Consumer Real Estate News

  • Decorating With Bold Colors

    18 March 2019

    (Family Features)--From dark and moody to vibrant and bold, colorful design is gaining favor among homeowners ditching safe, neutral palettes to create more daring, dramatic spaces.

    Decorating with deeply saturated colors can be intimidating. Explore these ideas to welcome more bold colors into your home and create inviting spaces for living and entertaining.

    Walls of color. Say goodbye to beige and embrace the bold color trend by enhancing walls with hues that make a statement. The trick is to avoid making colors so loud that the space loses its stylish appeal. Bold doesn't necessarily mean bright, so look for muted variations of the shades you prefer. Also, remember that when it comes to design, there is such a thing as too much. If painting all the walls in a space will close it in or make it feel lost in the dark, try adding color in more subtle ways, such as an accent wall (or two), or painting the ceiling as your accent. Another option for implementing vibrant wall color: stick to smaller rooms, where the bold look is less likely to be overwhelming.

    Illuminate color with natural light. When decorating with statement colors, remember that lighting can make a significant difference in the overall aesthetic. In addition to lighting fixtures, be sure to incorporate plenty of natural light to bring out the best in those bold hues. If you’re looking to bring natural light deeper into the space, consider skylights.

    Bold furnishings. An often overlooked but essential component of design is the furniture. Creating a colorful, inviting room doesn't stop with the walls and floors; what's in the room can bring the colors to life. Think of the space and all its contents, not just the architectural components, as your canvas for creating the space you envision. If you're hesitant to invest in a pricy couch in a trendy hue, a compromise might come in the form of a richly colored accent table or chair.

    Creative cabinetry. Traditional wood grain cabinetry sometimes gives way to far more creative color schemes in kitchens and bathrooms. While white is still a popular choice, and can even be considered bold in the right setting, true color on cabinets is also gaining traction among homeowners. With the right backsplash, countertops and flooring, you can safely install cabinets in a uniform color throughout the kitchen, but another on-trend option is to reserve the color for an island base or just one wall of cabinets. You could even mix and match colors on the tops and bottoms. Detail elements like the hardware provide another opportunity for a bold look. You can enhance the room's design with standout pulls that lend extra vibrance to the space.

    Fabric with flair. Textiles provide nearly unlimited options to balance a bold design. Using lighter fabrics for elements such as draperies, upholstery, rugs and decorative pillows can soften the feel of a room with bold tones. Look for subtle patterns that pull in hints of the deeper hue to bring the look together, or simply coordinate shades from complementary color families.

    Unexpected pops of color. Designers often talk about adding pops of color to bring together a palette, but there are no real rules about where those color enhancements can or should be. Introducing vibrant color in unexpected places can be an especially impactful way to stylize a room.

    One example is with a skylight blind, which provides a decorative element while also allowing for light control. If you prefer a trendy option like combining dark colors with metallic accents, consider options such as a metallic gold skylight blind to connect to the room décor below.

    Source: Velux

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Saving for a Down Payment? Moving Back Home Can Help

    18 March 2019

    With rents rising approximately 3 percent last year, the best option for accelerating the path to homeownership might be moving back in with Mom and Dad.

    According to a report from rental search platform HotPads, housing expenses add two years and 10 months to the time it takes a typical renter to save for a 20 percent down payment on the median-priced U.S. home.

    With the median home value clocking in at $225,300 at the time of the report, that means the average 20 percent down payment would be in the neighborhood of $45,000. The typical rate of savings for U.S. renters is 16.5 percent of their monthly income, after housing costs. Doing the math on the median annual income means it would take at least eight years to save that $45,000 down payment.

    While earning a higher income would certainly help improve this scenario, today’s average renter is putting about 34 percent of their income toward housing costs. If that expenditure were eliminated by moving in with family, that former renter would be able to accumulate enough for a 20 percent down payment—even without a pay increase—after a little more than five years.

    Burdened by not only rising rents, but also student loans, most of today’s first-time homebuyers find saving for a down payment the biggest obstacle toward homeownership. That’s why living rent-free with family is becoming an increasingly common situation for many young adults. According to the Census Bureau, a third of those aged 18 to 34 lived under their parents’ roof in 2015, and more young adults lived with parents than with a spouse in 2016.The situation is even more common in expensive housing markets like San Jose and San Francisco, says HotPads, where it’s not uncommon for renters to spend more than half their income on housing.

    Important to note, however, is that while the 20 percent down payment is the gold standard in down payments, 60 percent of first-time buyers end up putting down less than 20 percent, according to the 2018 Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report. So, the typical renter earning the median income needs just four years to save a 10 percent down payment ($22,530) on the median-priced home.

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • 5 Fun Partner Exercises to Do With a Workout Buddy

    18 March 2019

    Staying motivated to keep up with a fitness routine can be the largest part of getting in shape. Pulling in a workout buddy for accountability—and commiseration—can enhance the experience, and allow you to snag a little social time, too.

    Brian Zehetner, director of Health and Fitness for Planet Fitness, shares five exercises to have fun doing with a workout buddy:

    The Partner Switch-a-Roo. Implement alternating cardio and strength exercises, allowing both of you to oscillate back and forth between movements (and machines, if needed) in a time-efficient manner, all while completing the exact same workout. This set-up also allows you to skip a break and go back-to-back if you're looking to pump up the intensity.

    Get Your Heart Racing. Squeeze in a great cardio workout with some High Intensity Interval Training (also referred to as HIIT). If one of you is doing the high interval portion, your partner can do the low interval before switching. Don't forget to cheer each other on as the workout progresses to feel motivated throughout the circuit.

    In Friends We Trust. It's important to challenge yourself when strength training, however, always use a spotter (a.k.a. your bestie) if you find a particular weight or movement challenging. They'll allow you to push yourself past your limits in the safest way possible, and you know your partner will have your back.

    Hot Potato Pass. Pass a medicine ball back and forth as one of you does a sit-up before tossing. When your partner catches the ball, s/he will descend into a sit-up and toss it back. If you're looking for a challenge, continue on for 30 repetitions (15 for each individual).

    Twist and Share. Stand back-to-back with one of you holding a medicine ball. Rotate your torsos in the same direction, allowing the one who has the ball to pass to the other. Continue for 20 rotations (10 for each individual) before passing it back in the opposite direction.

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • How to Show Your Home in Its Best Light

    15 March 2019

    The perfectly staged home has every detail covered, from the art books on the coffee table to the hanging plant in the bay window. But whether your home is professionally staged or not, the magic of lighting can work miracles in showcasing your home in a completely new perspective. Here are some ways to utilize lighting to show off your home’s best attributes and cast a spell on potential buyers:

    Landscape lights. Whether solar powered or the traditional variety, these subtle lights can be used for a variety of reasons—from illuminating pathways to providing a glamorous, sophisticated look when tucked in among plants. Off-season, when flowers and foliage are sparse, these lights help give your yard a warm glow.

    Floodlights. A great way to illuminate your driveway, patio or backyard, floodlights also offer an added security benefit, which is always a plus to potential buyers. The smart varieties even come with cameras so that you can keep an eye on your home remotely.

    String lights. An instant atmospheric boost to porches, patios and decks, subtly hung string lights can also add an unexpected glow to your interior, as well. Small white lights adorning a large houseplant, for example, or draped around a bedroom curtain rod, will add extra warmth to the room.

    Under cabinet lights. Kitchens are transformed when dimmable under-cabinet lighting is used to cast a glow. While it serves as task lighting while cooking, this hidden light source adds a dramatic effect to kitchens when used on its own. Varieties range from linear, self-contained or puck/disk lighting.

    LED lighting. Use LED lighting to highlight specific areas of your home, such as works of art, unique stonework, a staircase, ornamental trees in your yard, or any special feature worthy of showing off. Not only will it put a spotlight on the subject at hand, the focused lighting will change the mood of the entire space.

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • 3 Ways to Minimize Flood Damage

    15 March 2019

    A sudden flood in your home can cause long-lasting problems and require expensive repairs. "While we tend to think of floods from a severe weather perspective, a lot of times, our own homes can be the cause of flooding," says Justin Carrol, president of Perfect Home Services. "While floods can be unpredictable, homeowners can take precautions to minimize the harmful effects during a flood."

    Install a sump pump in the basement and keep it maintained. Basements can be problem areas for flooding in homes, especially if they haven't been waterproofed. Sump pumps help move excess water buildup out of the home, preventing flooding. If a home with a basement doesn't have a sump pump, one should be installed to prevent flood damage. If it does have one, be sure to test it out at least once a year. It is also recommended to install a battery backup in the event the power goes out.   

    Know the location of emergency shutoff valves. If a pipe bursts, a faucet breaks or some other uncontrolled water flow occurs, it's important to know where the emergency shutoff valves are. Carrol advises homeowners to know the location of these valves and also ensure they are labeled correctly. If a homeowner is unsure about whether the valves are properly tagged, they can contact a professional who can label them appropriately.

    Examine drains and make sure they're clear. There are various drains located throughout a home: sinks, tubs, showers, at appliance connections, in the basement and elsewhere. Sink and shower drains are easy to check since they're used frequently, but others, particularly those in garages and basements, may not get checked as frequently. If those get clogged, they can prevent the ability of water to escape from the home.

    Source: Perfect Home Services

    Published with permission from RISMedia.