Home Ideas

Check Out The New Backyard Trend Sweeping the South!

Need a cost efficient yet stylish way to beat the heat this summer? More and more homeowners are catching on to this new innovative solution. While it is much more than just filling a tub with water, it is pretty simple. Tractor Supply gives an easy-to-follow Stock Tank Pool DIY guideline!

  • Job one is obviously selecting the site for your stock tank pool. You’ll need to prepare the area by creating a solid, level base. You could use compacted sand, or even crushed granite. But, it’s very important to ensure that it’s a smooth surface, free of any rocks or sharp edges. The same is true whether you plan to use the stock tank...

The Real Deal About Home Cleaning

Hate cleaning your house? No one could blame you: There’s precious little fun in scrubbing toilets. Or wiping down grime-streaked windows to the point where your elbows are sore for weeks. And you probably cringe when you think about your living room’s floor-to-ceiling built-in shelves, whose upper levels haven’t seen a dust rag since Tony Soprano faded abruptly to black.

Enter the humble housecleaner—here to save you from yourself! You can hand over your most hated tasks and wash your hands of cleaning.

But if you’re hiring a housecleaner to do the hard work, don’t make the job even harder. Following these insider tips from cleaning experts will not only help ensure your status as a decent human being, they can also help you save some cash.


Say Hello to 2017's Color of the Year: Greenery

Lee_Eisemann Pantone Color of the Year 2017 GREENERY

Pantone's Color of the Year for 2017 symbolizes new beginnings. Welcome the coolest color of the year (in more ways than one!): a refreshing and revitalizing shade-- Greenery.

The zesty yellow-green and fresh shade reminds you of the first days of spring. This year's top color is all about nature's colors that "revive, restore, and renew." Seeing Greenery reminds you of spring foliage and the colorful masterpiece of the great outdoors, making you want nothing else but breath in the freshness to invigorate your exhausted selves.

As a nature neutral, Greenery is appealing to everyone who wants to connect with the natural...

Post-Holiday Cleanup Tips: How to Recycle Your Christmas Trees

It's sad that the holidays are over, but what makes them special is that we can always look forward to their arrival every year. So, don't cling on to your holiday decor and start the cleanup! If you have no idea how to dispose of your real Christmas trees, the city of Austin might just have a solution for you.

Austin residents who receive recycling pickup services can simply set them on the curb for coordinated disposal. Trees that are over 6-ft tall need to be cut in half and set on the curb by 6:30 a.m.

Residents who are not curbside customers, on the other hand, can drop off their trees at the Zilker Park Polo Fields, 2100 Barton Springs Road, Austin from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the following dates:

  • December 31
  • January 7
  • January 8

The collected trees and yard trimmings will be composted in an effort to keep out over 20,000 trees from entering landfills annually.

However, if you would like to dispose of your Christmas trees...

It's Christmas! Time to Spruce Ye Ole' Christmas Tree for Your Home

Christmas is still 24 days away, but it's usual for us to think that the holiday season is just around the corner as soon as we flip the pages on our calendars for the month of December. 

And of course, what's Christmas without the perfect tree for your home? This centerpiece of Christmas ornamentation is the key ingredient to make any home feel like Christmas has finally arrived, so Cain Realty Group brings you a list of the best tree farms in and around Austin where you can get the perfect tree to give your yuletide cheer a boost. Here they are:

1. Austin Optimist Club - The Austin Optimist Club has been in business for the past fifty years, with all their profits going straight to youth charities in Austin. This...

Why Smart Homes are Safe (and Easy to Sell)

Recent technological upgrades have given homeowners access to the coolest innovations that improve home safety. And because of this, home buyers tend to prefer looking at homes with smart security features installed. Here are the most common smart home safety features you should have installed before selling in order to attract a lot of buyers:
  • Smart door locks and keyless entry systems- provides secure and exclusive access only to authorized personnel and property owners. Access to the property is controlled, even if the home owner is not in the premises. Some products also have a recording feature to monitor traffic at home. 
  • Video doorbells- entry systems that allow homeowners to remotely converse with whoever is at the other side of the door without actually having to be in the premises. Video is streamed to...

Botched Home DIY Projects that Can Affect Your Home Value

Are you an avid DIYer? There is nothing wrong with working on basic home projects-- as long as your hard work will not compromise your safety and home value. Here are the most common DIY project fails listed by Realtor.com that can hurt your home worth, especially when home inspectors are coming over while you are in the process of selling your home:

Unstable Decks- poorly attached railings and irregularly sized posts can lead to unstable decks. If your deck is moving, then there's something wrong. Adeck should be sturdy enough to support your weight without wobbling AND it should not be too reliant on your home for support. Fasteners need to be correctly installed and maintained, as they cause this problem in the long run. 


Ventilation Tweaks to Keep Your Home Cool This Summer

Summer is just around the corner! And knowing how hot things in Austin can be, can you regard yourself and your home as ready for the heat wave?

While most homes in Austin are equipped with central air conditioning, the summer months will not be lenient-- your summer wear and your budget for utility bills will surely be stretched to the limit. Here are some ventilation tweaks that can help you keep your cool (literally and figuratively!) without running the A/C 24/7:

Strategize with Open Windows

It's really tempting to open all windows of the house during the summer, but there is a more effective way to cool your house down without enticing a burglar (or a cheeky squirrel!). Always remember that hot air goes up, so open windows on the shady side of the house at the ground floor to suction cool air in, and open windows on the hot side of the house at the upper floors to pump out all the hot air that way. By doing this, you are creating a natural wind tunnel...

The Ideal Home for Young Families

In a study published by the National Association of Realtors®, it was found that the millennials comprised of 35% of the home buying population in 2015. That’s more than the combined number of younger and older buyer groups active in the housing market. And what makes it more interesting is that millennials have shown remarkable participation and dominance in the housing market for the past three years.

While this data may initially appear insignificant to a home seller, taking advantage of this data may actually help you sell your home faster. Since most millennials are married and/or preparing to build a family, their search for an affordable home that can accommodate a growing household makes suburban homes an option over expensive and cramped urban dwellings.

If you would like to capture the heart of young family buyers to...

What the Color of Your Front Door Says about You and Your Home

Did you know that your front door is the focal point of your home's exterior, affecting the way your potential buyers perceive your humble abode?

Debbie Zimmer, color expert at the Paint Quality Institute, explains that the front door, as a central piece to your house's interior design, has the ability to send a message to people looking at your facade. 

Of course, as a home seller, you'd want your front door to send the right kind of message-- one that would beckon them to enter and fall in love with the property instead of giving out a wrong impression and cause buyers to quickly turn and run off.

Color psychologists have deduced the meanings and impressions caused by each color when used on a front door, so here are the colors you might want to consider for your front door if you want to send the right message and close a deal:


Simple Fixes to Pet Damage in Your Home

Our furry friends truly add value to our lives, but it doesn’t mean that their presence in our house adds value to it, too. While we love having our beloved pets around, it may be wise to pay attention to pet damage in our home as this may affect how a potential buyer may view the house in the future. While it is impossible to keep a house with pets immaculate, RISMedia recommends paying attention to the following most common pet-related home problems that may help keep the visible damage (and potential turn-off) for buyers at a minimum:

Carpet stains. The best solution to keeping your carpets in pristine condition is to schedule regular professional cleaning. However, “accidents” may happen and you should be prepared to apply emergency countermeasures to lessen the staining. Always wipe up the mess IMMEDIATELY; use a paper towel to clean up, and follow...

The Top Outdoor Design Element for 2016

A survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects among U.S. based architects and building professionals shows that a new coveted amenity by home shoppers is an outdoor fire pit or fireplace. As a result, fire pits and fireplaces have been hailed as the outdoor design element for 2016.

Belgard, an outdoor living product company, explained that the living room fireplace was once the favored gathering spot for family and guests. Roasting marshmallows over a campground fire, on the other hand, was only a part of an annual family vacation.  Nowadays, modern outdoor living is the new “in”, allowing homeowners to “combine these traditions into one with outdoor fireplaces and fire pits.”

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association says that they’ve seen an increase in popularity of fire pits and fireplaces outdoors, as homeowners now prefer to entertain family and guests right at the comfort of home.

Kate Campbell of HGTV’s...

Are you Qualified for an Energy Efficiency Tax Credit?

This is the season when most homeowners are working on their taxes. Don’t we just love it when we get to use tax credits to lighten the load? Homeselfe, a home energy assessment app and web service for homeowners, brings us good news about tax credits we, as homeowners, may make use of. The catch? All you have to do is to list all the energy efficiency upgrades you did to your home in the past tax year.

“Not taking advantage of that [energy-related tax credits] is throwing away your hard-earned cash. We want to empower families to receive the maximum refund allowed on their tax returns by providing them insight into the energy credits that are available.”

- Ameeta Jain, co-founder of Homeselfe

Ameeta Jain, co-founder and spokesperson of Homeselfe, explains that upgrading your home to become more energy efficient not only lets you save on your monthly...

Working on Home Improvement to Sell Your Home? Avoid these 5 Colors

Everyone loves a splash of color. Homeowners who are renovating their properties in the hopes of selling them should be aware of this fact. After all, what the eye perceives usually dictates on what a prospective buyer feels about the home. But not all colors are good for home decorating. This was proven by a recent survey conducted by Better Homes and Gardens.

Four-hundred (400) respondents were asked to take a quick survey to let the researcher know which colors homeowners are most and least likely to use in home decorating. The results of the survey are quite interesting; while there is a minor variation in the color choices for “least color to use in the home”, three colors stood out to be definite no-no’s:

Orange- "Too Loud"

Red- "Too Overpowering"

Green- "Too Institutional"

“Honorable mentions”


What Does this Infamous Movie Got to Do with Your Home?

In the last few decades, home decorators and interior designers have regarded the color “white” as the neutral standard. Home decor and design themes are considered elegant and top-class in white. But things are FINALLY shifting in the way of color and design trends for homes. No pun intended, but about (50) Shades of Grey are now the hottest thing for home decorating, with grays serving as a new neutral in all tones, “from soft silvers to dark charcoals”.

Dee Schlotter, color brand manager for Glidden Paints, explains to The Washington Post that the recent change in neutral preference may be due to the fact that “gray plays well with other colors.”

“Gray gives life to everything in a room. Gray makes everything look more modern and fresh. Gray makes all your possessions pop out. It gives them presence. A good picture on a gray wall — it’s amazing!”...

5 Home Improvement No-No’s to Watch out For

There are two reasons why people pay close attention to the upkeep of their homes: they want their home to look impressive and fabulous, AND they want to add value to their home in the hopes of selling it for a higher price in the future. But what if your home improvement regimen is actually doing more harm than good? Here are 5 Home Improvement No-No’s to Watch Out For:

Overly-bright light bulbs. A well-lit home is a beautiful home, but using bulbs that exceed the wattage capacity of your light fixtures can cause damage to the circuitry. Over time, overheated wires will erode and cause a house fire. TIP: Use bulbs well within the recommended wattage of your home’s light fixtures (you can check the label of the fixture). If you want your home to appear brighter, be ready to upgrade your fixtures and your electrical circuit accordingly.

Planting trees near driveways or walkways. A line...

Curb Appeal Tweaks for less than $100

Did you know that a home design overhaul isn’t necessary to make your home look more appealing to the buyer’s eye? Sometimes, all it takes is a conscious effort to improve on what you have and highlight the strong points that are already existent in your home curb’s appeal. Inspired by an article published by the Austin Business Journal, we bring you tips on how to boost your curb appeal for less than $100:

  1. Vamp up your front door. It’s Psychology 101—grab the buyer’s attention by making your front door look welcoming and eye-catching. Paint your front door using an attractive, bold color (such as red), and entice your buyers to enter the home and see all the other things your home has in store for them.
  2. Give the mailbox some character. A lot can be told...

Easy Feng Shui Concepts for Your Home

2016 Chinese New YearIn keeping with the Chinese New Year celebrations, we would like to share a few Feng Shui tips to those who would like to spruce up their homes to be lucky this Year of the Fire Monkey.

In the past years, Asian economies have drastically strengthened. Could it be because of their impressive business savvy? Or does it have something to do with their belief in Feng Shui? In any case, we won’t deny that Asian homes look good and feel good because of their strict adherence to Feng Shui concepts.

While we may not be experts on this Asian belief system, here are a few tips everyone could follow to benefit from the positive energy that Feng Shui brings to people’s lives and homes:

1. Create a Beautiful Garden

A beautiful garden, even a small one, attracts...

Five Simple Tweaks for a Happier Home

The true happiness of a home relies on tSimple Tips for a Happier Homehe relationships and family dynamics of its residents, but did you know that there are things you can do to improve your home and make it a happier place at the same time? Several studies reveal that it is possible to be happy based on where you invest in real estate and how you renovate your home, among other things. Here are some things you should do if you desire to have a “Smile-only Zone” Home:

Use Happy Wall Colors

A study from Amsterdam’s Vrije University proved that wall color has the ability to change your mood. The colors green and yellow appear to be the most effective...

What’s 'IN' this 2016: Home Designs that Buyers Love Most

Remember those Hollywood-inspired homes that we used to dream of living in when we were kids? Realtor.com’s “Get This Look” Promotion aimed to find out if home buyers this 2016 still aimed for that glitz and glam a la Hollywood when buying houses. After 10,000 votes were cast, the survey concluded that the “Hollywood-inspired homes that have the look, but don’t touch elegance are a fading trend and home owners now prefer natural, comfortable spaces.”

The three favorite home designs are: Inviting (23%), Rustic (22%), and Beachside Charm (21%). The least favored designs are: Regal (antiques and fine fabrics), eclectic Mid-Century Modern, and Earthy.

"We are seeing a shift in home design trends – leaving behind the glitz and glam for a more natural look – whether that may be a rugged barn with many textures or a serene beach-like feel," says Farrell. "Today's style reflects today's lifestyle and we've found that having a space for entertaining family and...