Real Estate Tips

    • How to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

      1 December 2022

      Caring for an infant can be exhausting, especially if the baby wakes up soon after falling asleep and you can’t get more than a couple of hours of sleep at a time. Here are some important things you should know about an infant’s sleeping habits and tips to help your baby sleep through the night so you can get some rest, too.

      Understand Your Infant’s Needs
      For young babies, eating is more important than sleeping, regardless of the time of day. During the first couple of months, it’s normal for an infant to wake up several times during the night to eat.

      After three to six months, your baby may sleep for longer periods of time. When your infant begins to realize that you will leave the room at bedtime, the baby may cry so you won’t leave. That’s a normal part of an infant’s development.

      Keep Things Consistent 
      Following a routine can help your infant understand the difference between day and night, and get them on a sleep schedule. The sooner you start, the better. The most important thing is to keep the routine consistent and to do the same activities, in the same order, every day.

      Keeping your baby active during the day will make the infant tired in the evening. As bedtime approaches, switch to calmer, quieter activities that promote relaxation, such as giving your baby a bath and looking at a book together. 

      The last activity should take place in the nursery and should be something that your baby enjoys. That will help your infant associate the nursery and bedtime with positive feelings. 

      An infant who is overtired may have trouble falling asleep. If your baby has a hard time dozing off, try making bedtime earlier. 

      Waking up and finding the room different can be unsettling for an infant.  Don’t adjust the lighting after your baby goes to bed. 

      Overstimulation can make it hard for a baby to fall asleep again. If you have to feed or change the baby during the night, keep the lighting the same as it was when the infant was sleeping and talk as little as possible. 

      Teach Your Baby How to Self-Soothe and Fall Asleep 
      You can soothe your infant with cuddling or rocking, but babies also have to learn how to soothe themselves. At 6 to 12 weeks old, start putting the baby to bed while drowsy, but not quite asleep. 

      You may want to try the Ferber Method starting at the age of 5 or 6 months. Put your baby to bed drowsy, but awake, and leave the room. If the baby cries, wait a few minutes before you return. Console, but don’t pick up, the infant. Only stay for a few minutes, even if the baby is still crying. 

      If the baby keeps crying after you leave, return to the room, but wait longer. This process can be stressful, but parents often find that their babies begin to sleep better within a week.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 7 Ways to Save on Energy Bills This Winter

      1 December 2022

      Nobody needs to tell you that prices on just about everything are on the rise - and with the cold weather season upon us, it’s a good time to consider the best ways to keep energy bills under control. The U.S. Energy Information Administration provides timely tips to help you do that.

      • Get a Furnace Tune-Up - Heating your home is typically your largest energy expense. Have a furnace pro check your system to ensure it is operating efficiently. They will clean and test your heating equipment, inspect for corrosion or parts that need replacement—and remind you how often to change your furnace filter to keep it operating efficiently.
      • Get a Utility Check-Up - Free home energy audits by your utility company are available to homeowners. They can identify issues that affect energy usage, such as leaky faucets, gaps and cracks, inefficient light bulbs and older shower heads. 
      • Seal the Gaps - All the tiny cracks and gaps in a typical home can cause the same loss of energy and comfort as leaving a window open year-round. Use caulk or weatherstripping around doors and window frames, and make sure your walls, attic, basement and crawl spaces are insulated.
      • Re-Think the Temperature - You can save up to three percent on your bill for each degree you lower your thermostat. Try reducing the temperature one degree every few days to find a level you’re comfortable with.  
      • Reset the Hot Water Heater - In many homes, it’s the second-largest use of energy. Setting your water heater to about 120 degrees will yield about 10% in savings on your energy bills.
      • Run Full Loads Only - Running the dishwasher or washing machine only with a full load will cut down on energy use, and use the cold setting on your washing machine. It’s just as effective as warm water with today’s detergents.
      • Let the Sun Shine - Open your shades or blinds during the day to capture the sun’s rays. At night, close all window coverings to trap in the heat.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Five Designer-Approved Wallpaper Sources

      1 December 2022

      With maximalist design trends more prevalent than ever, wallpaper is one more layer to add to create a luxe, collected aesthetic. Whether you wallpaper your home office, powder room or entryway, wallpaper is an excellent way to showcase your style, taste and unique preferences. However, it can be challenging to narrow down your options with an abundance of wallpaper selections available. Below is a list of designer-approved wallpaper sources that will result in a unique, custom look.

      Three tips to consider before selecting a wallpaper:

      • Consider the Size: When selecting a print, the size of the room is the most critical place to start. A smaller room needs a smaller print, so a larger pattern doesn’t overpower the space. And likewise, a larger room requires a larger print to make a bolder statement.
      • Live With the Pattern: Installing and removing wallpaper is no small feat, so it’s essential to be entirely in love with the wallpaper before you drape your walls. Once you find a print you like, tape a strip of wallpaper to your walls so you can see what it looks like in different lighting, during other times of day and to make sure you like it as much on the wall as you did on the roll.
      • Buy Enough Rolls: When you’re wallpapering a room, be sure to wallpaper the entire space. Avoid doing an accent wall and commit to wallpapering all four walls. This approach is more current, makes a more significant statement and creates a complete look.
      The Schumacher wallpaper collection is known for its wide selection of wallpaper options in various patterns, colors and themes. The company was established in 1889, so it has more than a century of creating wallcoverings that delight its customers. Schumacher is a go-to for many high-end home designs, whether you want a natural, woven wallcovering, timeless striped wallpaper or a bright floral pattern.

      Thibaut was established in 1886, making it the nation’s oldest wallpaper firm. Designers use Thibuat wallcoverings for their beautiful traditional and transitional designs, unique patterns and signature color palettes. Thibaut wallcovering styles range from historic reproductions and traditional, classic prints to tropical and novelty patterns.

      Phillip Jeffries
      Phillip Jeffries is known for its beautiful grasscloth wallpaper. The 40-year-old company creates unique, textured wallcoverings in a wide variety of colors and textures.

      Kravet, Inc.
      Kravet owns several high-end fabric and wallcovering houses, including Kravet, Lee Jofa, GP & J Baker, Brunschwig & Fils and Donghia. Under the Kravet family of brands, wallcoverings include various colors, patterns and textures, including grasscloth, linen, silk, murals, panels and faux leather. With seemingly endless options from which to choose, these wallcoverings will create a truly custom look.

      Farrow & Ball
      Also known for its luxury paint colors, Farrow & Ball creates handcrafted wallpaper that delivers a unique depth of color and finish quality. Farrow & Ball’s wallpapers are designed with the company’s paint and unique printing methods, creating an exquisite finish. With more than 300 wallpaper designs, Farrow & Ball’s wallpaper options range from bold geometrics to delicate florals.

      Exploring wallpaper choices can feel endless. When perusing the art of wallpaper, view the experience like you would when selecting art and remember to slow down and choose the prints you can’t live without.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Should You Get Earthquake Insurance?

      30 November 2022

      Although Americans typically associate earthquakes with California, they can happen anywhere, even far from known fault lines. Most earthquakes cause little or no damage, but a powerful quake can cause widespread destruction. A standard homeowners insurance policy may not cover earthquake damage. Purchasing a separate earthquake insurance policy is an option. 

      What Earthquake Insurance Covers
      If your home is damaged or destroyed by an earthquake, an earthquake insurance policy can pay to have it repaired or rebuilt. Some insurance companies include building code upgrade coverage or offer it as an add-on. If you have that type of coverage and your older home gets damaged or destroyed by an earthquake, your insurance company will pay to have it repaired or rebuilt so it complies with current building codes.

      Earthquake insurance will cover personal property that gets damaged or destroyed. If an earthquake renders your house uninhabitable, loss of use coverage will pay for additional living expenses while your home is being repaired or rebuilt. If you can’t live in your house but you still have to pay your mortgage, loss of use coverage can prevent you from being overwhelmed financially.

      An earthquake insurance policy won’t necessarily cover all damage. An earthquake can cause other problems, such as fires and flooding. Depending on the circumstances, your homeowners or flood insurance policy might pay for repairs or replacement. 

      Costs for Earthquake Insurance
      Premiums for earthquake insurance vary widely, depending on location and how often earthquakes occur there. Rates may be much lower in low-risk areas than in places that experience frequent earthquakes. If you’re concerned about high premiums, you can choose a policy with a higher deductible.

      Other Factors to Consider
      Think about where your house is located, how often earthquakes happen there, how serious they generally are, the materials used to build your house, whether it was constructed to withstand an earthquake, the amount of rainfall your area typically gets, and the type of soil on your property. Consider the value of your home and its contents. Ask yourself if you would be able to pay to have your house rebuilt from scratch and replace all your belongings if you lost everything in an earthquake and didn’t have insurance. 

      Deductibles for earthquake insurance policies are usually a percentage of the total amount of coverage. If, for example, your house gets damaged or destroyed by an earthquake and you have a 20% deductible, you will have to pay 20% of your coverage amount before your policy will cover any of the bills. If the damage is minor and the cost of repairs is less than your deductible, your insurance will pay nothing at all. 

      Weigh the Pros and Cons
      Earthquake insurance can protect you from financial ruin if an earthquake destroys your home. If your area never experiences an earthquake, or if an earthquake occurs but causes minimal damage to your house, you may pay a lot of money in premiums but never use your policy. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Where Is the Best Location for a Laundry Room?

      30 November 2022

      If you’re planning to build or remodel a house, you may be trying to figure out where to put the laundry room. It should be in a convenient location where it won’t interfere with other activities. Here are some things to consider when deciding where to put your washer and dryer.

      Utilities and Ventilation
      Water and electricity are necessary to operate a washer and dryer. Place the laundry room in a location where it will be easy to connect machines to utilities. In or near the kitchen or a bathroom may be the best choice. A laundry room will also require a drain to remove water from a washer and ventilation for a dryer. 

      Accessibility and Convenience
      Many homeowners like to have the laundry room near the main living areas so they can go back and forth quickly while cooking dinner or doing other activities. Some families like to have a laundry room on an upper floor near the bedrooms to minimize the distance that they have to carry laundry. Still, others prefer to put the laundry room in the basement, where it’s out of the way and won’t take up valuable living space. 

      If anyone in your family has trouble walking up and down stairs or carrying heavy loads, take that into consideration. The laundry room should be in a location that won’t put someone with limited mobility in harm’s way. 

      Washers and dryers can be noisy. Think about this when selecting a location for your laundry room. You might not want to put it between your kitchen and living room if noise from laundry machines would make it difficult to hear the TV in the next room. 

      If you’re concerned about noise, the basement may be the best location, provided family members can carry laundry up and down the stairs without trouble. Another plus is that if a washer leaks in the basement, you won’t have to worry about flooding causing damage in other parts of the house. A downside to your laundry room being in the basement is that you might not be able to hear when the washer and dryer have ended their cycles.

      Your Home’s Layout 
      If you’re building a house from scratch, you will have a lot of leeway with the design. If you’re remodeling an existing house, your options may be more limited. Think about where utilities are currently located and how much space you will need for a washer, dryer, shelves, cabinets and a counter. 

      Figure Out What Will Work for Your Family
      Think about the size of your family, who does laundry, how often and how you use other rooms in your home. Choose a laundry room location that will best suit your needs.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.