How to Care for a Freshly Cut Christmas Tree

December 2nd, 2016

Artificial trees may have increased in popularity, but for the purist, only a real tree will do. No matter how realistic it looks, an artificial tree can’t compete with the scent and feel of a real evergreen. It’s a living part of nature that, for a short time, we give a place of honor in our homes.

And no matter which kind of tree it is — spruce, fir, pine or cypress — once it’s indoors, the goal is to keep the tree fresh and green. This means keeping the needles pliable and on the tree until the holidays are over. And the only thing that does that is water, lots of it. Think of it like a big, green pet: Just as a dog or cat needs fresh water every day, so does a fresh Christmas tree. Here are some tips on how to care for a freshly cut Christmas tree.

Get the tree in water immediately. Once you get your tree home, put it into water as soon as possible, within eight hours. If the trunk wasn’t freshly cut at the place where you bought the tree, then saw an inch or two off the bottom of the trunk and put it in a tree stand filled with fresh water. If you’re not ready to set it up, put it in a bucket of water in a cool place. The water temperature doesn’t matter.

Use the right stand. It should comfortably fit the diameter of the trunk. Whittling the trunk down will only dry the tree out faster. The National Christmas Tree Association recommends that a tree stand should provide 1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter. Be sure the tree stand you choose has a large water reservoir. A tree can take up a gallon of water in its first few hours in the stand.

Water, water, water. Big trees mean lots of agua. Watch that the cut part of the trunk stays below the waterline. Adding aspirin, lemon soda or other concoctions to the water won’t extend the tree’s life, but it might sicken pets or children if they drink out of the water reservoir.

Once indoors, a live tree’s branches will relax and open. Allow enough space when siting the tree for the lowest branches to fall open and not get in the way of foot traffic.

Keep the tree cool. To an evergreen that spent years growing in a field, your house is as dry as the Sahara Desert. And where do Christmas trees often look best? Centered in front of windows, where the sun streams in, or tucked into a corner near air vents or baseboard heaters.

Position the tree out of the sun and away from heat sources. Keep the temperature in the room as low as is practical.

As magical as it seems to come home to a sparkling tree, don’t leave the tree’s lights on overnight or when no one’s in the house.

Even with daily watering, cut trees will eventually dry out. When needles drop when you touch them, and branches droop so low that ornaments are hitting the floor, it’s time to take off the lights and decorations, wrap the tree in an old sheet, and take it outside.

You can saw off some of the tree’s branches and cover garden beds with them to protect plants, or turn them into mulch with a chipper or shredder. If you have the acreage, drag the tree to an out-of-the-way spot for birds and animals to use as cover. Most communities now collect spent Christmas trees and make mulch or compost from them, which they offer back to residents. The saddest end for a tree is for it to be hauled off to a landfill, instead of being turned back into soil — allowed to decompose and feed living creatures, the way nature intended.

Chattanooga Weekend Top Five: Dec 2-4

December 2nd, 2016

chattanooga weekend top fiveDecember is here, and we are well on our way into the holiday season! This first Chattanooga weekend top five of December is full of fun events for the whole family!

1) MainX24

The tenth year of this 24-hour festival in Chattanooga’s popular south side. Parades, art, food, parties, and more will fill Main Street for 24 straight hours on December 3, 2016. There is something truly for the entire family.

2) Holiday Parade & Mutt Strut

What better way to kick off the season than by walking your best furry friend in the Mutt Strut at the coolest block party of the year! Please dress in your holiday best and don’t forget to include your pup…who everyone is really coming to see!! The parade will pass the puperazzi, so you and fido will want to look fun and festive for the cameras! Everyone loves the Mutt Strut and the festively dressed pooches are the highlight! This event is part of the MAINX24 Festival.

Please Note: Dogs must be leashed, current on vaccines, and non-aggressive. Dog walkers must carry doggie waste bags and pick up after their dogs – no exceptions. Dogs should not be scared of crowds, loud noises, music, etc. There will be sirens, vehicle horns blowing, lots of people cheering – typical parade sights and sounds, and lots of dogs and people in close spaces. Due to liabilities, children walking in the Mutt Strut must be at least 12 yrs. old.

Event Details

Admission: Free
Location: Southside Chattanooga
Address: 1922 Rossville Ave • Chattanooga, TN 37408

Event Schedule

12/3/2016 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Visit the Ruby Falls gem mines and discover Joystone, a rare gemstone that helps spread the spirit of Christmas! An adventure to see Santa leads to an ice cave where you will watch gemstone miners play, catch a view of the Northern Lights and journey through the Sugar Plum Fairy Village. Help Santa and his miners search for Joystone and experience the celebration of this special holiday!
Beginning December 1 (Thursdays through Sundays) and Daily on December 19.

Ticket price includes Joystone activities and souvenir joystone.
Adults:
$11.95
Children (ages 3-12): $11.95
Children (2 & Under): Free
*Children 2 and under may add on the Joystone activities for an additional charge. 

4) TN Christian Preparatory School Whoville Christmas Market

TCPS 2nd annual Whoville Christmas Market will be held on Saturday, December 3rd from 10am til 4pm and Sunday, December 4th from 1pm til 5pm. Come shop from over 40 local vendors! The kids will enjoy the Winter Wonderland Craft Castle, character meet & greets with the Grinch, Cindy Lou Who, Olaf & Elf on the Shelf! Professional photos with Santa & Mrs. Claus! Enjoy live music, great food and hourly door prizes!

Cost: Payment required – $5 market entry fee (children 12 & under enter free)

5) Red Bank Christmas Festival and Parade

The Annual Red Bank Christmas Festival & Parade is an outdoor family friendly festival held the first Saturday in December. This year it has been moved to 10 AM – 3 PM at the main city park 3859 Dayton Blvd. with the Parade at 11. The festival is always full of local talented vendors with booths that include crafts, jewelry, food, hand-made items, pets for adoption and so much more. Come do your Christmas shopping with us. Santa & Mrs. Clause will arrive with the parade and stay in the park for pictures all afternoon. There will be live music on stage to get you in the Christmas spirit. Come have fun in Red Bank!

Chattanooga Weekend Top Five: Shop Small Business Saturday

November 25th, 2016

chattanooga weekend top fiveThis weekend to celebrate Small Business Saturday, our Chattanooga weekend top five outlines some great ways you can support local businesses this holiday season!

1) Chatty Holiday 2016

The Chatty Holiday market has been going strong since 2006, and it gives shoppers a chance to browse selections from around the Southeast. Chatty Holiday is Saturday, November 26, 2016 from 10am-6pm at The Grandfalloon. Hungry while you shop? Check out Adele’s Crepes or Petunia’s Jalapeno Food Truck!

2) Chosen Feather Boutique

Shop one of the gems of Ooltewah Saturday, November 26 for all the lovely ladies in your life! the Chosen Feather is offering an incredible buy one get one 50% off sale from 8am to 12pm on Small Business Saturday!

3) Small Business Saturday Local Craft Fair

Kick off your holiday shopping by supporting local entrepreneurs and you’ll get that warm fuzzy feeling of giving twice while ensuring your hard earned dollars stay local. The fair has twice been named on Nooga.com’s Weekend Top 5 and this year will be even better than ever. We’ll have free coffee giveaways, door prizes, and of course an incredible array of local vendors sure to make your shopping easy. Support Chattanooga’s incredibly talented local creators!

Event Details

Admission: Free
Phone: (423) 643-7700
Location: Chattanooga Public Library
Address: 1001 Broad Street  • Chattanooga, TN 37402

Event Schedule

11/26/2016 10:00 AM – 02:00 PM

To celebrate local musicians and Small Business Saturday, the Music Merch Mall  will be open from 1pm to 6pm on November 26. Discover and support local musicians! All artists keep all tproceeds from their sales. Located in the Chattanooga Choo Choo’s lobby, attendees may also meet Santa, skate on the ice skating rink and take pictures by the Choo Choo’s beautiful Christmas tree.

Create your own holiday tradition and make your own Gingerbread house. Reservations required.

Event Details

Admission: $
Phone: (423) 756-2738
Location: Creative Discovery Museum
Address: 321 Chestnut Street • Chattanooga, TN 37402

Event Schedule

11/25/2016 01:00 PM – 02:30 PM
11/26/2016 01:00 PM – 02:30 PM
11/27/2016 02:00 PM – 03:30 PM

Holiday Home Decor Tips

November 23rd, 2016
holiday-home-decor-tipsIf you are thinking about listing your home during the next month, we have found a great article to help you prepare your home for the market during the holidays on HGTV’s website. These holiday home decor tips will help you be ready for the serious buyers that are out searching for homes right now!
“Holidays can be personal on a lot of levels, but you want to make sure your decor is neutral,” advises Amy Powers, owner of Accent Home Staging & Interiors of Atlanta. “You want to romance your buyer, not invite them to your Christmas party.”
Try these holiday home decor tips to get buyers in the right spirit:
  • Clean and stage. “Before you decorate, your house needs to be staged,” Powers says. If your living room is already piled high with clutter, your ceramic reindeer collection is only going to add to the sense of overcrowding.
  • Create a cozy vibe. The less-is-more mantra of home staging may tempt you to forgo holiday cheer this year. But a few subtle touches like a bowl of pine cones, an evergreen wreath, or a pot of cider simmering on the stove can create a warm and festive feeling in your home.
  • Complement your palette. Before you start untangling your tinsel, make sure your holiday collection matches your current decor. If your living room is painted a soothing ocean-blue hue, skip the clashing red garland and opt for white snowflakes or a silver glass-ball wreath. If you’ve got an earthy color scheme, accent with rich tones like cranberries, forest greens and gold.
  • Accentuate the positive. Too many trimmings may distract buyers, but the right accessories can draw attention to your home’s best features. Dangle mistletoe in an arched doorway, or display your menorah on the ledge of a bay window; just don’t block a beautiful view with stick-on snowflake decals or clutter an elegant fireplace with personalized stockings.
  • Go light on lights. Step away from the inflatable snowman, Clark Griswold. One man’s “merry” is another man’s “tacky,” so tone down any garish light displays while your home is on the market. (No, your neighbors didn’t pay us to say that.) Instead, use simple string lighting to play up your home’s architecture or draw attention to the gorgeous fir tree in your front yard.
  • Be an equal-opportunity decorator. Leave the life-sized Nativity scene in storage this year, because overtly religious flourishes may be off-putting to some buyers. “You want to keep neutrality throughout, so you can attract any type of buyer,” Powers says. Not sure what qualifies? Powers adds, “No matter what your religion is, you’re not going to feel offended by a nutcracker.”
  • Mind the tree. A tall Christmas tree can help you show off your two-story great room, but make sure the wide base won’t overwhelm the floor space. If your living area is on the small side, save space with a skinny tree. Swap the gaudy heirloom ornaments and trim your tree in a cohesive theme such as icicle lights and silver tinsel, for example, or blue and gold glass balls.
  • Clear the clutter. A few decorations can stir the holiday spirit, but don’t feel obliged to hang every last ornament. “A lot of people, when they decorate, tend to use all the extra space in their house,” Powers says. “You still want each space to look as spacious as possible.” Limit yourself to a few hints of holiday flair, but stash the rest in the basement for now. If you start to miss your Santa figurines, just remember that with a little luck, you’ll be celebrating next year’s holidays in a new home. And you can decorate that place any way you please.

Read the full article here.

Chattanooga Home Spotlight: The Cottage at 502 Notre Dame Avenue

November 22nd, 2016

Chattanooga has many architectural styles throughout the various areas of town. Today, we are looking at a Chattanooga home spotlight on the cottage located at 502 Notre Dame Avenue in East Ridge. The curb appeal of this home channels Hansel and Gretel’s gingerbread cottage. An updated interior blends well with the nuances of the original house, such as a corner built in and a gorgeous brick fireplace.

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This cute bungalow is located only ten minutes to downtown Chattanooga and ten min to Volkswagen. Larger than many cottages in this area, 502 Notre Dame Avenue offers 4 bedrooms and 1.5 baths and a total of 1738 square feet. Hardwood floors are throughout the home. There is a separate dining room, arched doorways, and a newly remodeled kitchen with stainless appliances. A walk-in closet and 1/2 bath adjoin the master bedroom. Both the full and half bathrooms have been updated with new tile and new vanities. Upstairs, there is a 4th bedroom, that is very large and would also make a great teen suite. The screened porch off the side of the house and a large backyard with privacy fence both make for excellent entertaining spaces. There is also a workshop area in basement, with tons of storage. 502 Notre Dame Avenue is located convenient to schools, shopping, restaurants and hospitals.

Chattanooga Real Estate Market Update: October 2016

November 18th, 2016

According to the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors, as we enter the final quarter of 2016, not much has changed since the year began in the Chattanooga Real Estate market. The trends have been, in a word, predictable. A relatively comfortable pace of activity has been maintained thanks to continuing low unemployment and mortgage rates*. The one basic drag on market acceleration has been inventory decline. There is little to indicate that the low inventory situation will resolve anytime soon.

chattanooga real estate market update october 2016

THE OVERALL NUMBERS

New Listings in the Chattanooga region decreased 1.4 percent to 1,085. Pending Sales were up 2.0 percent to 709. Inventory levels shrank 19.5 percent to 3,571 units. Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 14.0 percent to $171,000. Days on Market was down 15.1 percent to 62 days.

KELLER WILLIAMS NUMBERS

In contrast to the overall market being down in the number of new listings taken, Keller Williams is up a staggering 26% in the number of listings we took in October 2016 versus October 2015. In terms of contracts written on homes, we are up 59% year over year for October. What does this mean for you if you are looking to sell your home? We are aggressively finding the right homes for the buyers who have been experiencing a listing shortage. Your home could be the one we are looking for!

Keeping with our trend, the overall Chattanooga real estate market has sellers encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 25.4 percent to 4.4 months.

MORTGAGE RATES

*Mortgage rates are rising. Our job is to help buyers and sellers stay educated on the Chattanooga real estate market. For the first time all year, we have seen a significant increase in rates.

Mortgage rates rose as markets prepare for expected economic growth and anticipated inflation. As we know for history, inflation can bring higher rates. Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s comments this week support the idea of a Fed policy rate hike in December. Economists almost unanimously agree a hike is coming. Also supporting a possible Fed policy rate hike, the labor market continues to show strength, and consumer prices recorded their biggest increase in 6 months.

Contact us to learn more about the current Chattanooga real estate market or to begin the process of buying and/or selling your home.

Chattanooga Weekend Top Five: November 18-20

November 17th, 2016

chattanooga weekend top fiveIt is hard to believe that next week is Thanksgiving! With all the smoke that has been plaguing us here in the Chattanooga valley, we have collected five awesome local events to enjoy this weekend, now that things are beginning to clear.

Chattanooga Weekend top five for November 18-20

1) Snow Day @ Creative Discovery Museum:

According to Chattanooga Fun, the Creative Discovery Museum is preparing us for winter with a fun snow day:

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! Spend the afternoon enjoying the first “snow fall” in Chattanooga with special guests Jack Frost and Suzy Snowflake with lots of fun, snowy hands-on family activities.

Event Details

Admission: $
Phone: (423) 756-2738
Location: Creative Discovery Museum
Address: 321 Chestnut Street • Chattanooga, TN 37402

Event Schedule

11/19/2016 12:00 PM – 04:00 PM

This party is sure to please – and who doesn’t LOVE red pandas?

Join us as we share the secrets of the red panda. Guests will learn all about these furry creatures through keeper chats, animal enrichment, crafts, and more.

Event Details

Admission: $
Phone: (423) 697-1319
Location: Chattanooga Zoo
Address: 301 North Holtzclaw Avenue • Chattanooga, TN 37404

Event Schedule

11/19/2016 10:00 AM – 03:00 PM
11/20/2016 10:00 AM – 03:00 PM

Unleash the Holiday spirit with some of the aquarium’s cutest critters!

Relax and enjoy the holiday season with your family surrounded by some of the world’s most fascinating creatures. Guests of all ages will be delighted by new holiday programs, offered free with Aquarium admission, throughout both Aquarium buildings. Special weekend appearances by SCUBA Claus. Watch penguins receive their presents. See the temporary National Geographic Monster Fish exhibit with its life-sized replicas.

Please Note: Closed Thanksgiving Day & Christmas Day.

Event Details

Admission: $
Phone: (800) 262-0695
Location: Tennessee Aquarium
Address: 1 Broad Street • Chattanooga, TN 37402

Event Schedule

11/18/2016 10:00 AM – 08:00 PM
11/19/2016 10:00 AM – 08:00 PM
11/20/2016 10:00 AM – 08:00 PM

It’s time to get into the spirit of the season with a fun local tradition: ice skating on Chattanooga’s temporary outdoor ice rink!

The temporary family-oriented outdoor ice rink is moving to the Chattanooga Choo Choo Gardens this year. With no other ice skating option offered either indoors or outdoors in Chattanooga, this represents a unique, wintertime recreational experience during the holiday season. The rink will feature a schedule to accommodate general skating for the public, as well as special themes, appearances by Santa, and a rotating schedule to benefit local not-for-profit groups. Guests can also enjoy warm drink and food vendors. Check website for daily schedules, pricing and more.

NOTE: Times vary as the holidays draw closer. Please check website for daily schedules. 

Event Details

Admission: $
Phone: (423) 265-0771
Location: Chattanooga Choo Choo
Address: 1400 Market Street • Chattanooga, TN 37402

Event Schedule

11/18/2016 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
11/19/2016 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
11/20/2016 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM

If Holiday light displays are your thing, you don’t want to miss this one! It is a “fantasyland of lights!”

For the holiday season, Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights is a family tradition. Featured in 2014 on ABC’s show The Chew, this light extravaganza showcases more than 30 holiday scenes and LED lights that transforms the gardens’ natural daytime splendor into a fantasyland. Enjoy gingerbread cookie decorating, hot cocoa and nightly entertainment. Group rates available. Dinner with Santa is also back, as well as Jack Frost, the ice queen and the Dancing Forest!

Please note: Closed Christmas Eve night.

Event Details

Admission: $
Phone: (706) 820-2531
Location: Rock City Gardens
Address: 1400 Patten Road • Lookout Mountain, GA 30750

Event Schedule

11/18/2016 06:00 PM – 09:00 PM
11/19/2016 06:00 PM – 09:00 PM
11/20/2016 06:00 PM – 09:00 PM

Chattanooga Weekend Top Five: November 11-13

November 11th, 2016

chattanooga weekend top fiveThe weekend is here again, and cooler weather has finally begun to set in! The Chattanooga weekend top five for November 11-13 is chock-full of fun things for all ages.

1) Star Wars Day @ The Chattanooga Zoo:

The force is taking a walk on the wild side this weekend as your favorite characters from the Star Wars films gather at the zoo for a fun time that is sure to be “out of this world” for kids if all ages! Meet your favorite character and snag a photo and enjoy fun activities throughout the zoo! Your little stormtroopers will not want to miss out on this! According to Chattanoogafun.com, here are the details:

Event Details

Admission: $
Phone: (423) 697-1319
Location: Chattanooga Zoo
Address: 301 North Holtzclaw Avenue • Chattanooga, TN 37404

Event Schedule

11/12/2016 10:00 AM – 03:00 PM

2) Veterans Day Extravaganza:

Southern Luxury Construction is partnering with J103 (according to Festival.net) to provide a veterans dinner and concert to thank local veterans and their families for their service. The extravaganza is set for Friday, 11/11 from 10am-5pm at 7912 East Brainerd Rd. Share this with your family and friends who have served our country proudly! We honor their service!

3) RelicMoto Vintage Motorcycle Show:

Chattanooga’s Southside will be hosting Speed Deluxe at the Grandfalloon on Saturday, November 12 fro 11am-6pm. Come see this showcase of 30 rare, vintage motorcycles! Motorcycle parking is a-plenty, so bring out your own sweet ride and join in the fun. Non-alcoholic drinks and snacks will be available for purchase at the event.

4) The Columbus Ships – The Nina & The Pinta:

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…but in 2016, you get to see the replicas of two of his famously fabled ships, the Nina and the Pinta! According to ChattanoogaFun.com, here is the event’s full description and details:

The ‘Nina’ was built completely by hand and without the use of power tools. Archaeology magazine called the ship “the most historically correct Columbus replica ever built.” In 2005, the ‘Pinta’, also a caravel, was launched in Brazil and was the first ship to site land in the New World. Historians consider the caravel the Space Shuttle of the fifteenth century.

Both ships tour together as a new and enhanced ‘sailing museum’ for the purpose of educating the public and school children on the ‘caravel’, a Portuguese ship used by Columbus and many early explorers to discover the world. Before him, the Old World and the New remained separate and distinct continents and ever since their fates have been bound together for better or for worse.

While in port, the general public is invited to visit the ships for a walk-aboard, self-guided tour. Admission charges are $8 for adults, $ 7 for seniors, and $6 for students 5 – 16. Children 4 and under are free. No reservations necessary.

Event Details

Admission: $
Phone: (787) 672-2152
Location: Ross’s Landing – Chattanooga Pier
Address: 100 Riverfront Parkway • Chattanooga, TN 37402

Event Schedule

11/11/2016 09:00 AM – 06:00 PM
11/12/2016 09:00 AM – 06:00 PM
11/13/2016 09:00 AM – 06:00 PM

Lovers of beautiful things that are aged to perfection, this very special pre-holiday Antique & Estate Jewelry show and sale is sure to be the highlight of your weekend! This Friday, November 11 (1pm-8pm) and Saturday, November 12 (10am-5pm) join the Houston Museum for this fantastic show and sale, with a warm welcome to long-time show participants Lynda, David and Will Weaver of Collectanea in Memphis. A generous portion of all proceeds will benefit the museum.

How the Election Will Affect Real Estate – From My Mortgage Insider

November 10th, 2016

A presidential election’s effect on home prices is usually less pronounced than it is on stock values, but most experts say that home values rise more slowly during election years than off years. Here are some thoughts from My Mortgage Insider about how the election will affect real estate:

“Historically speaking, home prices continue to go up through an election year and indeed the year thereafter,” said Gardner. “However, the rate of growth certainly slows. As far as mortgage rates are concerned, the same thing applies. You tend not to see any rapid rise in interest rates during an election year or … the year thereafter.”

A movoto.com study of the California real estate market reveals that home prices usually rise 1.5 percent less during an election year than in the year before an election, and they rise 0.8 percent less than in the year after the election.

This seemingly small difference could cost homeowners thousands of dollars in lost value.

However, a recent study by the California Association of Realtors (CAR) disputes this conventional wisdom.

“Transitory political events such as presidential elections don’t drive the housing market,” said CAR President Pat Zicarelli. “Market fundamentals such as housing inventory, affordability, interest rates, job growth, and consumer confidence are the real factors that influence the housing market.”

The CAR study found no evidence that elections have a negative impact on home sales or prices. In fact, the study discovered that growth in home sales at the end of an election year — at least in California — actually outperforms non-election years by 7.1 percent.

The authors of the movoto.com study speculate that election years may be stressful for many Americans, making them less likely to purchase high-ticket items — like houses. Because an election’s results can affect their personal finances, fewer home buyers are willing to take the plunge until the dust settles and the new President’s policies become known.

Realtytoday.com reports that it’s usually harder to sell homes during election years, so sellers may want to list their properties either the year before or the year after an election in order to receive the maximum value.

Chattanooga Weekend Top Five: November 3-5

November 4th, 2016

chattanooga weekend top fiveThis week’s Chattanooga weekend top five is focused on hiking and checking out the beauty of the Fall colors in all their glory!

Here are five of our recommended hikes, to make the most of the gorgeous weather and Fall leaves!

For those of you looking for a fun family day in the not-quite-so-wilderness, check out Elsie Holmes Nature Park in Ringgold.
Elsie Holmes Nature Park

Elsie Holmes Nature Park

With several trails that wind back to reveal gorgeous views of Chickamauga Creek, a rentable pavilion, swings, and grills, this nature park is sure to be a place you will make many memories with those you love. For more information, check out the park’s website!

For more in-depth information on Chattanooga hiking, check out Roots Rated!