Consumer Real Estate News

    • Don't Make These Common Mistakes When Painting Your Home's Interior

      17 August 2022

      Painting the walls and ceilings in your home isn’t as complicated as a lot of other home improvement projects, but there are still plenty of ways that things can go wrong. Don’t make these mistakes when tackling a DIY painting project. 

      Not Choosing the Right Color and Sheen
      The paint strips in a store may not accurately indicate what paint will look like on your walls. Get a small can of paint, apply it to one area, then see how the color looks at different times of day. Figure out if that’s the right color before you paint the entire room.

      Don’t use glossy paint on walls with imperfections. A high sheen will make imperfections more noticeable.

      Failing to Prepare the Walls
      Paint won’t attach well to dirty walls. Clean the walls before you start painting, even if they don’t look dirty. They probably have a lot more dirt, dust and oil on them than you realize. Let the walls dry thoroughly before you begin painting. 

      If any paint is peeling or flaking, remove it. If the room has glossy paint, sand the walls or use a deglosser before you repaint. Replace any rotted wood and use compound to repair any other damaged areas.

      If the walls currently have paint in a dark color and you plan to cover them with a lighter color, use primer. Applying primer can help paint adhere and give you good coverage.

      Not Protecting Surfaces That You Don’t Plan to Paint
      Use painter’s tape along the edges of walls to protect trim and to give the walls clean, straight edges. Cover light fixtures, doorknobs, flooring and anything else that needs to be protected from stray paint.

      If you only intend to paint the walls, paint an area along the top of each wall first. That will give you a buffer so you don’t accidentally get paint on the ceiling.

      Painting Incorrectly
      Paint on a day when the temperature is moderate. If it’s too hot or too cold, the paint won’t adhere well. Make sure the room has plenty of light so you can spot any problems with coverage.

      It’s important to paint in the right order. If you paint the ceiling after the walls, paint from the ceiling may drip down onto your freshly painted walls.

      A roller can help you efficiently cover large surfaces. When using a roller, paint sections quickly and make sure the edge of one section is still wet when you begin painting the next section. After you cover a wall, use the roller again at a right angle to the direction you painted the first time.

      Use a brush to get into tight areas around windows, doors and trim. When painting surfaces with a brush, don’t go back and forth too much. That can leave visible brush strokes after the paint dries.

      Cover paint cans when you’re not using them. That will prevent spills, keep the paint from drying out and keep dirt and dust out of fresh paint.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 7 Best Foods to Eat for Breakfast

      17 August 2022

      Your mom said it; your doctor said it; maybe even your best friend said it—and it’s true: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The right breakfast can make you feel better, help control your weight and even set you up for a more productive day. Here’s why, as well as the best foods to choose in the morning, according to nutrition experts.

      • Oats - Eaten as a hot or cold cereal, oats are a whole grain filled with fiber, plant-based protein, B-vitamins, calcium and magnesium—all linked to reduced risk of heart disease. Plus, they help keep you full enough to resist those office donuts.
      • Eggs - Full of vitamins A, D and B12, two eggs contain more than half the choline that impacts memory, mood and muscle control—plus each egg has about 8 grams of protein to keep you full. If you don’t have time to cook eggs in the morning, keep some hard-boiled eggs in the fridge to grab as you go out the door.
      • Whole Grain Avocado Toast - Spread a slice of whole grain toast with mashed avocado. You’ll get all the benefits of the whole grain, plus the avocado provides a unique mix of heart-healthy fats and fiber to keep you full. The unsaturated fats in avocado are linked to decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
      • Whole Grain Waffles - Throw a frozen whole grain waffle in the toaster and take it with you to get all the benefits whole grains offer. 
      • Bananas - Bananas will fill you up, they come in their own portable packaging and the folate and B6 vitamin in them help improve mood and reduce anxiety. Their soluble fiber can help lower cholesterol by removing it from your GI tract before it moves into your bloodstream. 
      • Nut Butter - Unsweetened peanut butter and other butters contain eight grams of protein per two tablespoons to keep you full and have been linked to reduced risk of chronic disease. Spread some on your whole grain toast and go. 
      • Black Coffee or Tea - There are a slew of studies out there linking the antioxidants and caffeine in unsweetened coffee and tea to decreased risk of chronic disease. At zero calories, it may also help with weight management.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Luxury Bathroom Tech Trends

      17 August 2022

      A luxury bathroom can be the ultimate escape from daily stressors. Equipping your bathroom with the latest in innovative technology can enhance this experience even more. Incorporating the latest in smart home technology can add comfort, efficiency and enjoyment to your bathroom. Read on to find out what tech trends you can incorporate into your bathroom so you can turn your bathroom into your own oasis.

      Toilet Technology
      As the most utilitarian element of a bathroom design, it can be easy to overlook any upgrades to your water closet. However, there are many luxury toilet features you may be missing. For example, smart toilets come with built-in seat warmers and touchless toilets have the technology to let you open and close the toilet lid by waving your hand. Smart toilets also come with antimicrobial seats and have self-clearing and self-deodorizing technology.

      Vanity Technology
      Imagine getting out of the shower, opening a drawer and wrapping yourself in a cozy, toasty towel. A towel or robe warming drawer can be built into a bathroom vanity and have the same appearance as a standard cabinet drawer. 

      Vanity technology doesn’t stop there. Digital faucets can be completely automated and programmable, and you can turn the water on and off with a wave of your hand. Smart faucets also come equipped with programmable features, allowing you to program how long the water runs. A smart faucet is particularly beneficial in children's bathrooms, encouraging them to brush their teeth for the correct amount of time. 

      As you brush your teeth in the morning, a smart mirror can fill you in on the weather forecast and how your commute will look.

      If you are a product devotee, installing an under vanity refrigerator will save you a trip downstairs while keeping your facial products chilled, along with any medicines or freshly pressed juices for the morning. 

      Shower Technology
      Suppose you’ve ever had to wait, seemingly forever, for the shower water temperature to heat up. In that case, you understand what a luxury it is to enter the shower when the water is already at the perfect temperature. Smart showers can remember your ideal temperature, so you don't need to linger around waiting for the water to be just right. If you’re cautious about your water consumption, smart showers will also let you pause the water and set a timer for your desired shower length.

      Entertainment Technology
      A luxury bathroom isn’t complete without entertainment options to help you pass the time. If soaking baths are part of your nighttime ritual, a waterproof TV will allow you to catch up on your favorite shows without the risk of getting any devices wet.

      Waterproof speakers can also let you enjoy your favorite morning podcast or play soothing spa music as you wind down with your evening routine.

      Ambiance Technology
      Adding small comforts to increase your bathroom’s ambiance will take a beautifully designed bathroom to a true, luxury bathroom. For example, regardless of your climate, heated bathroom floors are an asset to any bathroom. After your first step out of the shower onto a warm bathroom floor, you’ll wonder why you didn’t install them sooner.

      Voice-activated bathroom lighting can solve minor inconveniences like stubbing your toe in a dark bathroom at night or changing the bathroom lighting to help you match your makeup to the appropriate level of light. 

      While a luxury bathroom typically brings to mind marble showers, oversized soaker tubs and steam showers, adding technology elements to the space takes it to the next level.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Make Stairs Safer for Seniors

      16 August 2022

      As people get older, physical decline can increase the risk of falling. For seniors with limited mobility, arthritis or poor vision, stairs can be particularly dangerous. A fall can lead to broken bones, head trauma and even death. Here are some ways to make stairs safer for an older family member.

      Reduce the Risk of Tripping and Slipping 
      Shoes, clothes and other objects that don’t belong on the stairs can increase the chance of falling for people of any age, but especially for seniors. Put things away where they belong. If you don’t want to take multiple trips to carry things upstairs, put them on a table or in a basket near the stairs, but not on them.

      Smooth stairs can be slippery. Stair treads and non-slip floor coatings can make stairs safer for your loved one. 

      Make the Stairs Easy to See
      Poor lighting and shadows can make it hard to see, which can increase the risk of falling. Check the lighting above and near the stairs. Make sure that every step is well lit and install additional lighting if necessary. 

      As people get older, their vision tends to decline. Limited vision and problems with depth perception can make it difficult to see exactly where a step is located. That can cause seniors to set a foot in the wrong place and fall. Painting the steps a different color than the area around them can make it easier for your loved ones to see where each step is and prevent an accident.  

      Check or Install Railings
      If a staircase currently has railings, check them to make sure that they’re secure. Every step should have a railing within reach on either side. There shouldn’t be any gaps. If necessary, replace damaged railings or install new railings on one or both sides of the stairs.

      Consider Installing a Stair Lift and/or Outdoor Ramp
      For seniors with limited mobility, walking up and down stairs may simply be too dangerous. In that case, a stair lift can be attached to the stairs to make upper floors accessible. Your loved one will be able to sit on a seat and ride safely along a rail to another level of the house. The seat can be folded up when it isn’t being used so others will be able to walk up and down the stairs without bumping into it.

      If your family member’s house has steps leading up to an outside door, they can pose another safety hazard. Outdoor steps have many of the same risks as indoor stairs, but rain, snow and ice can increase the risk of falling. Installing a ramp can make it easier to get in and out of the house safely. Non-slip treads, paint or tape can prevent slip-and-fall accidents for all ages.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Why You Should Pay Yourself First

      16 August 2022

      Building an emergency fund and saving for retirement are important, but a large percentage of adults have little or no savings. If you’re in that situation, you may have to cover an unexpected medical bill or car repair with a high-interest credit card. If you don’t have enough saved when you reach retirement age, you may have to keep working longer than you had planned, make painful cuts in your budget, downsize your home or move in with relatives.

      How to Pay Yourself First
      Many people think they don’t earn enough to save, or they want to save but they can’t find money to set aside. Financial planning professionals often recommend that you “pay yourself first.” That means that you should automatically transfer money to a retirement or savings account every time you get paid, before you pay bills, buy groceries or make discretionary purchases.

      If you have a retirement plan through your employer, you should be able to have money from each paycheck automatically directed to your retirement account. You can set up automatic transfers to a savings account so you can build up your emergency fund or save for another goal, such as a down payment on a house.

      Benefits of Paying Yourself First
      The problem that many people have when it comes to saving is that they pay others (their mortgage lender, auto loan servicer, credit card companies, etc.) and buy things that they need and want, then struggle to find some money left over to save. Paying yourself first switches the order of things so that you automatically put money toward your long-term goals, then address your other expenses. By making saving for your future a top priority, you’ll build a nest egg much faster. 

      Having money automatically transferred to a separate account will make it harder for you to spend it on something else. You will still have access to those funds, but withdrawing money from a retirement account or transferring it from a savings account to a checking account will take time. You’ll have to ask yourself if you should spend those funds on something else or if you should set them aside for your future, as you intended to do.

      Focus on Long-Term Priorities 
      You may have to adjust your spending in other areas to cover all your bills. For instance, if you put money toward retirement each time you get paid, you may have less to spend on takeout. Cutting back on restaurant meals may be inconvenient, but cooking at home more often and funneling more money into your retirement account will pay off later.

      Set a Realistic Goal
      Consider your income, expenses and interest rates on debt and figure out how much you can save each month. Even a modest amount can add up if you’re consistent. Being disciplined and seeing your balance grow may motivate you to save more in the future.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.