Belated Post! Life Update and 8 Ways to Quell Mosquitoes!

It's been a long time since I was able to write a new post! We closed on a new primary residence on April 5th, so I was frantically trying to get the new house painted and cleaned up before we moved in. While trying to get the house ready to be lived in, I was also trying to find a good tenant for the house we had been occupying. Fortunately, I was able to get both of those done in good fashion. Then we had to move, which is always a gauntlet. Less than two weeks after moving, Rachel and I went on an 8 day trip to Iceland. It was an amazing trip that we had been looking forward to for almost a year, but it was a bit too long and we did a lot of driving (we drove around the entire country in 7 days). It's really, really hard to take any kind of Spring vacation when you're in the real estate industry. The Spring and Summer are far and away our busiest months. The stand out moment of the trip is that I proposed to Rachel on the second day. She really likes airplanes and there just so happens to be a WWII era plane that was crashed and abandoned on a black sand beach near the town of Vik on the Southeast Coast. We walked WAY out to see the plane and that's where I surprised her with the question. She said yes and the rest of the trip was our engagement celebration. We returned on May 8th and then I began the catch up game. I feel like I've just gotten caught up today. And now we start planning a wedding. I also closed the last rehab today that we own, so now I don't have any more of my own flips going on. I have an offer out on an REO and I hope to hear soon that it was accepted. I don't like not having a rehab in some phase of the game for any extended period. As if all of those things aren't enough, Rachel just started a new job on Monday. So far she's enjoying the job, but her morning commute is hellish.

The segue to the post is that we returned from Iceland's 35-45 degree weather to Charleston's muggy 80's and 90's with lots of rain. As an aside, we have a neighbor who doesn't maintain their yard, which is starting to breed an army of mosquitos. I found a very helpful article from RealtyTimes entitled "8 Great Tricks for Keeping Mosquitos Away" by Jaymi Naciri that inspired this post. Since we're going to be facing these things for the next few months, I thought I would share a few ways that you can lessen their presence around your home. 

  1. Plant some plants: There are many plants are proven to be mosquito-repellent. Some of these are lemongrass, lavender and marigold. 
  2. Grow some herbs: There are a number of herbs that are also mosquito-repellent. Herbs are also usually easier to cultivate than heartier plants and they provide more utility than plants. Basil is considered the most effective herb at repelling mosquitos, but thyme and rosemary also work well.
  3. Catnip: Surprisingly catnip is a wonderful mosquito repellent. It is considered to be the most effective plant for keeping them away from your home. If you have any cats; I'm sure they'll appreciate it. If you don't; you may have some soon!
  4. Make traps: There are a myriad of traps that you can make out of household items. One that I see on the internet all the time is to convert a two-liter bottle into a trap with brown sugar and dry yeast. Another trap/repellent that I've used in the past is to fill ZipLoc baggies with water and pin the up outside in the sun. The reflection confuses the bugs into thinking there is a large predator around which causes them to vacate! This is a common solution in the Low Country.
  5. Vanilla Perfume: There are a number of scents we find enjoyable that mosquitoes do not. Vanilla is one of them. If you dab a bit of vanilla on yourself, the mosquitoes should avoid you!
  6. Burn old coffee grounds: This one is strange and maybe a bit too much work, but it's said to be very effective. Once used, you can collect your coffee ground and place them in a cool, dark place until the dry. Once dried, you gather them up and light them on fire until they smoke. The smell of the old coffee grounds is said to be the most effective repellent for mosquitos. 
  7. Turmeric: Turmeric has also proven to be a very competent repellent for mosquitoes. While you could always rub some turmeric on yourself, turmeric will stain your skin like no other spice. I would recommend finding turmeric oil, which will not stain and smells surprisingly nice.
  8. Baby oil: Baby oil is one of the household items that has also shown to be helpful. While baby oil is not the strongest repellent, but it's ready to be used straight out of the bottle!

That's all for this post. I promise to be back with more content and more substantial subjects in the next couple of weeks. There haven't been any major changes in the market lately, but we're facing an incredibly low inventory, which I have been fearing. While it's not the kind of thing that will threaten an economy, it's just a pain in the ass for buyers. There can be very few options for some buyers. I'll be writing up a more in-depth post concerning this soon. 

As always, if you or anyone you know needs help with real estate, I would be happy to help! Feel free to send your friends and family my way. Enjoy the rest of your week!

Thank you,

Troy Franklin Gandee