Real Estate Addict

Top Five Things to Put on Your Home’s Walls

Top Five Things to Put on Your Home’s Walls

Every interior design depends pretty much on what you decide to put on your home’s walls as decoration. Even the biggest effort to create a lovely home may prove useless if the walls are poorly decorated. Your home could become much more attractive by just […]

The Eco-Friendly Edge

The Eco-Friendly Edge

Eco-friendly properties can edge out the competition, but it may take an experienced home builder to effectively promote the benefits. Focus points can be general philosophical concepts or very specific economic perks. Here are a few concepts to explore with prospective tenants: Love for the […]

Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

pay off your Mortgage fastThe Bank of America has recently reported that home owners are paying off mortgages at a quicker rate than ever before – there are lots of tips on how to reduce your mortgage and own your own home outright, here are just a few suggestions on how to attain mortgage free living.

Repayment VS interest only

If you’re in a position where you have a secure income and have benefited from the reduced interest rate, it important to ensure you’re paying off the balance on your mortgage.

Taking the interest only option reduces monthly overheads but significantly reduces the rate at which you repay your debt.

Resize and reduce

Some may find that they have bitten off more than they can chew with their mortgage, whilst family circumstances may have changed for others, meaning that they have more space than they actually need.

Assess your own situation and establish if and where there might be some slack – if the circumstances are right, downsizing may be the most effective solution to radically reducing the overall mortgage debt.

Mortgage payments V’s savings accounts

Whilst the Bank of England interest rate cuts have benefited homeowners with Standard variable rate, they have hit savers hard.

Do your research with regard to what options are available on IRAs, high interest savings accounts and bonds and compare with a flexible mortgage option, with regard to over-payments and annual lump sum payments.

Earn an income from your home

Make your home pay it’s way by maximizing on it’s returns as an asset – investigate getting a lodger, renting it out at a premium rate as a holiday home or weekend bolt hole, or even relocate to a beach shack on the other side of the world for a year and rent your home long term – rental property is extremely lucrative in the current market.

Property Tax Reduction

Did you know you can often times get your property taxes reduced? Property tax reduction often just involves going to your local tax office and asking what can be reduced.

Often times you can get deductions just for being a resident of a state, or proving some “green” upgrades to your house or even just by switching your lights to LED ones.

Budget and save

Take a good, long, hard look at your outgoings aside from the monthly mortgage payments – making savings on utility and shopping bills, mobile phone, broadband, credit card and insurance payments can help you increase monthly mortgage payments.

Savings are available on most products, but consumers need to shop around for best deals, which is relatively easy with comparison websites.

Facts About Renters Insurance

Facts About Renters Insurance

If you have an apartment you should also consider purchasing renter insurance. What does it cover? Tenant insurance covers a number of incidents and to protect you in case of sudden loss of your valuables. Let’s take a look at the benefits derived from purchasing […]

Review: Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70 AZ Refractor Telescope

Review: Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70 AZ Refractor Telescope

Here’s something a little different. One thing I love in my house, or more correctly, on my back patio is a nice telescope. It’s a great conversation starter, looks super classy and beautiful and it tells people you have half a brain and are interested […]

Jimbo & the Dual Flush Retrofit Kit

Jimbo & the Dual Flush Retrofit Kit

bathroom with toilet retro fit kitLeigh Curry of contacted Dreamline Colonizer about testing out the Dual Flush Retrofit Kit. Basically the kit is installed in the tank of an existing single flush toilet and turns it into – as the name states – a dual flush model. Personally I have plenty of experience with dual flush toilets, as I have a number of them installed in my home.

However, I still have a few regular 1.6 gpf toilets (the standard in California) in my older units, so I was eager to give the device a try.

Leigh assured me that it was a do-it-yourself type of job, but after opening the package and realistically assessing my handyman skills, I called my plumber.

Jimbo loves me. I’ve put his kids through college. His reaction to my request was, “Why are you always the first one to try new things?” Heartwarming.

Installation of the Dual Flush Retrofit Kit does require that you remove the toilet tank. Novices should be warned that the process can be tricky. Because the nuts and bolts can become rusted together, you “risk cracking the porcelain”, as my plumber put it. Fortunately, no Sawzall* was required and Jimbo was able to remove the tank quickly and easily.

As Jimbo pulled out Dual Flush Retrofit Kit parts and grumbled about hating to read directions, he remarked that, “Whoever made this really thought this out”. The installation wasn’t particularly difficult and an experienced maintenance man could, with practice, probably install it in thirty minutes.

Jimbo spent a fair amount of time bolting the tank to the bowl because the bolts are very long and the gaskets are squishier than he’s used to, but he did note that the Dual Flush Retrofit Kit was “over-designed” to insure against leaks.

The level of water in the tank can be adjusted and Jimbo and I spent a fair amount of time peering into the tank after every test flush to make sure we had the right amount of water flowing with each flush.

I’m happy to report the Dual Flush Retrofit Kit works well and I am now flapper free! Since most toilet flappers develop leaks at some point over their brief lifetimes, I feel pretty lucky to have dispensed with that worry. In terms of the installation or subsequent use, there were no glitches and I am looking forward to lower water bills for many years to come.

Thank you to Leigh of for providing a test model. Jimbo was curious about what the kit cost and when I told him $20-30, plus shipping and handling, he said, “It’s a pretty good product for the price.”

Of course, that’s assuming you don’t crack your toilet tank during installation! Test your bolts, if they seem to be stuck in place by mineral deposits or rust, then the Dual Flush Retrofit Kit may not be for you. If you find yourself with rusty bolts and have an older toilet that uses more than 1.6gpf, your best bet is to upgrade to a new high efficiency toilet and there may be rebates available.

On the other hand, if your toilets are in fairly good shape then consider saving yourself some water, money and worry about flappers — remember 1 in 10 flappers are leaking as we speak. Are you flushing money down the drain?

* Sawzall: (1) A reciprocating saw often used by do-it-yourselfers.

Growing Your Own Heirloom Vegetables

Growing Your Own Heirloom Vegetables

Growing heirloom vegetables should be part of every homesteader’s gardening plan. In some cases, these old-fashioned specialties have been almost lost to the world, simply because most people end up growing today’s more common hybrid varieties. When you grow heirloom vegetables, you’ll have a much […]

Suffering from Allergies? Replace Your Carpet with Vinyl Flooring

Suffering from Allergies? Replace Your Carpet with Vinyl Flooring

Spending the summer months sniffing and sneezing as a result of hay fever can be irritating at the very least; as can spending the winter months in pretty much the same condition due to having a cold. Unfortunately the latter cannot be helped by the […]

Bedroom Design Motifs with Japanese Influence

Bedroom Design Motifs with Japanese Influence

Japan Influence

Japanese bedrooms are traditionally designed with a sense of simplicity and tranquility. Minimalism is the preferred overall look in the bedroom, with an emphasis on functionality and a sense of calm. Because of the overall tranquility of the design, the overall effect is one of seclusion from the rest of the world, promoting a restful and serene environment.

Natural Materials
When decorating a bedroom in a Japanese style, there should be a focus on natural materials.

Wood is a common material used in Japanese bedrooms, as is stone.

Artificial light is minimized, with a preference towards letting natural light into the room as the primary source of illumination.

Windows are generally large and are usually left open so as to let in as much natural light as possible. Although there is usually a need in modern bedrooms for standard electrical light fixtures, lighting is generally designed to blend into the decorating scheme unobtrusively so that it is barely noticed. The Best property management company in Houston recommends that you don’t make changes that are permanent or can decrease the value of your home due to limiting your customer base.

This effect can be achieved in a number of different ways, including positioning the light behind a translucent screen, or using recessed light fixtures.

By focusing on the natural light or unobtrusive artificial light, the overall serenity and restful effect of the Japanese bedroom is emphasized.

Reflection of Nature

Colors for a Japanese bedroom tend to reflect nature, and usually included colors which are restful and relaxing, including muted shades of Japan Woodgrays, blues and greens. These colors tend to promote restfulness and can help to achieve the illusion of being able to escape from the outside world, if only for the evening.

Simple Designs, Clean Lines

Furniture in a Japanese bedroom generally tends to be rather simple in design, with an emphasis on clean lines as opposed to ornate details and carvings. Furniture pieces give the impression of being solid and grounded, and in fact generally sit lower to the ground than typical Western furniture.

The solid nature of these furniture pieces as well as the overall lowness and emphasis on the horizontal plane is very characteristic of Japanese furniture as a whole. Low platform beds are very common in Japanese bedroom designs, with the bed usually placed in the center of the room, often facing an open window.

There are generally very few pieces of furniture in the bedroom besides the bed itself. Most often, the only other items of furniture include a dresser, wardrobe closet, and a nightstand beside the bed. Occasionally a stackable chest known as a “tansu” is also used in Japanese bedrooms, in order to provide additional storage.

Most often the furniture pieces match as far as the type and color of wood, creating visual harmony within the room.

Minimal Decor

Decorating effects in a Japanese bedroom tend to be very sparse, again with an emphasis on simple lines with a focus on nature and inner reflection. Clutter and knick-knacks are rare in Japanese design, since these types of items are generally thought to detract from the restful nature of a bedroom. Decorations are usually confined to perhaps a plant, a scenic painting or print framed on the wall, perhaps of a water scene, and a folding screen room divider.

Walls are usually painted a light neutral color, such as cream, off-white or pale yellow.

Applying Feng Shui Principles to a Child’s Bedroom

Applying Feng Shui Principles to a Child’s Bedroom

Adults are not the only ones who can benefit from feng shui principles. Children can also benefit from having better organization and energy flow in their lives. By teaching a child early about the harmonious benefits that feng shui can bring to a person’s life, […]


Adding Color to the Entryway

Adding Color to the Entryway


The entryway is one of the most important parts of a home. It is the first thing guests will see when visiting and the first thing you will see after a long, hard day at work: In short, it is the first thing that offers an overall impression of your home.

The entryway should be decorated in a way to impress your guests and help you to anticipate a relaxing evening after arriving home from work.

Adding color to the entryway is an easy way to bring a greater sense of style to the entryway.

Clean the Area

In order to add a great color to the entryway of your home the first thing you need to accomplish is cleaning the area deeply.

Wash all doors, walls, and windows with a deep cleaning solution that also smells fresh.

Be sure to clean all carpets with a carpet cleaner after vacuuming as well, so as to be certain the carpet is thoroughly cleared of dirt and debris.

Paint the Walls

Paint WallThe walls of the entryway should first be examined for any holes, dings, or dents that would take away from the smooth finish of the fresh paint.

If needed, fill any holes with wall spackling available at any local hardware stores using a putty knife and allow thorough drying time.

Once the spackling is completely dry, sand it down so that it creates a smooth surface. The next step is to paint the area with a primer to prevent any stains or marks showing through the new paint color.

Once the primer is dry, the new paint can be applied. If the entryway is separated from the rest of the home with doors, try using different colors and patterns in this area than the rest of the house.

The door itself can be painted to become the focal point by using colors that compliment the exterior of the home.

Entryway Furniture

Entryway furniture tends to lend itself to storing your guest’s items while they are in your home.

Items such as a console table with drawers would enable you to place your guest’s coats, hats, or scarves inside the drawer so as to reduce the clutter in the seating area in the home.

An antique dresser can also provide both beauty and functionality much like a console table. The entryway should also be well lit so that it feels cheerful and welcoming.

Accessorize with Color

Decorating the entryway with artwork or photographs is an easy way to bring color into the area without causing too much clutter.

Family portraits framed in decorative frames matted in complimenting colors can create a beautiful centerpiece on any wall.

Mirrors placed on opposite sides of the room can also create the feel of a larger area as well, simply hang two mirrors facing each other and the result will make the room feel larger.

Placing slender lamps on either end of the console table or antique dresser will give the room more light than just a ceiling light fixture can offer.