Jackie Da Rosa - Century 21 North Shore/Storrs & DeNault



Posted by Jackie Da Rosa on 5/26/2019

As you look for ways to avoid spending a lot of money on your landscape, you need to learn about xeriscaping. In suburban areas, up to 80 percent of the water used for a household goes to preserve a lawn or yard. For those who want to invest in some landscaping but who do not want to maintain the irrigation needs of vast swatches of turf, this concept is one you should learn.

What is Xeriscaping?

Xeriscaping is a thoughtful process of using little or no water for your landscape needs. Professionally, it is also any of the following:

- landscaping explicitly designed for areas that are susceptible to drought;

- gardens designed for properties where water conservation is essential;

- lawn conditioning for those who want more environmentally friendly means of watering plants; and

- landscaping for those who want to save money on water. 

The origin of the word is from the Greek word ďxerosĒ which means "dry." Taken in this particular context, it means "dry landscape."

Advantages of Xeriscaping

Aside from the appealing fact that it saves water (between 50 and 70 percent reduction on your water bill), the following are the advantages of adequately installed xeriscaping:

- Increased property value: Great landscaping always increases the value of a property, but xeriscaping also improves the bottom line by saving on the need for irrigation lines and maintenance and the cost of excess water use.

- Xeriscaping not only reduces the need for water but if thoughtfully installed, it works as a means of pest control. Citronella helps repel mosquitoes, lavender wards of ticks and mites, and other plants work for different pests. Research your region and the native plants that are available to install the best pest control species for your home.

- Typically, xeriscape plant selections are self-propagating, so you save on having to buy and install new plants each year.

- You will reduce maintenance costs because most drought-tolerant or native plants do not require mowing or pruning. Additionally, when using native plants, weeds have less opportunity to take over and bees, butterflies, and birds find a home.

- Because it is all about the conservation, most xeriscape designs include the artful use of gravel, stones, and pavers to add utility to the grounds.

Now that you know the about concept of xeriscaping, you can learn more about it. Ask a landscape professional to review your property to see where xeriscaping can add value to your home.





Posted by Jackie Da Rosa on 5/19/2019

The American population over age 65 is set to double by the year 2060. Thatís almost 100 million seniors needing housing in facilities that currently are in short supply. And really, do you want to live in a senior housing facility when youíre older? Most donít. In fact, 80 percent of seniors would prefer to stay in their current home if they could. 

The challenge, however, is that most home designs simply never factored in the needs of growing older. Today, however, is a new day. With technology at our fingertips, homes built now can feature assistance for you to stay in place in your home over the long run. This technology, a part of the ambient assisted living emerging industry, brings improved safety, medical care, and mobility right into your home.

Check out these smart home options and think about how to include them in your build or remodel.

  • Security: Systems designed to warn you of fire and gas leaks are old news. But, newer systems that also can tell you who is at your front door, or that let you lock the front door from anywhere inside or outside the home via an app on your phone take it a step closer to giving autonomy to less mobile seniors. It also can let family know if you've fallen, or if there is an emergency, so it provides the family with the security of that their loved one is secure. Check out the options from Abode Iota, Nest Secure, or Ring Video Doorbells and Alarms.
  • Peace of mind: The newest version of Apple Watch, Series 4, has fall detection software that can detect when a hard fall occurs if youíre wearing the watch. In that event, itís internal vibration system ďtapsĒ your wrist, displays an alert message, and sounds an alarm. At that moment, you can dismiss the alarm or call emergency. If it detects movement, the watch waits for you to respond, but if you've been immobile for over a minute, your watch will automatically call emergency, and also send a message to your designated emergency number letting them know your location and that it dialed emergency services for you.
  • Hazards: Getting around in the kitchen creates complications for anyone with limited mobility. Sense, a home energy monitor, can attach to the homeís electric panel. It can detect if an appliance runs too long and notify the homeowner. It also notifies a caregiver of changes to typical usage patterns, so if mom always makes coffee at 8:00 AM, and today that didnít happen, Sense lets the caregiver know that something could be amiss. Protect yourself from bathroom hazards with Walabot Homeís two-way fall-detection system.
  • Autonomy: June, a countertop oven, automatically detects and recognizes the food placed in it, cooks it and then turns itself off. Connect your June to Alexa, and it tells you when your food has cooked. The AmazonBasics microwave works with Alexa or Echo Dot voice commands to set temperatures, cook, and inform you when your meal is ready. This feature particularly assists vision impaired cooks. In the living room, let Siri, Google Home Hub, or another device turn on your television, music, movies and more.
  • Health: New on the scene are telehealth (remote healthcare) options that reduce the need for doctor visits. Since transportation typically is a challenge for seniors, advancements in this area with wireless devices and monitoring look to a future of improved livability.

Early adoption of these systems prepares you for a time when you need to rely on them. In some new developments, builders install smart home technology from the ground up. If you'd like to see smart homes in your area, talk to a local real estate professional to view available homes.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Jackie Da Rosa on 5/12/2019

Changing locations is daunting. There are a plethora of exciting things to learn and do. One that might not be on your radar ahead of the move is finding a place to source your food. Most people have a favorite grocery store. You know, it's your go-to place because you know exactly where to find things. You get what you need and are in and out in a flash.

If your chain is national, you're in luck, because most modern grocery chains have similar layouts and offer similar, if not the same, product lines. Some chains, however, go by different names in different states. In this case, each brand may have its quirks, local products, and unique layout while still offering some of the nationally branded items. If you have a loyalty card from your current store, comparable "sister" stores may be on a list on the back or the connecting website. Visit the sister store to see if it appeals to your comfort level but check out other local stores as well. Some grocery conglomerations allow you to use your loyalty points interchangeably among all their stores, while others limit access to local stores. 

For those that typically shop at farmers' markets, co-operatives, and directly from the source, finding local alternatives may be a little more difficult. Many area farmers' markets list hours and locations online, but you also might discover your local library is a better resource for information.

Some cities also boast small "mom and pop" shops that specialize in regional foods or ethnic products and spices. You might find the best ready-to-bake chicken parmigiana you've ever had at that tiny shop around the corner. And if your taste runs to more exotic fare and African, Hispanic, or Asian markets might have just the specialty items you need.

Check out local butchers, bakers, well, and even candle-stick makers for regionally sourced produce, locally baked bread, and farm-to-table livestock.

And if you prefer a more extensive, one-stop-shop type store, you may find local versions with higher quality goods or locally sourced products than the nationwide brands. Some stores even offer special-order products unavailable from other sources.

Some local stores may offer special events such as cooking classes or live music and outdoor seating with a dine-in option. Plan to explore new culinary experiences in your new home by branching out from the national chain stores to include local produce and spices, ethnic stores, and farmersí markets.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Jackie Da Rosa on 5/5/2019

In todayís world, everything is online. You probably have started your home search online as well. Itís plain fun to look at real estate. You can dream of living in a place you canít afford. You might never see any of those listings that youíre browsing in person. Should you?


No matter when your home search may become a reality, there are a few benefits to seeing houses in person. 


Youíll See What Your Money Can Get You


What you want and what you can afford may be far apart. You wonít understand the reality of the housing market unless you see it firsthand. By looking at whatís available on the market at a given time, you will be able to see how much house your dollars will buy you. Knowing what you can afford will help you to keep your expectations in check when you do head out to search for a home. Looking at what homes are on the market can actually help you to help your real estate agent find you something that will suit your needs. Thereís nothing worse than telling your agent that you want a home thatís impossible to find.


Youíll Meet Real Estate Agents


By going to open houses, youíll be able to meet different real estate agents. Through this process, you could very well meet the agent who will help you to find your dream home. If you like the way an agent is helping to sell a home, youíll very likely get along with them as a buyer. 


You Will Know How Much Competition You Have


If youíre attending open houses and find that there are many other people there the same time as you, it could be a sign that the market has tight competition. A lot of open house attendees means that prices are higher because the competition is fierce. You may have to offer above asking price in order to secure a deal on a home.


Youíll Learn Different Areas


Open houses can bring you to places you may have never thought of living before. Youíll get a sense of what different neighborhoods are like if you spend some time exploring through attending open houses. 


Youíll Learn What You Can Live With


Itís easy to have a concrete picture in your mind of what you want in a home and what you can deal with. When you see houses firsthand, you may be able to open your mind a bit as to the type of home youíre seeking.  


 





Tags: Buying a home  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Jackie Da Rosa on 4/28/2019

When your kids wake up each morning refreshed and relaxed, their whole day is already off to a good start. Your kidsí bedroom plays a significant role in getting the sleep their body needs, but itís more than just a room for sleeping. Itís also a place where they can unwind with their peers, so it needs to be cozy and neat. Give your kids the gift of a sound sleep by making their bedroom a pleasant retreat after a stressful day.

Make their stuff reachable

To help your kids stay comfortable and organized, make sure they will be able to reach their toys and other things they use daily. Your kids will use their closet storage and coat racks if they can easily reach them.

Bring their Cartoons closer to them

If your kid loves a specific cartoon or show, you can add a painting of their favorite animation or superhero characters like sponge bob, Dora, Peppa pig, etc. Doing this will make the room more friendly and unique.

Decorate the ceiling

You can add a painting of stars and a moon on your kid's ceiling. Using glow in the dark paint will give them joy when they turn out the lights at night. A cityscape at the edge of the room is a good idea too. If your kid is a lover of nature, you can bring the outdoors into the room by hiring an artist to paint different colored leaves and birds on the wall.

Make them multi-functional

As your kids grow, their room will need to accommodate a study desk, and more storage spaces for books and of course medals and trophies if you have a competitive kid. Buy multi-functional pieces of furniture that feature desk space with plenty of storage.

Good lighting

Be sure to incorporate multiple types of lighting in your child's room. Overhead lights and a reading light are both essential. A reading light is not only for studying. It can help your little one get to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Keep their bed simple 

Your kid's bed should look cozy and simple, don't stuff in too many pillows. A single pillow and their favorite teddy by the corner is just perfect! 

Your kid's bedroom should make them happy

When furnishing your kid's room, let them voice out their opinion too. Rather than giving them, bold color like Yellow or orange, give your kids the chance to make their color choice. Handling the whole process is a bad idea, your kids to should be a place of solace and not where they would feel uncomfortable.




Tags: decorating   bedroom   kids  
Categories: Uncategorized