How to Pay Property Taxes

Paying your property taxes annually can occasionally be an inconvenient procedure. First, there is the wait for your official taxation notice to arrive in the mail. Then, there is the necessity of mailing the payment to the state tax collector. Following that, you wait and hope the payment arrives prior to the cut-off date to prevent a late payment. Luckily, most countries now allow you to pay your property taxes online using a credit card. It’s a much faster procedure, complete with instant confirmation of this funds being received. With a credit card takes the hassle out of paying your property taxation, and even leaves you having a record of the payment in the form of a credit card charge.

Find the web site to your county’s tax offices which allows you to pay online. At the city of San Francisco, the site you need is for the office of the treasurer & tax collector.

Log on to the secured real estate tax information and payment site to get a list of your tax invoice. Enter the address to your property and press the”Begin Search” button. The system will search through county records before it finds your particular tax record.

Read the taxation record and locate the payment summary section. Fill in the region alongside”Pay Full Amount” then choose online payment.

Choose the cover by debit card or credit card option and enter your credit card information. Note you will need to pay a convenience fee for using your credit card. The commission in 2010 is 2.25 percent of the total taxes paid. There’s also a limit on paying with a credit card of $99,999.99

Complete the transaction so as to cover your tax invoice with the online payment method.

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HUD Curbing Requirements

Legislation such as the federal Truth in Lending Act make it easier for homebuyers to determine how much a mortgage will charge them in interest and fees. In the wake of the 21st century’s real-estate collapse, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has adopted additional rules to assist homebuyers compare mortgages and decide which is best for them. HUD estimates these new rules can save approximately $700 at closure.

Uniformity of Costs

Lenders must present to creditors a good-faith estimate of costs in a uniform three-page document under HUD’s new 2010 rules, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. By requiring uniformity, the government expects to make it easier for borrowers to compare interest rates and fees offered by different companies and also to figure out which loan is really the very best price for them.

Hidden Costs

When rates drove their obligations to speeds many homeowners have been amazed. HUD’s new rules, according to USA Today, require lenders to include within their good-faith estimates features that could potentially drive up costs in the future, such as increasing interest rates, balloon payments and penalties for paying off loans .

Last-Minute Changes

Lenders must give prospective borrowers a copy of their settlement costs at least one day before closure, USA Today says. Under HUD’s new rules, the form must include a line-by-line comparison using the initial good-faith estimate so that consumers will easily spot any last-minute changes. The paper reported that by hitting borrowers using a last-minute increase in fees or interest rates, lenders place borrowers in a tight spot: Should they refuse to register on to the new modifications, they need to look for a new loan and might lose the home they want.

Closing Costs

HUD limits how much closing costs can rise above the good-faith estimate, according to the FDIC. Lenders can’t increase program fees, origination fees and other penalties which go right into their pockets. Fees for third-party services, such as title insurance and evaluations, can’t rise over 10 percent so long as the buyer employs the creditor’s recommended service providers.

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FSBO Buyers Tips

When browsing for a new house, buyers will inevitably come across properties listed For Sale by Owner. The owners of these homes, better known as FSBOs, are offering the homes available without using the assistance of a realtor. Sellers do this to save money; they won’t have to pay a commission to a listing real estate agent out of the profits of the house sale. Buying a FSBO home can be a positive experience. But buyers need to take certain steps to ensure they receive the best possible deal when working with a homeowner.


Buyers should be prepared to negotiate when they create a deal on a FSBO house. There are two reasons for this: First, FSBO sellers frequently overestimate the market value of their home. They’re not working with real estate agents who can counsel them on setting a fair price. Frequently, homeowners, who have spent decades in their homes, believe with their hearts not their minds when setting an asking price. FSBO sellers are also saving money by not working with a realtor. In the majority of residential sales, both agents involved in the trade divide a commission of 6%, a percentage that comes out of the profits from the home sale. FSBO sellers can eliminate one half of the split. As a result of this, they may be willing to budge more on the final sales price. Buyers should work in tandem with their property representatives to negotiate a fantastic price on a FSBO sale.


Buyers can protect themselves by purchasing a house inspection before finalizing a FSBO sale. This is mostly standard procedure in residential property transactions. But owners selling their own homes in a FSBO sale may balk. Buyers, though, should insist on a review. An inspector may locate the serious issues in a house, such as a crumbling foundation, leaking roof or major appliances that are malfunctioning. When buyers are armed with this advice, in a written report from the contractor, they can ask the home seller lower the asking price of the house or fix the issues before the sale closes. These negotiations can be tricky in a FSBO sale; there’s no seller’s broker to act as a buffer betweeen seller and buyer. Buyers, again, should work in tandem with their representatives to negotiate some pre-sale improvements depending on the inspection report.

The Paperwork

Residential property transactions take a mountain of paperwork. It’s important for both sellers and buyers to ensure they sign all the ideal papers–including the Truth-in-Lending form, mortgage notice and evaluation arrangement –to produce the trade official. FSBO sellers may not realize the paperwork they need to bring to the closing table to close a property sale. Buyers will need to work with their real estate agents, real estate attorney and mortgage loan officer to make sure all documents are in order.

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11 Tricks to Make a Ceiling Look Higher

A lot of people dream of having high ceilings in their home. But think about this: Rooms with high ceilings are a pain to heat and also to circulate air through; they also create barriers for light and sound control and often double the expense of painting, covering windows and adding art. Low and moderately substantial ceilings can be warmer, more intimate and much more in proportion with human scale. Not to mention that changing a lightbulb is as simple as pulling a step stool. Try that with a vaulted ceiling.

Frank Lloyd Wright often incorporated low ceilings in his Prairie-style houses. To compensate, he often made the rooms extra wide and deeply connected to the outdoor spaces. Using these notions, and with the ideal decor and furnishings, you can create any ceiling sense just a tad taller.

Domb architects

1. Pick low, horizontal furniture. Keep everything hunkered down low. If you’re fortunate enough to have a stunning view similar to this, it will amplify the impact dramatically. If you do not have a great view, low furniture will still optimize the perceived height of your room.

2. Use wide expanses of glass and maintain window coverings easy. Notice how attached this space feels to the backyard? Seeing the voluminous outdoor area makes this low-slung living room sense both spacious. This trick works especially well if you’re right at floor level.

Resolution: 4 Architecture

3. Keep lighting flush. At a contemporary house with a small ceiling height, utilize flush-mounted lighting to maintain the look clean. This approach will produce the appearance of more headroom.

4. Elongate with vertical stripes. Everybody knows that vertical stripes can be very slimming and give the illusion of height. The effective use of stripes within this narrow bathroom makes it look even taller.

Carolyn Woods Design Inc..

5. Use patterned curtains. They lead the eye up to give a sense of increased height. Why is this strategy successful here is the lack of competing patterns. While you’re at it, maintain crown molding proportional. Don’t go to get a deep profile, which could shorten the wall expanse.

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

A detail at the summit of curtains also provides precisely the exact same effect.

Griffin Enright Architects

6. Use a vertical display. This group has an uplifting effect. By taking even just a couple pieces all the way to the ceiling, you can increase the appearance of height.

Red Element Style Studio

Even a group of frames arranged will lead the eye upwards and produce more visual headroom.

FORMA Design

7. Contain uplighting. Notice how the ceiling appears to float in this picture. Bouncing light off the ceiling creates visual height. Sconces, cove lighting as well as very affordable torchieres can deliver this result. This is a great technique for basements.

High Tech Ceiling

8. Offer your ceiling high gloss. This createsan illusion of endlessness. If a ceiling like the one here is overly dramatic for your tastes, utilize a semigloss paint rather.

Lisa Petrole Photography

9. Expose your structure. If it will give you more headroom, then think about carrying your ceiling to its bare bones. Basement renovations are great candidates for exposed structures. Some main-floor spaces in older houses have floating ceilings left over in the day when lower ceilings were desired. Eliminate these and your area will instantly feel taller.

Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

10. Publish a diagonal. Perhaps you have noticed the way the staircase railing invites your eye to wander upward, giving lift to a room? A painted a decor element that makes a diagonal line will supply the exact same effect.

Regan Baker Design Inc..

11. Run paneling vertically. Like stripes, vertically oriented paneling strengthens height in a space.

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Explore the Art of Light and Dark in Design

Imagine being in a room painted all black with one light source coming from over. Your favourite thing sits at the middle of the space (I’m going to imagine an Eames Lounge Chair here, but you select what is located dear to your heart). From that single light source, your illuminated thing dramatically appears with highlights and throw shadows. Here is the idea behind chiaroscuro, an art technique employed by artists like Baglione, Caravaggio and Vermeer from the 16th and 17th centuries.

The Italian term for “light and color,” “chiaroscuro” is characterized by contrasts affecting a general composition. Using opposite ends of this light-dark spectrum results in drama, depth and visual interest, as found here in “Girl with a Pearl Earring,”by Johannes Vermeer.

How can people take this two-dimensional idea of defining space onto a painted canvas and then apply it to the three-dimensional areas in which we reside?


Brick components painted black naturally appear brightly colored, while white areas have a tendency to come ahead — one example of chiaroscuro. Here the darkened stairs framed by light-colored walls creates a feeling of intrigue about that which is located at the very best.

LASC Studio

This roofline is pronounced, because the dark color stands out against the light sky. And painting a door black when it sits within a white wall immediately draws attention to it.

Eric Aust Architect

At dusk, once the interiors of a home are illuminated, dark window frames look spectacular against white walls.

Daniel Marshall Architect

Windows appear dark during the day, thanks in part to their reflectivity. Together with the general dark color on the next level of this home, the windows mix in with the adjoining walls, and the entire upper portion is one uninterrupted space hovering over the lighter base. Dark elements bright and overhead ones below play with visual perceptions of heavy versus light.

Architecture Smith + Scully Ltd

Shadows can provide an extra layer of texture and detail to a dark-colored exterior. Here the shadows assist notify the size and repetitive nature of the columns framing the walkway. The distinctive white soffit provides visual directionality to the entrance.

CplusC Architectural Workshop

Structures with simple, powerful lines and shapes are fantastic for employing contrast. The jet-black bottom of this roof form is sudden and feels romantic, because the perceived heaviness of this color brings it nearer to the viewer.

Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

Interiors are great places for chiaroscuro, too, as a result of the ability to harness and play off normal light entering the home. All the zones here are contrasted with by side light from dividers.

jessop architects

Skylights can split areas of bright illumination. Top lighting may have a very intense effect throughout the day due to its location and constant proximity to sunlight. Dark walls further differentiate the brightness round the skylights here.

Benjamin Dhong Interiors

Contrast doesn’t need to be white and black. This profound, subdued blue will help to frame the lighter-toned distance beyond.

In chiaroscuropaintingsartists define objects by exhibiting them against a juxtaposing background color. In design these objects can be stairs or light fixtures that stand out against their background.


A daring use of dark floors and ceiling will accentuate white walls and furniture. The additional dark elements here, like the bracket and the inside of the fireplace, further exaggerate this contrast.

The attractiveness of chiaroscuro is that it actually could be a black and white matter. Are you ready to add some contrast to your life?

More: In Praise of Shadows
5 Smashing Black and White Homes

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Show Us Your Garden Gnomes

Gnomes have been occupying gardens for decades, sitting toadstools, pulling carts, sometimes even making their own villages. Gnomes were initially produced in Germany. They were used as decorative guards to keep burglars from farms. Their popularity hasn’t waned, and they have played roles in movies and literature from fairy tales into the Harry Potter series. One of my personal favorites is their role in The Full Monty, populating the lawn of a stiff manager and showing his sensitive side.

Recently gnomes have taken on different roles. Ironically used alongside their southern cousins, pink flamingos, they have been awarded modern cred by designers such as Philippe Starck with his Napoleon and Attila gnome table stools. One roaming gnome functions as the spokesperson for Travelocity. A large group of gnomes celebrity in Gnomeo and Juliet. They’ve even been announced “invasive” by a single botanical specialist in this humorous short movie.

Show us Have some merry gnomes taken up home in your garden or inside your home? If that’s the case, please post a picture in the Comments section. Your gnome could appear in a follow-up feature on our homepage.

I will begin with my little gnome. He’s a bit worn out, what with holding up this marijuana for all this time. I guess he is waiting for me to plant something in it.

I love to move him about. In this area he is guarding my termite bait trap.

Whitney Lyons

Send in the gnomes: To include your gnome photo, type a comment about it below, then click “Attach Images” and select the picture on your desktop to share.

Tell us where you are and where you’ve got your gnome(s)!

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14 To-Dos to Make the Most of Summer

Creating a summer want-to-do list is a great way to make sure you make time for whatever you want to do prior to the year slips by. You can probably think of lots of things to add to your list that involve outings, such as spending the day at the beach, going to a baseball game, jumping in a lake or ingesting a lobster roll at your favorite clam shack — but what about entertaining things you can do without leaving home? Think about adding these 14 ideas.

Streeter & Associates, Inc..

1. Photograph your residence. Years from today, if you still reside in your home or have moved on to a different place, it can be rewarding to have a few mementos of your home life as it is today. Simply take a few shots of the exterior from throughout the street and each room inside, plus any particular details, such as your kids ‘ height marks on a door frame or the view from the favourite window.

See how to shoot better photos of your Property

Wettling Architects

2. Set the stage for a staycation. A couple of days off at home in summer can be sweeter if you have taken the time to stock your home and patio with summer essentials. Clean up those deck chairs and treat yourself for a few fluffy new towels or cushions, a pile of books and your favorite icy drinks.

Find your summer patio design

Moving Home To Roost

3. String a hammock up . Just looking at a hammock swaying gently in the breeze is relaxing — really lounging in a single is even better! If you do not have a pergola to hang yours from, look for a hammock that accompanies its very own freestanding framework.

Annie McElwain Photography

4. Try out a fresh take on the guest book. Take a snapshot of each person who visits your home this summer, and tack all the photos up on your refrigerator or on a particular bulletin board. The growing jumble of photos will be like an ever-changing artwork display — and by the end of the summer, you’ll have enough to fill a record.

Carlos Delgado Architect

5. Add a summery exterior feature. An outdoor shower, pizza oven, fire pit, movie screen … any or all them can transform your outdoor space. And the beauty is, the majority of these jobs can be completed on many different budgets.

Clayton&Little Architects

6. Transform your garage or drop into usable space. Why let that garage or drop just sit, when it could be reimagined as an art studio, a workshop or a Ping-Pong room? Let your plans to your distance motivate you to have it cleared out and refreshed, so you can start enjoying it before the summer is over.

Dara Rosenfeld Design

7. Try out a nonlawn game. No lawn? Set up a game of bocce or pétanque on a gravel court or driveway.

Kristie Barnett, The Decorologist

8. Decorate with flea market finds. Freshen up your home on a budget by hunting at summer flea markets and yard sales for bargain finds. Spruce up your finds with a lick of paint or new knobs.

Get tips for creating your own classic style

Alex Amend Photography

9. Try out an upcycling project. Look at your cast-offs having an eye on repurposing, and you may be able to create something completely new without spending a dime. From the space shown here, an old boogie board tops a dining table, and camp blankets cover cushions and chairs. Start with materials you currently have and search for job ideas that appeal to you.

Step-by-step DIY jobs for indoors and out

Big Girls Small Kitchen

10. Preserve the harvest. The next time you come to a bounty of peak-of-season best create — if it’s from your own garden or a farm stand — get sufficient to place some by for later. Canning is a favorite alternative for keeping fruits, but when boiling jars isn’t your idea of fun on a hot summer day, consider freezing your haul instead. Just spread out berries or sliced peaches on a baking sheet and freeze them so that they do not stick together, then dump them into labeled freezer bags.

Annette Tatum

11. Camp out in the backyard. Preparing the tent, roasting s’mores over the fire pit and telling stories from the dark is equally entertaining for little ones if you are deep in the mountains or in your own backyard. In fact, even in the event that you don’t want to sleep outdoors, tents and tepees create great temporary summer playhouses for kids.

Simple to Beautiful Tepees and Tents

Alykhan Velji Design

12. Finally print all those pictures and set up a gallery wall. Ah, the electronic age. If you are anything like me, almost all of your photos exist only on your computer’s hard drive. Commit to making a change that summer by selecting your favorites to publish. Fill out an entire wall with frames for an enjoyable, eclectic look.

View gallery wall ideas for every character

SchappacherWhite Architecture D.P.C.

13. Take on a major remodeling job. In case you’ve been planning a kitchen remodeling job, summer can be a great time to dive in. After all, when else would setting up a temporary exterior kitchen really seem fun?

Justine Hand

14. Simplify … and then only unwind. Streamline your possessions and reduce clutter from your life to make more space for what you really want to do.

Take the first step into decluttering

Tell us : What is on your summer want-to-do list?

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Universal Design Helps an 8-Year-Old Feel at Home

Building a new home in a kid-friendly area wasn’t the only priority for Julie Brocklehurst and Andrew Boland. In fact, their whole house had to be custom kid. With their 8-year-old son, Brennen, in a wheelchair, they had to design a practical, comfortable distance that will work well for him for a long time to come.

Working together with Carter Home Designs and an occupational therapist in Janeway Children’s Health and Rehabilitation Centre, the couple produced a smart open-concept home tailored to the household, by a playroom basement that’s available from the exterior to wider hallways and other amenities.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Julie Brocklehurst, Andrew Boland, son Brennen and greyhound Rumble
Location: East End of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Size: principal level: 1,400 square feet, lower level: 800 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

Becki Peckham

Brennen, shown here with his parents, has a diagnosis of spastic tetraparetic cerebral palsy, among other developmental disorders, and requires assistance in all parts of his life. “Despite his many struggles, Brennen is a happy little boy,” Brocklehurst states. “He is quite busy in Easter Seals applications, swimming, music therapy and therapeutic horseback riding. He has graduated kindergarten and is now enjoying grade one!”

Becki Peckham

A wheelchair-accesible walk-out basement is the playroom of Brennen. Brocklehurst and Boland chose out a grey laminate flooring for this area and paired it with crisp white walls and a cheerful accent wall (Sunflower Fields, Benjamin Moore). All the doorways on this basement flat are 36 inches wide.

Becki Peckham

A therapeutic Snoezelen room from the playroom is a multisensory environment designed to provide both stimulation and relaxation for children with developmental challenges. It is filled with sights, sounds and motion for Brennan to experience. The Hanging Crow’s Nest by Joki is a great spot for him to relax in.

Bubble tubing, fiber-optic lights, projectors: TFH Special Needs Toys

Becki Peckham

Becki Peckham

Brocklehurst stores loose things and tiny toys in apparent bathtubs. Built-in shelves carry toys and craft materials.

Becki Peckham

An open living area proved to be a top priority. “I need to be able to view Brennen constantly, from wherever I am,” Brocklehurst states. “We find that distance to be open and functional but still comfy.”

Vaulted white ceilings and subdued grays create a soothing, neutral backdrop. The couple chose warm grey flooring throughout the main level to coordinate with the stone fireplace.

The two black and white canvas prints flanking the fireplace were taken from local photographer Greg Locke to get a display named PhotoSensitive: Kids Who Can.

Wall paint: Freezing Rain, Sico

Becki Peckham

Rumble enjoys a bite on the living room carpet.

Cowhide Shade: The Rug Room

Becki Peckham

This green couch is the highlight of the living space, along with Brocklehurst’s DIY art project over, a collage of photographs she took of signs that the family has passed trips around the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Sofa: Portico Sofa at Basil, Sunpan Imports

Becki Peckham

Gas fireplace: Manhattan, Napoleon; stone: Loyalist Grey, StoneRox

Becki Peckham

Flooring: hard maple in Eclipse, Mercier

Becki Peckham

The living room and dining room lead right into the kitchen; the few went with a light grey tile to match the wood floors. The kitchen includes an Granite pub and granite countertops paired with black Shaker-style cabinets. The tones are replicated through the backsplash. Stainless steel and stone tile reflect light.

Becki Peckham

The patio off the kitchen is used frequently for barbecues in the summer and supplies access to the backyard. The patio door is 6 feet round to accommodate a 3-foot opening accessible by wheelchair.

More thoughts for designing an accessible kitchen

Becki Peckham

The puppy portrait in the conclusion of the 4-foot-wide hallway is a digital print of their household dog done by Brocklehurst. Each door is 36 inches wide; a typical door is 30 inches wide.

See 3 more features that boost accessibility

Becki Peckham

Boland and Brocklehurst merged design and performance in the toilet of Brennen. A contemporary bathtub surrounded by custom tilework was raised to accommodate a elevator afterwards. The toilet is approximately 100 square feet.

Wall paint: Grey Drizzle, Sico

Becki Peckham

The main bedroom is straightforward, relaxing and cheerful.

Wall paint: Hailstorm, Sico

Becki Peckham

For the exterior the few chose colors inspired by the weather grays and a yellow mixed together.

More: Universal Design Strategies for 4 Key Home Areas

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The Way to Stop Bugs in Radishes

Radishes (Raphanus sativus) grow year-round in hot climates, but can also develop insect infestations at any time. Cabbage maggots, harlequin beetles, flea beetles and other pests infest radishes, eating holes in their leaves, stems and roots. You’re able to keep bugs away in the radishes by build-up radish growing areas, protecting crops and other cultural controls. Radish root colors and shapes differ widely between varieties, and include black, pink, purple, long and egg-shaped, as well as the traditional round, red salad radish. Although most people simply eat radish roots, the leaves are also edible. Radishes are annual plants which produce seed and die in the end of their growing season.

Remove plant debris in areas where radishes have been rising, at the end of the growing season.

Dig up weeds or ground cover growing near radishes with a garden fork or trowel in the spring, and continue to remove weeds as they appear during the year.

Cover rows of sown radish seeds with a floating cover of spun polyester garden fabric. Secure the edges with rocks, gathering the fabric beneath the rocks so the edges are held closely against the ground.

Grow radish plants on a new website annually for at least three years.

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What Part of New Dill Can I Cut for Recipes?

Cousin to the carrot, dill (Anethum graveolens) shows comparable lacy, ferrn-like leaf. The fragrant, blue-green leaves are broken up into thready, inch-long segments. At maturity, dill stands 3 to 5 feet tall. Plant the yearly at the spring or fall in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 8 and also in winter in USDA zones 9 to 11. Although it may also grow inside in a deep pot, it tends to turn into gawky if not in direct sunlight. The leaf, along with the seeds, of the culinary herb flavor many dishes.

Dill Weed

The chopped foliage, usually referred to as dill weed, is the perfect seasoning for fish. Also often contained in herb butters, potato or other root-vegetable recipes, bread and herbal teas, dill has ever been vital in Russian and Scandinavian soaps. Dill leaves generally have the best flavor and ought to be cut off the plant as the yellow flowers start to open. Because dill weed loses much flavor when dried, freeze whole branches in plastic bags if you are unable to use all of the dill when freshly elected.

Dill Seed

Two to three weeks after flowering stops, cut the dill seed heads off. Dry them in a paper bag until the heads release the seeds. Store them for future use in an airtight container. Dill seeds lend piquancy to vinegars and dishes, such as potato salad, sauerkraut and, needless to say, dill pickles. During colonial times, dill seeds got the nickname “meetinghouse seeds,” since parents occasionally gave them to children to chew over while enduring lengthy church services.

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