Elegant estate inspired by worlds finest residences .Exceptional quality throughout. Grand rm for entertaining, banquet size dining, chefs kitch, conservatory, movie theatre, 6 suites, exercise/spa, 3rd floor apt, guest qtrs, hot tub, pool&cabana. Gated.
Listed with Worth Properties LLC
Bella Rosa, a Luxurious Gated Estate on 48 acres within Exclusive Gated Hidden River~Lavish Appointments~Exquisite Quality~Lush Gardens~Terraces~Elevator~Slate Roofs~Spa~Crestron Electrncs~Pool~Cabana w/Viking Kit~7 car garage~Sep Guest Apt~and Much More!
Listed with Karen Morgan Realty
1. Do your research. County extension agents and horticulturists at local universities offer free advice that can save you from making costly mistakes. Learn from your favorite books, magazines, and gardening Web sites, too.
2. Trust your instincts. When it comes to free advice, you sometimes get what you pay for. Keep in mind that profit motives may make some landscapers or garden-center staff overzealous. If you’re not sure about something, don’t buy it.
3. Comparison shop. Nurseries may differ drastically in price and quality. You may find great deals from online garden centers, too.
4. Avoid impulse buys. Make sure you have an appropriate spot for a plant before you purchase it. Otherwise, you may end up watching it die.
5. Shop cooperatively. Buying in bulk is less expensive if you share the costs with gardening friends or neighbors. You could also choose to get TruGreen lawn care if you want to save costs with excellent service. The same goes for renting equipment such as tillers, lawn aerators, etc. Likewise, combine mail-order purchases with friends to cut down on shipping costs.
6. Buy used when you can. New isn’t always better. You can often find great deals on plants or tools at garage and estate sales.
7. Don’t overplant. Landscape with mature sizes in mind, or you may end up paying to move crowded plants.
8. Collect inspiration. Instead of hiring a professional, clip pictures you like from gardening magazines, books, and Web sites to get ideas before you start a new garden bed or landscaping project.
Here’s a hint: If there’s a landscape in your neighborhood that you really like, don’t be afraid to knock on the door and ask the homeowner if you can take pictures for your inspiration book. The homeowner may be end up giving you tips on getting the look.
9. Test your soil. A simple soil test will pinpoint what your soil lacks — so you won’t have to buy unneeded additives or the wrong plant. Many soil tests also recommend the best plant choices for your soil type, so you can grow a carefree garden without trying to amend your ground.
10. Pay attention to pH. If your ground is too acidic or alkaline, most plants can’t take up nutrients, no matter how much you feed your plants. That means fertilizers are wasted money.
11. Add manure. Check with local farmers to find a source of this all-natural soil amendment. Many will give it away for free — all you have to do is haul it.
Here’s a hint: Let fresh manure age before using it. Otherwise the high salt concentration may hurt your plants and introduce more weeds into your garden.
12. Stop weeds. Weeds compete with your plants for water and nutrients. If you feed your plants, keep in mind that the weeds are using the fertilizer, too.
13. Make your own compost. Convert garden and kitchen refuse into humus and improve your soil’s tilth, aeration, and water-holding capacity by making compost.
14. Pick the right grass. Different types of turf perform well in different conditions. Make sure you have the best kind for your yard so you don’t have to spend extra time — and money — keeping it looking good.
15. Feed your lawn sensibly. Cool-season lawns do great when fertilized only a few times a year, such as early September, late October, and mid-April. Don’t fertilize in summer.
Warm-season lawns can use a couple of feedings in summer, but don’t require it in fall or winter.
16. Leave grass clippings. Unless your lawn is especially prone to thatch, don’t bag your grass clippings. They’ll quickly break down, adding organic matter and nutrients to your lawn. This means you don’t have to fertilize as much.
17. Start from seed. While it takes longer to get established, you can save a considerable amount of money by planting grass seed instead of sod. Or for curb appeal, sod the front yard and seed the back.
18. Plant cool-season lawns in fall. There’s less likelihood of humidity-triggered diseases or hard-washing rains.
19. Don’t cut your lawn too short. Most lawns do best if allowed to grow 2 or 2 1/2 inches tall. The higher you let your grass grow, the deeper its root system is, so you don’t have to water as often.
Tall grass shades out weeds better, so you don’t have to spend on herbicides, as well.
20. Save surplus seeds. Many common flower seeds stay viable for years if stored properly. So if you don’t use them all one year, you can plant the rest of a packet the next year.
Here’s a hint: The best way to store your seeds is in a cool, dry place.
21. Sow seeds directly into the ground. You won’t have to outlay hard-earned cash for potting mixtures, trays, grow lights, etc.
22. Mix in annuals. Perennials are an expensive investment, so ease up on your pocketbook by purchasing some seed packets of your favorite annuals.
Here’s a hint: Self-seeding annuals such as cleome, bachelor’s button, and California poppy drop seeds — so you don’t have to buy them every year.
23. Save and trade. Of the perennials you do buy, plant those that grow quickly, such as daffodils or lily-of-the-valley, and in two to three years you will have three to five times as many plants. They’re perfect for trading with friends and neighbors.
24. Propagate your plants. Divide large clumps of perennials such as chrysanthemums, hostas, and daylilies into several plants. Take root cuttings from easy-to-grow shrubs such as pussy willows, azaleas, and forsythia.
25. Choose native plants. Select species that grow naturally in your region to avoid such costs as extra watering, pampering through winter, and soil correction.
26. Use mulch. Simply using mulch can save you money. A layer of mulch helps the soil hold moisture better, so you have to water less. Organic mulches break down over time and improve your soil, so you have to spend less on fertilizer. Plus, mulches cut down on weeds, so you won’t have to purchase weedkillers.
27. Recycle newspaper. Rather than buying black plastic or landscaping fabric, layer about 24 pages of newspaper over your garden bed, soak them with water, then anchor them with a thin soil layer or other mulch.
28. Gather fallen leaves. Don’t pay to have your city pick up bags of fallen leaves from your curb in fall. Instead, chop them up with your lawn mower and use them as mulch for your plants. Or add them to your compost pile.
29. Haul sawdust. Many sawmills will give you sawdust for free if you haul it away. It’s a great material for mulching garden paths — clean and easy to spread.
Here’s a hint: Sawdust can absorb nitrogen from the soil as it breaks down. So add some extra fertilizer when you spread sawdust around your plants. Sawdust is also great in the compost pile.
30. Gather wood chips. Many tree trimmers will give wood chips away, too. Just avoid walnut shavings — they can make your prized plants suffer.
Here’s a hint: Ask the tree trimmer if the trees they chipped had poison ivy growing on them. Poison ivy mixed in the chips can still create skin irritation.
31. Buy mulch in bulk. You can save a considerable amount of money by buying mulch in bulk. A pickup load of mulch may cost $40 compared to over $100 for the same quantity of bagged mulch.
32. Shop end-of-the-season sales. Fall is just as good a time to plant trees as spring. Many garden centers and nurseries are looking to get rid of their plants before winter, so you may be able save 50 percent or more.
33. Purchase small-size plants. While bigger trees give you instant impact by looking good the day you plant them, they’re also more expensive. You could get several times as much for your money with small trees.
34. Plant sturdy, slow-growing trees. Fast-growing trees sound great but come at a price. They’re usually more susceptible to storm damage, as well as pests and diseases.
35. Protect your foundation. Roots can damage concrete blocks. Plant large trees at least 30 feet from your house to prevent having to spend on foundation fixups.
36. Practice good pruning. Overgrown or badly pruned trees and shrubs can make your landscape look bad. A good pruning job can save you the expense of replacement plants.
37. Turn projects into social events. Gather friends and have a paving party. Your only labor expense will be refreshments.
38. Recycle bricks. Use brickyard seconds for a fraction of the cost of perfect, new bricks.
39. Make mulch paths. Instead of purchasing expensive flagstone, gravel, or other materials, consider making paths from inexpensive mulches such as wood chips, pine needles, or shredded leaves.
40. Look for quarry rejects. Flat-cut stones with minor flaws still make for handsome stepping-stones, walls, benches, and flowerbed and pond edgings.
41. Visit construction sites. Stones, old bricks, and other buried materials at construction projects are often just hauled to the landfill. Ask the landowner for permission and he or she may give the debris to you.
42. Mix materials. If a concrete patio is too plain, but flagstones are too expensive, incorporate some flagstones into the concrete to create a design. There’s no rule that says a patio needs to be made from just one type of surface.
43. Use screws. A deck built from screws will last longer and require fewer repairs than one made from nails.
44. Line ponds with castoffs. Ask a swimming-pool maintenance service for rubber liner before you buy a 60-millimeter one. It can save you a considerable amount of money.
45. Consider alternative materials. A septic-tank bottom, for example, costs less than a fiberglass pond. Since the structure is underground, the only difference you’ll see is in the cost.
Thanks to our friends from Better Homes & Gardens for these great tips!
This is an article taken from Northwestern Mutual’s October News Brief newsletter with permission from Matt Kubicek CLU, CFP, Financial Advisor.
By Christopher Bremer, director, private client services portfolio management, Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company. Full article available here.
More than 100 years ago, the last of the financial panics that wracked the U.S. economy throughout the 19th century and into the 20th century was underway. The Panic of 1907 was the last and most severe of these financial panics and the one that finally inspired the government to begin instituting banking reforms, including the creation of the Federal Reserve System.
In the days before the advent of deposit insurance, consumers had no assurance that their funds would be safe in a bank. If there was any hint of financial instability with a specific bank or the overall economy or stock market, depositors were likely to get nervous, which could result in a run on a bank or banks. Depositors would line up outside of a financial institution, rumors would spread, the lines would grow and eventually the bank could actually run out of money and close. In that event, anyone who hadn’t gotten a hold of their funds was simply out of luck.
The Panic of 1907 was itself sparked by a failed run on copper by Augustus Heinze, exposing an interlocked and corrupt system among New York City banking, trust and financial firms. As the panic spread, the banking system faltered, and banking titans, including J.P. Morgan – founder of the institution now known as JPMorgan Chase – met to try to stem the panic. It took a united effort on behalf of bankers, the media and the clergy as well as an injection of cash into the banking system, but the panic eventually stilled and calm returned to the financial markets.
The fiscal cliff that the U.S. government is facing in January is very different than the Panic of 1907, yet there are some similarities worth noting. One of the most striking similarities is how a lack of confidence can undermine a financial system. While the lack of confidence in the system in 1907 was seemingly more well founded than the lack of confidence in the U.S. government’s commitment to resolve the fiscal cliff crisis today, the fact is that if a solution to the fiscal cliff dilemma isn’t found, it could undermine the U.S. economy and cause a recession, although a panic like the one that occurred more than 100 years ago is extremely unlikely.
In this month’s commentary, we’ll explore the fiscal cliff as well as the specifics behind the tax and spending cuts involved. We’ll also discuss the potential economic impact and the background for this issue, the ultimate resolution of which will likely determine whether the U.S. economy continues its fragile, stop-and-go recovery or slides back into recession.
Fiscal Cliff ABCs
The seeds of the U.S. fiscal cliff dilemma were sown by two separate events. The first is the impending expiration of the Bush tax cuts, which were originally set to expire in 2010 but were extended by Congress and President Obama. The second is the government shutdown drama that occurred last August when Republicans and Democrats couldn’t agree on a debt ceiling extension and nearly caused the federal government to run out of money and be temporarily unable to pay its bills.
To raise the debt ceiling, Congress and the president agreed on a package of spending cuts that would take effect this coming January if other measures weren’t taken in order to deal with the deficit. The confluence of these two events is what created the fiscal cliff.
Spending cut details.
In mid-September, the White House released a comprehensive list of the spending cuts that would be required should the budget cuts agreed upon by Congress and the president fail to be averted. These would hit a wide variety of departments, with the cuts of $110 billion in 2013 divided between domestic programs and defense programs. In all, the spending cuts are scheduled to total $1.2 trillion over a 10-year period.
This was the compromise that Congress and the president agreed upon as a fallback if there was no subsequent agreement regarding a 10-year budget deficit-cutting package last year. There wasn’t, and now these cuts are scheduled to take place on Jan. 2, 2013.
Basically, the cuts boil down to $55 billion from the defense budget and $55 billion from non-defense spending. The defense spending must come from discretionary defense spending; that is, defense spending that is not war-related. Military personnel spending can also be exempted. What’s left will be subject to across-the-board cuts. In practice, these cuts will translate into a 7.5 percent cut in non-affected defense spending.
As for non-defense spending, most non-defense discretionary programs will be subject to an 8.4 percent cut. Non-defense mandatory programs other than Medicare will be subject to an 8 percent cut, and there will be a 2 percent cut in Medicare provider payments. A number of mandatory programs are exempt from cuts, including Social Security, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), SNAP (formerly known as food stamps), Supplemental Security Income, veterans’ compensation and federal retirement.
Tax increase details.
A number of tax increases – also known as revenue increasers – are set to take effect at year’s end when previous tax cuts or breaks expire. The largest among these are the Bush tax cuts, a collective term for a group of tax cuts that took effect in 2001 and 2003. Here’s an overview:
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) conducted a detailed study of the fiscal cliff and its implications for the U.S. economy. The bottom line is scary: the CBO estimates that if nothing is done to avert the fiscal cliff and all the tax increases and budget cuts go through as planned, $487 billion in budget cuts will occur in 2013, resulting in a 3.1 percent reduction in gross domestic product (GDP).
That doesn’t mean that the economy will contract by that amount. It means that this amount will potentially be deducted from economic growth that would likely occur at that time, actually resulting in an overall economic contraction – a recession, essentially – of 0.5 percent. The CBO’s projections have been getting more negative as the year has progressed. Initially, they projected an actual 0.5 percent GDP gain for the year but revised that down recently due to what they now believe will be a more significant drag on economic growth. Couple this with what the CBO sees as a significant rise in the unemployment rate by the fourth quarter of 2013 – up to 9.1 percent from the current 8.1 percent – and there is little chance, if these cuts and tax increases are implemented, in avoiding a recession that will have a significant impact on businesses and consumers.
Since no one knows how this situation will ultimately be resolved – whether through full implementation of the cuts and tax increases, some kind of middle ground solution or full repeal of the budget cuts and an extension of the Bush tax cuts – the CBO has also worked up some projections about what a middle ground might look like. Under this scenario, most of the expiring tax cuts are extended and some of the budget cuts are repealed. While the ultimate impact on the economy would be softened versus no action, the economy would still grow at an anemic pace of 1.7 percent in 2013 with an unemployment rate about where it is now.
While this outcome is certainly preferable to a recession, it underscores just how fragile the current economy is. For many businesses and consumers, even this preferred outcome won’t bring much joy and will continue to feel more like a recession than a true recovery. That’s because there are too many factors outside of the fiscal cliff inhibiting economic growth for the resolution of this one issue to make a gigantic difference and help the economy experience true, sustainable growth. To really bring unemployment down and get businesses and consumers spending again, the economy needs to grow at about a 3 percent rate.
Nashville Foreclosures[idx-listings linkid=”275862″ count=”20″]
Most Americans view the 2012 presidential election through the lens of economic stability and they are asking themselves this question: “Which candidate, Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, will be better for the US economy and the real estate market?”
Although I believe that this question in general is the most important when deciding at the polls, the reality is most Americans are more concerned about their personal economy. Jobs, salaries, investments, expenses…these are the topics that are typically at the forefront of American conversations.
Homeownership & the Real Estate Market
And one of the largest factors of most American’s personal economy is real estate thanks to homeownership. According to Wikipedia the homeownership rate in 2009 stated 67% of all occupied American housing unites were occupied by the owner.
So what does the 2012 presidential election mean for real estate value at large? What does it mean for the Nashville real estate market?
What’s interesting is that neither candidate so far has outlined a specific proposal for the real estate market or mortgage lending, but there are two major housing issues that will immediately have to be addressed by the President.
2 Things That Will Be Affected By The Next U.S. President
1. Mortgage Lending Standards
The next president will have to decide whether to ease up lending standards to make it easier for more people to qualify for a loan and the amount of down payment needed to buy a home. Since most loans are eventually sold to Fannie and Freddie, their regulations dictate the private market.
According to a recent article in the Washington Post this decision will have a huge influence on the real estate market and the price of real estate, both for the lower end of the market the higher end that has lagged.
Obama has stated that he would like to help more responsible borrowers refinance their mortgages, while taking concrete steps to help families stay in their homes, revitalize the communities hardest hit by the housing crisis, and reform the mortgage lending market to better protect both consumers and taxpayers.
Romney has stated that mortgage lending regulations are good, but the ones in place are antiquated and need to be update to allow smaller financial institutions a doorway back into the mortgage lending market. Details of both plans are currently lacking.
2. Mortgage Relief Programs
According to a recent article in the Washington Post (via Realtor.org), if President Obama is re-elected he is expected to continue adding to his existing programs, such as in foreclosure relief, loan modifications, and by expanding refinancing options for home owners. He is also expected to continue to push for new housing finance rules under the Dodd-Frank Act, The Washington Post reports.
If elected, Romney is expected to repeal Dodd-Frank and would most likely replace it with regulations that would make it easier for the smaller financial institutions in the private sector to be a stronger player in the mortgage market.
So What’s the Overall Effect of the Election on the U.S. Real Estate Market?
Even with the glaring differences between the candidates real estate market proposals, political pundits think that the system has so many working parts that implementing mortgage-market policy will be difficult and won’t have a tremendous effect on the market at large. Our legislative process will eventually bring both sides to some form of less-radical compromise and therefore create a less than substantial direct impact on the national housing market.
As far as Nashville is concerned, impending growth, economic strength and economic diversity are factors that have a greater impact on the housing market than the presidential election.
You can read more about Nashville and the real estate market here:
Foreclosures For Sale in the Nashville, TN Real Estate Market