Consumer Real Estate News

    • How to Hang Wall Art Like a Pro

      24 June 2022

      Hanging artwork is an art form in itself. Too high or too low can throw off the dimensions and design of an entire room. Whether you want a simple frame, a statement piece or a gallery wall, you want to ensure that your artwork is hung properly, securely and adds a touch of your personality and style without disrupting the room’s aesthetic. If you choose to take on this task without help from a professional, here’s some steps that can help you.

      Choose the Right Size
      Are you planning to hang a piece of artwork behind your couch or over your bed? How about down the hallway or in the kitchen? No matter where you plan to display your artwork, you want to be sure the size fits the space and everything in it, like furniture or architecture. 

      Plan the Positioning 
      One of the most important factors in interior design is planning. And this includes not only the artwork itself, but how and where you plan to hang it. Cut paper or cardboard to the same size and dimensions of your artwork. This trick can help determine where the piece will best fit or how to position a gallery wall. 

      Select a Hanger
      Nails, hooks and wires...oh my! With different options for hanging artwork, it is important to remember the size and weight of the piece, as well as the type of wall you want to place it. For heavier frames, a wire and sturdy nail (or multiple nails) is the way to go. For lighter frames or canvas prints and paintings, consider a smaller nail and anchored hook. 

      Hang at Eye Level
      You never want to hang your artwork too high or too low. However, finding an eye level that meets everyone’s requirements is tough, as some people are taller or shorter than others. The average human eye level, however, is about 57 inches from the floor. If you place the center of a painting at this height, it will likely be the most pleasing to the aesthetic of a room.

      You don’t have to be an interior designer or an engineer to figure out the right way to hang your artwork. Though it does take some mathematics and an eye for design, you can bring aesthetic and style to your home with ease. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Help Your Children Buy a Home

      24 June 2022

      With student debt looming and career paths constantly changing, the financial situation for a lot of young adults is tough. If your kids are in their 20s or 30s and still haven’t purchased a home, maybe you would like to help them. For those who can’t afford to give their adult children the entire cost of a home, there are options available to assist them financially in the home-buying process.  

      Let The Live With You...Temporarily
      If your children are trying to save up their paychecks for a down payment on a home, but the cost of rent and utilities are too high for any legitimate savings, invite them back home temporarily. This can relieve their financial burdens and significantly help them boost their savings quickly. 

      Loan Them Money
      If you’re financially able, you can loan your child money for a down payment, closing costs and other home-buying fees. Be sure to establish terms and conditions, as well as expectations for repayment and interest. The IRS requires that you charge at least the applicable federal rate, or AFR, if this is not a gift. Have legal documents drawn up as needed. 

      Gift a Down Payment
      If instead of a loan, you choose to give them the money with no repayment expectations, you can give the gift of a down payment. To do so, write a mortgage gift letter for them to submit with their application stating that they do not have to pay you back. This will increase their chances of being approved for a mortgage.

      Co-Sign or Co-Borrow a Loan
      If your child has questionable credit history or is overrun with debt, you can apply for the mortgage with them as a co-borrower or co-signer. This can increase their chances for being approved for a mortgage, just remember that you will share mortgage payment responsibilities. You will have to repay the loan if your child defaults on a payment.

      If you are unable to assist your children in the home-buying process financially, you can always teach and guide them. If you have purchased a home in your life, share your experience and any helpful tips you may have. Also, get them in touch with a trustworthy and experienced real estate agent to help them better understand what they need to take this important financial step.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Backyard Upgrades Your Kids Will Love

      24 June 2022

      In a world dominated by technology, kids are consumed by their phones, tablets and televisions. Designating limited screen time is becoming tougher and enjoying old school, outdoor playtime has been put on the back burner. So, why not spruce up your own backyard and inspire your children to get outside and away from their screens?

      With these backyard upgrades, you can help your kids appreciate the great outdoors. Here are some ideas that will help everyone get outside, enjoy the sunshine and connect with nature. 

      Treehouse
      For kids, there’s almost nothing more fun, or classic, than climbing a tree. And having a hangout in the treetops makes it that much better! Let your kids decorate to their liking, making this their own nature-filled sanctuary space. You can find instructions, materials and tools to make this a DIY project at your local hardware store, or hire a pro for a more luxurious look. 

      Swingset
      A staple in almost every suburban backyard, a swingset is a great way to get your kids outside. With endless styles and sizes, it’s easy to find the right one for your family. Some sets include slides, monkey bars, rock climbing walls and many different styles of swings, like a classic seat, a tire, baby seats and even specialty seats for two!

      Pool
      On a hot summer day, having a pool to jump in, play in and cool off is enticing, for kids and adults. With options for underground, above ground and even temporary pools, anyone can enjoy the luxury of a swim. Host pool parties for your children’s friends and purchase pool toys, like floats, pool noodles and even basketball for days full of fun in the sun!

      Yard Games
      Whether you have a large or small yard, you can find fun games to play to get your kids outside. From volleyball to cornhole, wiffle ball to croquet, there’s a game for everyone, whatever the age or skill level. If you’re planning a BBQ or birthday party, yard games are the perfect addition to your backyard fun!

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Making Summer Fun Safe

      23 June 2022

      (Family Features) Longer days and lighter schedules make summer perfect for relaxing, having fun outdoors and spending time with loved ones. However, more physical activity and time spent in the sun can also translate to increased health and safety risks.

      As you and your family enjoy the warmth and sunshine while swimming, biking, grilling, playing on the playground and more this summer, remember these precautions from the experts at the American Heart Association.

      Watch for Signs of Heat Stress
      On hot summer days, be alert for signs of heat illnesses, such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Even when it doesn’t seem extreme, heat and humidity can take a toll. Some signs of heat-related illness include muscle pain, cramps or spasms; heavy sweating; paleness; dizziness; headache; nausea or vomiting; confusion; fainting or unconsciousness; high body temperature (greater than 100 F) with dry skin; and rapid pulse. If you experience any of these symptoms, take a break, drink some water and find shade or air conditioning to cool off.

      Stay Hydrated
      Staying hydrated is important for optimal body functioning, especially during the hot and humid months. If you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors, frequently consuming water and foods with high water content – melons, lettuce and cucumbers, for example – can help replace the fluids lost via sweat. In addition, be aware of the signs and symptoms of mild dehydration, including a dry or sticky mouth; dry, cool skin; headache; or muscle cramps.

      Learn CPR
      As summertime activities expose people of all ages to risks, it’s important to be trained in CPR – or cardiopulmonary resuscitation – an emergency lifesaving procedure that is performed when the heart stops beating. If performed immediately, it can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival, according to the American Heart Association. However, only about 40% of people who experience out-of-hospital cardiac arrest receive help before professionals arrive.

      Because about 74% of adults and 87.5% of child out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in homes, you will likely be trying to save the life of someone you love – a child, spouse, parent or friend – if called upon to perform CPR. Hands-Only CPR is recommended for members of the general public. Call 9-1-1, or send someone to do so, then push hard and fast in the center of the person’s chest until medical assistance arrives. Use an AED, if available, following the prompts. Conventional CPR is the next step and involves chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth breathing but should only be used by healthcare professionals and those trained to perform it correctly.

      Protect Skin from the Sun
      While it’s easy to get caught up enjoying activities outdoors, remember to take steps to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays. Limit your time in the sun, especially during the midday hours when the rays are strongest, and wear sunscreen to help reduce your risk of sunburn. Experts recommend sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Wearing sunglasses, a hat and cool, long-sleeved clothing can further limit exposure when outdoors for long periods of time.

      Swim Safely
      Whether enjoying the pool, beach, lake or river, bodies of water can be dangerous if appropriate precautions aren’t taken. In fact, drowning is among the top five causes of unintentional injury death in the United States, according to the CDC. Avoid swimming alone, especially in natural bodies of water that aren’t clear and may present strong currents or underwater obstacles, and don’t overestimate your swimming ability.

      For more tips on CPR and first aid, visit cpr.heart.org or download the Knowledge Booster app.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Smell Something Funky? Check These Common Problem Areas in Your Home

      23 June 2022

      Do you ever wake up to a foul odor in your home? From old food in the fridge to wet towels laying on the floor, there can be many reasons your home doesn’t have that fresh, clean scent. Unfortunately, lighting your favorite candle or clouding a space with room spray may not be the trick, rather just a mask. Be sure to identify the source of the smell by checking these common problem areas. 

      Trash Can
      Though this seems an obvious place to start, the stench from garbage doesn’t always just come from it’s contents. As you take out the trash regularly, spills and crumbs may build up, causing the odor to linger inside of the bin. Before you place a new garbage bag in the bin, be sure to wipe it out with a wet wipe or paper towel and a disinfectant spray. For a deeper clean, spray the bin with diluted bleach, let sit for a few hours, and wipe it out. Finish with soap and water, and enjoy the fresh scent in your kitchen. 

      Dishwasher
      If you still haven’t found the source of the stink in your kitchen, check your dishwasher. Because of its warm, moisture-filled environment, it is common for mold to grow inside. There may also be remnants, crumbs and oils left behind from the last washing cycle. To remove the sour smell from your dishwasher, run an empty cycle on high-heat. For extra parts, such as the silverware basket, remove and wash with soap and hot water in your sink. 

      Washing Machine
      Another home appliance that breeds a damp environment is a washing machine. Mold and other bacteria may form in this moisture-rich space. To avoid this, leave the washer door open after each and every cycle. This will allow the seal and all other drawers and spaces to dry out without trapping moisture inside, causing a humid stench. If mold is found, simply use a one-to-one mixture of white vinegar and baking soda and wipe down the area.

      Hamper
      Hampers and laundry baskets are often located in the bathroom. However, it is suggested to keep these outside of a room that breeds moisture and steam—an environment that may easily cause mold and bacteria to grow. Adding wet clothing or towels to this environment will cause a heavy, humid stink. If you have wet or damp clothing, towels, linens or other laundry, wash them as soon as possible.

      Bedding
      When it comes to linens, your bedding may be the culprit of a certain unfortunate smell. While sleeping in your bed each and every night, your body oils, sweat and dirt end up all over your sheets and blankets. If you do not wash your sheets regularly, your room may become an unpleasant place to rest and relax. Washing your sheets and bedding every one to two weeks is recommended.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.