Ultimate Guide To Spring Cleaning

spring-cleaningIt’s that time of the year again. Start out on the right foot this spring and follow this list of how to clean both the inside and outside of your home.

Indoors

Shampoo the carpeting: The winter has taken a toll on your rugs (the kids still don’t know to take off their shoes when they traipse through the house!), and now’s a great time to give them a thorough cleaning. Buy or rent shampoo machine with hot-water extraction from a home improvement store to clean synthetic carpets and rugs with water-proof backings.

Clean your dryer vents: Did you know an estimated 2,900 clothes dryer fires happen each year in residential buildings, causing five deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss? That’s according to the U.S. Fire Administration. In addition, poor dryer venting and maintenance causes $100 million each year in damages. Clean out the lint trap on your dryer every few loads, don’t just wait till once a year. When spring rolls around, though, you can give your dryer a full cleaning to get off all the dust and dirt that has accumulated and do a thorough cleaning of the lint trap with a vacuum brush attachment. Bonus: removing dust, fiber and lint increases more efficient use of your appliance so you’re not spending as much in energy bills.

Wipe down walls: Using a gentle cleaning solution and warm water, wash down the walls and baseboards to remove excess dust and scuff marks. Pay extra attention to kitchen walls, where sprays and splatters from cooking are common.

Outside

Weeding: Apply a pre-emergent weed control spray to stop weeds before they sprout, recommends HGTV. Apply a post-emergent once you see them sprouting.

Prune shrubs and bushes: If you placed burlap over your bushes this winter, remove them now. It’s time to prune the branches back now so they look well-manicured this spring. If you don’t prune, new growth won’t be encouraged to sprout throughout the season. In the garden area, trim back any perennials and remove annuals that you may have neglected in the fall, advises This Old House.

Inspect the roof: Rather than risk life and limb climbing up there, grab a pair of binoculars to check out the state of the roof. Focus on the shingles to see if any are missing, curling or buckling. Is the flashing damaged or rusted in any way? Are vents and soffits damaged? Is there any staining on the roof from bird droppings, sap, mold or mildew? Have your roof power washed and call a roofer for a professional inspection if you see signs of wear and tear.

Spring is on its way: you want to be prepared!

Celebrate Spring at the Morris Arboretum

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How does your garden grow?  Find out how to make it flourish at Morris Arboretum’s Arbor Day Family Day on Saturday, April 23 from 11am-3pm.  Explore their beautiful gardens and expand your plant knowledge.  At different stations throughout the Arboretum visitors can learn about surprising gardens, hardy plants for our area, and create a seed experiment to take home. Other demonstrations located in the Upper Gallery from 11am-2pm.

The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is located at 100 East Northwestern Avenue in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia.  The 92-acre horticulture display garden features a spectacular collection of mature trees in a beautiful and colorful landscape. The Arboretum includes numerous picturesque spots such as a formal rose garden, historic water features, a swan pond, and the only remaining freestanding fernery in North America. The arboretum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also the official arboretum of Pennsylvania. A permanent nationally award winning exhibit, Out on a Limb – a Tree Adventure adds to Morris Arboretum’s allure by transporting visitors 50 feet up into the treetops on a canopy walk that requires no climbing.  Open weekdays 10am-4pm and weekends 10am-5pm (Apr-Oct).  Open late on Wednesdays in June, July, and August until 8:00pm.  For more information, visit www.morrisarboretum.org.

Quakertown Farmers Market

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The Quakertown Farmers Market and Flea Market is a shopping tradition you won’t want to miss. You’ll get farm fresh foods, hidden treasures, and that old fashioned feeling. They’ve got hundreds of unique vendors… You never know what you might find!!

Hours: Friday and Saturday, 9AM to 9PM, Sunday 10AM to 5PM

To see the vendors, get directions and plan your trip click here!

Head to XFINITY Live! this Saturday, April 23rd for SpringFest

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XFINITY Live is holding their annual Craft Beer and Live Music Festival. Grab your friends and listen to live bands all day with unlimited samplings of 150+ great beers (including spring and early summer brews).
Enjoy the music, contests, games, food trucks & much more!

FREE parking is available in Lots S & T near Citizens Bank Park.

VIP entry at 2pm. GA entry at 3pm.
Event held at XFINITY Live! Philadelphia.

More Info

Buying vs. Renting: The Pros and Cons

Home for Rent

Many people in this country have a “renting mentality” that renting an apartment is cheaper and therefore better than buying your own home. However, the costs of renting are going up exponentially, and in many areas can be as much as a monthly mortgage on a home. In fact, the NY Times reports that in order for rent and utilities to be considered affordable, they should take up no more than 30 percent of a household’s income; however, that is becoming harder and harder for middle-income families in this tightening market that’s pushing up rent costs.

Let’s take a look at the financial benefits of buying vs. renting. When will you be ready to buy a house?

Renting

Pros

  • No maintenance required, as the landlord takes care of broken appliances, exterior maintenance, etc.
  • Less commitment: It’s easier to relocate for business or a short-term stay when you’re on a month-to-month lease.
  • Avoid depreciating assets

Cons

  • Rent payments can increase at the end of the lease agreement.
  • Can’t build equity like you can in a home.
  • Don’t get tax benefits.
  • No control over living space: Can’t make major décor or renovation changes without approval from landlord.

Buying

Pros

  • You can build equity: a good thing since homes typically rise in value from four to six percent each year.
  • Take advantage of tax breaks for homeowners, deducting your mortgage interest payments and property taxes.
  • Mortgage payments remain stable over the term of the loan, provided you have a fixed-rate mortgage.
  • Your home is an investment that you can rent out and receive income for.
  • You become part of a community that you’re invested in, getting to know your neighbors, participating in community events and building roots for your children’s future.
  • You can make any décor and renovation changes you want. Even if you belong to a homeowner’s association, those organizations generally dictate how the exterior can look, not the inside, so you still have freedom.

Cons

  • You have to do and pay for your own maintenance, such as landscaping, plowing, appliance fixes and window replacement.
  • A home is not very liquid, meaning if you had to sell it quickly due to a divorce or job relocation, you may take a loss on it or you may not be able to sell it in time.
  • You have to pay property taxes, which can go up year to year.
  • While it usually does increase in value over time, this isn’t a guarantee. Your home can lose value over the years, especially in times of volatility.
  • You must invest at least some cash in your home as a down payment, along with cash for closing costs that you won’t have available for other investments.
  • You need to pay for homeowner’s insurance, whereas renter’s insurance is not always a requirement.

If buying a home is right for you, give Judd Builders a call today to get started on the home of your dreams!

Explore Beautiful Bucks County Trails

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Go for a walk or bring your bike to explore these beautiful trails and parks located near Judd Communities like Poet’s Walk and Renaissance at Morgan Creek. Pick your favorite from the list below (and click the links for directions)

Trexler Memorial Park
This park provides a green haven for Allentown city dwellers. Enjoy the network of paved trails totaling about three mile passes along Cedar Creek.

Nockamixon State Park
The 5,286-acre Nockamixon State Park is in the rolling hills of scenic Bucks County, close enough to Philadelphia for a day trip, but far enough away for a vacation. Tohickon Creek, Three Mile Run and Haycock Run feed the 1,450-acre Lake Nockamixon, which is a rest stop for migrating waterfowl and a destination for boaters and anglers. Visitors can stay the night in a cabin or enjoy the many activities of the park for the day. Popular activities are picnicking, visiting the pool, hiking, biking, fishing and boating.

Mariton Wildlife Sanctuary
The 200-acre Mariton Wildlife Sanctuary and Wilderness Trust is perched on the steep slopes of Bougher Hill overlooking the scenic Delaware River. Hiking trails lead visitors through a variety of forest types and meadow areas that are home to abundant wildflowers and wildlife.

Ralph Stover State Park
45-acres of woods bisected by Tohickon Creek, offering rock-climbing, boating, hiking & fishing.

Celebrate Spring by Exploring Some of South Philly’s Finest Outdoor Spaces!

 

FDR Park – 1500 Pattinson Ave. Philadelphia PA 19145. Featuring a golf course, sports fields, fishing lakes & the American Swedish Museum.

Marconi Plaza – Oregon Ave & Broad St. Take in the beautiful greenery, public art and architecture.

Girard ParkS 21st St & W Shunk St, Philadelphia, PA 19145. It’s pretty hard to imagine that South Philadelphia once consisted of rich, fertile farmland, but such was the case in the waning days of the 18th century, when Stephen Girard established his 580 acre farm in the area that is today’s 21st and Shunk Streets. The house still stands in a lovely park that bears his name, surrounded by gorgeous, giant trees and quirky, splotchy grass. Great spot for a bike ride.

Events at the Keswick Theatre

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Want to do something different this month? Check out the upcoming events at The Keswick Theatre, located just down the road in Glenside, PA. Their calendar offers a wide variety of events, from concerts and stand-up comedy, to kid-friendly shows like “Seussical”.

Check out their calendar and get directions: http://www.keswicktheatre.com

Popular Art Events & Exhibitions This Spring

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Explore the exceptional art events and exhibitions that Philadelphia has to offer this spring! From graffiti to pop culture art to wooden masterpieces, Philly has it all. See which exhibits you want to visit before they close:

1. International Pop Exhibition offers bold, colorful and thought-provoking images representing all of the social, political and cultural changes from 1956 to 1972. At the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the exhibit displays 150 works such as paintings, sculptures, prints, collages, film and more! Artists from 20 different countries are highlighted and an interesting look into history. Located at Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway and open until May 15th this year.

2. Black Matter takes street art off the streets and puts it on display for everyone to see at all together. NYC graffiti artist EKG returns Philadelphia for an indoor show of his work. Located at WP Gallery, 1611 Walnut Street and available until April 30th this year.

3. Chromarrhythmia displays the amazing wood painted surfaces of artist Michele C Kishita. Her motivation comes from nature to bring the palettes to life with color and patterns. Located at Central Tattoo Studio, 171 W. Girard Avenue and open until May 29th this year.

These amazing exhibits are close to the Judd Builders’ community, Siena Place, to do something different with family and friends! There is nothing ordinary about these displays and you will be wowed by their beauty and creativity. 

Join Us at The Reading Spring Craft Fair!

Souvenir ceramic bells and toy houses at the market, local national craft of Ukraine

On May 7th, visit the 9th annual Spring Craft Fair at Leeport Market! Browse the art and handcrafted items of over 300 local and regional craftsmen. It will take place from 9 am to 3 pm indoors with open air displays, plenty of refreshments and free admission and parking. Address: 312 Gernants Church Road, Leesport, PA19533 United States. 

Near Judd Builders’ communities Brookshire and Meadow View Farms, it’s the perfect way to spend your day with family and friends! The fair has so much to offer for you to take home and if not, it’s fun to walk around and look at all of the unique crafts.