Cheryl Fleming, GRI, ABR's Blog
Bonsai is a Japanese artform that originates from the ancient Chinese practice of potting trees. Although it is an art that has existed for centuries, bonsai needn’t be inaccessible to the average person looking for a new household hobby.
To successfully grow and care for a bonsai, all you need are a few tools and a lot of patience. In this article, we’ll cover bonsai basics to help you get started in this craft. Keep in mind, however, that there are thousands of resources and communities to help you out along the way.
To buy or to cultivate?
The two most common ways to start a bonsai tree are to buy a pre-cultivated tree online or at a greenhouse, or to cultivate one yourself with seeds or cuttings. Many beginners elect to buy a pre-cultivated tree to decide if they enjoy the hobby before devoting years to cultivating a tree from seed. If you enjoy caring for plants and think you’re up to the challenge, starting from seed or cuttings could be more rewarding.
A third option is to collect a tree from nature that has been stunted by natural conditions. These types of trees are called yamadori and can be difficult to collect because their roots may be in a precarious location. Also keep in mind that it is illegal to remove plants from some parks and forests.
How to shape your tree
Once you obtain a bonsai your work has only just begun. The real challenge of bonsai is caring for and shaping your tree. That means clipping off growth, repotting, watering, moving it indoors and outdoors, and shaping/training its branches to grow a certain way.
Every tree is different and will require different care. An important thing to remember about bonsai is that many of them will need to be brought outside to mimic their natural conditions. Trees survive winters because they have prepared for it through the process of dormancy. By bringing your tree outdoors, it will keep its internal clock on time to prepare for winter. In this way, cold-climate bonsai trees can handle the harsh temperatures and weather that comes with the winter time.
Aside from subjecting it to different temperatures and weather, your bonsai will also need to be pruned and wired. Pruning thick branches that grow high up on your tree will help you maintain the natural look of its larger counterparts out in nature. Similarly, wiring helps you transform your tiny tree to look fully-grown and weathered.
Just like other plants, your tree will need water, sunlight, and fertilizer. The amount of each will depend on the type of the tree, so you’ll want to do that research before you ever buy, cultivate, or collect a bonsai to make sure you can adequately care for the tree in your area.
5 Lebanon Street, Worcester, MA 01603
One of the toughest choices to make when selling a home can be choosing a bidder. Often because sellers don’t expect this to be a difficult decision! It seems like it would be straightforward. You might think you should accept the first offer or maybe you’re in the camp of accepting the highest bid. And while both of these choices are valid there are other factors to take into consideration. Factors that can make selling your home even easier and relatively hassle-free.
One of the biggest fears people have and one that really throws a wrench in the process is potential buyers backing out of a deal or asking for pricey repairs. And for this reason, I suggest looking closely at all of your bids to review the concessions and contingencies each contract contains as well as the type of financing each buyer will be utilizing.
For example, one thing to look for is earnest money. This is money in an escrow account either held by the real estate agent or the buyer and seller and shows the buyer’s commitment to their bid. It gives the buyer more time to sort out their financing but is also seen as a guard against the buyer walking away mid-agreement.
What is the stability of a buyer's financing? What institution is it coming from? Do a search online to learn more information about each buyer’s finance provider. A buyer may pay in cash, offering a larger down-payment or be pre-approved for a loan.
Sometimes buyers will also include a contingency in their contract to not begin payment until they have sold their own home. If this is something you are not comfortable with this bid might belong in your “No” pile despite a higher bid or down payment.
Are they asking you to cover any expenses? They may ask for the attorney review fee to be waived, inspection fees to be covered or costly repairs to be made before closing. Again, are you okay with covering these costs? Do the math to see if these requests bring down the value of the bid. Depending on how much of an investment they are asking for you to make this could create a less enticing bid.
Sometimes, choosing a bid is less about the numbers and more about convenience. If you are in the middle of shopping for a new home yourself, bidders who offer flexibility on the move in/out date could move to the top of your “Yes” list. Sometimes buyers want to keep furniture or appliances from a home, which could make moving a much lighter load.
If your head is spinning from all of these different factors to take into consideration when choosing a bid, that’s okay! This is why working with a real estate agent is so beneficial. Look to your agent for advice when weighing out the benefits of each bid and on making the final decision.
253 Riverlin, Millbury, MA 01527
Trying to get your house ready for the real estate market? Ultimately, a home appraisal can help you set a fair price for your residence, thereby boosting your chances of a quick home sale.
During a home appraisal, a property inspector will evaluate your residence both inside and out. Then, this inspector will provide you with a report that details his or her findings, along with an estimated value of your residence.
With a home appraisal report in hand, you can establish home improvement priorities. Plus, you can enter the housing market with a good idea about your house's value and price your residence accordingly.
Clearly, there are many reasons to complete a home appraisal. But it also is important to do everything possible to get your house appraisal-ready to increase your chances of getting a high appraisal.
For those who are struggling to get their homes appraisal-ready, we're here to help.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prep your residence for an appraisal.
1. Take an Objective View of Your Residence
Consider how a homebuyer may see your house – you'll be glad you did. If you take an objective approach to selling your residence, you may be able to identify various problem areas before you list your house.
For example, cracked or chipped home siding may seem like a minor issue to you, but this problem can affect how homebuyers perceive your house. Conversely, if you fix cracked or chipped siding before a home appraisal, you can increase the likelihood of a favorable appraisal.
2. Spend Some Time Cleaning Your House
A tidy house is a pristine residence, one that will surely stand out to homebuyers. Meanwhile, if you allocate some time to clean your residence, you may be able to identify potential home problems that otherwise could hurt your residence's value.
If you need extra help with home cleaning, it certainly pays to hire a professional cleaning company. This business hires friendly, experienced staff members who will help you enhance your house's interior and exterior in no time at all.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
Getting a house appraisal-ready may prove to be costly and time-consuming. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive extensive support as you prep your residence for an appraisal.
A real estate agent will examine your residence before an appraisal and offer honest, unbiased home improvement recommendations. In addition, he or she can put you in touch with the top property inspectors in your area to guarantee that you can receive a comprehensive appraisal.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent acts as a home selling guide. This housing market professional is ready to respond to your home selling concerns and questions and will do whatever it takes to ensure you can maximize the value of your residence.
Move one step closer to selling your house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can streamline the process of getting your home ready for an appraisal.