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Best Urban Curb Appeal Tips for Summer2019: Chicago Real Estate Experts

With the Chicago temperatures climbing, people are out and about, including 2019 buyers. Make your home the object of attraction using city curb appeal techniques. Are you Jonesing for a green retreat in a space that’s unique? Turn square footage into foliage with these top 4 urban gardening ideas:

1. Review your challenges

Chicago rooftops and balconies in high-rise buildings are basically microclimates, buffeted by wind, the radiant heat of concrete, and the shade from neighboring buildings.

Opt for plants known for their hardiness, slow growth, and ability to withstand gusts. The higher the floor, the more wind comes into play in plant selection. Nasturtium and daylilies have flexible stems that sway without breaking. A lattice windbreak adds a stylish protection element

Pollution is another issue for urban gardeners. Choose plants with shiny leaves that won’t trap dust:

  • Morning glory vines
  • Coleus
  • Zinnias
  • Marigolds

Your Chicago balcony, terrace, porch, railing (think climbing vines), or curbside patch of dirt is room enough for urban gardening, and a neat way to add some Zen to any potential concrete and steel surroundings.

2. Think long and lean

Select plants with:

  • Small footprints — plants tagged with the labels “dwarf” or “miniature.”
  • Tall silhouettes. Up is the way to go when plotting in feet and not acres. Good choices are container-friendly columnar apple trees or Baptisia australis with spires of violet-blue flowers.  Another way to get height: a green wall, sometimes known as a vertical of living wall. It’s not only practical, it can be stunningly sculptural.

Before you do anything, check your building’s management or homeowners association rules on where or what you can plant.

3. Plan for your conditions

Identify your plant hardiness zone, then look for plants that can thrive in your local conditions.

Sun blocked by tall buildings? Shade-tolerant varieties include:

  • Fuchsia
  • Impatiens
  • Hosta

If your space has a clear sight line to the sun, choose plants like:

  • Petunias
  • Salvia
  • Geraniums

And don’t discount vegetables in a small-space garden. They grow handily in containers, and are a great way to add color and save money on produce.

4. Save on supplies

Need to keep the word budget in mind? No problem. No more than $250 is an absolutely doable figure, and should cover enough plants for a modest space; containers, soil, and basic tools like a hand trowel, pruners, and hose.

Don’t be surprised if you need to set aside part of your budget to replace the occasional plant in street-level plots throughout the season. They may feel some wear and tear from cars, dogs, and people.

To get the most out of your budget, keep an eye out for no- or low-cost offers and a way to reconnect with your community. Often, neighborhood groups encourage homeowners to garden, often with money-saving programs. Here are four ways to save:

A. Organize a seed swap with friends and neighbors, root stem cuttings, and divide up perennials to keep costs down

B. Contact your local cooperative extension office for free supplies like mulch. These organizations also offer soil-testing services, for a small fee, which help maintain healthy plants or diagnose problems.

C. Check your local municipality for freebies. Chicago, for instance, runs a sustainable backyard program with workshops and rebates for trees, rain barrels, compost bins, and native plants.

D. Visit your local botanical garden or conservancy for free expert advice and gardening workshops.

More Info HERE

Look to The Ian Schwartz Group for all things real estate this summer 2019 and remembr…everything we touch turns to SOLD!

 

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Top 10 Winter Moving Tips: Chicago Real Estate

Winter weather can potentially pose some challenges during the moving process, but those who want or need to assume a new residence during cold weather months have options to prevent problems from affecting their relocation. I have helped countless clients with relocation that include buying or selling a home. As a preferred USAA Movers Advantage realtor, I assist by sorting out real estate matters that can easily become an overwelming process.  Keep the following 10 tips in mind before the big day:

1. Make sure your moving paperwork is organized.Create a move file to store information and collect expense receipts.

2. Get  in-touch with your new community.Contact the local chamber of commerce or visitors’ bureau for your new community. See if they can send you a telephone directory and newspapers.

3. Confirm school schedules and enrollment requirements.Arrange to pick up school records or have them sent to the new schools.

4. Protect your items.Obtain appraisals for high-value items. Call USAA at 1-866-398-7537 to obtain coverage for your possessions while in transit or storage. Contact your homeowners insurance company at least 24 hours before you release your belongings to the mover (For USAA, call 1-800-531-8111).

5. Don’t leave your car out.Take care of auto maintenance and repairs. Call USAA at 1-800-531-8722 to get an auto insurance quote for your new location.

6. Switching your utility services. Notify your utilities and local services of disconnect dates. Order utility services for your new address, including Internet, cable, home phone, electricity and natural gas through the Utility Marketplace.

7. Update address info.Get change-of-address cards from your post office. Aside from friends and family, make sure you provide your new address to medical facilities, schools, magazines to which you subscribe, and USAA.

8. Lighten your load..have a garage sale.Donate anything that isn’t sold to charity. (Don’t forget to keep receipts for income tax deductions.)

9. Remember cleaning.Properly dispose of flammables such as aerosol cans, cleaning fluids, paint, ammunition, weed killer and acids. Drain oil and gas from your lawn mower or other power equipment. Clean the refrigerator and the freezer; allow them to dry one or two days with the doors open. Remember to block the doors to keep them from closing if you have small children or pets.

10. Travel well prepared. Separate items you don’t want to pack, such as suitcases, and store in an empty closet. Pack prescriptions and immediate necessities in an easy-to-access suitcase. If you are traveling by air, do not check this bag. If you have children, compile a list of traveling games for the car or plane ride. MORE INFO

Ian Schwartz with The Ian Schwartz Group looks forward to making 2016 a year of more top performing, high ranking, client focused, accolade producing results. See why he and his team are known for…everything we touch turns to SOLD!