Real Estate News

    • What is a Broken Plan Home?

      7 May 2021

      Home designs traditionally featured rooms that were separated by walls and doors. Architectural trends have shifted and open floorplans have become increasingly popular. While many homeowners like the spacious feeling of an open floorplan, as well as the ability to easily keep an eye on their kids, some long for more privacy. A broken plan design can balance those priorities. 

      How Can Spaces be Separated in a Broken Plan Home?
      A broken plan falls between an open floorplan and a design with rooms that are completely separate. In a broken plan, the house has an open, spacious feel, but areas can be separated in various ways to provide privacy, or the option to have privacy when desired. 

      For example, partial walls that stand just a few feet high can be used to divide areas without completely blocking the view. If you choose partial walls, your kids will be able to play in their own area while you’re cooking in the kitchen. That can give both you and your children some space and privacy, while making it easy for you to watch the kids. A half wall can also incorporate shelves for extra storage space.

      Glass walls can provide a measure of privacy. Walls made of clear glass can allow people to see into other areas while allowing individuals to have private conversations. Glass may also be tinted or frosted for additional privacy.

      A sunken room is a space that sits a few feet below the level of the room next to it. That can create an area that is separate, but not blocked by a wall. A sunken room can preserve an open feeling and won’t block sight lines.

      Furniture can be used to delineate a boundary between two areas. For example, a couch can separate a living room area from a dining space. A bookcase, screen, or area rug can serve the same purpose.  

      Is a Broken Plan Right for Your Family?
      If you’re planning to have a house built and trying to choose a layout, think carefully about your family’s lifestyle and how you will use the space in your future home. Although open floorplans have become popular in recent years, they have drawbacks. A broken plan may be a better option for your family since it can allow you to enjoy the spaciousness of an open floorplan while still having some privacy. 

      If you currently live in a house with an open floorplan, but you would like more clearly delineated spaces, you can incorporate permanent or temporary elements to create boundaries. If you’re not sure if a broken plan is right for you, experiment with temporary dividers. If you prefer a broken plan to an open floorplan, you may decide to install permanent dividers later.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • An Unforgettable Fruity Flavor

      7 May 2021

      ( Fresh fruit is finally in season. When the sun is out and kids are hitting the pool, it’s also time to indulge in some sweet fruit flavors. Watermelon, berries, bananas and more can all be found near perfect ripeness at grocery stores or farmer’s markets during the warm summer months. 

      On a hot day, there is almost nothing better than trying something new that sounds delicious. Throw your apron on, prepare your kitchen and get baking. 

      If you’re craving something sweet with no ideas where to start, try this sweet Lemon Cheesecake with Fresh Fruit. It’s tangy and rich, and allows you to escape to the summer oasis of your dreams, at least for a few minutes. 

      It has the smooth, creamy texture of cheesecake mixed with a hint of tart lemon juice. Topped with raspberries, mint and oranges, the burst of fresh fruit enhances the cheesecake flavor. It’s the perfect sweet treat for summer for people of all ages with its bright colors and varying flavors.

      In a bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter then press into a springform pan. 

      Beat cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, three eggs, lemon juice and vanilla extract then pour it on top of the graham cracker mixture. 

      Bake for 50-55 minutes before cooling completely in the fridge and adding fruit and mint leaves. 

      The outcome is a fluffy cheesecake with a small hint of lemon topped with your favorite fresh fruits. It’s a delightful, sweet and satisfying recipe your family can make again and again to enjoy during those warm summer months. 

      Find more recipes perfect for summer at

      Lemon Cheesecake With Fresh Fruit
      Servings: 6-8
      1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
      1/4 cup sugar
      1/4 cup butter, melted
      2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
      1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
      3 eggs
      1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
      1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      1 orange, peeled and separated
      8 raspberries
      3 mint leaves, for garnish 

      Heat oven to 350 F.

      In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press firmly into a 9-inch springform pan.

      In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add eggs, fresh lemon juice and vanilla extract; mix until combined.

      Pour into the pan. Bake 50-55 minutes, or until the center springs back when lightly pressed.

      Chill in the refrigerator until completely cooled. Arrange orange slices around the border of the cake and place raspberries in the middle. Top with mint leaves. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Planning a Joyful Summer Escape

      7 May 2021

      (Family Features) Nearly everyone needs something to look forward to again, and few things can bring more joy than planning the perfect getaway. Many travelers have different ideas in mind when it comes to planning or dreaming about a summer vacation. Some are enchanted by spending time at a beach, others prefer to take in a rich arts or history scene and there are also those who prefer to stay closer to home.

      According to polling conducted by Michelle Gielan, founder of the Institute for Applied Positive Research and an expert in the science of happiness, 97% of respondents said having a trip planned makes them happier and 96% agreed getting to travel and feeling safe while doing it would bring peace of mind.

      While there are seemingly countless resources available for assisting with travel plans, booking directly can provide valuable benefits. For example, when the time is right for you to start planning, booking on offers travelers flexibility with more than 7,600 properties, and Marriott Bonvoy members have access to special member rates and best-rate guarantees, free Wi-Fi, mobile check-in and checkout, the ability to chat with hotel staff and mobile keys at many hotels. Members also earn points which can be redeemed for free nights.

      Consider these domestic destinations when you’re ready to start planning for summer travel:

      Nashville, Tennessee
      An option like the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center is perfect for your summer adventure. Situated in the heart of Nashville, you can enjoy award-winning barbecue and line dance lessons at the Wildhorse Saloon or set sail for a lunch and dinner cruise aboard the General Jackson Showboat then return to a lineup of amenities that includes a 4-acre upscale waterpark, indoor gardens and waterfalls, a full-service spa, more than 750,000 square feet of meeting space and restaurants ranging from steak and Mexican to Italian and Japanese, plus frozen yogurt and gelato for dessert.

      Orlando, Florida
      Located adjacent to the Disney World Resort theme parks and Disney Springs in Orlando, the JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa brings modern luxury to Central Florida. The hotel offers inviting social spaces and amenities with two sparkling pools, including one with a splash pad, specialty restaurants and a rooftop terrace with nightly views of the Disney fireworks display. 

      Washington, D.C.
      From downtown shopping at City Center, dining and nightlife to nearby attractions such as Mt. Vernon Square and the National Mall, an option like the Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C., is a perfect place to relax and recharge after exploring the nation’s capital. Spanning nearly a city block, it features vibrant rooms and suites with modern features and amenities, including club-level rooms, restaurants and bars, and a bi-level fitness center.

      Seattle, Washington
      With a vibrant live music scene, state-of-the-art fitness center and award-winning seasonal fare on-site, a luxury getaway like W Seattle can be your hub for exploring attractions just moments from the hotel, such as Pike Place Market, the Seattle Art Museum and plenty of outdoor parks and recreation.  

      San Francisco, California
      Surrounded by museums and tech titans, The Clancy, Autograph Collection is a destination for new discoveries near Union Square, where San Francisco’s beautiful views meet adventurous intellect. With easy access to attractions and culinary delights, the hotel is a welcoming beacon to visitors.

      Maui, Hawaii
      Discover timeless island luxury at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this five-star resort complements Maui’s natural splendor with modern amenities such as contemporary rooms and suites, two championship golf courses, six distinctive restaurants and spa treatments steeped in Hawaiian culture, as well as access to nearby beaches and amenities within the 22,000-acre Kapalua Resort.

      Explore these travel destinations and more, and find exclusive member-only rates, at

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Intuitive Eating Tips to Say No to Dieting This Year

      6 May 2021

      With a new year comes new goals. It is also the time of year that gyms, fad diet programs and magic weight-loss elixirs come out to advertise. If you are hoping to say yes to health this year and still say no to dieting, intuitive eating may be the route for you. Explore nutritious and delicious eating with these eating tips. 

      Understanding the Basics
      The term intuitive eating was coined by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, two dietitians in their 1995 book on the topic. They define intuitive eating as a weight-inclusive self-care eating framework with 10 main principles. These principles encourage former dieters to reject the idea that a diet will work and instead honor natural hunger and fullness cues. 

      Practice Non-Restrictive and Mindful Eating
      Eating while on the go, reading a book or watching television may seem like a way to get more out of your day, but intuitive eating requires being mindful of your food and fullness. Instead, promote health by setting aside time to eat and be fully engaged in the process. This can help you slow down and allow for easier detection of fullness. Similarly, non-restrictive eating and avoiding labels of “good” vs. “bad” food prevents feelings of scarcity and once again allows you to fully attune to hunger cues.

      Exercise and Practice Gentle Nutrition
      Intuitive eating extends beyond simple dietary intake and encourages a holistic approach to health. Practice gentle nutrition by remembering that one meal or snack isn’t going to make-or-break your health, it is the long-term that matters most. Adding in appetizing fruits and vegetables to your regular dishes is an easy and gentle way to start.

      In conjunction with your nutritious intake, exercising can benefit your health long-term. However, intuitive eaters don’t believe in militant workout programs. Instead, encourage yourself to find exercise that you enjoy and that leaves you feeling energized, strong and lively. This year, take time to find what your body needs and gently steer yourself toward nutrition and movement for the long run.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Should You Install Recessed Lighting in Your Home?

      6 May 2021

      Recessed lights are installed in holes in the ceiling, unlike traditional light fixtures that are mounted on the ceiling and hang down. Recessed lights can use either incandescent or LED light bulbs. Lights that are powered by LED bulbs may cost more upfront, but they can save money in the long run. A recessed light fixture can be adjusted to illuminate a specific area. Recessed lights generally require little maintenance and can last for many years. 

      Where is Recessed Lighting a Good Choice?
      Since recessed lights are installed in holes in the ceiling, you may want to consider this option in an area with a low ceiling, such as a basement or attic, or a place where a hanging light fixture would be impractical or could make the space feel small. For example, you don’t want a light fixture hanging down in the shower, where it could get wet or you could bump your head on it, so a recessed light would make more sense. In a hallway, a hanging light fixture could make the space feel even narrower. One or more recessed lights would work better.

      Recessed lighting is also a smart choice for places where you need concentrated light. If you have artwork that you would like to draw people’s attention to, you can position recessed lights to shine directly on it. In the kitchen, recessed lighting can give you plenty of illumination in areas where you cook, and you won’t have to worry about bumping your head on a light fixture. You may also want to consider recessed lighting for areas where you work or read. 

      What are the Drawbacks of Recessed Lighting?
      A recessed light can only illuminate a relatively small area. That can leave other parts of a room in shadows and can give the space a cave-like feeling, unless you install several recessed lights. That can get expensive.

      Installing recessed lighting may make your home less energy efficient. Cutting holes in the ceiling to install lights can make those areas susceptible to air leakage if contractors don’t seal the openings correctly. If air can leak through holes in the ceiling, that can result in high heating and cooling bills.

      Recessed lights that use incandescent bulbs can generate a lot of heat. In the summer, that can heat up a room and force the air conditioner to work harder to keep it cool, which can lead to high energy bills.

      Is Recessed Lighting Right for Your Home?
      Recessed lighting can be both practical and stylish, but it’s not appropriate for all areas. If you’re not sure if you should install recessed lights, consider the design of the space and how you use it. You may want to seek advice from an interior designer or contractor.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.