Archives for the month of: May2015


We know how it goes. You move into your new home – and there’s a million and one things that need to be done. If you’re like most people, you’ll start with what’s right before your eyes: the inside of your home. Furniture, window coverings, paint colors and interior decor. It’s a lot to do, we know. And just when you’ve got everything the way you want it and can stop to sit back and admire it . . . you see it. Right there – outside the window. And that’s when so many homes hear that plaintive cry: “Honey, what are we going to do about the landscaping?!”

Creature comforts being what they are, you may have gone a little bit overboard with your home’s interior (at least, that’s what your budget may be telling you). But that’s okay – because adding new – or redesigning your existing – home landscaping is one of those things you can plan to do in phases. And even better, there’s plenty of budget-friendly ways to tackle making the outside of your home look as inviting as the inside. Here’s just a few tips we’ve gathered together to get your imagination stirred.

1. Plan & Prioritize Your Outdoor Space.

Before you head out there to spread a bunch of grass seed (or in the case of Las Vegas, artificial sod) – spend some time thinking about how you really plan to use your yard. Do you have pets – and will you want them in a separate area? Is there a patio cover or gazebo in your future that you want to use for entertaining? Sometimes, making the right use of your space is simply a matter of repositioning your existing outdoor furniture or accessories. Or adding a small tool shed to collect and keep all the outdoor toys out of site (but still easily accessible). However, if you are going to want to add some larger elements (such as concrete, fencing, or large living elements in certain areas) – prioritize them. That way – you’ll be able to make progress in smaller steps, as your time and finances allow.

2. Consider Alternative Resources.

For many people, “landscaping” means to either hire an expensive planner or gardener, or head down to the nearest home improvement store or nursery to load up the pallets with items at retail prices. That’s great for you – because you think outside the box! Instead of making a bee-line for those places, head to your local rock quarry to see what options are available to you for only a few dollars a ton that will take care of your hard surface groundcover needs. Or better yet, keep your eyes peeled for demolition sites – because broken concrete can also be an inexpensive alternative that serves the same purpose. Here in Las Vegas, well – it’s a rocky place. And that means lots of opportunity to seek sources for large, native rocks. (There’s no shortage of development in town any longer . . . so find those places who are trying to remove those big rocks from their construction sites and play Let’s Make A Deal!) If you want to add definition to the design, pick up some affordable bender boards and stakes from a garden supply store to create pathways and/or contained areas of rock.

3. Go Native.

There are few things worse than falling in love with the look of a tree or plant first, planting it, and trying to nurse it through an environment that it’s not prepared to survive in. Even if you know nothing about what growth zone you live in or what the local native plants are – you can learn a lot just by ‘window shopping’ at local nurseries. (Read the tags – you’d be amazed how informative they are!). One more way to find out what’s going to thrive in your area? Visit The Arbor Day Foundation online. ( Not only is there a wealth of information to be had – but when you sign up for membership, you’ll also receive 10 free trees that are meant to grow in your Zone. (We’ll admit, they’re not big trees – but hey, free is free – and these are the people who know trees better than anyone!)

4. Start Your “Green” With The Trees.

Because it’s around the trees that the rest of your landscaping will take shape. And if they’re your first investment, you can opt to buy and plant smaller trees that will just keep growing and adding interest to your landscaping – all while you’re taking your time getting all the other elements in place. It’s better to spend money on a small, quality tree – because in a few short years (in Las Vegas, make that a very few short years, thanks to our long growing season) you probably won’t be able to tell the difference in size (and you won’t have to kick yourself because your neighbor spent half the money on a tree that’s now the same size as yours!).

5. Groundcover Plants. (also known as: It Doesn’t All Have To Be Rock And Lawn Mowers.)

Groundcovers. Ahhhh…..those lovely little inexpensive groupings you see in vast expanses on commercial grounds or residential common areas. They can be planted sparsely in your yard, and grow quickly into beautiful rows or sections of color. (They’re also really great at helping you deal with dead spots in your yard.) Many require little to no maintenance (yaaay!) – and the available varieties give you an amazing number of options, colors, heights and textures from which to choose.

6. Remember This Word: Perennials.

Those sweet flats of colorful annuals you see when you head to the store (pretty much any store during the season) are sure bright and enticing, aren’t they? But “annuals” mean just that. You’ll have to replace them every year – and that is definitely not kind to your budget. Perennials, on the other hand, will amaze you with their longevity – and are great reminders of the cycle of life itself. As they go through their growth, blooming and dormant seasons, not only will they continue to get larger and more beautiful each year – it’s like having an unexpected surprise greet you at the door (and you didn’t have to do much to make it happen).

7. Know Someone Who Loves To Garden?

If you have a friend with a passion for gardening, it’s like having the holy grail on speed-dial. Because they love to share both their ‘green children’ and their knowledge – which will help you not only learn what living elements you want in your yard and where to plant them, but these friends will often divide some of their most beautiful successes for you to replant in your own yard. (It’s okay – you can start mentally tabulating all the money you’re NOT spending at the nursery now!)

8. Pinterest.

Need we say more?

Most important to remember is that you’re creating an outdoor haven for you and your family. Maybe it’s time to re-think what we’ve always done before in a back yard. Switch things up, plan it for your enjoyment – both visual and physical. Only a few minutes a day of looking at something natural and green has been proven to make a huge difference in our mental well-being. At the end of the day, you want your landscaping to be refreshing to your eyes. So we recommend you read, listen, learn – and then follow your heart.

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with their Las Vegas real estate needs. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!


Summer has arrived, and with it all the desire to ramp up our outdoor socializing. What better way to do that than with an event centered around your own backyard BBQ? With Memorial Day and the 4th of July fast approaching, it’s time for family and friends to gather, kick back, and catch up with everyone’s goings-on these past few months. And that’s all the more reason that this is the perfect time to perform your ‘Gas BBQ Due Diligence” checkup (hey, we’re Realtors, after all!) – as the last thing you want are safety concerns, or (gack!) last season’s flavors mucking up the taste of this summer’s new grilling creations.

So we’ve gathered together a few tips for you to get your BBQ on the straight and narrow to make sure that your great char-broiled dishes are always the star of the show.

1. Safety First.

You can easily check that the connections of your gas line are sealed and secure by mixing a small amount of dishwashing liquid with water in a spray bottle. (Remember how they check your tires for leaks at the mechanic’s shop? Same concept.) With the hose from the BBQ connected to the fuel supply (propane tank or gas line) – spray the hose and connections, then turn on the gas. If bubbles begin to appear, a repair is needed. Either replace the hose or tighten any loose connections.

2. Safety Second.

Really – can you be too safe? We don’t think so. If you turn on the grill and your flame is yellow instead of blue, you could have some clogged air inlets or obstructions in the tubes or lines that feed your BBQ’s flame. It’s not uncommon for spiders and small insects to build nests in these areas, which can cause blockages and make grills difficult to ignite – plus make the flame uneven and dangerous. (We doubt it does a whole lot of good for the insects, either.) Find the obstructions and clear them with a pipe cleaner or similar tool. Then, to coin a phrase – Lather, Rinse, Repeat. Test your flame. Then keep testing it until it is steady and blue.

3. Get Rid of the “Old Stuff.”

It’s not our favorite thing to do, either, but there’s no getting around it. It’s time to clean those grates! Just don’t use soap on that fabulous culinary device (nothing like a Dawn-flavored steak. blech!). Instead, start by loosening the caked-on grime by soaking them in a pan filled with a mixture of water and white vinegar. Afterwards, this is where the elbow grease comes in. (There’s a reason they’ve got all those stiff brushes at Home Depot and Lowe’s for this purpose, because that’s what’s needed for a job this tough!) For porcelain-coated grates, you’ll want to use a nylon brush; for others, a stiff wire model will do the job well.

4. Get Ready for the Next Great BBQ! (isn’t that a reality show?)

Okay – the fuel source is secure, the grills are clean – and you’re about ready to whip out that BBQ apron you just had to have, along your gold-plated BBQ tongs. (Okay – maybe that last part is just us.) But if you’re a BBQ Master, you’ve got the tools and you’re ready to go . . . after one last step: Oil those grates. Create some ‘pads’ out of a few folded paper towels, dip them into a bowl of neutral-flavored oil (like Canola) – then drag the pads across your heated grates. Your next awesome meal off the grill will thank you.

We’re not even going to get into the “my-BBQ-recipe-is-better-than-yours’ debate. (We can’t afford to pay off the judges this month.) But just a few more tips about – did we mention it before? – Safety, while operating your grill:

• Place the grill at least 10 feet away from your home.

• Keep children at a safe distance from the grill (and make sure your lighter is secure, too!).

• Never light a BBQ inside – even in a garage with the door open. Not only is it a fire hazard, but it can also cause high levels of carbon monoxide in a short period of time.

• Open the grill lid before you light it.

• Never leave a grill unattended.

• For blowing sparks, keep a hose or have a fire extinguisher handy.

• For a grease fire, know where your baking soda is – because that’s what you’ll need to put out the flames (not water!).

Give us a shout when you’ve got all of your pre-BBQ preparation done – and let us know when the next party starts – because all of us at New Home Resource are true BBQ fans, too!

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with their Las Vegas real estate needs. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!


The stats are really quite simple.

  • On average, homebuyers with median income who purchase the typical home spend 15.3% of their income on their monthly house payment.
  • In contrast, renters spend 29.9% of their monthly income on rent.

(Data source: Zillow, 12/9/14 article.)

Those are pretty impressive numbers, or make that ‘distressing’ if you’re renting. Given the economic turmoil of recent years, many people may be under the misconception that they’ll “never be able to own a home again.” But that’s not necessarily the case. Many mortgage brokers now have access to financing programs that give buyers that second chance they need (Premier Mortgage Lending is one, with a private lending division that specializes in “Another Chance” for Nevada homebuyers.)

And even though home ownership may not happen for everyone right now, it’s worth a phone call to find out the answer to the question: “If not now, when?” Your real estate agent and the right mortgage lender can give you advice on how to begin organizing your finances so that you’ll be able to qualify for a home sooner, rather than later.

Perhaps the hardest part is not knowing. So arm yourself with knowledge. While we are all thankful simply to have a roof over our heads – there’s nothing as emotionally uplifting or confidence-inspiring like walking into the door of your very own home. That place where you can hammer a nail in the wall. Paint the colors you want. And for some, simply not have to get ‘approval’ to have your own pet is reason enough.

Las Vegas – and America – is bouncing back. Don’t give up on your home ownership dream. Just make it happen.

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with their Las Vegas real estate needs. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!

When it comes to selling your home, there are certain rules that are pretty hard and fast, regardless of the state of the real estate market you’re selling in. In a difficult market, even more creativity may be necessary so that your home stands out from the crowd and has a better-than-even shot at finding a buyer. But before you get to those bells and whistles, make sure this vital checklist of items is marked as “Done!”

1. That “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) Sign is Not Your Friend.

Numbers don’t lie. Those who sell homes without the aid of a real estate professional find their homes on the market longer, and get a lower price – than those who have representation. From digital and print exposure to signage and industry networking, most FSBO sellers don’t have access to even a small percentage of these tools. They make a difference in your bottom line.

2. Set the Right Price.

And by this, we mean don’t overprice, and don’t underprice, either. A professional understands the market and can gather information of what comparable homes are selling for. You want everything you can get for your home, right?

3. Repairs.

Some might think waiting to do repairs ‘until the buyer’s walk-through’ is the smart way to go. Maybe they think they’ll save a few dollars if certain things aren’t ‘noticed.’ Wrong. Prospective buyers who view your home see it all . . . and often even more than you do. When they’re comparing your home to the many others they are considering, that puts you at the bottom of the list. Unless someone is looking for a fixer-upper (and for that, they’ll expect a discount on your price) – make those repairs BEFORE you start showing. You know the saying, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.

4. Straighten Up!

Buyers also look at lots of new home models before they purchase – whether they’re considering buying there, or simply want decorating tips for the home they do buy. They’re used to seeing homes in clean, uncluttered condition, nicely presented and not crowded with “stuff.” Even if you need to rent a storage space to place extra furniture or boxed belongings, it will be worth it when you reap the reward of the best sales price.

5. Vacant Homes – Big Mistake.

Your job may have called you away sooner than you planned and you had to move out before you could sell. But when buyers view vacant homes, its emptiness gives the impression of ‘abandonment’ – and all the bad images that conjures up in maintenance neglect and more. A small investment to use a local staging company (that dresses up your home with furniture and accessories) will pay for itself in a faster sale.

6. It’s Not Personal – It’s Just Business.

Another excellent reason to have a real estate professional manage your transaction. Your home is personal to you (as it should be) – and it’s easy to let ego get in the way of a win-win transaction for both parties.

7. Disclose, Disclose, Disclose.

It’s a simple document (Real Estate Disclosure) that asks all the right questions – so that you can answer honestly about the condition and your knowledge of the workings in your home. Don’t give your potential buyers any reason to question your integrity, or worse yet, discover imperfections after they purchase. (Lawsuit, anyone?)

8. Timing.

When it comes to real estate, timing really CAN be everything. Your personal financial situation may require closing escrow by a certain date to save yourself thousands in extra taxes. Make sure you know where you stand by speaking with your accountant beforehand, and build those deadlines into your sales contract.

9. Know the Costs.

This one is simple – if you just read your documentation and ask your real estate agent questions about any numbers you don’t understand. Request a copy of your closing costs statement prior to escrow recording so there’s no financial surprises at the last minute.

10. Photos Can Make Your Home.

More than 90% of all homebuyers begin their search online – so that’s the very first place your home will be seen. Amateur photos taken with a smartphone or digital pad aren’t going to show off your home’s best side. Your real estate agent will make sure that top-quality images are taken and used to market your home in all their coordinated online sales efforts.

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with their Las Vegas real estate needs. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!