Archive for the ‘Household Tips’ Category

Do Your Part: Top 5 Easiest Foods to Grow at Home

Do Your Part: Top 5 Easiest Foods to Grow at Home

 Want to join the grow-your-own food movement but just don’t know where to start? Don’t fear. Spring is here and it’s the perfect time to start growing delicious foods right where you live. Why not begin with foods that are nearly fail-proof? Here are my top 5 foods to grow at home whether you have a lot of space or just a sunny window. A spot with six hours or more of sunlight is all you need to Do Your Part for fresher foods.

1) Tomatoes
Did you know that tomatoes are the most popular piece of produce to grow at home? Besides being delicious, tomatoes are fairly simple to grow. There are thousands of varieties to choose from. You can grow tomatoes in containers, raised garden bed, upside down, or in a traditional garden.

2) Herbs
Talk about instant gratification! Herbs are fast growing so you can experience their flavors in no time. Herbs such as parsley, mint, basil, chives, and more can be grown in a sunny window indoors. They also thrive outdoors in containers and are attractive when mixed with potted flowers.

3) Lettuce
Lettuce will get you the biggest bang for your buck plus it’s super simple to grow. Think about it. If you spend a couple bucks to plant lettuce, you’ll make that money back the first time you make a salad from your garden. Lettuce is a cool season crop and needs just six inches of soil to grow.

4) Strawberries
Strawberries are the perfect fruit to grow at home and will return year after year without a whole lot of work. Just remember a few things with strawberries. They need regular watering and fresh fertilizer every few weeks. Strawberries grow best in the spring or late fall.

5) Peas & Beans
There are many options when it comes to peas and beans. Think green beans, snow peas, sugar peas, wax beans, and so many more. Peas are a cool season crop and most bean varieties are warm season crops but both grow on vines. This makes them perfect for a small space because you can train them to grow up a trellis, stakes and string, or a fence.

There are many reasons to grow foods at home. You’ll know exactly what went into growing them and you’ll be saving money—all at the same time. But best of all are the tasty rewards enjoyed with family and friends.

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Joel Thompson RE/MAXAlliance 303-877-0060

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Purchasing A New Home VS. Renovating An Existing One

Purchasing A New Home VS. Renovating An Existing One


As a person shopping for a new home to purchase the options can seem endless. Of course, consideration is given to the neighborhood, the school district, etc but what about finding that “perfect” home in the “perfect” area??  Sometimes those two just don’t go together.  That is when a renovation loan makes perfect sense!

Find a house with a great structure, in a neighborhood that fits your needs and renovate it to become your dream home!

Take a look at some of our renovation loan option and then lets talk to find the one that will best fit your needs.

FHA 203K Renovation – FHA Financing: Max Loan limit set by HUD for Texas is approximately 271,050.00 – this will vary from county to county.

The program will allow for the purchase of the property and rehab cost to be rolled into the loan. The minimum requirement of $5,000 and a max of 35% of the after improved value. Major and structural repairs (i.e. foundation and roof) are allowed. Also can include cosmetic remodeling and updating of kitchens, bathrooms etc. The down payment required is 3.5% and is limited to primary residences.

FHA 203K Streamline Renovation – FHA Financing: Max Loan limit set by HUD for Texas is approximately 271,050.00 – this will vary from county to county.

This program is a streamlined version and has a limit to repairs at a maximum of $35,000.00. The required down payment is 3.5%. These repairs should be of the cosmetic nature and include paint, carpet, counter tops etc.

FNMA HomeStyle Renovation – Conventional Financing: Check with your county for the max loan amount.

This program is designed to allow borrowers to roll in the cost of repairs, remodeling, or renovation to the property. Luxury items, such as pools or outdoor kitchens, may be repaired or added under the program along with structural and cosmetic repairs and upgrades. The down payment is 5% for a primary residence and 25% for an investment property.

FNMA HomePath Renovation – Conventional Financing: Check with your county for the max loan amount.

This program is designed for properties that are currently owned by Fannie Mae (FNMA) as a result of foreclosure or other similar action. Repairs and renovations are allowed to be rolled in and can be structural and cosmetic. There is no mortgage insurance required with this loan. The down payment is 3% for a primary residence, 10% for a second home and 15% for an investment property.

Escrow Holdback – Conventional and FHA Financing

Designed for singular repairs on the home valued at or around $5,000.00. For example, if the home only needs foundation repair then the Escrow Holdback may be used. Doesn’t require a full rehab program and the work should be completed in approximately 10 calendar days.

Call me today to discuss all of the renovation loan programs and find the one right for your specific needs!!

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Joel Thompson 303-877-0060

Holy Kitchen makeover!

I stumbled upon a ton of blogs crazy kitchen makeovers. This kind of stuff really gets my creative wheels going! Check it out, thanks to Amy Presier at Shelterpop

A standard-as-can-be kitchen gets a pop art-inspired new look thanks to the most creative use for posters we’ve ever seen.

We’ve seen a lot of kitchen makeovers. There’s Modern kitchen makeovers and retro makeovers. There’s wife-mandated kitchen makeovers, and birthday wish makeovers that maximize space in small kitchens (and big kitchens), makeovers that make the best use of white and makeovers that blow you away with color.

But we’ve never seen a makeover like this.

Designer Jonathan Fong is a man who makes centerpieces out of paint cans and candles out of Spam containers. So how on earth could he live with a kitchen as blah and standard as this white one?

color kitchen makeoverPerfectly nice, but perfectly boring. Photo: Jonathan Fong.

So naturally, when it came to redoing this white box, he went above and beyond paint. Fong found a slew of Andy Warhol posters for 40% off and instead of buying them to frame, he took it to the next level: Decoupaging them onto his ultra-plain white laminate cabinets.

jonathon fong style kitchen makeover picture color kitchen makeoverPhotographs by Jason Radspinner of Image Locations, Inc.

How do you walk into this room and not grin and say “Wow!”? Really. Even after a long day at the office or coming in from the pouring rain. We know Fong has his haters — he told the LA Times that people are constantly asking him how he lives — or cooks — with such a loud kitchen. But what we love even more than his top-tier creativity is his amazing attitude. “Why do you think I’m so skinny?” he says to anyone who wonders how he eats in a place like this (ha!). And how can you not fall head over heels for a man who approached his redesign with the question “What can I do to bring joy to my home, so I’m happy whenever I’m in it?”

We could all learn something from Jonathan Fong — beyond how to cover our own dull-to-death kitchen cabinets with art prints. We could learn to look at everyday objects through a new lens, to never feel boxed in by the standard options available and to always, always remember that your home needs to make you happy. For him, that means Marilyn Monroe on his drawers. For you, maybe it means an electric pink dish towel. Or even a new kitchen mat in a just-left-of-white hue (we don’t judge, neutrals-lovers!) We just hope this kitchen inspires you as much as it inspires us.

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Joel Thompson RE/MAX Alliance 303-877-0060