Latest Real Estate News

    • How-To Decorate Damage-Free This Holiday Season

      9 December 2019

      Exterior holiday decorations add so much to the beauty of one's property during the winter holidays. However, according to our decorating experts at Window World, one wrong move while hanging holiday lights can lead to thousands of dollars in damage to your home — not to mention the risk to your own safety.

      Enthusiastic or less experienced homeowners may not realize how easy it is to damage a home simply by hanging holiday decorations. For instance, using nails or a staple gun on your roof or gutters can create small holes which lead to leaks, and new gutters can cost the average homeowner thousands of dollars. So to minimize damage and maximize the beauty and safety of your exterior holiday decor, the experts at Window World have just produced a helpful "Damage-Free Holiday Decorations Guide."

      Some of the guide's important decorating tips include:

      Don’t Gut Your Gutters. Ditch the drill and hang outdoor lights from adhesive clips, shingle tabs or gutter hooks. Adhesive clips work on smooth surfaces, like vinyl siding. Shingle tabs help position lights on top of your roof. 

      Ornaments for Windows, Too! Grab some colorful ornaments and ribbon. Tie one ribbon to one ornament and hang three or four of them in varying lengths from your curtain rods. Tip:  Use plastic ornaments to avoid scratching your windows. 

      Light Up Your Windows. Place battery-powered or LED candlesticks or menorahs on your window sills.

      Don’t Wrestle with Wreaths. You don’t need a hammer to hang a wreath on your door. Simply place a strong adhesive hook on the inside and tie twine around it. Then hang the twine over the door, tie it around the wreath, and you're done.

      Bring the Stars Inside. Adhere festive star stickers to your windows to add some sparkle to your home. Versions of these can be found at many retailers and at various price points. Tip: Clean your windows before placing the adhesives on the glass. Use a coffee filter to ensure it is streak-free for your display.

      Make It Green. Hanging a few pieces of greenery brings the scent and look of the outdoors into your home without the chill. Plants also help humidify a room during the dry, cool months.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Tips to Refresh Your Home in the New Year

      9 December 2019

      (Family Features)--Each new year gives you the chance to reset and start new routines. When you're considering new approaches to healthy living - whether eliminating or adding habits to improve your daily life - beginning with your home is an optimal choice.

      Your living environment has a strong influence on your life, and it's worth evaluating how you can make updates that create a positive space for you and all that the new year will bring. Consider these ideas to refresh your home and simplify your house cleaning routine so you can spend more time focusing on your goals this year. 

      Start by Decluttering. It's practically impossible to get excited about a fresh start when you're surrounded by last year's junk. Make decluttering and purging unnecessary items a top priority for your refresh. Clear counters and tables to create more inviting surfaces and force yourself to assess which items are worth keeping. Get rid of items you don't need by donating, selling or disposing of them. Tackle piles of things you've carelessly tossed aside and find (or create) purposeful places for them to belong. 

      Simplify Your Laundry Routine. Whether it's the frustration of having no clean laundry or never-ending baskets filled with clothes that need folding, laundry is an area where nearly every home can use a refresh. Start with the basics to make laundry easy and quick. A streamlined laundry system starts with the right tools for the job, such as single-dose detergent pods that release while inside your machine, so you can simply toss one in and start the load.

      Create a Fitness Space. One way to stay committed to a new workout regimen is to create a place where you enjoy spending time. Even if you don't have a room to dedicate to fitness, you can make a fitness corner feel more intentional and less like an afterthought with some simple changes. If possible, locate your fitness area near a window so you can soak up the energy of natural light. Clear away unnecessary items and make room for the equipment or floor space you need. Add inspiring posters or make frames to hold your current workout guide. Add storage for hand weights, resistance bands and other small equipment to create your own home gym. 

      Reconfigure Your Furniture. A full-fledged renovation may not be in the cards (or budget), but you can give your living space a quick facelift by simply rearranging the furniture. Beyond simple aesthetic changes, think about how you can make better use of natural light and improve traffic patterns. You might also eliminate extra pieces if the space feels overcrowded or consider borrowing functional items that add storage or seating from other rooms in the house.

      Add Greenery. The middle of winter may not seem like an ideal time to hone your green thumb, but adding a few plants can make your home feel more inviting and chase away the cold weather blues. Plants can also help serve as a natural air purifying system; they absorb carbon dioxide to help stimulate their growth and are believed to absorb a host of other airborne pollutants.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Struggling with Chronic Pain? 3 Methods for Relief

      9 December 2019

      Millions of Americans struggle with various degrees of chronic pain every day. From the minor inconvenience to the debilitating, daily pain can be a serious drain on daily life.

      "There are a number of affordable and convenient pain-relief treatments that work to alleviate symptoms, and many come with bonus benefits," explains pain specialist Dr. Gupta. "The following options are sustainable, have additional advantages and most importantly they're often times effective for many types of painful conditions when combined with a comprehensive treatment plan."

      While it's always important to discuss any treatments with your doctor, the following may help.
      1. Massage. Massage is a popular pain-relief option as it increases blood flow and reduces muscle tension. It also decreases inflammation by activating genes that naturally reduce swelling. Furthermore, it improves muscle recovery by stimulating mitochondria, the "energy packs" driving cellular function and repair.

      Bonus Benefit – Stress Relief. Stress can send the brain into overdrive causing adrenaline and cortisol to release into the body, manifesting in trouble sleeping, digestive issues and a host of other health problems. Pain and stress often go hand in hand, but thankfully massage is one way to manage both at the same time. In fact, recent studies found a reduction of cortisol in saliva samples after the participant received a massage. 

      2. Glucosamine. Glucosamine supplements are commonly used to reduce joint pain because they don't require a prescription. Many individuals use glucosamine sulfate orally to treat a painful condition caused by inflammation, breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage as seen in osteoarthritis. Current research demonstrates that the oral use of glucosamine sulfate may provide some pain relief for people with osteoarthritis of the knee, hip or spine. Early research suggests that oral use of glucosamine hydrochloride might reduce pain related to rheumatoid arthritis when compared with placebo, an inactive substance.

      Bonus Benefit – Reduced Risk for Cardiovascular Disease. Besides pain relief, a recent research study found that adding a glucosamine supplement to your diet may reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease and early death. In fact, it demonstrated that those who took the supplement regularly saw a 15 percent lower risk of overall cardiovascular disease and a 9 percent lower risk of stroke.

      3. Acupuncture. Acupuncture is a popular Chinese-based medicine that involves the insertion of fine needles at strategic points on the body. There are several ways in which acupuncture potentially helps to decrease pain and promote tissue recovery. For example, it can signal the body to release pain-moderating chemicals called endorphins and enkephalins, which increases blood flow to the tissue and brings in nutrients and oxygen to stimulate healing. After an acupuncture session, studies have shown that the body is more likely to be receptive to naturally occurring painkillers and chemicals that help to alleviate muscle tension or discomfort.

      Bonus Benefit – Better Sleep. While acupuncture is often used to treat pain symptoms, it is commonly used for overall wellness, including evidence as an effective treatment for insomnia. This is especially noteworthy as quality sleep plays a vital role in both our physical and mental well-being.


      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Home Improvement? Totally Worth It

      5 December 2019

      If you’re on the fence about a home improvement project, wondering whether or not it will be worth the time, money and disruption to daily life, consider the results of a recent survey.

      According to the 2019 Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), with insights from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), homeowners who decide to undergo a home improvement project, whether it be interior or exterior modifications, often find that the task was worth the investment and time.  

      The report examines a variety of remodeling projects, using responses to rank the appeal of a given project, rank the value of the project in terms of resale and determine its overall functionality. The findings also reveal the reasons for remodeling, the success of taking on the various projects and the increased happiness reported in the home upon completion of the job.

      According to the report, after completing a remodeling project, 74 percent of owners have a greater desire to be in their home, 65 percent say they experience increased enjoyment, and 77 percent feel a major sense of accomplishment. Additionally, 58 percent report a feeling of happiness when they see their completed projects, while 38 percent say they have a feeling of satisfaction.

      NAR also went on to calculate what they refer to as a "Joy Score" for each project. The score is based on the happiness homeowners reported with their renovations; the more pleased with a given project, the better the Joy Score, with the highest possible score being 10. Interior projects that received some of the higher Joy Scores are complete kitchen renovations, closet renovations, full interior and individual room paint jobs, kitchen upgrades and basement conversions to living areas. Exterior jobs with the highest Joy Scores were new fiberglass or steel front doors, new vinyl and wood windows and new roofing.

      The most important result of a kitchen renovation is improved functionality and livability, according to 46 percent of those polled. As to the reasons why they decided to take on the project, 24 percent say they wanted to upgrade worn-out surfaces and materials. Another 20 percent report they had recently moved into their home and had a desire to customize the kitchen to their particular tastes.

      Upgrading home closets was another task that received a 10 Joy Score. This is due, in part, to the inconvenience of a disorganized closet, which is something a homeowner encounters daily, often at the start of their day. When a closet renovation is finished, the sense of achievement is immediate. Therefore, 68 percent of those surveyed say they feel a major sense of accomplishment when they think about the completed project. Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) report having a greater desire to be at home since finishing the job.

      Of course, homeowners often take on projects with resale in mind, rather than their own home preferences. The report found the top projects for recovering cost are new roofing, hardwood floor refinishing and new hardwood floor installation. NARI Remodelers estimate that new roofing costs $7,500, and REALTORS® estimate that new roofing helps sellers recover $8,000, on average. That equates to 107 percent of value recovered from the project.

      Finally, NARI remodelers estimate that new wood flooring costs $4,700, with REALTORS® estimating the project helps sellers recover $5,000, or a 106 percent value recovery. NARI Remodelers estimate that hardwood floor refinishing costs $2,600, and REALTORS® estimate that the hardwood floor refinishing would help sellers recover $2,600.

      Consider these stats when you’re contemplating your next home renovation. Your future happiness and the financial return may make it well worth it.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 4 Ways to Share the Holidays With Your Pet

      5 December 2019

      (Family Features)--The holiday season is filled with traditions, seasonal meals and festivities. With busy calendars, it can be easy to get caught up with a long to-do list when the true joy of the season is in creating meaningful memories with loved ones, including pets.

      It can be easier than you think to share the season with your furry companions simply by incorporating them into your regular holiday activities. Consider these tips to include your pet this holiday:

      Enjoy the season with a stroll. Many families brave winter weather to take in the holiday lights and decorations around their neighborhoods. Taking a stroll with family and friends can be a joy for not just you, but also your pup. Bundle up and soak in the season, and make sure your pet is ready to brave the weather with any necessary accessories.

      Include pets during mealtime. Make mealtime special for you and your furry friend by mixing up his or her usual dinner routine.  

      Welcome pets to family gatherings. Spend time bonding with the whole family by including your pet in a seasonal activity like watching a holiday movie or decorating your tree. Snuggle under blankets, sip cocoa and offer your furry friend belly rubs on a cozy night in.

      Check your list twice. Take a breather from thinking about hard-to-buy-for friends and family members and grab a gift for someone who loves everything. Pick up a treat or new toy to gift your pet when the family is opening presents. Keeping your pet engaged with a favorite toy or treat also offers focus during a time that can be overly exciting for your pet.

      Source: Family Features Editorial Syndicate

      Published with permission from RISMedia.