Consumer Real Estate News

    • How to Find the Right Mower for You

      4 June 2020

      (Family Features) Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or looking for an upgrade, deciding what lawn mower to purchase deserves careful consideration. Similar to day-to-day life, new technology over the last five years, specifically in the gas mower industry, is making it easier to maintain your lawn.

      If you’re in the market for a new mower, consider these tips to find the perfect tool to match your needs.

      Yard Size
      Looking at the size of your yard is the first step in determining the best mower for your needs. Walk-behind mowers work well for yards that are 1/2 acre or less, but for yards 1-3-acres or larger, a zero-turn rider (ZTR) or riding mower may be appropriate.

      A small, flat yard may only require a walk-behind mower. If your yard is sloped or hilly, you may prefer a self-propelled mower rather than one you have to push. A walk-behind mower with big back wheels is easier to maneuver across rough terrain. Riding mowers and ZTRs can handle varied terrain, although some handle better on slopes than others.

      Engines are one of the most important factors affecting a mower’s performance, so purchasing one with a quality engine is essential. For example, Briggs & Stratton engines can be found on several brands of lawn mowers, including eight of the top 10 walk-behind brands. As a global leader in gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment, these engines power mowers ranging from small walk-behinds to large ZTRs and riding mowers.

      Special Features
      While certain features may add to the cost of lawn mowers, many provide functions worth considering. One popular option is a mulching blade, which returns finely cut grass pieces to the lawn as a natural fertilizer. Another common choice is a bagging attachment, which is a grass-catching bag that can be affixed to the side or back of the mower to collect grass clippings.

      Explore more ways to put technology to work in your yard at

      Technology to get the job done. Explore high-tech features that make mowing more manageable with these insights from professional home improvement contractor Jason Cameron, host of DIY Network’s “Desperate Landscapes.”

      Avoid disturbing the neighbors. If finding time to mow means you might be inconveniencing your neighbors, a mower designed to operate quietly may be what you need. To take advantage of weekend mornings without bothering others, look into modern models, some of which even feature technology to make the mower quieter than the average gas mower.

      Skip oil changes. Seasonal maintenance can help keep your mower in top condition, and new innovations allow you to skip the messiest part: oil changes. Some mowers, specifically those with Briggs & Stratton’s No Oil Changes technology, are built with the intent that you never have to change the oil; you can simply check the level at the beginning of the season and add what you need.

      Get an assist starting the engine. You can forget the days when starting a mower was a hassle; many of today’s gas-powered mowers feature the starting reliability of lithium-ion battery technology, so you can unleash the power of gas with the push of a button.

      Save space in the garage. If storage is a challenge in your garage, look for a compact model with Briggs & Stratton’s Mow N’ Stow technology, which makes storage easy. This patented design allows owners to fold the mower and store it upright without fuel or oil leaks, saving you up to 70% of the storage space in your garage or shed.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 3 Stress-Busting Tips to Help You Start Your Day

      4 June 2020

      Between working, taking care of kids and maintaining a social schedule, the hustle and bustle of daily life can cause some people to feel exhausted, stressed or both. If you find yourself dragging your feet in the morning, waking up in a funk or dreading a stress-filled day, try to make a little time for yourself to boost your spirits.

      Here are a few morning tips to help you take on the day with less stress and more smiles:

      Make time to stretch. Stretching reduces anxiety and tension and slows down your heart rate. It can also improve your energy and clear your head. And don’t forget that your body will feel better—there’s no harm in that! A few simple yoga poses first thing in the morning can also reduce stress. Studies have found that people who did a few simple yoga stretches every morning reported less stress and an overall improved quality of life than those who didn’t.

      Come up with a ritual. Creating a little ritual you do each morning “just for you” carves out some quality you-time first thing. Giving yourself attention first will allow you to look forward to waking up and help you take on the day with a positive outlook. This ritual can be something as simple as sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee or reading a book for half an hour, or something more complex like working on a novel or learning a new language. Whatever you choose, it should be as essential to your well-being as your daily shower.

      Create a secret smile stash. Come up with a few go-to smile-inducers to fall back on if you wake up in a down mood. Stash a collection of photos from vacation with family and friends, love letters from your sweetie, or music that always gets you dancing or lifts your spirits. These little happy-makers could help put a little more pep in your step on your way out the door, and make you ready to take on the day.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Seasonal Home Supplies for Spring

      4 June 2020

      (Family Features) Between spring cleaning and spending additional time outdoors (or both), the spring season can bring a lot of changes to your home. From insect prevention to rethinking home organization and adding style to your favorite spaces, it’s an opportunity to reimagine your living areas while planning ahead for potential problems.

      Visit for more ways to spruce up your home for spring.

      Combat Carpenter Bees with Early Prevention
      Don’t let carpenter bees get a foothold in your home where they can damage wood. One of the easiest ways to prevent carpenter bees from boring into your house is to capture them before they begin multiplying. Traps, like the TrapStik from Rescue!, lure in carpenter bees with appealing colors and patterns then trap them on a sticky surface. Just hang the weather-resistant, pesticide-free traps where carpenter bees are seen or holes can be found. Learn more at

      Optimize Home Organization
      For many people, a major part of spring cleaning revolves around reorganization. By adding versatile, ventilated storage to pantries, laundry rooms, mudrooms or just about any space in the house, a solution like ClosetMaid’s multi-functional wire drawer organizer kits are perfect for small spaces. Available in 2-, 3- or 4-drawer sizes, the kits can help organize items from food to off-season holiday decorations to toiletries or cleaning supplies. Find more information at

      Create a Classic Kitchen
      Spring is a perfect opportunity to update your kitchen – or create a look from yesteryear. Consider an option like Elmira Stove Works’ ranges. Available in seven colors and more than 1,000 custom hues with polished nickel or antique copper trim, the ranges complement styles such as farmhouse, Victorian, log cabin and even more contemporary settings. Full-size, self-cleaning ovens are available in electric, convection electric or gas. Complete the look with matching fridges, wall ovens, dishwashers and microwaves. Find more information at

      A Pleasant Patio Setting
      The warmer weather of spring often brings with it the desire to be outside and enjoying the season. You can spruce up the entertaining capabilities and comfort of your outdoor areas with patio furniture built to hold up against the weather. Keep it simple with two chairs and a small table or go all-in with loveseats, end tables and more. For added comfort, look for furniture with removable cushions that can be brought inside or stored away when not in use.

      Keep the Lawn Clean
      As the green grass begins to sprout and add beauty to your yard, so do weeds and other undesirable growth. Mowing the lawn regularly may take care of a majority of issues, but for those hard-to-reach areas, a string trimmer can help you clean up spots that simply can’t be mowed over. Available in gas, electric and battery-powered, a multitude of options means you can choose the right fit for your yard.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Everything You Need to Know About Garbage

      3 June 2020

      No one wants to think too much about garbage, but it’s actually pretty important, especially when you move into a new home. That’s because without the right equipment and without knowledge of your town’s rules and regulations regarding collection, you can end up with uncollected trash, and a smelly situation.

      Know the schedule: Your local township’s website should let you know when garbage pickup is in your neighborhood. It’s best to put everything out the night before, in case your sanitation workers come very early in the morning. Also find out which holidays affect pickup, and when the makeup day is.

      Recycling regulations: Virtually all municipalities have some sort of system involving recycling. Chances are you’ll have to separate glass, cardboard, and newspaper, but you’ll need to find out if your town provides receptacles for these or if you need to get your own.

      Other rules: Most towns have standards regarding putting your garbage out. For example, if Monday is your trash collection day, you may not be allowed to put your garbage out earlier than, say, 3 p.m. on Sunday.

      In the fall, find out when leaf collection is, and if leaves need to be bagged or simply raked to the curb. There also may be limits on the size and weight of garbage cans, and restrictions on the collection of items such as electronics and pool chemicals.

      Buy the right garbage can: This may seem simple, but there are a lot of options out there. Obviously, you need a garbage can because putting bags out at your curb is an invitation for animals to invade your trash for food. But wind can knock over cans or blow the lid off, which creates the same situation. Invest in a quality garbage can that is sturdy and isn’t easy to tip over, and which has an attached lid.

      Special pickup: Let’s say you take on a home improvement project, such as installing a new floor or renovating your bathroom. This is likely to create a large amount of trash and debris that cannot be placed in cans. Your town may have regulations as to how to prepare these things for collection, or you may need to rent special bins or receptacles. Otherwise, you may be responsible for carting the materials to your local municipal dump.

      Following local trash collection regulations can make your life easier, and help you become a good neighbor.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Strange Household Items to Clean With

      3 June 2020

      Did you know you can clean your home with toothpaste? How about ketchup? Whether you want to avoid using harsh chemicals, run out of cleaner and don’t want to take a trip to the store, or are just looking to get creative with what you have, below are five strange items you can clean your home with.

      Toothpaste. Do you notice hard water stains on the exterior of your home or car windows? A little toothpaste can take care of that. Choose a non-gel variety, squirt a bit of paste onto a clean, damp rag, and rub in a circular motion to remove the stains. Wipe down with a clean, wet sponge or cloth to remove paste residue.

      Ketchup. America’s favorite condiment also makes a terrific cleaner for brass, jewelry and silver. Why? The tomatoes in ketchup up its acetic acid content to around 4 percent.

      Olive oil. Is your coffee or dining room table riddled with rings from cold or warm beverages? Buff it out with a mixture of olive oil and salt, and remember to stay patient. The mixture can take several hours to take effect.

      Vinegar. There are myriad ways to use white vinegar to clean your home. Make a mixture of half vinegar, half water to clean your walls, counters, shelves, fridge, and more. Have a pesky clogged drain? Skip the harsh chemical-ridden products. Simply dump two tablespoons of baking soda down the drain and follow it with a cup of vinegar for a fizzy, clean effect.

      Salt. Salt, especially when combined with an acid, makes surfaces sparkle. Use salt and lemon juice to buff your stainless-steel appliances. Because it’s absorbent, salt is also a natural odor eliminator you could sprinkle in your stinky, post-workout sneakers.

      Do these strange, yet inexpensive, household cleaning tips sound intriguing enough to try out around your home? If so, have some fun!

      Published with permission from RISMedia.