Real Estate News

    • Top Halloween Decor Tips for Homeowners

      4 October 2023

      As the leaves turn crisp and the nights turn colder, there’s no doubt that goblins and ghouls are almost ready to come out to play. Before they knock on your front door seeking treats, be sure to get your home ready for Halloween fun while staying safe and keeping your setup easy. 

      Keep Safety in Mind
      Halloween should be spooky, but your attention to safety shouldn’t be scary. When evaluating all of your Halloween plans, be sure that safety is at the forefront of your mind.

      • Fire Safety: Faux cobwebs, cumbersome Halloween costumes, and open flame can be a bad mix. Stick with battery-operated candles for fun without the flames. 
      • Clear Pathways: Garden hoses, protruding bushes, and debris can all become tripping hazards. Remove anything you can to clear a space for excited children who may not be as cautious as you’d prefer.
      • Keep it Well-Lit: A dimly lit area may be spooky, but it can also make it difficult for guests and trick-or-treaters to navigate. Keep paths clearly lit.
      Try a Theme
      A theme can make decorating a breeze. Consider harboring a crew of motley skeleton pirates or creating a graveyard in your front lawn. While Halloween doesn’t require a cohesive theme to be fun, a creative theme can achieve a wow factor.

      Make Setup Simple
      Opt for a few key items to simplify setup while having a big impact. When paired with a few finishing touches, these decor options can ensure you can have a great display without spending a ton of time.
      • Fog machine: Eerie fog can have a big impact with little setup and relatively little cost
      • Projector lights: Haunt your house with floating ghosts through projector lights
      • Inflatable decor: Find your family’s favorite character and put up an inflatable Halloween option for kid-friendly fun.
      Get the Neighborhood Involved
      A decorated house is fun, but a well-decorated neighborhood is far more exciting to trick-or-treaters. This year, get your whole neighborhood involved by hosting a decorating contest. You can even have a spot to collect votes from anyone who visits the homes.

      Empty Trash
      Empty your trash before you leave to ensure no unpleasant odors accumulate while you are away. In the weeks leading up to your vacation, be careful about what you throw away (and how). Putting a large empty TV box on the curb for the recycling center can alert criminals to valuable new items.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • What is a Legacy Home?

      4 October 2023

      A legacy home is a property that is built with the intent that it will be passed down to future generations. It’s a property that will not only build generational wealth but will also be the backdrop of priceless memories and a place to plant emotional roots. A legacy home is a retreat for your family to gather, relax and entertain, and it will live on for your family’s future generations. When you’re designing a legacy home, being intentional with your design decisions and choices is a gift to those who come after you. If you’re considering building a legacy home, read below to learn more. 

      Build to last
      When you build a legacy home, being highly discerning with the longevity of the material and finish selections will help ensure that the house is built to last. Focusing on quality craftsmanship and long-lasting materials, such as hardwood flooring, custom cabinetry, marble countertops, sustainable elements and a focus on energy efficiency will create a stable foundation.

      Space planning
      As you design a house that your children, grandchildren and extended family will enjoy, think through how your family will enjoy the space and how it can accommodate your family as it evolves. Thinking through primary gathering spots such as the great room, a game area, a movie room, dining areas and other shared spaces will create a space that facilitates togetherness. Alternatively, it’s equally as essential to consider spaces where family members can retreat to.

      Consider the available land
      Considering the property’s available land and acreage is a factor to consider when you build a legacy home. There may be a time when your family decides to add or build additional structures to accommodate a growing family. 

      Create a long-term management plan
      As part of your estate planning, creating a long-term management plan will help to ease the maintenance and management burden on future generations. A legacy home will be one day filled with those you’ve never met. Creating a management plan will help ensure the house will be well cared for. It should also be flexible enough to adapt to family changes, economic shifts and adjust to evolving times.

      Make a short-term maintenance plan and use calendar
      If the house will be shared among different families, having a calendar system to assign periods of use will make it clear who can use the home, and when. A maintenance plan and budget will also make it easier to assign ongoing maintenance and eventual renovation responsibilities and costs.

      Funding and estate planning
      When you’re building a beautiful and expensive home, it’s essential to consider the financial situations of the generations who come after you. Thoughtful estate planning should factor in home costs for future generations. From taxes to maintenance costs, having a plan in place to cover these expenses will help ensure that the home remains in the family.

      A legacy home is one of the most treasured assets you can give your family. It’s the backdrop for holidays, movie nights, dinner parties, sleepovers, weekend pancake breakfasts, and all the little moments in between. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Designing Your Home With Living Materials

      4 October 2023

      Incorporating living materials in your home’s design and decor scheme creates a timeless foundation to layer home items. Living materials are also durable, long-lasting, can make your home healthier, and add value to your house. Living or natural materials can be incorporated from the floors to the ceiling, elevating how your home looks and feels. Read on for tips on designing your home with living materials.

      Wood has stood the test of time as one of the most common natural materials in a home. From hardwood floors, countertops, millwork and wood accents throughout the house, wood makes a home feel grounded, solid and elevated. Hardwoods, such as oak and maple, are typically top choices for flooring. For countertops, oak, walnut and maple are also top choices.

      Marble can have a bad reputation because of its ease of staining and etching. However,  think of your favorite cafe or centuries-old European buildings and structures — marble surfaces are common and plentiful. To embrace marble, you need to be comfortable with the patina that comes with the stories your home keeps. With regular maintenance, marble will last forever and is the material that can transform a kitchen.

      Wool rugs, carpets and stair runners have long offered many benefits and are a top material selection in timeless, expertly-designed homes. Wool is made without chemicals and resists common household allergens. It’s soft to the touch, dirt-repellent, resists fading and is known for being solid and durable. In fact, a well-maintained wool carpet or stair runner can last as long as 20 years.

      Grasscloth wallpaper can instantly create a space that exudes casual luxury. Its texture provides depth and dimension while also lending to an approachable luxury. Grasscloth wallpaper comes in various colors and works equally well in contemporary and modern spaces. A natural material, grasscloth is made of grass blades that are handwoven. Because of this, it's best in low-traffic and low-moisture spaces, such as a study or dining room.

      Bamboo shades are also referred to as woven wood shades. These window coverings are made of bamboo, natural woods, reeds and grasses. They are eco-friendly and have a laid-back elegance. Bamboo shades can stand alone as inside or outside mount shades or can be installed as a layered look by hanging drapery panels over the shades. Bamboo shades come in various colors outside of the typical brown and tan.

      Linen and cotton
      Linen bedding creates a soft, comfortable, breathable spot to lay back, relax and recharge. Linen is also long-lasting and durable, getting softer with every wash. Its breathable properties help facilitate a cool, restful night's sleep.

      Sisal and jute
      Natural fiber rugs like sisal and jute are tried-and-true area rug options. Whether they’re used to anchor a dining table, as an entryway rug, a stair runner, a hallway runner, or a living room rug, they are neutral pieces that can work in any space. They are perfect as a stand-alone rug or a base on which to layer a more colorful rug on top.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Natural Cleansers Your Home Needs

      3 October 2023

      Whether you’re a guest or a member of the household, there’s no doubt that a clean home feels more welcoming and inviting. Unfortunately, a lot of harsh chemical cleaners can be damaging to the environment or have unpleasant side effects for humans and pets. 

      While industrial cleaners have their place for industrial-sized jobs, natural cleaners can be effective and easy options for daily household chores. 

      Baking Soda
      Baking soda is a natural cleaner powerhouse. It is an excellent deodorizer to sprinkle on carpets and furniture and can even be stored in an open container to help mitigate odors in the fridge. Additionally, Baking soda is a gentle abrasive cleaner, which means it is excellent when formed into a paste with soap water to tackle more challenging cleaning jobs on hard surfaces around the house.

      Lemon Juice
      The acid from lemon juice is naturally antimicrobial and has minimal bleaching properties. It also smells fresh. Adding lemon juice or simply using a lemon to clean around your kitchen can have a positive impact on your kitchen's overall freshness. A half of a lemon and coarse salt can be an effective wood cleanser for any wood cutting boards or kitchen utensils. When combined with another natural cleanser, you can tackle even the grimiest situation on hard surfaces around the home.

      Hydrogen Peroxide
      When used in a diluted form, hydrogen peroxide can be used to kill germs and bacteria on surfaces. As an effective disinfectant, hydrogen peroxide can be used around the house to sanitize. A bit of hydrogen peroxide can also be highly effective at removing blood stains from fabric.

      Castile Soap
      This primary plant-based soap is traditionally made and biodegradable. It is also a workhorse around the home. Castile soap can be used for the body and hair, but also as an all-purpose cleaner for washing clothing, cleaning surfaces, and washing household items. Diluted castile soap can be combined with water and other cleaners for a more robust cleaning solution.

      White Vinegar
      Perhaps the most commonly used natural cleaner, white vinegar is extremely inexpensive and easy to come by. While its smell can be rather potent, vinegar comes in handy as an odor remover option to dissolve mineral deposits and disinfect surfaces. You can mix it with water to create an all-purpose cleaner. To lessen the harsh smell, add lemon juice, herbs, and even lemon peels to your cleaning spray bottle for a zesty and fresh cleaning solution.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Top 5 Annual Maintenance Tasks

      3 October 2023

      Annual maintenance is key to protecting your property and keeping your home looking and working at its best. While some tasks can be delayed or only need tending occasionally, there are specific maintenance tasks that are crucial to perform each year. 

      Roof Inspection
      Your roof is the largest investment of your home, and its importance cannot be overstated. A leaking roof can be extremely costly to repair and can cause damage to the interior of your home; including the electrical wiring. Protect your home by investing in a professional roof inspection annually to ensure that any issues are spotted right away. 

      HVAC Maintenance and Inspection
      Your HVAC works hard throughout the year. Ensure it gets an annual inspection and tune-up by a trained professional. When you choose to schedule the maintenance and care is up to you, but many experts recommend doing it before a high-use season. Schedule your HVAC for keeping in the fall or spring before extreme temperatures mean you will be relying on it heavily. No one wants to find themselves on an extremely hot or cold day without access to temperature controls. Since extreme temperatures can exacerbate an issue, if you don’t have your HVAC system addressed ahead of the season, you may find yourself in need of emergency repair.

      Lawn Care
      Unlike many critical annual maintenance tasks, landscaping and lawn care must be done throughout the year incrementally. Unfortunately, lawn care is not a “one and done” task, but tending correctly to your yard will increase your curb appeal and property value. Your lawn and landscaping needs are addressed throughout the year; particularly during the change of seasons. Make sure the sprinkler system is set up for each season’s weather.

      Gutter Cleaning
      Debris can accumulate during stormy weather in the fall and winter seasons. Keeping your gutters clear is key to protecting your roof and your home’s foundation from water pooling and even freezing. Water damage is costly and a pain to address, so save yourself the trouble and care for your gutters properly.

      Annual weatherproofing can mitigate issues with pest infestations and can keep your heating and cooling costs low. Tending to weatherproofing is inexpensive and relatively easy even for inexperienced handymen, so be sure that you don’t skip this task.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.