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January 2018

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7 Landscaping Tips to Witness a Drastic Increase in the Value of Your Property

There are a number of projects that can improve the quality of a home. One of the most effective ones is landscaping. Tidying and greening the surrounding of your property is a good way to keep it attractive and increase its value.

Whether the property is currently a blank slate, or it is already landscaped but has been neglected, or you just think it is time to retouch it, there are some areas you have to pay better attention to in order to achieve value addition. Here are 7 tips that can guide you towards that end.

1. Create defined lawn edges

lawn edge

As much as a garden can add value to your property, a lawn that looks unkempt can be a turn-off to many. One of the ways to make your garden appear nice and easy to maintain is to create defined edges. This is attractive to homeowners and it will take you very little to do it.

2. Add potted plants

plant pots

Potted plants have a lot of advantages that will help to add value to your property. They are generally easy to care for, portable, and will add variety to your garden. Another good thing about potted plants is that they are not as costly as they appear and you can be smart by opting for resin planters instead of concrete and ceramic.

3. Mulch and weed

Weeding makes your garden look neat and a neat garden is attractive to every normal human being. A utility mulch such as pine bark or forest fines can also turn a tired, dull-looking yard into a good looking and inviting one that will improve the value of your home greatly.

4. Cut down on the number of plant species

ecology

Variety is a good thing, but for a garden, too much of everything can have negative effects. Too much species will make the impression of a high-maintenance garden and you don’t want any of that.

5. Plant shrubs and trees

Shrubs and trees add a lush and inviting quality to your home. At the same time, trees can be a good way to improve privacy in your property and this is a good selling point. This project may not be as costly as it will appear.

6. Prune regularly but conservatively

prune

Pruning is a good way to keep a garden and the entire landscape neat and inviting. Nobody wants to be in a bushy garden. Tidying up plants and trees in your garden doesn’t take much and it is recommended that you don’t take it too far.

7. Add lighting

This is an innovative way to make your garden extraordinary. There are a number of outdoor lighting options and you can easily choose one from the options depending on what is allowed in your area. A landscaping lighting system can also serve security purposes.

Landscaping is obviously a great way to add value to your property but you have to be careful with it in order to achieve the desired effect. With the tips above, your garden will look much better and this will definitely improve the quality of the property.

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7 Locksmith Tips and Tricks For Better & Improved Security

If you want to keep burglars out of your house and secure your property, the locksmith is the person to see. While there are a lot of things you can do to improve security in your home, the locks are the major factors that you have to look at. Whether you are a new home-owner or an old hand, there are always new things to learn about keeping your home secure. In this article, we will consider some locksmith tips and tricks that can improve the security of your property.

1. Review The Exterior Of Your House

broken window

This is the first place to start if you really want to improve the security of your home. Ensure that there are no broken windows. Also, lock away any ladder or item that can be used to gain access to your property. Secure garages and conservatories too.

2. Replace Locks In New Homes

key

If you are moving into a new home, it is highly advisable that you change all the locks on the property. It doesn’t really matter if the former occupants of the building handed over the keys, they or some other people may have access to the home and you don’t have to take chances.

3. Buy Quality Locks

Locksets come in different forms and brands and there are reasons locksmith recommend some particular ones and discourage the use of others. You can contact a locksmith to know the type of lock you can buy for better security. Insist on quality locks.

4. Use Deadbolts

For an extra level of security against burglary, it is important that you use deadlocks. This will deny burglars entrance into your house even when doorknob is damaged. It is really effective and will be very useful if you stay in areas prone to robbery.

5. Protect Windows With Security Grilles Or Bars

window grilles

There are thieves who can smash windows to gain entrance into a locked house. If your neighborhood has the problem of break-ins, you can use security grilles or bars to protect windows.

6. Use Sensor Lights

Sensor lights are very helpful in a number of ways. They can help you, as a homeowner, to gain access to your home in the dark. On a security level, sensor lights have been reported to be really effective in deterring potential thieves from attempting to break into homes.

7. Do Not Do The Obvious

There are certain practices that people are popular among many people. One of such practices is leaving keys under the foot mats in front of their homes or in flower vases in front of the house. If indeed this habit is to grant access to persons who know where the key should be, there is no need to keep keys in such obvious places. You can hide keys in other places that cannot be easily guessed. You can use a dog-house, a tree branch or other such places than the doormat.

Securing your house is very essential and while you may need a locksmith to help you with it, there are some things you can do on your own. The 7 tips discussed above can help to a reasonable extent.

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Top 10 Websites with the Best Deals on Clothing for College Students

Are you in college and can’t quite seem to get the time to shop for clothing? Why not ditch that plan to go to the mall that you keep postponing and get everything you need online? Online shopping is fast and convenient, and you can get some really fashionable pieces for unbelievable prices. Below is a list of the best online shopping sites for clothes for both men and women.

  1. Forever 21

Credit: Forever 21

If you want trendy clothing for cheap (who doesn’t?), Forever 21 is the place for you.  You will find all sorts of clothing in your size, which is rare for a clothes shop. If you are a bit bulky and only shop on the plus size section, then you’ll be blown away by the wide selection of clothes available. Men can also get some tasteful pieces, both casual and formal, at unbeatable prices.

  1. Clothing Under 10

Credit: Clothing Under 10

If you’re looking for clothes under $10, then you can’t go wrong with this website. Everything is super affordable and you can find a few reviews on YouTube for some of the clothing items they sell. The checkout process is a breeze and you can actually pay with Paypal.  Better yet, you get a discount on your first purchase.

  1. Styles for Less

Credit: Styles For Less

While you can always walk into one of their stores, you will get an even better experience shopping from their website since it’s so convenient. You can get women’s footwear and clothing at amazing prices. They usually have sales and deals on a variety of clothing items. Check it out.

  1. Deb

Credit: Deb

Deb specializes in women’s clothing that’s perfect for college students. There are plenty of outfits for plus-size women for which you can get great discounts of up to 40%.

  1. Necessary Clothing

Credit: Necessary Clothing

Here, you will find fashionable clothing items for women. If you spend more than $125, you qualify for free shipping within the US.

  1. Charlotte Russe

Credit: Charlotte Russe

The target market for this site is young women. Charlotte Russe has physical stores and a website for those who don’t have a store near them. They have great deals on skirts and dresses. If you buy a pair of shoes, you can get a second one for only $5.

  1. Rue 21

Credit: Rue 21

Rue 21 has clothing for both men and women. You can get stylish graphic tees, fragrances, accessories, skirts and so much more. There’s always a sale going on at Rue 21 so makes sure to check out their website regularly.

  1. ASOS

Credit: ASOS

ASOS is quite popular and probably one of the largest clothing retailers in the world. They stock different types of clothing for both men and women. As a college student, you get a great deal right off the bat since they give a standard 10% off on all purchases.

  1. Sammy Dress

Credit: Sammy Dress

This is one of the cheapest online clothing store available. Shipping is fast and you can even get free shipping deals based on the amount you’ve spent. Make sure to check out the trendy pieces they have on their website.

  1. Urban Original

Credit: Urban Original

This is one of the best online shopping sites for clothes. You will only find women’s clothing on this site, but they have a very wide selection of items. They also have great deals that are available all year round. You’re likely to get a buy-one-get-one for 50% off if you check out their website every once in a while.

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How to Protect Your House from a Hurricane

If you are all about security, you should definitely read our article that deals with protecting your house from a hurricane. There are many other things that you should protect your house from, including burglars, fire, flood, etc. However, one of the most complex issues may definitely be provoked by a hurricane, being the reason why it’s not very easy to protect from it. For example, if you are afraid of burglary, you should simply install an alarm system or call an experienced locksmith to deal with and improve your locks. On the other side, if you want to protect your house from a fire or flood that may be caused from the inside, there are also some regular measures to undertake. But, is it easy to protect your house from a hurricane. We guess it’s not, but it is not impossible. It is why we bring you this article with great tips on how to protect your house from a hurricane, and we took some of the greatest ideas from Forbes.

  1. Protect your windows and doors

This seems to be one of the most obvious things to do, no matter what do you want to protect your house from, but it seems to be an imperative especially when it comes to hurricane protection. If you live in the area where hurricanes are likely to happen, make sure to install doors and windows that are wind or debris proof.

Photo by Breno Machado on Unsplash

  1. Keep your landscape free of debris

Well, even though you install doors and windows that may protect you from flying debris, you should definitely make sure to free your landscape of it, as it may cause a great harm. For example, debris such as prune trees or dead branches, including some patio furniture and other loose items may be quite harmful during the hurricane.

Photo by Bryan Goff on Unsplash

  1. Mind the garage door

When protecting all other doors and windows, don’t forget to protect the garage doors, as they may be the weakest spots for hurricane-force winds. You are aware of the fact that the strength of a hurricane is enormous, and if it enters the house through the garage door, it can cause the roof to be torn off.

Photo by Loren Gu on Unsplash

  1. Keep the power on

The first thing you lose when the strong hurricane occurs is definitely the electricity, and this can be a great suffering once the bad weather is done. It is why you should definitely consider having a standby generator to produce electrical power, just for the purpose of keeping the essentials on, which can make the whole situation easier.

Pixabay/Public Domain

  1. Keep basic supplies on hand

The technology has developed much, and thanks to it, we may be ready in advance for weather disasters such as hurricanes. The same way you protect your house, you should definitely protect yourself by providing supplies of things such as water, food, candles, batteries, and other essential items that will get you through for some days. Additionally, you should also have an emergency kit, as recommended by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Pixabay/Public Domain

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5 Things to Consider Before Moving to A New Apartment

Have you found the perfect furnished apartments for rent and are considering moving in? You must be worried about all the little details that will have an impact of your transition to this new world. This seemingly harmless exercise affects your career, your kids and their education, and even your social life. For this reason, moving should be a considered decision that’s well planned out. Below we explore some of the things you should do before moving to a new apartment.

  1. The Cost of Living

Credit: Pixabay

The cost of living in an area can negatively affect your lifestyle. Therefore, it is important to find out well in advance about the cost of living in the area where the apartment is located. This enables you to determine whether your financial position is on par with the new area. You don’t want to move into a new apartment and have to relocate to a cheaper location shortly after.

  1. Safety

Credit: Pixabay

How safe is the new neighborhood? You want to move into a place with a certain level of security to have peace of mind. Find out about the security situation in the new neighborhood before moving your family.  You can do a web search with the name of the area followed by “police”, “disturbance”, “crime”, “killings”, or “burglaries”.

  1. Schools

Credit: Pixabay

If you have kids, then you want to find out if there are good schools in the area. Generally, more expensive areas tend to have better quality schools. Having a good school in the area reduces the cost of transporting your kids to school every day. Its also good for your kids if they go to school with other kids in the neighborhood. They will be able to make friends and adapt to the new environment faster.

  1. Amenities

Credit: Pixabay

Apartment features vary widely even within the same neighborhood. For this reason, it is important to distinguish what you want from what you need. Have a list of all the amenities that are a must-have, and then have another for those that are nice-to-have. For example, if you have a dog, then you want an apartment that allows pets and won’t settle for anything less.

  1. Job Market

Credit: Pixabay

Will you or your spouse need a new job after you have moved? If so, then you need to move to a place where there’s job availability. Some areas are better for job seekers than other with unemployment rates varying widely across states. You will also need to take your industry of interest into account before moving into the new apartment. Find out if there are jobs available in your area of interest to avoid going for too long without getting a job.

  1. Daily Commute

Credit: Pixabay

You need to figure out how you will be getting to work every day. How is traffic in the area and how long does it take you to get to work every day? It the commute is too long or it becomes too much of a hustle to get to work, then you would be better off getting a more convenient location even if you think the apartment is perfect for you.