Bay State Home Sales Team's Blog
16 Capron St, Attleboro, MA 02703
Indoor plants have many benefits for humans, but can be dangerous for pets. Some of the most popular house plants can be toxic to cats and dogs. Keeping your pets healthy and safe is important, but it’s disappointing when your ideal houseplant won’t work in your home. Luckily, there are some comparable options for many of the most popular plants to have indoors. Here are the details about monstera, aloe vera and their pet-safe alternatives.
Monstera are tropical broad-leaf plants that can grow as high as ten feet tall when grown indoors. They’re also called “Swiss cheese plants” because of their iconic split leaves. Monstera are very popular with interior designers as a bold statement plant in homes and commercial spaces. Unfortunately, the leaves are toxic to dogs and cats. Monstera are not deadly but can cause vomiting, upset stomach and mouth irritation if eaten.
If you want a large statement-making plant, you still have options that are non-toxic to pets. The banana tree, while most commonly grown outdoors, can make a great indoor plant for those who like large bold leaves. They are native to tropical climates and thrive in warm temperatures and high humidity, which can actually make them a great indoor plant choice if you live in colder climates.
Another excellent alternative that won’t harm your pets is the Areca palm. This is another tropical plant you are likely to encounter planted outdoors as barriers or privacy screening because of their height and similarity in appearance to bamboo clusters. Areca palms need lots of light, so if you don’t have a bright window, it’s a good idea to bring the palm outside during the summer months.
Aloe vera plants are popular houseplants because of their ability to grow in small containers with little attention. They’re also useful plants: aloe vera gel is widely used in cosmetic and medicinal products all over the world. They are heavily cultivated and therefore easy and inexpensive to find. Despite its many benefits and uses for humans, aloe vera is toxic enough to pets that you should keep it far away from them. Often it’s simply enough to keep an aloe plant out of reach, but if you’re looking for alternatives, there are options.
One aloe alternative is the haworthia succulent. While it looks extremely similar to aloe plants, it’s non-toxic to pets if ingested. They’re also similarly easy to take care of and only require watering once a week at most. Any variety of haworthia succulent is an excellent alternative to aloe, especially for homeowners with limited space or time for maintenance.
The fleshy, pointy leaves of the bromeliad family of plants are comparable to aloe both in aesthetics and care. While bromeliads can grow large and produce bold, bright flowers, some of them don’t even require planting in soil to grow. Epiphytic bromeliads, also called Tillandsia or air plants, grow attached to rocks and trees in nature and simply absorb moisture and nutrients through the air. You can do the same with an indoor bromeliad as long as it has something to hold on to. Just soak your plant in water for an hour once a week to make sure it gets the moisture it needs.
The humble coffee table is the perfect furniture piece to bring some rustic charm to your living room or porch. If you’re looking to enhance your rustic design style while also stretching your DIY skills, there are many coffee table plans that can help you. Here we’ve put together some ideas for making your own rustic coffee tables, DIY-style.
Pallet Coffee Table
Wooden pallets are a goldmine for rustic DIY projects of all kinds. They’re also perfect for making your own reclaimed wood coffee table. There are several different designs you can choose, including stacking multiple pallets, adding a piece of glass on top of the pallets to prevent items from falling through the open slats. Another idea is to take the pallet apart completely and rebuild a new surface with the planks. This will create an even surface that’s completely customizable as long as you have the right power tools. You can paint the wood planks in a white or pale gray for a softer rustic look, or keep the wood bare. Don’t forget to sand carefully to avoid splinters.
Reclaimed Window Coffee Table
Clear-topped coffee tables are great for storage and for creating visual interest with a utilitarian piece of furniture. While you could build your own coffee table with a simple pane of glass on the top, another idea is to use an old window. If you’re lucky enough to have the right size wooden window frame with sturdy glass, you can create a table with it by placing it on top of a shallow wooden box. Keep the box open at the top so you can store or display items under the window. For ease of access, you can attach the window to the box with hinges. This will let you open and close it easily to get to the items within. With this project, you’ll have a unique rustic style coffee table that’s as functional as it is versatile.
Wire Spool Coffee Table
If you prefer round rather than rectangular tables, opt for a wooden table made from an old wire spool. Wooden spools are easy to find in salvage, recycling centers or even second-hand stores. While simply turned on its side a spool might seem to work as a perfectly fine table already, there are some upgrades you’ll want to consider. One would be a careful sanding of every surface and edges to prevent splinters. There may also be stains, writing or other markings on the spool that you can remove with a sander. If you’re concerned about water stains from cups or glasses, give the surface a coat of protective wood stain or paint. Once you have your spool cleaned up and ready, you’ll have an excellent rustic table made almost entirely of recycled materials.
These are just a few ideas for making your own coffee tables to add and enhance rustic style. The versatility of these table plans make them great for beginners and DIY experts alike and will give you the satisfaction of using reclaimed materials and your own hard work and effort.
29 Kitt Rd, North Attleboro, MA 02760
If you’re a homeowner considering selling your home as an investment property, timing is important. From a financial perspective, just as you probably bought strategically, you want to sell strategically too. The trick is knowing when the right time arrives. Here are four common metrics people use to determine when it's time to sell their property.
Amount of Equity in the House
A primary factor to look at is how much equity is in the home. Ideally, to sell a home as an investment, the seller can make a tidy sum. If mortgage payments are still owed, this may negate any potential profit made, but not necessarily. If you're looking to broaden your investment portfolio, be certain you can sell your house for enough money to pay off your debt with a sufficient amount left over to re-invest. If you don’t have enough equity to do this, you’re better holding off.
Market Conditions Are Good
Many owners who bought low and can sell high find this to be a strong motivator to put their property on the market. Since market conditions eventually shift to a buyer’s market, it’s a smart strategy to sell when the housing market favors the seller. Owners who have held their property for a long time or purchased as the housing bubble burst between 2007-2012, are likely going to make a better profit than investors who purchased when prices were at their peak.
Tax Code Advantages
Buyers are often motivated to sell if there are tax code advantages. For instance, the IRS currently offers a tax-deferred advantage to investors looking to sell one property to buy another. Under tax IRC Section 1031, sellers are required to find another property to purchase within 45 days and then buy it within 135 (180 days total).
By selling and making a similar real estate investment, investors can defer paying their federal and state capital gain taxes. It’s a good strategy to use if you want to leverage real estate and broaden your portfolio.
Taxes Are Going Up
If local taxes are going up, often buyers find this to be an incentive to sell. For instance, if a town severely limits commercial activity, the tax burden falls to homeowners. Over time, the tax bill may become too exorbitant. If you own enough equity in your property and the housing market is in your favor, high taxes might be your tipping point.