Real Estate News

    • Tips for Adding Personality to Your Leased Living Space

      23 May 2019

      (Family Features)--Even if you don't own the house you lease, there's no reason you can't make it feel like home by taking a creative approach to designing and decorating your space. Invitation Homes put together a team of design experts to create the "Make It Home" design forecast with lease-friendly, affordable design and decor ideas created with renters in mind.

      Before starting any design, you need a plan. Here are a few tips to reimagine your rental home:

      Embrace Color and Pattern. Emily Henderson, author of "Styled," a "New York Times" bestseller, believes color gives a room life, but it doesn't have to be on the walls. With rugs, textiles and furniture, you can have a lively, fun, lease-friendly room by choosing colors that are on the opposite sides of the color wheel to ensure balance.

      Personalize Gallery Walls. The gallery wall is still having a moment, and this decorative element is all about customization. All you need is a little wall space and some creativity to infuse your space with a heavy dose of you. Henderson suggests displaying your favorite photos, prints and unique items like personal mementos to give them the eye-catching showcase they deserve.

      Temporary Wall Coverings. A permanent wall texture or design may be a no-no in a rental, but removable wallpaper is a yes-yes and an instant way to add personality to your space. Brittany Hayes, author of the "Addison's Wonderland" blog, believes that bold and daring geometric patterns are perfect for creating an accent wall. Or simply incorporate your favorite colors to embrace a custom feel while you lease.

      Unconventional Storage. Staying organized is key when living a leasing lifestyle. "Live Pretty on a Penny" blog writer Erin Marshall recommends using space-saving and unconventional items that are beautiful and functional to effectively store and organize items. Look for furnishings that are both attractive and practical so you can achieve the look you want with the benefit of added storage. Options like nesting chairs or storage boxes that double as benches can add seating options with a modest footprint.

      Live Outdoors. Maximize your living space by creating usable outdoor settings. With the right combination of outdoor seating, pillows, shade and colorful planters, you can turn any patio into an outdoor oasis, said Rhoda Vickers, author of the "Southern Hospitality" blog. Whether you treat the space as a garden retreat or an extension of your entertaining area where guests can spill out during a party, the right decorative elements can allow you to add livable square footage without any construction.

      Reimagine Lighting. Set the tone of each room by incorporating LED bulbs to brighten up the space or smart home bulbs that allow you to change the ambience as you wish. Kevin O'Gara, the "Thou Swell" blog writer, approaches design with the idea that every room should have a mix of lighting, including overhead, accent and task lights, so it's the perfect opportunity to get creative with setting the mood. Take your design beyond basic by installing your own fixtures that enhance the room's lighting and add a decorative element that complements the overall aesthetic.

      Give Space a Dual Purpose. It's all about maximizing your space when leasing, according to Brittni Mehlhoff, author of the "Paper and Stitch" blog. Make the most of a space that can pull double-duty. For example, in a space such as your guest room, create a bookshelf that doubles as a desk and serves as your home office, as well.

      Make it a Smart Home. Smart homes aren't just for homeowners. Options like thermostats, doorbell cameras, smart locks, light bulbs and smart plugs can all be easily integrated into a rented property, said Meghan Giddens, design expert at Invitation Homes. In fact, nearly everything in your home can be connected to the internet and controlled by your smart device. Just keep any originals stored safely, and when it comes time to move out, swap out your devices.

      Light and Bright Paint. Cooler paint tones and white trim can brighten a room and offer a timeless color scheme. Plus, they welcome of-the-moment decor. If your lease allows it, Giddens recommends creating a light and airy ambiance with paint to bring a rental space to life. If you're unsure about your lease guidelines, talk to your property manager before painting.

      Source: Invitation Homes

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 6 Cool Gift Ideas for College Grads Headed to Work

      23 May 2019

      They are marking a milestone, this crop of graduating seniors, leaving student days behind and, in most cases, preparing to work in their first full-time jobs in the field they studied so diligently.

      To mark the event with a gift that may help them transition to this new life phase, HGTV consumer specialists suggest six options:

      A quality coffee maker - If your college grad’s a coffee drinker who will be living on his/her own, a good coffee maker, the single-cup variety or larger, is likely a good bet. Add some good coffee and a sturdy commuter’s cup and your gift is sure to bring a smile.

      Sunrise stimulator clock- Spare them the pain of a traditional alarm blast with a Sunrise Simulator, available at Amazon for under $30. It will help them wake up before their alarm and always get to work on time.

      A sophisticated wristwatch - A good watch is always in style. Follow your instincts and your budget on this one, knowing your stylish choice will elevate your grad’s professional wardrobe for years to come. If you need a hint, check out the Fossil line, popular with young professionals at a cost of under $100.

      Wireless headphones - Chances are they’ll appreciate a new pair. Check out the choices at Anthropologie, in millennial pink or mint green for about $88. They are Bluetooth compatible, comfy to wear, and perfect for their morning commute.

      Paper mouse pad - Keep them on task at work with a mouse pad that doubles as a to-do list. The surface lets them prioritize the day by ‘Gotta Dos, ‘Oughtta Dos’ and ‘Wanna Dos.’ It’s a cool choice for $12 from Urban Outfitters.

      Convertible carry bag - Set them up for success with a good backpack that converts to a shoulder bag. They can wear it as a backpack, then convert it to a professional-looking shoulder bag once they arrive at the office. Be sure it has outside pockets and a laptop compartment so they have a place for all their gear. Amazon’s got one for under $50.

      Girlboss trinket tray - Here’s a cutie for your girl grad - a little gold-trimmed round trinket tray she can put on her desk to hold paper clips or whatever; Available at Paper Source for under $12, it says, Girls Just Wanna Be CEOs.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Travel Tips for Families Impacted by Alzheimer's

      23 May 2019

      If a loved one in your family is suffering from Alzheimer's, you likely know how difficult travel can become.

      "Traveling can still be enjoyable for families affected by Alzheimer's, but adaptations may need to be made as the disease progresses," said Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., president and CEO of  the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA). "Regardless of how far you're traveling, taking a few simple steps in advance can go a long way to making the trip easier, more comfortable and more enjoyable for everyone."
      Family caregivers should consider the following tips from the AFA.

      - Advise airlines and hotels that you're traveling with someone who has memory impairment and inform them of safety concerns and special needs.

      - Inquire in advance with airports/train stations about security screening procedures. This way, you can familiarize the person beforehand about what will happen at the checkpoint to reduce potential anxiety.

      - Plan the travel mode and timing of your trip in a manner that causes the least amount of anxiety and stress. Account for the person and their needs when making arrangements; if they travel better at a specific time of day, consider planning accordingly.

      - Preserve the person's routine as best as possible, including eating and sleeping schedules. Small or unfamiliar changes can be overwhelming and stressful to someone with dementia.

      - Take regular breaks on road trips for food, bathroom visits, or rest.

      - Bring snacks, water, activities and other comfort items (i.e. a blanket or the person's favorite sweater), as well as an extra, comfortable change of clothing to adapt to climate changes.

      - Consider utilizing an identification bracelet and clothing tags with your loved one's full name and yours to ensure safety.

      - Take important health and legal-related documentation, a list of current medications, and physician information with you.

      - Depending on the trip duration and/or the stage of the person's illness, consult with their physician to make sure travel is advisable.

      SOURCE Alzheimer's Foundation of America

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 9 Simple Ways to Freshen Up Your Home for Spring and Summer

      22 May 2019

      Warmer weather and longer days put winter in the rearview mirror. To celebrate, update your home with a few simple tips from the design editors at House Beautiful:

      Switch to pastels - Repaint your living space walls and swap out the neutral grey and beige for a fresh-looking spring pastel color. Mint green is popular now, as is peach and baby blue.

      Pillow talk - Take a good look at the main piece of artwork in your living room. Choose a pastel color you love about it, find a couple of throw pillows in that shade, and place them artfully in the room to add a pop of seasonal color.

      Dining room florals - Wallpaper is back with a whole new look and feel. Dress up your dining room with a new floral paper to give the room some spring/summer dazzle.

      Liven up your doorway - Painting the doorframe a light, seasonal color can be a smile-inducing lift for your guests - and a clear indication you are ready to welcome the season.

      Go for vacation vibes - Deck out the family room with a jute rug, raffia chairs and banana leaf pillows to make your home feel like a cool ‘staycation’.

      Add a colorful rug - Reasonably priced area rugs come in tons of shapes and sizes and in unending colors and designs. Choose a spring/summer beauty and tuck it under the coffee table or anywhere it can make a happy difference.

      Swap out the comforters - Bring spring and summer into everyone’s bedroom with new comforters or bedspreads - maybe linens, too - in colors and patterns that say summer’s here.

      Bring in the garden - Flowers are abundant now, from hydrangeas to lilies to tulips and more, so gather big bunches from your garden or from the florist or home store. Place them everywhere you can to bring the season into your home.

      Get an indoor swing - Got space in your playroom? Hang a swing from the ceiling to bring the season’s playful vibes right into your home.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Understanding Your Insurance During Hurricane Season

      22 May 2019

      Hurricane season runs from mid May to November, and homeowners should be on high alert to protect their property from potential weather-related damage. One key thing homeowners can do to prepare is be sure they fully understand their insurance coverage.

      Allstate Insurance offers the following things to consider when it comes to hurricanes and insurance coverage:

      Is your coverage up to date? Ensure your insurance coverage reflects the current condition of your home. If you've done anything that increases the value of your home or its contents, like building an addition or remodeling, you should immediately talk with your insurance agent to decide if your current insurance is sufficient.  

      Do you have coverage for additional living expenses? This coverage is intended to help pay for the additional cost of living away from home if your house is uninhabitable due to a covered loss. This may include payments for the additional costs of food and a place to stay. Additional living expenses may or may not already be included in your homeowners policy. Talk to your insurance agent about what coverages are available to you.

      Do you have flood coverage? Following Hurricane Harvey, FEMA reported 80 percent of Harvey victims did not have flood insurance. Most homeowners policies do not usually cover flood damage. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is the primary source for flood insurance in the United States. You can go to their website at or contact your insurance provider for more information. NOTE: There is often a 30-day waiting period after you buy a flood insurance policy before flood coverage takes effect.

      Do you have comprehensive car coverage?  If your car is damaged by anything other than a collision, like a falling tree, collision coverage may not protect you. You'll also need comprehensive coverage on your auto policy. Most comprehensive auto policies provide coverage for vehicles damaged by floods or rising water. And if you have to leave your car at the shop, you'll also want to consider rental car coverage.

      Source: Allstate Insurance

      Published with permission from RISMedia.