How-To Tuesday: Create a Healthy Home Environment

Setting yourself up for success is the best way to ensure a healthy lifestyle. As many things in life do, wellness starts in the home. So this week, we thought we'd discuss some ways to create a healthy home environment for yourself and your family. After a little research, we put together a list of 10 things you can do to inspire health and wellness at home. 

1. Promote healthy eating. This might seem like an obvious tip, but there are a couple of things you might not necessarily think of to inspire your family to eat well. First, think about planting an edible garden. You don't have to have a lot of land or yard space to do this. A few simple plants in pots (like tomatoes, cucumbers, and strawberries) can provide a jumpstart to healthy eating. An indoor herb garden is also a good idea. There's something very rewarding about eating something you've planted, grown, and "harvested" yourself.

2. Keep those healthy foods and the tools needed to eat and cook them within easy reach. All those "sometimes foods" should be put away in cabinets or pantries to discourage impulse snacking.

3. Shrink your storage. Refrigerators these days can be downright huge, but do we really need all that space? Having all of that storage space could encourage you to buy a lot of heavily processed foods that keep for a long time. Instead of tempting yourself to stock up on less-than-nourishing items, shop more frequently and stock a more modest fridge with fresher foods that might not keep as well. 

4. Create a comfortable area for family dining. Our society has become such an on-the-go culture that it's not all that common for many families to sit down and have a meal together. The dining room, however, is a great place to regroup and talk about the events of the day or express what's on your mind. Eating together at the table also promotes those healthy eating habits you're trying to instill. Make sure the dining room table is clear of anything that doesn't belong and set it with linens and real dishes.

5. Develop good flow for natural light and air throughout the home. Lots of windows, French doors, sliding glass doors, and even breezeways are all great ways to promote indoor-outdoor flow.

6. Get outdoors. Add areas for fun activities in the back yard. Add a pool, a basketball court, a cornhole set, a jungle gym or swing set, a sandbox...the list is endless!

7. If you don't have much outdoor space, create a workout area inside that inspires activity. Stock it with all the equipment you need for your favorite workouts. Add a stereo or television (for those long treadmill walks or runs). Paint it a soothing color and let in lots of light.

8. Inspire peace in the bedroom. The body is healthiest when it sleeps and wakes according to circadian rhythm. Light is one of the biggest influences on circadian rhythms. Make sure bedrooms are dark, quiet, and cool at night and bright and sunny in the mornings. As tempting as it is to buy blackout curtains and ignore the morning sun, you'll feel much better if you wake up to natural light. In addition, keep bedrooms free of clutter and distractions like televisions.

9. Speaking of televisions, you can discourage idle TV watching by placing them in specified areas. If you must have more than one TV, put them somewhere you'll have to go with the specific purpose of watching your favorite show or movie.

10. If you work from home, consider investing in a higher desk, where you can stand instead of sitting all day. In an office, it's likely that you'd be up and down all day, darting from office to office, chatting with coworkers, going to the printer or watercooler... When you're at home, you tend to sit more. Not only does this make for an inactive day, but it can also cause problems with things like bloodflow. Standing at your desk can help with that. Get a higher chair to sit at when you need a rest. 

What other tips do you have for creating a healthy, feel-good home environment? Leave us a note in the comments below!

Friday Five // May 23, 2014

It's time for another installment of the Friday Five! This week, we've got a couple of festivals and some sporty fun, among other neat events.

1. The Spoleto Festival has begun! This is such an exciting time in Charleston, and every year brings new opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy music, theater, and art. Take a look at this year's schedule and get excited about this year's offerings, which include performances in categories like theater, opera, dance, physical theater, artist talks, jazz, and other forms of music. There truly is something for everyone at Spoleto. Opening ceremonies take place today at 12pm at Charleston City Hall.

2. If you're in the mood for a different kind of festival, we highly recommend the 8th annual First Flush Festival at the Charleston Tea Plantation. The festival celebrates "the first harvest of the best tea from the only tea plantation in America." Take a tour of the factory and see how tea is made, and then enjoy all the free iced American First Flush Tea you can handle! There will be food trucks, vendors, and musical acts, including popular Grammy-nominated band The Avett Brothers on two stages.

3. Though this event happens after the weekend is over, it's definitely worth a mention! The Charleston RiverDogs will have a "Re-Opening Night", as the official opening game on April 7th was rained out and moved to May 27th. So next Tuesday, gather your family and friends and head out to The Joe for a doublheader game, preceded by a spectacle of festivities! fans will enjoy a pregame parade (including marching bands, cheerleaders, mascots, and others), the introduction of the RiverDogs as they enter the stadium on horse-drawn carriages, and the performance of the Star-Spangled Banner by national recording artist/local star Elise Testone.

4. The Music Farm will host the 5th annual Southeastern Beard & Mustache Championships Saturday night, beginning at 7pm. So all of you bearded and mustachioed individuals out there, get ready to strut your stuff! The event benefits Lowcountry Women with Wings, a charity that supports women with ovarian cancer.

5. The Lowcountry Splash takes place this Saturday, benefitting the Logan Rutledge Children's Foundation, a charity that promotes the health and welfare of children in the Lowcountry. The event is an open-water swim with two options that take place in the Wando River and Charleston Harbor. The 2.4-mile event begins at Hobcaw Yacht Club, and the 5-mile event begins at the Daniel Island Pier. Both swim events end at the Charleston Harbor Marina in front of the USS Yorktown.

Whatever your plans for this Memorial Day Weekend, we at Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company wish you a safe and happy time! 


Home Styles in South Carolina

Do you know the difference between contemporary and modern home styles? Ranch and traditional? Many times, Charleston home styles are listed incorrectly in real estate listings. If you're not sure (or even if you think you know) which styles are which, take a look at our explanations below. Of course, there are many, many categories and subcategories in architecture and design, but these are just a few of the more prevalent ones. Which styles do you know? Have you been calling a ranch style traditional? Let us know in the comments below!












How-To Tuesday: 5 Tips For Taking Great Listing Photos

Believe it or not, photography is a very important aspect of listing a home for sale. Pictures can either entice buyers or turn them off completely. You could have the most beautifully written description of a home, but if unattractive photos accompany that description, there's a chance that  buyers will dismiss your listing without even seeing it in person. To ensure that you present your home in the best possible way on the MLS or other real estate search sites, follow these tips for take photographs of your listing.  

1. Be sure to include multiple photos on your listing. One picture of the outside of a home is not representative of what it has to offer. Buyers like to see photos of the main living areas. Include pictures of the kitchen, living room, master bedroom and bath, and any other rooms that might be especially attractive.

2. Lighting is key! Natural light is best, but sometimes, the weather doesn't cooperate. It's a good idea to bring a secondary light source with you just in case there isn't another source already in the home. Make sure to avoid backlighting. When your subject is placed in front of a light source, the picture will come out too dark. If there are blinds in the room, play around with angles: open them halfway or close them completely. Take some test photos and work with what you have, but if there's no avoiding it, you might want to go back on a less sunny day to take photos of that specific room.

3. Clear the clutter. Before you snap a photo, remove any items from the room that could draw attention or make it look messy. Clean off tables and counters. Remove things like playpens or other baby items. Make sure any clothing is put away, including coats or purses hanging on hooks. Move cars from driveway and garage. All of these items can be put back as soon as the pictures are taken.

4. Pay attention to details. If there are areas or details that are especially interesting, make sure to shoot those, too. In addition to the main living areas, snap pictures of bathrooms, secondary bedrooms, dining rooms, closets, storage spaces, outdoor living spaces, and any unique add-ons and upgrades.

5. Photoshop is your friend. You'll probably need to adjust or touch up a few (if not not all) of your photos when you get back to the office. If you're not sure how to use Photoshop, there are lots of tutorial on the Internet.

If you haven't been following these key steps when photographing your listing, do so now! We promise you'll see a huge difference in how a home for sale is presented to the public.


April 2014 Charleston Real Estate Market Report

The Charleston Trident Association of Realtors (CTAR) has released preliminary data for April 2014 Charleston real estate market activity. 1,143 homes were sold in April in the Charleston area at a median price of $215,000. These numbers are up from last April, when 1,028 homes sold at a median price of $200,000.

Breakdown by County

In Berkeley County, 222 homes sold at a median price of $176,000.

In Charleston County, 656 homes sold at a median price of $268,500.

In Dorchester County, 225 homes sold at a median price of $173,000.




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