On Today's Episode
It's the Fourth of July Weekend and so we're looking at a couple things that are uniquely American! We'll be digging into some fun facts about the 4th as well as an architectural element of our homes that is distinctly American--the front porch. Do you have one? Do you use it? Whatever situation you're in, we've got some creative solutions so you can get out there and enjoy your summer.
We'll also be talking with realtors Sue Prins and Ginger Herman about the current state of the real estate market. Do we need to be worried about another housing market crash like 2008? Sue and Ginger have some positive (and calming) news....
There's a lot we know about the Fourth of July. BUT, even more importantly, there's a lot of fun/cool stuff we don't!
For example: did you know that a teenager designed the current American flag in 1958? Yep . . . he made room and added a couple stars . . . and there you go: history was made! His name was Robert G. Heft and you can learn more by clicking here.
Another interesting fact is that 3 Presidents, who had all signed the Declaration of Independence, died on July 4. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams (both on the same day), and James Monroe 5 years later.
Moving on . . . the 4th is all about Flag Etiquette (or should be), so we were surprised to find that snippets of the original Star Spangled Banner have been sold at auctions over the years. It somehow just feels wrong...
Finally, here's a couple last facts that aren't really so surprising . . . Americans spent over 1 billion dollars on fireworks every 4th and . . . also not surprising . . . over 45,000 people visit the emergency room on this same day every year!
We're all hearing some doom and gloom coming from the media about the real estate market. They're throwing around phrases like "bubble bursting" and "housing crash" and the always popular: "just like 2008."
Is that the case? Is that really where we're at or where we're heading? Sue Prins and Ginger Herman from Sue Prins Group Five-Star Real Estate Leaders don't think so. In fact, they believe there's a bit of a silver lining to everything that's going on right now.
Real Estate Professional
Front porches, whether you realize it or not, are distinctly American. They contain elements found in other cultures . . . but we've taken those concepts, melted them all together in our big melting pot, and produced a product as perfect as a fresh apple pie: the front porch.
Unfortunately, while front porches were a big part of life from the mid-1800's to just before World War II, they ended up kind of taking a back seat as indoor plumbing arrived. That moved the outhouse out of the back yard and made that area much less horrible to spend time in--as a result, those spaces became our go-to's for outdoor living. Also, air conditioning and TVs in every house brought people inside for even more time. And so the value and use of the front porch waned.
However, we think it needs to be brought back! Front porches create a vibe of leisure and community--spaces where we can relax and recharge . . . but still remain connected to neighbors and community. It's sad that this has faded from typical American life. And we're not the only ones who think so! Just check out the Professional Porch Sitters Union and consider forming your own chapter!
So, how do you get your front porch up to snuff so you can get out there and start enjoying those lazy summer evenings?
It all starts with a little decluttering. Don't let that space be a place for collecting all the things you don't know what to do with! So many front porches are stuffed from floor to ceiling with boxes, exercise bikes, crates and who-knows-what-else. If you don't use the space as a relaxing front porch, it's very likely you're using it as an extra closet. Problem is, this closet has a view to the outside. And it really detracts from the look of your home. So take the time to cut through the mess. It's tough, but donate, toss, and re-organize until you've got a space you can call relaxing.
OPEN THOSE WINDOWS!
If you've got an older home, there's a good chance the windows are painted shut. That makes the space almost impossible to spend time in. The good news is that opening them isn't complicated and you don't need tons of specialty tools. All you need is a box cutter, a putty knife, and a hammer. Check out this video that walks you through the whole thing! In a few hours, you could have your porch airing out with a fresh breeze....
IT'S TIME FOR FURNITURE
Once you've got the windows open and the clutter gone . . . you're starting to see the potential of the space. And at this point, what's clearly missing is furniture! Sure, you could set up some crates and call it good . . . but you want this to be a relaxing place, an inviting place . . . and for that, you need the good stuff: chairs.
Now, there is a lot of oversized outdoor furniture available and if your space (and budget) will allow it, you can kick back in style and comfort. However, not all of us have palatial porches to work with. If space is a limit for you . . . don't worry: you just need to get creative. Look for chairs without arm rests, with smaller foot prints and don't be afraid of going to a simple old standby: the wooden rocking chair.
Yes, comfort is key here, but I've got an old rocking chair in my living room and it's honestly the best seat in the house. So head to the thrift stores and give those old wooden rockers a sit. If they're solid and the right price, snatch them up--they'll be perfect on your porch.
And, if you're finding it difficult to locate two of the same style, don't worry. A little trick is to just paint them both the same color. Even if they're dissimilar, having the same color will unify the look while at the same time, allowing the natural differences to stand out as an interesting, eclectic "texture" on the porch. It's brilliant, simple, and effective! We can help with the right paints--just stop out at any RepcoLite or Port City Paints and we'll walk you through it.
Whew, that's a lot of info. And there's still a lot more to cover. Check out the podcast for all of that as well as a further discussion on painting your porch floors and ceilings as well as some important rules of thumb when it comes to plants and greens!