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Gardening & Landscaping, Planting, Cultivating

 

How Does Your Garden Grow: Tips For Hiring A Landscaper

Just when you're done with shoveling snow, you can set your sights toward spring (and summer) and mowing the lawn. But, for many the grass would be a lot greener if they could just get someone else to do it (the mowing that is). But, weeding out a reputable landscaper, one who not only knows what he is doing, but also one you can trust and can afford can be quite challenging and tricky, especially if your not sure of what to ask about or look for. With that said, professional...

landscaping, Gardening & Landscaping, Planting, Cultivating

Just when you're done with shoveling snow, you can set your sights toward spring (and summer) and mowing the lawn. But, for many the grass would be a lot greener if they could just get someone else to do it (the mowing that is). But, weeding out a reputable landscaper, one who not only knows what he is doing, but also one you can trust and can afford can be quite challenging and tricky, especially if your not sure of what to ask about or look for. With that said, professionals offer the following advice for homeowners who are a bit "green" in the Gardening & Landscaping, Planting, Cultivating arena.

1. Put Your Money Where Your Word Of Mouth Is: If you're going to invest in any professional, your best bet is to chose among those that come highly referred by those you know and trust. After all there's no better advertising, than a content client. And, by all means don't be afraid to ask strangers and neighbors (with lovely lawns) for their recommendation.

2. Dig A Little Deeper: Go beneath the surface and unearth some solid references. Not only should you ask for client approval but ask to take a look at their yards. You'll also want to ask your potential service provider to see a sample of his work, including photo albums and any work featured in magazines.

3. Refrain From Planting A Financial Seed: Sometimes service professionals will charge you based on what they think you can afford, or a "comfortable" number you've revealed to them. Instead experts suggest giving the prospective landscaper a detailed wish list and allowing him to generate an estimate.

4. Sign On The Dotted Line: Although many (service) professionals may insist that their word and their handshake is as good as a written contract, experts suggest "getting it in writing" It's likely your chosen landscaper will request a 50 percent down payment (up front) with the balance due upon completion of the job/services. However professionals point out that a landscaper worth his weight in soil will honor the contract even if you hold back 10 percent of the payment until 30 days after completion (or sooner if you're happy with the work). And, they suggest asking for a specific guarantee for the services agreed upon.

5. Get An Education: Get informed by brushing up via the latest Gardening & Landscaping, Planting, Cultivating books and magazines, you that you learn the lingo and can properly ask for what you want, and maybe even have some pictures to show making your expectations more concrete and clear.

6. Insta-Garden Alternatives: If you've got the time, energy, and ambition about doing much of the the work yourself, experts suggest hiring a landscaper or landscape architect to draw up the plans and a planning schedule (preferably starting in the spring). And they note that some nurseries offer this service either for free or for a nominal fee.

 

How Landscape Paintings Can Brighten Up The Home

If you want to add a little extra something to your home but you are not really sure what to do, then why not start with a new picture? Landscape pictures really can add an elegant touch to any home and depending upon where you get one from, they do not necessarily cost the earth either. However, if you want an original you will probably not be able to afford it so it is better to stick with reprints which are cheaper but just as good.

Why Choose a Landscape Picture?

Ch...

landscaping, Gardening & Landscaping, Planting, Cultivating, painting, home improvment

If you want to add a little extra something to your home but you are not really sure what to do, then why not start with a new picture? Landscape pictures really can add an elegant touch to any home and depending upon where you get one from, they do not necessarily cost the earth either. However, if you want an original you will probably not be able to afford it so it is better to stick with reprints which are cheaper but just as good.

Why Choose a Landscape Picture?

Choosing a landscape picture over any other type is advisable because it will fit into almost any room. So, whether you are looking for something for your living room, your bedroom or even your hallways, you will find a landscape picture to suit your needs. You just have to look around to find the best prices.

Think about it, we like our gardens to be really well designed. There is nothing more pleasing than to go out after a hard days work and relax within a scenic environment. Often we simply do not have time to go for a nice, scenic walk and so we rely upon creating a scenic and relaxing environment closer to home. Well, by having landscape pictures, you are adding to that scenic environment and you can lose yourself in the scenery of the picture whenever you want to.

There are some really famous landscape artists and if you do decide upon reprints instead of originals, you may be able to purchase pictures from the likes of Claude Monet, Camille Picasso and John Constable. Or, if you are not particularly bothered about famous paintings, searching online will bring thousands of landscape pictures available to you. It may take a while to look through them all, but as there is a large choice available it means that you are more likely to find something which you really love. Local stores do not always have the best pictures so it is nice to have the internet to turn to if needed.

As for the type of landscape picture that you purchase, that is entirely up to you. You can buy forest and woodland landscape pictures, waterfalls, beach and countryside landscape pictures. All of which have hundreds of paintings to choose from and each will look completely different from the next.

Overall landscape pictures really can brighten up the home and they do look really good. So, you do not only have the choice to landscape your garden, but you can also bring a touch of landscape to the inside of your home too.

 

How the Mortgage Landscape Has Changed

There used to be an almost dizzying variety of mortgage options out there. But that was then. This is now. And anyone who wants to buy a home these days needs to be prepared for a shrinking number of choices.

new homes, mortage, real estate, finance, banks

There used to be an almost dizzying variety of mortgage options out there. But that was then. This is now. And anyone who wants to buy a home these days needs to be prepared for a shrinking number of choices. Lenders are pulling back-to the basics. But it's not all bad news. A homebuyer who has proof of income, cash reserves, or good credit should sill be able to find a home mortgage loan. But you have to be ready and willing to do some shopping around first-comparing and negotiating-just like you would if you were looking for a new car. Speak to several lenders. And it's also a good idea to contact several mortgage brokers, too. They act as liaisons between lenders and consumers.

It's never been more important to be an informed homebuyer. Learn the basics of what it takes to get a mortgage. Start by finding out if the lender requires a down payment, how much it is, and if you can afford it. Because of the current economics of housing, most house hunters must have the money for a down payment. That's because the no-down-payment loans that were available during the boom years are now almost non-existent. Many lenders now insist on a minimum of five percent down-more is even better.

You'll also want to check to see if you'll be required to buy Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)-which will be added on to your monthly mortgage payment. Many lenders insist on this, because if protects them against loss by borrowers who fail to pay. As a rule of thumb, expect PMI if a loan exceeds eighty percent of a home's value. To avoid the added expense of PMI, some borrowers get a "piggy-back" mortgage-which is essentially taking out two loans. The first loan covers eighty percent of the cost of the home. The second is a home-equity line of credit that covers most-if not all-of the balance. However, be aware that these piggy-back loans are few and far between these days; many lenders see them as a risk they'd rather not take. That's because if a homeowner loses the house, the proceeds from the sale would go to paying off the first mortgage-and there's usually very little left from that to cover the second mortgage.

Now, what about those low-or-no-documentation loans that were so popular awhile back? Well, they're basically extinct. Why? Because the single-most important thing to lenders these days is a borrower's credit score. The lenders are relying more heavily than ever on that score to assess a borrower's ability to repay a mortgage on time. Borrowers that look risky will not get those lower-interest loans with good terms. In fact, they're not likely to get a mortgage at all. Loans available to people with credit scores of, say, 660 just a few months ago are no longer out there.

But even if you have a good credit score, you need to be aware that you need to use it wisely. For instance, weigh your choices carefully if you're thinking about taking out a loan for more than $417,000. This is known as a "jumbo loan"-and mortgages that exceed this make lenders very wary; they are perceived to be much riskier than "conforming" loans.

So what's a potential homebuyer supposed to do? If you credit score is on the low side, get serious about improving it before you start looking for a mortgage. It will definitely increase the number and types of mortgage options available, as well as the rates and terms of those mortgages. If your credit score is high, then keep it that way-don't push for the maximum mortgage you can get. Be conservative.

With careful tending, the mortgage landscape in your little corner of the world will start looking considerably more lush, healthy, and beautiful.




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