Real Estate News

  • Spruce Up Your Interior Living Spaces This Spring

    16 May 2022

    (Family Features) The changing of seasons and arrival of warmer weather provide a perfect opportunity for many homeowners to refresh their living spaces and tackle projects on their to-do lists. However, that shouldn’t mean limiting yourself to standard chores like cleaning, disinfecting and reorganizing.

    Spring is also an ideal time to make functional and aesthetic updates to your home, including surfaces in oft-used rooms like kitchens and bathrooms. From countertops to closets, Wilsonart, a world-class innovator of next generation engineered surfaces, manufactures and distributes high pressure laminate, quartz, solid surface, coordinated thermally fused laminate, edgebanding and other decorative, engineered surface options. Infusing style from nature, the full line of products provides nearly endless design possibilities with lasting durability and beauty to help redefine living spaces and bring ideas to life.

    Get started on your home upgrade this spring with these ideas:

    Reimagine Your Bathroom Walls
    Bathrooms are one of the most oft-improved spaces in many homes with style and long-term durability at the top of homeowners’ wish lists. An on-trend option like the Water-Proof Wall Panel System from Wetwall, a Wilsonart Company, makes it easy to transform bathrooms and create spa-worthy retreats that deliver high-end style without disruptive demolitions. Ideal for shower walls, bath surrounds, accent walls and cladding, the easy-to-clean, grout-free system features tongue-and-groove panels that can be installed in as little as 2 1/2 hours and don’t require special tools. For more information, visit

    Enhance Your Surface Spaces
    As the line between residential and commercial design continues to intertwine, the High Pressure Laminate Stone Collection from Wilsonart offers surfaces to enhance your home environment and create comfortable and inviting spaces. With 16 designs reminiscent of natural stone surfaces, the collection offers a casual look with authentic characteristics and veining details. Able to withstand the rigors of most interior environments, the “no-fuss” surfaces are low-maintenance solutions, GREENGUARD Gold Certified to meet low chemical emission limits for better indoor air quality and premium designs come with AEON Enhanced Scratch & Scruff-Resistant Performance Technology. To learn more, visit

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Why You Should Regularly Drain Your Water Heater

    16 May 2022

    If your home’s water heater isn’t working properly, you may find yourself forced to take an ice cold shower. You can avoid problems like this by having the water heater inspected and maintained on a regular basis. Draining the tank is one task you may be able to handle yourself.

    Why Your Water Heater Needs to Be Drained 
    Sediment, which may include minerals and other types of debris, can build up in the bottom of the tank and make the water heater operate inefficiently, which can cause your utility bills to gradually increase. Hard water with high mineral content can cause limescale to form at the bottom of the tank. Limescale can cause uneven heating or even make the heating element burn out. It can also cause clogs. If sediment calcifies, the water heater may fail completely and need to be replaced. Regular maintenance can help you avoid those problems.

    Draining your water heater tank periodically can remove any sediment that may be present so the unit can function as it should. How often that should be done will depend on the type of water heater you have and the characteristics of the water supply in your area.

    Check your owner’s manual to find out how often the manufacturer recommends draining the water heater. If you don’t have the owner’s manual, you should be able to find a copy on the manufacturer’s website. It’s generally a good idea to drain a water heater tank at least once a year, but you may need to do it more often if your community has hard water. 

    Should You Drain the Water Heater Yourself?
    The process required to drain a water heater tank varies from one manufacturer to another. The owner’s manual may give you step-by-step instructions on how to do it. If you don’t feel comfortable handling the task, however, you can hire a plumber to take care of it.

    Draining the water heater yourself can save you a significant amount of money. Making it a DIY job will allow you to avoid paying a plumber to do it. Removing sediment can also keep the water heater operating efficiently, keep your utility bills manageable and prevent the unit from failing and needing to be replaced prematurely.

    Schedule Routine Inspections and Maintenance
    Even if you drain your water heater yourself periodically, you should still have a plumber inspect it on a regular basis. A professional can spot other issues, such as rust and leaks, and replace parts that are damaged or worn out.

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • 4 Items Every New Pet Owner Needs to Protect Their Home

    16 May 2022

    If you’re a new pet owner and want to protect your place, there are a few things you can do to help keep your house in tip-top shape while your furry friend is potty training and learning the rules of their new home. Every new pet owner should have these four items on hand.

    Enzyme Spray
    No matter how hard you work at potty training, your new pet will likely have some accidents. Keep a cool head and don’t worry too much about accidents if you have some enzyme spray in your arsenal. This cleaner will not only help clean the spot, but will also reduce the urine smell completely.

    Handheld Carpet Cleaner
    While enzyme spray will ensure that your house doesn’t smell, to keep your carpets truly spic and span, consider purchasing a handheld carpet cleaner. These are invaluable for any pet mess—from potty accidents to stomach upset and muddy paw prints.

    Pet-Safe Cleaning Supplies
    Keeping your home clean is imperative, but your usual bathroom and kitchen cleaning supplies may actually contain harmful chemicals or oils that could be dangerous for pets. Before you start on your normal daily chores, be sure your current cleaning supplies are safe for your furry friend.

    Bite Deterrent Spray
    Puppies are prone to chew and bite whatever they can find, and unfortunately, this can mean disaster for your home. If you find that there is a spot your dog is prone to biting, cover it with a pet-safe spray that is designed to taste and smell bitter. Your pet will likely move on to a more welcoming material—ideally their own chew toy.

    Protecting your home after bringing in a new pet can be a challenge, but the right tools can make the job easier than you imagined. 

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Upgrade Sustainability Practices by Upcycling

    13 May 2022

    (Family Features) Virtually everyone knows recycling helps promote more sustainable living. A lesser known but effective way to keep materials out of the landfill is upcycling.
    When items get recycled, they’re generally broken down and the materials are used to create other products. For example, glass can be melted to create new glass containers, milk jugs can become playground equipment and discarded newspapers are the basis of some kitty litter.
    Upcycling is a little different. With upcycling, the material doesn’t change form but is reinvented. One popular tactic is reinventing thrift store furniture finds into new pieces, such as converting an old trunk into a whimsical coffee table.
    Upcycling can also be an effective and affordable way for philanthropic organizations to achieve their missions. One example is Help Heal Veterans (Heal Vets), a nonprofit dedicated to serving veterans and active-duty military by supplying therapeutic craft kits. In honor of Earth Day, the organization announced it received and repurposed more than 1 million pounds of upcycled materials.
    “Through upcycling, we are able to responsibly utilize donated materials that would have gone to landfills to serve veterans who need our support,” said Joe McClain, retired Navy captain and CEO of Heal Vets.
    The organization repurposes leather, cloth and other materials to create therapeutic craft kits for veterans and active-duty military around the world. Thousands of kits are shipped each month to help with long-term support and recovery for those impacted by wounds of war.
    Each kit is a complete project, such as leatherworking, building models, making jewelry or another creative piece. While all kits help veterans focus on the present and build self-worth and self-esteem, many are also customized to focus on specific needs such as restoring fine motor skills and concentration or relieving depression and anxiety.
    Upcycled materials, such as leather from old airplane seats, make the kits possible. Together, Southwest Airlines, Arise Foundation and Duncan Aviation donated 335,000 pounds of leather from outdated seat covers to support numerous leather kit options, including wallets, belts, footballs, and bracelets.
    Other organizations providing source materials include The Elks (more than 1 million square feet of tanned deer skins), La-Z-Boy (469,500 pounds of upholstery), American Woodmark (112,400 pounds of cabinets) and Magna (40,000 pounds of automobile seats).
    Upcycling at Home
    Make a commitment to sustainability with these upcycling ideas you can implement in your daily life:

    • Empty tissue boxes can be used to organize supplies, including pens, seasoning packets and more.
    • Instead of discarding an old shower curtain, save it to use as a drop cloth for messy art projects with the kids.
    • Fit mate-less socks over your hand to use as dusting mitts or to collect and store small pieces of games or other household items.
    • Cut the tops off two empty plastic bottles of the same circumference. Attach a zipper to the cut edges using hot glue or adhesive for fun art supply storage.
    • Add a backing with chalkboard paint to an old window or mirror frame for a stylish message board.
    Learn more about the relationship between upcycling, sustainability and supporting veterans at

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Things to Focus on When Looking at Nutrition Labels

    13 May 2022

    Packaged foods have nutrition labels containing important information that you can use to improve your health. Here are some tips to help you interpret these facts on food labels.

    Focus on Portion Sizes
    Food labels include information on the number of servings per container and the size of a serving. Some products have labels that list information for one serving and for the entire package. 

    People often eat more than one serving at a time and consume a lot more calories, sugar and fat than they realize. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to portion sizes. If you buy a package of cookies, for instance, and the label says that a serving is two cookies, but you eat four, you will have to double all the numbers on the nutrition label to figure out how many calories and how much sugar you are actually consuming. 

    Look at Information on Calories, Fat, Sugar and Nutrients
    The nutrition label will tell you the number of calories in one serving. People need about 2,000 calories per day on average, but you may need more or less, depending on your gender, body type and activity level. Eating too many calories and not exercising enough can lead to obesity.

    The label will tell you how much fat, sugar and nutrients are included in one portion. It will provide information on both naturally occurring sugars and sugars that have been added to processed foods. 

    The label will also include information on the “percent daily value” for fat, sugar and nutrients. If a label says that a food contains 10 percent of the daily value of fat, for example, that one serving has 10 percent of the total amount of fat you should consume in a day. Daily values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. If you need fewer calories than that, or if you eat more than one serving, you may quickly reach or exceed the total amount that you should consume in a day.

    High amounts of saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and sugar can lead to a variety of health problems, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Be careful not to eat more than the recommended daily values. 

    Nutrition labels will also include information on the amount of nutrients, such as vitamins, fiber and calcium included in the food. Look for products that are high in healthy nutrients.

    Know What You’re Putting in Your Body
    It’s easy to choose foods that taste good and to consume more unhealthy substances than you should. Understanding how to interpret the information on nutrition labels and comparing products side by side can help you make healthy choices for yourself and your family.

    Published with permission from RISMedia.