Consumer Real Estate News

    • How to Hang Wall Art Like a Pro

      18 May 2021

      Hanging artwork is an art form in itself. Too high or too low can throw off the dimensions and design of an entire room. Whether you want a simple frame, a statement piece or a gallery wall, you want to ensure that your artwork is hung properly, securely and adds a touch of your personality and style without disrupting the room’s aesthetic. If you choose to take on this task without help from a professional, here’s some steps that can help you.

      Choose the Right Size
      Are you planning to hang a piece of artwork behind your couch or over your bed? How about down the hallway or in the kitchen? No matter where you plan to display your artwork, you want to be sure the size fits the space and everything in it, like furniture or architecture. 

      Plan the Positioning 
      One of the most important factors in interior design is planning. And this includes not only the artwork itself, but how and where you plan to hang it. Cut paper or cardboard to the same size and dimensions of your artwork. This trick can help determine where the piece will best fit or how to position a gallery wall. 

      Select a Hanger
      Nails, hooks and wires...oh my! With different options for hanging artwork, it is important to remember the size and weight of the piece, as well as the type of wall you want to place it. For heavier frames, a wire and sturdy nail (or multiple nails) is the way to go. For lighter frames or canvas prints and paintings, consider a smaller nail and anchored hook. 

      Hang at Eye Level
      You never want to hang your artwork too high or too low. However, finding an eye level that meets everyone’s requirements is tough, as some people are taller or shorter than others. The average human eye level, however, is about 57 inches from the floor. If you place the center of a painting at this height, it will likely be the most pleasing to the aesthetic of a room.

      You don’t have to be an interior designer or an engineer to figure out the right way to hang your artwork. Though it does take some mathematics and an eye for design, you can bring aesthetic and style to your home with ease. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Help Your Children Buy a Home

      18 May 2021

      With student debt looming and career paths constantly changing, the financial situation for a lot of young adults is tough. If your kids are in their 20s or 30s and still haven’t purchased a home, maybe you would like to help them. For those who can’t afford to give their adult children the entire cost of a home, there are options available to assist them financially in the home-buying process.  

      Let The Live With You...Temporarily
      If your children are trying to save up their paychecks for a down payment on a home, but the cost of rent and utilities are too high for any legitimate savings, invite them back home temporarily. This can relieve their financial burdens and significantly help them boost their savings quickly. 

      Loan Them Money
      If you’re financially able, you can loan your child money for a down payment, closing costs and other home-buying fees. Be sure to establish terms and conditions, as well as expectations for repayment and interest. The IRS requires that you charge at least the applicable federal rate, or AFR, if this is not a gift. Have legal documents drawn up as needed. 

      Gift a Down Payment
      If instead of a loan, you choose to give them the money with no repayment expectations, you can give the gift of a down payment. To do so, write a mortgage gift letter for them to submit with their application stating that they do not have to pay you back. This will increase their chances of being approved for a mortgage.

      Co-Sign or Co-Borrow a Loan
      If your child has questionable credit history or is overrun with debt, you can apply for the mortgage with them as a co-borrower or co-signer. This can increase their chances for being approved for a mortgage, just remember that you will share mortgage payment responsibilities. You will have to repay the loan if your child defaults on a payment.

      If you are unable to assist your children in the home-buying process financially, you can always teach and guide them. If you have purchased a home in your life, share your experience and any helpful tips you may have. Also, get them in touch with a trustworthy and experienced real estate agent to help them better understand what they need to take this important financial step.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Make an Upholstered Headboard

      18 May 2021

      A headboard in your bedroom can act as an accent piece or make a statement. Unfortunately, headboards can get pricey, especially when they are upholstered. So, instead of spending a big chunk of change, take on this simple DIY project and create your own upholstered headboard. Here’s everything you need and how to make a custom DIY headboard.

      Supplies:
      Scissors
      Plywood
      Upholstery Foam
      Batting
      Spray Glue 
      Staple Gun
      Fabric

      Preparation:
      Before you start creating your new headboard, make sure to cut your plywood to the width of your bed and whatever your preferred height. Roll out your upholstery foam and cut to size to fit across your plywood, measured in height from the top of your mattress to the top of the headboard. 

      Step 1: Lay down your pre-cut plywood. Roll out your pre-cut foam and use spray glue to secure it to the wood. 

      Step 2: Lay batting on the floor and flip over your foam-covered plywood. The batting will be used to further secure the foam to the wood and offer more cushion underneath your fabric. Tightly pull the batting over the edges of the plywood and use your staple gun to hold it in place. Trim off any excess batting around edges. 

      Step 3: Flip your plywood, now with upholstery foam and batting securely attached, back over. Lay the fabric across the board, lining up the edges to your liking. Flip the headboard back over with the fabric now facing the floor. Secure with pins or clips if necessary. Just like the batting, pull the fabric taut over the batting and, using your staple gun, staple the fabric into place. Trim off the excess fabric from the back. 

      All that’s left is to mount your headboard. Now, you can enjoy your stylish and custom bedroom space!

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Easy Ways to Spruce Up Your Home's Exterior

      17 May 2021

      Whether you’re selling your home or just looking to make some simple updates, curb appeal matters. Thankfully, updating your home’s exterior doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. From following a smart maintenance routine to adding a splash of personality, you can spruce up your home’s exterior in no time. 

      Maintain Your Lawn
      Your front lawn is a focal point to your home, making it one of the most important spaces to maintain for your home. If your grass is overgrown or your trees and shrubs are dead, a first impression of your home may not be a good one. Mow your lawn, trim your trees and bushes, rake or blow leaves out of your yard and remember to sweep any walkway, porch or front steps you may have leading to your front door. 

      Add Flower Pots and Window Boxes
      In addition to a clean lawn, florals play an important role in the look of your home’s exterior. Maybe you don’t have the best luck with gardens, or there just isn’t enough space. Adding flower pots to your steps or porch is a great way to add a pop of color to your doorstep. Window boxes are another great option if you don’t have space for a garden or potted plants. Even hanging plants in your exterior entryway will liven up the look.

      Paint Your Front Door
      Florals don’t have to be the only pop of color you add to your home’s exterior. Painting your front door in a bright, vivid color is a great and modern way to spruce up your home. Consider the color of your home and the aesthetic you want to present when choosing this color. If you are part of an HOA, be sure to refer to the regulations and guidelines.

      Clean Your Windows
      Of course, this is something every homeowner should do when maintaining their home. However, the outside of the windows are often overlooked. Cleaning the outside of your windows will not only boost the curb appeal from outside, but allow brighter, natural light to enter the interior of your home, which is great for daily life as well as showing your home for sale. Use a microfiber towel with dish soap and water for the best and clearest results. 

      Add a Seating Area
      Whether your porch or yard is large or small, having a small space where people can relax and enjoy the outdoors is an easy and cost-effective way to heighten curb appeal. Chairs, benches and even a small table add an inviting touch to your home. Be smart when choosing your outdoor furniture regarding size, color and plans for placement and spacing. 

      Boosting your curb appeal doesn’t have to be hard or costly. A little bit of time, care and minimal spending is all it takes to take your home’s exterior from drab and dreary to bright and lovely. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Family-Friendly Ideas for Summer Fun

      17 May 2021

      (Family Features) Warm, sunny days are the perfect setting for making family memories, but they’re also ideal opportunities to encourage kids to get creative and let their imaginations soar.

      These ideas for summertime activities encourage family interaction, and the more kids get to help plan and organize the details, the more engaged you can expect them to be.

      Visit Your Local Park 
      Pack all the kids’ favorite snacks and beverages to keep cool and hydrated. Choose your spot under a big shady tree and spread out for an impromptu picnic. Be sure to bring along outdoor toys for a game of catch or lighten the load and create a nature scavenger hunt with different types of leaves, rocks and flowers for kids to discover. If they come across an unfamiliar plant or animal, snap a picture with your phone so you can do some research on it when you get home. Encourage the kids to draw or design a piece of art reflecting the things they saw.

      Create Watercolor Paintings 
      Away from the school setting, kids sometimes have fewer opportunities to practice expressing their ideas and getting creative. Fun tools can make an artistic session more exciting, so look for unique methods like blending Zebra Pen Mildliner Brush Pens with water and a paint brush to create fun, pastel watercolor paintings with minimal mess. The pens are conveniently double-ended with a paint brush-like tip on one end and fine marker tip on the other so you can precisely draw a design then create softer swirls of color using water and a brush.

      Water Sponge Challenge
      Cool off with a fun and refreshing water fight with a few creative twists. First grab sponges, or water sponge balls, and a full bucket of water. The sponges are reusable so you can use them all summer long. Make it extra fun by organizing teams with kids against adults or everyone fending for themselves. Encourage kids to devise their own blockades and targets or adapt a classic game like baseball or dodgeball using water sponges in place of the usual balls. You could also do a sponge scavenger hunt to load up everyone’s buckets before the dousing begins.

      Find the Animals
      Visit your local Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited zoo or aquarium and have your kids find as many animals as they can from the AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction species list. It’s a good opportunity to talk about the concept of extinction and why these animals are on the list. Follow up the visit with an activity that reinforces how everyone has a role in conservation and look for ways to help protect each family member’s favorite animal.

      Make Oven S’mores 
      On a rainy night (or any night) make a s’more by putting it in the oven. They turn out just as melty and gooey as the campfire version but with easier prep and cleanup. This is a tasty way to get those creative juices flowing. Experiment with different candies, such as peanut butter cups in place of chocolate bars. Or add different ingredients and have other family members guess the flavors.
      Find more ideas for creative inspiration this summer at zebrapen.com/art-studio/creative-tips.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.