Real Estate News

    • 2019 Paint Trends: Connect, Disconnect, Repeat

      23 October 2018

      Modern-day culture makes room for all of our divergent personalities, from the back-to-nature enthusiast to the tech multitasker. And according to color expert Kate Smith, color trends for 2019 address them all, focusing on the three main trends of connecting, disconnecting and reconnecting.

      The Connect palette reflects Americans’ growing desire to connect with their roots (think DNA kits and genealogy testing). According to Smith, “The colors of this ‘Connect’ palette have a well-worn look. It’s almost like they are ‘comfort colors’ handed down from another generation. Each hue is a toned-down version of a color that was once brighter, but has now mellowed with time.”

      Among the shades in this color palette are Endless Sea, Dark Hunter Green and Cavern Clay from Sherwin Williams, and Raisin in the Sun and Amber Autumn from Behr.

      The Disconnect color palette is aimed at the multitaskers who, after so much time spent daily on their devices, must come home to disconnect. According to Smith, as people begin to understand the need for fewer distractions, they disconnect and gravitate to softer hues and more subtle tones.  

      "At the intersection of high-speed connections and calm minds, we find inspiring neutral colors that defy being easily named,” she explains. “They’re not quite gray or taupe or tan, but have an almost magical ability to blend with an unlimited range of colors.” That’s why you’ll find colors in this palette with more esoteric names, like Synchronicity, Magnolia Blossom and Discover from PPG, and Misty and Moth Wing from Sherwin Williams.

      Finally, the Reconnect palette reflects our reaction to the often overwhelming world events happening around us. As Smith explains, when the world around us feels like it has gone crazy, we turn to family, friends and homes to find happiness. 

      “Comfortable surroundings in upbeat, happy colors make us smile,” she says. “Golden yellows, earthy light terracotta and sky blue are just some of the colors that help people reconnect. These are joyful, nurturing colors that remind us to take a deep breath - and that everything and everyone is going to be okay.”

      The upbeat colors in the Reconnect palette include, Endless Sea, Eros Pink, Honey Bees and Elation from Sherwin Williams, and Sprite Twist from PPG.      

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Cheap and Easy Holiday Gifts You Can Make Now

      23 October 2018

      The holidays are coming fast, and with them the fun and/or the chore (depending on your state of mind!) of making your list and coming up with gifts you hope everyone on your list will love.

      With that, and your budget in mind, the craft masters at offer three great ideas for can’t-miss gifts you can make yourself – starting now:

      Homemade bath salts – everyone needs a little pampering now and then, and these fragrant bath salts are perfect. Mix together 1 cup of Epsom salt and 1 cup of pink-tinted sea salt. Add three to six drops of red food coloring, two at a time, and mix thoroughly until you like the color. Now add 5-6 drops of the essential oil of your choice (such as lemongrass) and mix, mix, mix. Spoon it into pretty jars or bottles and top it off with twine or ribbon and a gift tag telling your lucky recipient what it is and who made it.

      Homemade cinnamon honey butter – Bound to make anyone’s mouth water! Start with three clean half-pint canning jars. Using the whisk attachment on your electric mixer, whip together 1 cup honey, 1 cup softened sweet butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Using a rubber spatula, pour the mixture into a large Ziploc bag (you may need help with this.) Cut the tip off the bag and pipe the mixture into the jars. Now decorate the jars with ribbon, fabric, and a holly sprig and add that all important gift tag.

      Neon-dipped candles – Brighten up someone’s dinner table with these lovely, made-to-order candles. Start with a handful of plain white tapers, some cotton wool balls, and bottle of neon water-based acrylic paint in the color of your choice, such as DecoArt paint, available at most craft stores. Use a paintbrush to apply the color from the base of the candles, then blur it upwards using a cotton wool ball to create a soft ombré tapering effect around the midpoint of the candle. The paint dries quickly, so stick the candle upside down in a candle holder to keep it steady while you work.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Expand Your Kitchen: Try a Sliding Door

      23 October 2018

      (Family Features)--Your kitchen is the heart of your home. It's a place where family and friends gather. It's also a space where you may seem to need more space, whether you're making breakfast for the kids or hosting a big dinner party.

      Using innovative wall-mount door hardware, you can unlock your kitchen's potential by freeing up the "real estate" traditional swinging doors take up. Due to their unique space-saving possibilities, versatility and aesthetics, wall-mount sliding doors can make your kitchen more open and inviting.

      A standard hinged door consumes 10-14 square feet of floor space to swing open and shut, putting kitchen space at a premium. Single or converging wall-mount sliding doors allow you to utilize this floor space for kitchen furnishings, storage, extra mingling room for guests and more. They also give kitchens a more spacious look and can enhance your home's design flow, making it more welcoming and facilitating movement between rooms, which is essential for gatherings and larger families with children.

      To maximize your kitchen's footprint and optimize functionality, an option like wall-mount door hardware from Johnson Hardware can provide a new world of architectural possibilities for your kitchen, regardless of size or layout. Ideal for wider kitchen entryways, converging wall-mount door hardware allows doors to glide smoothly as they open whenever you want a free flow for entertaining, or close for privacy during meal preparation.

      Converging doors can add sophistication or create a cozy feel, depending on the hardware configuration and door style you choose. Available with or without fascia in either clear satin or bronze anodized aluminum, the U.S.-made hardware and track exceed ANSI safety standards and can successfully complete 100,000 opening and closing cycles. You can also add your own valance to match the door material and trim.

      Wall-mounted sliding doors also work well for kitchen pantries and large recessed shelving areas where you want to conceal clutter and ensure clean, streamlined spaces. With Johnson's array of hardware configurations, you can create personalized looks that integrate the door designs and materials you desire with options for doors up to 125 pounds, which are equipped with wall-mounted jump-proof aluminum box tracks and adjustable door hangers for easy installation, as well as options up to 400 pounds, featuring wall-mounted, heavy-gauge I-beam tracks and smooth-rolling, ball-bearing four-wheel hangers.

      Installing wall-mount sliding door hardware in your kitchen - and beyond - can be an easy yet high-impact improvement that reduces space constraints while adding warmth, functionality and appeal to your home.  

      Source: Johnson Hardware

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Move Over Student Loans: Millennials Make Room for More Debt

      22 October 2018

      Just when you thought today’s younger generation couldn’t take on any more financial pressure, a new form of debt is on the rise. Whether it’s to pay for moving costs or an upcoming wedding, personal loans are becoming an increasingly popular course of action for millennials.

      In fact, according to a recent CNBC article, those 35 and under account for 25 percent of personal loans, more than double the amount in 2015, says personal loan provider LendingPoint, based on an analysis of borrower data from 2015 through August 2018.

      Millennials aren’t the only ones dipping into personal loans. TransUnion reports that outstanding personal loan balances hit a high of $125.4 billion in the second quarter of 2018, up 17.5 percent from the same period one year ago.

      What’s driving the move? For one thing, interest rates as low as 3 percent for those who qualify, compared to average credit card rates, which exceed 17 percent. This is making personal loans an attractive option for those who can get them at a low rate to consolidate and pay off higher-rate debt.

      As with any borrowing scenario, personal loans can be a smart option when used wisely. CNBC offers the following common-sense precautions:

      Borrow what you can afford to repay. Sounds obvious, but understand what this really means. Your monthly housing costs and debt payments should not exceed 36 percent of your gross monthly income.

      Borrow for the right reasons. Taking out a lower interest-rate personal loan to pay off higher interest-rate credit card debt makes sense...but only if you stop using those credit cards. And if you’re taking out a loan to pay for a wedding or another large expenditure, perhaps a better option is to delay the expense until you have the money saved.

      Know your fees. While finding the best rate will be your priority, don’t forget to read the fine print to avoid surprise expenses, such as origination fees and prepayment penalties.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Should You Rely On Your Credit Card's Travel Insurance?

      22 October 2018

      When it comes to travel insurance, you may feel like the options are endless. But is your credit card travel insurance enough to protect you? Below,  Squaremouth offers four questions travelers should ask themselves before relying solely on their credit card's travel insurance.

      Do I Want Medical and Evacuation Coverage?
      Credit Card Coverage. Most credit cards don't include medical coverage if a traveler has a medical emergency while traveling. If a credit card does come with travel medical benefits, it is often a limited amount, ranging from $2,500 to $5,000.

      Third-Party Travel Insurance Coverage. Third-party medical insurance offers more comprehensive coverage, with benefits starting around $10,000 for Emergency Medical and $100,000 for Medical Evacuation, and can exceed a million dollars. Third-party policies can also offer coverage for pre-existing conditions, including chronic conditions and recent diagnoses, illnesses, or injuries.

      Did I Book Everything on My Credit Card?
      Credit Card Coverage. Some credit cards include Trip Cancellation coverage—reimbursing customers for the cost of their trip if they are unable to go as planned. However, most credit cards that include this benefit only cover travel expenses purchased on that card, and limit the amount that can be reimbursed, typically between $1,500 and $10,000 per trip.

      Third-Party Travel Insurance Coverage. Third-party Trip Cancellation-style policies can reimburse 100 percent of the insured trip expenses. This can even include unforeseen fees related to a cancellation, like the fee to rebook travel or airline points used to book the trip.

      Do I Need Any Other Specific Coverage?
      Credit Card Coverage. Credit card travel insurance typically offers travelers higher amounts of coverage for lost or damaged luggage than most third-party providers, often reimbursing up to $3,000. However, this coverage typically only applies to items purchased using that credit card.

      Third-Party Travel Insurance Coverage. Third-party travel insurance usually offers some coverage for baggage and personal items that are lost or stolen while traveling, but often has limitations per item and may actually exclude expensive items, such as jewelry, cameras and electronics.

      Most third-party policies offer additional travel insurance benefits that are usually not covered by credit card insurance, such as Pre-existing Condition coverage and Cancel For Any Reason coverage. These benefits are time sensitive and must be purchased within a specific time frame prior to the trip departure date.

      Is It Worth Buying a Policy If My Card Already Covers Me?
      Depending on the benefits a traveler needs, they may already have adequate coverage through their credit card, and don't need to spend more on an additional policy.

      Another money saving tip Squaremouth suggests is to purchase a third-party policy with just the basic benefits missing from your credit card's coverage. For example, travelers who have their trip expenses insured by their credit card can find a medical-only travel insurance policy at a very affordable premium.

      Source: Squaremouth

      Published with permission from RISMedia.