Consumer Real Estate News

    • Whip Up Some Fresh Summer Salsa

      30 June 2022

      ( It’s time to kick off summer with a bang. With exciting summer events like baseball, sunbathing and barbecues filling social calendars, comes a whole new array of fresh, sunny day snacks just waiting to be devoured.

      If you’re in the mood for something sweet with a hint of spice, try this Citrus, Mango and Pineapple Salsa. It features fresh, fruity flavors from the pineapple, mango, lemon and lime plus a surprising bite of jalapeno. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and zesty.

      This light, warm weather appetizer  is perfect for pool parties or dining al fresco. A fresh twist on traditional salsa, this recipe will have people lining up for a second scoop to help beat the heat.

      Enjoy it with tortilla chips or as a topping on your favorite tacos to add a little sweetness to a traditionally savory meal.

      For more fresh summertime recipes, visit

      Citrus, Mango and Pineapple Salsa
      Recipe adapted from
      1 1/4 cup fresh pineapple, diced
      1 1/4 cup fresh mango, diced
      2 tomatoes
      1/2 red onion, diced
      1 jalapeno, finely chopped
      1 tablespoon coriander
      2 tablespoons lime juice
      1 tablespoon lemon juice
      sea salt, to taste
      fresh cracked pepper, to taste
      tortilla chips, for serving

      In a large bowl, combine pineapple, mango, tomato, onion, jalapeno, coriander, lime juice, lemon juice and salt and pepper, to taste. With rubber spatula, mix all ingredients together.

      Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.

      Serve with tortilla chips.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Clever Small Space Gardening Tips

      30 June 2022

      Gardening can serve to boost your home’s curb appeal, prove to be an enjoyable hobby and can naturally lead to gently encouraging healthy eating. Not to mention, creating your own vegetable garden can lead to food savings all season long. Thankfully, you don’t have to sacrifice your whole backyard to plant a wonderful garden.

      Evaluate Your Space
      Whether your home boasts a huge backyard or just a small patio, you can find a way to embrace the space only when you truly evaluate what it has to offer. Asses where in your yard you would like a garden. If your options are limited, this is even more vital. Evaluate how much direct and indirect sunlight your space gets and where. A building or tree located nearby may mean that part or all of your space is not viable for full sun plants. Decide what your space can easily cultivate.

      Think Outside the Planter Box
      Traditional garden planter boxes can make having a garden easier, but if your gardening space is limited, don’t be afraid to get creative. Planter boxes can be utilized on a porch or patio, but consider using freestanding boxes that take advantage of vertical space. A table-like planter box with tall legs will allow you to store your gardening items below. You can also get even more creative and utilize DIY or storebought vertical planters, which will easily maximize your gardening space.

      Rethink the Squash
      While a garden with traditional veggies may sound appealing, it is important to realize exactly how much space your ideal plants will require. Squashes and cucumbers, for instance, require room to grow outward along the ground—this can mean that your small space can only handle a few plants. Opt for vertically growing plants or consider instead creating a herb and sprout garden. Herbs and sprouts take up very little room, but the flavors and added texture will pack a delicious punch in your next dinner. 

      Getting fresh and delicious foods on the table this season doesn’t require a ton of space. As long as you go into your gardening season with an honest evaluation of what your gardening area can handle, and you think creatively, you are sure to have a green thumb.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 6 Tips for Brightening Your Space and Your Mood

      30 June 2022

      Light, bright spaces not only appear to be larger than dark spaces, they also seem to make us feel happier. But not all of us live in light, sunny spaces. Designers and decorators recommend six sound tips for adding light, or the illusion of light, to help brighten your rooms and your mood: 

      • Start With White - Small or dark spaces are not the place to try out a dark color palette. The lighter the walls, the more light they will reflect. Start with white or a pale, neutral grey or beige wall, and if you choose a color other than white, think about painting the ceiling a shade lighter to help light bounce around the room.
      • More Ceiling Tricks - Blue skies brighten the world. Painting your ceiling the color of the sky can create the illusion of light. Or, paint the ceiling with a high-gloss paint to help reflect light. 
      • Bring in Colors of the Sun - One proven way to brighten a space is to bring in yellows, reds and oranges—the colors of the sun. You can do this with furnishings, accent pieces and pillows.
      • Use Mirrors and Reflective Surfaces - Double the amount of light in a room by allowing it to bounce off reflective surfaces. Hang a large mirror across from the largest window in the room. Hang an array of smaller mirrors in darker areas, such as hallways, and bring in shimmery gold or silver accessories to attract and reflect light. 
      • Place Bookshelves Correctly - Place bookshelves perpendicular to the window wall. Placing them parallel or across from a window is a sure way to obstruct the light.
      • Supplement Daylight - Think about where you place light fixtures. Indirect lighting aimed upward, such as a torchiere at the back of the room, can make up for lack of natural light on the ceiling as daylight fades.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Keep Pets Safe All Summer Long: 4 Tips to Overcome Warm Weather Hazards

      29 June 2022

      (Family Features) Summer means extra time outdoors. Sunny months provide a perfect opportunity for bonding with pets, but higher temperatures, seasonal plants and pests and additional travel can pose higher risks for complications.

      To help keep dogs, cats and other pets safe during summer adventures, consider these tips from the experts at VCA Animal Hospitals, which has more than 1,000 locations across North America that cared for more than 4.5 million pets last year. 

      Beat the Heat
      Dogs and cats cannot control their body temperature by sweating as humans do. They have a small number of sweat glands located in their footpads and primarily regulate their temperature by panting. Vigorous exercise, leaving a pet in a vehicle with poor ventilation – even if the windows are down – or being left outside without shade and water on hot days can lead to heatstroke, or hyperthermia.

      Increased humidity combined with warmer temperatures intensifies the risk of heat stroke, especially during the first few warm days as pets transition to outdoor activity. If your pet exhibits any symptoms of heatstroke – elevated breathing rates, dry or sticky gums, lethargy, disorientation, abnormal gum color, bruised gums or seizures – pour cool water over your pet’s head, stomach and feet or apply cool, wet cloths, ensure continuous airflow and see a veterinarian immediately.

      Keep Ticks at Bay
      As pets spend more time outdoors in the summer, they’re often exposed to pests like ticks. Ticks can transmit serious diseases to both dogs and cats. According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council, as many as 1 in 20 dogs tested positive for tick-borne diseases in 2021. Ticks climb onto pets from blades of grass or fall from overhanging trees and foliage. If a tick finds its way onto your pet, use tweezers or disposable gloves to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible then pull straight out with steady, even pressure until the tick releases.

      If you find a tick, carefully inspect all areas of skin, including behind the ears and between the toes, for additional ticks. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area with soap and water and wash your hands. Save the tick in a resealable plastic bag to show your veterinarian and take note of the time and place the bite occurred and any other details that may aid your veterinarian should an illness occur. Follow your veterinarian’s advice about tick preventative measures, and make sure the product is safe to be used for your pet’s size. Never use dog flea and tick products on cats.

      Travel Safely
      If you plan to travel with your pet, pack the necessities for your animal. Your pet’s luggage should include food, water bowls, treats, a leash and collar, toys, medications and printed copies of medical records, including vaccination history. Check with your veterinarian to determine if a health certificate is needed for travel. Also ensure your pet is comfortable with his or her crate or carrier before flying or embarking on a long road trip.

      Knowing where to take your pet in case of an emergency while away from home is also essential. Look up emergency veterinary clinics near your destination before departing or ask if your vet offers virtual care options. For example, through the myVCA app, you can access 24/7 live chat with licensed veterinary professionals.

      Manage Allergies
      Many of the same allergens that affect humans impact pets. Atopy, also known as inhalant allergy, is a common cause of skin problems in dogs and cats. Affected animals often have a history of chronic or recurrent itching and tend to have a history of repeated skin or ear infections. Itchy pets tend to scratch themselves, lick their feet and rub on furniture or carpet. Atopy can also cause cats to groom excessively and develop bald or crusty spots on their skin.
      Some allergies may also affect the respiratory or digestive systems or the eyes. If your pet is displaying signs of allergies, your veterinarian can recommend appropriate testing and treatment to reduce symptoms.

      Visit to find more ways to keep pets safe throughout the summer and book an appointment.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Signs That an Exterior Door Needs to Be Replaced

      29 June 2022

      Visitors notice the front door when they come to your house, but exterior doors are responsible for a lot more than just curb appeal. Your front and back doors should provide security, keep rain and drafts out, and limit the amount of noise from outside that enters your home. If an exterior door is failing in any of those regards, it’s time to replace it.

      The Door is Damaged or Doesn’t Fit the Frame Correctly
      Over time, an exterior door may become warped or cracked, paint may peel or the door may be damaged by insects. It may have one or more dents caused by objects banging against it as people entered or left. 

      An old door may be difficult to open and close, and may not fit well in the frame. That can be more than just a hassle. A door that’s damaged or that doesn’t close tightly can make your home vulnerable to air and water leaks, insects and burglars. If you can see light around the edges of a door when it’s shut, that means it isn’t fitting in the frame as it should.

      Your Utility Costs Keep Going Up
      Air leakage around an exterior door can lead to high energy bills in both the winter and summer. In the colder months, chilly air that gets in through cracks can make your furnace have to work harder than it should to keep the house warm. In the summer, cooled air can leak out through gaps while hot outdoor air gets inside. If your utility bills have been rising, a damaged door may be to blame. 

      You’ve Noticed Leaks or Water Damage
      Cracks in a door, damaged seals or gaps in the frame can allow water to get inside on a rainy day. That can cause damage to the door, the frame and the flooring inside. It can also contribute to mold, which can endanger your family’s health. 

      Noise is Getting on Your Nerves
      An exterior door should block out some of the noise coming from your neighbors and cars driving down the street. A door normally makes a sound when it closes, but it shouldn’t be so loud that you jump every time someone enters or leaves. If you have noticed the noise level increasing, it may be time to replace the door.

      Make a Wise Investment
      Installing a new exterior door may be expensive, but it will pay off in the long run. Replacing a damaged door can eliminate drafts, lower your utility bills, protect your home from water damage and mold, keep insects out, reduce the noise level and shield your family and belongings from intruders.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.