Growing your own vegetables is a wonderful thing. You get to choose which seeds to sow, spend time outside, put in some hard work and then reap the rewards all summer and fall. In spite of this, many new gardeners find themselves planting too much or too little of different vegetables.

There’s much appeal to going to the store to pick out seeds. It almost seems like magic: these little seed packets will turn into baskets full of food, all for just a few dollars. Follow these tips to learn how to grow what you want the first time around so you won’t find yourself begging neighbors to take all those extra zucchinis off your hands.

What do you like to eat?

Experimenting with new recipes is great. And so is the temptation when you see seed packets for an exotic vegetable you’ve never tried before. But before you dedicate a whole row of your garden to hybrid turnips, think about whether or not you’ll really eat all of that. Instead, plant the veggies you and your family love to eat consistently.

Before you start planting, think carefully about the amount of space you have in your garden (I usually draw a diagram and label the rows). This is going to involve some necessary research on your part. If you love summer squash, you may think you need a whole row. Squash plants, however, tend to creep outwards vigorously, producing a ton of fruit and also encroaching on other rows if you’re not careful.

Similarly, you may find that you simply don’t have enough room for some vegetables. We all love the first sweet corn of the season, but most of us don’t have enough room in our backyard gardens to feasibly grow corn.

Plan for next year

Once you’ve tilled the soil, planted the seeds, and taken care of your plants all spring, you may think the only thing left to do is harvest the vegetables. This is a crucial time, however, to think about next year. What did you have too much of? Too little? Did you find that some vegetables simply wouldn’t grow in your garden? (I tried twice, with little luck, to plant pole beans but found that they just didn’t like my soil.) Take note of these findings for next year. If one part of your garden receives more sunlight, try rotating crops to see if you get different results.

Don’t worry if your garden isn’t perfect the first time around. In fact, it’s best to just let go of that image of the perfect garden. Tending a garden isn’t another chore to cause stress in your life, it’s a simple and relaxing way to get outside more.

 

The housing market presents many opportunities for homebuyers. And after the right amount of research, you’re sure to find plenty of exceptional houses that suit you well.

But how do you know when you’re ready to submit an offer on a residence? Determining the “perfect” offer for a house is key, and if you feel comfortable with your proposal, you may be better equipped to receive a resounding “Yes” from a home seller.

Improve your chances of submitting the perfect offer on a residence – here are three tips that you can use to submit the right offer on a home:

1. Consider the Home Seller’s Perspective.

Of course, when you submit an offer, you likely want to make a proposal that fits your needs and budget. On the other hand, you must consider the home seller and ensure your offer represents a fair deal for both sides.

If you submit a “lowball” proposal, there’s a strong chance that a home seller will reject it immediately. Conversely, if you submit an above-average proposal, you may wind up paying a price that exceeds your budget.

To make the right offer, evaluate the home seller’s price as well as the price of similar homes in an area. By doing so, you’ll be better equipped to make an offer that corresponds to the current housing market.

Also, don’t be afraid to discuss your proposal options with your real estate agent, as this professional may be able to offer insights that you can use to boost your chances of getting a “Yes” from a home seller.

2. Prepare for Plan B.

Even if you consider your offer to be fair for both you and a home seller, there are no guarantees that a home seller will feel the same way. Thus, you need to be prepared to act quickly in the event that a home seller declines your offer.

If a home seller says “No” to your proposal, you can always submit another offer. Or, you may want to consider moving on and evaluating other homes that are available.

3. Be Realistic.

It is essential to feel comfortable with an offer you submit on a house. And the moment things start to make you feel anxious, you may want to reconsider your options.

For example, a home seller may counter your initial proposal, but you might lack the finances to meet this seller’s expectations.

In this scenario, you should be unafraid to walk away. That way, you can avoid the dangers associated with over-extending your budget, which could put you in a tough financial position down the line.

Remember, the perfect offer on a residence is one that fulfills the needs of both a homebuyer and home seller. If you feel uncomfortable with a home seller’s counter offer, you need to understand the situation and act accordingly.

Submitting the perfect offer can be tricky, especially if you’re dealing with a home seller who sets the bar high for his or her residence. Fortunately, your real estate agent can help you alleviate the stress commonly associated with making an offer and ensure you are fully supported throughout the homebuying process.

Work toward submitting the perfect offer on a home, and you can bolster your chances of a home seller accepting your proposal.

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