Category: Homestead

No Fence? No Problem. Here’s How I Keep My Dog Safe

As a pet owner it’s important to make sure you’re keeping your beloved four legged friends safe. We need to provide them with a way to get plenty of exercise and time outdoors, but we have to do so in a way that keeps them out of harm. Personally I’m a dog owner, and while I’d love to walk my dog Sherry all day long that simply not a feasible way to do it, and I feel bad keeping her tied up to a post all day so I went searching for solutions.

The most obvious option is to install a fence so that the Sherry can run free through the yard all day long while I’m busy taking care of business and the house. The problem is that in a coastal area like Terra Ceia Bay you really don’t want to put a fence up. Not only will it block your view, but it will also mess with your neighbor’s views and make your house look less nice from the water. It’s also just out of place in a neighborhood like this – it’s simply not a picket fence type of place like you see in other suburban regions across America. After a little bit of searching around the web I started putting a little more effort into an invisible dog fence. I’d seen some of my friends use them years ago, but that’s all I really knew about them. It turns out they are a great solution to exactly my scenario.

Why I Chose an Invisible Dog Fence

I was a little bit skeptical about the invisible dog fence idea at first. With nothing to physically keep Sherry in, what was to really keep her from escaping and running through the neighborhood unleashed? I saw enough positive reviews on the internet though that I thought I might give it a try. If you’ve never looked into them before, the price of these systems is not too bad. Especially when you compare it to the price of installing a real fence.

From what I can tell there are two main types of invisible fence system. The first type is actually dug into the ground where you want the barrier to be for your dog, and the second type is a wireless system entirely. In my younger days I may have opted for the first option, but these days I’m always happy to try out the easier option so it was wireless for me. I went with one of the options by PetSafe. If you’re trying to find one yourself, I found this website to be particularly useful:

Best invisible dog fence review guide.

I’ve only just gotten the system up and running, so I can’t say I can give it my full approval quite yet. What I can say is that it has been very easy to set up and start using, and that Sherry has taken to it quite well. We haven’t had any problems with it at all yet, and I sure hope it stays that way. My back yard looks so much cleaner than it did when I had sherry leashed to a post, and it’s nice to know that she can run around unhindered by a leash while I take care of my own work. If you’re in similar situation to me then these types of systems are definitely worth looking into. For the price you pay there’s little to loose.

What Makes Your Home Desirable

The real estate market in Florida is tough, and it’s actually a bit volatile. Depending on the side of the deal you’re on – buying or selling – there’s a good chance you’re either in a great position or a rather undesirable position. There are a number of factors that seem to influence public sentiment, such as severe weather events and the strength of the country’s economy for example. It’s still nearly impossible to predict what will happen though.

That said, I’ve seen enough houses bought and sold in the Tampa Bay area to know that regardless of the market conditions there are just some things in common with homes that fly off the market as opposed to those that sit with “for sale” signs in their front yard for seemingly an eternity. Let’s dig into some of the features that are common amongst the desirable homes in the Tampa Bay area.

Great Views

This is a no-brainer. Properties with a gorgeous view of the bay and access to a fantastic patch of beach are almost always swept up quickly by prospective buyers, regardless of market conditions. Sure you may get a better deal when the market is hot, but you’ll always be able to offload a piece of property with a beautiful view. These properties are few and far between, so if you have your hands on one make sure you know what it’s worth.

Proximity To The Essentials

As human beings we love convenience, there’s simply no question. If one grocery store is five minutes away and the other grocery store is seven minutes away, it’s incredibly probable that we’ll end up at the closer one nine times out of ten, even if it’s a bit more expensive. We all lead busy lifestyles, even if what keeps us “busy” is getting back to relaxing. Of course, what is going to be important to a prospective buyer will vary, but things like grocery stores, liquor stores, restaurants, and beaches are relatively safe bets. Walking distance and accessibility is the icing on the cake here, and the more you can have in a single property the more desirable it’s going to be when it hits the market.

Attached Garage

Almost nobody would prefer to park their car out in the elements as opposed to having it in a conveniently located garage that is attached to your home. Surprisingly, there are a lot of homes in the area that are not built with attached garages. If you have an attached garage it’s certainly going to be a plus. Just make sure that it’s equipped with a high quality garage door opener, as the salty air from the Bay tends to have a field day with lower quality components. Check out BGDOR’s buying guide to see if your garage door openers are up to snuff.

Well Designed Kitchen

As working people we spend a very small time in our house in reality. Most of this is in our bedrooms during the eight hours of sleep we get at night. Otherwise it’s in the kitchen, where you’re either making food on a daily basis or eating in a dining room that is auxiliary to the kitchen. A well designed kitchen will be desirable in just about any home, and that’s no different here in the Tampa Bay area.

Pride of Ownership

It’s amazing how many homeowners let their homes get out of date and neglect small projects that would otherwise keep it in the best of shape. It’s nothing against them, I understand. Many of these upgrades are not absolute necessities. However, as homes age and take on the appearance of aging, it goes without saying that they’ll start to look outdated. If you’re able to stay on top of projects as they arise you can maintain an appearance that your home is brand new, even if it was built a decade or decades in the past. Buyers don’t want projects. They want to move in and enjoy their home. If you’re expecting to get top dollar for your home, you’re going to have to give the buyers what they want.

How To Make The Most of a Great View

One of the awesome things about living in a coastal region like Terra Ceia Bay or anywhere on the coast of Tampa Bay for that matter is that you can buy a piece of property with an absolutely breathtaking view. Even better, while it’s not dirt cheap, the real estate prices in Florida can be quite affordable when considered to similar homes and properties in other parts of the country.

In Terra Ceia Bay, you have a great chance of getting a view of the bay or the Gulf, and you may even luck out and have a view of the beach as well. How do you make the most of this view then? The answer is simple – design your home to make the absolute best of it.

Here are some tips that I’ve gathered from visiting many beautiful homes in this lovely region of Florida:

If You Can Have A Balcony You Should Have A Balcony

One of the most jaw-dropping ways to enjoy a beautiful view is to have a balcony that looks out over it. A balcony is best placed in a location that has the most coverage of the view as you sweep your eyes from left to right (or vice versa) across the horizon. You’ll want to carefully consider the railings and the design of the balcony as well. If improperly designed they can block your precious view. Along that note, you want to make sure that the rails of the balcony are visually pleasing and go with the overall feel of the view. A balcony that doesn’t look great is only going to detract from the beauty that nature has bestowed upon us.

Just a few other quick notes about balconies – you should have room for a few chairs at the very least. Standing room only is fine of course, but you’ll have much more room for enjoyment if you can bring out a few chairs. Better yet, a table and chair set so you can enjoy meals as the sun goes down for the evening.

Consider Your Dining Areas

This leads me to my next point – carefully consider where you place your dining areas and how they are laid out. It’s best if you can take advantage of your amazing vantage point while you are enjoying any of your meals at home. Think of how amazing it would be to have breakfast every morning while looking out towards the bay. Another great use would be having guests over for dinner and them being absolutely “wowed” by your view.

This is still something you should implement even if you’ve already achieved an outdoor dining area on your patio as previously discussed. The benefit of having a similar dining room inside is that it protects you from the elements – whether that is the cold, the rain, the wind, or insects.

Your Master Bedroom Is Paramount

This one is probably the most selfish use of your view, but when it comes to your own personal enjoyment of your property it’s probably the most important. If you’ve ever woken up to a magnificent room in your bedroom – whether you’re blessed with this at home or you’ve only experienced it while traveling – you’ll know why.

To make the most of your view it’s important to have as much window area open to the view as possible. The best bet is to get sliding doors if it will work structurally give the design of your bedroom. The great thing about a master bedroom overlooking a view is that you won’t have to worry about neighbors looking back in. All that will be there to stare back at you is the beauty of nature.