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Scott Darling

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Selecting Plants and Flowers for Home Garden

by Scott Darling

Many of us select plants for the garden at our Chester County PA home based on their visual effect—color, height, size of blooms, etc. And so we should, as the sight of our plantings should be pleasing to our sense of sight. As we plan our garden, however, we should also be aware of the other four senses—and include plants which appeal to each of them.

SMELL: Aromatherapy is a powerful practice. With nothing more than a simple scent, the brain can be triggered to remember long forgotten memories, emotions, and feelings. With that being said, it is important to carefully select the flowers you want in the garden of your Chester County PA home. With a few simple choices, you can create your own "memory lane' or relaxing oasis. In terms of fragrance, it’s hard to beat roses or lavender. Wisteria and jasmine are scented climbers which can really enhance the sensory pleasure of a garden, and amaryllis belladonna and spirea both add pleasant scents.

SOUND: Few of us associate the sense of sound with our garden, but the rustling of long grasses and the chirping of birds add a much-appreciated dimension. To attract songbirds, use fruit-bearing understory trees like dogwoods and service berries and shrubs such as viburnums and hollies and introduce low growing perennials and dwarf shrubs like creeping juniper and cotoneaster. You can also plant vines, ground covers, and sunflowers to increase chirping and tweeting.

TOUCH: Texture in garden design refers to the surface quality of the plant. Plant textures range from delicate and fine to coarse and bold. The feel of the foliage in your Chester County PA home’s garden is not the only element of texture, however, as the texture can change with the play of light and shadow and even with viewing distance. Plants with thread-like leaves call out to be touched, so consider adding cosmos, baby's breath, asters, and grasses. In addition, iris and lamb’s ear will each provide softer tactile experiences.

TASTE: The world of herbs is nearly without limits. Think about basil, chives, rosemary, chamomile, cilantro, mint, and parsley, to name just a few tasty garden additions. Consider, too low bush blueberries or ligonberries. Lesser known, but equally valuable as salad additions are the flowers of the hibiscus shrub, columbine, and daylilies.

Some of the plants you have selected for your garden will serve more than one purpose and will appeal to more than one sense, so be sure to sniff, feel, taste, listen to, and view each of them!

Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.

Tips for Creating a Perfect Kitchen Pantry

by Scott Darling

The typical household kitchen pantry is full of items that are needed and some items that may have been in there way too long that are no longer needed or good for that matter.  Perhaps you have tried in the past to clean out your pantry to make it more efficient to no avail.  Below are a few tips for a perfect kitchen pantry that may help you clean and organize yours once and for all.

  1. The best way to start organizing your pantry is to clean everything out of it and start from the beginning.  It may make a mess at first when you begin taking all of the items out of your pantry but sometimes you have to make a mess in order to get rid of a mess.   Be sure to look through all of your items throwing out anything that is outdated or spoiled. 
  2. Another tip for a creating a perfect kitchen pantry is to install shelving that makes it more efficient.  You can purchase shelving for your pantry at most local hardware stores or you can build them yourself out of wood, whichever works best for you.   You can make the shelves stationary or you can choose to make them where they will pull out so that you can get things out a bit easier. 
  3. Putting all your staples such as flower and sugar into air tight containers then labeling them is a great way to organize your pantry and make it more user friendly.  Once you get all of your staple items into containers you can then more easily organize them. 
  4. Another good tip for creating a perfect kitchen pantry is to use one shelf for each type of food.  For example you can put cereals together all on one shelf,  spices on one shelf and  items that you use daily on a shelf that is eye level. 
  5. If your pantry is dull and dreary, you can always paint it a light color to brighten it up after you organize it all. 

Once you get your kitchen pantry all organized exactly like you want it you will likely want to spend more time in the kitchen creating fantastic meals for your friends and family.  

Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.

Malvern PA Real Estate For Sale: 565 Clothier Springs Rd

by Scott Darling

In times of rushing around and meeting deadlines, wouldn’t be nice to be able to come home to a peaceful and tranquil setting? 565 Clothier Springs Road is just that place. A combination of old and new greet you at this lovingly maintained home. Back in 1880 this home was built for the times and then some, standing tall and majestic. Since then, the current owners of this home have added a beautiful addition and upgraded a number of amenities to make you comfortable in a home that also has the character you’ve been looking for. Sitting atop Valley Forge Mountain, you’ll feel a sense of calm yet also like you’re on top of the world. With nine and a half foot ceilings, you won’t feel the closeness or cramped feeling you get in a typical older home. Elegance, detailed moldings and lovely hardwood floors are common in nearly every room. Whether you’re entertaining guests in the formal dining room, sitting by the fire in the large and inviting living room or maybe a more casual setting in the newer family room addition, (large enough to spread out and also room for a full-size pool table) you’ll find that there’s always a place for family or friends. 6 beautiful acres (some fenced already) and a 4-stall barn are ready for fun and games whether it be just to enjoy the manicured gardens or maybe you want to bring a horse along. Some of the wonderful amenities in this home include a whole house backup generator, 2 zone heat, 3 zones for A/C, Marvin windows in the addition, front and side porches, two-tiered brick patio, 2 car garage, additional parking for an RV and at least a half dozen more cars, deep window sills and 12’ ceilings in the family room. Updated systems and a home in pristine condition… what more could you want. Come by for a visit, rest a spell on the patio and you’ll know this is the home for you for years to come.

Chester County PA Real Estate Market Trends for April 2017

by Scott Darling

Chester County PA Real Estate Market Trends for April 2017

Chester County PA single family homes saw pending sales decrease by 2.2% in April 2017 when compared to April 2016. 490 homes sold in April with a median sales price of $310,000, a 1.64% increase from April 2016.  The average sales price increased by 3.1%, and homes were on the market 15 days less.

If you are thinking about selling your home get a free instant home evaluation Learn More

How to Go Green This Spring

by Scott Darling

These days it seems everyone is all about going green.  Have you ever given any thought on taking part in going green?  If so you have come to the right place.  Below are a few tips on how you and your family can go green this spring!   Why not add going green to your spring cleaning list!  
 

  1.  One way that you and your family can go green this spring is to simply take your shoes off before you enter your house!  You read that right; you can go green by simply taking off your shoes. 40% of all indoor contaminants actually come from the bottom of our shoes so do your part to keep this from happening to you and your family by taking those shoes off!  
     

  1. Learn what ingredients are considered to be green so that when you go to the store to purchase all of your new green cleaners you can be confident that you are actually doing some good for the environment.  Some companies that claim to be green actually have some ingredients that are not green once they are mixed together.   Just read up on what ingredients are green and what ingredients are not and are typically passed off as green and you should be heading in the right direction on what to buy and what not to buy.  
     

  1. Don’t forget the outside of your home when you are going green.  Many grasses are able to grow and thrive without the help of any type of pesticides and /or fertilizers.  The best way to start going green with the outside of your home is to replace the grass you currently have with native grasses to your particular area.  One perk of this switch is that you may find that you have a lot less upkeep of your lawn once you do this!  Who wouldn’t enjoy having more time with their family and less time doing yard work on a weekly basis! 
     

These are just a few ways in which you can help to make your home a bit more green this spring.  Once you get started going green it is likely that you will find more and more ways in which to do so.  It can become addicting once you make the decision to go green in and around your home! 

Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.

Downingtown PA Real Estate For Sale: 1430 Gallagherville Rd

by Scott Darling

Ahhhhhh! That’s the first words that will come out of your mouth when you drive up to this lovingly restored home. This is a very unique remodeled Cape Cod Farmhouse originally nestled on 3.5 wooded acres but the owners purchased the adjacent 4.7 acres you now have an 8.2 acre retreat right here in Downingtown. You say you like new but also rustic and character? Well, here you have both. The home was totally renovated in 2010 with new roof, gutters, siding, septic and HVAC. The kitchen is highlighted by hand crafted artisan tile. Enjoy the picturesque views right from the comfort of your favorite chair in the great room or newer covered slate patio. Nature abounds right in the back yard just on the other side of the babbling brook. With a 1st floor bedroom and full bathroom, you could live here for many years and never have to walk up another flight of stairs. In the meantime, the 2nd floor consist of a very large master bedroom with two walk-in closets and full bathroom. One of the other two 2nd floor bedrooms also has its own bathroom ready for your little princess or the weekend guest. Outside this home is just lovey. There is a “barn” with a workshop, a vault for your priceless possessions and a 2nd floor room for a guest room or studio office. There are also many walking/hiking trails right on the property. Whether looking out the picture window in the great room or relaxing on the slate patio, you’ll be in heaven in either place and will not want to leave. Come for a visit and you’ll see what I mean.

Spring Maintenance Check List for Your Home

by Scott Darling

Spring cleaning has likely already become underway in your household.  What you may not have given much thought however is spring maintenance for your home.   There are several things that folks generally check around their homes before the winter months but there are also a few things you need to check in the early spring months.  Below is a spring maintenance check list for your home. 

  

  1. Springtime means it is time to start mowing your lawn again.  If your lawn mower has been outside all winter due to lack of storage space you may need to do a bit of maintenance on it before you get it going.  Sharpening the blade is always a good idea before a new season so that you get a nice clean cut on the grass.  It’s also a good idea to check the oil on your lawn mower before beginning to use it for the warm season.  
     

  2. Spring is a great time to check your house for worn paint areas such as your shutters.  If you find worn or chipped paint on your house what better time to fix that than in the typically perfect weather of spring.   
     

  3. Be sure to check your crawl space vents for any debris that may have accumulated there over the winter months.  Also you want to keep your eye out for any animals such as snakes or rodents that may have made their home in your crawl space over the last few months.  Get rid of anything that doesn’t belong and repair anything that may be broken such as the vent covers. 
     
     

  1. Get your flower beds and any garden areas ready for spring by cleaning out any debris that may have accumulated and trimming back any old growth.  It is also a good time to add mulch to your flower beds and fertilizer to your garden.  
     

The above list of spring maintenance ideas is just a start in the right direction.  There is certainly much more that you need to do in and around your house before the summer time approaches.  Once you get started with these, you will likely find and think of more things that need to be done.   

 

Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.

Downingtown PA Real Estate For Sale: 126 Kaiser Drive

by Scott Darling

Super clean and ready for immediate enjoyment! This immaculate home sits on an acre of beautifully landscaped grounds with mature shade trees keeping you cool in those hot summer months. Lyndenwood is a very sought after neighborhood due to its location in the Award-Winning Downingtown School District (also home to the STEM Academy) and is just a short walk to the Marsh Creek Park and Lake. Enjoy hiking, boating, fishing, hunting and picnicking right around the corner. This home has a wonderful open floor plan concept where you can be part of just about every room. It makes for a great entertaining home as well, from large family dinners, to cookouts on the expansive deck to the walkout finished basement, there’s something for everyone. Even a koi pond! The backyard is a wonderful place to play or relax in a hammock strewn between the trees. There’s also a custom playhouse and large 15 X 12 shed for all your lawn equipment. Do you like a nice open and airy kitchen? Well, you’re in luck here. The granite topped counters offer plenty of planning and prep space. The family room offers a great place to relax in front of the stacked stone gas fireplace. Hardwood floors greet you as you enter the home and carry thru the vaulted living room, formal dining room and butlers bar. There’s a wonderful laundry room and powder room off of the kitchen and garage entrances for convenience. Berber carpets in the living room and ceramic tile in the kitchen add to the look as well. Upstairs you’ll find an enormous master bedroom with hardwood floors, vaulted ceiling, large walk-in closet and a luxurious master bath. Ahhhhh! The upper hallway and 2 of the 3 additional bedrooms also have hardwood floors. Just so you know, the 4th bedroom was converted to a sitting room attached to the 3rd bedroom but could easily be converted back to the original 4th bedroom if desired. On the lower level, you’ll find a well thought out finished basement with a TV viewing area, a gas stove and a play area that includes a small office or study corner. There’s storage down there too. All this and a sliding glass door to the lower yard and patio overlooking the koi pond. This is a very relaxing retreat that shouldn’t be passed up. Come by for a visit.

Chester County PA Real Estate Market Trends for March 2017

by Scott Darling

Chester County PA Real Estate Market Trends for March 2017

Chester County PA single family homes saw pending sales increase by 11.2% in March 2017 when compared to March 2016. 454 homes sold in March with a median sales price of $310,000, a 10.71% increase from March 2016.  The average sales price increased by 5.3%, and homes were on the market 5 days less.

If you are thinking about selling your home get a free instant home evaluation Learn More

Home Buying Made Easy

by Scott Darling

If you are currently in the market for buying a house, then you are likely already aware of just how difficult it can sometimes be.  There are many stressors throughout the process that can make the home buying process seem anything but easy.  Below are a few ways that home buying can be made a bit easier if you do your part to put them into action.  

 

  1.  The first and most important thing you need to do before looking for a home to buy is to find an agent.  The reason this part is the most important is because buying a home is a huge financial obligation and you want to choose the right person to help you with such a big decision in your life.  A good way to find an excellent Realtor is to talk with your friends and family members that you trust to see whom they have used in the past.  Once they give you a few suggestions, you can meet each one and see which one best matches your personality wishes.  You will be spending quite a bit of time with this person so you want to make sure that you get along beautifully with them.   

  1. The next step in home buying made easy  is to find a lender.  Many times you can find out from your Realtor about what lenders they tend to use or who they think can be the best match for you and your particular situation.  If your Realtor doesn’t lead you to the best match, again you can talk to your friends and family for suggestions.   

  1. You then need to make sure your credit is as clean as it can possibly be.  Lenders can many times give you a bit of guidance in this area so that you can get approved for a loan.   

  1. It is important that you get pre approved for a loan before you go out searching for the home of your dreams.  The lender that you choose will help you to know exactly how much of a house you can comfortably afford before you get your heart set on one.  

  1. Lastly, figure out exactly what you are looking for in a house.  Make a list of your wants and desires in order of their importance.  This will help to guide you in your home buying  adventure and will help avoid wasting precious time.  
     

These are just a few ideas on how to make the home buying process a bit easier.  Once you do your part to put all of these in motion you will be well on your way to finding the home of your dreams.   

Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.

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