Consumer Real Estate News

    • Encourage Healthy Eating Habits in Kids

      19 April 2019

      (Family Features)--As a parent, instilling healthy eating habits in your children at an early age can aid in proper growth and development. Eating well goes a long way toward maintaining a healthy weight, increasing energy levels and improving moods while also reducing the risk of obesity and other chronic issues such as heart disease and diabetes later in life.

      Set your children on a path to making lifelong nutritious choices with these tips:

      Foster independence. Allowing your children to help with shopping and meal prep can aid in them taking ownership of what they're eating. Start by divvying up easier tasks, such as setting the table then work toward creating snacks and meals on their own.  

      Offer balanced options. Children require balanced diets made up of all three major food groups, including fruits and vegetables, for proper development.

      Be a role model. Typically, your children will follow your behaviors, which includes the types of foods they select at mealtimes. Eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables can help ensure your family is getting a complete range of nutrients. Thinking about how many colors you eat in a day may inspire your kids to do the same, which can foster a lifetime of healthy eating habits.

      Source: Produce for Kids

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Paint Trends to Love

      19 April 2019

      The great news about the latest trending paint colors is that there’s something for everyone and every mood, from warm neutrals to deep hues of blue. Here are some of the colorways that are making headlines, according to Better Homes & Gardens. See how they might work their way into a room or two in your home:

      Moody Tones. Dark, rich paint shades, such as chestnut brown, deep burgundy and charcoal blue create a “moody” velvety look thanks to complex undertones that create depth not usually found in traditional colors. Use them to make a dramatic statement on an accent walls, kitchen or bathroom cabinets, or in a small bathroom.

      Nature Rules. Our increasing movement toward technology is perhaps triggering the appeal of return-to-nature colors this year. Colors that invoke the sky, forest and ocean are quickly gaining popularity for screen-weary eyes. Look for muted blues, greens, gray and browns to bring the calming influence of nature into our homes.

      Warm Whites. While white never goes out of style, the current movement is away from bright, cool whites and more toward warmer whites. Look for cozy colors with names like Antique White, Swiss Coffee and Polar Bear.

      Black Accents. Making its mark in a big way this year, black is being used to demonstrate beautiful contrast to white or light spaces. Use it on cabinetry, interior doors and accent walls. If true black is too strong for your tastes, consider a wide range of almost-black options, such as dark browns or charcoal grays.

      Soft Shades. Also look for a wide range of soft and muted pastel hues to be popular this year, a great choice when you want a pop of color, but don’t want to go too bold.

      Any of these paint-color ideas can provide a quick way to put your home on the forefront of design.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Air it Out: Improving Your Indoor Air Quality

      19 April 2019

      Ideally, you should be able to breathe deep in your space and not have any negative effects. In reality, indoor air can be some of the most polluted we come in contact with, even in our own homes. From natural aggravators like pollen and mold, to man-made chemicals and compounds, it's important to scrutinize your indoor air and take steps to freshen it.

      Read on for clean air insights from Tommy Webber, owner of T.Webber Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric.

      Tune up your HVAC system. Regular tune ups to your heating and cooling will keep your system clean, monthly energy costs low and lengthen the life of the HVAC system. Additionally, skipping annual maintenance can often void a manufacturer's warranty.

      "There are a lot of steps homeowners can take to improve their indoor air quality, but one of the biggest — and best — options is scheduling a tune-up to their heating and cooling system," says Webber. "A home's HVAC system is responsible for circulating air through your home, and its maintenance has to be a priority. A neglected system can develop moisture and mold, which releases harmful spores into the air you're breathing."

      Clean your ducts. This should be done seasonally, or more frequent, especially in the winter months when your home is sealed.

      Installing a whole house humidifier. This can help keep mold at bay.

      Cleaning regularly, weekly if possible. Cleaning away surface dust and dander, shampooing carpets and laundering linens in hot water can help keep irritants down.

      Implementing indoor plants. Some living plantlife in your home not only looks lovely  - it can help filter out volatile organic compounds.

      Install an air sanitizing system. If you're extremely concerned about your inner air quality, or you or a loved one suffers from allergens, install an air sanitizing system, which uses UV lamps to destroy bacteria and prevent mold from cycling through the HVAC unit.

      Source: T.Webber Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Want Flowers Inside and Out? Plant a Cutting Garden

      18 April 2019

      While flowers look beautiful blooming in the garden, or in pots and window boxes adorning your porch and patio, there’s nothing quite like the sight and scent of freshly cut flowers gracing the inside of your home. How to achieve the best of both worlds? Plant a cutting garden.

      As the name implies, a cutting garden is a designated area for planting flowers specifically designed to be cut. The trick is to nurture this garden to abundance so that you have plenty for cutting, and an ample supply left behind to admire while outside.

      The first step to planting a cutting garden is choosing the right spot. Look for an area that gets plenty of sun, has soil that is well-draining, and offers quick access to water.

      The next step involves choosing the right flowers. While just about any flower looks lovely when perched in a vase, certain varieties lend themselves to cutting, thanks to qualities like long, strong stems, and a long life post-cut. The experts at Martha Stewart suggest the following:

      - Sweet peas
      - Poppies
      - Peonies
      - Baby’s breath
      - Bachelor’s buttons
      - Queen Anne’s lace
      - Cosmos
      - Zinnia
      - Sea Holly
      - Dahlias
      - Coral Bells
      - HydrangeaBeyond choosing the right varieties of flowers, there are other factors to consider when planting your cutting garden. For example, be sure to mix things up in terms of color, shape, size and texture. Adding foliage to your cut arrangements adds interest and appeal, so consider greens such as hosta leaves, ferns, ornamental grasses, even boughs of pine.

      When you’re ready to cut, marthastewart.com suggests cutting when color first appears on the buds. And always cut in the cooler mornings as opposed to the intense heat of the afternoon. To keep flowers as fresh as possible in the vase, cut off any leaves that fall below the water line to prevent bacteria from growing in the vase.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 3 Steps for Improving Your Home's Environmental Impact

      18 April 2019

      Your impact on the environment extends beyond recycling and ditching single-use plastic. How you live at home matters, too.

      "The decisions we all make about our energy and water consumption at home affect much more than our monthly bills," says Ted Puzio, owner of Southern Trust Home Services, a Roanoke-based HVAC, plumbing and electrical company. "Making small adjustments to reduce water waste and increase your home's energy efficiency will not only save money but also lessen our homes' strain on the environment."

      Below are Puzio's top tips.

      Regularly check for leaks. Leaks, no matter how small, should never be ignored. The EPA states that only 10 drips per minute add up to more than 500 gallons of water wasted in a year, and more than 10 percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons each day. Regularly check inside cabinets and around plumbing for signs of moisture, mold or rusty stains, and periodically test for leaks by turning off the water at the main valve. Watch the meter for activity, and call a professional if the leak can't be found.

      Reduce the runtime of your heating and cooling system. The most significant source of power consumption in the home, an inefficient system can wreak havoc on both bills and emissions. Annual maintenance by a licensed professional is recommended, and filters should be changed frequently to ensure smooth operation. To lower the runtime further, consider using ceiling fans to offset up to five degrees on the thermostat, and invest in a programmable thermostat to better control heating and cooling times.

      Consider minor, inexpensive efficiency upgrades and adjustments. Investing in low-flow showerheads and new faucet aerators can further reduce water consumption, and choosing to completely unplug electronics when not in use can eliminate trickle charges. Also, purposefully seeking out more eco-friendly supplies, such as choosing an enzyme-based drain cleaner, is a better choice for the environment and easier on your plumbing.

      Source: Southern Trust Home Services

      Published with permission from RISMedia.