Latest Real Estate News

    • How to Choose the Right Amount and Types of Lighting

      30 September 2020

      When decorating your home, one of the most important areas of focus should be the lighting. Inadequate light can make a room look dark and dreary, making it difficult to perform everyday tasks comfortably. But too much light or the wrong types of fixtures can be an annoying distraction. 

      Types of Household Lighting and Fixtures
      Ambient lighting from overhead or recessed lights can serve as the primary source of light in a room. Task lights can be used in specific parts of a room for certain activities. They may sit on a table or desk or be mounted on a wall. Accent lighting is used to draw attention to a particular feature, such as a piece of artwork. Accent lights can take a variety of forms.

      Flush and semi-flush mounting lights hang down a short distance from the ceiling. They’re designed to illuminate a room without taking up too much space. 

      Pendant lights are attached to a cord, chain or wire and hang down farther than mounting lights. Pendant lights vary in size and are often used in kitchens and dining rooms for task lighting.

      Chandeliers are hung from the ceiling. They contain many bulbs and may be functional or decorative, depending on their size and placement.

      Floor and table lamps are used for task lighting. They can be placed around a room and easily rearranged.

      Sconces are light fixtures that are mounted on a wall, either individually or in pairs. They can be plugged into an outlet or hardwired.

      How to Choose Lighting for Each Room
      A living room should have multiple sources and types of light. An overhead fixture with a dimmer switch can provide an appropriate amount of ambient lighting. Table and/or floor lamps can allow individuals to relax while reading or playing games.

      Having adequate lighting is especially important in the kitchen for safety reasons. The kitchen should have plenty of ambient lighting, as well as task lights in certain areas, such as above the sink and stove.

      A dining room should have an amount of ambient lighting appropriate for the space. One chandelier may be ideal, or you may want two or more overhead lights if you have a long dining room table where you host large gatherings. 

      In a bedroom, you may want ambient lighting or just a series of lamps. It’s often a matter of personal preference.

      A bathroom should have overhead lights, as well as task lighting over the sink. That will make putting on makeup and shaving easier.

      When choosing light fixtures, think about how much light you need and where, the style of your home and decor and the type of vibe you want to create. Select a combination of fixtures that provides an aesthetically pleasing mix of styles and an appropriate amount of lighting for your family’s needs.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Why Consistency Is so Important in Parenting

      30 September 2020

      Raising children is difficult, stressful and often overwhelming. It can be hard to know what to do and how to react when your kids don’t listen or cooperate, and it’s easier to give in when you’re tired or frustrated. You may also have to deal with other people who have different views on child rearing than you do. 

      Consistency Makes Kids Feel Secure
      It may seem that children don’t want to follow rules and would rather do whatever they want, but the truth is that rules and routines make them feel safe. The world can be confusing and scary for kids. Having consistent rules and boundaries and knowing what to expect helps children understand how things work and learn appropriate behaviors.

      How Inconsistency Can Affect Kids
      Lack of consistency is one of the most common causes of tantrums and acting out. If an adult allows a behavior sometimes, but yells about the same behavior at other times, or tolerates a behavior from one child but punishes the same behavior from another, that can make children feel confused and unsafe, which can lead to anxiety, hostility and aggression.

      Another common problem is that parents and other caregivers have different rules. In those situations, children will feel confused and learn to pit adults against each other.

      How to Enforce Rules and Empower Your Kids
      The best way to prevent problems is to set rules for your home and enforce them consistently, whether you are alone with your children, grandparents are visiting or a babysitter is in charge. That requires clear and firm communication with your children and with other caregivers, as well as a lot of patience. 

      Explain the reasons for rules to help your kids understand the bigger picture and learn to behave appropriately. Create logical consequences for breaking rules that match the seriousness of the offense.

      If your children have already developed undesirable behaviors, changing them will be difficult, but it is possible. Set new rules, explain them to your kids and enforce them. Make sure other caregivers are on board.

      Information helps children understand what is going on and react positively to changes. If a routine will be altered for some reason, explain the expected change and the reason to your kids.

      Don’t try to tightly regulate every aspect of your children’s lives. Too many rules can stifle kids and make them act out to express themselves. Focus on important areas, such as safety, manners, hygiene and bedtime routines, and give your kids a reasonable amount of freedom in other areas. Offering choices and assigning age-appropriate chores can teach responsibility and make your kids feel empowered. 

      Being Consistent Now Will Pay Off in the Long Run
      Kids like to push adults’ buttons. When parents cave in because they’re tired, stressed out or busy, that may make things easier in the moment, but it can create long-term problems. Taking a consistent approach to discipline can make life more predictable for children and lead to better behavior.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • A Delicious Breakfast-Inspired Dessert

      30 September 2020

      (Family Features) Breakfast for dinner may be a widely accepted practice for many families, but breakfast for dessert can be a new option for your loved ones when a sweet craving strikes. 

      This Maple Pecan Dessert Pancake from author and James Beard Award winner Ellie Krieger’s “Whole in One” is cooked in a skillet with a maple-sweetened egg batter and can be served warm or chilled. It feels like a homey, sweet pancake when served warm. Chilled, it becomes more of a flan-like tart with its custardy batter and caramelized sugars. 

      Visit milkmeansmore.org for more family dessert inspiration. 

      Maple Pecan Dessert Pancake
      Recipe courtesy of “Whole in One” by Ellie Krieger on behalf of Milk Means More
      Servings: 8

      • 1 cup pecan pieces, divided
      • 4 large eggs
      • ⅓ cup whole milk
      • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
      • ¼ cup light brown sugar
      • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
      • 1 pinch salt
      • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
      • 1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
      Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a small bowl of food processor, process 1/2 cup pecans until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl. In the processor, pulse remaining pecans to coarsely chop.

      In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, milk, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Stir in finely ground and coarsely chopped pecans.

      In a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-low heat, heat butter. Add batter to pan. Cook without stirring until the edges begin to set, 5 minutes, then transfer to the oven and bake until completely set and golden brown, 10 minutes. Pancakes will puff up in the oven then fall into place as it cools.

      Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes then sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and cut into eight wedges. Serve warm or chilled. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Properly Remove Wallpaper

      29 September 2020

      Old wallpaper can make a house look dated. If a room in your home could use an update, you should be able to remove the wallpaper yourself. The steps will depend on the type of wallpaper you have.

      Before You Get Started 
      Cover the floor with a tarp and use painter’s tape to secure it. Cover any electrical outlets with painter’s tape and turn off the electricity before removing the wallpaper that surrounds  them. Have one or more large trash cans ready to toss in sheets of wallpaper as you remove them.

      Which Type of Wallpaper Do You Have?
      Use a putty knife to loosen a sheet of wallpaper at a bottom corner or seam. If it pulls away easily, it’s strippable wallpaper that should be easy to remove without water or chemicals. You may be able to simply pull entire strips off the walls. If you encounter some stubborn pieces, you can use a knife to cut them into horizontal strips.

      In some cases, you will need to mix a liquid stripper concentrate with hot water. Brush it on the wallpaper, working in sections from top to bottom. After the mixture has had a few minutes to soak in, start using a scraper to peel off the wallpaper. If the wallpaper is old and won’t absorb water, use sandpaper or a scoring tool to scuff the surface. Then spray the mixture again and let it soak in until you can remove the wallpaper.

      Peelable wallpaper has a top coat that can be removed in the same way as strippable wallpaper, leaving behind a layer of backing. Remove the backing with the stripper concentrate/water solution and follow the same steps. 

      Since washable wallpaper has a plastic film designed to stop water from penetrating, you will first need to use a scoring tool to cut holes in the paper. Spray water into the slits, wait 10 minutes or so to allow the water to soak in, then remove the paper with a putty knife.

      If you have wallpaper that just won’t budge, you may need to use steam to loosen it. Rent a steamer and ask someone to help you. Pour water into the machine and wait for it to boil. Place the steamer pad on the wallpaper, wait about 30 seconds, then check to see if the wallpaper is loose. If so, the other person can peel it off, using a scraper if necessary.

      Update Your Home
      If you’re tired of looking at wallpaper from a bygone era, you should be able to remove it fairly easily. Figure out what kind of paper you have, assemble the necessary supplies and get some help so you can modernize and transform the room.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Five Dog Breeds That are Easy to Train

      29 September 2020

      If you’re thinking of adopting a dog, you may already have your heart set on one particular breed or another. But if your furry friend is to become a beloved and well-behaved part of the household, you may want to be sure you are choosing a breed that is known to be readily trained. 

      Several factors, such as age or physical and mental health, for example, can affect how easily a dog learns. Some trainers say adult dogs learn more rapidly than playful puppies. But while opinions vary widely among breeders and trainers, these five breeds are at the top of most lists, suggesting the smartest and easiest breeds to train:

      1. Labrador Retriever - Arguably America’s favorite dog, Labrador Retrievers are sweet, fun-loving dogs that are easy to train because they want little more than to make their owners happy.
      2. Golden Retriever - Like their Labrador cousins, Golden Retrievers are good-natured, which makes them receptive to training. They are also very loyal and will do just about anything they are asked to please their owner.
      3. Border Collie - Herding dogs that were bred to be independent workers, collies are nonetheless sensitive to their owner’s needs. They are said to be intelligent dogs and easy to train, but not so energetic that the average owner will have trouble keeping up.
      4. Poodle - All varieties of poodle, Standard, Miniature and Toy, are seen as incredibly intelligent dogs that are eager to please and pick up training very quickly. They are typically even-tempered and aim to please their humans. 
      5. German Shepherd - The German Shepherd is considered to be the Jack-of-all-trades in the dog world. They are intelligent and simple to train. Having a job, such as protecting a family, keeps them happy. They enjoy training and can succeed in a variety of dog sports. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.