Steve Casey
RE/MAX Real Estate Center | 508-341-4464 | stcreal@aol.com


Posted by Steve Casey on 1/15/2018

Bonsai is a Japanese artform that originates from the ancient Chinese practice of potting trees. Although it is an art that has existed for centuries, bonsai neednít be inaccessible to the average person looking for a new household hobby.


To successfully grow and care for a bonsai, all you need are a few tools and a lot of patience. In this article, weíll cover bonsai basics to help you get started in this craft. Keep in mind, however, that there are thousands of resources and communities to help you out along the way.

To buy or to cultivate?

The two most common ways to start a bonsai tree are to buy a pre-cultivated tree online or at a greenhouse, or to cultivate one yourself with seeds or cuttings. Many beginners elect to buy a pre-cultivated tree to decide if they enjoy the hobby before devoting years to cultivating a tree from seed. If you enjoy caring for plants and think youíre up to the challenge, starting from seed or cuttings could be more rewarding.

A third option is to collect a tree from nature that has been stunted by natural conditions. These types of trees are called yamadori and can be difficult to collect because their roots may be in a precarious location. Also keep in mind that it is illegal to remove plants from some parks and forests.

How to shape your tree

Once you obtain a bonsai your work has only just begun. The real challenge of bonsai is caring for and shaping your tree. That means clipping off growth, repotting, watering, moving it indoors and outdoors, and shaping/training its branches to grow a certain way.

Every tree is different and will require different care. An important thing to remember about bonsai is that many of them will need to be brought outside to mimic their natural conditions. Trees survive winters because they have prepared for it through the process of dormancy. By bringing your tree outdoors, it will keep its internal clock on time to prepare for winter. In this way, cold-climate bonsai trees can handle the harsh temperatures and weather that comes with the winter time.

Aside from subjecting it to different temperatures and weather, your bonsai will also need to be pruned and wired. Pruning thick branches that grow high up on your tree will help you maintain the natural look of its larger counterparts out in nature. Similarly, wiring helps you transform your tiny tree to look fully-grown and weathered.

Tree care

Just like other plants, your tree will need water, sunlight, and fertilizer. The amount of each will depend on the type of the tree, so youíll want to do that research before you ever buy, cultivate, or collect a bonsai to make sure you can adequately care for the tree in your area.

Overwatering causes the death of countless bonsai trees. Root rot occurs when soil stays too damp for too long. Roots need air, and damp soil suffocates the roots causing them to rot. When it comes to fertilizer, follow the advice of others of have successfully grown the type of tree you have.




Tags: Trees   houseplants   plants   gardening   bonsai  
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Posted by Steve Casey on 1/8/2018

If you want to buy a house, it helps to plan ahead as much as possible. That way, you can increase the likelihood of a fast, seamless homebuying journey.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare to enter the housing market, and ultimately, ensure that you can enjoy a speedy homebuying experience.

1. Focus on Specific Cities and Towns

Consider what you want to find in your dream house. Then, you can fine-tune your dream home criteria and narrow your house search.

For example, if you prefer small town living to life in the big city, you may want to search for houses in various towns in your state of choice. Or, if you want to buy a house near your office in the city, you can browse residences in or near the city itself.

Differentiating your dream home must-haves and wants can make a world of difference too. Because if you know exactly what you want to find in your ideal residence, you can streamline your house search and accelerate the homebuying journey.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

The process of filling out a mortgage application and getting approval from a bank or credit union can be long and arduous. And if you submit an offer a house without financing in hand, you may face a time crunch to get a mortgage as well.

When it comes to home financing, it pays to be proactive. If you start searching for a mortgage today, you may be able to save time down the line.

For instance, if you meet with a bank or credit union, you can learn about a variety of mortgage options. Next, you can select a mortgage that matches your needs, and this mortgage will allow you to enter the housing market with a budget. With this budget at your disposal, you can narrow your search to houses that fall within your price range.

3. Employ a Real Estate Agent

Let's face it Ė few homebuyers have the necessary time and resources to conduct a comprehensive home search. Luckily, real estate agents are available to help you discover your dream house in no time at all.

A real estate agent will learn about your homebuying goals and find out what you want from your dream house. With this information, a real estate agent can provide you with details about houses that fulfill your criteria.

Furthermore, a real estate agent is a housing market expert who will do everything possible to help you buy a high-quality residence. He or she will teach you about the housing market and provide extensive insights into real estate patterns and trends. Also, a real estate agent is happy to respond to your homebuying concerns and questions at any time.

For those who want to buy a house, there is no need to wait to enter the housing market. Instead, use the aforementioned tips, and you can reap the benefits of a quick, stress-free homebuying experience.




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Posted by Steve Casey on 1/1/2018

While home remodeling can be about getting your home some major cool points, you really want to be focused on the home remodeling projects that will provide you the greatest amount of return on your investment. There are certain home remodeling projects that just arenít worth it. Others will help the value of your home truly soar. Itís important to invest your money carefully and thoughtfully. If you know that youíre moving in the near future, you may not even want to undertake remodeling projects for fear that they wonít be worth it. There are certain projects that are absolutely necessary for you to complete if you hope to get the top value for your home. You donít ant to put in thousands of dollars with no sign of return for your investment. 



Think Simple


You donít need to get complex when it comes to remodeling your home. Take a look at what needs help on the surface. This will include things like new kitchen countertops, replacing sinks, cabinet refacing, or floor retiling. Donít bother with huge structural changes to the home. Also, keep in mind that someone else has a different taste than you. Keep things neutral. You might love a bright yellow kitchen, but itís certain that the next owner will probably have a different preference. 


Work With What You Have


While you may wish that you had a lot more space and hope to put an addition on the home, the next owners could have a different vision. While there will be more square feet of living space, many buyers look at a homeís potential for them. Thereís no sense in starting a bunch of huge construction projects that will only become a costly source of stress. 


Make The Necessary Repairs


Buyers will love a home that has a fairly new roof over one that will need a roof replacement within a couple of years. You should fix the things around the home that need to be tended to. This includes window replacements, roofs, electrical outlet work, and major yard issues. 


Donít Forget The Outdoors


Itís important for your home to look good from the outside as well. Buyers appreciate a home that has been well taken care of. Take the time, money, and effort to keep up your lawn and outdoor landscaping. Planting some greenery around can never hurt. While new owners may have different tastes than you, itís always a bonus to move into a house and have a little less work to do on the outside!





Posted by Steve Casey on 12/25/2017

After you buy a house, it may be only a few weeks before your closing date arrives. At this point, you and the home seller will finalize your transaction. And if everything goes according to plan, you'll own a new home.

Getting to closing day, however, sometimes can be difficult. Lucky for you, we're here to help ensure you can enjoy a quick, seamless home closing.

Now, let's take a look at three steps to close on a home.

1. Complete Your Mortgage Application

A mortgage is a must-have for a homebuyer to close on a residence. Fortunately, it often can be simple to obtain a mortgage that matches or exceeds your expectations.

Consult with several local banks and credit unions. By doing so, you can learn about all of your mortgage options and select a mortgage that corresponds to your finances.

After you complete a mortgage application, a bank or credit union can provide you with mortgage options. Then, you can make an informed decision about which mortgage suits you perfectly.

2. Perform a Home Inspection and Appraisal

A home inspection is paramount, as this assessment will enable you to identify any underlying home problems and address them before closing day arrives.

During a home inspection, a property expert will assess your residence both inside and out. This expert also will provide an inspection report that details his or her findings.

Review the results of a home inspection report closely Ė you'll be glad you did. If you assess a home inspection report, you can review a home inspector's findings and determine whether you still want to purchase a house.

If you accept the inspection results and decide to move forward with a home purchase, an appraisal may follow.

Like a home inspection, an appraisal requires a property expert to visit your home. This expert will evaluate your home's interior and exterior, as well as comparable houses in your city or town. Following a home appraisal, you will receive a property valuation.

Oftentimes, a property valuation may match or exceed the price that you intend to pay for a house. If it does not, there may be instances in which you can still walk away from a home sale or ask the seller to lower a house's asking price.

3. Buy Home Insurance

Home insurance safeguards your residence and personal belongings against loss, damage or destruction. As such, it is essential to purchase home insurance before you close on a house. Because with home insurance in place, you'll be good to go to protect your house and personal belongings against myriad disasters.

The closing process can be long and complicated. But if you work with a real estate agent, you can receive plenty of support leading up to closing day. In fact, this housing market professional is happy to provide tips to ensure you can streamline the closing process.

Get ready for closing day Ė follow the aforementioned steps, and you can speed up the process of acquiring your dream house.




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Posted by Steve Casey on 12/19/2017

Make the most of sweat equity opportunity! Young oil fired furnace and 100 Amp circuit breakers. Everything else needs updating. Roof, bathroom, kitchen in need of update. Probably siding as well. Hardwood floors throughout under some carpet. $274,900 in Walpole is opportunity with a capital O for this neighborhood. Subject to License to sell.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts




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