Consumer Real Estate News

    • Tops Tips for the Perfect Thanksgiving

      21 November 2018

      Are you hosting this year's Thanksgiving? Whether you're having a large gathering of friends or a small intimate meal with family, consider the following tips from WatermarkPointe.

      Delicious Dishes. Turn to beloved staples instead of trying something new day-of.  If you are trying something new, test it out in advance to be sure you like the outcome.

      Set the Stage. Bring some holiday spirit and cheer into your residence with some seasonal décor. Centerpieces, garlands, wreaths, and scented candles will add a festive element to the celebration. For a special touch, add a gratitude message board for guests to share the things they are thankful for this year! Simply set out a cork board, colorful pieces of paper, and a pen. Read your messages of gratitude around your cozy fireplace after your meal for a heartwarming new tradition.

      Prep the Meal. One way to ensure less worry on Thanksgiving Day is by preparing ahead of time. Gather all ingredients for dishes and measure them out in advance. Chop vegetables the night before and store them in a plastic container in the refrigerator. Measure any spices you will use and store them in small bags or containers. Then, you can simply assemble the dishes and start cooking!

      Plan Ahead. Setting the Thanksgiving table the night before can also buy you some extra time on Thanksgiving Day.  

      Get Outside. There's nothing like a pre-Thanksgiving dinner football game to whet everyone's appetite. Organize a game of flag-football before heading home for the grand feast.

      Relax and Unwind. Plan some de-stressing activities for yourself post-holiday, like an evening in the tub or a massage.  

      Source: WatermarkPointe

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Tips for Maintaining Your Sanity During the Holidays

      21 November 2018

      Despite our best efforts to remain merry and bright at all times, most of us succumb to at least a moment or two (or 10) of epic stress during the holiday season. When you feel the panic attack or Grinch-like tirade rising to the surface, here are some great tips to turn to, curated by the experts at Self:

      Beware of the ‘S’ word. If you find yourself frequently saying you should be doing this or that during the holidays, stop and ask yourself what you really want to do instead. A long list of too many shoulds—aka joyless obligations—is a sure recipe for stress.

      Choose three holiday experiences and forget the rest. A lot of bah humbugs are the result of exhaustion from trying to cram too much into a brief few weeks. Instead, think of the three experiences that give you the most holiday feels, such as volunteering at the senior center, hosting a cookie exchange or going to see the Nutcracker, and let the other ones go. In the end, three authentic experiences will be better than many stressful and disappointing ones.

      Remember that things can go wrong and still be awesome. Holiday anxiety is often the result of striving to create unrealistic, perfect experiences. Take the pressure off by keeping a memory handy of a time when something went completely wrong and everyone still had a blast. Let it be your reminder that perfection is not always called for, and, in fact, disasters can sometimes make for the best memories.

      Don’t store your credit card info. One of the biggest stress triggers during the holidays is overspending. One way to avoid doing so is taking the time to delete your stored credit card information from your computer and mobile device. This will prevent you from making last-minute impulse purchases that you’re sure to regret later.

      Schedule downtime and make it non-negotiable. This may seem impossible given how busy you will be during the holiday season, but downtime will not only be your lifesaver, but also, your mood enhancer. Do this very important favor for yourself and for all those around you, as well.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Deck the Halls for Happy Holidays

      20 November 2018

      (Family Features)--Whether you opt for fresh-cut or fresh out of the box, trimming the tree is a staple of holiday decor in most homes. However, if you'll be entertaining this season, you may want to go beyond the tree and take your seasonal decorating to whole new level.
      Create a scene filled with festive joy and get your home holiday-ready with these tips from the holiday hosting experts at Macy's:

      Choose a theme: Designing around a specific theme is a simple way to keep your holiday decor from feeling cluttered. Your theme might be based on color or a favorite seasonal character like Santa or snowmen. If you're starting from scratch, begin with a few statement pieces and let your collection grow over time. Choose a new item or two each year, and soon you'll have a treasure trove of beloved holiday items that can brighten up your home.

      Offer cozy accents: Tables, shelves and mantels tend to get their share of decorative love, but don't overlook the ways you can bring cheer to other parts of a room. A snuggle-worthy throw in vibrant holiday hues and some plush seasonal pillows add practical warmth and good cheer. Another option: fun holiday floor decor, from welcome mats to area rugs to cushy kitchen mats that can make all that time cooking easier on your feet.

      Set a stunning stage: Go ahead and fill your guests with delight before they even sample their first bite. A holiday spread served over festive placemats and cheerful motifs can make your table come to life. Bring vibrant colors and cheeky detailed design to your dinner table wit placemats and coasters featuring seasonal images like snowflakes, ornaments and red and green lettering with a cheerful "Ho Ho Ho." 

      Add pretties to the powder room: The bathroom may not be the first place you think to add some holiday spirit, but it's a room virtually every guest will visit, so don't leave it undone. Deck out the room with hand towels in seasonal colors and prints, and add plenty of festive accent pieces like rugs and soap dispensers. Don't forget a candle with a subtle seasonal scent.

      Source: Macy's

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Tips for Sellers in a Buyer's Market

      20 November 2018

      Many real estate markets across the country are starting to regain some balance, with rising prices leveling off just a touch and the number of homes available for sale starting to tick back up. What does this mean if you’re ready to put your home on the market? A slightly adjusted strategy! Here are a few important tips to follow for selling your home as the market swings more to the buyer’s advantage.

      Pick a good real estate agent. First and foremost, do your homework and pick an experienced agent. When inventory is scarce in a red-hot seller’s market, it doesn’t take much to sell your home. When the opposite is true, you’ll need a savvy agent to help get your home sold in the shortest time for the best price.

      Price it right. Speaking of price, heed your agent’s advice on how to price your home properly. If your market has shifted, the bidding wars of a few months ago may be a thing of the past. Pricing your home too high could leave your home waning on the market for months on end. Work with your agent to choose a competitive listing price.

      Step up the marketing. Make sure you’re deploying the very best marketing plan for your home, including professional-quality photos (and plenty of them), videos, social media, and exposure on listing portals. Ask your agent to walk you through the details of the marketing plan so you understand exactly what tactics they have in their arsenal.

      Set the stage. While you may be able to leave the living room walls turquoise in a seller’s market, when buyers rule the roost, you probably want to take the time to make your home attractive to as many buyers as possible. So paint the walls neutral colors, declutter and stage every room, and spend a few bucks on landscaping. You may also want to invest in any necessary repairs that a buyer might have acquiesced to in a hot market. Whatever gives your home an edge over the competition will matter.  

      Remember, be patient. If you’re expecting to flip your home, now may not be the best time to sell. Talk to an expert agent with great knowledge about the local market to get a realistic picture about days on market and current sales prices, then make your decision.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Tips for Reducing Waste over the Holidays

      20 November 2018

      If you're a pro at holiday hosting, you've likely seen containers of leftovers sit at the back of the fridge for weeks, or grown tired of yet another turkey sandwich. To help, the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association offers several tips for reducing food waste this holiday season:

      Be realistic. The fear of not providing enough to eat often causes hosts to cook too much. Instead, plan out how much food you and your guests will realistically need, and shop accordingly.

      Plan ahead. Plan your menu and create a shopping list before going to the grocery store to avoid impulse buys or buying unnecessary quantities that may not be used right away and go to waste.

      Know portion sizes. If turkey is on your menu, allow 1 pound of uncooked turkey per person from an 8 to 12 pound turkey. Larger birds have a larger proportion of meat to bones, so ¾ pound per person should be sufficient (and you will have leftovers).

      Plan for leftovers. Cook creatively and repurpose food into other meals for less waste after the holiday.  

      Ask guests to bring to-go containers. Ask each guest to arrive with take-home containers and fill them up with leftovers as they leave.

      Host a post-holiday leftover brunch. Host a fun brunch a few days after the holiday and make it clear you're doling out leftovers. Not quite enough food to cover everyone? Make it a left-over potluck with one hard rule: no new dishes!

      Source: National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association

      Published with permission from RISMedia.