Your March Home Checklist


March can be unpredictable when it comes to the weather, but no matter what Mother Nature is doing outside your window, it’s natural to crave a fresh start this time of year.

  1. Plant a tree. Spring and fall are the best times to plant trees because wet weather and cooler temperatures make it easier for root systems to get established. Be sure to check with your local nursery to determine which species will do best in your microclimate.
  2. Inspect your home’s exterior. Once winter storms have passed, carefully inspect the exterior of your home for damage.
  3. Simplify the table. Cupboards feeling overstuffed? Simplify your life by paring back on dishes and glassware, letting go of mismatched and chipped pieces and sets you no longer love or use often.
  4. Spring-clean the kitchen. Clean small appliances; wipe grease and grime from the range hood, backsplash and light fixtures; clean grout; and vacuum hard-to-reach places (like under the stove) using an attachment.
  5. Clean slipcovers and soft furnishings. Smaller slipcovers and washable rugs can be laundered at home; drop off larger pieces with professionals.
  6. Get ready for tax time. Getting your ducks in a row this month will make things a lot less stressful. Sort through paperwork, update your files and gather all important documents in one place so you’re ready to go.
  7. Treat yourself to spring blooms. Spring flowers such as daffodils are plentiful and inexpensive this month, so keep an eye out for bargains.
  8. Make a garden plan. There’s still time to get your garden growing! Sketch out a plan and jot down ideas for this year’s plantings, as well as any ideas you have for changes to the hardscape, like putting in a new path or fence. Start some seeds indoors, or pick up seedlings at your local nursery.
  9. Clean up patio furniture. Outdoor furniture can get really grimy over the winter, so be sure to give everything a good scrubbing before you start using it for the season. Launder washable outdoor cushion covers, and replace worn-out pieces if needed.
  10. Tune up lawn and garden tools. Sharp tools get the job done. Take your lawn mower and clippers in for a sharpening and tune up before you begin work in your garden.

For full article visit http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks

Stunning Ocean Ranch Property: Open House Schedule


Stunning views & outdoor entertaining! 4 BR/4.5 BA Nearly 4,200 sqft. Ocean View & Pool.

$2,188,000

Neighborhood: Ocean Ranch in Laguna Niguel

Address: 36 Newcastle, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

  • Thursday (March 2): 10 A.M.- 1 P.M.
  • Saturday (March 4): 1 P.M. – 4 P.M.
  • Sunday (March 5): 1 P.M. – 4 P.M.

Check out photos prior to the open house below! See you there.

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Modernism Week in Palm Springs


A member of the Caruso team attended Modernism Week last Wednesday, February 22nd in Palm Springs. The fun, bright atmosphere of the lobby set the tone for the laid-back, mid-day start of the tour. From the lobby, guests were pointed towards a large white tent where architect Lance O’Donnell was presenting. While sipping on chilled blackberry & sage iced tea, the audience listened to Lance’s reasoning for elements in 4 different homes; placing an artist’s studio in specific area to catch natural lighting, environmental aspects that came into play, adding a car port next to a kitchen so the owners could unload groceries, etc.

After the lecture, the guests were shuttled to the nearby neighborhood where these unique, midcentury modern homes resided in. All of the homes were mostly white with sharp angels and slanted wood ceilings for warmth. They all had pools with views of the surrounding mountains. The final home hosted a bread, cheese and wine reception- the huge glass doors were tucked in allowing for flawless indoor-outdoor entertaining. Check out the images below to see snippets of Lance O’Donnell’s modern home collection.

 

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Trending First Time Home Buyers….WHO ARE THEY?


While the overall number of first-time homebuyers continues to decline, one segment of the population is bucking the trend. Young people ranging in age from their late teens to mid-30s, known as millennials, are the largest and fastest growing group of homebuyers, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Instead of converted industrial spaces and hip coffee shops in city centers, these young people are opting instead for older single-family homes with manicured lawns and soccer leagues in the suburbs.

The median age of millennials, 30, is the driving force behind this trend. “This is typically the time in life where one settles down to marry and raise a family,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. And these buyers are choosing the suburbs over the city, he adds, because of a shortage of condos in urban centers fitting their entry-level price range. “Affordability pressures make buying in the city extremely difficult for most young households,” he says. “Even if an urban setting is where they’d like to buy their first home, the need for more space at an affordable price is for the most part pushing their search further out.”

Source: Council of Residential Specialists

Michael Caruso is a long time member of the Council of Residential Specialists, designation CRS

mcaruso@surterreproperties.com

www.CarusoRealEstate.com

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Keep Flies Away With One Simple Trick…It Really Works!


Keep flies away the natural way…

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I recently saw a post on facebook about this trick…and I never thought about blogging about it until now, since so many people had never heard of this, I thought it would be worth sharing.

My wife’s family has been doing this for many years to control flies the natural way. I was skeptical until we tried it ourselves. It really does work. We would just put in 1 penny and sometimes a crumbled up piece of aluminum foil in a bag, filled it with water and then hung it by a tree, under a patio umbrella or wherever pesky flies would be. It definitely works!

Below are comments on this fly control idea.

Zip-lock water bags: #1 Says: I tried the zip lock bag and pennies this weekend. I have a horse trailer. The flies were bad while I was camping. I put the baggies with pennies above the door of the LQ. NOT ONE FLY came in the trailer.The horse trailer part had many. Not sure why it works but it does!

#2 Says:Fill a zip lock bag with water and 5 or 6 pennies and hang it in the problem area. In my case it was a particular window in my home. It had a slight passage way for insects. Every since I have done that, it has kept flies and wasps away. Some say that wasps and flies mistake the bag for some other insect nest and are threatened.

#3 Says:I swear by the plastic bag of water trick. I have them on porch and basement. We saw these in Northeast Mo. at an Amish grocery store& have used them since. They say it works because a fly sees a reflection& won’t come around.

#4 Says:Regarding the science behind zip log bags of water? My research found that the millions of molecules of water presents its own prism effect and given that flies have a lot of eyes, to them it’s like a zillion disco balls reflecting light, colors and movement in a dizzying manner. When you figure that flies are prey for many other bugs, animals, birds, etc., they simply won’t take the risk of being around that much perceived action. We went from hundreds of flies to seeing the occasional one, but he didn’t hang around long.

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Michael Caruso, Broker Associate ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

Surterre Properties

Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 495-8600

Keep your Pets Safe and Cool in the Summertime


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Five Ways to Keep Pets Cool
Water play, shade and tasty treats…

In the heat of the summer, you may be cranking up the air-conditioning to stay comfortable, but don’t forget about your four-legged pals — especially if they’re spending a lot of time outdoors. Consider these five fun and easy ways to keep them cool and happy.

H2O and treats

It may sound obvious, but your dog and other pets need access to plenty of fresh, cold water. On a really hot day, you might toss a few ice cubes in the bowl to keep the water even colder. There are also ice cream treats designed specifically for dogs, or you can find recipes online to make your own. Here’s one clever idea — fill an ice cube tray with chicken broth or beef broth and then toss your dog a “pop” once the individual squares are frozen.

Water play

Many dogs love to get wet, whether they are splashing in a stream, swimming in a lake or jumping into a kiddie pool in your backyard. You can also set up a sprinkler for them to run through.

Check out new products

There are always new products on the market to keep pets cool in the heat, such as cooling bandanas and collars, pet beds that can be filled with cool water, and a collapsible water dish that you can carry anywhere — from a hike to a car ride. Keep in mind that if you’re driving with your dog, do not leave him waiting in the car for you, even if you crack the windows. His body temperature can rise quickly in a hot car and prove fatal.

Limit activity in the middle of the day

If you’re heading out for a walk or involving your pet in other outdoor activities, make sure to plan your excursion during cooler parts of the day (morning and early evening). The middle of the day is usually the hottest, and too much activity during this time can lead to an overheated pet. Pay attention to your pet’s cues and seek the advice of a vet if she is exhibiting any health problems.

Provide shade

If your pet stays outdoors, make sure he has a shady place to retreat when the heat becomes too intense. If you don’t have any natural shade in your yard, consider getting a beach umbrella or invest in a doghouse.

With a little bit of thought and preparation, you can prevent your pets from suffering in the summer sun. And they’ll love you all the more for it.

This article is presented by M.Benz of Laguna Niguel, California

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And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.

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Best regards,

Michael Caruso, Broker Associate ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

Surterre Properties

Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 495-8600

Caruso’s Saturday Shot ~ When Life Gives You Lemons…


When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

We Are Now Accepting Qualified Listings

Now providing “Short Sale Services”

Call Today for More Info on Our

Marketing Plan

And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.

http://www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

Best regards,

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 495-8600