Real Estate News

    • Making Overnight Guests Feel Special

      28 July 2021

      With the worst of COVID-19 seemingly behind us, and vaccinated Americans resuming near-normal lives, thousands of families are getting back together at last. But while hosting overnight guests can be a joy, it comes with a few responsibilities, chief among them making your guests feel welcome without running yourself ragged. If there are overnighters in your future, here are six tips for preparing and managing a visit that is pleasurable for all.

      • Stock the Guest Room - Nothing says welcome like flowers, so a small vase with a few fresh blooms is nice. It’s also thoughtful to leave tissues, a bottle of water, a few mints or chocolates and a note with your wi-fi number on it. Besides leaving towels in the guest room, it’s a nice touch to leave a little basket of hotel-size bottles of lotion, shampoo and body wash.
      • Communicate Ahead of Time - You should know in advance if your guests have any allergies or food preferences, or have any special requests. They should know what time the kids get up, when the showers are busiest and any other family routines.
      • Keep Meals Simple - The more you can do ahead of time, the more you can relax and enjoy your visit. Stock the pantry with basics and the fridge with plenty of fresh fruit and veggies. Prepare a couple of breakfast and/or dinner casseroles you can freeze or refrigerate in advance and heat up as you need them. 
      • Keep It Tidy - There is no need for heavy cleaning when you have house guests, but keep the bathrooms tidy, check the guest bath for wet towels and keep the living areas neat and picked up.
      • Create a Fun Zone - The family room is perfect, but you can create a fun zone anywhere by stocking a sturdy box with cards, books, board games, jigsaw puzzles and sticker books—anything to encourage play times for all ages.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Laundry Tips the Experts Wish You Knew

      28 July 2021

      Laundry is a chore that you likely perform regularly. While laundry can begin to feel like an endless chore, modern washing machines make the process far easier than ever before. However, even the highest-end washing machine can’t make up for common laundry mistakes. Before you throw your next load of clothes in the wash, find out these laundry tips that the experts wish you knew.

      Wash Your Synthetics Separately
      Your synthetic clothes need to be treated differently than the rest of your items. While washing a synthetic garment with other clothes won’t immediately ruin the item, it can cause damage that will wear the garment out over time. Stiff jeans, items with zippers or buttons, and even tops with sequins can rub against your synthetic items causing them to pill or damage their elasticity. As a general rule, wash your clothes with “like materials.”

      Wash With Lukewarm Water to Prevent Stains
      Stains are one of the top laundry problems people have to deal with, and not everyone knows how to address a stain properly. Unfortunately, if a garment with a stain is incorrectly washed, that stain will set and be nearly impossible to remove. Avoid high-temperature washing and drying cycles when treating a stain, and whenever possible, address stains quickly by pretreating them.

      Avoid Using Fabric Softener on Activewear
      Since activewear is designed to absorb oil and wick away sweat, fabric softener or even the wrong kind of detergent can be absorbed into the clothes and clog the pores of the material. This means that your items won’t absorb sweat like they are designed to and may even have a lingering, musky smell. This is because fabric softener can block the sweat and dirt from washing out properly, leaving your newly laundered items smelling like a high school gym locker.

      Prep Your Clothes Before Washing
      Simply tossing your clothes in the washing machine may be easy, but your clothes may suffer from it. Instead, prep your clothes before washing by ensuring that zippers are zipped, velcro is secured and snaps or hooks are closed. This will prevent snags and tears during the wash cycle. To keep clothes at their best, be sure to unroll cuffs and socks, and turn pockets inside out after checking for forgotten items.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Choosing the Best Bed Sheets for You

      28 July 2021

      We spend about a third of our lives in bed, so it makes sense to invest in bed linens that make us feel comfortable, even pampered. But with labels touting high thread counts and warring claims about fiber content, making the best choice can become confusing. If you want to skip the guesswork for your next set of sheets, follow these guidelines provided by textile test groups:

      • Check the Fiber Contest First - 100% cotton is the go-to-choice, with premium Extra-Long Staple (ELS) cotton, such as Egyptian or Pima, the softest, most durable option. They are more expensive, but typically worth the splurge. Cotton/polyester blends are cheaper and wrinkle less, but they have a more synthetic feel. All-polyester sheets, while least expensive, tend to retain body heat, making them less comfortable for those who sleep hot.
      • Consider the Thread Count - Manufacturing techniques allow some brands to make high thread count sheets without actually increasing quality. Tests have shown that a 300 to 500-thread count is the sweet spot for softness and strength. You can find good 200-thread count sheets, but they may not be as comfortable, and anything over 500 isn't necessarily better.
      • Know the Difference Between Weaves - The primary options are percale or sateen. Percale is a basic, grid-like weave that feels light and crisp. Sateen feels silky smooth. It's a matter of personal preference, though in tests, consumers tend to favor sateen.
      • Be Sure the Sheets Will Fit Your Mattress - Standard sizes, like queen or king, don't account for mattress depth. So, if yours is tall or if you use a mattress topper, make sure to measure before you buy. You should also account for some shrinkage after laundering. Generally, fitted sheets labeled to fit up to 15-inch mattresses are fine.
      • Check the Return Policy - You can’t know whether you will love your new sheets until you’ve slept on them. Some brands, especially those with internet-only sales, allow you to make returns for any reason.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 4 Pattern Trends to Try in Your Home

      27 July 2021

      Whether you’re working with stripes, plaids or a floral pattern—or want to incorporate all three in one space—it takes a creative eye to make this bold design choice. Of course, there are certain colors and patterns that just don’t mix, but if by making smart choices and sticking to your color theory, you can create a trendy, unique and all around gorgeous space full of character and personality. Here are four popular pattern trends to try in your home!

      Bold Florals 
      Florals are a trend that never goes out of style. From a statement piece of artwork on the wall to smaller details on a throw pillow, almost every home you walk into features a floral pattern somewhere in the home. But because they are so free-flowing and natural, it can quickly become overwhelming when you mix too many patterns and colors in one space. When designing your space, choose a color or color scheme, fabric or artwork that you want to make a statement in that space, and work from there. Instead of trying to fit a floral pattern into an already decorated space, drawing inspiration directly from that pattern will create a cohesive design. 

      Pretty Plaids
      This classic pattern is often found in a wearable form or with the holiday decorations in the winter. However, plaid can create an interesting look, as well as tie together a well thought out color scheme, in almost any room in your home. The trend has surpassed flannel shirts and has made its way into interior design in some interesting ways. Instead of going for a plaid bed sheet set or throw blanket on the living room couch, consider making a statement wall with a clean buffalo plaid wallpaper. This will add a contemporary look to a country-style home instantly.

      Classic Stripes
      Stripes offer many different options when it comes to interior design. You can go for vertical, horizontal or even diagonal stripes, depending on your aesthetic preference. The best part about this pattern is that, even as cumbersome as stripes can be, they are often a nice compliment to bolder designs, such as florals, and can even help to balance out an overwhelming space. Just be smart when working with stripes, as using multiple lines going in different directions can end up looking messy. For a nautical theme, stripes are a classic move. But, you can add these into a vintage-inspired space for balance or a more modern space to add dimension. Be careful, however, to limit the colors of your stripes to two colors to avoid a cluttered look.

      Textured Tiles
      Tiles can be used to create the most beautiful designs. With an endless amount of patterns, including floral, stripes and more free-flowing designs, you can draw inspiration from all different styles from all over the world. You paint directly on tiles or even use the tiles themselves to curate your own unique pattern. Some tiles even have a texture on their surface, allowing you to add dimension and patterns to a space without using an array of colors. Tiles can be used in many different parts of the home—the bathroom floor and shower, the entryway, the kitchen floor or backsplash—giving you the opportunity to add a punch of style, design and uniqueness throughout your space. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 6 Ways to Keep Your Cool in Summer’s Heat

      27 July 2021

      As we move into the hottest months of summer, being smart about staying cool is essential. If you don’t have central air conditioning in your home, health professionals offer practical tips for beating the heat.

      • Stay Hydrated - Sweating is your body’s natural way of keeping cool because when sweat evaporates from your skin, the process absorbs energy in the form of heat, which helps to cool you down. But sweating also causes your body to lose water, which could lead to dehydration, so carry a reusable water bottle and drink more than the recommended 8-10 cups a day.  But limit the ice, as icy water can activate your metabolism as your body tries to bring it up to body temperature, making you sweat even more. 
      • Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol and Overeating - Eating smaller, lighter and more frequent meals, including salads and fruits with a lot of water, conserves energy and helps keep you hydrated. Caffeine and alcohol, on the other hand, are diuretics, which means they increase urine production, causing you to lose even more water and increase the chance of dehydration.
      • Use Ceiling Fans Correctly - In the summer, ceiling fans should be turning counterclockwise, forcing cool air down and hot air up toward the ceiling, making the room feel cooler.  
      • Get a Swamp Cooler - If you live in a hot, dry climate, a swamp cooler, aka an evaporative cooler, can do wonders for cooling down a room. At a cost of $150 or more, it can be a worthwhile investment. But because it adds moisture to the air, it’s not an option if you live in a humid area.
      • Try a Box Fan and Ice - Put a frozen gallon jug behind your box fan and blow it toward you to make the air coming from the fan feel a lot cooler. The jug will perspire, so place the jug in a container. Adding a little salt to the water before you freeze it will make for cooler ice.
      • Cool Your Sleeping Area - Putting your top sheet into the freezer for a while before going to bed may give you enough relief from the heat to help you fall asleep. Even consider moving your mattress to the floor where the air is coolest.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.