Easy Home Decorating Tips to Welcome Spring in Style

The new year is in full swing and the long winter is beginning to thaw around the edges. It’s time to propel your home into the next season, too! Just by switching out some old things and bringing in the new, you can use these home decorating tips to get your home blooming for spring:


Living room decorating ideas

  • Brighten up your neutral sofa by adding some colorful pillows or buying couch covers in bold statement fabrics.
  • Change out heavy or dark draperies with something sheer and lightweight.
  • Rearrange the furniture; try shifting the focus away from the fireplace and make a large window or a piece of artwork your new focal point.

Bedroom decorating ideas

  • Swap out your duvet cover and bed linens for ones in bright new colors.
  • Spray your clean sheets with a floral-scented linen spray; the aroma is relaxing and reminiscent of a spring garden.
  • Switch out the dark frames around your family photos with white or lightly colored ones. Choosing a single shade will unify your group of photos.

Dining room decorating ideas

  • Give your table a facelift by adding some colorful placemats or dishware.
  • Hang a large mirror on the wall—it will instantly spread light to brighten up the room and make it appear larger.
  • Keep spring alive all season by keeping fresh flowers on the table and by decorating with anything that makes you think of spring: leaves, painted birdcages, dragonflies, etc.

Want even more ideas? Stop by our Lake Linganore community and walk through our beautiful model home.

Are you Ready to go from Renter to Homeowner?

The time is now! Have you been drawing an interest to local real estate lately, but feel hesitant to make the leap from renter to homeowner? Take advantage of interest rates while they are still low!

Here are some signs that may indicate that you are more ready than you think-

  1. You have a secure job. You’re getting good feedback and reviews from co-workers. Your employer is in a solid position and may even be growing. If you like your job and  see your future there, you have the job security that’s important when making a mortgage commitment.
  2. Your credit is good. A good FICO score is considered to be 700 or higher. However, you can get a loan with a lower credit score, as long as your debt-to-income ratio is within an acceptable range. The higher your credit score, the better you will do in terms of how much you can borrow and at what rate. Talk to a lender about a mortgage pre-approval. A lender can also give you suggestions on how to raise your credit score to help your qualification.
  3. You’ve been paying your rent on time for years. Making a monthly payment on time shows that you are responsible. This also shows that you’r used to committing a sizable sum each month to your living expenses. Your monthly mortgage payment could be less each month than your rent. This should give you confidence that you can handle it.
  4. You know what you want in a Home. You’re becoming more aware of home designs and exploring local neighborhoods. You’re starting to envision yourself as a homeowner instead of seeing it as a distant reality. You’re excited to get rid of roommates (or parents) and that excites you.

You’ll never know if you’re ready to buy a home if you don’t make the move!

Bring on the Blossoms

TOP TEN Picks for Flowering Shrubs

Start the season with a beautiful display of spring-flowering shrubs. Flowering Shrubs not only bring beautiful blossoms to your garden in the spring, but they carry on giving well into the Fall season and beyond. Blossoming shrubs offer the full package: attractive foliage, garden structure, and beautiful blooms draw you in without needing a lot of maintenance in return. Here are ten choices with outstanding spring and summer blooms.

1. Rhododendron: These flowers have long been mainstays of late spring because of their spectacular clusters of showy blooms, plus their large green leaves that often stay green throughout winter.  Tubular, or bell-shaped flowers- and often fragrant. These shrubs prefer climates with adequate rainfall and moist summers.

2. Rose: America’s official Floral Emblem comes in many forms, sizes and flower colors, with some being very disease-resistant as well. Selections can be found to grow in almost every climate!

3. Hydrangea: With their cotton candy-colored blooms and ability to take the shade, hydrangeas are one of the most beautiful summer-flowering shrubs. Hydrangeas, which come in types that can flourish in sun or shade, offer huge bouquets of clustered flowers, in various arrangements from mop-head to lacecap from summer through fall.

4. Forsythia: The forsythia is a fast-growing, hardy shrub that blooms early—providing a sunny sight before the rest of the landscape greens up. Forsythias make an excellent choice for those wanting a fast-growing flowering hedge.

5. Flowering Quine: Flowering quince is often the first shrub to bloom in early spring, with its apple-blossom-like flowers that attract hummingbirds standing out among bare branches like a beacon of the season.

6. Bridal Wreath Spiraea: In full bloom a bridal wreath spirea looks like a fountain, pouring clusters of white flowers all the way down its arching canes in spring, often before the leaves appear. When cut, those canes can easily be shaped into bridal headdresses, explaining their name.

7. Common Lilac: With a delicious, heady fragrance that attracts birds and butterflies, and abundant panicles of white or purple flowers, lilacs are one of the most popular flowering shrubs for good reason. Size varies by variety, but most are upright-growing to at least 10 feet tall by 6 feet wide.

8. Deutzia: Tiny but powerful white or pink blossoms light up the spring. They are used as garden shrubs, and the smaller varieties can be grown as ground covers or in containers. You’ll plant it for spring blooms, but will be thrilled by its red fall color.

9. Weigela: This old-fashioned shrub has attracted new fans in recent years with recent breeding of unusual leaf colors or variegation. Trumpet-shape spring blooms, usually in some shade of pink, white, or red, just add to the excitement.

10. Viburnum: These shrubs are diverse in shape and foliage, but all have something special to contribute to the landscape, whether with awesome autumn color, fragrant blooms, or clusters of colorful fruits that beckon flocks of overwintering birds.





3 Winter Home Building Myths

As temperatures drop and snow fills our forecasts, Ryan Legacy Builders thought it would be a great time to discuss building a home during winter months. We wanted to break 3 popular myths about constructing a new home during the winter. With new technology and building methods, there are actually quite a few perks to building a new home at this time!

  • Myth #1: “Winter Projects Take Much Longer.”  A blizzard will certainly stop progress on home building, but outdoor crews often work through light snow flurries. No matter what time of year a construction project starts, there are always going to be weather-related obstacles. A construction worker’s productivity will not be hindered by cold weather any more than extreme heat and harsh conditions that come with summertime. Exterior work can be done on a new home when temperatures are in the 30’s and high 20’s as long as there is no ice. Interior work can be done as long as the house is sheeted with vapor barrier, and temporary heaters are kept running.
  • Myth #2: “Concrete Poured During Cold Weather Will Be Weaker.” In order to combat the slower curing times for concrete in the winter, additives such as calcium chloride are added to the concrete mix. Concrete with additives compared to concrete without additives shows no significant differences in strength when both are fully cured. Concrete walls with additives in the mixture must, and do, meet building code requirements.
  • Myth #3: “Framing Wood is Compromised By Snow.” It is true that, in a perfect world, every day in the framing stage would be 72 degrees and sunny with low humidity but we rarely are fortunate enough for that to be the case. Since inclement weather is more likely than not to occur, the lumber industry has and continues to develop procedures that are used in the milling process that inhibit the deleterious effects of poor weather. Framing lumber is kiln dried and delivered to the job site at 19 % moisture content. This is the case throughout the entire year and it is when ambient humidity becomes a factor. Snow has no adverse effects on lumber as long as it is removed before melting.

Although challenges may come up, a high-quality home will be constructed no matter what time of year. Building in the winter means your home will be ready in the spring. Relocating in the spring and early summer is much easier on a family especially when switching school systems. Children can have the entire summer to meet new friends in the area before starting in a new school in the fall.




10 Tips for a GREAT Lawn!


Do you dream of a lush, green lawn? 

Do you want your home to have beautiful curb appeal, but don’t know how to get there?  It’s easier said than done- especially when starting from scratch as a new homeowner! We have put together a few key tips to help, but remember, it does take time!

  1. Water Deeply and Less Often. Watering your lawn frequently for short periods of time teaches your grass to have a shallow root system. This is NOT what you want. This makes it easier for weeds to emerge and also makes the grass more susceptible to disease. To prevent this, you should water less for longer periods of time.  This will help your lawn stay green 🙂
  2. Water in the Morning. The best time to water your lawn is the early morning because the sun will help dry the grass. Nighttime watering can result in prolonged moisture on the blades, which can cause some diseases.
  3. Aerate in the Spring & Fall. Aerating is extremely beneficial for your lawn. It gives your lawn’s roots room to grow, and allows water and nutrients to penetrate your soil.
  4. Feed Your Lawn. Nitrogen is the most important nutrient for your lawn. Look for a mix of fast and slow release fertilizers that will green up your lawn quickly, and feed it over time. Feed in the Spring and Fall.
  5. Make Sure Mower Blades are Sharp. A dull blade tears the grass, resulting in a ragged edge that makes the lawn look grayish brown. Sharpen or replace the mower blade when it shows signs of wear – or at least once a mowing season.
  6. Mow when Grass is Dry. When grass is wet it is difficult to cut and can easily clog the deck of your mower. Wet clumps can be compacted on the surface of the lawn, causing water and oxygen to be cut off to these areas.
  7. Mow at a High Height. Mowing your lawn too short may seem like a time saver, but this can damage your grass as well as allow weeds to set root. A healthy height is around 3″. Keeping your lawn a bit taller results in healthier grass. Never cut off more than a third of the grass blade.
  8. Prevent Weeds before they come up. Stop weeds from gaining a roothold in your lawn before they even germinate by using a pre-emergent herbicide. Use a pre-emergent early in the Spring.
  9. Reseed Sparse Areas. If your lawn is a little thin in some areas, you can seed over the area to help grass growth. Fall is the ideal time to reseed.
  10. Alternate Mowing Patterns. Mowing your grass in the same pattern all of the time will cause the grass to only lay in one direction caused by compacted ruts from your mower. To prevent this, mow in different directions and change your pattern. This will lead to a better looking, more even lawn.