David Higgins' Blog
Before you decide what grass to purchase for your lawn take a moment to assess your life and yard to select the best warm or cool-season grass variety for you. Here are some crucial items to think about that will affect your choice of grass.
How will your lawn be used?
Think about where and why you're planting sod. If your installing new grass for your front lawn the use may be more for aesthetics than active use. If planting for your backyard the grass might see more traffic, and if you have children who will play outside frequently or pets that live in the yard, you’ll want to select a more rough and tough variety of grass for your climate zone. If the lawn is just for show, a beautiful but sensitive grass might do well for you.
What are the conditions in your yard?
Does your yard already allow for drainage? Your yard might already have an irrigation system, or you may need to install one. Make sure your yard is or can be well-prepared for the grass you select. If implementing an irrigation system will be difficult, or simply isn't cost effective so it won't fit in your budget consider a grass that won't need so much drainage. Look at the terrain of your yard. Will the area you're planting be easy or challenging to mow? If on a hill perhaps you want to plant a grass that only needs mowing once or twice a month or a grass that looks good if left to grow long.
Assessing sun and shade.
Even if you know what climate zone you live in you’ll still need to assess the sun and shade situation for your yard in particular. Observe your yard throughout the day, over the course of a few days. Track where the sun hits throughout the day and what areas have shade, and at what times. Tracking will help you narrow down your grass selections before you start looking at costs.
How does lawn maintenance fit into your budget? If you want a grass that needs lots of irrigation or regular fertilizer, you'll need to account for the ongoing cost. Make sure you can afford to continue taking care of your lawn over the long term so that you can protect your investment.
With this information you can review the grass varieties available to you, that suit your climate zone and make the best selection. If a lush front lawn or hearty backyard that can handle kids playing is essential to you, discuss your needs with your real estate agent so that they can include information about each lawn in the houses they present you and help you find the right yard for your lifestyle.
A home inspection is a key part of the property buying process. If you fail to allocate the necessary time and resources to conduct an in-depth inspection, you may struggle to identify various home problems before you finalize your property purchase. And if you cannot identify such issues, you risk buying a home that may require costly, time-intensive upgrades in the foreseeable future.
Ultimately, there are many things that you can do to ensure that a home inspection provides you with the insights you need to determine whether to proceed with a home purchase. These include:
1. Hire an Expert Home Inspector
A home likely is one of the biggest purchases you'll make in your lifetime. As such, there is no need to leave anything to chance, especially when it comes to conducting a house inspection. But if you hire an expert home inspector, you can get the support you need to conduct a comprehensive property inspection.
Look for a home inspector who possesses extensive experience. Also, you may want to ask a home inspector for client referrals before you make your final hiring decision. If you get in touch with a home inspector's past clients, you can find out what it's like to work with this professional and proceed accordingly.
2. Attend Your Home Inspection
You are under no obligation to attend your home inspection. But in most instances, it is beneficial to attend an inspection.
A home inspection usually requires just a few hours to complete, but the benefits of attending an inspection may last a lifetime.
For example, during an inspection, a home inspector may be able to provide you with property repair insights that otherwise won't be included in your inspection report. Meanwhile, attending a home inspection allows you to ask questions and gain the insights you need to make an informed decision about a home purchase.
3. Analyze Your Home Inspection Results
Spend some time reviewing a home inspection report – you'll be happy you did. If you assess a home inspection report closely, you can use all of the information at your disposal to decide whether to continue with a house purchase.
Furthermore, if you have questions about a home inspection report, don't hesitate to reach out to the inspector who conducted the evaluation. This inspector can respond to any report questions that you may have and provide you with information that could prove to be exceedingly valuable as you make your final decision about a house.
As you get ready to buy a home, it certainly helps to have a best-in-class real estate agent at your side too. This housing market professional can offer recommendations and suggestions about what to do following a home inspection. Plus, he or she can provide plenty of guidance at each stage of the property buying journey.
Take the guesswork out of a home inspection – use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of completing a successful property inspection before you finalize a home purchase.
Newlywed life is such an exciting time! It’s also a time many couples decide to buy their first home together. And therefore aside from having a wedding, it’s the first major financial decision couples make together. Hit the ground running together with these tips:
Co-managing money: If they haven’t already combined finances before the big day many couples choose to do so after marriage. Learning how to manage money on your own is a task unto itself but managing it together is a vital skill for newlyweds. You can avoid unnecessary fights over money down the road by getting on the same page financially now. Get really honest with each other. Put everything on the table, especially various debts you each may hold, from credit cards to school loans it’s all important to get a true snapshot of your combined finances.
Create a budget for your life together. Calculate your combined expenses. Consider where you can cut back on services and habits to save money and what you need to add to your budget. Be sure to consider: savings for a nest egg, vacations, car repairs, and unexpected medical emergencies. You may also want to begin saving up to start a family or plan for retirement. When you have a complete picture of your finances you can then look at what’s left over. What kind of down payment and/or monthly payments will you be able to realistically make with this amount?
You’ll also want to talk to each other about your lifestyle goals. If you’ve always dreamed of living in the city or a small tightly-knit town. Perhaps you’ve always imagined a large, spacious home while your partner is thinking of something smaller to focus more on traveling. Do you want a garage, a big yard, a pool or to be close to family? Getting clear on what you each expect from your ideal home will help you find the perfect middle ground where you will both be happy.
It’s best to be able to make at least 20% of the house cost for a down payment. The higher the down payment you can make the better as you’ll have lower monthly payments and won’t get hit with extra fees from your insurance. If you can’t save up this amount, look into first-time buyer loans which allow new buyers to make a smaller down payment.
Be prepared. Remember to plan and budget for closing costs on your home. You don’t want this price tag to catch you off guard. Other things to be financially prepared for throughout the year are property taxes, homeowner’s insurance as well as maintenance and upkeep.
Being newlyweds is an exciting time where you have the rest of your life together to look forward to. And buying a new home, in a lot of ways, can feel like the first major step in laying down the foundation for a long, happy life together.
2 Heron Way, Hingham, MA 02043