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Spring Gardening Tips!

by The Rullo Team

The first day of summer is right around the corner! Add stunning curb appeal to your Fox River Valley home and create a peaceful space filled with fresh produce and beautiful flowers for your whole family to enjoy. Get your green thumb ready to follow these top tips for gardening success!

1. Map It Out

Start your garden off with a plan. Figure out the layout of your garden in terms of what plants look best near each other, the distance between each of them, where the sunlight hits, and more. The more you can plan out ahead of time, the better your garden will end up!

2. Begin Indoors

Get your plants started inside. All you need to do is fill containers with potting mix, moisten with water, and carefully add your seeds. Make sure to place in a warm spot of your home that receives 12 to 16 hours of daylight. Once your plants have gotten larger, you can transfer outdoors.

3. Prepare Your Soil

Make sure your soil is ready. Purchase a soil kit from your local home improvement store to learn its type and pH level. This information will help you determine what modifications your soil needs in order to grow the healthiest plants.

4. Start Planting ASAP

With our cold winters in the Fox River Valley, you want to make sure that you time out your planting properly so you start early enough to truly enjoy the plant throughout the warmer parts of the year.

5. Prune

Help stimulate plant growth and improve the look of your garden by pruning shrubs and trees. Just ensure that you are only pruning those plants that have bloomed on new growth from this year. If you prune plants that are still on last year's growth, you could cause irreparable damage to the plant.

6. Mulch

Save time in the future by adding several inches of mulch around your garden. Mulch moderates soil temperatures, saves water, reduce weeds, and wards of disease. When spreading out the mulch, be sure to water the soil before and after in order to keep the mulch a couple of inches away from your stems. Check out this Guide to Mulch Buying from the Chicago Tribune for more helpful information.

 


Follow us on Facebook and check out our Website for more fantastic Fox River Valley gardening and home tips throughout the year!

Stock Up At These Fox Valley Farmers Markets!

by The Rullo Team

This upcoming weekend marks the return of fantastic FARMERS MARKETS throughout the Fox Valley! You can find incredible local produce, from fruits and vegetables to meat and dairy to baked and handmade goods, in our local communities all weekend long during the summer! Stock up at these markets to put delicious, healthy food on your kitchen table and promote economic development in our area!

 

Wednesdays

Aurora Farmers Market - West

When: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Where: 2131 West Galena Boulevard in Aurora

 

Fridays

St. Charles Outdoor Farmers Market

When: 8:00 am - 1:00 pm

Where: Baker Memorial United Methodist Church (307 Cedar Avenue, St. Charles)

Elgin Farmers Market

When: 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Where: South Grove Avenue in Downtown Elgin

 

Saturdays

Batavia Farmers' Market

When: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Where: North River Street in Downtown Batavia

Aurora Farmers Market - Downtown

When: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Where: 65 Water Street in Downtown Aurora

Sugar Grove Farmers Market

When: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Where: Village of Sugar Grove Municipal Center (10 Municipal Drive, Sugar Grove)

 

Sundays

Geneva French Market

When: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

Where: South & 4th Street in Downtown Geneva

Oswego Country Market

When: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Where: North Main Street in Downtown Oswego

 



Follow us on Facebook and check out our Website for more fantastic Fox River Valley events all summer long!


Budget For These Home Maintenance Tasks When You Buy!

by The Rullo Team


There are some costs that homeowners know the budget for when buying their
Fox River Valley home. These include down payment, closing costs, and moving expenses. But, what about home maintenance? Just because the home inspection came up squeaky clean doesn’t mean that you don’t need to make any repairs or changes to the home.

 

In fact, the first year of ownership tends to be the most expensive, as you fill the home with new furniture and appliances, add personal touches, and complete those repairs that you find are needed. It can be hard to know exactly how much you need for home maintenance as you put together your budget for buying a new home.

 

Here are some immediate home maintenance costs that you should set aside money for:

 

  1. New Locks - You have no way of knowing who has a key to your new home. Be sure to install new locks on every exterior door.

  2. Fire Extinguisher - For the safety of you and your family, your home should have at least one fire extinguisher. If there isn’t one left at the property, purchase one for your kitchen.

  3. Chimney Sweep - It may have been years since the fireplace and chimney in your new home were properly cleaned. Before using it, be sure to hire a professional to come in and clean everything out of it.

  4. HVAC Maintenance - While the HVAC system might seem to be running properly, you can’t be certain when the last time it was maintained professionally. Have someone come inspect it and make any necessary repairs as soon as you move in to avoid pricey repairs in the future.

  5. Trimming Trees - The trees outside were not part of your home inspection and some could cause issues in the future, especially if they are older. Be sure to have the trees trims to avoid any potential damage to your home.

 

While these are the key maintenance areas to focus on upon moving in, you should not stop budgeting for home maintenance. Be sure to always keep some savings aside for issues that may arise with your home. A general rule of thumb is to budget for 1% of your home’s purchase cost every year for emergencies and repairs. Note, if your home is more than 10 years old, you might want to budget for more.


Follow us on Facebook and check out our Website for more helpful home maintenance and budgeting tips throughout the year.

 

Best Home Maintenance Tasks To Tackle This Spring!

by The Rullo Team

Give your Fox River Valley home some TLC this spring to have it in tip top shape for the summer. These projects for inside and outside of your home will help spruce it up for you and your family and keep you comfortable and happy throughout the year. Here are our top home maintenance tasks to tackle this spring!

1. Touch Up Exterior Paint - Boost your home's exterior appearance by touching up the paint. If you do not have any exterior paint on hand and need help matching the color, ask a professional to come out to help you find the perfect match.

 

2. Wash Windows - Be able to see the beautiful scenery of your landscaping by washing the outside of your windows. You will get best results by scrubbing with a bucked of hot soapy water.

3. Clean Window Screens - Window screens also need to be washed at this time. Gently scrub them with the same mixture. If they are too covered in dirt and grime, it is a great time to replace them.

4. Clean Exterior of House - This might be the most difficult maintenance task on our list but it is also vitally important. The warmer weather gives you the opportunity to wash the outside of your home and, after our winter, it is a good idea. Do a soft washing to update your curb appeal and extend your home's lifespan.

 

5. Reverse Ceiling Fans - Change your ceiling fans to spin counter-clockwise so that a breeze is created throughout the home.

6. Clean A/C Filter - Keep your family cool all summer long by cleaning the air conditioner filter. Wash with warm water or vacuum cleaner if your system does not have a self-cleaning function. Remember that this task should be done frequently while your air conditioner is in continual use.

7. Remove A/C Fan - After dealing with the A/C filter, now is a good time to dust off the fan. Remove it, clean it, and return it to its rightful place when done.

8. Check Furnace Filter - Your furnace has also been accumulating dust. Remove the filter and give it a thorough washing if the filter is a reusable one. If it is not, be sure to replace it with a new filter.

9. Maintain Washing Machine - Give your washing maching some care so your clothes continue to come out clean. Remove soil buildup from the seal around the door.

10. Inspect Driveway and Walkways - Driveways and walkways take a beating throughout the winter. Check for cracks and weeds and handle those issues as they are found. Afterward, it is a good idea to pressure wash these areas.

11. Clean Baseboards - It's a great time to work on those areas of the house that often get overlooked and that includes the baseboards. Give them a cleaning with a damp cloth to remove built up dust and dirt.

12. Clean Garbage Disposal and Dishwasher - Just like the laundry machine, now is a good time to clean the garbage disposal and diswasher. Refresh both by using vinegar. This will help remove food odors that have been building up.

13. Inspect Hoses - Look for cracks, wear and tear, or any signs of leaks in the hoses located around your house (i.e. dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machine, toilets, etc.). Replace as necessary.

14. Inspect Attic and Basement - Check both of these spaces for water leakage, mold and mildew, and pests. Handle any issues that you might discover right away.

15. Declutter - Get rid of those items that you really do not need around the house by hosting a rummage sale or donating them. If you discover that you have a lot of items to simply toss, consider renting a dumpster so you can do a giant purge at once and be done with it.

 

 

Check The Rullo Team's website and follow us on Facebook for more helpful home maintenance tips throughout the year!


 

Update Your Front Porch For Spring Selling Success!

by The Rullo Team

Are you ready to "Spring" into the Fox River Valley housing market? With the temperatures rising and the snow melting, now is the perfect time to start enhancing your home's curb appeal so it is ready to sell. A great area to focus on is your front porch. It will help create an inviting first impression for buyers and, as an added bonus, can be utilized by you and your family as additional outdoor living space! Follow these design tips to have your front porch looking it's absolute best this spring!

1. Draw the eye from the street towards the front porch with the placement of colorful plants throughout your landscaping.

2. Ensure that your front porch is always well lit. Add 3 to 4 different sources of light. Make sure your house numbers are illuminated so buyers and guests can always easily locate your home.

3. Add potted greenery that will last throughout the growing season as well as window boxes and/or vases of seasonal flowers to your front porch for a bright, lush atmosphere.

4. Create a cozy spot to gather with seating for two and a small table. For a cozy, old-fashioned touch, hang a swinging bench.

5. Place a functional and fashionable doormat at the entrance to tie the space together and welcome guests inside.

6. Coordinate color throughout the space with your accents. Make sure that they share all the same hues and complement your home's exterior. A good way to ensure color coordination is to use your home's trim or front door color as a starting point.

7. Keep pests away and beat the summer heat and humidity with a cool breeze from an outdoor ceiling fan or well-placed upright fan.

8. Add some privacy and block the sun with outdoor curtains. Make them easy to open and close as needed and use fade-resistant fabric for longevity.

For more helpful Home Selling Tips, visit our Website and follow us on Facebook.

Get Your Fox River Valley Lawn Ready For Spring!

by The Rullo Team

Get your green thumb ready! Spring is right around the corner! While it might still be a little bit before the warmer weather fully reaches us, now is actually the perfect time to start prepping your Fox River Valley lawn! Complete these lawn care tasks today and enjoy the most stunning yard this spring!


1. Wash Salt Away

All the salt used on the winter roads can do a number on your grass and plants. Give your landscaping a good watering to get rid of this winter remnant.


2. Patch It Up

Now is the perfect time to patch up those thin and barren spots around your lawn. Add grass seed or sod to these areas before the ground temperature rises above 65 degrees. This will help keep weeds at bay.


3. Remove Debris

After the fall and winter, your yard is likely filled with some leftover leaves, branches, and yard debris. Although this stuff protects your lawn in the colder months, it hinders growth in the spring. Do a good cleaning by removing all these items from your grass and garden.


4. Prune & Fertilize

Check the soil for dryness. If it is crumbling instead of clumping, you can begin pruning and fertilizing. Remove old growth from perennials and prune your trees and shrubs. Add a slow release fertilizer to your plants, trees, and grass. Use one that also contains a pre-emergent herbicide to help fight off weeds.


5. Plant Cool Season Plants

Once your soil is dry enough, you can start to add some fresh greenery to your garden. Although temperatures might not seem warm enough, there are some resilient growers (such as bare-root plants, snapdragons, and pansies) that love the conditions of this time of year.


6. Pick Out Your Perennials

Although you cannot plant them yet, now is the time to pick out and preorder the perennials you want to plant this spring. Most nurseries offer deals on these plants at this time of year. Not only will you get a great price but you will also enjoy the best selection!


7. Service Your Mower

Have your lawn mower serviced and ready to go for the first cut of spring. Keep it running in tip top shape all spring and summer by sharpening the blades, changing the oil, and replacing the spark plugs.



For more helpful home improvement tips throughout the year, check out our website at http://www.therulloteam.com/ and follow us on Facebook.

Tackle These Home Maintenance Tasks This February!

by The Rullo Team

Winter Home MaintenanceWith the cold weather outside, now is the perfect time to take care of some maintenance around the house. Keep your Fox River Valley home in tip top shape the rest of this winter and all year round by completing some tasks. Here are easy tasks to complete this month and keep your family healthy and cozy in your beloved home.

1. Give Your Wood Floors Some TLC. Winter can be the toughest season on your wood floors. Heating in your home can dry out the planks, resulting in cracks and shrinkage. Salt can scratch and stain the floors. There are several simple steps you can take to resolve these issues. Add a humidifier in your home to add moisture to the air. Sweep and mop the floors routinely to remove salt and buildup. Add rugs and mats in areas with a lot of foot traffic.

2. Prepare For Winter Storms. Winter will still be here for the next couple of months. That means freezing temperatures and percipitation. Keep shovels and snow fear close to the door so that you can easily access them when needed. Keep walkways cleared of snow and ice. Remove large snow piles, when the weather permits, from the roof and tree limbs to avoid costly damage.

3. Clean Your Oven. Your oven sees a lot of action. There is likely a lot of grease and grime built up. Use the self-cleaning function once a month if your oven has one. Create a paste of baking soda and water to scrub out the buildup in the oven.

4. Take Care Of Drafts. Hot air can be escaping from your home and increasing your energy bill. Pick up some door sweeps from your area home improvement store to all doors leading outside. Add weatherstripping around windows.

5. Remove Allergens. Indoor allergens increase during the winter. Keep your family healthy all season by removing these issues. Dust throughout the house, particularly blinds and ceiling fans. Be sure to vacuum all carpeted areas regularly. Add an air purifier with HEPA filter to your home to remove particles from the air. Wash your bedding in hot water weekly and cover your mattress in a zippered allergen-resistant cover.

6. Complete A Property Inspection. Brave the cold weather and complete a home inspection in the winter. This is important since major issues are more likely to take place during this season. Check the conditions of gutters, look out for frozen pipes, and inspect windows and doors. Make sure to change out the batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Consider hiring a professional to complete the inspection to ensure that all potential issues are found.

 


Contine to check The Rullo Team's website for more helpful home maintanence tips throughout the year!

Amp Up The Elegance In Your Fox River Valley Home!

by The Rullo Team

Selling your Fox River Valley home? Help drive your offer prices up and make your home stand apart from the competition by making your listing look more expensive! Add some elegant touches to help increase the apparent value of your home! Follow these simple tips and your home will be sold in no time!

1. Paint Color. Clean up the appearance of your home by applying a fresh coat of paint throughout. Choose a neutral color that will appeal to all buyers. Add elegance by selecting one with a slight sheen.


2. Declutter. Eccentuate the space within your home and highlight your home's best architectural features by removing all clutter and unnecessary items that could be distracting for buyers.


3. Kitchen Appliances. Higher end homes have kitchens with brightly colored or stainless steel appliance. Upgrade yours before selling.


4. Fixtures. Help bring your home into the modern era by replacing all outdated lighting and plumbing fixtures, as well as hardware.


5. Crown Molding. Add crown molding to the living and dining rooms for instant elegance.


6. Window Treatments. Let ample light in to make your home look big and bright. Update window treatments to solid colored blinds, drapes, or shades.


7. Garage Door. Your garage door takes up a lot of real estate on the outside of your home. Get a great return on investment by updating the door to own that looks more expensive. We recommend a wood door with carriage home details.

For more helpful tips or assistance in Selling your home, give The Rullo Team  a call today or visit our website at http://www.therulloteam.com/!

Be Safe! Test For Radon This January!

by The Rullo Team

 

Protect your family from the hazards of radon by testing your Fox River Valley home during National Radon Action Month!

 

Click HERE to find great resources, such as testing kits and lists of certified radon mitigation professionals, from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

Find more great homeowner’s safety and improvement tips on our Website  or follow us on Facebook!

 

Bundle Up Your Home From The Cold!

by The Rullo Team

Winter is officially here! Our days are filled with cold temperatures and snowfalls. Keep your Fox River Valley home toasty all season long while saving money on your energy costs! Focus on these elements of your home as we enter the coldest months of winter!

  • Energy Monitor - Install this helpful tool to learn where your home uses the most energy so you can easily discover ways to cut costs.

  • Windows - Use a Window Insulation Kit to add an extra layer against the cold. Be sure to properly caulk around all windows to avoid leaks. add an additional buffer against cold air.

  • Doors - Add a draft blocker underneath all outdoor doors. Be sure to caulk and weatherstrip as needed. Consider switching to a Storm Door for added energy efficiency.

  • Furnace - Change the filters to increase airflow and remove illness inducing irritants. Have the system professionally cleaned and adjusted. Save money in the long run by upgrading to an Energy Efficient Furnace. keep your family healthy all season.

  • Insulation - Just as you do to go outside, your home needs to wear some added layers this season. Add insulation between walls, to the basement ceiling, and the attic floor. Also, wrap insulation around your pipes to avoid costly issues from freezing.

  • Thermostat - Keep heating costs low by turning down the heat whenever you leave the house. Also consider reducing the temperature by a couple degress and cuddling up with a warm blanket instead!

 

For additional helpful home owner’s tips, check out our website at http://www.therulloteam.com/!


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