clifton Park, Investment Properties in Clifton Park  |  August 18, 2013 8:40 PM  |  310 views  |  No comments

    Real estate markets are heating up

    Signs of the housing-market recovery are everywhere, from galloping mortgage rates to rising home prices and all those "under contract" signs popping up around the neighborhood.

    Nationwide, homes typically sold in 83 days in the second quarter, 14 percent faster than a year earlier, according to Realtor.com. At the same time, the median list price rose 5.4 percent, to $196,000, and the number of homes on the market dropped by more than 10 percent.

    Even some states hit hardest by the recession, including Michigan, California and Nevada, are starting to see their housing markets rev back up.

    "Detroit has made remarkable progress in the last year, shrinking its inventory of unsold homes by more than 26 percent and becoming one of the most balanced markets in the nation," said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move, the parent of Realtor.com. "We'll be watching the inventory levels in the months ahead, but if this past quarter is any indication, Detroit won't be giving up without a fight."

    Realtor.com is out with its list of the Top 10 Turnaround Towns for 2013. Several metrics are used to develop the list, including inventory, median list price, days on the market, and weighted search and listing activity on Realtor.com.

    Do you think Detroit made the list? Did it top the list? Click ahead for the full list of the Top 10 Turnaround Towns for 2013.

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