Consumer Real Estate News


    • Summer Swimming Safety Tips

      21 May 2019

      Hitting the pool, lake or ocean this summer? Make sure to keep safety in mind for you and your family to make sure your swim time doesn't take a scary turn. Below, the American Red Cross offers safety tips you can follow all summer long.

      - Prevent unsupervised access to water. Fence pools and spas with adequate barriers and keep a constant eye for any water dangers such as portable splash pools/slides, buckets and bathtubs.

      - Adults, actively supervise children and stay within arm's reach of young children and new swimmers. Make sure children follow the rules when around water.

      - Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when on a boat and if in a situation beyond someone's skill level.

      - Swim as a pair near a lifeguard's chair. Everyone, including experienced swimmers, should swim with a buddy in areas protected by lifeguards. Designate a 'Water Watcher' to keep a close eye and constant attention on children and weaker swimmers in and around the water until the next Water Watcher takes over.

      - Download the Red Cross Swim App for kid-friendly games and activities and water safety information for parents and caregivers of young people learning how to swim. Download the app for free by searching for 'American Red Cross' in your app store or at redcross.org/apps.

      Source: The American Red Cross

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • When It Comes to Selling, It’s All About Location...and Condition

      21 May 2019

      You might’ve heard the classic adage that when it comes to real estate, the three things that matter most are “location, location, location.” While location still trumps most other variables when it comes to selling, the condition of the home frequently plays an equally important role in many areas.

      Why? Many attribute it to our HGTV-obsessed culture. Today’s buyers not only want to find a home in the neighborhood they want, they expect it to look pretty darn good, too. And, unfortunately, home improvement shows make it look simple to attain a magazine-worthy look no matter what the current condition of your home.

      Although you probably won’t be able to have Joanna Gaines pop by for a makeover, there are several more realistic options for improving the condition of your home before you list it. Some of these ideas, in fact, should be pursued even if you aren’t planning to sell your home in the near future, as it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your home’s value.

      Invest in necessary improvements. Your home’s great location at the end of a cul-de-sac or within walking distance to the train station won’t necessarily make up for your outdated kitchen or creaky floorboards, so make the necessary renovations.  According to HomeAdvisor’s 2018 True Cost Report, Americans spent an average of $6,649 on home improvements in the 12 months prior to the research, so don’t skimp, especially if you want to sell.

      Maintain the exterior. Dilapidated siding, peeling paint, or an aging roof or fence will be big turn-offs to potential buyers, no matter how great your location is. Not only will they translate to big investments of time and money for the new owners, they could pose potential structural problems, as well. Take care of these issues as they occur before they become more costly and possibly dangerous.

      Neutralize decor. Who cares that you’ve painted the dining room bright pink when your home is on the most desirable street in town? Buyers, that’s who! Sure, your address may be primo, but buyers still need to be able to picture themselves living in your home once they walk through the front door. And the best way to achieve this is to make your decor as universal in appeal as possible. Paint rooms in neutral colors, stock the bathrooms and bedrooms with white towels and linens, and accent living areas with beige throws and pillows. These steps will soften the overall feel of your home, open up the space, and create a blank slate for buyers to build upon.

      Still thinking your home’s great location is good enough to get it sold? It might be, but keep this in mind: Great location and mint condition is likely to get you your asking price or possibly higher if you’re in a hot market. The above steps will be worth your time and investment.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Tips for Finding the Perfect Paint Color

      21 May 2019

      Redoing your home or room? A paint job is an easy, inexpensive way to totally remake the way your space looks. But with thousands of colors of paint available, how do you decide? Below, the experts from Freshome weigh in.

      Pick your textiles first. Freshome notes that textiles are usually considered a finishing aspect of the design, but an easy way to make sure your paint coordinates well with the rest of the room is to use fabrics as your design inspiration and move from there.

      Work in surrounding spaces. Paint can be a unifying element for neighboring spaces, says the Freshome team. The colors should work in harmony. While this tip is especially important to follow when working with open concept spaces, the effect a color has when transitioning between more traditional rooms should also be considered.

      Look at lighting. Your paint color will look different depending on the way your room is lit. Once you have a color in mind, Freshome suggests you ask to have a sample made up for you at your local home improvement store. When you take it home, paint a few small sections of paint on each wall. Then, check in on them throughout the next day. If you’re happy with how the color looks in both natural and artificial light, you’ve found a winner.

      Focus on the finish. According to Freshome, many people tend to overlook the fact that paint color is about much more than the shade itself. Finish is another component that can alter how your finished product looks. Be sure to take this into account before making your final decision.

      Source: Freshome

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Save Time and Money With DIY? Not Necessarily

      20 May 2019

      Many an ambitious and resourceful homeowner chooses to tackle a home improvement project on their own, believing it will help save on the time and expense involved when hiring a professional. However, that’s not always the case, according to research from home improvement marketplace Porch. The reality is, do-it-yourself can often do more harm than good, and repairing costly errors can end up costing you more than if you had hired a professional in the first place.

      The research from Porch claims that on average, DIY errors can equate to nearly six hours of time and add $310 to the cost of a project, but hours and dollars vary depending on the home improvement project involved.

      For example, due to the labor and materials involved, flooring installation projects presented the most problems for DIYers, adding nearly 14 hours of time and $829 to the project. Mistakes caused by trying to tackle plumbing, electrical wiring and installing a ceiling fan on one’s own added the most additional time to a project, tacking on nearly seven hours. Exterior painting and replacing an electrical outlet added the most cost, adding nearly $450 to the initial cost.

      Beyond the financial implications, DIY projects can take an emotional toll, as well. According to the report, 28 percent of respondents who were married or in a relationship reported having a fight with their significant other during the project. Projects that involved electricity, such as wiring/rewiring, replacing an outlet or installing a ceiling fan, grabbed three of the top four spots when it came to causing an argument. Of course, making a mistake during a DIY project is also at the root of many an argument. In fact, 45.8 percent of those who goofed reported fighting with their partner, compared to just 21.6 percent of those who didn't make a mistake during the project.

      But don’t let the research scare you away from DIY altogether. Given the right circumstances, taking on a home improvement project yourself can be rewarding and cost-efficient. Here are some tips to consider before you set out on a DIY adventure:

      - Be realistic about what you can do. Do your research, check out YouTube videos and make sure you’re really up to the task.
      - Be meticulous about planning. Have all your bases covered, measurements taken, and blueprints drawn up before you start.
      - Set a budget for each item in the project so you don’t overspend on certain items and skimp on others.
      - Sample paints and materials in your home before you dive into your project. What may look good online or in the store may not work at all in your particular space.
      - Make sure you have the right tools. Trying to fudge a project with the incorrect tool can be a recipe for disaster.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Tiling Tips to Ease Your DIY Job

      20 May 2019

      Doing your own tiling job? If you have patience and a great eye for detail, laying your own tile can be a manageable task, reducing the cost of your kitchen or bath redo. To help, Matt Muenster of the DIY Network offers the following tiling tips and tricks.

      - Use spacers to keep everything spaced evenly.

      - Apply all solid tiles before cutting the odd pieces.

      - Order 10 percent more than you actually need.

      - Start with a ledger board.

      - Have a helper cut the tiles for you.

      - Mark the cuts with a grease pencil.

      - Use a diamond-tipped bit to drill holes in the tile.

      - Let the tile dry for 24 hours before grouting.

      - Lay out all the tiles before installing them.

      - Apply sealer to the grout every six months.

      - Measure the space you're tiling accurately.

      - Remember, preparation is 75 percent of the job.

      - Always seal natural stone, like slate, before grouting.

      Source: DIY Network

      Published with permission from RISMedia.