Lynn D'Avolio
J. Barrett & Company | 801-597-2857 | lynn1@soldbylynn.com


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 7/7/2020

Photo by Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash

You can extend your living area by activating your outdoor spaces. Whether your yard is large or small, you can create a spot to entertain, read, or just relax with these tips:

Seating

Most outdoor spaces can accommodate some type of seating option. If youíre working with a smaller porch space, try a hanging swing or a bistro table and chair. Add a dining table to a larger patio area or deck if you plan to host outdoor dinner parties or game nights. If youíre looking for something more relaxed and flexible, opt for outdoor living room pieces. Search for weather-resistant, modular options that can be easily rearranged.

Sun and Insect Protection

If you have an uncovered patio space, consider introducing a pergola or a canopy. These options offer protection from the sun and wind which will make your time outside more enjoyable, especially if you live in a warmer climate. A canopy can be beneficial because it will often include netting options that offer protection from mosquitos and other flying insects.

Introduce Light

Add some lighting to your space to boost evening ambiance or to accommodate outdoor dining and games. If you opt for a canopy or pergola, consider introducing strings of twinkle lights, placing candles on tables or installing bug-repellant torches. For something more substantial, you may introduce a firepit. Wood, natural gas, propane and gel fuel options are readily available. Select the source that works best for your location and budget.

Introduce Color and Texture

You can liven up your space with pops of color and texture. Some options could be an outdoor rug, bright cushions and pillows for your chairs or planters filled with flowers and foliage. Hang a mirror on a wall or fence to create the illusion of extended space and depth whether your space is large or small.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 6/30/2020

For better or for worse, the kitchen is the most fragrant area of the house. Itís where we cook and store our food, but itís also where we throw away our garbage.

 In this winter months, people do most of their cooking indoors, which can lead to an increase in grease splatter. In the summer, the high temperatures in the kitchen can cause garbage to smell and fruit to become overripe more quickly.

 Regardless of the time of year, we can all use some help when it comes to reducing kitchen odors. In this article, weíll give you some advice on how to do just that.

 Read on for tips on eliminating odors in your kitchen.

Air quality

The odors in your kitchen, both the good and the bad, come in the form of tiny particles floating in the air. So, it follows that one of the ways to remove lingering odors would be to remove them from the air in your kitchen.

One way to do this is with the use of an air purifier. These appliances come in a number of different sizes and can vary in price from under $100 to several hundreds of dollars. Depending on the size and layout of your home, youíll want to search for a purifier that can safely handle the number of square feet that youíll need to purify.

One benefit of using an air purifier is that it can also help you remove dust and other allergies from the air while removing unpleasant odors. However, keep in mind that most air purifiers run 24/7, so expect a few extra dollars added to your electric bill each month.

Cooking surfaces

One of the most common causes of kitchen odors are the surfaces of your counters, oven, and appliances. There are a few ways to handle this problem, but the best solution is to take preemptive measures.

When cooking items with grease, oil or butter, use a splatter screen. This will help you keep most of the grease inside the pan and off your surfaces where they will later emit a smell.

Itís important to frequently wipe down surfaces in your kitchen and clean them with a degreaser. If you donít have kitchen tile or some other form of easy to clean surface around your cooking surfaces, consider installing one.

Dishes and garbage

We get it, after working all day, cooking dinner, and finally sitting down to relax no one wants to clean dishes. However, leaving dishes in the sink is one of the leading causes of kitchen odors. This is also true for people who donít run their dishwasher frequently.

Speaking of dishwashers, be sure to check the drain at the bottom for debris, which can cause your dishwasher to smell badly.

When it comes to garbage, itís often better to have a small garbage can that you empty more frequently than a larger one that will start to smell. Try to find a smaller can that has a cover, and consider scented bags to help mask any odors that do find their way out of the garbage can.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 6/23/2020

If your home has hardwood floors, youíre going to want to put carpets in and around the home. This helps to warm the space up both visually and physically. How do you know what size area rug to choose or what colors to choose? Itís quite simple. There are a few rules of thumb that you should know in order to help you choose the right rug for each room of the home. 


First, youíll need to measure the seating area. Youíll select the rug thatís the closest size up from those measurements. Choose the next size up from that so all of your furniture can rest on the rug. Alternatively, you can set the room up so that no furniture rests on the rugs and the carpet simply sits in front of the furniture. This is all a matter of taste.  


Fill The Room With A Rug


You can fill an entire room with a rug as well. Just measure the room and subtract a 2-foot perimeter around the room for floor space. 


Layer Your Rugs For A Great Visual Effect


You can create more definition in your room by layering rugs. You can put a smaller rug on top of a larger rug for something a bit visually interesting in the room. Smaller rugs help to define a seating area, so you would layer those rugs on top of a larger rug.


Furniture Movers


Placing movers or sliders under furniture is more than just for rearranging a room. These little disks help to protect both your hardwood floors and your carpets. Youíll have floors free from scratches, tears, and scuffs. If you think that furniture canít ruin carpets, think again!  


Dining And Kitchen        


For rugs in your dining area, the carpet should surround your table. The rug needs to extend out a bit beyond the focal point of the room. Measure about two feet beyond your table as a good rule of thumb. 


In the kitchen, make sure that your rugs are slip resistant. Put rugs near the places that you tend to stand the most like the sink and oven. You could put several area rugs in the kitchen to create a warmer feel in the room without making it hard to clean. 


Bedroom


In your bedroom, one of the most important purposes for a rug is having a soft, warm place for your feet in the morning. An area rug should extend out at least two feet beyond the bed itself, which is the focal point of the room. If youíre using smaller rugs, place them strategically so that your feet are warm yet the bed is still the main visual focus in the room. 


Color Choice


Remember that your rug should be an accent to a room. Your walls are the dominant color and your rug will only add to the beauty. Pick a color that blends well with the rest of the scheme of the room.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 6/16/2020

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

We all know how hard the beginning of the month can be; it seems like there are a million bills due all at the same time, and one of those bills is usually the most expensive among them all—your mortgage. After you budget for all of your expenses, that gigantic payment can really make a big impact on your bank account. That's just one reason why some homeowners choose to pay their mortgage in halves twice a month, rather than monthly as a whole.

Paying Your Mortgage Differently Than Traditional Monthly Payments

You might be able to choose to pay your mortgage bi-weekly or semi-monthly. Generally speaking, these are the same thing. However, a few days' difference here and there actually means that you would make 26 payments throughout the year if you paid bi-weekly, which is the same as 13 months' worth of payments. Semi-monthly payments would be paid twice a month, which comes out to 12 months' payments at the end of the year. Both are beneficial for several reasons, but obviously, you'll be paying a whole extra month if you pay bi-weekly, which can really cause the savings to add up over the life of a loan.

The difference comes in the timing in which your payments would be due. If you're paid on the 15th and last day of the month, bi-weekly payments can be tricky because there will be two times a year in which your payment will be due before your paycheck arrives. However, you can still opt for semi-monthly payments that get paid in accordance with your pay schedule.

The Benefits of Paying Your Mortgage Twice a Month

Let's start with the obvious benefit: you'll spread one amount of money across two payments. That means you'll have more money leftover during the initial payment date than usual and you can put that extra cash toward principle or put it in a savings account until the next payment's due so it can collect a little interest. Not only that, but because there's less time between payments, there will be less interest since interest is calculated at a daily rate. Since each payment will push a little more money toward principle, you'll actually end up paying your mortgage off faster than you would if you paid monthly in most cases. Be sure to check your loan documents to verify that you don't have a pre-payment penalty before you put this plan into place!

Before you commit to (or keep going with) monthly payments on your mortgage, stop and think about the benefits you could gain from splitting your payments in half. This is a great way to spread out the cost of one of your biggest expenses while simultaneously ensuring you're chipping away at your principle. 





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 6/9/2020

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Photo by Linda Knicely on Unsplash

Luxury homes have been gaining popularity for at least the last two years, says Washington Post. And while no one has set exact parameters for what is and isn't considered luxury, many real estate agents use the term to describe homes priced in the million-dollar range or higher. These are the residences that offer genuine stone and marble finishes, smart appliances, real hardwood throughout and space that goes on for days. It's not unusual for a luxury home to boast equally luxurious landscaping, such as an outdoor home theater set-up or an in-ground, stone pool designed to look like a natural waterfall. 

Many young and upwardly mobile couples are searching for today's luxury homes -- particularly those living and working in and around our nations' capital. This market, that extends into Arlington, VA, attracts buyers whose annual household income tops $350,000 -- the lawyers, the bio-tech engineers and young millennials who are taking over their parents' businesses. Spare time for this demographic isn't an available resource, which is why today's luxury landscaping must be both eco-conscious and low maintenance:

Smart Irrigation

A smart irrigation system can monitor the weather forecast in the area and check moisture levels in the soil. Using this information, it can turn sprinklers on and off at will, watering only the areas that require attention. A smart irrigation system is usually compatible with mobile devices, allowing operation from a cell phone, tablet or laptop. It may even offer support for Amazon Alexa. Smart irrigation systems require little-to-no maintenance and save big dollars on monthly water bills. 

Hardscaping

Examples of hardscaping include rock walls, stone pavers and decorative stone stairs -- solid surfaces that provide both function and convenience without requiring much in the way of routine care. Many luxury homes boast outdoor kitchens with cooking and cooling appliances built into stone architecture. They may also feature full, outdoor living spaces that are complete with waterproof entertainment systems, in-ground fire pits and rock walls that double as seating areas. 

Backyard features such as these require little in the way of maintenance, but they're beautiful places for busy families to relax together with friends and unwind after trying days. 

Multi-Function Design

Landscaping that serves multiple purposes is also a popular choice for luxury homes. Vines that have been planted across a pergola to provide shade is a good example. A trickling water features that hides the sound of traffic on a nearby freeway is another. Plants such as herbs that look nice, taste good and repel mosquitoes may be found in on the grounds of a luxury estate, as well. 

If you've landed the luxury home of your dreams, and need workable ideas for equally luxurious landscaping, consider those options listed here. They're planet-friendly, easy to maintain and gorgeous ways to make the most of your upscale backyard.