Consumer Real Estate News

    • Cool Ideas for Dressing Up Your Kid’s Room

      7 April 2020

      Icons and superheroes go in and out of style, so decorating your kids’ rooms to reflect their current favorite may not be the best idea. Decorators suggest using timeless themes and practical ideas to make their spaces cheerful and organized:

      Start with color – Choose a favorite, preferably a soothing one, to help your child ease into sleep. Consider painting one wall in chalkboard paint, ready for years of artistic expression.

      Use cool family art – Choose a favorite family, vacation, or kid photo and blow it up to large standard frame size at an office supply store. Then cut it evenly into thirds or fourths vertically, frame each one, and hang them side by side as separate pieces separated by just an inch or two.

      Make it a gallery – String wire from one wall to another, just high enough for you to reach, to hold a changing display of your child’s drawings. Or frame the drawings in standard acrylic frames that can be changed as new masterpieces emerge.

      Try dresser magic – Perk up a drab white dresser inexpensively by tying a length of colorful ribbon into a bow around each of the knobs.

      Create a reading nook – Make it an inviting place for shared reading with a bookcase full of books, soft lighting, and seating comfy enough for cuddling.

      Add maxi-storage – A rack of colorful, stacked bins from the local home store is better than a toy box for storing trucks, games, building blocks, and other large toys.

      And mini-storage – A multi-pocketed shoe organizer hung from one wall is a great place to stash mini action figures, Hot Wheels cars, hair goodies, and other small treasures.

      Stock cubbies or a shelf with art supplies – Keep it full of construction paper, markers, poster board, and other supplies your kid may need for school projects.

      Create a play space – Kids love to play dress-up. Find an old trunk and fill it with vintage clothing and hats they can use to ‘put on a show.’

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Should You Paint or Stain Your Kitchen Cabinets?

      7 April 2020

      So you've got new kitchen cabinets. Congratulations! But now what? For those wondering how to finish their brand-spanking-new cabinets, we run down the pros and cons of painting vs. staining—the two most popular finishing avenues. The kitchen is one of the most important factors in your home’s value, so consider how the following information impacts your real estate investment.

      Pros for paint

      It's flawless. Regardless of the color you choose, painting your cabinets covers up any quirks or blemishes in the natural wood, which can often be magnified by staining.

      Your color choices are endless. When it comes to picking a paint, the world is your multi-colored oyster. Get crazy and really customize the look and feel of your cabinets.

      Paint sticks to lower quality materials. If your cabinets are not made of wood (think particle board), paint is your BFF. It sticks to these materials just as well as higher grade wood options, and no one but you will know the difference.

      Cons for paint

      It looks more uniform. Remember those natural quirks we mentioned? Well you may not want to cover them up. If you're looking for a more natural, country vibe that highlights those stunning features like grain and knots, opt for a stain over paint.

      It's pricey. While not too expensive in the grand scheme, paint is more expensive than a stain, so if budget is a concern, take heed.

      Harder to touch up. Even if you can't find an exact match for your cabinet color, when you're working with stain, odds are you'll have better luck blending touch-ups in stain than with picky paint.

      Source: Houzz

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Tips for Decorating With Books

      7 April 2020

      Are you a bookworm? Do you want to give your home a chic update using what you already own? Perfect. Below are five tips for turning your favorite books into accents, centerpieces, and more.

      Stacks on stacks. Stack books on end tables, counters and coffee tables that seem a bit naked on their own. Curate a small grouping—odd numbers work best—and stack or fan them in a way that's pleasing.

      Fill the fireplace. What can you do with your fireplace during off-season months? Fill it with books, that's what! Stack an appealing group of books up high, add a potted plant or two and boom, you've turned a dead space into a book nook. Just be sure to clear them out when winter comes.

      Color by room. This works best for people with a huge reading collection. Simply organize and arrange your books by color. You can segregate all your earth- and fire-toned books into a room that could use some natural accents, pile your crisp and clean colors into that all-white guest room, stack those daisy-yellow reads into the sunroom, etc.

      Color by shelf. If you have a massive book shelf in one room and want to keep your family of books together, you can organize them by color in one place, much like you might with your clothes closet. One shelf for those bright greens and blues, another for pastels, another for blacks, and so on.

      Create a tower or table. Find several wide books of the same size and heft, stack them on top of each other next to a low-lying bed or sofa, and boom: a side table! Top them with a vase of flowers and voila – an accent extension.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Money-Saving Strategies You Can Use Right Now

      6 April 2020

      While many Americans typically look for money-saving strategies, the economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis leaves a growing number of people searching for new ways to stretch every dollar.

      From economists and consumer advisors, here are seven ways to cut costs without measurably impacting your lifestyle:

      • Save on Utilities – Wash small loads of dishes or laundry by hand and air or line dry them. Turn off lights and appliances when not in use. Put on a sweater and turn down the thermostat.
      • Save on Cleaning Supplies – Don’t replenish your stock of targeted detergents, polishes and cleaning products. For everyday cleaning chores, use a solution of equal parts vinegar and water. Disinfect hard, non-porous surfaces with a combination of 1/2 cup of regular chlorine bleach and a gallon of water. (For small batches, use 4 teaspoons of chlorine bleach and a quart of water.)
      • Save on Food – Cook more meals at home. Get the family involved in looking for recipes based on grocery store specials, and planning and preparing simple but nutritious meals. Using that plan, make a list of needed groceries and send one person to the store; keep in mind some items may be out of stock so be flexible with your recipes.
      • Cut Entertainment Costs – Look into saving by cutting the cost of cable and subscribing to one or two of your favorite streaming services. Use Zoom or a similar app to set up audio-visual visits with friends and family. Pop some popcorn, dust off the Yahtzee set and other board games and bring back the fun of family game nights.
      • Get Crafty – Got birthdays or other gift-giving occasions coming up? Make jam. Knit a toasty afghan. Search online for crafting ideas and make heartfelt, homemade gifts that are sure to please just about everyone.  
      • Use Credit Wisely – If you’re going to use a credit card, use one that gives you something back—preferably cash. If you don’t have one, apply for one. If that’s not an option, and/or if you are forced to carry a balance, call your card company. Getting a reduced interest rate is often only a matter of asking for it.
      • Cancel Subscriptions – Spotify. Magazines. Gym memberships. You may not realize how many subscriptions you have. Cancel automatic renewals. Consider membership sharing with family or friends on services like Netflix and Hulu. With an upgraded account, you can watch from two or more screens and everyone saves.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Staying Safe During a Health Crisis

      6 April 2020

      Whether or not your state has issued mandated guidelines for sheltering in place during the COVID-19 crisis, there is little question that social distancing and practicing basic health safety measures are effective weapons against getting sick.

      In fact, with the illness curve still rising across the country, more than 158 million people are now working from home these days in an effort to keep the disease from spreading.

      For those who are part of this at-home demographic, and especially for those who are not, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Red Cross recommend guidelines for staying healthy and preventing the spread of infection:

      Disinfect Home and Work Areas – This includes all frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, desktops, phones, faucets and toilets.

      Wash Hands Frequently – Using soap and hot water, wash for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public space.

      Avoid Touching Your Eyes, Mouth or Nose – Especially if you have not washed your hands for a while.

      If You Must Go Out in Public – Avoid groups of 10 or more people and try to maintain a distance of six feet from others.

      Avoid Shaking Hands – Greet people with an elbow bump instead, or a slight bow, a nod of the head or a hand over your heart.

      Protect Others – Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue if you cough or sneeze, or sneeze into your elbow or sleeve.

      If You Feel Sick, Stay Home – If you have mild cold or flu symptoms, recovering at home may be enough. If you develop a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.