Real Estate News

    • Purposeful Ways to Style a Multi-Purpose Room

      9 March 2021

      (Family Features) Whether you call it a laundry room, mudroom or something else entirely, that multi-purpose space is likely a hub of activity in your home. For homeowners creating this utility space from scratch, the sky's the limit, but even if you’re updating an existing room, there are plenty of ways to add purposeful style and function.

      Homeowners are often looking for ways to use the rooms in their homes in multiple ways. With some thoughtful planning and the right materials, even a modest utility area can become a multi-functional space for the entire family.

      Take a utilitarian approach. When planning your space, put the function front and center. There are plenty of clever ways to enhance the aesthetics, so focus first on how you want to use the space. It may be hard to conceive at first, but it’s possible to create a space that serves not only your basic laundry essentials, but also provides space for you to care for four-legged friends or enjoy a hobby. For example, you might add pet washing and grooming features, along with an oversized sink that doubles as a gardening and potting area. 
      In a multi-use room, it’s also important to be conscious of details like lighting and cabinetry inserts that can help bring organization and order to the space. Puck lighting and LED strips illuminate select areas while dividers, sliding shelves and custom pull-out cabinets ensure your items are stored out of sight but within easy reach.

      Be color conscious. In a high-traffic space that sees a fair share of dirt and grime, color is an attractive way to cleverly disguise what lurks in between cleanings. Gray tones are at the core of many contemporary interior schemes, and a mid-tone gray color palette is ideal to hide dirt and hair while providing a crisp and clean foundation for a cohesive look. For example, Wellborn Cabinet’s Shaker-style Hanover door offers clean, fuss-free lines ideal for a utilitarian space. Choose maple and finish the cabinetry with Ash stain, a trending mid-tone gray that emphasizes the detail of the wood grain.

      You can also bring additional character and personality to the space with accent color. For example, earthy green walls and tiling that complements the paint and cabinetry offer a subtle blend of colors that enhance the overarching contemporary feel.

      Focus on ergonomics. A utility room is a place for working, so you’ll want to make accommodations to make those moments more enjoyable. For example, a raised large basin tile sink offers a spine-friendly alternative to bending over or squatting while washing a pet or potting plants. For a larger dog you can’t heft into a sink, you might consider a washing station with tiled steps, a frameless glass enclosure and low-mounted, hand-held showerhead.

      Find more ideas and inspiration for creating a multi-purpose room that fits your lifestyle at

      Pampered Pets
      With a pet-friendly multi-purpose room, you can make the less glamorous tasks of pet ownership more enjoyable while you shower your pooch with special attention.

      Built-in kennel: Using cabinetry, along with sturdy chicken wire mesh in place of panels on the door frames, you can build a stylish kennel right into the room. A simple drip tray protects the wood surface and makes cleanup easy.

      Toe-kick feeder: Maximize every inch of space with clever solutions like a feeder that hides away under the cabinets. With built-in wells for food and water dishes, this convenient unit appears with a gentle nudge then easily slides back under the cabinet to make the space clean and neat again.

      Pet feeding center: Organizing your pet supplies keeps the area extra tidy, so make use of hidden storage with a pullout cabinet that holds pet food and other accessories out of sight.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Why It May Be a Good Idea to Have Multiple Savings Accounts

      9 March 2021

      A savings account can help you save money for a goal, such as a down payment on a house, a vacation, or an emergency fund. Many people have multiple goals that they want to save for at the same time. In that case, having a separate savings account for each objective may be a better strategy than having a single account.

      Know How Much You Have Saved for Each Goal
      If you’re saving for two or more goals and putting money into one savings account, that can make it hard to know how much you have saved for each purpose. You may see a large account balance and think you’re doing a good job, but that may not be true. 

      If you have a separate account for each goal, you may realize that you need to step up your savings in one area to meet your target. Being able to easily monitor your progress in multiple areas can help you stay on track and make adjustments when needed.

      Avoid Temptation to Spend
      If an account is clearly earmarked for a specific goal, that may make you stop and think twice before you use the money for something other than its intended purpose.

      Reasons to Open Savings Accounts at Different Financial Institutions
      Many banks and credit unions offer bonuses as an incentive for new customers to open accounts. You may be able to receive hundreds of dollars simply for opening an account and maintaining a minimum balance. If you open several accounts at different institutions, you may qualify for a bonus with each account. That can help you save at a faster rate with little additional work.

      Another benefit of having accounts at different financial institutions is that it can make it harder to spend money on something other than its intended purpose. You will be able to link your accounts and make bank-to-bank transfers, but those typically take a few business days to be processed. Having that roadblock may help you stay on track. If you’re forced to wait to spend money on something it’s not meant for, you may decide that the thing you wanted to buy is less important than your long-term goal. 

      Consider Automating Your Savings
      Setting up automatic transfers can help you save money for each of your goals. You can schedule transfers to your savings accounts each time you get paid. You will be able to choose the amount and frequency so you can save for each objective at a pace that is comfortable for you. 

      Having money automatically moved to other accounts can help you avoid the temptation to spend it on other things. If the money isn’t in your checking account, it will be a little harder to access, which can help you stay focused on your goals. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Health Tips to Navigate Year Two of the Pandemic

      9 March 2021

      (Family Features) After months of unfamiliar restrictions and guidelines, pandemic fatigue is affecting how some Americans protect their health. However, experts warn that diligence is still extremely important because new mutations and variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 are being discovered. The typical cold and flu season also brings added threats to people’s health and wellness.

      “Staying diligent is one of the most important things we can do as we navigate through the cold and flu season as well as the COVID pandemic,” said family medicine physician Dr. Jennifer Caudle. 

      Though you may still be spending more time at home, it’s important to take proactive steps to maintain your health. Caudle offers these practical tips to help protect your health while you’re waiting for vaccination eligibility amid the pandemic this cold and flu season.

      Avoid Exposure
      As COVID-19 continues to impact communities from coast to coast, there’s no better time to avoid getting sick. Even if you catch a less serious illness like a cold or the flu, health care professionals in many areas are stretched thin. What’s more, getting sick could compromise your immune system, making you more susceptible to a more serious infection. 

      Minimizing your risk of exposure means limiting close contact with others outside your household, wearing a mask and washing your hands regularly with soap for at least 20 seconds. An alcohol-based sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol can substitute for hand washing, if necessary. 

      Practice Self-Care
      Staying healthy isn’t just about avoiding germs. Managing your physical health means keeping your body in top condition by eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep and ditching habits that can negatively impact your body, like smoking and excess drinking. It’s also important to monitor your mental health since factors like stress and depression can take a physical toll that impacts your body’s immune response.

      Pinpoint Symptoms
      If you get sick, it’s important to pay close attention to your symptoms. However, this cold and flu season brings a unique variable with the possibility that your symptoms may actually stem from a mild case of COVID-19. Weather may also fuel stronger than usual allergy responses, so distinguishing between cold, flu, COVID-19 and allergy symptoms can be especially tricky. Testing may be necessary to get the proper diagnosis and ensure you’re taking the right precautions to prevent the spread of any infection. If you have questions or concerns about your symptoms or about COVID-19, consult your health care professional. 

      Treat Symptoms
      Depending on your diagnosis, a healthcare professional may suggest medication to help treat symptoms until your illness runs its course. There are a variety of products available over the counter that are commonly used to treat symptoms of respiratory viral infections. Many provide relief from multiple symptoms in a single dose. For example, an option like Mucinex DM lasts 12 hours when used as directed and contains dextromethorphan, which helps to control cough, and guaifenesin to help thin and loosen mucus. 

      You can identify the right formula to provide relief based on symptoms you are experiencing by using the online tool at, where you can also find more information regarding self-care remedies.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 4 Home Wellness Features From Around the World

      8 March 2021

      Although it might be a relatively new trend in luxury real estate, many of the wellness features found in today’s homes are inspired by ancient rituals from all parts of the world. After all, it should come as no surprise that humans have been embracing health and relaxation for centuries. Here are a few of today’s most coveted wellness features that come from across the globe.

      Turkish Hammam
      Historically, Turkish-style baths, known as hammams, are public places where people can go for a cleansing steam bath. These days, however, plenty of luxury homeowners have built their own private hammams at home, often with authentic mosaic tiles and natural stone slabs, as well as hot and cold immersion pools. The enchanting aesthetic makes for a unique experience that’s sure to please those who seek to relax the mind and body.

      Finnish Sauna
      There are many types of saunas found all over the world, but perhaps none is more prevalent than the Finnish sauna, which has been a part of their culture for thousands of years. Today, they are often built with cedar walls and benches, along with a wood stove used for heating a pile of rocks. Regularly using a sauna has been linked to myriad health benefits, including improved blood pressure and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, which could explain why so many luxury homes have one.

      Himalayan salt rooms have become increasingly popular in hotels, resorts and private residences in recent years, but the practice of breathing salty air, known as halotherapy, has been around in Eastern Europe for over a century. From skin conditions to respiratory illnesses, this unique wellness treatment is believed to help with a wide variety of ailments, as well as reduce stress and anxiety.

      Ofuro Tub
      When it’s time to unwind at the end of a long day, there’s nothing like taking a hot bath in a Japanese style tub, known as an ofuro. These deep, wooden tubs are not typically used for washing, which is why it’s customary to clean oneself before entering. Rather, they are part of a ritualistic practice that’s focused on promoting relaxation.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Fast, Flavorful Meals When You’re Short on Time

      8 March 2021

      (Family Features) Quality meals don’t have to drain hours from your day; satisfying taste is possible in just minutes when you have a few strategies that can help make meal prep easier and the results more enjoyable.

      Eat better with veggies. If eating better is your goal, explore veggie-based recipes that are hearty and filled with nutrients and vitamins. This Brown and Wild Rice Bowl with Veggie Burger is perfect for a meatless Monday or any other day when you need a fast, filling and flavorful meal in short order. If you don’t have veggie burgers at home, or simply prefer a meat-based option, a cooked frozen beef patty is a good time-saving alternative. 

      Make simple swaps for variety. When you find a dish that’s easy and tasty, you may find yourself falling back on the same thing again and again. Prevent taste bud boredom by mixing up your ingredients. You can transform a rice-based recipe by changing up the veggies, cheese, dressing and other toppings. Try pickled jalapenos for spice. Add corn if you like things sweet. Swap a creamy dressing with a zesty vinaigrette for fewer calories and a whole new taste.

      Shop for convenience. Takeout may let you skip prep time completely, but you can easily make versions of many favorite to-go meals at home in just a few minutes. This Beef and Broccoli Garlic Rice uses perfectly portioned Minute Ready to Serve microwavable rice cups that help you put together a delicious lunch or dinner without measuring or overeating. Choosing products like portion-controlled rice and other ready-to-serve ingredients can help shave time off your prep work.

      Tempt your taste buds with more convenient meal ideas at

      Brown and Wild Rice Bowl with Veggie Burger
      Prep time: 5 minutes
      Servings: 1

      1 cup Minute Ready to Serve Brown and Wild Rice
      1 precooked veggie burger patty
      1/2 cup shredded lettuce
      1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes
      2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
      2 tablespoons ranch dressing
      Prepare rice according to package directions.
      Break veggie burgers into large chunks and place in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 60-90 seconds, or until the veggie burger is heated through.
      Toss together rice and veggie burger. Top with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. Drizzle with ranch dressing.

      Beef and Broccoli Garlic Rice
      Prep time: 5 minutes
      Servings: 1

      1 cup Minute Ready to Serve Garlic and Olive Oil Jasmine Rice
      1/2 cup fresh broccoli florets
      1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper
      2 tablespoons diced water chestnuts
      3 ounces cooked beef, sliced into strips
      3 tablespoons teriyaki glaze
      soy sauce (optional)

      Heat rice according to package directions.

      In a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine broccoli, bell pepper and water chestnuts. Microwave on high 1 minute. Add beef and microwave on high for 1 minute.

      Stir in glaze and rice. Top with soy sauce, if desired.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.