Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 5/28/2017

It’s that time of the year when you are spending more time outdoors, enjoying the warm weather, friends and food. Make it complete by creating the perfect outdoor entertaining space. Perfect means something different to everyone and it certainly doesn’t need to mean going overboard with a $30k investment. With just a little elbow grease and a little money, you’ll be on your way. Check out the tips below for making it happen. Clean: A tidy area will always look better than an untidy one. Make sure to mow your lawn regularly and water it as well. Sweep or blow off the patio or deck. Stain or paint, if needed. Wipe down outdoor furniture and clean cushions as necessary. Tidy up your garden and plant beds for extra appeal. Having a clean space will make it much more appealing and comfortable to use. Personality: Adding personality into any space is the best way to bring it alive. Do you love bold, bright colors? Purchase seat cushions and accessories that reflect this. Would you rather a beach theme to your outdoor space? Add hints of blue, seashells, stripes and anchors to your space. Outdoor Lighting: Lighting is the perfect way to ‘light up’ your space. And there are so many different ways to add lighting to your outdoor space. Choose from string lights, hanging lights, and decorative lighting with objects like lanterns. String lights are a fun way to add unique ambiance to your space. Think of the feeling you get when your Christmas lights are twinkling outside your home. Bring that feeling to your entertainment space in the summer too. With just a few simple updates you can turn your outdoor space into a great entertainment space. Whether it’s just for you or for friends and family, your updates don’t need to break the bank. And most of all enjoy your space. For those living in New England, there are only a few months out of the year where you can truly enjoy sitting outdoors with friends and family. Take advantage of it!




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Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 7/17/2016

planting flowersWe all want our yard to look perfect, or at least better than the neighbor's. But taking care of the yard takes a lot of work and many of us come to depend on harsh weedkillers or insect deterrents to keep the yard looking pristine. What many don't know is that there are other, more eco-friendly options that will keep the pests at bay. Better yet, many of these solutions are easily made from household items. Follow these tips to keep your yard looking great without filling the ground and air with chemicals.

Killing weeds

What is a weed? Ralph Waldo Emerson lovingly describes a weed as "a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." While this may be true, it doesn't mean we have to let them take over our grass each year. Weeds are invasive because they spread--quickly--and kill off the plants and grasses we want in their place. To combat weeds there's no need for harsh chemicals that harm your yard and break your wallet. Instead, try diluting some white vinegar with water and pouring it on the weeds. This should take care of most of the weeds. However, the vinegar will drastically change the pH of your soil, so you don't want to rely on this for the rest of the season. The next time you see a weed popping up, pour some boiling water directly on it. It will kill the weed but keep your soil healthy so your grass or flowers can keep growing normally.

Insect deterrent

Having bugs in your yard is a good thing. They're part of the natural ecosystem that helps maintain your soil and pollenate your plants. Sometimes, however, insects can become invasive and destructive to the vegetation in your yard. If you notice beetles eating all of your plants' leaves, dilute some plain Dawn dish soap with water and spray it onto the infected leaves. The soap won't harm your plants but it will drive the beetles crazy, sending them off to someone else's yard. Nature has its own insecticides that few of us take advantage of. Plant marigolds, for example, around the perimeter of your property to deter scores of insects and other pests from ever entering your yard. See this helpful list for many other pest controlling plants.

Bug Repellant

We've talked a lot about protecting your yard from invasive pests. But what about protecting yourself? Whether it's pesky flies or biting mosquitos, there are many natural ways to keep the bugs away when you're out in the yard. Most effective commercial insect repellants contain DEET, a strong smelling chemical insecticide. We've all heard about the dangers of DEET, which was developed by the U.S. Army in the 1940s for use in warfare. The chemical compound has been approved and re-approved for use by the EPA since then, but studies have raised questions of its safety. Many people object to using DEET based on its potent smell alone. So, what are the alternatives? Many have taken the bug spray conundrum into their own hands, mixing various herbs and essential oils to keep the bugs away. Check out these recipes and let us know which one works for you!