Latest Real Estate News

    • How to Organize Your Dresser Drawers

      23 October 2020

      Overstuffed and disorganized drawers can be frustrating, especially in the bedroom. Whether you're searching for the perfect top or hunting for a matching set of socks, it’s never easy finding a needle in the haystack, especially when the haystack is a pile of mismatched clothes. Learn how to properly organize your dresser drawers with these simple tips. 

      Start at Empty
      The first rule of decluttering is to clear the space of all items. Start by removing all of the clothing in each drawer. Starting with a blank canvas will help to not only organize, but decide whether or not you want each item in a drawer, on a hanger or in a donation box.

      Declutter and Donate
      Now that you have emptied your dresser drawers, it’s time for the hard part—deciding what to keep and what to let go of. There are many ways people navigate this process, but one in particular comes to mind. Do you wear it? Look at each piece and determine whether or not you’ve worn it in the last year. If yes, place it into your keep pile. If not, set aside for donation.

      Categorize Clothing
      Once you have decided which items you are keeping, it’s time to separate them into groups. Socks and underwear can usually share a drawer, so these can be designated as one category. Next, divide your tops into tank tops, t-shirts, long sleeve shirts and sweaters. Even take an extra step further and group them by color. The more specific you get with your categorizing, the easier it will be to find the item you want in the shortest amount of time.

      Hang Bulky Items
      Folding up a bulky sweatshirt or jeans can take up a lot of room in one single drawer. Consider hanging these items or adding a shelving unit into your closet to create more space. Even utilize the space under your bed for oversized clothing. 

      Rotate Seasonally
      If you live in an area where the weather changes seasonally, consider storing out-of-season items in another area of the home. This will make it easier to navigate your clothing without digging in drawers and creating a mess. If you have an unused suitcase in your closet or storage bins in your basement or garage, utilize them. As the seasons change, swap out clothing you won’t wear for clothing that is seasonally appropriate.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Pros and Cons of Buying a House With a Fireplace

      23 October 2020

      Many people love the idea of relaxing in front of a fireplace on a cold winter night. The sight, smell and sound of a fire can create a relaxing ambience. While the idea of having a home with a fireplace may be appealing, the reality does not always live up to people’s expectations. The amount of heat given off, the amount of work required and the cost depends on the type of fireplace.

      Wood Fireplace
      A wood fireplace can create a cozy atmosphere. If the power goes out, a wood fireplace can continue to heat your home. It can also provide light and a way to cook during a power outage.

      Since most of the heat produced by burning wood escapes through the chimney, a wood fireplace is not very energy efficient. A fireplace insert can increase the amount of heat that stays in the house. If the damper doesn’t close enough, the house may have drafts, which can result in high utility bills.

      Embers from a fire can spread and cause nearby objects to catch fire. Curious children and pets can be seriously injured if they get too close. If you buy a house with a wood fireplace, you will need to stay close by to prevent accidents.

      Smoke from a wood fireplace can release pollutants into the atmosphere. A fireplace can also release carbon monoxide and other dangerous gases inside the house.

      Because of the risks and the amount of work involved, many people who buy a house with a wood fireplace only use it occasionally. The costs of cleaning, maintenance and wood may not make owning a house with a wood fireplace cost effective. 

      Gas Fireplace
      With a gas fireplace, you can simply press a button and instantly enjoy a cozy fire. If the house has more than one gas fireplace, you can heat only the room where you are, rather than the entire house, to save money. The fireplace can provide heat even if you lose power. 

      A gas fireplace won’t produce the aroma and crackling sounds of a wood fire. On the other hand, gas fireplaces are easier to maintain than wood-burning ones. There is no ash or soot to clean, but the fireplace should still be inspected every year. 

      Electric Fireplace
      An electric fireplace can provide heat and light and can be used even in a small space. It can be expensive to use, however, and it won’t work during a power outage. An electric fireplace also does not look realistic.

      Should You Buy a House With a Fireplace?
      Many people search for a new home with a fireplace, then find that they don’t use it as much as they thought they would and realize that they spent a lot more than they expected to maintain it. If you’re thinking about buying a house with a fireplace, be realistic about how much you would use it and consider the costs and safety issues to decide whether it would be worth it.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Reduce the Amount of Fat in Your Diet

      23 October 2020

      Many people eat a diet with too much fat, which can lead to obesity. That can increase the risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and some types of cancer. High fat intake can also lead to high cholesterol levels, which can increase the risk of heart disease. Here are some ways to cut back and develop healthier eating habits.

      Read Nutritional Labels
      When you go grocery shopping, read the nutritional labels on packages. You might be surprised by the amounts of fat in many foods, even ones labeled low-fat or fat-free. In addition, many low-fat or fat-free foods contain large amounts of sugar, which can lead to weight gain.

      Avoid buying products with high levels of saturated and trans fats and hydrogenated oil. Chips, baked goods, fried foods and processed snacks tend to have high levels of fat.

      Choose Lean and Low-Fat Foods
      Buy lean meat, such as chicken and turkey, and remove the skin before cooking. If you want to have pork or beef, look for lean cuts or trim the fat before cooking. Fish is another good source of low-fat protein. Grill, broil or bake meat and fish instead of frying it. Place meat on a rack so fat can drip from it as it cooks. Beans, lentils and tofu are good sources of protein that have less fat than meat. Incorporate them into your diet in place of meat for some meals.

      Replace whole milk with a reduced-fat or fat-free version. Buy low-fat cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese, margarine, mayonnaise and salad dressing. Avoid sauces made with cream or cheese, or use low-fat ingredients. Flavor foods with herbs and spices instead of butter and cheese. Use olive, canola, sunflower or safflower oil instead of butter or shortening.

      Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains at mealtimes and for snacks. Look for creative ways to incorporate them into your favorite dishes. 

      Make Healthy Choices When Dining Out
      Restaurant meals often contain high levels of fat, as well as salt and sugar. When you eat at a restaurant, look for nutritional information on the menu. If it is not available, choose dishes that are baked, broiled or roasted and avoid foods that are fried or that have heavy sauces or gravies. If a dish is ordinarily cooked with butter, ask if it can be made without it. Order your salad with low-fat dressing on the side. Look for low-fat desserts or skip dessert altogether.

      Work on Developing Healthier Eating Habits
      Many people eat unhealthy amounts of fat and suffer a range of negative health effects as a result. Cutting back on fat does not mean that you have to go without foods you enjoy. You can look for healthier alternatives or find new recipes to try. If you have questions about your health or need advice on dietary changes, consult your doctor.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Should You Install a Double Vanity in Your Master Bathroom?

      22 October 2020

      If you’re planning to remodel your master bathroom, you may be thinking about installing a double vanity. It might make it easier to get ready and prevent some arguments with your partner, but it might also take up too much space or be too expensive. 

      What is a Double Vanity?
      A double vanity usually consists of two sinks placed side by side. In most cases, each sink has its own cabinet or drawers for storage. Each sink may have a separate mirror or one long mirror may extend above both sinks. You could choose a prefabricated double vanity or have one custom made to suit your preferences and your bathroom’s design.

      Pros and Cons of a Double Vanity
      A double vanity can be helpful for couples who get ready for work at the same time, who get frustrated taking turns in the bathroom or who get in each other’s way when both are in a hurry. Having separate areas can also be a good idea for couples who have different standards in terms of cleanliness. If each person has multiple hygiene and grooming products, having individual counter and storage space can make it easier to stay organized and prevent clutter. 

      Two sinks take up a lot more space than one. Depending on the size and layout of the bathroom, a double vanity might work, or it might make the bathroom feel cramped and leave you with too little counter space. If there was not enough space between the sinks, you and your partner might bump elbows.

      Having two sinks could limit the amount of storage space available. Two drain pipes would take up twice the amount of cabinet space, which would mean less room to store toiletries and other items.

      Cost is another important factor. The price tag for two sinks, counters and cabinets, plus the additional cost to hook up plumbing for both sinks, might be prohibitive. 

      Other Options to Consider
      You might want to install two separate pedestal sinks. They could be placed side by side or put on separate walls, depending on the layout and dimensions of the master bathroom. The downsides of pedestal sinks are the lack of counter and storage space.

      Another possibility is installing one long sink with two faucets. That could allow you and your partner to use the sink at the same time, but you would only have to pay for plumbing for one drain. With a single drainpipe, you would have more storage space than you would if you were to install two separate sinks. You would also have more counter space with one sink, and cleaning one sink would be easier than cleaning two.

      Talk to Your Contractor
      A double vanity sounds ideal to many couples, and it can be in some cases. For many homeowners, however, space and financial constraints make it impractical. You have numerous options when it comes to designing your master bathroom. Discuss your needs and goals with your contractor so you can choose the right design for you.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Improve Your Mental Health With Better Sleep

      22 October 2020

      (Family Features) For some, the holidays may be the happiest season of all, but for others the hectic pace and endless to-do lists can take a real toll on their mental health. This year, the impact is heightened by a global health pandemic. 

      According to a survey from Mattress Firm, more than 60 million Americans say COVID-19 has worsened their quality of sleep, and those losing sleep are often seeing their mental well-being and healthy habits worsen. Nearly half of respondents said COVID-19 has increased their worries and prevented them from falling or staying asleep at night, with 41% reported their poor sleep has a negative impact on their daily lives.

      “It’s no surprise that when our minds are full or our hearts are heavy, our mental health tends to suffer,” said Dr. Sujay Kansagra, a sleep health expert for Mattress Firm. “What many people don’t realize is that mental health struggles also affect sleep, and adequate rest is a key component of maintaining and improving your mental health.”
      If stress and worry are preventing you from getting a good night of sleep, try these ideas from Kansagra to help improve your mental state and ease your body into rest. 

      Think positively. Every night before going to bed, list three good things from your day. They don't have to be amazing things, just three positive aspects of your day. For example, acknowledge you had a good virtual catch-up with a colleague or enjoyed a new recipe or workout class. Listing your positive experiences at night can help you maintain a positive frame of mind as you unwind for the day.

      Create a to-do list. This technique is for those who mentally work through their list of pending responsibilities before bed. In a fast-paced world, sometimes lying in bed is the first time you have to actually think about what’s on your list. By creating a list of tasks (or even writing down your worries), you can prevent yourself from thinking about them excessively before bed and throughout the night. 

      Try progressive relaxation. This involves taking slow, deep breaths and slowly tensing the muscles in your body for a few seconds then relaxing them. Start at your feet and work your way up the body. This technique can help you relax and decompress after a long day.

      Give yourself a break. Especially if you’re working from home or tackling a lot of seasonal tasks, it’s easy to keep yourself busy up until the minute you fall into bed. However, your mind may still be whirling from all that activity. Build in a few minutes before bed each night to let your mind rest, whether it’s spending a few minutes with a good book, practicing meditation or sipping on a cup of sleepy-time tea.

      Appeal to your senses. Being mindful of how your senses react to various stimuli can play a role in your ability to drift off to sleep. Some people need silence; others benefit from ambient sound. Certain scents can be soothing and make good choices for essential oil diffusers, such as lavender oil. Also be conscious of the touches that affect your sleep, like the support from your mattress, the softness of your sheets or the temperature of the room.

      Whether it’s your family, your health or general stress that’s keeping you up, find time in your day to give yourself some grace. Your mental health is extremely important and should not be overlooked, so if you’re feeling a little worn down, ensure you’re getting the quality sleep you need to tackle the day and week ahead. 

      What’s Keeping You Awake?
      If you’re like many Americans, outside influences and worries may affect your sleep. Pinpointing what’s keeping you awake, such as these common sleep disruptors reported in a Mattress Firm survey, can help you address your concerns so you can rest more easily.

      • Money or Paying Bills (49%)
      • My or My Family’s Health (48%)
      • State of Country and the Economy (39%)
      • My Kids and Their Health or Education (32%)
      • Missing Social Interaction (31%)

      Published with permission from RISMedia.