Blog :: 08-2018

Buying a View

If you intend to clear undeveloped land to open a vista or just to clear a spot for a house, it’s best to look in autumn after the leaves have fallen to check the views, or better yet, in winter when there aren’t any ticks. It’s the best way to see the view.

Checking surveys, drone videos, and topographical maps are a critical next step. Before you fix on your future home site and start cutting down trees, check on local regulations about ridgelines, stump and brush removal, etc. and any restrictions if there is a conservation easement on the property.

Consult an arborist about the age, types, and health of trees, and have a forester assess their value. Some species, like black walnut, are very valuable and can be selectively harvested and sold. And leaving a few specimen trees is preferable to clear-cutting. The mid-range cost of clearing land can range from $4,000-$7,000 an acre and could rise to over $12,000 if all the stumps are removed and the land reseeded.

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    Electricity In The Air

    If you have a lightning strike near your home, it can be a very expensive ordeal. Electricity in the air can randomly strike unprotected electronics in your home.   

    We had a strike near our house that blew the sound card in my laptop, crippled my bluetooth mouse, shut down the Netgear extender (connected to a professional grade surge protector), and blew the fuse to the spring house. Apparently, my lightning defenses needed updating. The first thing we checked was the ground rods and wires. They had corroded, were painted over, and loosened by gardening and mowing.  Make sure to have a professional review your system periodically.   Second is to think about installing a surge protector designed to attach to the breaker box, cable line, and phone line. The last defense is to have surge protectors for individual items, such as computers and TVs.

    For personal safety, FEMA reminds us that, during thunderstorms, we should stay off corded phones, computers, and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity. Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths, and faucets, and stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.

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      Enjoy Our Farmers Markets!

      Farmers markets are one of the many special perks of living in in the tri-state area.  They offer products ranging from locally-grown fruits and vegetables to organic meat and poultry to vegan food to fresh baked goods to crafts. If you’ve never been to one, there’s still time this summer to check them out!

      Here is a sampling from our area:

      Salisbury - Saturdays, 10am-1pm, Scoville Memorial Library lawn. scovillelibrary.org

      Millerton - Saturdays, 10am-2pm, Millerton Methodist Church at Dutchess & Main. millertonfarmersmarket.org

      Amenia - Fridays 3-7:30pm, Town Hall parking lot, Rt. 22. ameniafarmersmarket.com

      West Cornwall - Saturdays 10am-1pm, Wish House lawn. cornwallfarmmarket.org

      Cornwall - Saturdays 9am–12:30, Town Green on Pine St. cornwallcoopfarmarket.com

      Norfolk - Saturdays 10am-1pm, 19 Maple Ave., live music.  NorfolkFarmersMarket.org

      Stop by, enjoy the freshest food, and support your friends, neighbors, and local farmers!

      Visit our Farmers Market page for a more complete listing of local Farmers Markets.

       

       

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        Habitat Tag Sale This Weekend!

        This very special, annual event is not to be missed! Incredible deals abound on furniture, home decor, tools, sports equipment, and so much more. Better yet, the proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Connecticut as they promote home ownership by building houses in partnership with residents in need of adequate, affordable housing.

        For 2018, the Habitat Tag Sale is back at The Hotchkiss School’s Mars Athletic Center on Route 112 in Lakeville, CT.  The Preview Sale ($10 donation) takes place on Friday, August 10 from 6-8 pm. There is no admission charge for the Main Sale on Saturday, August 11 from 9 am-3pm or on Sunday, August 12 for the Bag Sale from Noon-3 pm.

        Habitat for Humanity of NW CT has been helping families in our region since 1991. Please help their work continue by supporting this event! For more information, visit habitatnwct.org.

         

         

         

         

         

         

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          Landscaping -- Added Value To Your Home?

          Does a landscaped yard add value to your home? The short answer is, it may… I’ll explain. Done correctly, a properly installed landscape can add up to 15% to your home’s value—some sources claim even more.

          Our local area has an impressive selection of landscape companies whose services range from design to maintenance to installation and everything in between. And just like most home improvement companies, you’re going to get what you pay for.

          Great selling features of a property are sophisticated and mature plantings with an outdoor space to enjoy them. A negative would be a poorly planned design and unnatural appearing garden beds.

          If you want to try your hand at landscape design, I would suggest keeping plantings basic using green shrubs, low maintenance perennials, and simple ground covers. Regardless of whether or not you’re adding value to your home, enjoy the process and the beautiful abundance of nature we live in!

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