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Category Blogs I Follow

National Moth Week, hummingbird clearwing

Celebrate National Moth Week

Thanks to the University of Maryland/Maryland Grows this informative article about National Moth Week. All images are from University of Maryland/Maryland Grows.

The last full week of July is National Moth Week. I encourage everyone to take a closer look at the vast diversity of moths that fill our natural world. Butterflies and moths belong to the same insect group, but moths far outnumber butterflies in species diversity. Since many moths have muted colors or fly at night, we’re largely unaware of this bounty. Let’s take a whirlwind appreciation tour of the group to illustrate the amazing, bizarre, and quirky features of this major insect order.

National Moth Week, rosy maple moth
Rosy Maple Moth
National Moth Week, coffee loving Pyrausta moth
Coffee loving Pyrausta moth.

Moth adults come in all shapes and sizes, and like butterflies, wings are their ...

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signs of mold

Watch Out for These Signs of Mold!

Thanks to Clean Sweep for this episode of Tips from the Pros on recognizing signs of mold.

Realtors work hard to earn and maintain their reputation with homebuyers and sellers alike. As such, you are likely no stranger to helping clients check every box to ensure their needs are met. Along your journey of advocating for your clients during a transfer of homeownership, be sure to remember the potential for hidden dangers lurking inside the home. Without a keen attention to detail, you could be missing something as serious as a hidden mold infestation.

Mold Growth

Let’s take a look at a few of the signs of mold growth.

  1. Visible Mold: The most obvious sign of a mold problem is visible growth throughout the home...
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organize computer files

Organize Computer Files

Thanks to Cindy Bernstein of Aim4Order for this episode of Tips from the Pros on how to organize computer files.

More people are using their computers to keep track of everything these days, QuickBooks for record keeping, calendars for appointments, work files and more. It is important to organize computer files so you can find them again if you need them.

Trash removal

The first step is to get rid of old files you don’t need any more. It’s not necessary to keep every letter you’ve ever written. If they are really old, you probably don’t need them any longer. Information is probably outdated and no longer relevant.

Inbox

Email builds up in your inbox. If you don’t go through your emails every now and then, it can become quite a chore.

Visit your inbox regu...

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Manage bagworms now photo

Manage bagworms now so they don’t harm trees

Thanks to the University of Maryland/Maryland Grows this informative article about how to manage bagworms.

Bagworms

“Why are the pinecones on my tree moving?” a client asks.
“Because those aren’t pinecones, they’re bagworms,” I reply.  

Dangling from evergreens like teardrop-shaped Christmas tree ornaments, bagworms cause many a homeowner to scratch their head in wonder. Pinecones that dance?

Manage bagworms now
Bagworms dangle from a juniper branch.
Image Credit: Erik Rebek, Bugwood

But the tell-tale thinning of trees that can follow is no laughing matter. Covered with bits of needles and leaves, the bags that give bagworms their name serve as protection for the caterpillars inside. Bagworm caterpillars are the juvenile form of a moth.  

That sounds innocent enough, but like al...

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myths about chimney cleaning

Busting 4 Myths About Chimney Cleanings and Home Sales

Thanks to Clean Sweep for this episode of Tips from the Pros on myths about chimney cleanings and home sales.

Is it okay to DIY chimney cleaning? Are homebuyers really concerned about the safety of a chimney before signing on the dotted line? Can a home inspector detect all the potential issues with a chimney? If you ask these questions to a variety of people, you are bound to receive a variety of responses. However, there are correct answers to each of them! As such, let’s bust a few of the most common chimney myths as they relate to home sales.

Sellers Can Simply DIY Their Chimney Cleaning

This myth is just as false as it is dangerous for everyone involved. Any chimney cleaning or chimney inspection services should be completed by a certified and trained chimney sweep...

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Inflation

Thanks to L. K. Benson for sharing this blog about inflation.

inflation is hitting the US hard

Inflation is an important financial concept to understand and has always been a critical factor in our long-term financial planning analysis for clients. It can be difficult to grasp how rising prices erode the purchasing power of your cash when the inflation rate is low and you don’t see and feel the effects of prices rising on a regular basis. That is exactly the environment we have been in for almost forty years, which can be seen clearly in the following chart:

Inflation

From 1983 to 2021, you can see a downward trend in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is the most frequently cited measure of inflation. The average CPI over that time was around 2% and it rarely spiked very high above that...

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organizing projects based on time

Organizing projects based on time

Thanks to Cindy Bernstein of Aim4Order for this episode of Tips from the Pros on organizing projects based on time.

No one seems to have enough time to do the things they want to do. But how much time do you have? Let’s take a look at some projects based on how long they take. Pick a project for the time you have available.

Organizing tasks to do in a weekend

Garage: You will need to take a lot of time to completely organize the garage. Sweep up the floor. Arrange things so that nothing sits on the floor, and everything is on shelves. Throw out or donate what you don’t need. Put like things together (sports equipment, for example).

Basement: Similar to the garage. Make sure everything has a home. If there isn’t enough room, you need to purge something.

Attic: Similar ...

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7516 Riddle Avenue

  • 7516 Riddle Avenue, driveway and front of home
  • ...
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Understanding plant tags: light, zones, natives and more

Understanding plant tags: light, zones, natives and more

Understanding plant tags: light, zones, natives and more

Thanks to the University of Maryland/Maryland Grows this informative article about understanding plant tags.

Understanding plant tags

Gardening beginners and pros alike can get flummoxed by plant tag terminology. What do words such as full-sun, zone, native and determinate mean? Allow me to elucidate, um, explain. See, even I can make things complicated.

Light

Light is oh-so-important. Matching the right plant to the right lighting is crucial. So tags tell you how much light each plant needs to not just survive, but thrive. If a tag says “full sun” that means the plant needs at least 6 hours of sun a day.  If it says “full shade”, that means it wants deep shade...

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pesky gutter issues

Don’t Lose a Home Sale Over Pesky Gutter Issues

Thanks to Clean Sweep for this episode of Tips from the Pros about pesky gutter issues.

When you picture the most sought after features of a home, you probably imagine things like brand new kitchen appliances, a spacious deck, or plenty of yard space. It’s likely that functioning gutters wouldn’t be anywhere near the top of the list. The only time we really think about our gutters is when they are malfunctioning. However, malfunctioning gutters can decrease the value of clients attempting to sell their home and introduce a slew of issues for new homeowners.

The Importance of Functioning Gutters

Every year, homeowners’ insurance companies pay out roughly $2.5 billion in water damage-related losses. 37% of homeowners have claimed losses due to water issues...

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