Consumer Real Estate News

    • 9 Morning Routines to Start Your Day Off Right

      27 January 2023

      Some people seem to hop out of bed in the morning filled with energy and purpose. Whether you are one of them, or if you are one of the many who seem to require a little push, morning routines can play a major role in setting you up to have a better day. Try a few of these early morning suggestions to help improve your focus and productivity.

      • Drink Water - A long night’s sleep can dehydrate your body. Kickstart your metabolism by drinking a glass or two of water right when you wake up. Add lemon for an extra boost and flavor.
      • Breathe Deeply - Taking a few deep breaths can help reduce stress, improve circulation and increase your brain and heart health
      • Stretch - Even if you plan a run or a gym visit later, release a few endorphins early with a few simple stretching exercises to start you off with increased mental focus.
      • Eat Something Healthy - Fruits, nuts and unsweetened grains can get your metabolism into gear, increasing your focus and giving you more energy to start the day on a high note. 
      • Read Something - Whether it’s a newspaper or a chapter of the book on your night table, reading in the morning is a good way to wake up your brain and focus.
      • Meditate - Take five or ten minutes to relax, contemplate and get in touch with yourself. It can set you up to think more effectively and increase your productivity.
      • Journal a Bit - Like meditation, writing in a journal for a few minutes in the morning can help structure your thoughts and boost your mood.
      • Create a To-Do List - Setting a few daily goals down on paper increases your chances of accomplishing them.
      • Practice Gratitude - Take a few moments to think of three things you are grateful for. It will push your mindset toward positive thinking and set you up to have a positive outlook.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Indoor Flowering Plants to Lift Winter's Gloom

      27 January 2023

      During this gray and gloomy time of year, it seems like spring is never going to come. Many people need a little something to lift their mood and spirits. Enter the flowering house plant—a colorful little companion that helps regulate humidity and increase positivity. Indoor plants improve concentration and productivity by up to 15%, enough to reduce stress levels and boost your mood.

      If that’s not enough, research by NASA shows that indoor plants are good for your health. They release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, freshening the air, eliminating harmful toxins and making them a perfect addition to your home and work space. Here are a few indoor flowering plants that are not only the easiest to find, but the easiest to care for, as well. 

      • African Violets - One of the most satisfactory flowering plants, this compact little plant featuring attractive dark green leaves bears lovely little flowers just above the foliage. With just enough watering to keep the soil moist, they flower almost always continuously.
      • Orchids - Among the most popular indoor flowering plants, the many available orchid hybrids are very easy to grow and will reward you with gorgeous flowers under most home conditions and with little but consistent watering.
      • Christmas Cactus - Hold on to a bit of holiday cheer with this beautiful, easy-to-care-for plant that can be grown indoors all year-round if you put it in your sunniest location. Flowers range in color from yellow, salmon, pink, fuchsia and white, or combinations.
      • Anthurium - Also known as laceleaf, this common indoor flowering plant is known for its tall, brightly colored, long-lasting flowers and shiny, ornamental leaves. They do best with a bit of indirect light and consistently moist soil.
      • Oxalis - This dramatic, low-growing plant, featuring sprightly bouquets of white flowers and vibrant purple leaves, is fun to grow and to keep an eye on because the blooms open and close in response to light.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Replacing Light Fixtures Can Help You Sell Your Home

      27 January 2023

      When you’re planning to put your home on the market, you have to look at it through the eyes of potential buyers. Things that don’t bother you, or things that used to bother you, but you got used to, can be immediate turn offs for buyers. Replacing light fixtures can make your house more appealing.

      Replace Fixtures That are Broken or Outdated
      Buyers will notice light fixtures that don’t work and may come away with a negative impression of your house as a whole. A broken light fixture can be more than an inconvenience; in some cases, it can be a symptom of a serious electrical problem. Buyers may wonder if the house has other maintenance issues that were overlooked.

      Sometimes light fixtures work fine, but they’re relics of a bygone era. Lighting that was stylish when it was installed may now make your house look dated. If that’s the case, replacing those fixtures with more modern or timeless ones can make your home more attractive to prospective buyers. 

      Think About Energy Efficiency
      Buyers aren’t just interested in a house’s purchase price. They’re also thinking about how much utilities and other expenses will cost them each month. If your house has light fixtures that aren’t energy efficient, replace them with new, more efficient lighting that will save the future owners money on their electricity bills. 

      Consider Increasing the Amount of Interior Lighting
      Go through each room in your house, see how bright it is when all of the lights are on, and look for any areas that need additional lighting. It may be a good idea to add lighting in areas where you prepare food in the kitchen, in the bathroom above the sink, in closets or in places where people read, work and play. 

      Evaluate the Exterior Lighting
      When it comes to outdoor lighting, preventing accidents should be a top priority. Medical bills can be expensive. If a guest gets injured on the property, the homeowner may have to file an insurance claim and pay a deductible, as well as higher premiums later on. 

      The walkway leading to the front door should be well lit so that family members and visitors don’t trip and fall. Other outdoor areas, such as the driveway and patio, should have adequate lighting.

      Look at your current outdoor lighting with security in mind. There should be enough lighting to deter burglars. If you don’t already have motion-activated lights, consider installing some so that the future owner will know if anyone approaches the house at night. 

      Ask Your Real Estate Agent for Advice
      You may not be sure if you should replace specific light fixtures or add more lighting to a particular area. Your real estate agent understands what buyers are looking for and has seen many other houses in your area that are currently on the market. Your agent can advise you on whether you should install new light fixtures and may recommend specific styles or features.  

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Decorator Updates That Won't Break the Bank

      26 January 2023

      Are you bored looking at the same old decor around your house? Maybe it’s time for a change. If a slim budget is holding you back from updating your space, here are six ideas to help refresh your home that will cost about $100 or less.

      • Wallpaper a Nook - For a big impact at a low cost, wallpaper a reading nook, an alcove or a study space. Today’s fantastic wallpapers range from retro florals to zingy geometrics, and at less than $15 a roll in the discount bins at your favorite home store, it’s a statement you can afford to make.
      • Create a Sticker Backsplash - If tile is too expensive, consider a backsplash made of peel and stick, waterproof stickers. Just peel and apply them to a clear, flat surface. At a cost of $30 or less for 16 stickers, you can bring a whole new look to your kitchen.
      • Highlight Your Front Door - Choose a stand-out paint color that says ‘Welcome.’ Add a jazzy new house number, a cool door mat and, if the budget will allow it, a bright new door knocker. 
      • Install Crown Molding - Add elegance to a living or dining room with do-it-yourself crown molding. Depending on the size of your room, you can find peel and stick kits, including pre-cut corner pieces, beginning at around $100. Solid wood molding costs up to $4 a foot, but since it’s hard to see at least eight feet above your head, you can opt for a vinyl look-alike for less.
      • Plant a Window Box - Up your home’s curb appeal with a cheerful window box or two, featuring foliage and flowers that complement the home’s exterior. The boxes are available at most home stores all year long for less than $100 each.
      • Hang a Gallery Wall - Make your house feel more like home with a gallery wall displaying treasured framed photos, your favorite artwork and even some of your kids’ fabulous artwork and/or posters. A failsafe way to do this is to create paper cut-outs of each framed piece and arrange them on the floor to your satisfaction first, before you start banging nails into the wall.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Why Self-Care Is Important If You Have Kids

      26 January 2023

      Self-care is essential for everyone, but many people don’t know how to take care of themselves or think that taking care of others should be their top priority. Some people equate self-care with selfishness, but it’s actually the opposite. 

      If you’re burnt out, you can’t function your best at home or at work. Self-care is particularly important for people with kids, but many parents focus so much on their children’s needs that they neglect their own. 

      You Can’t Take Care of Others If You Don’t Take Care of Yourself
      It’s easy to become so focused on getting your kids to school, helping them with homework, preparing meals, doing laundry and other tasks that you feel like you don’t have a minute for yourself. Parents often feel intense pressure to stay on top of things and to always put their children’s needs first.

      That’s a recipe for burnout. If you’re not taking time to relax, unwind, get enough sleep and care for yourself in other ways, you can become so physically and mentally exhausted that you feel like you have nothing left to give. That can lead to depression, anxiety, headaches, digestive problems and other physical ailments.

      If you feel stressed out and overwhelmed, you may struggle to keep up with your kids, and you may feel so emotionally exhausted that you quickly lose your patience. Taking some time to recharge can let you be the best version of yourself for your children.

      Practicing Self-Care can Teach Your Kids Valuable Skills
      Children learn a lot by watching what adults do and don’t do. If kids grow up seeing their parents constantly thinking about other people’s needs and ignoring their own, they’re likely to believe that they should do the same. Taking care of yourself can help your kids recognize the value of self-care at a young age. It can also help them understand that other people have needs, too, which can help them develop empathy. 

      Make Self-Care a Priority
      There are many ways to incorporate self-care in your daily routine. They can include eating healthy meals, exercising, getting enough sleep, reading a book, writing in a journal and spending time with family and friends.

      Let go of the idea that you have to handle everything yourself and always say yes to people. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask for help. Say no if someone asks you to do something and you feel that you already have a lot on your plate. Focusing on your own physical and mental health will benefit your entire family.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.