Consumer Real Estate News

    • How to Design a Bedroom Your Toddler Will Love

      12 May 2021

      The transition from a baby to a toddler is an exciting process. The bedroom furniture, layout and design that worked when your child was younger may no longer be appropriate. Here are some tips to help you create a new bedroom for your toddler.

      Choose Furniture That’s Functional, Stylish and Safe
      A toddler needs a big-kid bed that sits at a safe height and has a comfortable mattress. You may be able to buy a bed that’s decorated with an image of a favorite character, that’s designed to resemble a car or that has some other feature that appeals to your child. You may also be able to take an ordinary toddler bed and modify it yourself. Avoid bunk beds due to the risk of falls and injuries.

      Toddlers tend to have lots of belongings, and bedrooms can get messy if there isn’t a clearly defined system to keep things organized. Use a toy box, shelves, cubbies, baskets and plastic bins to store toys, books and clothes and avoid clutter. Mark containers with pictures or colors so a child who can’t yet read will know where things belong.

      Young kids are fond of climbing. Furniture that isn’t anchored to a wall can tip over and cause serious injuries to a toddler. Make sure that all furniture is secured to prevent an accident.

      Include Personal Touches and an Area for Favorite Activities
      The new bedroom design should reflect your toddler’s unique personality. Decorate the room with artwork your child created, photos of family members and friends and a sign with your child’s name. 

      If your toddler likes to look at books, paint or dress up and put on performances, set aside a space for that activity. Select appropriate furniture and accessories that will make your toddler feel comfortable and look forward to spending time there. Make the special area a focal point in the room.

      Your toddler may be obsessed with a particular TV or movie character, animal or color right now, but that will likely change in a matter of months. Incorporate your child’s current favorite things in the new bedroom design, but don’t go overboard. That will help you avoid having to make major changes in the near future.

      Encourage Your Child to Provide Input
      Ask your toddler for help redesigning the bedroom. Inquire about preferred paint colors, furniture, curtains, artwork and other key elements. You will most likely get a wide range of responses, and many of them may be completely impractical. Focus on the ones that you can make happen. That will make your child feel excited, rather than anxious, about the changes.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Make Health a Priority When Remodeling

      12 May 2021

      (Family Features) When you tackle a remodeling project, there are many unknowns, including what types of materials you might uncover. Hazardous materials must be addressed, and possibly removed, if exposed during a remodeling project. There are also some materials that should be removed to create a healthier home environment.

      Whether materials “must be” or “should be” removed depends on several factors. It is always wise to consult with trained professionals, such as members of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, when you encounter hazardous materials.

      The complete removal of all hazardous materials is the preferred approach, but budget is often a hindrance. Thoroughly exploring your options may reveal a lower level of acceptable and more affordable mitigation.

      Most common residential hazardous materials are not hazardous if they remain in a dormant or undisturbed location. Typically, they become hazardous during the demolition phase when they are ground, cut, bumped, scraped or disturbed in some way, causing the materials to become airborne and inhaled.

      Examples of common hazardous materials include:

      Lead-based paint, which can be found on anything that is painted or varnished such as windows, millwork, cabinets, siding, walls and other surfaces.

      Lead water lines, which are primarily hazardous after water sits in the lines for some time prior to consumption, although contamination still occurs during normal flow rates.

      Asbestos, which was once commonly used in a wide range of materials such as pipe or duct insulation; flooring tiles or sheet goods; ceiling tiles and plaster; wall and attic insulation; and plaster used as a binder.

      Silica, which is exceptionally dangerous during saw cutting processes where dust is created.

      Mold, which is not hazardous until the spores are disturbed, become airborne and are inhaled or ingested. Any visible or detectable mold should be removed, and the surfaces cleaned or removed. High concentrations of mold should be addressed by trained professionals, as it can be hazardous if not handled properly.

      Dust, which can be hazardous to some individuals who are sensitive or have breathing-related issues. Dust barriers and negative air enclosures can help minimize, but not eliminate, dust contamination to the rest of the home. Commercial dust “scrubber” filtering systems can significantly reduce dust contamination.

      Once the existing hazardous materials are appropriately addressed, new materials will be placed in your home to replace or enhance the project. Due to strong demand by homeowners, you’re likely to find many options for healthy products.

      For example, prefinished materials (that can be painted, stained or varnished off-site) aid in the reduction of on-site fumes and vapors.

      Other products to look for when you’re remodeling with health in mind include:

      • Low volatile organic compounds, which limit the amount of off-gassing of the materials used in the manufacturing process. Typically, these are paints, stains, varnishes, carpeting and vinyl products.
      • Renewable products, which can be replenished quickly.
      • Heat recovery ventilation systems that exchange the thermal qualities of the interior air with fresh air brought into the home.
      • Air purification systems, which may involve ozone, pleated filters, high-micron filters, electrostatic filters or UV light systems, among others.
      • Dehumidification systems designed to keep the relative humidity levels in a safe range to prevent mold growth.
      • Exhaust fans in baths, kitchens, lower levels and workshops, installed to discharge smells, smoke, fumes and humidity.
      • Radon systems designed to exhaust radon gases to the exterior.
      Find more advice to navigate a health-conscious home remodel at

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Should You Buy a House That Has Been on the Market for Several Months?

      12 May 2021

      Sometimes a homeowner lists a house for sale and receives an offer within days. In other cases, a home goes unsold for months. That can happen for a variety of reasons that may or may not be related to characteristics of the house.

      Why a Real Estate Listing May Go ‘Stale’
      A house may go unsold because it has one or more serious problems, such as a leaky roof or a cracked foundation. Potential buyers may be unwilling to purchase a house that will need major repairs.

      Location may play a role. Buyers may pass over a house that’s in an area with high crime rates, not in a good school district, located near a highway or a factory, or in a place that is undesirable for some other reason.

      The house may be overpriced. Although real estate agents try to help their clients set listing prices that will attract buyers, some sellers have unrealistic expectations and insist on asking for higher amounts. Even if a seller later lowers the price, prospective buyers may assume that the price reduction means there is a problem with the house’s condition and it may continue to go unsold.

      The owner may not be in a hurry to sell. Sometimes homeowners are thinking about selling but aren’t in any rush, so they list their house to test the waters. A homeowner may want a minimum amount that is non-negotiable and may be willing to wait as long as necessary to find a buyer willing to pay that sum.

      It’s also possible that the seller lined up a buyer, but the deal fell through for some reason. If that’s the case, that means the seller had to start again from Square One.

      Find Out Why the House Hasn’t Sold
      If you come across a listing for a home that has most or all of the features you want, don’t automatically pass on it because of the number of days it has been on the market. Instead, get more information. Ask your real estate agent to find out why the house hasn’t sold and to inquire about the seller’s timetable and reason for listing the property.

      You may learn that the house has lingered on the market for reasons that have nothing to do with its condition or location. You may find out that the seller is frustrated and eager to find a buyer as quickly as possible. If that’s the case, that can give you negotiating power and you may be able to buy the house at a bargain. 

      Don’t Make a Hasty Decision
      Even if the seller is willing to accept a low offer, be sure to have the house inspected, just as you would any other property. An inspector may discover a problem that will cause you to rethink your decision. If the house turns out to be in good condition, you will be able to proceed with confidence that you’re making a wise investment. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 4 Tips for Navigating a Low-Carb Family Meal Plan

      11 May 2021

      Meal planning for a family, particularly one with picky eaters, can be a challenge under any circumstances. When you add one member’s low-carb dietary preference into the mix, meal planning can seem downright impossible. Thankfully, these strategies ensure that everyone leaves the table satisfied without compromising anyone’s nutrition or taste preferences. 

      Don’t Force the Issue
      Unless everyone in the family has agreed to a new dietary plan—and a new plan has been medically approved for all members—it is best to avoid drastically changing the full family’s mealtime habits, particularly for children. Creating unnecessary restrictions can create an unhealthy strain on children’s burgeoning relationship with food. Focus on gently incorporating new low-carb foods or meals alongside your normal fare with known or favorite foods available with the meal.

      Go Back to the Basics
      Any great dietary plan is built on a foundation of whole unprocessed foods. Go back to the basics to create a simple meal with a meat and a couple of veggies as a side. Don’t forget to add a lot of seasonings—whole foods don’t need to be boring! For your low-carb family members, green veggies such as salads, broccoli, green beans and zucchini, can be seasoned deliciously alongside fish, chicken or steak. Simply add a starchy vegetable, a simple pasta or a side of warm bread to ensure every family member can meet their macronutrient requirements. 

      Try Buildable Meals
      Buildable meals are a perfect solution that will fit everyone’s dietary and taste preferences. Foods like soups with toppings, taco bowls and even salads are an easy way to allow each family member to include only the items that fit their meal preferences. 

      Simple Substitutes
      With a simple substitute available many meals can have the versatility of a buildable meal with just a little extra work. For pasta nights, keep your sauce and veggies separate from the actual pasta. Cook the regular pasta for the carb-friendly family members and provide an option like edamame spaghetti or zucchini noodles for a low-carb alternative.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Tips to Promote Health During Spring

      11 May 2021

      (Family Features) As seasons change, there’s often a great deal of shuffling and movement, including common allergy triggers like trees, pollen, mold spores, dust and dander along with pesky sinus pressure. Combined with changes in barometric pressure and weather patterns bouncing up and down, spring can be one big pain – literally.

      “This is the time of year when most of us are excited to see the change of seasons, but millions of allergy and sinus sufferers welcome spring with trepidation,” Dr. Ian Smith, M.D., said. “Common triggers such as trees, pollen, mold spores, dust and dander can wreak havoc for many. Having a trusted multi-symptom reliever of upper respiratory allergies like Mucinex Sinus-Max is absolutely key in making the season more enjoyable for all suffering from sinus and congestion issues. With a reliable multi-symptom product stashed in your medicine cabinet, and the combination of simple modifications like being mindful of your indoor climate, eating more fruits and veggies, and staying hydrated, can help limit sinus discomfort this season.” 

      Take steps this spring to ease the impact of sinus and allergy problems and focus on your overall wellness for a smooth transition with these tips:

      Control your allergy and sinus triggers. Knowing what flares your allergic reactions can help prevent discomfort. For many people, monitoring pollen counts and limiting time outdoors on high-pollen days can help reduce reactions. You might also avoid hanging laundry outside, as pollen can stick to clothes and sheets as they dry, and ask for help with yardwork to limit your exposure.

      Find some pressure release. When nasal congestion or sinus pressure build, it can feel like a ton of bricks have landed on your head. However, you can find relief with products designed to help clear up your stuffy nose, relieve headaches and thin and loosen excess mucus. Often, if you’re experiencing sinus problems, you’re dealing with multiple symptoms. From congestion to headaches and sinus pressure, an over-the-counter medicine like Mucinex Sinus-Max can break up your sinus symptoms with just one dose or your money back. 

      Manage your indoor climate. Even when you start spending more time outdoors, it’s important to keep close tabs on the quality of the air inside your home. If you’re prone to allergy flare-ups or sinus infections, manage the humidity level by using a humidifier or dehumidifier. If outdoor allergens are a concern, avoid opening windows and doors, and instead rely on air conditioning on warmer days. Also be sure to change filters regularly and use an air purifier for added protection.

      Keep fluids flowing. More time outdoors in warmer weather can quickly lead to dehydration, especially if you’re working up a sweat. Drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated and keep your body operating in top shape. Staying hydrated can also help keep mucus moving, allowing you to ease through allergy or sinus problems.

      Update your medicine cabinet. A seasonal change is a good time to take stock of your medical supplies and medications to ensure you have what you need for the months ahead. Discard any expired prescriptions or over the counter medicines and be sure restock common spring and summer essentials like bug bite ointments, sunburn spray and multi-symptom products like Mucinex Sinus-Max to help temporarily relieve sinus and congestion symptoms in one dose. Also be sure to replenish your first aid kit with plenty of bandages and wound care supplies.

      For more information, visit

      Published with permission from RISMedia.