Spruce Up Your House by Gardening!

It’s a good time to start thinking and planning ahead for your garden. A neat and tidy front yard can enhance a property, but a beautifully planned one can really make an ordinary house look special.

Some accessories that will make your yard look really good can be very inexpensive. Most of us are on a budget, especially these days when we never know how much it will cost to fill up our gas tank. Sometimes at this time of the year, you can find last year’s garden accessories discounted. Benches or garden lights may be listed for sale before the new stock comes in.

There are some basic rules which apply to every garden. Before you start you should try and afford a soil test. This is quite inexpensive and either your local nursery or the Internet will tell you how to go about it. You can also buy do-it-yourself kits. The second thing is to dig compost into your garden, and now (winter) is a good time.

If you are having a soil test carried out, you will know from the results if you should add any other nutrition to your soil. A soil test will mean you will not be buying the ‘wrong’ shrubs, plants etc for your soil type.

There is one last thing that you should monitor: how long and where the sun shines on different parts of your garden. Plants can thrive without direct sunlight, but only if you plant a type that likes the shade. This can still include many bright, colorful plants (i.e. impatiens), so you can still brighten up dull areas.

Once you decide to buy, you do not want to waste your money by having the plants or shrubs die on you. The soil test will curb some of these mistakes. The other thing to do is to look up, on the Internet or from a book, your particular growing zone. If you live in an area where, for instance, you come into the ‘Hardiness Zone’, it will enable you to pick the type of plant that has the best chance of surviving in your type of climate.

Always put short and stocky plants in front of taller ones. Remember to check the expected height to know this information – do not decide by the height at purchase time. Remember that short and stocky plants are generally tougher and more resilient, so choose more of these.

Try to resist buying plants in bloom at the time of purchase. The ones that still have to bloom will probably be stronger for the transplant process. If you have more shady areas than you wish, think about drastically trimming a tree to get more sunlight onto certain patches. Remember that some plants like a lot of water, so group these together to make the watering less laborious for you.

There are many small accessories that will really make your yard stand out. Obviously a strategically placed bench -or chairs and small table- under a tree will look welcoming and relaxing. A small bridge can really enhance a yard, and you can use it as a focal point for a few reeds or grasses to give the impression of water. Or if you feel daring you can try digging your own long shaped pond. Instructions on this are easy to find in books or on the ‘net.

For cheap plants (in fact free ones!) buy a can of ‘rooting powder’ and offer to swap cuttings with your neighbors. It is not recommended to sneak out at midnight with your scissors in hand!!

Construction Logo – Are Low Costing Logos Too Good To Be True?

There are quite a few design firms on the internet which are claiming that they can design a professional looking construction logo for $ 200 or less. For many people, this would sound like a scam. Most are used to paying at least 5 times that amount to have a logo custom designed for them by a professional.

Is this claim for real or is this just a scam by designers who provide substandard designs to unsuspecting customers for a quick buck?

The Real Deal

The truth is there are professional designers who provide excellent designs for very low prices. However, there are those who unfortunately provide substandard designs for the same price. So the trick is to find those who are the real deal. We will touch on that later in the article.

How Can They Provide Design At Such Low Prices?

As the old saying goes 'Time Is Money'. What these designers have done is simply make the whole process – from start to end – much shorter. What they have done is save time on research and information gathering. There are no one hour phone calls to the clients to find out in-depth information about the company. And unlike design packages which cost $ 5000, those which cost $ 200 or less do not come with a logo manual once the project is completed.

Why Did They Do This?

It is a fundamental matter of demand and supply. Because of the growth of ecommerce, the market for quality logos minus a branding campaign grows along with it. Merchants of online stores wanted well designed and unique logos for their store at an affordable price.

Will The Design Quality Suffer?

The designs that these designers provide are of good quality. The designers may not have research the company in extreme detail before progressing with the design but any information provided is used to good effect. Designs are clean, in some cases very detail and look professional.

What Are The Signs Of Good Design Firms?

The more reputable design firms, more often than not, offer unlimited revisions. This is to ensure customers get what they want. However, in the event that they do not, many firms offer no-strings-attached money back guarantees. Money back guarantees are like a safety net so ensure that you pick a design firm which clearly states this in their design package.

What You Should Expect?

Do not be surprised to view your first concepts in less than 3 business days. Most these designers have been in the business for at least a decade and understand different industry design requirement. and can therefore conjure a viable design within that time mentioned. Expect to view at least 2 original concepts. When the project is completed, ensure you also get your logo in a vector format which will enable you to use your logo for printing purposes as well.

Cabo San Lucas Real Estate – Your Questions Answered – Part 3

East Cape Mexico Real Estate: Living In The Corridor

It's a compromise. A big one. It's miles of gated communities, golf courses, luxury resorts and wonderful beaches. People who buy homes or condos in the corridor participate the peace and relative security of living in gated enclaves. Same as some places back home in the States. Homeowners association rules keep out the local door-to-door peddlers, sound trucks advertising the circus, neighbors raising fighting cocks and other ambience destroyers.

I've lived in and out of these places. Personally, I kinda liked the hombre that would rattle our gate at our home in the barrio every so often to offer us fresh camarones or fish. Or on one day – a sack of live lobsters for four bucks a pound. "You come back every week," I told him, "the gate is always open for you amigo." If you like to VISIT Cabo a lot, but do not want to live in Cabo, then the corridor is a good compromise. Just remember, major grocery stores, and other necessities will be three to ten miles away in Cabo or San Jose. It's like living in the burbs without the halls – without much of anything. Just you and your neighbors, behind those big guarded gates, next to the ocean. Oh, yes – Costco and Home Depot are across the highway on the Cabo end.

Corridor Developments

Over the past several years and ongoing, developers have been putting in scores of townhouses on the land side of the corridor at prices starting in the low 200's and going up from there. They usually have a community pool and other amenities, and a view of Cabo Bay if you're lucky. Appreciation has been good – some doubling in value in two years. Some are safe investments, some are dicey – depending on the strength of the builder in general. One has to be circumspect when buying anything here. More so than say in California where more real estate disclosure is required. Title insurance is critical, so is working with knowledgeable professionals who will look out for your interests first – not the developers interests.

Established developments on the ocean side of the highway like Cabo Bello, Cabo del Sol and so on until you get all the way to San Jose are like gold. Some have private (by default behind gates) and semi-private beaches, beach clubs, and full resort amenities such as those found in Cabo de Sol or Palmilla.

Homes in these areas will range from around $ 500,000 USD up to ten or more million dollars. Prices are catching up to Southern California fast. How fast? Well, the new Puerto Los Cabos development on the East side of the San Jose estuary was selling ocean front building lots two years ago for 1.5 million dollars. They are now going for almost four million.

The limited number of ocean front lots in the El Dorado Country club (which went private last year) are going for twelve million dollars. But across the highway, and still with an ocean view (a half mile away) you can buy a town home with a community pool for under $ 200,000. This year …?

NEXT: Living in San Jose del Cabo

Tips When Seeking Your Automobile Extended Warranty

You may have heard that "research is critical" when it comes to purchasing an extended warranty for your automobile. Sometimes auto extended warranties are depicted in a negative light because of a few scam artists looking to capitalize off peoples' concern for their investments.

A recent Consumer Reports study recommended that people buy highly rated models only and that they invest in Money Market accounts to save for repairs, rather than invest in a warranty. However, if you tend to incur a good number of auto repair bills, if you plan on keeping your car more than three years and if you drive your car over the recommended 12,000 miles annually, then you are a good candidate for the extended warranty program .

Dealerships know that consumers trust them, by nature. An establishment that deals with billions of dollars in sales each year could not possibly rip you off over a technicality like the extended warranty, could they? Well, maybe they do not mean to rob you blind, but think of the dealership as a retail operation.

If you've ever worked in retail, whether it's clothing, furniture, consumer gadgets or automobiles, then you know that retailers mark up the cost of their items anywhere from 100% to 1,000% of the cost value! Now imagine how much extra you could be paying for your extended vehicle warranty. Do not be afraid to go directly to the source and purchase your warranty online from a trusted company like Warranty Direct.

Another factor to consider is auto warranty for "wear and tear." This type of warranty can be hard to find, since many only cover mechanical failure. However, you can definitely find extended warranty coverage that includes "wear and tear," thereby covering parts like the idler arm, piston rings, U joints, CV joints, wheel bearings, motor mounts, suspension bushings, tie rod ends, seals, gaskets and other engine parts that typically wear down and may or may not cause a mechanical breakdown.

If you have an anti-lock braking system, then you'll want to make sure your coverage extends to ABS and instances of overheating. The comprehensive website, carbuyingtips.com recommends Warranty Direct and Nation Warranty Corporation, which both include "wear and tear" in their plans.

The most important thing is that you do not feel rushed or hassled into securing the extended warranty for your car immediately. Most auto warranties allow you the option of buying later; yet of course, you should only delay as you research, rather than allowing enough time to elapse so your car is a liability. Like with health insurance, it's much harder to get coverage once problems arise.

As with anything, the extended auto warranty is a "buyer beware" scenario, but if you do some homework and understand your auto habits, then the couple of thousand you pay today can save you a small fortune tomorrow.