Planning Your Home, Inside AND Out

Most real estate experts agree that landscaping can add anywhere from ten to fifteen present to the value of your home.  So, whether you are purchasing or building a new home, or considering renovating your existing home, you need to consider your landscaping as part of the planning process.

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There are quite a few things to consider when it comes to landscape planning. The first thing you want to mull over is how involved you want to be in weekly and seasonal maintenance. If you have a large, landscaped lot, you’re in for a lot of lawn mowing, leaf raking, and mulching…and that’s just the beginning. Some people enjoy that, so it’s not a problem. Others would rather pay someone else to maintain it, and that’s fine, too. But have that that figured out before you start, because that is going to heavily influence your design concepts.

Think about the style that you would like. Some like a formal English garden, with well-defined borders and a tight, tidy appearance, while some prefer a cottage garden, with a undisciplined beauty that comes with letting plants grow with little maintenance. Still others lean towards a standard suburban setting that mixes lawn elements with patches of gardens that are comprised of basic plant cultivars. Keep in mind that here in Anne Arundel County, we enjoy a coastal climate that allows us to grow plants that might struggle in other areas in Maryland. Whatever your preference, again, take into account the maintenance commitment that you are willing to make. What seems manageable in the planning stage may be overwhelming down the road, when it all grows in!

Don’t forget the practical elements of landscaping that should be both beautiful and practical. Shade trees, for example, can significantly lower your electric or gas bill by serving as a windbreak for your home in winter and providing shade in summer. Smaller trees and shrubs are useful as living screens to hide trash cans, HVAC compressors, cable boxes, etc. And ground cover, such as ajuga, can offer a great alternative to a lawn.

The first thing that people see when they visit your home is your landscape. That makes it particularly important to those who are thinking about putting their home on the market, as it will frame the expectations that potential buyers may have for the interior. So don’t leave anything to chance and make your landscape something to talk about!

Tips for a Smooth Move

With children in school and guaranteed warmer weather, summer is the most popular time for most people to move. Following a careful plan, moving can be a fairly easy transition, whether going to an established house or a new custom home, like the ones offered by Palmer Company.

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Here are 10 tips to help:

  1. Move Yourself or Go Pro. Consider your lifestyle, household size, budget and amount of time you have to determine whether the move is one you can make yourself or have a professional company handle. Either way, be sure to get written quotes from truck rental companies or from licensed moving companies. An online packing calculator makes it easier to determine the number of boxes and packing materials you’ll need.
  2. Plan Your Unpacking Strategy. Tour your new home while it’s still empty and take photos of each room to determine furniture and appliance placement. Note which major items should go where and list major pieces that need assembly. Keep the list with you on moving day and cross off each item on your list as it’s placed. Once you start packing boxes, mark them with the room name and a number. Keep a separate list of the box numbers and all of the contents of each so that it’s easy to find stuff you need in your new home even before all the boxes are unpacked.
  3. Start Early. As soon as you know that you’re moving, begin to pare down clutter, donate items, and hold a yard sale. This is a great time to recycle, give away or trash all the piles in your basement, garage and attic! Also, take the time to complete USPS change of address forms and notify the utility and cable companies.
  4. Care for Children. Plan ahead for childcare on moving day, or if that’s not possible, set up safe places for kids to play in their new home that’s safely away from the movers.
  5. Protect Your Pets. Moving is stressful for our four-legged friends so consider a one-day stay at a pet daycare or ask a friend to take them for a long walk while the movers are around.
  6. Keep Track of the Little Things. If certain pieces of furniture or appliances need to be taken apart, keep all the screws and small parts in separate, clearly marked mini zip-top bags for easy identification at your new home. Don’t try to tape anything to the furniture or it may get lost.
  7. Know Your Electronics. Before unplugging TVs, DVRs, home theater systems and computers, take photos of the connections, print them out and write instructions on them. Keep all loose wires in clearly marked mini zip-top bags or boxes and personally carry them on moving day.
  8. Keep Your Cleaning Products Safe. Detergents, pesticides and paint are heavy, so if you plan to move them, consider double-boxing them for extra protection and mark them as hazardous. If you choose to dispose of them, be eco-friendly by contacting your city’s waste disposal department for assistance on the appropriate course of action.
  9. Protect Your Valuables. Plan to spend a little extra to get full value insurance protection for your peace of mind. This means that if you have lost, stolen or damaged articles, you’ll be compensated at current market value, regardless of its age.
  10. Know Your Rights. If you choose to use a professional mover, research your rights ahead of time to know what rights you have in case of loss, accidents, withheld property or other legal situations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) handles interstate moves, while the corresponding state agency oversees moves within the same state. If you get into a difficult situation, contact the local law enforcement or Better Business Bureau (BBB) if a moving company threatens to hold your belongings.

With a little planning, moving day stress can be reduced so you and your family can concentrate on the excitement of your new home!

Custom Home Designs Fit Your Life

When choosing a custom home, the obvious advantage is getting everything exactly as you need it to fit your lifestyle. Palmer Company will work with you every step of the way to ensure the end result is a beautiful home that perfectly suits the way you and your family live.

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But if you need some ideas to get you started, check out some of these favorite options (of course, local coding always prevails):

KITCHEN

  • a second sink in the kitchen
  • pot filler
  • in-counter trash receptacle
  • an instant hot faucet at the main sink
  • walk-in pantry
  • under-cabinet outlets and lighting
  • sponge storage under the sink
  • lower drawers instead of traditional base cabinets
  • universal controls for electronics and lighting

LIVING/FAMILY ROOM

  • built-in shelving units
  • wall-mounted television

STORAGE AND UTILITIES

  • magnetic door switches (the light comes on as the door opens)
  • built-in dirty laundry bin or laundry chute
  • in-drawer or in-closet ironing board
  • extra shoe storage

BEDROOM

  • built-in wall sconces
  • bedroom light switch next to the bed
  • window seat

BATHROOM

  • hand-held showers
  • multi-level jets in showers
  • jetted tubs
  • radiant floor heating
  • towel warms
  • dimmable glass

SYSTEMS

  • alarm systems for fire, carbon monoxide, theft
  • tankless hot water heater
  • wireless speaker system
  • central vacuum system
  • graywater system to capture rainwater for non-drinking usage

This list just scratches the surface of the endless possibilities when designing a custom home or renovating your current one. Many of these features aren’t just luxuries but will save you time and money. Call Palmer Company today at 410-544-3388 for a free consultation!