islands

Photo courtesy Pexels.com

We all have our own list of things that are on trend, but maybe don’t excite us. Shiplap. Inspirational phrases on walls. Soaking tubs. But when one writer said she hated her kitchen island, we decided to ask our readers if they harbored similar disgruntlement against the fairly ubiquitous feature.

Realtor.com writer Cathie Ericson said:

“Kitchen islands are so popular, in fact, that most homeowners fall into one of two camps: those who have a kitchen island, and those who wistfully wish they did.

I fall into the former. But after years of hosting countless dinner parties with guests gathered round, perched on barstools, pouring out their hearts over glasses of merlot, I have a confession to make.

I hate my kitchen island.”

She lists several reasons — guests linger at the island instead of mingling throughout other parts of her home, the island is a magnet for clutter, it brings people to the food before you’re done preparing it, and that it invites people barstool quarterback your cooking technique.

All of these things, however, don’t sound much to me like it’s the island’s fault. Why not set out appetizers and drinks in another part of the house, or provide some kind of activity that is nowhere near your kitchen. Or, you know, just simply say, “I’m sorry, the food’s not quite ready yet, but feel welcome to have Joe mix you a drink over at the bar cart?”

We took to Facebook and Instagram to ask our readers what they thought. (more…)

landlords

Photo courtesy Flickr/Alan Levine

With rents rising as demand grows, more and more people are taking the plunge and becoming landlords. In fact, a recent Bankrate.com report found that 22 percent of adults have invested in some way in real estate — a third of all those surveyed.

For some, it’s a desire to snag a great deal and hold on to it as an investment in the future. For some, it’s a reluctance to sell their former abode — in 2014, a Redfin survey revealed that almost 40 percent of those surveyed were interested in holding on to their old home when they bought a new one.

But almost every landlord we spoke to said it’s not exactly a path to easy money — and they were ready to share some knowledge with both renters and prospective landlords.

We posted a simple query to landlords on our Facebook page last Friday, and the conversation was robust. We also reached out to other landlords for more responses. 

The question? “What are some things you wish more tenants knew about renting?”

Responses (edited for clarity and brevity) are below. (more…)