Universal Design is an approach to architecture and design that seeks to make spaces accessible to all people, regardless of age, size or ability. The term was coined by Ronald Mace, an architect who focused on making public spaces easier for people with physical disabilities to use.
Universal Design differs from other approaches to accessible design and assistive technology because instead of trying to meet the specific needs of individuals, it strives to integrate people with disabilities into the mainstream. In other words, it focuses on offering accessibility to everyone rather than helping people with disabilities cope with barriers that could have been avoided in the first place. Common Universal Design features include ramps, curb cuts and push-button doors, which not only assist individuals with limited mobility but also make spaces easy for all people to use.
Although typically used in public spaces, people can integrate Universal Design principles into their homes. Here are few ways this can be done:
• Replace door locks with keyless entry systems
• Have a full bathroom on the ground floor
• Use open shelving in the kitchen instead of cabinets with doors
• Install grab bars and no-slip flooring in the bathroom
• Replace faucets with touchless or single-lever controls
• Invest in a walk-in shower
With life expectancies rising and higher survival rates for people with disabling conditions, disability-friendly homes are increasingly in demand. Taking steps to make your home more universally accessible will likely prove beneficial and could become a selling point should your home go on the market.
The truth about pets abandoned on moving day
It’s a sad truth that every year countless dogs and cats are abandoned by their human companions. Frequently this happens as the result of a move, and in particular, when a person’s new residence doesn’t allow animals.
Abandoning dogs and cats is illegal in most states. Nevertheless, many domestic pets are cast-off, either by releasing them into the wild or putting them out on the street. Unfortunately, starvation, and ultimately death, is the fate that typically awaits them.
Pets in shelters
According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are six to eight million dogs and cats that enter shelters each year. The organization approximates that about three million of these animals are euthanized, despite the fact that around 80 percent of them are fit for adoption.
But even pets that aren’t euthanized may face difficulties. Both dogs and cats tend to form strong bonds with their owners, and when this bond is severed, they’re likely to experience a great deal of stress and sadness. It isn’t uncommon for animals in shelters to be depressed to the point of refusing to eat.
What you can do
If you’re in the process of looking for a new home, make sure you find a place that accommodates your pet. And if you want to welcome a dog or cat into your new home, consider adopting one from your local animal shelter.
How to safely dispose of burned out light bulbs
When a light bulb burns out, you may wonder whether to toss it in the trash or take it to your local recycling center. However, the best action to take depends entirely on the type of light bulb you’re throwing out.
When a standard light bulb burns out, you can put it in the garbage with the rest of your household waste. The thin glass and metal wires are almost impossible to separate for recycling.
Compact fluorescent lights (CFL)
Light-emitting diode (LED) lights
LED lights don’t technically burn out like other bulbs, but they do dim over time. When this happens, you can safely discard them in the trash as they don’t contain mercury like CFL bulbs do. You can also check with your local recycling center to see if they accept this type of bulb.
Regardless of the type of light bulb, take care to wrap it in paper before you throw it away. This way you’ll avoid the possibility of someone getting injured by the broken glass.
Many hardware store chains have recycling boxes for CFL bulbs as well as batteries, left over paint and other things that can’t safely be thrown out. Check your local hardware store to see if they offer this service.
4 ways to get your outdoor living space ready for summer
Now that the warmer weather has arrived, it’s time to set up your outdoor living space for the season. But before you bring out the patio furniture, you should attend to these four tasks.
1. Wash your windows. Clean the frames and glass, and don’t forget to give the screens a scrub as well. You should also inspect the caulking around your windows and doors. If there are any cracks, apply new caulking
2. Get your deck ready. Clean your patio or deck and check for loose boards or anything else that looks like it needs to be fixed. Make repairs, then sand and seal wood surfaces.
3. Examine exterior surfaces. Inspect your siding for damage and ensure your foundation is free of cracks that might have formed over the winter. If you see any peeling paint on your shutters or window frames, make plans to have them painted.
4. Inspect your barbecue. Look out for signs of damage. Clear off spider webs, clean the grill and make sure animals haven’t nibbled on the gas line.
Once you’re done with the above, it’s time to set up your outdoor furniture. Give chairs, tables and loungers a good cleaning, then sit back, relax and enjoy soaking up the sun.
Warren County Market Report – May 2019
Watch this video for a quick summary of Warren County real estate for May 2019. Charts demonstrate the changes in the market, so be sure to click play!
In general summary:
- Closed sales are UP by 13.8% compared to this time last year
- Average Median Sold $254,750.
- Average Days on Market 66
*If you would like a copy of this report emailed to you, please send request to Jennifer@nexthomerealtyselect.com.
Resource: 2019 Market Stats by ShowingTime
MRIS: Statistics calculated June 2019
Jennifer Avery, Realtor for NextHome Realty Select
“Your Happy Home Expert”
BPOR, SRS, CNE, E-Pro Certified | Licensed in VA
email@example.com | 540-683-0790
210 E Main Street, Front Royal VA
Virtual reality: the future of real estate
Virtual reality (VR) is a powerful tool that’s revolutionizing the real estate industry. It refers to the computer simulation of three-dimensional environments that can be interacted with by a person. Here are three key applications of VR in the real estate industry.
1. Virtual property tours. VR can be used to allow people to virtually tour countless properties from one location. By simply putting on a VR headset, you’ll be able to experience immersive, 3D walkthroughs of dozens of properties so you can decide which ones are worth visiting in person.
2. Virtual home staging. Studies show that furnished homes sell better than unfurnished ones, but investing in furniture and decor for staging an empty house is costly. Using VR technology allows you to experience what a property will look like when it’s completely furnished.
3. VR architectural visualization. VR can also be used to market properties that haven’t been built yet, such as new condo developments. With VR tours, interested buyers can see what the homes will eventually look like.
VR in real estate is a game changer for buyers and agents alike. For buyers, it saves time and allows them to browse for homes across great distances. For real estate agents, VR tools pay off in terms of heightened global outreach, increased sales and more satisfied clients. It’s predicted that VR will become commonly used in the real estate business in the years to come.
iBuyers: are they worth the convenience?
Instant homebuyer companies, also known as iBuyers, are tech companies that buy homes directly from sellers online and then put them back on the market. Without even visiting your home, iBuyers will make you an instant cash offer using a proprietary valuation model. If you accept the offer, you can close the sale in a few days.
While the appeal of selling your house to an iBuyer is understandable, the instant bids they offer may not be worth the associated convenience.
Keep in mind that though iBuyers claim to offer the full value of your home, the bids they make are typically below fair market value (in case they can’t resell the property at the full price). They also charge a fee for conducting the transaction, which is often higher than the standard brokerage fee.
Additionally, the bids iBuyers make on homes are generally lower than what the seller would get from working with a real estate agent. Experienced agents often get as much as 125 percent of a home’s fair market value.
What’s more, these companies strategically appeal to sellers who are in distress. They target people who’ve been unable to sell their homes or have expired listings. Those who are divorcing, in bankruptcy or have homes in foreclosure are also easy marks. Because the sellers are in difficult situations, they’re more likely to accept lowball offers.
Though selling your home to an iBuyer may seem like a good idea, you’ll gain far more from working with an experienced listing agent. A skilled realtor can help you sell your home at, or above, the property’s fair market value.