A patio is an outdoor living space that you can get the most out of year round.  It’s no surprise that a patio is a hallmark of a condo or a rental space. Love entertaining? You’ll appreciate the extra seating and dining space that you gain with a patio.

The following tips on how you can use your patio year round could help you to find space large enough to equal another room at your home. Get ready to let go of the blank patio design and welcome yourself to a world of outdoor living space wonder.

Great patio design ideas

  • Add a padded wicker sofa, two padded wicker chairs and a small round table to your patio. Place the chairs along the sides of the table. Enjoy reading your favorite magazines and watching streamed videos while you sit on the patio. You could also just sit outside and chat with a friend.
  • Install a screen around your patio and add a space heater, so you can spend time outdoors during colder months. You might have fun sitting outside watching snow fall out of the sky.
  • Place plants or flowers on tables located at the edges of your patio. Hanging baskets filled with plants or flowers also work.
  • Hang a decorative wind chime at one far end of your patio.
  • Put your barbecue grill several feet away from your patio, but close enough for you to easily enjoy grilling and entertaining guests.
  • Build a wood divider at one end of your patio and grow a rose vine throughout the divider.

Fun Things To Do On Your Patio

After you add furniture and décor to your patio, welcome company over to enjoy the space with you. One of the more relaxing things that you can do is to hang out with friends, chatting about recent events in your lives. Your kids might have loads of fun playing with their toys or friends on the patio. Other fun activities that you can engage in on your patio include:

  • Book club meetings – Depending on the size of your patio, you might be able to host 8 to 10 book club members without having to use indoor space.
  • Family get togethers – Have an overflow of guests during major holidays? Invite guests to hang out on the patio and not just inside your home.
  • Cookouts – Place a record player or iPod on your patio and play everyone’s favorite music while you laugh, talk and enjoy grilled food.
  • Work from home – All it takes is a laptop, a chair and a table to knock out several hours of work right at home.
  • Reading – If you love to read, you’ll love spending time on your front or back patio getting absorbed in the pages of a great book.
  • Meditating – Talk about getting grounded. Not only will you be stilling your thoughts, you’ll be tuning into your higher self while outside in nature.
  • Exercising – A first floor patio makes for a great exercise area.
  • Hanging out with children and grand kids – Use your patio as another reason to play and spend time with your children and grand kids.
  • Romantic meals – Remember those two wicker chairs and table? Top the table off with a scented candle and treasure a private meal with your partner or spouse. The memories could prove lasting.
  • Spend time with pets – After you take your pets for a walk, relax with them on your patio.

Clearly, beautiful patio designs aren’t your only options. How you use your patio is also important. Host one family get together on your patio and you might decide that you don’t need to pay a contractor to add another room to your home. You can,instead, step onto your screened in or open design patio and entertain,meditate, enjoy a morning tea or unwind at the end of the day.

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Lexington, MA:

This Single-Family in Lexington, MA recently sold for $1,285,000.
This is a Cape style home and features 12 total rooms, 3 full baths, 1 half bath, 4 bedrooms, 0.20 acres, and was sold by
Theresa D’Antuono – Grant Cole REALTORS ®

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Moving to a new home is both an exciting and stressful time. There’s nothing quite like a fresh start in a new place. It’s a blank canvas just waiting for you to make your mark. It’s just that there is also a lot of stuff to move! And for fish owners there comes the added complexity of how to move the carefully acclimated ecosystem of their aquatic pets.

While moving fish is not as simple as loading them into a carrier with their favorite blanket or toy it’s not an impossible task. And I’m sure you don’t need reminding how temperamental fish are to their environment. Because they are so easily upset I highly recommend setting a day aside dedicated solely to moving your aquarium. Ideally, your fish will spend as little time as possible outside of their familiar habitat.  

Before you begin disassembling your tank you’ll want to have the place you would like it to be located in your new home already picked out. This way you can have a plan of action to put into place as soon as you pull into the driveway. You’ll also want to make sure you have the proper supplies for moving your tank. 

Check in your local aquarium shop for advice on how to move your specific type of fish. You’ll also want to pick up some bags like those your fish are placed in when you first bring them home, a battery operated pump, a fish net, a few 5-gallon buckets with lids and a siphon hose if you don’t already own one. Be sure to bring home as many bags as fish you own. You’ll also want to pick up or borrow a cooler that would fit your bagged fish if you don’t have one. 

To preserve as much of the vital bacteria in your tank’s ecosystem you will want to siphon as most of your tank water into your new buckets along with your aquarium’s rocks and filter. Pumps, heaters and other tank accessories can be packed separately as normal. 

Your fish will be much easier to catch with less water and nowhere to hide. Gently catch your fish and place each one in its own individual bag filled ⅓ of the way with water from the tank. You’ll want to place all of your fish in the cooler as the dark reduces stress and the insulation helps to prevent extreme temperature changes.  

When setting up your tank in your new home remember that you want to get your fish back in their familiar habitat as soon as possible. Start by adding the water and rocks from your buckets. You’ll want to hold off on setting up any complex decorations until your fish are in the tank and a few days to settle down. You’ll just want to add any live plants you may have and a place or two for your fish to hide.

Top off your tank with the appropriate type of water your fish and consider using a bacterial additive to support your fish’s ecosystem as they adjust to the big move. Watch the readings on your water closely for the next month and do not add new fish until acclimated. You will also want to hold off on feeding until your water reaches proper levels. 

I’ll be honest t’s not the simplest process to move with fish but it’s also not the most difficult. And if you’re a fish enthusiast it’s well worth the effort to keep your beautiful friends happy. With some proper planning and some help from your partner or a friend moving your fish can be a smooth, stress-free experience.

When it comes to buying a home, there is no reason to let negotiations get the best of you. Fortunately, we’re here to help you become an expert negotiator, i.e. someone who understands the ins and outs of obtaining a high-quality residence at a budget-friendly price.

What does it take to become an expert homebuying negotiator? Here are three negotiating tips that every homebuyer needs to know:

1. Act Quickly on a Home That You Like

If you fall in love with a home and are ready to make an offer on it, don’t hesitate to put your best foot forward. Submit a competitive offer, and you may be able to avoid stressful negotiations with a home seller.

Understanding the true value of a residence is paramount for homebuyers. Conduct plenty of housing market research before you submit an offer, and you can better understand the prices of comparable houses in your area.

Also, if a home seller counters your initial offer, don’t be afraid to negotiate. Be flexible, and you can boost your chances of securing your dream residence.

2. Do the Math

How much can you afford for a new home? You’ll want to establish a homebuying budget before you enter negotiations with a home seller. Otherwise, you risk spending too much to acquire a residence.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage may make it easy for you to avoid the temptation to overspend. With a mortgage in hand, you can search for houses that fit your price range.

In addition, be sure to account for closing costs and other fees that you may encounter down the line. If you fail to do so, you may wind up overspending on a residence.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Homebuying negotiations can be time-consuming and expensive if you’re not careful. Thankfully, real estate agents are available who can negotiate with a home seller on your behalf.

Hiring an experienced real estate agent usually is a good idea, particularly for first-time homebuyers. Stress and anxiety can be problematic during homebuying negotiations, but a real estate agent will ensure that you won’t have to deal with these issues.

Your real estate agent has a simple goal: to ensure that you can purchase the best house at the best price. He or she will go above and beyond the call of duty to accomplish this goal. As such, employing a real estate agent to handle homebuying negotiations can make a world of difference for homebuyers nationwide.

Furthermore, your real estate agent will keep you informed throughout negotiations. This real estate professional will offer expert tips and recommendations and will never make a move without consulting with you. Perhaps best of all, your real estate agent will be happy to answer any of your homebuying concerns and queries, guaranteeing that you can make informed decisions throughout the homebuying process.

Work with a real estate agent as you prepare to enter negotiations to purchase a residence. By doing so, you can simplify the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

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