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June 24, 2019

The mortgage giant unveiled a program for current homeowners or buyers that allows them to roll the cost of remodeling and repairs into a single mortgage. 

As homes age, more homeowners are looking to remodeling to spruce up their properties.  Of the nation’s stock of 137 million units, nearly 80% are at least 20 years old, and 40% are at least 50 years old.  Freddie Mac says its new mortgage product will help homebuyers or homeowners finance or refinance fixer-uppers. Eligible buyers will be able to finance the purchase of their home and th...

You know those infographics like  “10 tips to sell your house fast”, and “5 cheap ways to boost curb appeal”…well, they are assuming that your roof doesn’t leak and your toilet flushes.  Nobody would suggest you install granite countertops - or even a new mailbox, if they knew your 1957 fuse box was going snap, crackle, and pop all night long.  There is such a thing as priorities!  It makes no difference if you are thinking about selling your home in the near future or plan to leave feet first, these are 3 things every homeowner


January 25, 2016

Great news for Melbourne Village real estate as property values continued to climb in 2015.  Of the fourteen homes sold, only three were foreclosures, down from eight in 2014, and the average sold price was $219,223 up from $174,080 the year before.  Here is a list of what sold in 2015.  



August 20, 2015

Right now, all over Melbourne Village, ripe Star Fruit or Carambola are falling to the ground faster than anyone can pick them.  Delicious to eat fresh from the tree and a tasty addition to fruit salad, or a garden salad, pureed as an ingredient in salad dressings and sauces, or frozen to use in smoothies all year long.  When my neice Emily found out she was allergic to strawberries she was broken hearted because she always adds a spoonfull to a bowl of plain yogurt.  That's why I love this simple Starfruit Jam recipe that I got from my neig...


It’s here...the summer slump.  Well, technically it's still spring but the heat is on.  Lizards, birds, toads, butterflies are laying their eggs and the toads start singing after the first rains.  Flowering trees and vines are really showing off now, and the summer crop of mangos have set.


The heat and humidity that comes this month is going to put a real damper on the garden, interfering with pollen viability which will lower production, and it creates an environment that bugs and disease totally love.  It is best if yo...

April 6, 2015

First impressions are quick to form and slow to change.  Don't let trash cans, weeds, and a stuck front door greet your potential homebuyer.  The subtle messages sent are difficult to undo regardless of how beautifully the rest of your home shows.  Take some time before listing your property to boost your curb appeal by following this handy checklist:

1.  Lawn:  cut to 2 inches, no empty patches, green and dense, edged, weeded

2.  Garden: no weeds, replace faded mulch, label plants and flowers

3.  Trees & Shrubbery:  trim, no dea...

January 4, 2015


Whether you are planning to sell your home or just resolving to tackle the clutter once and for all, the key to not feeling overwhelmed by this understandably overwhelming job is to break up the huge project into smaller, more manageable tasks.  No matter how long it takes you, each item on the list will have you one step closer to a cleaner house and a lighter outlook on life. 




Day 1: Medicine Cabinet

Toss expired medications, hotel shampoos that you'll never use, and throw out lotions you've had since 1990. While you're at it...

January 2, 2015

Fresh Start and Fresh Fruit

I love January.  love a fresh start.  I love leaving behind the stuff that no longer serves me well and planning the year ahead.  I love organizing and goal setting.  I love swapping cookies for carrot sticks and getting back to an exercise routine.  But most of all, I love January because of the HoneyBells!  They are a cross between a grapefruit and a tangerine, easy to peel, and incredibly juicy.  they have a short season and this is their moment.  Great for eating, juicing, marmalade, salads or salsa.  So if you...

December 9, 2014

Sell Your Home in December

Many would-be home sellers think they shouldn't list their property during the holidays. While it may be a pain to keep a home tidy and ready to show during their busiest time of year, there are compelling reasons to market a house in November and December.  For one thing, there are fewer competing properties on the market. Additionally, people looking for a new home during this time of year are serious and committed.


Subtle Scents, Neutral Colors

Moreover, the holidays offer an opportunity for sellers to enhance the...

December 5, 2014

Real Life Connections

Scrolling back through  a few months of posts on the Nextdoor Melbourne Village website, I can see how helpful it has been to the 43% of the people in my town who use it...lost pets become found pets, plumbers and electricians are referred by neighbors who actually used them, a log splitter was sold and chairs were given away.  And that's just the tip of the 'niceberg'!  



Melbourne Village is a tight-knit community to begin with, but this tool has just improved our ability to connect.   With

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