When we think “winter,” most people don’t generally think “landscaping,” but preparing the exterior of your home is one of the most important projects to tackle before the harsh weather hits. Taking care of your yard now can make getting through the winter months significantly less stressful while also bringing ease to the coming spring. Focusing on these tasks can extend the life of your home and save you money down the line by avoiding costly repairs. Here are 3 key projects to look into this autumn:
- Take a look at your trees before the seasons change. If you live in an area where it snows or the winds can get excessive, low hanging branches could present a problem. Look for and trim any branches that hang over your house, driveway, or walkways as their weight could cause them to snap and damage your home or vehicle. It is best to trim trees in the fall or early spring as these are the least likely times trimming will cause damage to the tree.
- Inspect for any exterior damage that could be made worse during the winter. Check your roof for any repairs that may need to be made and be sure to replace any loose or missing shingles. Walk around your home and look for any low spots near your foundation. Fill these areas with soil so water runoff will slope away from your home. This will help prevent water damage to your home’s foundation or basement, which could potentially become a costly repair.
- Work on cleaning up your lawn before the winter weather hits. Rake leaves and get rid of dead shrubs, bushes, or broken branches that litter your yard. Aerate, fertilize, and reseed your lawn, especially in any dead spots. This may not seem like much fun now, but it will make your life significantly easier once winter turns to spring.
Are You Haunted By Bad Credit?
You could save thousands of dollars by refinancing your mortgage!
Higher credit scores translate into lower interest rates! If you have successfully made your mortgage payments on time and in full, your credit score may have improved significantly since you first took out your mortgage. Refinancing could save you thousands of dollars by securing a lower interest rate based on an improved score. Call Homestead Funding Corp. today to see if refinancing is in your bag of treats!
Pumpkin season is here and so are the delicious breads, cakes, and pies that come with it. However, if you’re looking for lighter pumpkin treat this fall, this Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse is the answer!
8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
2 cups whipped cream
6-8 ginger cookies, crushed (optional)
cinnamon or nutmeg
Whip together cream cheese and pumpkin puree. Add sugar to mixture and beat until sugar is fully incorporated. Blend vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger into cream cheese and pumpkin mixture. Slowly fold in whipped cream and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
Seal ginger cookies in a plastic bag and crush into large crumbs. Leftover crumbs can be crushed further to create a cookie dust topping. Place a layer of cookie crumbs on the bottom of each serving dish. Spoon pumpkin mixture on top of cookie layer and top with whipped cream and/or cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger cookie dust.
It’s finally October which means Halloween is on its way and the season brings along all sorts of family fun. Pumpkin carving, for example, has been a staple of the holiday for many years and is a great way to get everyone involved in decorating. Here are some fun and helpful tips to enhance your pumpkin carving and to help your finished pumpkins last longer.
Pick the right pumpkin. You’ll have a lot of trouble creating the perfect pumpkin decorations if the pumpkin is not up for the task. Look for a pumpkin with:
- A flat bottom so that it sits up straight
- A stem of at least 1 to 2 inches (pumpkins without stems don’t last very long)
- No preexisting holes, cuts, or soft spots
Color is key. It’s helpful to know pumpkins that are a lighter shade of orange will be much easier to cut into and therefore might be a better option for children. However, dark orange pumpkins keep better and last a bit longer.
Store your pumpkin someplace cool. A pumpkin kept in a cool place until it is carved will last longer after it’s been carved. Do not freeze your pumpkin or it will get mushy.
Clean your pumpkin. Before you start carving, wash your pumpkins with warm water and let them dry.
Make it last. To prevent your pumpkin from deteriorating after you’ve carved it follow one of these tips:
- Coat the cuts with petroleum jelly
- Spray the pumpkin with a solution of 1 tbsp bleach and 1 qt water
- Submerge the whole pumpkin in white vinegar
If at any point your pumpkin starts to deflate, soak it in cold water for a few hours until it pops back into shape.
Placement is essential to presentation. Try to keep your newly carved pumpkins out of direct rain or sunlight as these will shorten their lifespan. Also, the heat from real candles will cook the pumpkin from the inside and cause it to deteriorate, so use electric tea lights to keep your spooky friends looking good as new through the holiday.
VA mortgages are an excellent loan option for qualified service personnel. With no down payment and no monthly mortgage insurance required, VA mortgages are a great benefit for those individuals who have served their country. Depending on your loan program needs, most if not all settlement charges can be financed. This may reduce cash out of pocket to almost nothing. Homestead Funding Corp. is proud to offer VA mortgage programs to our service men and women, veterans, and their families.
There are other benefits to VA mortgages which include the ability to use gift funds to cover closing costs and prepaid expenses. The program allows borrowers to purchase the following eligible properties: Single family homes, condos, planned unit developments (PUDs), townhomes and 2-4 unit owner-occupied homes. We also offer VA Streamline Refinance options for those who already have VA mortgages. If you think that you or someone you know may qualify for a VA mortgage, please see the eligibility chart here.
As a VA approved mortgage lender, Homestead Funding has helped thousands of families finance their dream homes. If you or someone you know could benefit from a VA mortgage, Homestead can help! Contact us today to learn more about this program!