Blue Ridge Properties

It's A Breeze

A ceiling fan is an energy-efficient way to cool your home (and reversible fans will also help circulate heat in the winter).* There are many types, sizes and styles of ceiling fans available, but when shopping keep these tips in mind: See More »

What not to do as a New Homeowner

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Home Maintenance Basics - Spring

When spring comes, you want to get ready to relax in the summer by doing the following things: See More »

5 Low Cost Kitchen Redos Buyers Will Love

5 Low Cost Kitchen Redos Buyers Will Love
Kitchen remodeling sales were up 36 percent in the third quarter of 2011 compared with the same time a year earlier, according to the National Kitchen & Bath Association. It's no wonder. The kitchen is the focal point in many homes. And it's one of the features buyers compare most closely when they're shopping for a home. Here are cost estimates for some of the low cost kitchen upgrades that listing agents often recommend to sellers.
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A Pain Free Lawn

You can't put it off any longer - it's time to mow the lawn. Just be sure to be safe. Every year, around 75,000 people in the United States are injured in lawn mower accidents, and about 10,000 of those accidents involve children. You can avoid serious injury if you take some basic precautions like: See More »

Garage Organization Ideas Under $50

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What's Hot and What's Not

It wasn't that long ago when avocado-hued kitchen appliances were all the rage; shortly following, you could find a Papasan chair in practically every room in the country. Thankfully, these trends have come and gone. What's hot today may be a "I can't believe we did that" memory tomorrow.
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Stylish Pet-Friendly Decor

Simply because you are a pet owner doesn't mean you have to let your home decor go to the dogs! You can have a beautiful, stylish home that is also comfortable and animal friendly. Keep these tips in mind: See More »


Old Use: Used to alleviate minor aches and pains and to reduce fever and swelling. Low doses of aspirin help in the prevention of strokes and heart attacks. See More »

Five Foods that Fight Cholesterol

There's no magic formula that can keep you healthy as you age, but according to the Mayo Clinic the following foods can help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL). See More »

A Cozy Place for Guest

If you enjoy entertaining, but are limited on space you may be concerned about the comfort of your guests. See More »

Stocking A Linen Closet

The old-fashioned concept of a linen closet is again in vogue. See More »

Beautify your Bookshelves

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Fast Fact

Ceiling fans can also circulate heat. Blades rotating clockwise push warm air down. See More »

Spacious Built-ins

Built-in bookshelves help feed another common buyer craving: the desire for extra storage. Don't let sellers clutter shelves. Stagers Heather Cook and Alana Merritt of Rooms in Bloom offer tips for staging bookshelves and wall units. See More »

Green Ways to Stay Cool

When the summer sun makes you feel like all you want to do is stay indoors with the A/C on high, energy bills can quickly increase. Here are some ideas to help you keep your cool and use less energy: See More »

Banish Back Pain

Sleeping on the wrong mattress can cause or worsen back pain; insufficient support can lead to bad posture, muscle strain and spine misalignment. See More »

Emerging Kitchen and Bath Design Trends by Stephani L. Miller

When attempting to predict future trends, looking to the recent past often can yield clear signs of what is to come. This holds true even for something as fluid as homeowner style preferences. So when the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) wanted to learn the direction of kitchen and bath styles in 2011, it analyzed the specifications f 100 NKBA members in the last three months of 2010 and compared the report with the previous year's findings. According to kitchen and bath designers, the industry is in for some stylistic shifts during 2011. Here are 11 emerging trends NKBA designers noted at the end of 2010 that are likely to develop further in 2011. See More »

Cutting Edge Color

Cutting Edge Color
Tangerine Tango, a bright, burnt orange hue, was named 2012 Color of the year by Pantone Color Institute. Here are three ways to incorporate this color, reminiscent of a sunset, in a home.
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Styled, Staged, & Sold!

Banish the clutter! Trim the bushes! Hide your Star Wars collection! Take down the family pictures! What things can you do to prepare a house for sale? Here are tips, hints, thoughts and ideas for sprucing up, cleaning out, decorating, staging, creating a great first impression and making a house appealing to buyers. See More »

Top 5 Things You Should Know To Help Sell Your Home Fast

While many markets around the country continue to experience challenges as the market makes it's slow turnaround, here are the 5 top things to sell your home faster. See More »

Americans Give Back

The top four national volunteer activities are fundraising or selling items to raise money (26.2 percent), food collection or distribution (23.6 percent), general labor or transportation (20.3 percent), and tutoring or teaching (18.2 percent). See More »

Looking for the Best Mortgage

Shopping around for a home loan or mortgage will help you to get the best financing deal. A mortgage--whether it's a home purchase, a refinancing, or a home equity loan--is a product, just like a car, so the price and terms may be negotiable. You'll want to compare all the costs involved in obtaining a mortgage. Shopping, comparing, and negotiating may save you thousands of dollars. See More »

Choosing the Right Office Chair

Choosing the wrong office chair can literally be a pain in the neck. Working in an office often involves sitting for a good deal of the time which can put stress on your spine and lead to back pain, fatigue, varicose veins, stress, and even digestive problems.
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On The Fence

Love sitting in your big backyard, but don't like sharing your view with the neighborhood? Installing a fence can provide privacy and visual appeal. See More »

What Not to do as a New Homeowner

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Fast Fact

Appliances and electronics account for 30 percent of a household's energy consumption. See More »

Double Duty

Coffee Filters
OLD USE: These sturdy paper cones allow your favorite morning brew to flow through while blocking coffee grounds.
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Step by Stepping Stones

Stepping stones are a decorative way to provide walking paths through your garden and prevent dirt, mulch and other debris from being tracked into your home. Plus, you can easily make your own stepping stones. Here are some tips for creating custom stepping stones: See More »

Safe and Sound

The well being of our family is priority all year, but is especially considered during the holidays when statistics about accidents abound. See More »

Graduate with Less Debt

According to statistics from the U. S. Department of Education, the amount of federal student loans in the 2008-2009 academic year grew about 25 percent, to $75 billion. While there is no substitute for a quality education, but with spiraling college costs, many graduates find themselves heavily in debt. Here are some ways to lesson college expenses:
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Playing House

Moving or renovating your home can be stressful, and it's easy to get caught up in the details. But don't overlook your kids, who may be feeling stressed about the pending move. See More »

How to Organize your Refrigerator

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From Fatigued to Fabulous

With hectic schedules, many people suffer from fatigue, but there are lots of little tricks that can help pump up your energy levels. See More »

4 Quick Tips for Prepping a Home for Sale

Real estate pro and stager Barb Schwarz, founder of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals, recommends some of the following general staging tips in prepping homes for sale. See More »

Not Knowing the depth of Attic Insulation

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Top 10 Home Improvement Myths

Top 10 Home Improvement Myths

Not all home improvements are created equal. Even in a seller's market, it's important that homeowners make the right investments that will yield higher returns. As you go toward a profitable sale, make sure you're an expert on the top 10 home improvement myths. See More »

Your Dream Dining Room

The dining room has undergone a lot of changes in recent years. It is no longer reserved just for dining or used only when company is expected for dinner. See More »

Home Maintenance Basics - Annually

It doesn't matter what time of the year these tasks get done, as long as you do them once and year.
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The Case Against Idling

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Flowers and Allergies

Flowers can brighten a room and bring a smile to your face - unless you suffer from allergies. But even if you do have allergies you may be able to enjoy the beauty of fragrant blooms without itchy, watery eyes, sneezing and other symptoms. See More »

A Yummy Cure for Hiccups

A Yummy Cure for Hiccups
When you've had a case of the hiccups, you know how frustrating it can be to get rid of them. If holding your breath, drinking a large glass of water and other folk cures haven't helped, try this tasty remedy.
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Money Talks

Working through financial jargon with a mortgage lender can be confusing, but you can make the process easier if you clarify queries up front. Real Estate ABC and offer a few tips for talking to your lender and finding what home loan fits you best. See More »

What not to do as a New Homeowner

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Cutting down a Tree

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Pet Owners

If you are a pet owner, no matter how valiant your housekeeping efforts, sometimes pet odors can affect your home. See More »

Centenarians Top 10 Tips for Healthy Aging

Centenarians Top 10 Tips for Healthy Aging
In a recent poll for Evercare, a health care coordination program for the elderly, the following are the key points for living to 100 and beyond:
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A Lesson In Ladder Safety

Whether you're cleaning windows, applying a fresh coat of paint, removing leaves and other debris from your gutters or hanging decorations, it's wise to use caution when working on a ladder. See More »

Kitchen Cosmetics

Could your kitchen use a facelift? According to Remodeling magazine's latest Cost vs. Value Report, the average minor kitchen remodel costs $21,695. And considering the amount of time people spend in their kitchens, it could be well worth the investment. Homeowners typically recoup about 73 percent of the cost, according to the report. See More »

Top Dogs

Big or small, calm or energetic - dogs come in many shapes, sizes and temperaments. If you are considering adding a canine companion to your life, it's important to consider these traits before selecting a breed; some breeds will be more suited to your home, lifestyle and personality than others. See More »

Roomy Kitchen Countertops

Stage a kitchen so that it shows off counter space. Stager Anthea Click of Fresh Perspectives in Nashville offers three tips for countertops. See More »

Home Maintenance Basics - Fall

As the fall season approaches and the temperature drops, take care of the following things:
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Latest Trends in Curb Appeal

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Room for Improvement

If you're getting ready to sell your house, you may not have extra cash to spend on home improvements. But some basic improvement can be inexpensive, and the results are worth it. See More »

Save on Your Move

Moving can strain both your muscles and your budget, but think twice before deciding to handle the entire move on your own. Licensed movers are required to carry insurance which can lesson any risk involved in your move. That peace of mind may be well worth the cost. See More »

Carelessly Drilling into Walls

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Suggestions for Measuring Square Footage of Homes

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) offers these suggestions for measuring square footage. See More »

Should I Buy or Rent?

Is it better to Buy or Rent? Whether renting is better than buying depends on many factors. The information listed here will assist you in helping answer this question. Included are statistics and studies on homeowners and renters as well as financing options and tips. See More »

School Boundaries

Three out of five homebuyers say school boundaries are a major factor in their home buying decision, and many of them are willing to pay above their budget to have access to a good school, according to survey by See More »

Home Decor is Looking Up

What is spacious, flat and takes up a large portion of any room, yet is often overlooked?
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Big - Bang Remodeling Projects

Big-Bang Remodeling Projects
Optimizing the use of space in a home will not only attract buyers but also give sellers more bang for their buck, according to Remodeling's "2011-12 Cost vs. Value Report", conducted in cooperation with REALTOR Magazine and NAR's See More »

Double Duty

Tennis Ball
OLD USE: Used to play a competitive racquet game. See More »

Kitchen Slim Down

For many Americans, maintaining a healthy weight takes work; sometimes a lot of work. There are many reasons for this - not enough time to exercise, eating on the go, etc... But there may be a hidden reason for unwanted weight gain - your kitchen. See More »

The Truth About Property Taxes

Even as home values have fallen in many areas of the country, property taxes are on the rise. According to the National Taxpayers Union, a nonprofit group that promotes lower taxes, as many as 60 percent of properties are over-assessed. Could you be paying too much? See More »

Fixed-Rate Mortgages Preferred

Fixed-rate loans accounted for more than 95 percent of all refinance loans in the fourth quarter, regardless of whether the original loan was an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) or a fixed-rate, according to a report by Freddie Mac. See More »

Kids' Rooms: Storage Solutions for Every Age

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Center Stage

Want to step up your staging efforts? Consider these tried-and-true strategies. See More »

Cash is Still King.

This may be a buyer's market, but not all buyers are on equal footing in the homebuying process. Cash is still king, and those who have it are taking full advantage of the comparatively speedy and reliable closings they offer sellers. See More »