JoAnn Asselin | Westfield Real Estate, Agawam Real Estate, West Springfield Real Estate


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Rain in its due time is every gardener's dream. Saving and reusing rainwater is a great way to save resources for the garden. One way to collect rainwater and store it for future use is to install a rain chain. 

A decorative rain chain can be used in place of a downspout to collect water from the roof. It can be made from a typical chain or series of objects that lead from the roofline into a water storage container. As the rain falls, the chain guides water into the storage container so that it does not immediately soak into the ground. The water can then be used around the garden when the weather is fair. 

Rain chain: a decorative detail

The rain chain is not just a functional addition to your garden, it can be built from decorative elements that add detail to your outdoor space. 

Chains can be built from a single metal chain or several containers that are strung together. Some rain chains are comprised of metal elements, small watering cans, china pieces or bells. For something more unique, you may consider a chain that is built from recycled glass bottles. Constructing rain chains using shapes that hold water, may also attract more birds into your garden.

Rain chains attach to the gutters of your home to collect water during rainfall. A rain chain is smaller than a downpipe so it cannot handle the same volume of water. If you experience heavy rain in your area, keep downspouts in place and use a rain chain as a decorative addition to your space.




Photo by Linda Knicely on Unsplash

Luxury homes have been gaining popularity for at least the last two years, says Washington Post. And while no one has set exact parameters for what is and isn't considered luxury, many real estate agents use the term to describe homes priced in the million-dollar range or higher. These are the residences that offer genuine stone and marble finishes, smart appliances, real hardwood throughout and space that goes on for days. It's not unusual for a luxury home to boast equally luxurious landscaping, such as an outdoor home theater set-up or an in-ground, stone pool designed to look like a natural waterfall. 

Many young and upwardly mobile couples are searching for today's luxury homes -- particularly those living and working in and around our nations' capital. This market, that extends into Arlington, VA, attracts buyers whose annual household income tops $350,000 -- the lawyers, the bio-tech engineers and young millennials who are taking over their parents' businesses. Spare time for this demographic isn't an available resource, which is why today's luxury landscaping must be both eco-conscious and low maintenance:

Smart Irrigation

A smart irrigation system can monitor the weather forecast in the area and check moisture levels in the soil. Using this information, it can turn sprinklers on and off at will, watering only the areas that require attention. A smart irrigation system is usually compatible with mobile devices, allowing operation from a cell phone, tablet or laptop. It may even offer support for Amazon Alexa. Smart irrigation systems require little-to-no maintenance and save big dollars on monthly water bills. 

Hardscaping

Examples of hardscaping include rock walls, stone pavers and decorative stone stairs -- solid surfaces that provide both function and convenience without requiring much in the way of routine care. Many luxury homes boast outdoor kitchens with cooking and cooling appliances built into stone architecture. They may also feature full, outdoor living spaces that are complete with waterproof entertainment systems, in-ground fire pits and rock walls that double as seating areas. 

Backyard features such as these require little in the way of maintenance, but they're beautiful places for busy families to relax together with friends and unwind after trying days. 

Multi-Function Design

Landscaping that serves multiple purposes is also a popular choice for luxury homes. Vines that have been planted across a pergola to provide shade is a good example. A trickling water features that hides the sound of traffic on a nearby freeway is another. Plants such as herbs that look nice, taste good and repel mosquitoes may be found in on the grounds of a luxury estate, as well. 

If you've landed the luxury home of your dreams, and need workable ideas for equally luxurious landscaping, consider those options listed here. They're planet-friendly, easy to maintain and gorgeous ways to make the most of your upscale backyard. 


If you’re trying to sell your home, you probably have thought of everything from staging to pricing to when the best time for your realtor to hold an open house is. What you may not have considered is the exterior color of your home. Yes, both colors inside and outside of your home can attract or detract buyers from your home. 


Although it could seem silly for you to invest in a brand new exterior paint color right before you sell your home, it could result in some big returns when you head to sell the property. Below, you’ll find some of the best exterior paint colors for your home and why these colors are great in attracting buyers. 


Colors That Blend In With The Natural Surroundings


This principle for color is fantastic. You have a wide range of choices in everything from a putty to a stone to shades of green. These colors all can blend in with the natural environment around your home. Depending upon what surrounds your home, the colors that you choose can vary widely. Do you have a home out in the woods? Choose a sharp shade of green or a bold shade of brown or tan. Everything from the type of foundation you have to the outer accents of the home should be considered when choosing these exterior paint colors.


Think Of The Type And Color Of The Trim You Want


If you really want white trim along the edges of your home, you should pair up that color with the base color of your home. For example, if you’re looking for a white trim, choose colors that will look good with that tone like shades of blue and gray. Remember that buyers will be attracted to complimenting colors.    


Neutral Is Best


When you really can’t make up your mind when choosing an exterior paint color, always go with something neutral. This is the best way to play it safe when you’re putting your home up for sale and making changes. Buyers can always envision themselves living in a neutral colored home. It may be a bit more difficult to match the personalities of buyers with eccentric color choices. 


Examples Of Attractive Exterior Paint Colors


  • Taupe
  • Tan
  • Putty
  • Gray
  • Yellow
  • White
  • Light Blue
  • Deep Blue
  • Forest Green
  • Bright Red


While no magic combination of colors is guaranteed to make your home sell fast, you’ll have a better chance of selling if the home appears pleasant from the outside in. Putting a fresh coat of paint on your home can really bring about more curb appeal, attracting buyers, possibly giving the property a bit more value. Don’t hesitate to invest a little money in your home before you sell to get the maximum return on the sale.