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WILL HOME PRICES DROP? IS NOW A GOOD TIME TO BUY?

There has been a lot of talk about home prices and mortgages lately. Mortgage rates are increasing, and some experts believe that home prices will drop. While it’s true that mortgage rates are increasing, the jury is still out if home prices will fall significantly. Based on economics and historical data alone, home prices or anything for that matter cannot continue to rise at the rate they have been over the past couple years. However, it is unlikely that prices will drop in any significant way anytime soon. This isn’t to say that individual markets on a local level won’t see a big price drop, but generally speaking a big decrease is not likely.

What about homebuyers? Is now a good time to purchase a home or should you wait it out? Don’t let the higher interest rates deter you from becoming a homeowner. Mortgage interest is one of the few interests that is still tax deductible, which helps decrease taxes owed from income. While we may not see 3% mortgage rates anytime soon, the current rates floating between 5% and 6% are relatively normal historically. Demand for rentals has increased drastically and when demand increases, you can almost guarantee that rental rates will rise. According to an article published by CNBC, rent prices for single family homes hit a national average of $2,495 per month, which is a 13.4% increase compared to the same period in 2021. Depending on the price range of the home you purchase and interest rate, more than likely your house payment will be equal to or less than that. You may as well be investing in your own asset rather than someone else’s.

Bottom line, don’t ignore your dream of homeownership. A few tips to make sure you are making the best decisions for yourself:

  1. Get pre-approved with a trusted mortgage lender to know what price range you can afford and works best with your budget.
  2. Make a list of your must-haves and preferred neighborhoods.
  3. Work with a reputable real estate agent. They know the market and can help you find the perfect home. They will also assist in the negotiations and contract execution once you find a home.

When looking for that perfect home in Missouri or Kansas, contact a knowledgeable real estate professional from Stutesman Action Realty today, 833.286.8400.

Cover Photo by Ussama Azam on Unsplash

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WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BROKER PRICE OPINION AND AN APPRAISAL?

A common question real estate agents are asked is, “What is the difference between a broker price opinion or property valuation and an appraisal?”

RED HOUSE Photo by Zac Gudakov on Unsplash

A broker price opinion or property valuation is typically completed by a real estate agent or broker; they do not have to be a licensed real estate appraiser. However, don’t underestimate the real estate broker as they are typically professionally qualified in their market to give you a professional opinion of a property’s value based on recent market activity. To determine an estimated value for your property, they will find comparable properties in the market area and base their opinion of value on sales prices and sales dates. This is how a real estate agent determines a listing price for a property. They are basing their opinion on the actions of buyers and sellers in the market.

AERIAL Photo by Blake Wheeler on Unsplash

A real estate appraisal is along the same premise but a bit more complex and detailed. It must be conducted by a state licensed real estate appraiser and adhere to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practiceor better known as USPAP. Appraisers can use one or all three approaches to value: Sales Comparison, Income, and Cost. Most residential properties will utilize the sales comparison approach. This approach is much like the broker price opinion as it relies on the recent sales price of comparable properties in the market. However, an appraiser offers a detailed analysis of the property and comparables. Adjustments will be made to the comparables for dissimilarities with the property being appraised (often referred to as the subject). They then use the adjusted sales prices of the comparables to determine a concluded value for the subject. In order to get a mortgage, a lender will usually require a full appraisal.

 KEYS IN HAND Photo by Maria Ziegler on Unsplash

Both methods serve their purpose in the market. The broker price opinion helps sellers determine a realistic sales price for their property and the appraisal reaffirms that the purchase price is within a market acceptable range.

Contact Stutesman Action Realty, 833.286.8400, today for your broker price opinion and get your property listed and sold.

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How to Win The Bidding Game In Today’s Competitive Market

real estate bids

You’ve made the decision to buy a home and have put in a few offers, but keep getting outbid. Although this can be frustrating, don’t give up. You can compete in today’s competitive market even if you don’t have the highest bid. For example, we found a house that had only been on the market for one day, but already had offers. The real estate agent told us they were taking bids until noon the following day. We made a full price offer but did not have any contingencies nor inspection requirements. The other bids were above asking price, but they had contingencies and inspection requirements, so the seller went with our offer. When making your offer don’t get too hung up on thinking you need to make one above list price because it’s not always about the sale price.

financing

Tips to win the bidding war without going above budget:

  1. If you are financing, the first thing you need to do is get a pre-approval from a mortgage lender. Sellers want to know that you can actually purchase the home and makes your offer stand out. This also benefits you in determining your budget when making an offer.
  2. Focus on homes at the lower end of your budget. By doing so, gives you a bit of wiggle room when making an offer if you do have to go slightly above the ask price.
  3. In today’s market, it is important to make your “best and final” offer in the beginning. These days, there isn’t much negotiating going on. If it isn’t your best and final, you probably won’t get the house.
  4. If you do find yourself in a situation where you need to offer above list price, consult with your real estate agent and let him/her help you determine a good offer price. Your agent will be able to pull list and sale prices for comparable properties that have sold within the past six or more months. He or she can determine the typical amount above list price, i.e., $5,000, $10,000, etc. that have occurred. You certainly don’t want to pay more than you should and end up with little to no equity in the house because you paid more than the market can bear.
offer on listing

Get your financing in place, work with a knowledgeable real estate agent, do your homework and you will get that home! For all your real estate needs, contact  Stutesman Action Realty today!

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Take a Few Steps Before Putting Your Home on the Market

listing home

Thinking of getting in on the hot seller’s market? Who could blame you? There is certainly more demand than supply right now. To get top dollar for your home, take these simple steps before listing:

cleaning
  • Give your house a deep cleaning. First impressions are everything, so don’t let dirty floors or dusty surfaces overshadow all the great things about your home. Foul smells are a major turn off to buyers. You may want to consider hiring a professional.
declutter
  • Declutter and organize. This means closets, cabinets, pantries, countertops, etc. It’s hard for buyers to focus on the actual home when it is full of clutter and overflowing closets.
repair
  • If you’ve been putting off fixing that leaky faucet, squeaky doors, or running toilets, now is the time to do all those repairs and maintenance that you’ve been putting off. Buyers will think the home hasn’t been well maintained.
gray living room
Photo Credit: Sherwin Williams
  • A fresh coat of neutral paint on the walls will make your home appear bigger, brighter and more welcoming. Especially get rid of any bright walls. Favorite neutral paints are whites, light grays, and light beiges. Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace is a favorite true white and Sherwin Williams’ Repose Gray is a great gray wall color choice.
front porch
  • Now that you’ve gotten the inside in tip-top shape, spruce up the exterior by making any necessary repairs. Make sure the grass is cut, the weeds are pulled, and the landscaping is trimmed.
real estate
  • Hire a professional real estate agent to list your home. By enlisting a professional, your home will get the maximum exposure by being listed on the multi-listing service where thousands of agents and potential buyers will see it.

Stutesman Action Realty can help you list and sell your home. One of the professional real estate agents will offer you additional tips to maximize your home’s selling potential and will be there throughout the purchase negotiations and closing. Call today, 833.286.8400.

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Pandemic Hot Real Estate

If there is a silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that the residential real estate market is hot. Demand is outweighing supply making it very much a seller’s market. If you have been thinking about selling your home, now is the time. Much of the market’s increase has to do with the all-time-low interest rates, but demands in the local market served by Stutesman’s Action Realty (Southwest Missouri, and Southeast Kansas) can be attributed to the sudden “stay at home” orders from various government entities.

What types of properties are pandemic hot?

  • Smaller second- and third-tier cities located outside urban areas have seen an increase in market activity amidst the pandemic and perhaps a market winner. An article published in The Business Times stated that these cities are “in a better position as the pandemic wanes.” Cities that promote healthy living such as the Northwest Arkansas, Southwest Missouri, and Southeast Kansas areas abundant with hiking, cycling, walking and many other outdoor activities with the gorgeous landscape backdrop are increasingly interesting buyers from much larger fast-paced areas.
  • Real estate with acreage to accommodate a home site, hobby farming, and/or recreational property have had an increased interest with buyers from large metropolitan areas. Many buyers are looking for off-grid living and get back to nature.
  • Americans were forced to slowdown and rethink how they live. Pre-COVID, many American families were busy working and rushing from one kid activity to the next (I’m not judging, trust me, I was doing the same thing) and suddenly those busy schedules were disrupted. In the beginning, we weren’t quite sure what to think of all this free time on our hands, but the longer the pandemic has gone on and events have been cancelled, the more we realize that we kind of like nesting at home. Many buyers are looking for larger homes and/or homes with more outdoor space to continue their newly found love of staying home.

Stutesman’s Action Realty has multiple properties in this pandemic hot market. Properties range from beautifully restored homes, home sites with acreages, commercial and agricultural/recreational land. If you are thinking of buying a property, the interest rates are great and if you are thinking of selling, it’s certainly a seller’s market in this area. For your next real estate transaction, you can trust Stutesman’s. Call today to speak to a real estate professional.

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Home Inspectors Tell All

Home Inspectors Tell All

Home inspectors go where none of us particularly wants to go—into all the nooks and crannies around our homes, both inside and out. So you can bet that they’ve seen it all. You know—all that stuff that you don’t want to think about happening in those dark and creepy spaces.

Wait, actually we do want to know. (Is it masochism?) So we asked home inspectors who’ve been in the biz for a long time—and boy, did they deliver, with stories ranging from Stephen King–level horror to just downright weird. Check out some of the crazy things these home inspectors have witnessed. It’s all in a day’s work!

It’s a zoo in there

“Some of the nastiest stuff we find is animals—dead ones in attics or crawl spaces, which are always disgusting, and live ones, which are always scary,” says Reuben Saltzman, president of Structure Tech Home Inspections in Minneapolis. “In Minnesota, we usually find raccoons and squirrels, and inspectors in the Southern part of the country find a lot worse.”

There have been drowned frogs under water heaters, cooked mice in furnaces, frozen porcupines in crawl spaces, and dead fish on a roof. Was it a bird that somehow dumped it there, or something weirder, Saltzman wonders?

“We’ve also found wasp’s nests the size of basketballs inside of attics, and in the basement at the ceiling rim joist, and homeowners who didn’t know they had wasps,” Saltzman adds.

Bruce Barker, founder and president of Dream Home Consultants, in Cary, NC, has collected close to 6,000 photos documenting things like fried lizards and mice inside electrical panels, snakes in basements and crawl spaces, and even a black widow spider.

“We’ve found termite tubes hanging down from the ceiling. Termites need soil to travel and live, so they build tubes out of mud,” he explains. “It looked like there were stalactites hanging down.”

Then, of course, there’s the mass quantities of bird poop, which is nasty, toxic stuff.

“One of the craziest things that I’ve ever seen was a boat trailer being used as the foundation for a home,” Saltzman recalls.

“In the crawl space, I saw a tire half-embedded in concrete. I had to stare at it for a little while to figure out what I was looking at,” he says. “And I realized the whole addition was built on top of a trailer.”

Sometimes projects are half-finished, or half-baked, like a deck being held up by a single, wobbly post.

“This puts the ‘can’t’ in ‘cantilever,’” Saltzman quips about one memorable photo featuring a doomed deck.

Perilous plumbing solutions

Saltzman frequently discovers homeowners have tried to fix leaky plumbing with whatever materials they have on hand. Contrary to popular belief, duct tape does not, in fact, fix leaky pipes, shower wall tiles, or drains, he says.

This sparked some concern.

“People will use caulk, radiator hoses, hose clamps, vice grips—just the craziest stuff—to keep water from coming out of a place where it shouldn’t,” he says.

Perhaps the most alarming things home inspectors come across involve electrical systems and outlets in a home, Barker says.

“I’ve seen people not putting the wire connections in boxes, and just leaving them hanging out. If I had a dollar for every one of those, I wouldn’t have to crawl through crawl spaces anymore,” he says, noting that this is a major fire hazard.

Also in the “What were they thinking?!” department: Another home featured rows of Christmas lights strung directly over a pool (see image above). When the water fountain feature is activated, the swimmers beneath could get seriously injured from electrocution.

Ridiculous roofs

One homeowner strategically placed a basketball net with its glass backboard leaning against the roof, making it the ideal magnifying glass fire-starter on a blazing sunny day. Saltzman has also seen a roof so covered in moss and plant debris, it should have been mowed.

Barker has been amazed to see turbine vents in older houses that have lost their covers, unbeknown to the homeowners, or worse, have been covered with strange things—like an upside-down Halloween candy bucket.

Makeshift chimney repairs are often laughably ineffective, adds Barker, who has seen flammable asphalt material used to fix crumbling chimneys.

Weird and wacky windows

In older homes, it’s not uncommon to find wooden window frames that have seen better days, Saltzman notes. What’s odd are the homeowners who think up outlandish ways to fix them.

“One of my favorite photos of all time was taken 15 years ago: Somebody had taken spray foam to fill in all the rotted wood, and then cut the spray foam to match the profile of the wood, which they painted to match,” he recalls.

Deal-breaking disasters

Other head-scratching discoveries Saltzman’s team has made include a mysterious pile of leaves in the attic, scissors embedded in an electrical panel, a downspout aimed squarely at an electrical outlet, a roof fascia repaired with a hockey puck, and a bunch of unopened bags of insulation in an attic. (Pro tip: A home will always be warmer when insulation is actually laid out and not trapped in plastic.)

It’s not just horrifying for the home inspectors—all this weird stuff could kill a deal. Once potential buyers see things like mushrooms growing out of a floor drain, a crawl space filled with animal excrement and spider webs, or frost in the attic, they’ll wonder what else hasn’t been maintained, Saltzman says. And often, they’ll be spooked enough to walk away.

“We’ve got about 20 inspectors on my team,” he says, “and between all of us, every day someone decides they’re not buying a house based on what we found.”

Source: Realtor.com

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Thinking About Selling Your Home? Declutter First!

Thinking About Selling Your Home? Declutter First!

If you are trying to sell your home, there’s no doubt one of the things you’ve heard most frequently is the importance of decluttering. Not only will decluttering help you sell your home faster, there is a good chance you’ll be able to sell for a higher price, as well!

To get started, use these easy to follow decluttering tips and tricks!

the bedroom

The Bedroom

In the bedroom, use simple bedding that matches your wall color. Remove any personal items or clutter in the room. Appeal to both sexes by choosing a neutral paint color for the master bedroom. Using a gender neutral paint color allows you to immediately cast a wider net for your buyers, speeding up the sale.

The Kitchen

In the kitchen, you can paint your outdated cabinets, rather than replacing them. Or try installing new hardware—this simple switch can have a big impact. Remove any appliances or knick knacks cluttering the countertop, and your kitchen will immediately look more spacious.

declutter-living-room

The Living Room

In the living room or other common areas, do a sweep to remove any clutter. Open the shades or the blinds, allowing natural light to make your room appear more airy and spacious. If your room is small, consider painting the room in a light color, and strategically hang mirrors across from the windows.

declutter-bathrooms

The Bathrooms

In bathrooms, consider packing up any drugs or medicines that aren’t regularly used. Find a new home for any stray jewelry or extra toiletry items. Remove any stains from the grout, and make sure all plumbing is in good working order.

declutter-closet

The Closet

Potential home buyers will be checking out your closets, an often overlooked area. Make sure your closets are not too full, or you run the risk of buyers thinking they won’t have enough storage space—a huge red flag in their home search. Make sure everything is organized and tidy.

declutter-garage

The Garage

The garage is another area important to potential buyers. Clear any clutter and make sure everything is put away in its place. Try hanging larger items on the wall, opening up the floor space. Remove any bins or items to be donated, making your space appear larger.

declutter-personal-items

The Personal Items

While you’re at it, go ahead and start packing up any personal items, such as family photos, memorabilia, or toys you don’t need in order to create a more neutral and decluttered space. This one is a no-brainer—it not only declutters your home but also gives you a great head start on your own packing.

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New Faces to Meet

New Faces to Meet

Owner / Broker Jennifer Stutesman Yarsulik welcomes new agents to the real estate team. ” We are so excited to be adding professionals to our real estate industry which allows Stutesman’s Action Realty to cover more territory – Kobie Langford will be specializing in Jasper,Barton, Newton, and Dade Counties & Bailey Lyons will be specializing Bourbon, Crawford and Linn County Kansas plus Vernon County Missouri. 

 

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TECH TIPS: Our Favorite Smart Home Devices Right Now

TECH TIPS:

Our Favorite Smart Home Devices Right Now

techtips-cover

Upgrade your living space into a smart home without breaking the bank with our hand-picked smart home devices that include speakers, security cameras, light bulbs and more. Create a smart home hub with these gadgets that work with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant to simplify your technology and help make your day-to-day life even easier.

Whether you want to personalize and control your lighting, stream music and videos or secure your home, we’ve found a variety of top-rated smart home gadgets to help you get started building your smart home. Most of your products work with Alexa or the Google Assistant so that you can control the devices with the command of your voice. We’ve also included the Aukey Smart Plug-in our list which gives any device you plug into smart capabilities.

Read on for our list of the best smart home gadgets that include the best prices and deals that are currently available. We have a variety of devices that will fit all smart home needs and budgets.

Ring Video Doorbell Pro

Home security from anywhere

Help secure your home with the Ring Video Doorbell Pro that allows you to answer your door from anywhere. The Ring Pro works with Alexa and will send alerts to Echo devices which allows you to hear and speak to visitors entirely hands-free. The Ring Video Doorbell Pro also sends alerts to your smartphone when motion is detected or when someone presses the doorbell so you can monitor your home from anywhere. The Pro features advanced motion detection with a camera view that generates motion alerts within user-set motion zones. The Ring doorbell connects to your existing doorbell wiring so you don’t have to worry about re-charging the battery and features four different face plate options. (amazon.com $199)

Echo Dot (3rd generation)

Voice controlled smart speaker

The best-selling Echo Dot is a voice-controlled smart speaker that works with Alexa to make calls, answer questions, set alarms, check the weather and so much more. The compact smart speaker can also control your compatible smart home devices with the command of your voice. Just ask Alexa to find TV shows, turn on lights, adjust the temperature and more. You can use your voice to play a song or artist through Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, and others. Alexa has over 50,000 skills so you can discover new skills that will help you with everyday tasks. (amazon.com $29.99)

Amazon Echo

Amazon’s smart speaker with Alexa

The Amazon Echo smart speaker can play music, answer questions, set alarms and more all with the command of your voice. You can also control your other smart home devices with the Alexa-enabled speaker just ask Alexa to turn off the lights, adjust your thermostat, lock your door and more. The Echo can make calls and send and receive messages through the hands-free speaker. The smart speaker features a better audio experience than the Echo Dot offering a powerful audio with Dolby technology built in to the speaker. (amazon.com $79.99)

Voice controlled light bulb

Control your lighting from anywhere with the TP-Link Alexa-enabled light bulb. You can turn your lights on and off and adjust brightness with your tablet or smartphone using the Kasa app. You can connect the smart bulb with Alexa or Google Assistant devices and use your voice to control your lights. The easy-to-install light bulb can transform into any color to set the mood and personalize your lighting by adjusting brightness as well as light appearance from soft white to daylight. The TP-Link bulbs will also help you out with your energy costs by reducing energy use up to 80% without brightness or quality loss.  (walmart.com $29.99)

Alexa enabled WiFi Plug

Turn your electronics and appliances into voice and app-controlled devices with the Kasa Smart WiFi plug by TP-Link. The smart plug works with Alexa and the Google Assistant so you can turn your devices into a hands-free experience. You can turn on lamps, appliances and more from anywhere on your smartphone using the Kasa app. You can also schedule the smart plug to automatically turn on and off when you’re away and reduce your energy by managing devices that use the most power.  (amazon.com $13.99)

Nest Learning Thermostat

Change the temperature from anywhere

Control your thermostat from anywhere with the 3rd generation Nest Learning Thermostat. The smart thermostat uses technology to learn your habits and adjust automatically to help save you energy. On average the Nest thermostat saves 10-12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills so the Nest will pay for itself in no time. You’re able to control your thermostat from anywhere with Nest app using your phone, tablet or laptop. The smart thermostat also works with Alexa so you can adjust and control the temperature with the command of your voice. The Nest thermostat features a thinner and sleeker design than previous models and comes in four different colors. (amazon.com $199)

iRobot Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum

Wi-Fi connected robot vacuum

Clean your floors with the command of your voice and completely hands-free with the Wi-Fi connected iRobot Roomba Robot Vacuum. You can use the iRobot home app to clean and schedule your vacuum from anywhere and receive notifications when the job is complete. The Roomba 960 can continuously clean for up to 75 minutes and will automatically recharge. The robot vacuum features a three-stage cleaning system and a high-efficiency filter that captures 99% of allergens, pollen, and dust. The Roomba is also compatible with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant so you can control the vacuum with your voice.  (walmart.com $549)

Amazon Cloud Cam Security Camera

Works with Alexa

The Amazon Cloud Cam is an indoor security camera that monitors your home in 1080p full HD. You’ll be able to watch your home from anywhere at any time with the compatible Cloud Cam app. You can view live streams, replay clips and get alerts when the camera detects activity. You can customize your alerts so you’ll only get alerts that matter. The Amazon camera features night vision so you’ll also be able to monitor your home in the dark. The Cloud Cam also offers two-way audio so you can speak to guests in your home through the app. The security camera works with Alexa so you can use your voice to show your live feed on the Amazon Fire TV, Fire Tablet, Echo Show, or Echo Spot. (amazon.com $119.99)

Schlage Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt

Alexa enabled deadbolt with built-in alarm

Secure your home the smart way with the Schlage Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt. The Schlage connect features a touch screen keypad which allows for keyless entry. This lets every member in your family have their own 4-digit code that will be easy to remember. You can also create temporary codes for visitors and never have to worry about replacing locks or exchanging keys. The Schlage Connect is Z-Wave compatible and connects to your home automation system which allows you to lock or unlock your door remotely. You can also use your voice to control the lock with any Amazon Alexa compatible device. The deadbolt features a built-in alarm that comes in three different modes that will alert you when someone is coming or going and communicate any potential security threats. (homedepot.com $184.29)

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The Forever Faithful Perennial

The Forever Faithful Perennial

There’s nothing more trustworthy than a good, hardy perennial. These plants might go dull in the winter, but you can rest assured they’ll return faithfully the following year. Perennials have the power to keep your landscape alive with new colors, fragrances, and wildlife all season long — as long as you treat them well. While they’re well-known for their minimal maintenance, there are still some things to keep in mind.

When to Plant Perennials

Planting is both an exciting and stressful time for plants. Most perennial plants need a modest amount of moisture to survive, especially when they’re just trying to establish themselves. The best time to plant your perennials is during the transitional seasons: spring and fall.

In our area, we fall into hardiness Zone 6a, and, lucky for us, perennial plants tend to do very well in this zone! However, spring carries with it a lot of cold weather. If you plant too early and your young plants are caught in a particularly bad frost, they may not grow at all. Avoid a disappointing garden by paying attention to frost dates. The last frost in Missouri and Kansas typically happens in mid April (but lately, we have had some pretty crazy weather!), so wait until after then to plant new perennials. Even then, check the forecast and be wary of the conditions your new plants may be subject to. It’s best to err on the side of caution and plant when you’re confident that the weather is going to cooperate.

Of course, the ground has to be unfrozen to plant anything in it. One test to see if the soil is workable is to grab a handful of it and squeeze it tight. If your soil sticks together, it’s a little too wet. If it crumbles, it’s in workable shape and you can start planting!

Any perennials you plant in summer will need a lot more attention and water to encourage growth. Avoid digging up perennials in bloom during this season. Just let them do their thing.

How to Plant / Balancing Bloomers

The term ‘perennial’ encompasses thousands and thousands of plants. Naturally, they don’t all bloom at the same time. The key to keeping an interesting garden all season long is to interplant species that flower at different times in the summer. That way, you always have something new blossoming in your garden. It’s those little pops of new color that keep something exciting happening all the time. Here are a few model varieties of gorgeous perennials that bloom at different times in the summer:

Late Spring / Early Summer Bloomers

For your early summer flowering perennials, consider giving these plants a try:

clematis

Clematis: Creeping up several feet tall, clematis produce single, colorful flowers in shades of blue, pink, red, and white. They continue to bloom all the way into fall, and they prefer lots of sunlight and damp soil.

Siberian-iris

Caesar’s Brother Siberian Iris: This deep violet flower rises up on tall, poker-straight stems that really stand out along borders. They thrive in moist soils better than most, and are extremely resilient and adaptable. Just make sure you water them regularly, especially during hot dry weather.

peony

Peony: This lush, romantic flower is very popular for wedding bouquets and decor. Its massive blooms are a true work of art and some of our favorites are Sarah Bernhardt, Bowl of Beauty, and Bartzella Itoh. Their stems are nice and sturdy, so you won’t have to worry about staking them to keep them upright.

Creeping-phloox

Creeping Phlox: This fabulous groundcover plant spreads like wildfire and is great for rock gardens, as it creeps its way up rocks and rough terrain with ease. Its densely packed flowers create a carpet of vivid color that’s truly breathtaking. So long as it has full sun and is watered regularly, it will thrive beautifully.

Midsummer Flowering Perennials

These flowers bloom beautifully in the prime of summer:

Balloon-Flowers

Balloon Flowers: Balloon flowers are easy to care for, and are named as such because their buds balloon before blossoming. Among a few different colored varieties, balloon flowers can come in a very striking, deep blue.

coreopsis

Coreopsis: These sun-lovers come in bright, warm colors and attract all sorts of butterflies. They make great cut flowers.

salvia

Salvia: Tall stalks of blossoms adorn this beautiful plant in all different shades of blue, purple and red, with a few less common varieties in shades of yellow and white. It’s actually a member of the mint family, and its aroma is absolutely divine.

lavendar

Lavender: With a pleasant fragrance and characteristic purple color, you can’t go wrong with growing some lavender in your garden.

monarda

Monarda: Also known as bee balm, these vibrant flowers lure in pollinators like a magnet. Planting monarda in either spring or autumn will give you the best results. Some varieties can grow up to 4 feet tall, and they spread quite a bit, so dividing the root ball and replanting every 2 or 3 years will save it from getting overcrowded.

Late Summer / Early Fall Perennials

These plants are perfect reminders that summer is still hanging on:

aster

Aster: Asters provide great coverage in your flower beds, and bloom small flowers in reds, blues, and purples. They grow easily enough in a richer soil without much maintenance.

chelone

Chelone Hot Lips: This mounded plant has gorgeous blue-green foliage that contrasts beautifully with its pink clusters of flowers. It makes a great border plant, reaches to around 2 feet tall and spreads 2 feet across.

lobelia

Lobelia Cardinalis: The bright ruby red racemes of this fabulous perennial can be seen from miles away! It does best in moist clay soils, so if your soil is very loamy, make sure to water is generously.

When Fall Arrives

These are just a few of the endless perennial plants that can complete your garden. When fall rolls around, pay attention to any perennial pruning and winter protection needs. It’s also the perfect time to plant new perennials, as your soil is in ideal, moist conditions. You can use this season to also divide up some of your perennials, so long as they aren’t still in bloom.

Planning ahead for this season will reward you kindly. Be adventurous, and be sure to plant perennials of all different kinds during this time. A higher volume of plants will provide for more color and texture in your garden and culminate in an exciting new growing season the following summer!