Consumer Real Estate News

    • 5 Tips for Designing With Wood

      17 August 2018

      Whether you like a rustic, industrial or mod look in your space, the next time you're considering an interior redesign, don't miss out on decorating with wood.

      Floors first. If you can, wood flooring is one of the loveliest ways to use wood in your space. Choose a stain that compliments your space--like a light blonde wood for smaller rooms, or a darker variety to make wide open spaces seem intimate.

      Furniture. If you do have a wood floor, choose a different wood tone for your furniture to avoid your pieces getting lost. Blonde wood furniture atop a darker, mahogany floor can be gorgeous.

      Walls. Don't let wood paneling taint your impression of wood walls. Choose a natural, grainy wood and apply it to one wall for a chic, rustic pop of color.

      Art. Look for wood pieces so gorgeous you'd like to hang them on your wall. Turn to farmer's markets, craft fairs and even Etsy for seriously gorgeous wooden art pieces.

      Accessories. Wood coasters, wood coat racks by the door, wood crates as end tables, even staining your wooden window frames can all add a little extra wow factor to your space.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Keep the Peace With Nosy Neighbors

      17 August 2018

      While you may have taken all the steps necessary to choose the perfect home, unfortunately, you can’t choose who lives next door. Whether they’re too loud, too messy or too nosy, there are tactful ways to handle less-than-ideal neighbors. Try the suggestions for coexisting peacefully and enjoying your new home:

      Start with courtesy. Be sure to start out on the right foot by being courteous and kind. Even if the neighbors don’t seem to be “your cup of tea,” do your best to get to know them and open up lines of communication. Doing so will allow you to be candid about serious matters if and when the need arises. If you haven’t established a friendly relationship from the outset, if a problem arises, things could get contentious fast.

      Politely establish ground rules. If your neighbors are the type who like to pop in unexpectedly--and often--don’t be shy about politely setting some ground rules...and explain why. Let them know you need downtime after work to catch up with your spouse, that you like to nap on the weekends, that you promised your kids one-on-one time in the evening, that you do yoga in the mornings. Whatever the case may be, just give them a specific reason that lets them know it’s about you, not them. Assure them you’d love to catch up, just to please call or text first.

      Create some boundaries. If you really need to create some physical space between you and the neighbor, consider a row of fast-growing arborvitae or cypress trees, or a stylish fence.

      Understand the situation. Before you get irate over the neighbor’s overgrown yard, take the time to find out why. Perhaps there was a recent tragedy or illness that’s preventing your neighbor from getting around to mowing the lawn and trimming brush. If that’s the case, perhaps an offer to help is in order.

      Before you take action, learn the law. If you do have a neighbor who seems to be violating neighborhood laws, check with your local city hall to learn about the regulations for noise, junk, vehicles, yard upkeep, etc. Always try talking to your neighbor first before contacting authorities in order to avoid an increasingly unpleasant situation.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Tips to Ensure a Clean Water Supply

      17 August 2018

      We all love a clean home and a clean car--but what about clean water?

      "When we put something down a drain, it has to go somewhere," says Max Rose, owner of Four Seasons Plumbing. "We can all do our part to make sure our streams, rivers and ultimately our drinking water stay clean."

      Below are Rose's top tips:

      Use non-toxic household products when possible. Whenever something goes down a drain, it eventually ends up in the water supply. While toilets and sinks lead to the sewer system, which is treated, using non-toxic products can be beneficial if the water escapes through a leak or break along the way to the sewage treatment center, or if your house uses a private septic system. Lemon juice, baking soda and vinegar make great alternatives.

      Inspecting wells and testing your well water. If a home is served by well water, have it inspected and tested by a certified professional to ensure it’s not being contaminated by groundwater or other underlying sources.

      Use native plants for landscaping. Plants native to western North Carolina shouldn't need as much water or fertilizer as plants that are from outside the region.

      Properly dispose of potentially toxic substances. Materials such as paint, pharmaceuticals, motor oil and other chemicals, if not disposed of properly, will eventually end up in the water table. The local pharmacy and police department will dispose of any unused medicines. The Buncombe landfill accepts hazardous waste on scheduled days.

      Keep toxic materials away from storm drains. Motor oil, fertilizers, pet droppings and any other manner of toxic materials can find their way to the water supply by way of storm drains.

      Source: Four Seasons Plumbing

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Heavy Metal: A Cleaning Guide

      16 August 2018

      From copper sinks to cast iron tubs, a wide range of sleek and stylish metals have found their way into our hearts and homes. But while they look great, metals can often be problematic when it comes to maintenance. Here’s a quick guide for keeping your favorite household metals in prime shining shape:

      Copper - While there are commercial cleaners available to care for your copper accessories or a copper sink, you can put natural ingredients to work, too. According to the, try mixing one-quarter portion of salt with one-quarter portion of flour, then add enough vinegar to make a paste. Use a soft cloth to rub the mixture on the surface of the copper then rinse with warm water and dry thoroughly. You can also experiment with lemon or lime juice mixed with baking soda, vinegar mixed with salt, or ketchup all on its own. The acidic content in these items goes to work on removing dirt and restoring the luster to copper.  

      Stainless Steel - There’s nothing quite like a kitchen full of gleaming stainless steel appliances...until every smudge and fingerprint starts showing up! While the cleaning aisle is littered with products designed specifically for cleaning stainless steel, a lot of them do a less-than-stellar job, often leaving streaks and such behind. recommends three home-made solutions:

      - Spray and wipe with vinegar, then buff with a small amount of olive oil
      - Clean with dish soap then wipe with a small amount of baby oil
      - Spray and clean with club soda

      A few things to remember in all cases when it comes to stainless steel:
      - Use a soft cloth, such as microfiber
      - Wipe in the direction of the grain
      - Not all stainless steel is created equal, so the best cleaning solution may vary among appliances

      Cast Iron - When it comes to cleaning cast iron pans, provided you seasoned it correctly before you first used it, scrub the pot with a stiff bristle dish brush and dish soap, then warm it on the stove for about 30 seconds or until dry. Then season it again with a little vegetable oil. Once it’s cooled, says Good Housekeeping, put a paper plate or paper towel in the mouth of the pan to absorb moisture while you store it. At all costs, don’t let it soak or put it in the dishwasher!  

      For cast iron sinks and tubs, use baking soda and vinegar and scrub with a rag or soft sponge.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Protecting Your Child's Eyes

      16 August 2018

      As parents, we do a lot to protect our children, from seatbelts to helmets and more. When thinking about safety, don't forget about their vision!

      Lighthouse Guild offers the following five healthy vision tips to help safeguard your child's eye health.

      Eat your carrots. The old saying still applies. Encourage your child to eat a well-balanced diet loaded with different types of fruits and veggies, as well as fish.

      Speak up.  Ask your child to let you know if they notice any vision changes. For instance, if their vision is blurry, they are squinting a lot, or their eyes start bothering them.

      Wear your glasses. Help your child understand the importance of wearing their eyeglasses. If they are resistant, because they believe glasses are unattractive, try pointing out sports figures and other well-known people who wear glasses. Talk with them about how to clean and store their glasses.

      Rest your eyes. Looking continuously at a computer, phone or TV screen can tire eyes. Encourage your child to take a break from staring at the screen.

      Wear safety gear. Make sure your child wears goggles or other types of protective eye wear while playing sports, using chemicals or tools for school projects, or engaging in other activities. Many eye injuries can be prevented with better safety habits.

      Source: Lighthouse Guild

      Published with permission from RISMedia.