Date Archives: August 2020

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August
27

Whether you're hoping to sell in the near future or simply looking to touch up outdated areas, there's one aspect of home maintenance most homeowners agree is important: curb appeal. It's a broad term that may reference any number of visible features, meaning there are plenty of ways to enhance the appearance of your house.

 

Consider these ideas - some big, some small - for bringing new life to your home's look from the experts at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

Swap Out Your Front Door. As one of the first things a guest, passerby or potential homebuyer may notice, the front door is the gateway to your home and a likely opening impression. Upgrading to a heavier, bolder door or simply repainting the existing threshold can capture positive attention. Alternately, swapping out hardware for a more eye-catching look is an easy way to achieve a fresh facelift.

Create Seating Areas. A welcoming home is typically an attractive one, and there are few better ways to create a cozy vibe than a seating or gathering area on the porch. Whether it's the classic porch swing or chairs and a coffee table suitable for the outdoors, a small zone ideal for conversation and camaraderie can help create an at-home appearance.

Plant Shrubbery. Billowing trees and blooming flowers are certainly eye-catching accessories outside a home, but many varieties require intense care to grow the way you envision and may adhere to seasonal weather patterns for optimal appearance. For a quicker result, shop around for fully mature shrubs and plants that can withstand elements throughout the year. 

Rethink the Mailbox. It may not be as exciting of a project to undertake, however, giving your mailbox a fresh look helps it stand out and - especially if it's directly in front of your home - may turn an ordinary object into a worthy attractant. Your work may be as simple as updating to a newer model or as thought-out as constructing a small rock wall around the base.

Add Stonework. For a project that can give your house a new look altogether, consider incorporating stonework or a stone veneer for a natural appearance. If changing your facade isn't in the plans, less complicated ideas like pavers, brick sidewalks and landscape rings are ways to introduce a classic touch.

Paint (or Repaint) the Exterior. Changing the exterior paint color of a home is one of the most popular renovation projects, and one of the first that comes to mind for many homeowners. Simply altering the colors of trim, gutters and other accent pieces may be enough for some homes, and repainting the exterior doesn't have to mean a new color altogether - consider a brighter shade or simply a fresh coat to help your home pop.

Update Lighting. Light fixtures come in all shapes and sizes, and many times the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. While updated porch illumination may not drive home a potential sale, it's a subtle touch right as guests arrive. Adding smaller lights in previously unlit areas like around landscaping (consider solar-powered for easier maintenance) can help your hard work shine.

 Source: National Association of the Remodeling Industry

Published with permission from RISMedia.

August
21

As people continue to navigate the world of social distancing, animal shelters across the country have seen an increase in pet adoptions. People are craving connection and companionship, and few things compare to the loyalty of dogs – from their affectionate snuggles on the couch to their wagging tails when you walk through the door.

In fact, in a survey from the Human Animal Bond Research Institute and Mars Petcare, 80% of pet owners said their pet makes them feel less lonely, which is especially relevant in today's world. To help encourage more adoptions and celebrate the unconditional love of dogs, the PEDIGREE® brand introduced the One True Loyalty Program, which will cover the adoption fees for new pet parents who adopt a dog and purchase two bags of PEDIGREE dog food (15 pounds or more), through Oct. 31.

"Throughout this pandemic, the silver lining has been the increase in dogs finding their forever homes, which is our mission in everything we do," said Deb Fair, executive director of PEDIGREE Foundation. "So many loyalty programs take ages to earn a reward, but now, people can get the most valued and truest kind of loyalty instantly – the unconditional love of a dog."

With so many people adding furry friends to their families, consider these tips from the PEDIGREE brand to successfully welcome a new dog into your home. If you're considering adopting a dog, visit PEDIGREELoyalty.com to learn more about the One True Loyalty Program and how to get your adoption fees covered. 

  1. Create a Safe Space – Giving a dog a forever family can be a wonderful thing, but the transition from a shelter to a home can be a lot for a pooch to take in. Give your dog a spot to call his own where he can feel safe and secure. Get a crate that's just big enough for him to stand up and turn around in, but not too big where he has extra room to do his business. Drape a blanket or towel over the sides to make it cozy and put one or two of his favorite toys inside.
  2. Establish a Routine – To ease the transition into a new home, it's helpful to get your dog used to a routine. When he can anticipate his meals, potty breaks, naps and playtimes, he'll likely be less anxious throughout the day, allowing him to focus more on being your most loyal friend.
  3. Take Frequent Potty Breaks – Training a dog to do his business outside takes time and patience. Do your best to stay ahead of any accidents by taking your pup outside frequently – after naps, meals and play sessions and especially if he starts sniffing around in circles. Praise him with love and his favorite treats when he's successful outside, and soon enough, he'll get the hang of it. 
  4. Return the Loyalty – The unconditional love and loyalty of dogs is unmatched, and they deserve all of it in return. Shower your dog with love, snuggles, treats and plenty of playtime, and you'll soon form an unbreakable bond with your new best friend. 

Source: Pedigree

August
15

There usually comes a time in a person's life when the hustle and bustle becomes less appealing, and one looks for a peaceful setting to live out their later years. When that time comes, a retirement home may feel like the ultimate blessing.


 People living out their golden years deserve a forever home where they can spend their time the way they want. Plus, having a retirement home for oneself means you're the boss of everything. That degree of control over one's own decisions in life is important for many of us. Here are some tips for purchasing a retirement property:
 
1. A Location That Sustains Your Needs
As with all real estate purchases, location plays a critical role in deciding to buy a property for retirement. There are factors to consider like the climate/weather, availability of utilities and conveniences such as healthcare, shopping and entertainment venues.
 
2. Go for a Single-Story
If you need anything in your house, you don't need to climb any stairs to get to it. Avoiding the stairs and staying away from activities that ask you to shift up and down can prove to be quite beneficial in the long run. A 2018 NAHB survey revealed that 80 percent of baby boomers prefer one-story homes.
 
3. Showers vs. Bathtubs
You should consider a walk-in shower or a familiar type of bath style rather than traditional bathtubs or Jacuzzis. Having a bathtub/shower combo is much more preferable, as they allow an easy point of entry. Bathtubs can prove to be difficult to get in and out of as one gets older.
 
4. Bigger Hallways and Entryways
Tight hallways have never done anyone any favors. Look for a space that provides you with hallways and entryways that you can spread your arms in without butting into things or knocking items over unintentionally. According to Houzz.com, a generous measurement for hallways should have a height of more than 9 feet and width of 54 - 72 inches.
 
5. Space for Your Partner
Room for a significant other is what can make your house complete and transform it into a home. Regardless of age, people always seek out companionship. Space for a significant other in your retirement home should not be overlooked. Make sure there's room for two so that you and your other half can stay close to each other.
 
6. Remember Your Pets
Pets are the emotional sustenance we all need in our lives. Many simply cannot survive without their pets; such is the bond between them. Even with their non-spoken relationship, there is so much more they add to our existence.
 
A retirement home without your pet would surely feel empty. Plus, who in this world would even wish to part with a dear friend just because their new home wasn't big enough to let them stay.
 
7. Take Mobility Into Consideration
Retirement doesn't mean isolation from society. There are still going to be a lot of dinner parties and other events that you'll likely want to attend. Theater, music, fine art and a range of activities await you, which is why many look into retirement homes that offer an easy commute to the city you intend to visit. Whether it's private or public transport, mobility should always be considered.
 
8. Home Security
Even if theft isn't a concern, home security is also used to safeguard you against mishaps. There are services available that can send help within a couple of minutes by simply pressing a button.
 
There are many things to consider when buying a retirement home. Take your time and discuss it at length with your partner, because only you two should decide where and when to buy a retirement home.
 
John William currently works as an interior designer at Crowd Writer as well as a trainer at Student Essay, where scholars can acquire a professional research proposal writing service from experts. In his free time, he likes to spend quality time with his family, friends and loved ones.
 
This article first appeared on RISMedia's blog, Housecall.

August
6

If you're lucky enough to have a spare bedroom, you may want to think of it less as a rarely used landing spot for guests or a place to store extra 'stuff,' and more as a blank canvas - a pleasant spot you can use for rest, relaxation, hobbies or exercise, or even as a money-making option.

 

Consider these inspiring ideas from room designers and creative thinkers:

  • Get crafty - Do you sew occasionally? Like to draw or paint? Love to do amazing gift-wraps? Fill the room with smart choices of furnishings, storage, tables and accessories to make your hobby more fun than ever.
  • Make it personal - Turn the room into a ma'am- or man-cave, with comfy furnishings, a TV and sound system and anything else you need to make it a cozy, personal retreat.
  • Make it a study - Create a cheerful home office space where you or your kids can pay bills, read online or study without interruption. Install a work counter/desk across one wall, add enough chairs and supply drawers, plus computers and printers as needed. 
  • Build your own library - Book lovers can line the walls with shelving, collect books to their heart's content, install a chair or two and some great reading light, and revel in a private library. 
  • Make music - For parents and/or kids with a passion for making music, lay down thick carpeting to soak up sound, add a few comfy floor cushions for musically inclined visitors and make room to jam with friends or solo with as many instruments as you wish. 
  • Start a garden - Wish you had a greenhouse? You can cultivate seedlings in that spare room from the waning days of winter through early spring. Buy ready-made shelving and add light fixtures and supplies appropriate for nurturing baby plants.
  • Sweat it out - Whether you practice yoga, run or do strength training, you'll be more motivated, better disciplined and more excited about your workouts in a dedicated exercise space. Drag that treadmill out of the basement, add all the exercise equipment you want and go!
  • Airbnb it - Make a few extra bucks by renting out your guest room through Airbnb. Outfit the space with attractive towels, linens and toiletries, and make sure your home's Wi-Fi password is prominently displayed.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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