How to garden to boost your home’s curb appeal

Whether you're preparing to sell your home or just want to make it look nice from the street, strategic gardening is a great way to boost its curb appeal. Prospective buyers and your own guests alike will appreciate a well-kept yard much more than a ho-hum space filled with weeds. 


Here are some tips for maximizing your home's curb appeal through gardening:

  • Add shrubs. If you live on a busy street, planting some shrubs and bushes around the outside of your front yard will give an illusion of privacy and seclusion, which buyers value. Be sure to prune your shrubs regularly so they don't get overgrown.
  • Put in a path. Just some simple concrete stepping stones can create a pretty garden path that guests and prospective buyers can walk on to get to your front door. Surround the path with high-growing flowers for a romantic feel.
  • Add strategic knick-knacks. You don't want to fill your front yard with pink flamingos and garden gnomes, but a few well-placed items, like a single statue or a fountain, can make the house look more attractively lived-in. Lawn furniture is also a good addition because it will make prospective buyers think about how they could spend time in the yard.
  • Brighten the space with flowers. Everyone loves a yard filled with flowers, possibly even more than one that's just plain grass. When choosing the flowers you want to plant, stick to a certain color scheme that goes well with the color of your house, rather than just haphazardly grouping different types of flowers together. 

When you're selling a home, you need to consult with local real estate agents who know the market. If you're selling your home in upstate New York, contact our agents at RealtyUSA for advice. 

Staging your Home to Sell it Fast

Categories: Selling Tips

couple cleaning homeStaging is critical in the success of selling your home. Not only do staged homes sell faster, but you will also recover more than the cost of your staging (on average, 343% according to

Staging on a Budget

Don’t waste your money on a “professional stager,” which will cost you anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour. Take matters into your own hands with this staging to-do list:

  • Pack Away Personal Items
  • “De-personalizing” your home will allow potential buyers to imagine it as their new home. Personal items include (but aren’t limited to) pictures and religious items.
  • Clear Away Clutter
  • You want your potential homebuyers to focus on your home, not your larger-than-life Blu-Ray collection. Believe it not, but this type of clutter probably includes up to 90% of the things in your home. Toys, knick-knacks, collections, etc.: pack them away in a box and put it in the corner of the garage.
  • Rearrange and Freshen Up Rooms
  • Now with all of your clutter gone, it will be easier to rearrange your rooms to make them more attractive to buyers. Each room should have a distinct and useful purpose. If a room hasn’t had a fresh coat of paint in for a few years, take a paintbrush to it. Fresh, neutral paint on walls, doors, and trim will do wonders.
  • Scrub and Deodorize
  • Scrub the floors, toilets, bathtubs, sinks, windows, etc. Rent a carpet cleaner and go to town. This is especially important if you have one or more pets. The least bit of a foul smell will immediately turn off potential buyers.
  • Enhance Curb Appeal
  • The outside of your home is the buyer’s first impression. Mow the lawn, remove clutter and debris, pressure-clean the siding

Selling your home is the ultimate goal. But getting potential buyers to visualize themselves living in your house is the first step in accomplishing that goal. The easier you make it for them, the faster your home will sell.

Fourth of July Celebrations in the Fox Valley

Categories: Fox Valley

fireworksHappy Birthday America! This Friday is Independence Day, and what better way to celebrate than by going to some of the local celebrations? There are various different events going on throughout the Fox Cities that are great for everyone. From Oshkosh to Appleton there are parades, festivals, live music, and of course – fireworks. If you and your family are looking for something fun to do this weekend, check out these events going on in the Fox Valley area.

Thursday, July 3



Neenah & Menasha

  • Parade of Lights: 9:15PM starting at Riverside Park in Neenah and continuing into Downtown Menasha


Friday, July 4


  • Fourth of July Veteran’s Parade: 9:00 a.m. – Ceape Avenue and North Main Street
  • Sawdust Days: All day festival – Menominee Park
  • Fireworks: 9:45 p.m. – Menominee Park


  • CommunityFest: All-day event – Jefferson Park
  • Fireworks: 9:30 p.m. – Jefferson Park. 


  • CommunityFest: All-day event – Riverside Park
  • Fireworks: 9:30 p.m. – Riverside Park

New London

  • Carnival: 5:00 p.m. – Hatten Memorial Stadium
  • Fireworks: 9:45 p.m. – Hatten Memorial Stadium


  • Parade: 10:00 a.m. – Main Street
  • Music: 6:30 p.m. – South Park, The Chain Skiers
  • Fireworks: 9:30 p.m. – South Park



Country USA comes to Oshkosh

Categories: Oshkosh

Country USA logoThe Fox Valley is filled with different events, festivals and attractions that make living in the area a fun place to be, especially in the summer months. One of the events that Oshkosh is known for hosting each year is Country USA, one of the largest country music festivals in the nation. People come from all over the country to camp out and see the all-star lineup that the event gets each year. Twenty-seven performers will be hitting the stage for this year’s five-night event coming up June 24 – 28th.

For the first time in its 19-year history all general admission tickets have been sold out in advance for each night. They are also completely sold out of campsites. This could be because all of the headliners are some of this year’s hottest artists:

  • Tuesday: Luke Bryan
  • Wednesday: Brantley Gilbert
  • Thursday: Gary Allan
  • Friday: Florida Georgia Line
  • Saturday: Carrie Underwood

Every year gets better than the last, the organizers of this event do a great job with securing an awesome lineup each year and putting on a great show.

Top 5 tips when going to CUSA:

  1. Every year it never fails to rain. Wear appropriate shoes and clothes that you don’t mind getting muddy.
  2. Don’t be stuck in line the first night. This year Country USA is offering a pre-wristbanding night Monday night from 5-9.
  3. Beware buying last minute tickets from strangers. This year customers print their own tickets and can print multiple with the same barcode. But the barcode can only be used once so the first time it is scanned makes all other copies invalid.
  4. If you’re not camping, park on Country USA’s grounds. They require a “safety wristband” to get in which costs $5 per person if you don’t park on their grounds. If you do everyone gets a safety wristband included in the price of parking.
  5. If you’re a veteran of Country USA, you can bring in old souvenir cups to get drinks without having to buy a new one.

Skip the Grocery Store and Head to the Appleton Farmer's Market

Categories: Appleton

Appleton Farmer's MarketThe beginning of summer means the beginning of the farmer’s market season. Stop by the Downtown Appleton Farmer’s Market to pick up fresh, naturally produced foods and handcrafted items this summer. This event has gotten so large that this year the market has been expanded and will now be two days per week – the traditional Saturday morning market with the additional mid-week market now on Wednesdays. 

Mid-Week Market:

  • Washington Square
  • Wednesdays 3:30PM - 7:30PM
  • June 4th - September 24th, 2014

Saturday Farmer's Market:

  • College Avenue (Appleton Street to Drew Street) and Houdini Plaza
  • Saturdays 8:00AM - 12:30PM
  • June 21st - October 25th, 2014
The Saturday Farmer’s Market is the largest in the area. There are more than 150 vendors selling anything from: fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, cheeses, breads and baked goods along with a variety of handcrafted items. The Mid-Week Market is off to a great start as well, 40 vendors will be attending each Wednesday evening. The Downtown Appleton website provides more information including vendor lists, maps, and parking availability.
While at the Saturday market enjoy the vendors along with the local shops, restaurants, museums, live music and everything else that downtown Appleton has to offer. If you go to the market on Wednesday nights visit the Appleton Public Library and the Valley Transit Center for special activities. 
Be sure to stop at the Downtown Appleton Farmer’s Market this summer to see what all of the vendors are offering and support the local community. Try swapping the grocery store produce department for the farmer’s market this summer. 

The Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival in Little Chute, Wisconsin

Categories: Little Chute

As Wisconsinites, we’re very proud of our cheese heritage. From cheeseheads at Green Bay Packer games to buying squeaky-fresh cheese curds at the local market or cheese store.

How else can we celebrate our cheese heritage?

great wisconsin cheese festivalAt The Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival in Little Chute, Wisconsin! This is a family event held this year on June 6, 7 and 8 at Doyle Park. There will be lots of delicious food (and cheese!), carnival rides, live bands, children’s entertainment, and more!

Giving back to the community

All proceeds earned at the Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival are donated back to the Little Chute community. Since the festival’s inception in 1988, over one million dollars have been given back to the community.

Learn more!

To learn more about this year’s festival, visit the informational page on the Little Chute’s website.

Welcome to Appleton, Wisconsin!

Categories: Appleton

Appleton, Wisconsin

Big City Energy. Small Town Charm.

The city of Appleton is the main hub of the Fox Cities and boasts a lively downtown with plenty of diverse restaurants, cultural activities, a performing arts center, and many popular festivals. It has big city energy, with small town charm.

Appleton, WI is one of the most pleasant places to live in the United States. In fact, it was named by Money Magazine as one of America’s top 100 places to live. Beautiful mature trees line the peaceful streets where the friendliest of people live.

Abundant Wildlife Just Minutes Away

Appleton and the Fox Cities also boasts the Fox River – one of the few rivers in the world that flow north. It exits into Lake Michigan at Green Bay about 30 miles to the north of Appleton. A series of locks exist that once permitted navigation from Lake Winnebago to Lake Michigan and from there, the world.

Though once heavily polluted, in recent decades the Fox River has been largely restored to a clean and biologically diverse wonder. Many species of fish live in the river, including sturgeon, bass, pike, trout, perch, walleye and carp. Many bald eagles also make their homes in the trees that line the banks of the river. It’s not a rare sight to be driving on Highway 41 or 441 and seeing one soar through the sky.

Welcome Home to Appleton, Wisconsin

If you’re looking to relocate to our community from afar, or perhaps are considering a move from one of the neighboring communities, Century 21 Ace Realty has the experts to help you and your family. There are so many real estate options in the Appleton, Wisconsin area – from single-family homes to lakefront properties to townhome communities. We’ll help you find your new home.

Considering a move? Call Century 21 Ace Realty at (800) 709-2121.