Consumer Real Estate News


    • Hosting Holiday Guests in Limited Space

      30 November 2020

      With more people working from home this year, space has become a priority, and what once may have been a rarely used guest room may now be an office or school room. What to do with the holidays coming and guests on their way to visit?

      If it’s a working space, there may be little you can do to keep from working in it when you need to. But assuming a bed is still in the room, you can make sure this space becomes a cozy retreat for guests once your working hours are over.    

      Most guests don’t require much to make them feel at home. Here are seven tips to ensure your guest will feel both comfortable and welcome:

      Make Room in the Closet - It’s frustrating to live out of a suitcase, so be sure there is space in the closet—and empty hangers—even if it means cramming your own closet with seasonal garb during your guest’s visit. 

      Add Fresh Flowers - Little makes a guest feel more welcome than being greeted with fresh flowers. Put a vase in the room—albeit a small one—with flowers purchased or from your garden.

      Set a Welcoming Bed - If the guest bed linens or comforter looks tired, this would be a good time to replace them. 

      Keep Towels Handy - Some guests hesitate to ask for what they need. Stock a basket in the guest bedroom or bath with plenty of towels, plus extra soap and any accessories or cosmetics you think your guest may need. 

      Provide Bedside Reading - Some people need to wind down before they can sleep. Stock the bedside with a few current magazines or books. If you’re not sure about your guest’s taste, leave a few you’ve read and enjoyed.

      Share the Wi-Fi Password - A guest who doesn’t get onto your wi-fi earlier may want it when settling down for the night. Leave the number prominently displayed in a note on the pillow.

      Provide Daytime Nap Space - If you’re working in the guest room by day and your guest is either elderly, has young children or is an avid napper, be sure they know the best space where they can enjoy a daytime snooze.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Get Organized for an Envy-Worthy Garage

      30 November 2020

      (Family Features) A garage may not be the focal point of your home, but it likely plays a significant role in your family’s everyday life. Keeping the garage tidy can help you get the most out of the space, no matter how you use it.

      Get your garage spruced up and ready to deliver the storage and workspace you need with these tips from the organization experts at ClosetMaid.

      Start by sorting. Garages tend to accumulate a lot of stuff, some of it useful and much of it not. Begin your garage clean-out by sorting your belongings into groups. The items you no longer need can be divided further into sell, donate and trash piles. For the things you’re keeping, try to create groups of like items, which can make it easier to organize later.

      Empty as much as you can. Cleaning out the garage is one of those jobs that typically gets messier before it gets cleaner. Removing as much of the contents of your garage as possible can make it easier to reach all the nooks and crannies for a more complete cleaning. 

      Give it a power scrub. Clean every surface to remove dust, dirt and debris. This means everything from sweeping floors and wiping down counters to brushing away cobwebs from the ceiling. If possible, use a hose to clean the floor thoroughly and remove buildup tracked in from your vehicle tires. Be thorough and use a critical eye. Don’t overlook details like light switches or the wall behind the trash can.  

      Make storage easy. With a clean slate, it’s the perfect time to rethink your organization and put things in place with storage units designed to stand up to the wear and tear of the environment. One option is the ProGarage line from ClosetMaid. This customizable collection of professional-quality garage and workspace storage is made of 24-gauge steel cabinetry for maximum durability. You can choose from a variety of cabinet sizes with floor mount and wall mount options, as well as worktable or tabletop. Each piece features full-length extruded aluminum handles for easy opening and closing, adjustable legs to keep cabinets level on sloped floors, caster wheels for portability and a lock and key for security.

      Put things back in place. If you take the time to separate items as you sort and purge in the beginning, this last step will be quick and painless. Now that the space is clean and you have storage space ready to fill, it’s time to begin moving everything back into place. Put similar items together. Keep the things you use most often in easy reach and stash others on higher shelves. 

      Before you close the doors and call it a day, be sure to show everyone, including the kids, where things belong. Your garage may get dirty again quickly, but with some help from the family, you can at least keep it picked up and usable longer. Find more helpful tips for keeping every part of your home organized like a pro at ClosetMaid.com.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Reasons to Love Mountain-Modern Architecture

      30 November 2020

      In alpine landscapes across the country, mountain-modern has become an increasingly popular architectural style. This striking look thoughtfully blends the best of modern design with the magic of living in the mountains to create a totally unique living space. If you’re unsure what type of house will be perfect for you and your family, here are a few things that everyone can love about mountain-modern architecture. 

      Dramatic Lines
      These homes provide a breathtaking experience from the moment you pull up the driveway. Dramatic rooflines inspired by the scenery are a defining feature that sets the stage before you’re even inside. This often continues throughout the interior, with soaring ceilings and sweeping lines in every room.

      Locally-Sourced Materials
      Living in the mountains usually means having access to an abundance of wood and natural stone from the area. For those who prefer to use locally-sourced materials in their home, this is a major benefit that allows your living space to be more eco-friendly. Furthermore, it connects your house to its surroundings and the natural beauty that’s found here. 

      Open Floor Plans
      Mountain-modern residences are well-suited to contemporary living with open floorplans that flow freely from room to room. At the heart of the home, there’s often a large, multi-purpose space that blends cooking, dining and living areas into one. Whether you’re having friends over for dinner or hanging out with the family, this layout encourages easy interaction with each other.

      Abundance of Glass
      When you live in the mountains, your home should take full advantage of the stunning backdrop. For this reason, large walls of glass are a common characteristic for the architectural style, as it brings the mesmerizing vistas right into the home. The tall ceilings and open layout allow you to enjoy these views throughout and create a grand sense of scale. 

      Indoor-Outdoor Living
      The barrier between shelter and nature can feel blurred in a mountain-modern home. Interior spaces often seamlessly flow outside through retractable glass walls, with covered terraces and outdoor kitchens just steps away. For those who want to experience the outside world without compromising luxury, this just might be the ultimate architectural style. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to De-Stress in Stressful Times

      27 November 2020

      A certain amount of stress from time to time is to be expected given the demands of work and family. However, the type of stress that is triggered by outside events beyond our control can be much more difficult to manage compared to everyday stressors. Here are a few strategies for staying calm when the world around you is anything but.

      Be more selective on social media. While social media sites are an important way of staying informed, waking up to a news-feed of alarming news and extreme opinions can be unsettling to say the least. If scrolling through your social feeds changes your mood for the worse, unfollow accounts or block contacts that trigger negative emotions. Instead, try following positive-news sources, your favorite comedians, nature or animal accounts, or inspirational leaders. This will help give you a break from the current stress around you.

      Spread some good will. One secret to reducing your own stress, is to be there for someone else. Sharing simple words of support and inspiration as well as random acts of kindness with everyone from your family to your coworkers to the pizza delivery guy, not only brightens someone else’s day, it creates an important sense of calm and connection for you. Of course, you could take this strategy a step further by volunteering in your community. Remembering that you’re not alone in a stressful situation is one of the best ways to maintain perspective and balance. 

      Be thankful. When the world around us is troubling and we’ve been dealt some difficult blows, it may seem impossible to feel a sense of appreciation. However, research proves that taking time each day to remember what we have to be thankful for is key to boosting your mood and putting you in a better frame of mind. All you need is a notepad or journal, or take it a step further and download an app that will help keep you accountable to your daily gratitude practice. 

      Get moving. The powerful endorphins that come with exercise cannot be underestimated. And thanks to our acclimation to the world of video conferences, you can get your daily dose of movement right in your own home with virtual fitness classes. What’s essential to remember is that you don’t need to be an Olympic athlete to get the mood-boosting benefits of exercise. A simple walk will do the trick!

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Tips for Winter Travelers

      27 November 2020

      (Family Features) Because of the pandemic, fewer Americans are taking to the skies, but a significant number likely plan to hit the roads to visit friends and family during the winter months. Whether a few towns over or a couple states away, many drivers will travel interstates, which are major logistics corridors often dominated by commercial trucks.

      According to the United States Census Bureau, there are approximately 3.5 million people working as truck drivers in the U.S. From keeping grocery store shelves stocked to delivering those next-day packages, professional truck drivers impact lives with the freight they move and serve an important role in keeping the economy running.

      Professional truck drivers are also experts when it comes to planning travel. From mapping out a route to maintaining their vehicles and even practicing a healthy diet, many truck drivers are road trip experts.

      Caron Comas is a professional truck driver for Variant, a subsidiary of U.S. Xpress, one of the nation’s largest trucking companies. Highly trained, she’s driven trucks for 17 years and her expert insight can aid the average automobile driver planning to hit the roads this winter.

      “It’s important that the average driver give trucks plenty of space on the road,” Comas said. “People can forget we’re generally handling 75 feet of tractor and trailer, which can weigh 80,000 pounds. We can’t stop on a dime like automobiles, so increase distance when merging in front of trucks and avoid slamming on your brakes.”
      Comas suggests following these tips on the road and before you travel:

      • Don’t follow trucks too closely. If you can’t see a tractor trailer’s mirrors, the driver can’t see you.
      • Schedule vehicle maintenance before your trip. Have your oil changed and ask the experts to check your tire pressure and other important fluids to help assure you’re driving safely and efficiently.
      • Carefully plan your route. If driving through big cities, consider fluctuations in rush hour traffic. For more remote locations where there may not be regular food or gas, plan for when you’ll need to stop along the route.
      • Stay hydrated and nourished. Before setting out, eat a healthy meal and drink plenty of water. For the drive, pack healthy, non-perishable snacks like granola, fruit or nuts along with bottled water. For longer trips with kids, consider a small cooler for sandwiches, string cheese or yogurt.
      • Be overly prepared. Keep a few blankets, a flashlight, a first-aid kit and an extra pair of shoes in your car. If you experience car trouble, make sure you can stay warm until help arrives. 
      • Keep in mind the global pandemic. Check each state’s quarantine requirements that you’ll be traveling to or through, wear a mask when in public and follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines when traveling. 
      For more travel tips, visit usxpress.com/news.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.