Consumer Real Estate News

    • Elements of a Luxury Primary Bedroom

      1 February 2023

      Your bedroom should be a place of refuge and relaxation. It should be a space void of clutter, and just because it’s not a high-traffic space, doesn’t mean it should be an afterthought. A luxuriously restful bedroom can help you recharge and start your day successfully. Read on for inspiration on the elements every luxury primary bedroom needs to create the relaxing oasis you deserve.

      Choose One Focal Point
      Whether it’s a glamorous four-poster bed, a pair of plush velvet armchairs or a stunning shagreen dresser, choose one piece as your focal point and have the rest of your furniture complement this one piece. This approach will reduce visual clutter and create an understated, serene vibe.

      Softness Underfoot
      If your home primarily consists of hardwood and tile flooring, low pile, wall-to-wall carpeting in the bedroom will feel like the ultimate luxury. However, if you prefer to not cover the wood floors, a wool rug underfoot will create a similar feeling. Size up on the rug, so you can ensure that the softness extends beyond the bed.

      Invest in Art
      Going to sleep and waking up surrounded by your favorite art pieces will positively impact the way you end and begin your day. So, instead of saving your best works of art for the high-traffic areas, allow these types of pieces into your bedroom so you can personally enjoy them.

      Hang a Statement Light Fixture
      Instead of relying solely on recessed lighting and table lamps, install a hanging statement light fixture for elements of romance and glamor. Bedside sconces and art lights also add additional lighting layers that contribute to a bedroom’s overall coziness.

      Keep the Surfaces Clear
      Nightstands can quickly become catchalls for your odds and ends. Make it a point for your nightstand to be a sacred space. Keep the surface as clear as possible, with a water carafe, small clock and a tray for your book or tablet. Keeping a clear nightstand will create a vibe of luxe simplicity and make your room feel lighter.

      The same goes for the dressers. Keeping this space minimal, including only a tray with your necessities, a picture frame or two and a small lamp, results in restrained elegance.

      Incorporate Greenery
      Fresh greenery or a weekly bouquet of fresh flowers adds freshness and depth to any room. Greenery is often the finishing touch that a space needs, and it will make an average bedroom feel more luxe. As a bonus, it will help purify the air, which is advantageous for sleeping.

      Choose Overfilled Pillows
      Overly plush pillows will elevate your bed from a basic bed to a cloudlike destination. Overfilled, plush pillows will make you feel like you’re sinking into a bed in a five-star resort and provide the ultimate in relaxation.

      Design a Custom Closet
      A custom closet allows you to maximize your space and organization and makes getting dressed feel like a luxury. Whether the closet is a full-sized room or a walk-in closet, you’ll find that getting dressed becomes an experience in itself.

      Designing a bedroom and keeping luxury top-of-mind will result in restful sleep and an overall sense of well-being. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Kitchen Counter Stool Guide

      1 February 2023

      Your kitchen counter stools can be the finishing touch for your kitchen that pulls the whole design together. Whether they are upholstered, leather or rattan, every counter stool style lends a different look and feel. One of the most essential elements of selecting a kitchen counter stool is ensuring correct measurements. Read on to learn more about measuring kitchen counter stools and how to choose the best set for your kitchen.

      Select the Seat Height
      The first step is selecting the right height for your kitchen island. You should allow nine to 13 inches between the seat and the counter to sit on the seat comfortably. As you search for kitchen counter stools, you may wonder about the difference between counter stools and bar stools. Counter stools are shorter than bar stools, as counter stools fit under a kitchen counter and bar stools are meant to fit under a bar. Counter stool seats range from 24 to 29 inches high, whereas a bar stool seat measures 29 to 32 inches high.

      Assess the Function
      Before looking for stools, think about how you will use the seats. For example, a backless or swivel stool offers more flexibility. In contrast, a stool with arms and an upholstered body in performance fabric upholstered provides more comfort and safety for younger children. If your kitchen stools are used primarily for eating, a low-maintenance surface, such as metal, wood or leather, may be your best choice, as they can easily be wiped down.

      Select the Style
      Selecting the style is the fun part of choosing a kitchen counter stool. While choosing a stool that complements your kitchen design style is always safe, selecting a stool in a contrasting design style brings additional visual interest. For example, if your kitchen has a lot of wood, bringing in a metal or leather stool can help balance the room. A chair with texture, such as a rattan frame, a leather-backed stool or a carved wood frame, also brings dimension to any kitchen. 

      Alternatively, you may not want your stools to make a statement, and you may prefer more discreet seating. Backless stools that can easily tuck under your counter may be the best selection for you. A backless stool option is also a smart choice if the seating area is in a high-traffic area. 

      If you like to entertain and your guests tend to gather in the kitchen, swivel stools let you rotate around to engage in different conversations easily. If comfort is your primary goal for your kitchen counter stools, an upholstered body with arms will allow you to sink back and comfortably enjoy your meal, coffee or conversation. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Become a True Bookworm

      1 February 2023

      Many of us promise ourselves that this is the month that we will finally get back into reading. From forming a book club with our friends to taking trips to the bookstore, these are great first steps to getting back into this habit. But after the first few chapters, work starts to pick up and calendars fill with endless activities. Then there’s the carpool, the meal planning and the laundry. Slowly, our excitement about our new literary find gets lost in the hustle, and before we know it, we are googling a summary of the book so we have something to talk about at book club. 

      Want to make a habit that sticks? Try these five easy tips to hit the books and keep the pages flying!

      Ask for Recommendations 
      The most important step toward becoming a true book worm is finding books that you actually enjoy reading. Oftentimes, we resort to reading whatever is on the bestseller list for the week without doing any exploration of our own. Talk to your friends, search websites such as Goodreads for book recommendations, or look up popular authors in the genre of your choice. When you find a book you enjoy, it’s going to be a lot more difficult to put it down!

      Set Weekly Checkpoints for Yourself 
      It’s unrealistic to expect to finish a book cover to cover in just a matter of days. Setting small goals for yourself will help to keep yourself in check and ensure that you’re making progress. Mark these weekly checkpoints with sticky notes to help you track your pace. 

      Find a Bookworm Buddy 
      While book clubs are a fantastic way to socialize with friends, book discussions often get buried in the flurry of planning, gossip, snacks and cocktails. Instead, try to find one friend to buddy up with who will read the book with you at the same or similar pace. Have weekly discussions about your favorite part. It’s a lot easier to get excited about reading when you have somebody to talk about it with!

      Replace Your Scrolling With Page Turning 
      It’s easy to get sucked into the endless cycle of social media scrolling. Instead, download an e-reader app so your books are just as accessible as your favorite social platforms. Now you can pass the time waiting in line or riding the train with reading. It’s a great way to squeeze in a few extra pages in the spare minutes of your day. 

      Log Your Reads
      Find a fun way to show off your book progress! Journal your thoughts about your favorite scenes from the book. Post to your social media about what you’ve read. You can also download tracker apps on your phone, such as StoryGraph. This is a great way to track how many pages you’ve read throughout the year while also providing you with recommendations for what to read next! 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Maintain Your Dehumidifier

      31 January 2023

      Homeowners sometimes encounter a problem with a dehumidifier because they don’t use it the way it’s meant to be used or don’t maintain it as they should. Here are some important things to remember. 

      Use the Dehumidifier Correctly
      Specifics vary by brand and model. Read the owner’s manual that came with the dehumidifier. If you don’t still have it, you can most likely find a copy on the manufacturer’s website. 

      A dehumidifier needs to be placed on a level surface in an area with good airflow. If there is furniture or another obstruction near the dehumidifier, remove it or move the dehumidifier to a better location. 

      The dehumidifier should be at least 6 inches from a wall, and doors and windows in the room should be closed. Leaving them open can increase the amount of humidity in the room and force the dehumidifier to work harder, which can waste energy and money.

      Your dehumidifier should be set to bring the humidity level to 45-50%. Check the humidistat to make sure that it’s set in an appropriate range. If the setting is too low, the dehumidifier can work too hard, and the air in the house can get too dry. 

      Clean and Maintain Essential Components 
      Check the amount of water in the condensate bucket every day and empty it as needed. If the bucket is full, the dehumidifier will shut off. If you leave standing water in the bucket, mold can grow. 

      Once a month, unplug the dehumidifier, remove the bucket, and clean it with soap and water. Let the bucket dry thoroughly before you return it to the dehumidifier. 

      Replacing the filter helps the dehumidifier operate efficiently and emit clean air. It also keeps the unit from breaking down. Replace the filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

      Use a cloth to wipe down the control panel. Don’t get the panel wet. Every few months, use a vacuum brush to clean the air intake and exhaust grilles. 

      If the temperature in the room gets below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, ice can form on the dehumidifier’s evaporator coils. Check the coils regularly for ice. If ice is forming, you can elevate the dehumidifier above the ground, where the air is a bit warmer. Check the instruction manual for additional information.

      When you turn off the dehumidifier, wait a minimum of 10 minutes before you turn it back on to let the system’s pressure equalize. If you turn the unit back on too soon, the compressor can overheat and trip the circuit breaker. Short cycling can also make the dehumidifier operate less efficiently since it won’t have enough time to evaporate moisture. 

      Take Care of Your Dehumidifier
      A dehumidifier can help you control the amount of humidity in the air and make your home more comfortable. Like any other household appliance, a dehumidifier needs to be cared for to consistently perform well. Make these simple processes a part of your regular home maintenance routine.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Why Your House's Location May Make It Hard to Get Homeowners Insurance

      31 January 2023

      Homeowners insurance companies decide whether to issue policies and set their rates based on risk. Many factors, including a house’s location, can influence its risk profile. In some cases, a home’s location makes it difficult to get homeowners insurance. If you find yourself in that situation, you may be able to find another way to get coverage.

      How Location Can Affect Risk 
      Some parts of the United States are prone to severe weather, such as tornadoes and hurricanes. Houses along coastlines are susceptible to storm-related damage. 

      Factors related to a specific neighborhood can influence risk. Some areas are located far from a fire station or hydrant, and certain neighborhoods have high rates of burglaries and vandalism. 

      Any of these factors can make a homeowner more likely than average to file a claim or likely to file a claim for a large amount. Homeowners insurance companies may charge more for houses in those areas or may refuse to provide coverage at all. 

      What You Can Do If You Have Been Denied Insurance Coverage
      If an insurance company turned you down because it considers your house too risky due to its location, ask if there is anything you can do to reduce the risk and qualify for coverage. An insurer may be more inclined to cover your house if you install storm shutters or a home security system or make other improvements to reduce the likelihood that you will file a claim. 

      You may be able to get a policy through another company. Each insurer has its own guidelines. Other people who live in your neighborhood most likely faced the same hurdles you’re facing now. Ask them how they got insurance for their homes. 

      Some states have programs for homeowners who can’t get insurance through a private company because their houses are deemed too risky. Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) insurance plans may be available in your state. If you get a FAIR plan, expect to pay higher premiums than you would pay if you bought insurance through a private insurer. 

      Ask your insurance agent for advice. Your agent may be able to recommend a company that insures high-risk properties or refer you to a state program that can help. 

      Think About Insurance Before You Buy a House
      You may fall in love with a house because of its location, but you also need to consider practical things, including insurance. If you’re currently shopping for your next home, think about whether you might have a hard time getting it insured. If you have doubts or questions, contact some homeowners insurance companies or consult your current insurance agent and ask. You may decide to pass on your dream house if you discover that getting insurance will be a major hassle or too expensive.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.